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This Return to Running Needs to Be Different

this return to running

I woke up a week after my 45th birthday and get ready for back surgery. It was something I had to process for quite a while after being told and accepting that I would never run again. Running isn’t just a hobby for me, but my outlet and way I check in with myself. Some people will relate, and some people won’t… and that’s okay. This return to running needed to be different.

The Connection

Just ask my ex-wife, I just won’t shut up about running, running gear, who just won the most obscure race in New Zealand. There are few things in life that I have felt the connection the way I do with running. The struggle with the course and myself, the memories on trail, and the best community around make this more than just a sport.

Quiet My Brain

The time I spend on the trail is when I can quiet my brain and see how my life is going, how I am treating others, and most importantly, how I am treating myself. When I lost the ability to run, I lost my outlet. While I would normally just move to the next sport or activity, my back wouldn’t allow that. This is something that people with severe tears or broken bones feel as well…going stir-crazy.


Started to Hike

I started to hike after getting off anti-inflammatory and nerve-blockers that seemed to only cause more inflammation. I slowly built up my endurance on the trail and at the gym. One day, I was hiking down this muddy hill and decided it would be way less impact and faster if I fast-stepped down the hill. I was extremely careful and only went about 50 feet before it flattened out and I started hiking again. I kept this up for the next few weeks, only running the downs.

Starting from Ground Zero

Eventually I started running when I could, knowing my body was starting from ground zero. I have had amazing, pain-free days. I’ve also had way more painful days, usually with tight Achilles and calves. Sometimes I get to go a mile and sometimes I can hike 15 miles with 5 running miles mixed in. This old dude (Albert Einstein) once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” So am I going to do things differently this time?Not all my decisions, like signing up for races, are sane. I am doing things differently this time though. I can’t continue to abuse my body and expect that long lasting damage won’t be the result. Although I will still push my body and what I am capable of, I need to be smarter this time though because I’ve used my “Get out of Jail Free” card and might not have another comeback left in me.

Get Out into Nature

I don’t have the need to finish a race like I did before. I don’t need the hardware but will totally wear another buckle. I miss the experience, the training with friends and the suffering. I get extremely emotional still, watching my old race videos. It reminds me of the awesome trips I’ve gone on with friend and happened to finish a race while we were there. The trips to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Gorge Waterfalls 100k were some of these amazing adventure weekends that helped recharge me. The drives and delirious conversations in a restaurant are the things that I remember. While I want to run forever, I NEED to get out into nature.

Start an Endurance Race Company

I recently volunteered at the Canyons Endurance Runs 100 mile and 100k this past month. I love helping other runners on their journey and that helped me decide to start an Endurance Race company, Everyday Endurance Races. I am excited to develop an amazing event and help runners achieve their dreams. Please check out the race and we would love to have you. Use code “RunBikeTri” for 15% off at UltraSignup. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, even if its scary. You may just surprise yourself.

Update: after I wrote this, I went for a run to see how I felt. I ran for 6 miles (well, had to hike the steep ups) but felt amazing and can’t believe I can run again. Never sell yourself short. This return to running needed to be different and it was.

Mile Madness Endurance Run
Sunset Whitney Recreation Area, Rocklin, CA
September 20-24
1-Mile Kids Run, 6-Hour, 12-Hour, 24-Hour, 100-Mile, 48-Hour, and 72 Hour events.
Camping available for overnight runners, amazing awards, and awesome community!
Click here for 15% off

Brian Goldman Author Run Tri Bike

Brian Goldman is trail runner out of Northern California and father of 3. He has a passion for the mountains, but also a fear of heights. Quesadillas and coke fuel my adventures.