Eight weeks from my first marathon and my training partner is unexpectedly on the injured list. As in, no running for two weeks.
We have run across three seasons together. Sure, there have been times we have run with others or alone. But these times were the exception, not the rule. This has been a partnership and I now feel as though I have lost a body part. There is an absence.
A wise person once told me, “When you register for races be prepared to run them alone. Run them because you want to. Not because your friends are. Not because your training partner is. People get sick, injured, or plans change. Run races for yourself.”
No such truer words have been spoken.
Here are a few ways I am staying on track and motivated, which I hope will help you as well:
- Run solo! Seems like a silly answer, doesn’t it? Running alone is not always a bad thing. I find that I stay inside of my head more. I work out the day’s anxieties and challenges. I seek answers. Solo running works the mental muscle, and running is mostly mental right?
- Make a gym date. I am not the only one bummed out with this predicament! How about my training partner who cannot run? I find time to hit up the gym with her. Weights, spin class, elliptical, aqua jogging, whatever she wants to do. Therapy and support is not only for the pavement and I am not the only one needing the running therapy.
- Network. This is where running clubs really are a beneficial. There are a network of runners out there waiting for someone to pick up a few miles. I am fortunate to be a member of two running clubs so I am branching out and running with new people. Paces might be different but the long-term benefits far outweigh the number on the watch.
- Remain positive. A positive attitude spreads. No one wants to hang out with a Debbie Downer, especially someone who is sidelined. Luckily, my training partner eats rainbows and sparkles for breakfast. I am kidding but she does rarely has a negative outlook on life. She is positive that she will get cleared and back on the road in two weeks, and so am I. Everyday I see pictures of her smiling from the elliptical, or sharing hilarious links on Facebook such as the 12 People Who Should Cancel Their Gym Memberships. You have to make light of a dim situation.
Although I am suddenly solo, faced with a change of plan and routine, this is just a hiccup. This is temporary, and it will be for you too. That is the beauty of marathons right? Medals are not given, they are earned. You do not finish a marathon because it was easy. You finish a marathon because you overcame obstacles. You hurdle challenges. You bend and flow, stay malleable.