Monday, January 11, 2010

Cupcakes and Conclusions

When my dog has a thorn in his paw, he is very careful not to let us see it, see him in pain or see him licking it. But, in a one bedroom apartment there are only so many places to have any secret moments. We tend to catch him. Laying in his corner. Curled up tightly around his paw. Nursing his wound. Trying to fix it on his own.

I find people to be the same way. Well, to be more specific, I find myself to behave the same. (Note: my last blog entry was in November 12, 2009.) And if you could see into my one bedroom apartment (and thank God you can't because that would be creepy), you would have found me in the corner nursing my wounds and pretending it didn't bother me much. If you got closer, you would have seen a full on pity party.

The fact is the marathon was in the top five experiences of my life. But it also created the greatest amount of lasting pain I've ever experienced. From a severely sprained tendon in my right foot and ankle to a left leg that remains severely angry, I have not been in any shape to run. So, I've been pouting. And baking. This is not a good combination.

It has been 11 weeks since I crossed the finish line. Eleven weeks of pouting and baked goods. It's not a pretty sight. Well, actually, some of my cupcakes were pretty adorable. But I digress. The clothes in my closet that no longer fit aside, I miss running. I miss the 3 hour runs that let me clear my head. I miss how inspired running makes me feel. I miss how good it feels to get in 14 miles on a Saturday morning, and be home and showered before most people have started their day.

Eleven weeks and several dozen cupcakes later, I've finally come to some conclusions:

Substitutions are allowed.
I make substitutions when I bake (applesauce for oil, honey for sugar, etc) so why don't I allow it for my running? I may not have any applesauce in the cabinet, but I do have pumpkin. So I can use pumpkin, instead of applesauce that I was going to use instead of oil. And it turns out the pumpkin is better for me anyway. I can't run pain free right now. But an elliptical feels okay, and walking actually makes the pain hurt less. (Really, Erica, it took you 11 weeks to figure this out?)

Sitting gets you nowhere.
I took a couple baking classes at Kiss My Bundt Bakery. And Chrysta, the owner, teaches about how baking is a science. As you mix all the ingredients chemical reactions take place. (That's my abbreviated version. Take one of her classes for the real what what.) One night I made too much cake batter and didn't get around to baking it for days. Lesson learned: You can't let mixed batter sit for days on end. The cake will get dense. Very dense. You also can't let a runner sit for a weeks on end without running, or moving, or stretching. She will get dense. Very dense.

Find your happy place.
When you hide yourself in a corner and pout for weeks on end, you tend to forget the moments that make you happiest. I had to move my itunes files this week to a new computer. It took less than 2 minutes of my marathon mix to play before I felt inspired all over again, to feel the spirit of the runner in me again. Find that trigger for yourself. The one thing that makes you feel inspired, brings motivation or gives you sight of reaching your goal. Hold onto it. And move forward.


  1. all very true!!! i keep telling myself i need to start running again... still yet to get out and take the time. but as you said, it just needs to get done to find the happy place! ;)

  2. I love this post — especially the substitution part! Having survived a few separate running injuries myself, I know how important it is to figure out what your body needs, then figure out how to give it exactly that. Good for you for figuring out both!