Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I least for a little bit

view from bench following run
Since college, running has been my solace.  I’m a person who enjoys my alone time, and I have never felt more connected to myself than on runs.  It’s just me, pushing myself to my limits with no one else to impress.  But I haven’t run for 4 months, when I was finally stopped in my tracks with terrible knee pain.  I was beginning to think I would never have that feeling again.  The feeling of the wind whipping against me as I pushed my body as fast as it could go.   I told myself it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I would take a few weeks off and just do the elliptical and would be back to running in no time.  But those few weeks have turned into months.  Before last week I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to run again (check out my letter to my future self).  Faced with the prospect of not being able to do something that you’ve come to love is daunting and does not put you in the best of moods (to put it lightly).  But last week, after scouring the internet yet again, to find an effective way to cure runner’s knee, I stumbled upon this blog post.

I’m a heel striker with long strides, and I guess you’re supposed to land on your midfoot with short strides.  My brother had told me for a while that I needed to change my running form, but it was hard for me to conceptualize how to put that into practice.  Until this guy from the blog post said he started running trails, which forced him to change up his form.  It was like a lightning bolt, and suddenly I felt a new surge of energy.  I did some research on a trail somewhat close to me.  I drove out there that night and took a deep breath.  Normally, the first step in a run would prompt a sharp pain in my knee.  But when I started working my way around the rocks, I realized that there wasn’t that same pain as before.  I was on my toes and not striking with my heel (which I guess is a big no-no—why didn’t anyone tell me this years ago?).  I ran a whole 10 minutes.  Now I know that isn’t a long time, but for someone who thought they wouldn’t be able to run anytime soon, this was the best feeling in the world.  I knew that I was using different muscles than before and did not want to overdo it where I would get myself into another injury.  4 months ago I would have kept going.  If anything, this injury has taught me patience.  I stopped and tried to start up again, but on flatter ground it was difficult for me to find the right form and my body was awkward.  While I might not be there yet, what this excursion taught me is that there is hope. 

What did I feel while standing amidst the trees with no one else around, watching the sun go down, breathing heavily?  Thankful.  I felt thankful that I have a new path to pursue when I was lost in the woods.  I felt thankful that I had been able to have this feeling again.  It was just me there, but I didn’t feel alone.
on the trail 

This week I got minimal trail running shoes and signed up for a running form clinic.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.  I’m so nervous to try again and find that what I’ve been setting my hopes on won’t work.  I know it won’t be a quick fix and may not work exactly like I envision, but I have to take the next step and see where this path leads me. 


  1. You are such an inspiration! I'm so proud of you!

  2. Hey Kari,
    I'm so happy to hear that you are getting back out there. I can really sense its importance in your life after reading this. I recently suffered an injury while doing gymnastics and haven't been back in 3 weeks. I'm pretty bummed about it, but am encouraged by your outlook and positivity. Happy tails girl haha

  3. Hi Kari! I finally have time to catch up on my blogs and I had to come see what you've been up to.

    I am glad to hear you're getting back into running. I have been trying to for a few years now but it's been very difficult. If it's not my shins, it's my knees or my hip joints or my calves. It's been awful. I finally gave up trying to run and am trying hiking. I am hoping to do some light trail running see if helps my pains any. Although I am really enjoying my hikes it's just not the same. I miss running terribly.

    I hope you're new shoes and clinic help you. Good luck! :)


I truly appreciate each comment! I love hearing from you guys and treasure every one. I respond to comments via e-mail if you have yours enabled. This is going to be a great day!