I didn’t really notice it before the injury. But now I’m sitting here with a fractured foot- off sport for at least 4 weeks- and I’m struggling. This post has the potential to be extortionately tedious: just another ‘social-media-has-ruined-my-life’ type article… so I’m not going to go down that route. All I want to do is explain how much internet media has changed how I run, and without being overly dramatic, what it’s doing to me now…
Let’s start with the good. Because as you all know there is so much good. I love sharing photos and tweets with you on TeenRunner, and I really do enjoy posting content on this website. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my weekend…so please don’t think I’m writing all these blogs through gritted teeth!
The support I’ve recently been given on Instagram and Twitter can’t go without acknowledgement either. On my ‘injury-announcement-post’ I received 35 comments and numerous direct messages. I also spent ages reading blogs- just thought I’d say that Amelia Boone’s story is a must-read for ANY injured athlete. A special mention must also go to Ruth Sinclair who has been emailing me with reams of support…yes, I would like to say I’ve even made friends via my accounts. All of the advice has been incredible.
But sometimes this constant feed of activity just gets too much. For me it’s the run photos, the Strava updates, and the gym selfies. When I’m on top and running well: I love it. But when injured, it’s almost painful…no exaggeration. It’s even got to the point where on an easy week before a race, I’ve felt jealous of everyone else continuing with their training.
It’s not as if I feel guilty: I’m just so competitive that seeing everyone out there running makes me jealous. This is illogical: the reason I train like I do is to win races- but for some reason, it still happens!
And this constant comparison is hard. I never thought all of those media articles about girls comparing themselves to super models would be relevant to me…and now I’m realising that they are, but just in a different kind of way. It’s not so bad when I read a post by a marathoner- even my illogical side knows that I’m not going to be doing the same training as them! But it’s when I see someone of a similar age going out and doing more reps that me, or running faster times…that’s when the competitive-comparison steps in.
Strava is the same. I recently logged into this site at the start of the new year, and even after having it for only two weeks, I started to worry about having to post a slow run- unless I had an excuse of course. And one thing about Strava is that everyone always has an excuse for a poor performance…so I don’t think I’m alone in this!
Time to conclude this outpour of thought- I promise this post was meant to be more informative, but injury-times are emotional times! I’m going to be honest. Having said all of the above…I still wouldn’t change it. And you could say that’s a bit of a problem. I want to know what training everyone is doing and to learn from others, but I also want to keep the connections I’ve made. And that outweighs the bad. Yes, I do get jealous. And I do feel annoyed when someone else has trained harder than me. But being strong minded is part of being a runner…and despite what non-runners think, sometimes the hardest thing is staying on the sofa when everybody else is out in the rain (and posting about it on Instagram).
PS. On a lighter note, I just want to share with you this satirical video about marathon running– although it wasn’t created for the same reasons as this post, I do find it quite funny!
Here is another article that I can definitely relate to: social media killed my run.
It would be great to hear your views on this! Please comment below/ tweet what you think!