The Return That Wasn’t

This morning, I woke up ready to try running again. I lay in bed feeling jittery and nervous, like it was the first day of school. I even had my running clothes, Garmin, Road ID, and iPod laid out.

Nerd alert, what?!?

My anxiety level was pretty high. I mean, there’s a lot at stake. I hadn’t run in exactly 30 days, and it was a direct result of my last run. This injury has already resulted in a lot of frustration, pain, and disappointment. Given the fact that up until that point, I had been running between 4 and 6 days a week for 2 years, I guess I should count myself lucky that I didn’t get injured before, but I wanted it back so badly that I was scared.

What if it hurts? What if I make it worse? What if I can’t ever run again???

(again, with the drama)

Several deep breaths later, I took my first timid steps.

Slow and steady

slow and steady

slow and steady

Immediately, I could tell that my back wasn’t feeling 100%. But it didn’t necessarily hurt, either. So I plodded along around an 11:30 pace for about half a mile. At that point, I felt a little sore, but OK, so I decided to try for a full mile. A tenth of a mile later, I told myself I was being really stupid. Because I was.

There’s absolutely ZERO reason for me to be running if my injury hasn’t fully healed. In fact, I’m probably going to end up making it worse if I try. So I stopped and walked home. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel defeated, but I know it was the right thing to do.

And that’s all I have to say about that. For now.

In happier news, early spring in Michigan mandated this yesterday afternoon:

Magic hat

And then, this:


Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Quesadilla

Serves one

1/2 cup caramelized onions (2 small onions caramelized in 1/2 T. olive oil)

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1 large tortilla (I love La Tortilla Factory’s Smart & Delicious Whole Wheat Tortillas, but any will do)

Caramelize the onions over low heat for about 30 minutes, seasoning with S&P and stirring regularly. Remove the onions from the pan, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and add mushrooms. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until softened and caramelized. Add thyme and S&P to taste. Remove from heat.

Layer the onions, mushrooms, and cheese onto the tortilla. Fold over and grill (I used my Griddler) or pan fry until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly toasted.



This is one of my go-to dinners, so I’m really surprised I haven’t shared it before! Sometimes I throw in some spinach, too, if I feel like being extra healthy, or diced tomatoes if I happen to have them.


I wish caramelized onions didn’t take so long to cook. I know you can buy caramelized onion jam, but it’s just not the same as the real thing. I wonder if there’s such a thing as jarred caramelized onions? If not, whoever comes out with that will make a killing from me and this girl alone. 🙂


Check out that meaty mushroom! Love!

So, even if I still can’t run, the silver lining is that the weather’s warm and sunny, the beer’s cold and crisp, and at the end of the day, I still like my own cooking. In light of all that, it makes it harder to complain.


15 thoughts on “The Return That Wasn’t

  1. i’m sorry to hear about your run! but you definitely did the right thing, and i think that’s awesome, especially since it’s NOT an easy thing to do. it sounds like your injury is getting better though, which means you’ll be out there in no time! keep your head up girl!

  2. I’m sorry your run didn’t go well, but it will pay off in the long run that you didn’t do it. If you did you’d probably feel ok for a few weeks, and then it’d be worse than ever. That quesadilla looks fantastic!

  3. hhrunner says:

    oh i still need to try that beer. this weekend is the weekend. 🙂 you’ll be back out in no time, i know it so keep your chin up!

  4. Head up, you’re doing the right thing by listening to your body. You could have pushed and may have gotten away it, but you may have made it worse. I know it’s hard but you really are on the right track. I’m going to try that quesadilla!

    Magic Hat……….drool…….

  5. I’m sorry about your run girlie! But I’m glad you did the right thing. And to look on the bright side, at least it didn’t start hurting the very moment you started running…that has to be progress, right? And whoa baby, that quesadilla looks amazing!!

  6. Oh, I think I want you to run as bad as you want to run. At least you know you are better than you were before and you just have a little ways to go.You’ll get there.

    By the way, I read your recipe and was NOT intimidated by it. I thought, hey, I could do that one! I feel like a big girl now. 🙂

    • Ha! I was thinking THE SAME thing…like, I could SO maybe make this! 🙂
      Listen here pretty Lady…you played smart. You listened to your body, it said, “Yo, we are not there yet, but we will be soon.” And you will. Keep healing.

      Magic Hat…my husbands FAVORITE! I dig it too, very yummy. Oberon is making it’s season debut Sunday!!! Are you a fan?! SO GOOD!

  7. Neon Blonde Runner says:

    Oh Melissa, you are very smart to wait until your back injury is completely healed before getting back into running…but I don’t blame you for being tempted to try it out!

    When I was injured, I waited until I felt 100%…and then I waited a couple more weeks after that. I had just wanted to be super certain that my stress fracture was fully healed before I started torturing myself again haha.

    But since I don’t really quite exactly understand your injury, I don’t know if you need to wait until it’s fully healed or what? But you’re right, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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