Three years ago I was preparing for my first marathon, regularly running 20-30 miles a week. My first few months in Ethiopia, I broke my little toe and never quite recovered. I stopped running. Eventually, even walking–my only option in Ethiopia and while travelling–became miserable as I developed plantar fasciitis in my left foot.
Reteaching my body to run has been slow going.
At first, my feet protested the walking, but as my muscles have rebuilt, the plantar fascia has healed. Then it was the physical act of running, something my body had forgotten how to do. Slowly by slowly it has worked up from walking… half a mile, one, one and a half. It’s amazing how quickly that mileage builds up over the course of just a mere few weeks.
Right now it’s mostly the competition with myself, the frustration that I’m running a mere fraction of the distance each week that I used to be able to. But I remind myself that learning takes time. I didn’t expect to run a marathon in a few weeks the first time, so it’s unfair to hold myself to those expectations. It’s a constant battle in my mind because I know there was a time I had the ability.
But I’ve started to relearn how to run. And it feels so freeing.