Everyone Loves a Good Comeback

I used to eat 26.2 for breakfast...

Confession: I am jealous of most of you…right now.

If you are able to run 3 miles without gasping for dear life and feeling an immense amount of pain and stiffness in your foot, I’m secretly hating you just a little bit. Gotta keep it real.

Since the foot issue started back in April, I find myself reading running blogs less and less. When I started blogging, I had just come off of my 3rd marathon, having run at least a dozen other 15ks and half marathons. I never really admitted it, but I suppose, back then I would have called myself “a runner.” During marathon training, I ran upwards of 50 miles a week. 12 miles felt like a walk in the park. 6 miles was a short run. Life was good.

That’s all changed over the past few months, and it’s made me realize just how much I relied on running to keep me motivated and cheerful all the time. I realize that any workout produces “endorphins” but I swear, the endorphins I get from running are way more powerful than the ones I get from a spinning class (not a scientific fact – a Sometimes Healthy opinion).

Ali on the Run: I HEART Sweat too! I just HEART it a bit more when it comes from running :-)

Anyway, despite the fact that I’ve lessened the load of running blogs I read, I can’t help but tune into some of my favorites, especially the locals. I live vicariously through their running accomplishments:

  • I was so happy for Ali on the Run after she completed her first 20 miler in Washington D.C. amidst a bunch of really cool monuments…I enjoyed reading her humorous recap of her adventures and the ups and downs of the run. But, admittedly, I was slightly green with envy.
  • Reading about Lindsay’s  14 mile evening run in the city was refreshing. The pictures of the sunset were absolutely stunning. But, I felt a twinge of jealousy longing for my own little evening runs.
  • Heck, when Hurricane Irene hit, I was wishing I could have run alongside Kelly on her hot, humid and incredibly sweaty pre-hurricane run. Nice going, girl! I don’t know if I could have run 2 miles in that humidity, let alone 17, even in my best shape.
  • Reading Christine’s posts about training for the Chicago Marathon make me a bit nostalgic as I reflect upon my own training for the Chicago Marathon a few years ago. She’s doing a kick-ass job, and I can’t wait to read about her killin’ it in Chicago in just 1 month!

I can’t deny my overtly obnoxious jealousy of all of these incredible women’s’ running adventures. But regardless, I’ll keep reading because I know I’ll be back in those well- worn-in running shoes soon enough.

I love your running blogs...but I'm oh so jealous of you!

Oh and About that Foot Thing

If you look back at my posts, you’ll see that I first started talking about this mysterious foot pain back in May – that was when I saw the first doctor who gave me a quick diagnosis and told me that I could essentially cure all with a little bit of tennis ball therapy.

Well, that didn’t work. So, like the smart Sometimes Healthy Girl that I am, I continued to run, thus increasing the pain and frustration. However, I had to decrease my mileage because my foot literally couldn’t last – eventually you get to a point where your body overrules your mind.

Makeshift ice wrap at work...even that didn't do the trick.

Long story short, after one 8 mile run in August in new running shoes, I hit my official threshold for pain. My ankle was bruised for reasons I couldn’t understand, and I was limping so badly around the office that my coworkers were one step away from forcing me into a cab and into another doctor’s office.

I finally saw another doctor who saw much of the same problems, with a few other issues. I’ve also started going to physical therapy twice a week, so the good news is that I’m definitely on the “road to recovery.”

The bad news?

I’m straight OUT OF SHAPE.

HELP - I'm out of shape!! No seriously, I swear. I'm out of shape!

Comebacks Are Fun!

Per usual, I’ll keep it real: my little foot injury isn’t serious. In fact, to those who don’t rely on little running endorphins to maintain their big goofy smile, it would be merely an inconvenience. Of course, I’ve continued to cross-train while taking a break from running, but, as the saying goes, you never realize what you have until you lose it.

I don’t care how fast I run. I don’t care if I can achieve negative splits in my next race. I don’t even care how far I run.

I just need one little thing: To be able to run as long as I want on “cruise control” without any effort.

Running on cruise control (sort of) with a cruise ship behind me. YES

What do I mean?

Well, even when I wasn’t training for races, because I ran so frequently, I could pretty much just pick up and decide to run however long I wanted whenever I wanted because my body was conditioned to do that. And it wasn’t a struggle. It was my time to work through my thoughts and think positively, because as long as I could keep running, I could figure out the rest.

I want that ability back.

I want to know that no matter how frustrating or challenging a day I’ve had at the office, I can just put on my shoes and run to my “special spot” for as long as my little heart desires.

My special spot - the East River track. I always did my best thinking on that track.

Or, although I won’t likely to discuss it on the b-l-o-g, when a member of the opposite sex is causing my mind to go in a million different directions, I want to be able to leave my phone at home and work through it all on the hills of Central Park.

All the problems disappeared every morning during my Central Park runs.

When I question whether I want to remain in NYC or get back to the roots that have been pulling at me for nearly 10 years, I want to be able to sprint down the East River path and weigh the pros and cons as I listen to embarrassingly cheesy Taylor Swift songs about “finding my place in the world.”

I always feel at home when I'm sprinting down the river.

When I stop believing it’s possible to achieve the dreams I’m “chasing” after, I want to go out and run double-digit miles and build my confidence back up mile by mile.

Running builds my confidence one mile at a time.

Seems simple right?

Well, I can’t do that right now. Every mile is a struggle, and it’s hard to think positively or work through complicated thoughts when I’m concentrating so hard on not falling off the treadmill or running up a hill in Central Park without collapsing. Plus, after today’s physical therapy session, I learned that our opinions of what equals “only running a little bit” are vastly different. In other words, I have to cut back a bit even more if I want to heal properly.

But I want it back, and I’m going to get it back.

Between the physical therapy and consistently, but carefully, building back up my mileage, I’m certain I’ll get there. It won’t be fun, and it won’t be easy. But I can assure you – it will happen…because everyone loves a good comeback.  

A Sports Movie Without a Comeback is Like a Bird Without Wings

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million times: nothing sets my emotions into overdrive like a classic, cheesy sports flick. Think of some of the greatest sports movies of all time. Whether based on a true story or not, they all center around some sort of comeback. Rudy, Hoosiers, Rocky, Remember the Titans, Chariots of Fire, even Major League. All of them have one thing in common: a gut-wrenching, triumphing-above-odds, overcoming a ridiculous amount of obstacles COMEBACK.

Cool Runnings. The Jamaican Bobsled team. No there's a comeback.

Can you imagine how boring and uninteresting those movies would have been without the comeback? Who wants to watch a movie or read a book about a team who is just plain good at their sport and ascends to the top with little or no adversity. That, my friends, is just not a compelling story.

The "Wild Thing" made a comeback...now Charlie Sheen has a whole different kind of comeback to deal with...the "comeback" to reality...that's a whole different post ;-)

So, I’m celebrating all of history’s greatest comebacks as I embark upon own mini-comeback. Here are my top 3 fave comeback movie scenes (I wanted to do 5 but this post is long enough):

Rudy – The Notredame Game Scene

Literally.Cannot.Watch.This.Without.Crying. I just watched it right now, and I teared up. So, if you ever want to make me cry, you now know how. I referenced this movie in my first post, and it will always be my number one. What I love about this movie is  that Rudy’s “victory” was so small, yet so big all at the same time: 10 seconds at the end of a college football game. And he overcame a whole lot to get there. Plus, the scene where the crowd chants his name gives me goosebumps.

Cool Runnings – The Slow Clap

They didn’t “win” the race but they “won” respect. They carried their bobsled on sheer ice (without slipping) through a finish line. They proved naysayers wrong. They were trailblazers for other Jamaican winter sports. They sang a cool reggae jingle as they approached the starting line. Oh, and they earned the highly elusive slow clap. Cool Runnings is the ultimate comeback story. I watch it before any important, high pressure event because it warms my heart and reminds me that anyone can beat the odds.

Mighty Ducks – Charlie’s Epic Shot

1.2.3.Triple Deke. Love the slow motion into the final shot. Love the musical build-up. Love the unrealistic roaring cheer of a crowd at a pee wee hockey game. Love the dramatic knee slide on the ice as “We Are the Champions” plays in the background. Love it all. And, of course, love a young Joshua Jackson. Always knew he’d end up being a heart-throb.

A Sometimes Healthy Comeback Story

Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, that’s a little bit much, Sometimes Healthy Girl. It’s not like your injury is THAT much of an issue.” I didn’t break anything. I’m not in a cast. I can still walk (albeit slow). Well, you’re absolutely right. It’s not that big of a deal. I’m totally being a bit, melodramatic with my running comeback, but who cares?  It’s my story, and I can write it the way I want.

It's my comeback story, and I'll indulge and over-dramatize to my heart's content ;-)

So the next time you get hurt or if you’re hurt right now, whether it’s a minor injury like mine or something a bit more major, enjoy the rest period, watch lots of cheesy sports flicks and plan your own comeback. Because comebacks are fun.

Today I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, and it was awesome. In 3 or 4 months, I’ll add a zero to the end of that 2, mark my words. When I do run that 20 miles, feel free to stop by Central Park to give me a “slow clap” like in Cool Runnings or bring a group of people to chant my name and hoist me on their shoulders like Rudy…

I'll be running 20+ miles in no time!

PS - Joking about the Rudy/Cool Runnings re-enactments. I’m not THAT dramatic.

PPS - Last night on the Jersey Shore, The Situation discussed his “comeback” to the Italian “night scene” after banging his head on a wall and straining his neck. I was slightly irritated at The Situation for raining on my “everyone needs a comeback” parade. For the record, ALMOST everyone needs a comeback. The Situation doesn’t count.

Question:

What’s your comeback story? Please share!

Favorite cheesy comeback movie? Feel free to post a link to the scene.

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17 Thoughts on “Everyone Loves a Good Comeback

  1. Oh Jamie, this was such a great post! I’ve definitely been there with injuries, and totally avoided running blogs altogether for a while because I was SO JEALOUS of everyone out there running. It definitely makes you never take running for granted again. You’re on the road to recovery though! Physical therapy is great. Also, have you tried freezing water bottles and rolling your foot over them? That helped me too.

    OMG, the Might Ducks all the way! Flying V!!! haha. I could totally watch that movie right now. Without Limits, the Prefontaine movie, is also a great one. I am excited to follow your very amazing comeback :)

  2. Oh Jamie I really loved this post! You are doing such a great job with dealing with that nagging injury and your attitude is simply amazing. Although I don’t have an injury at the moment, this should be a time where I ought to consider taking a lengthy break. I am not talking go from tons to zero actiity, but definitely a good rest would do me well. Because then the comeback would be that much more rewarding! When you do get to that 20 mile point (not if) I will certainly be slow-clapping for you, and then the rest of the visitors of the park will join in :) (P.s. I love Cool Runnings… Jamaica, we have a bobsled team!)

  3. OH GIRL!! Can I tell you I know EXACTLY how you feel. I too completely relied on running to keep me cheerful and deal with my stress and then BOOM, it was gone. I am STOKED you are on the road to recovery and you WILL be back to running like you were but we just have to take it slow and easy and we will get there:) LOVE YOU!

  4. I’m working on my comeback right now! In May I tore my calf muscle, then was gone for Army training this summer and returned to 100 degree weather. I was planning on a half marathon at the end of Oct but I’m just struggling with running. I will be doing strength training and getting back a strong cardio base before I tackle marathon training in January! You can do it =)

  5. Aw, love this post, Jamie! Know we’ve talked about this in person, but slow and steady wins the comeback race. It’s totally natural to feel a twinge of jealousy when other people get to do the thing you want, and you can’t. I think most people have been there before, starting from scratch. After college graduation, I had to take 3 months entirely off running and exercise completely in order to heal a nagging knee/IT injury. I couldn’t even cross train, so when I finally started to run again it was a loooooong and slow process. I was so out of shape, I could barely finish 10 minute runs for a while. I just continued to get out there when I could, and luckily the injury never reappeared. After another 6 months, I decided to finally train for a race again…and the rest is history! You will get back there, it’ll just take time, but it’ll be worth it!

  6. Dont call the mighty ducks cheesy!!! i totally love that movie!!! I also love the movie Miracle. I dont know what it is about me and hockey but apparently I like it? Im so glad you are making your comeback girl, I know you can do it :-)

  7. Omgosh great post! I totally believe in your comeback and you will do fabulous! And Cool Runnings is such a great movie :). I wish I had a Jamaican accent sometimes ;) (totally kidding).

  8. Such a good post, Jamie! I’ve SO been there! A tibial stress fracture kept me off of running for two full months and from running the Chicago Marathon, and it was totally torturous! I avoided Central Park, running magazines and running blogs, sticking to the stationary bike till I was better. I still remember my first run after that — it felt so awkward and I was SO nervous about hurting myself again! But I kept at it, increasing my mileage, and eight months later I ran my first marathon (now training for my second!)! You can definitely do it — keep at it, girl!

  9. Just stumbled upon your bloggy!

    i love your positive energy and you will totally have an amazing comeback. the fitness world has so many ups and downs. rest up, make sure everything heals up and you will be back in no time!

    ps cool runnings = da bomb.

  10. I second the “stumbling on your blog” comment. I just found you and I’m so glad I did! I’m dealing with some massive plantar fascitis and I’m working on giving it the time to heal and keeping up with my exercise needs. It’s rough and incredibly frustrating.

    Thanks for making me smile though – I’m so glad I found you!

  11. You’re going to be even stronger and even better and even faster after your comeback! You know it, too! And thanks for referencing Cool Runnings. It’s one of my all-time favorites and makes me so happy.

    And know you’re still an amazing inspiration to all of us, even on your injured days! It’s the spirit with which you write that is the most incredible thing. :)

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  13. This was fantastic. If it makes you feel any better, I am totally jealous that you were ever able to run double digits! But jealousy is silly, right? Because we can get to where we want, we just have to give it some time :)

    Awesome photos of you and you and the city. Sometimes I get stressed out and I think maybe I shouldn’t be in the city, but then posts like this remind me YES, I love it here. How can I leave? The parks, the rivers, the runners! I love it all.

    I can’t wait for you to be able to run again Jamie. Hang in there!

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