I don’t know where my running future lies, but I keep going. I’ve never had a feeling of euphoria. Running does not provide stress relief or clear my mind. I don’t even like it. I run because I told my mom (and everyone who has donated a dollar to me) I would keep running and fundraising until she had a medicine that worked for her.

When I started running a few years ago, I couldn’t make it to the end of the block. I wanted to do a 5k with a 20 minute mile pace and I don’t know that I could have done it, honestly! I started C25k and it was hard. I didn’t really time myself for a while until I started training with Team Challenge. I was at about a 12 minute mile. I got to about a 10:30 minute average if I really pushed it. I fell all the time, but I was running! Strangely, since I was not part of any running group, I was perfectly happy with my time. There was no one to make me feel bad about running so slow! I didn’t even know I was that slow.

Then I had nerve surgery. I gained 30 pounds and couldn’t move more than five feet for months. When I started back up I was running a 15 minute mile. I trained down to about 12 minute mile during training, but seemed to never be better than 13/14 minute in a race. I seemed stuck. No matter how hard I trained, I couldn’t get back to where I was before surgery.

During my recovery for nerve surgery, I joined some online running groups and started to realize I wasn’t a very good runner. I was, in fact, painfully slow!

Every single half marathon was exactly one minute slower than the last for two years! I never got better. Only worse. It doesn’t feel good to get slower!

Then pain and other symptoms started. I ran through it for months as no one could diagnose me. The week before I was diagnosed, I ran a half marathon where I broke down at mile 10 about how my running never improved–no matter how much I trained or how much the money I spent on coaches, etc. I did everything from Hill Repeats, Intervals, Fartleks, Speed Work galore plus the long runs. All the advice people have been giving me to improve my time, yeah, I’ve done that.

I never got better, only worse. It was if no matter how hard I trained, I only got slower. I did take breaks, did everything my race coach told me to do. It was very defeating. I spent many hours crying about my slowness. Perhaps it was made worse by the fact that I know before my nerve surgery I had trained and improved and it wasn’t happening post-nerve-surgery. All the training in the world couldn’t put Kristie back together again.

I thought running before surgery number 2 was slow. What I’m doing now can barely be described as running. And I’m running, running hard, wiped out after 2 or 3 miles. My Dumbo Disneyland Half time was 3:35 (a good 30 minutes slower than my slow Disney runs). Earlier today, I ran just over 2 miles in 30 minutes,  and it wasn’t very fun. I have acquaintances who have had major surgeries after mine and are back to running 8 or 9 minute miles already. What is wrong with me? Is it all mental?

Just yesterday, I texted my friend and asked him to run some races as me, so when I looked at my official times I wouldn’t feel so defeated. Bring my runDisney corral qualifying times down, will you? (By the way, I would never actually do this!)

So to sum all this up, I’m feeling defeated! Expect some tears during future runs!

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