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Running Confessions: What I Do When I CAN'T Run

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

PART 1: How Yoga Saved Me When Running Couldn't

There was a time, well several times…where my body couldn’t run.

It felt like I lost a huge part of myself

And I didn't know when or if I'd get it back.

Because my body just stopped.
  • Stopped being able to eat full size meals.

  • Stopped having the energy to be able to workout hard

  • Stopped letting me run because I would cramp so severely that I'd be doubled over on the side of the trail.

I felt defeated.

I felt lost.

I felt confused because no one knew what was happening to my body or why or what to give me to fix it.

But I didn't want to give up.

And my body craved movement.

And my mind craved physical challenge, something I could pour all my frustration and emotions into that would leave me feeling at least physically stronger.

And that's how I found power yoga.

A beautiful blend of fluid, powerful movement that synchronizes with your breath, pushing you to the edge of endurance.

This flow was my new home.

And I still come back to it occasionally to ground myself, challenge myself, and strengthen myself in a new way.

It got me through then and built a strong foundation for me now.

So if you can't run right now, or you're feeling burned out from training, or you're stuck in a hard spot because you're just not motivated...I get it.

And it's ok to step away for a while.

Fuel your body with movement you love and crave.

You've got this.

It's what daring to train differently is all about.

PART 2: Embarrased and a FAKE?

I can't begin to describe how embarrassing it was.

To go out for a run, and not know if I would end up on the ground on all fours.

A lot of times I could I cover up the cramping and pain by squatting low to the ground-pretend like I was trying to catch my breath after a hard mile repeat when in reality…

I'd barely been able to make it a mile.

It didn't feel right to call myself a runner.

It felt even worse knowing I'd run these routes before, in peak condition and the miles would fly by.

And now,…

I felt like such a fake.

And it felt so uncomfortable when friends or family would ask "how's running going?" and I'd have to respond with a "fine!" and a smile.

That why it's so important for you, runner, to NOT judge yourself and only call yourself a runner if or when you can run a certain distance or a specific pace or if you get a BQ…

Those shiny finisher medals are something to be proud of!

But they don't tell your whole story.

They definitely don't tell mine.

So even when you're injured
burned out
can't find your running mojo
or feel desperately out of race-shape...

you're still a runner

Even when life throws you an entire lemon tree (and forgets to pass the vodka) and you can barely make it out the door: you are still a runner.

When you don't know how your body is going to respond and you might have head home after only a mile in, you're still a runner.

Because, yeah, a runner runs.


But a runner is one of the most determined, resilient, and persistent athletes.

And if you have the courage to step out your front despite the odds stacked against you and your body, you've earned the title of runner.

That's what it means to Dare to Train Differently.

Always cheering for you,

Marie Whitt, PT, DPT //



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