Friday Confessionals

Not gonna lie.. I’m not really really not satisfied with my mood lately. I feel like I’m either super-up, or super-down, but it’s always on one extreme or the other. Last Saturday was ridiculously miserable for some reason, but then Sunday was a new day and just fine. I’m not down with this whole roller coaster of emotions deal, so what am I supposed to do?

My days either seem to look like this:

or they look like this:

but there is no happy medium. What I attribute this to is my lack of an outlet. Everyone has (or needs) an outlet, and mine has been ripped from my hands [for the time being] and placed on a top shelf that I can’t reach. Clearly I’m referring to running.. and I just don’t know what to do. Whenever I was under stress in the past, I would run. It wouldn’t need to be for long, it wouldn’t need to be “on the schedule”, it didn’t matter the time of day, I’d just go and get out for a mile (or 10) and clear my mind. No music. No company. Just me and my breathing and my feet on the street, and my problems would melt away.

Here’s where I turn to you guys – maybe you have some suggestions for me. I know some people bake. Some people do yoga. Some people scrapbook. No offense to any of those things, they’re all great if you enjoy it, but it just doesn’t cut it for me. People say “you should be thankful – at least you can still do stuff to stay active” referring to swimming and pool running and cycling. Um, sure.. I can sweat. I can still “workout”. That doesn’t mean I’m enjoying it. I never ran to “work out”. Well, OK maybe that’s an overstatement – sure you have tempos and intervals when you’re in training, but seriously, I don’t even like that phrase.. workout. Ick. That’s what the gym is for. And I would take the outdoors, rain or shine, snow or 90 heat, ANY day. 

I know there are at least a few readers who have been through this before. Well, not this probably, but this as in an extended period of time off. And that’s what this is, because like I said before, I will be back. 🙂 So I’m asking.. how did you do it? What did you find to release your stress when you couldn’t do what you love the most? I know everyone has “off days”, but this is different than that. I had “off days” still when I could run. All I can say is that these are just extremely unpleasant.. and not something I want to experience again. Ever. (Ideal world right? I know I’m being a touch extreme.. just indulge me for now)

As I desperately await suggestions, I want to introduce something I’d like to make a staple here on RRR (in attempts to hole me responsible to posting more frequently), and that something I’d like to call Friday Confessional. A little signature trademark, if you will, that you know you’ll always find here. We used to do this over on Runners World every now and then, but I haven’t seen anyone post up in a long time, so now I’m takin’ it and makin’ it mine. 🙂 It’s a good way to let out some of the things you may feel guilty about. Hopefully no one takes offense at anything confessed, because it’s supposed to be all honesty – no holding anything back. Feel free to add your own in the comments! It feels good to get it off your chest.


  1. I’ve become rather spiteful without running. I’ve seen other people running outside or hearing them talk about running and wished they couldn’t run too. It’s like if I can’t run, no one else should. 😦
  2. I stole my roommates pack of Cinnamon Spice gum off her desk. Sorry Laur – I owe you.
  3. I ODed on Cinnamon Toast Crunch one night in the beginning of the week. I literally had FIVE bowls. Just dry. Back to back.  And I felt sick as hell afterwards/the next morning. It was completely emotional and very delicious. But I don’t need to do that again.
  4. I paid $55 for unlimited group fitness at the Marino. And I’m yet to take ONE class. I signed up for abs tonight and spinning tomorrow morning.
  5. I accidentally brought home a pool belt from the Y. And it is sitting under my bed. And it’s mine. 


Haha in efforts to not make myself look like a completely terrible person, I will stop there and call it a day. This week has been less stressful than the last for sure, and I’m hoping for a low key weekend. I signed up for a 30 minute abs class tonight which I’m excited for, and a 45 minute spinning class tomorrow morning which I’m not so excited for, but I gotta try it some time! One thing that could possibly annihilate my low key conquest is the fact that there will be FOURTEEN people in our suite this weekend (us six, plus L’s swimming recruit, T’s two friends, L’s two friends, and the other L’s three visiting boys). I’ll get over it sleep next door. It will look a little like this, minus the costumes, plus five people, plus lots more mess. 

Time for an exam.. I’m typing this in History of World Arch.. hope this stuff on Muqarna arches isn’t important! (KIDDING mom! Hope you didn’t just have a heart attack.) See you all soon.. and I wanna hear some Friday Confessions!


10 Responses

  1. Damn, lil lova. I wish I could tell you to GO FOR A DRIVE AND BLAST THE SHIT OUTTA YOUR FAVE TUNES AND JUST ZONE OUT… But doubt that you have an automobile at school. I mean, how the eff would that even be possible, right?

    Sometimes, it’s totally refreshing to just write, paint, draw, or do something WHILE LISTENING to MUSIC 🙂 Totally an upper for me, but only when the time calls. Also the colors are always mad uppers… ANd you can do anything you DAMN WELL PLEASE. It’s totally soothing to see that blank piece of white paper, too. A fresh start. And then closing your eyes and just letting it go on the paper. Word up.

    MESSAGE ME WHENEVS. You know I’m hurr.

  2. Hey. I broke my 3rd metatarsal this past spring just at the end of track season. So, all summer from May to August, I could not run. I was not permitted to walk for 2 months. I literally was not allowed to do anything active unless it was with my upper body. So, I know how you feel. I would cry sometimes because all I wanted to do was go for a run. Somehow, I did get through it though. For the time that I couldn’t walk at all I tried to focus and find enjoyment in other things. But, just as you said, nothing cuts it like running does. Personally, I looked to the future and made goals for myself when I could be active again. When I was able to walk again, about a month before I was permitted to run, I joined a gym and was like, I am going to do everything I can to be in the best shape I can be when I can run again. It really helped. I did spinning classes and swam and lifted weights and sure, it wasn’t running, but the day the doctor said I could run again, i went out for a easy 3 miles and I actually felt “in running shape”. So, I say, look to the future, and motivate yourself to be a even better runner once you get back at it. I even had a 5k PR only 2 months after getting back to running! It can happen to you.

    Stay positive, as hard as it can be, stay positive.
    And if you have to cry about it or get emotional in anyway, let it out.

    Good luck in recovery.


  3. Well, with a title like “Friday Confessional” I guess this a good time to out myself as a secret blog reader! I follow “Run Like A Kenyan” and started reading yours a few months ago.

    I’m more blogger than runner but I try to do both with some consistency. That said, I can’t really relate on the running thing but I’ve been there a time or two when my only outlet gets cut off.

    Then it’s like “well NOW what do I do?” and I’d love to say that I’d just find another outlet like reading or music or prayer but, in the moment, I’m never that thoughtful or resourceful. Mostly I lack the motivation to do anything at that point. I think it’s a part of growing. You learn more about yourself, develop new ways to cope with stress, adding them to your toolkit, and they you’re ready for the next big challenge.

    On a more practical level, I like to listen to things that motivate or inspire me. As an optimist I always need a healthy dose of something positive to keep me going!

    Hope that was at least somewhat helpful 🙂

  4. Erika,

    Hang in there. You are so mature. Those horrible kinds of days you describe can be absolutely defeating. For me, I find that writing helps. When I had stress fractures one spring/summer in college, I made the mistake of thinking no running = no unhealthy food until one day I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (I’m lactose intolerant). I’m not sure what this comment is supposed to communicate other than that you’re not alone in feeling out of whack when you can’t run, and that I have been impressed so many times with your mature attitude about running (totally agree with you on the “workout” thing, too) and your close relationship with your family and your managing to find time to throw yourself into an AWESOME academic program.

    Are you allowed to bike? I found long outdoor bike rides to be the closest thing to a run because of the way you’re traveling and seeing new things.

  5. I’ve been reading your blog as the unfortunate events of your injury have unfolded. I am not quite the competitive runner that you are, but I think I possess a similar passion for the sport. In April, two weeks out from my first marathon (set to BQ), my knee completely went out on me. I wish it would have been ITBS, runner’s knee, etc., but physiologically I’m not really built to run. I didn’t run again until about a month ago, and my 70 mile weeks limp in at about 20 miles now. That whole long 5 month period was spent in the pool – I joined a master’s swim team – and on the road. I bought a road bike to help me stay in shape and get as close to running as possible. I know it’s not the same, and it’s damn expensive, but it’s near to that release I sought. Ride at 20 mph + and your legs burn a good one. Used roadbikes are all over ebay, and since you’re pretty small (it seems), you can generally find smaller sizes at cheaper prices. Since you live in the northeast, you might be able to find some pretty good hiking out in the mountains. Pre-serious running days I hiked a TON, and it’s a great activity to just escape. I’m sure your school offers day/weekend trips to the mountains.
    Best of luck to you! I’m still not satisfied with my reduced mileage, but my other “workouts” have kept me in incredible shape, and I’m now actually faster than I was before the injury.

  6. I know how devastating an injury can be. I was getting recruited by big D1 schools (USC, Texas A&M, CO State, etc) to play volleyball before I hurt my back. Honestly girl, I don’t know what to tell you. I know that I went through a mourning phase for it, just like when a good friend died. I turned my back on exercise for a while and thought I’d never look back, then rowing happened.

    Now I’m on a collegiate NCAA D1 womens rowing team (that kicks ass) and loving every minute of it. I never thought that I could feel this way about a sport again. It’s different I have to say.

    I still miss getting an awesome block or a great spike but having my new teammates, also known as my family here, makes it all worth it.

    Maybe you should think about what it was that you loved so much about running. Solidarity? Adrenaline? Both? There could be something similar out there that you may learn to love just as much, but it may take some time for you to get to that point (kinda like a new boyfriend/puppy/roommate).

  7. I can’t help with the outlet…but I know how you feel. When I got sick after my half…and was basically confined to bedrest for 4 months…I nearly went insane. I couldn’t even WALK much less run. Even now its hard…knowing I used to run 6 miles easily…and now 3 is sometimes rough…but I’m coming back.

    Just keep the faith. Know that you’ll get there one day.

    Oh, and that confessional? AWESOMENESS!!!!

  8. I know you are in a state of misery, so I won’t scold you for stealing from the YMCA…

    When I was injured (for three years) I went back to competitive swimming. Joined a masters swim team, and began racing both in pool meets and in open water. Ended up racing an 8-miler. Pretty crazy.

    Rowing, actually, you might find enjoyable – low impact and outdoors. Something to think about. Northeastern must have a rowing club where you could check it out.

    You’ll find something. Just stay open to it. – June

  9. I feel your pain. I haven’t run since October and while I don’t really have anything as major as you have going on- for a while I would hate everyone I saw running.

    But I’ve gotten over that. It’s actually sorta nice to take a break from something I’ve been doing for so long. I’m focusing a lot on swimming which I hated ever since I was 7 until 14 when I quit racing but now that I’m back into it it’s a lot like running.

    While I miss the ease of running and not having to stay indoors- I’m looking at my injury as coming at a good time. It’s cold as hell out and I won’t risk getting hit by a car this winter.

    So maybe try to think of your injury as a rest point. A hiatus and after everything falls into place… who knows your body may thank you by being a faster and stronger runner.


  10. somehow i kept getting injured all during 2009 is all about injury prevention. seriously. first i messed up my arch in my right foot. limped around like the lead zombie in rez evil. and then my right knee started REALLY hurting (pfps.) and then my left. and then tons of physical therapy. and then return of the knee pains. then i pulled a groin muscle. and then my arch again. i learned never to run in 8 month old running shoes (replace after 6?) So i have been off and on running. i feel you. you want to kill/run over those runners. dammit i should be out there running, thinks you. but i just put it to myself to become the best damn walker (hi, incline walking burnzzz) and also learn the importance of cross training (i started this today! i want to bike ride on the street hopefully and not get run over) and i focus on weighttraining. see thatcrazy azn chick doing a power clean? that’s me. =D
    so i know yo’ll be up and running soon! you inspire me with your hard core running skillz. i hope i can be up there…i am working on distance. i did 5 miles yesterday! (painful, but i did it!)

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