I think it is very evident how much the sport running has changed my everyday life, my perspectives and even myself since I took it up since the year started. A lot has changed since then, one obviously starting up just simply wanting to keep up with a fitness routine to…….running with goals I have in my mind that I want to achieve. Nonetheless, all that fairytale seems to come to a point now I start to feel so doubtful about.
It has been a tough month. So tough I am barely struggling by. A hamstring pull that doesn’t seem to get better which I put myself off all training for 2 weeks but I couldn’t take it any longer and came back to training, a cough bug that has been bugging me since a month ago that is deteriorating instead of seeing any improvements. Not to add on, the workload in school is piling up while I was so busy with submissions over the past two weeks. I was barely getting by, I was barely holding it all in.
Running used to give me nothing but simply just happiness and I thought it would stay this way for the longest time. Neither would I have expect the roller coaster ride I signed myself up for. The pressure I gave myself soon built up to the point I couldn’t take it, that I saw myself saying “I can’t do this” each time I stood by the starting line even before I ran. I saw myself starting to be fearful of taking the first step off the line because I was scared I wouldn’t hit the pace my coach had given to me. That week, I saw myself having a huge mental breakdown after my 1.5km time trial; which is of course not my event. Things gotten a better turn since then and though the pressure were there, I started knowing if I just am less harsh on myself, I would be at ease to run faster. I….gradually stopped fearing to take the first step at the starting line and my heart, stopped beating this quickly like before.
But who would ever know, just shortly after, an injury would come, just at the time when we step into on season period. Races are lined up for the next few months and what I had been training so hard for. Hamstring pull. My hamstring had always had a sore point since earlier period but I took no notice of it as I was busy meddling with my shin splint. I was limping so badly for days, thinking of the worst and having to forcefully be put in the situation where I have to call off going to trainings – I was in such huge despair. I couldn’t remember the first time I felt this empty, this clueless, this helpless, and THIS vulnerable. I spent the nights where I was half bedridden crying myself to sleep, with my curious self googling all sorts of possible injury and recovery time to scaring myself. I went to the doctor finally, rested and when I could finally walked, I went back to training right away.
I remember the first time I gave back after a short 2 weeks of break, coach diagnosed it as a pull; slight wear and tear and I was put off running completely. I came to the next 2/3 trainings racewalking and trust me, it was so tough on me. The thought of wanting to go faster but you can’t, and the frustration that builds up because you had the time to let these thoughts run through while you were racewalking – it felt like a death penalty to me. The first training I came back running, 400/800/1200/1600/2000 slow strides; I finally saw myself smiling in a training and I actually thought things were getting better.
Thought. Is the key word.
I go back and fro with having to settle to do racewalk for training when it the pain acts up and I could barely even jog on the track – you see my limp jogging during our usual 800m warm up run. It was painful. It was the pain that not only I could feel physically but it pained so much on the inside. What happened? Why did things ended up this way?
This track that had once given so much happiness to me, I saw myself putting on a sulky face, and I saw myself crying in tears of frustration to my coach “I hate this, I hate that I can’t run my 100% like before anymore”. Sure I do get a lot of encouragement from my trackmates and especially my coach – what will I do without them. That how each training I am here counts even if my legs were not at its 100%, how it is going to build me up stronger mentally. But you know……
It has come to a point where I see myself questioning my purpose for turning up for training, for starting to dread going trainings because I know I am not going to perform my 100% but continue to feel the pain coming as I take each stride. I devoted SO MUCH of my time, effort and sweat, sacrificed a little all for that beginning that is to happen in say what, 2/3 weeks time? I was so excited to finally be able to wear a race bib to race with all my night but everything has to come clashing against each other at such a crucial point. It is like for everything I had done especially over the last 3-4 months, the tough and intense training I pour my entire soul for, it is down to nothing? “Take it slow, be patient CN. You are not running that slow now yknw?” Says my coach to me but I want to perform my 100%, my 101%, my 200%, I want to see concrete improvement from everything I had devoted for.
What is left? What lies ahead? There is so much uncertainties, and so much……pain. Today when we went for a outside run to marina barrage, trust me it was getting so painful aft the 4.6km mark and I had to continue running for the 4.4km. I saw myself limping back the last 4km desperately hoping I am getting closer to where we begin to end this pain.
The legs that I used to run miles, has become the legs that I feel nothing but pain as I take each stride. If tough times do not last, but tough people do, am I tough enough to overcome this trial? Can I?
I said it many times and I will say it again: I will run till the day my legs cannot go on further and I cannot imagine a life without running. I am this sure why God had put me on this journey, why he had given me this purpose and drive in life but I also, am questioning why I end up losing something that I hold so closely by at the end of the day?
I have goals for myself I want to slowly accomplish in this sport and as it may sound ridiculously unrealistic and stupid, I do dream of a day I can achieve great things with this passion of mine for running and with this legs that had been through miles to get there. I don’t want to stop just here when it is barely the beginning for me and I pray so earnestly each day, this is just a trial, this is just a small hurdle for me to overcome to emerge strongly. And I hope, it will be over soon. This pain, is getting too long to bear for me.