Running and Patience

False scarcity and poor choices

I've been running for a while. I love running. I run as much as I can and every year, without fail, I suffer an overuse injury.

In 2010 I got serious about running with a training plan and a half-marathon. The first injury came right after that first race. I had to take weeks off for iliotibial band syndrome. The cycle repeated itself. Every year mileage and intensity would increase until something in my body broke. Every time I looked for a reason. Every time I worked with physical therapists. It was always the same.

The worst year was 2021. I took 6 months off running.

Every runner has a cache of advice. Try orthotics, run barefoot, do this one weird stretch, get a foam roller, and always strengthen your hips. I tried it all. Stretching, strength, and massage all helped. It was one piece of advice that fixed me:

Consider a career instead of a year.

I don't remember where I heard it and I haven't been able to find it again. In hindsight my running "career" was laid bare. Short-term goals led to overtraining which led to injuries.

Imagine how your behavior would change if you knew you had opportunities to look forward to instead of one single attempt. Imagine abundance instead of scarcity. That's the change I found.