I have been feeling overlooked lately. Overlooked and underutilized, as if I am not invited to the party, and it's making me feel small and petulant and uncool.
And then I hurt my foot.
To back up, I will tell you that just over a year ago I started running with my older son. I wrote about it here, about how we started doing Couch to 5K.I kept running all winter and joined the rec center near me to run on the track, and I've done a few 5Ks by myself this year. Along with the weight I've lost, running has helped me feel healthy and strong. It has changed the way I feel about getting older. It is something I can do, and I feel good about doing it, and working at it, and not quitting. (I almost wish I could have another baby so I could experience labor and delivery now that I've learned how to keep going even when I don't want to.)
In this post I figured out that another reason I need to run is that running is the only time I let myself feel raw, painful emotions these days. It's also a safety valve. When I do start to feel bad–rejected, angry, less than, even just unsettled–I go for a run and I get the exercise and challenge but I also get that physical stimulation of the raw place (what I'm beginning to think is the key for us tension increasers) in safety, so the feelings don't tip me over.
I have been stuck at 5K, but decided to spend this fall training up to 10K, and to run a 10K at the end of October. Last Wednesday I ran 4 miles and felt really good about it, except that my heel and toe felt a little weird when I was done. And then later that night they, and the rest of my foot connecting them, were killing me. On Thursday I decided to skip Friday's run to rest. And then by Sunday morning I realized I'd re-sprained the same foot I'd sprained in December 2010, and was going to need to give it another week plus a lot of fish oil and ibuprofen.
So I'm feeling at a loss, and I don't have my coping technique. (I've been swimming, too, but swimming doesn't hit my emotional center the way running does. T-Tapp keeps me energized and sleeping well. Pilates is fun. But they're not running.) And the "oh, poor me"ness I've been feeling about this is making me even more annoyed.
How do I get the patience to let myself heal, when I'm short on patience in the first place and that's why I need to run?
I feel a lot like Veruca Salt right now. Maybe with a side of super-dramatic Anne Shirley.
Who wants to tell me to snap out of it?