Posted by: Karen | February 5, 2014

Active Patience

I like to think of myself as a patient athlete. I have gone through cycles in my lifestyle as a runner where I strove for certain times for certain distances, even tried to beat certain other competitors, but most of the time I’m content with the basic consistency of showing up and rising to the challenge of the day, race, or season. I’m happy to run, share my runs with friends and celebrate my ability at races.

It is a struggle to be patient while I wait for my niggly foot to heal up, but this quote is helping:

“Patience is not passive waiting.
Patience is active acceptance of the process required
to attain your goals and dreams.”
― Ray Davis

When I broke my run streak last month I realized I should not sit around just waiting, so I’ve been gradually working other activities into my calendar, like swimming and yoga.

I am really glad I trained for those triathlons in 2008 and 2009. That training with friends gave me confidence in the pool, which makes it easier to go now than if it were a new, scary thing. The last few Sundays I’ve been substituting swimming instead of my Sunday morning long run.

Last night I finally managed to get in a 40 minute mid-week swim. It felt really good to just set myself into motion over and over again – to breathe hard and work that movement into a rhythm that synced with my breathing. It is not quite as good as running, but it is still active and meditative. It takes a bit more time and resources to get to and in the pool, and I can’t swim whenever I want to like with running, but I can do this while I wait for the foot.

Last weekend I tried a new class, Yoga for Athletes, and it is something I need. I have taken maybe two yoga classes in my life, and I think the last one was 9 years ago. I have been meaning to add yoga into my life anyway – I think it will help me stay stronger and healthier as I age. Once I got there it was not scary at all, as Kristie the instructor was very instructive and patient, and my body, though tight, didn’t mind holding most of the poses she gave us. I was a little concerned about barefoot standing poses, but the plantar fascia and I seem to be getting along, and the sore achilles seemed to benefit from the gentle stretching. I didn’t fall over – bonus!

I’m still doing the exercises from the Running Injury Clinic on a daily basis, though I have forgotten once or twice. I have noticed that I’m getting better at some of the balance ones. The calf raises are annoying something just above my ankle, so I’m being careful with my form there to avoid pain and correctly strengthen whatever it is.

The sole under the corner of my heel still hurts like a bruise, even randomly during the day just walking around the office, and I am impatient with that. I mean, I’ve not-run for like, 11 days now. It should be better, eh?

Can I run yet?


How about tomorrow?


Maybe next week?



  1. Patience is so hard but you’re taking the right steps for you. I’d love to try Yoga for runners or athletes. I did all sorts of yoga before I had my son… and now time is so limited, I mostly just run.

    PS I nominated you for a Liebster Award: If you are not interested or you’ve already been nominated, no worries!

  2. This is one of the hardest things to do – be patient during an illness or injury. I’ve been there many times and while I haven’t been a model of patience, I like to think of it as ‘mental training’. If you can get over the mental anguish of being sidelined then you can handle anything running throws at you! Good job at keeping active, I could learn a thing or two from you!

  3. I stopped doing regular Yoga in 2004 or so when I was training for marathons a lot and didn’t want to take the time – biggest mistake I ever made. I am finally getting back into it. (Maybe the third time is the charm? Twice before I “tried” to begin again.).
    It is helping already, and I am surprised at how quickly strength and flexibility improves, even for an old gal like me.


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