I haven't gone running in over six weeks. For someone who was so passionate about running that I would blog and Tweet deliriously after an awesome 8-miler, six weeks is a long time.
I haven't been a couch potato, though; I've been walking and doing strength training. I needed to stop running because this persistent injury (my IT band stuff) was getting worse. I'd pushed too hard, and I knew I needed a break to let things heal. Unfortunately I can tell that it's still not back up to par, so I'm continuing to walk.
I could go back to my physical therapist, and that would probably help. But here's the thing--I think I needed to slow down. It's not just good for me physically, but spiritually too. I can pray while I walk, without interruptions from kids. (It's hard for me to pray while running since my mind isn't particularly still or focused when I run.) I really think this it's good for me to be in this "slow season."
That's not to say I'm not trying to do what I can at home to get better. I still use my foam roller, and just today I decided to switch some of my strength-training exercises, since I think that doing squats may be impeding my recovery. But for now I'm holding off on going to the doctor. Right now I need patience more than I need to be a patient.
Sometimes being forced to slow down is a blessing, an opportunity. I still consider myself a runner.... At least I hope I'm still a runner. But there is a peacefulness that comes with walking. If and when I do get back to running, I plan to incorporate more walking into my routines, so that I can continue to experience that peace.