Instead each step I think about my posture, my breathing, foot placement. Did that step hurt my hip? Why? Did I step wrong, did I re-injure myself? Was it loose gravel or me? Why to I have a side cramp? Am I not breathing with my diaphragm? Did I not drink enough water before and during this run? Do I need another shot block to replenish my electrolytes? I just ate one two breaks ago. I used to be able to run 13.1 miles without stopping. I can't believe I am running two minutes walking one minute. I can't believe I can't run a 5k without walking. I used to be able to do it.
Then I start talking myself into the new training program, "You injured yourself running the entire distance". "Run/Walk is better for your hip and it really doesn't make you exhausted after long runs." I do have more energy at the end of the race. But my pace is two minutes slower than before injury.
My coach says yes I will be able to run a half in under two hours and to be patient it will come back. My PTs said running will eventually become second nature again just give it time. Each step takes me one step closer to my goals and YES all of this is worth it. Nothing feels better than crossing a finish line knowing no one else got you there but you. No one else put in the work but you. The training runs are still therapeutic if only to get my mind on something else, to focus on the ultimate goal (marathon) or to get a good nights sleep again. Running makes me feel better about myself when work gets you down and school is challenging.
Because it does feel good, better than good - GREAT! I would not give it up for the world.