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 ahead instead of a single shot. Imagine abundance instead of scarcity. That's the change I found.