Great Pumpkin 5K

After two full months, I do not know what more to say about this race but that I ran it. The whole thing. Three full miles of gentle jogging. Since this was the first time I ran over a mile (or really a couple blocks) in two months, that is all that really matters.

Back to running.

FINALLY! Just in time for fall.

I really enjoy the Great Pumpkin Run at Venetucci Farm. I loved picking pumpkins there as a child, so the location holds a palpable nostalgia for me. Running through a pumpkin patch just seems to entirely encapsulate fall itself into one moment.

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This year, I honored my injury and registered for the 5K, instead of the 10K. The October morning was unseasonably warm, but I lined up at the start line with no expectations. I forced my obsessions down and focused on just enjoying whatever might happen. I made myself happy to just be out for a run at all.

As I broke out into a stride, bobbing among the crowd through the pumpkin patch, the run felt better than I expected. With a new configuration of KT tape, my hip felt shaky but not painful. I tried to hold back against the excitement of familiar movement and lean on the wisdom to baby the injury. In the first mile, I knew I was probably running past my hamstring and even my cardio, but it was hard to care with the autumn sun on my face and that reminiscent float blooming in my chest.

I calmed down as we rounded into the backwoods. Jogging through chilled, knee-deep water definitely slowed me. And also felt awesome. Water squished out of my shoes with each step on the mud. The more I ran, the better my leg felt, the more the rhythm of the movement became natural. My hamstring would only balk at an uneven forest mogul or rutted gravel path.

It just felt good to be running. I forced myself to not care about anything else.

Ultimately, it was my cardio that betrayed me. I felt those two months of not running with the heat on me. I struggled the last half mile, battled up a small hill, dry heaved across the finish. I managed 37 minutes, which is acceptable even on a good day. I will take it.

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My hamstring even did well after the run. The two recent runs have actually seemed to accelerate healing, increase flexibility. It’s like my body needs the exercise to be itself, but that might just be my addiction talking. I did tweak my hip the next day, but that was from unrelated circumstances, and I believe my chiropractor fixed it. He said the change in the pain was the injury unraveling from all the compensating I was doing. He assures me this is a good thing and progress. If he says so.

It is a start. It is a step towards normalcy. And I am going to learn to take it.

The entire experience is proving to be a learning one, more so than even my last injury. The way my obsession really hobbled me with the previous injury humbled me, taught me about myself and what was wrong with how I treat myself. I let my hatred of my post-baby body and my fixation on exercise and progress literally tear my hip and prevent it from healing for the better part of a year. It was an ugly thing to see about myself. I always knew it was there, yet it was another thing to tape the consequences every day.

And I just repeated the pattern. I healed, pushed myself too hard, and injured myself again. So, this time, I am making the conscious effort to break the cycle, to change my behavior, to learn from my repeated mistakes. I don’t want to be limping around or having body parts replaced when I am old because I could not take a damn break. I don’t want to injure myself any more than I already have managed.

So, as I move into my favorite running season, I am going to strive to still temper myself. I am going to attempt a balance, which I have never had any talent for. I live in extremes, but I am going to push myself for moderation. It will require me to compromise with myself, who might be the person I compromise with the least (and that is saying something). It will also require me to be lenient with myself, relent a bit from my own torture, give myself a break.

This should be interesting.

 

Christina Bergling

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About ChrstnaBergling

Colorado-bred writer, Christina Bergling knew she wanted to be an author in fourth grade. In college, she pursued a professional writing degree and started publishing small scale. With the realities of paying bills, she started working as a technical writer and document manager, traveling to Iraq as a contractor and eventually becoming a trainer and software developer. She avidly hosted multiple blogs on Iraq, bipolar, pregnancy, running. In 2015, she published two novellas. She is also featured in the horror collection Collected Christmas. Bergling is a mother of two young children and lives with her family in Colorado Springs. She spends her non-writing time running, doing yoga and barre, belly dancing, taking pictures, traveling, and sucking all the marrow out of life. View all posts by ChrstnaBergling

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