You are cordially invited Kashi’s Pity Party 2012. This one is shaping up to be a real monster, the likes of which have not been seen since 2007 (don’t ask).
You know when something is on your mind you suddenly notice it everywhere? That has been my experience as of late – I feel like everything I see or hear running related mentions injuries (oh, and side rant here – to anyone who is thinking “yup, see, this is why people should not run, they always get injured and it’s just not good for you!” let me just reply to you in my calmest tone through gritted teeth – this is exactly the 2nd time I have been injured in my 21 YEARS of running and even this would have been avoided had I not run the race. At last check, my resting heart rate was 55, my blood pressure in the neighborhood of 108/68, my cholesterol 161, my bone density good and iron levels on par with a man’s. The only time I have been hospitalized was with appendicitis. So yeah, sometimes when you use the machine called your body, it gets jacked up and requires rest but I don’t see how any of this translates into how running is bad for me. Thank you and good night! :: end rant :: ). I don’t believe in long-dead relatives sending me messages (partly because I don’t believe in an afterlife, but more so because if there happens to be one I hope it is comprised of better things to do than dealing with dopey mortals and their lame problems), but if I did, I would be certain someone was trying to tell me something:
1. Secrets to a Lifetime of Running – article in the November issue of Runners World that discusses some of the keys to longevity. From the section under injuries:
“There is only one method almost guaranteed to work: Stop running. This has been the hardest lesson I’ve had to absorb in 50 years, and the one I wish I had learned better many decades ago. When your feet, ankles, calf muscles, shins, knees, quads, hamstrings, or hips hurt, stop running. Now. Not the day after tomorrow, next week, or next month. Get real. Take time off immediately. Here’s why: The vast majority of of injured runners have soft-tissue problems–that is, sore muscles, strained tendons, joint inflammation, and the like. These are not broken bones or ACL tears. You don’t need a splint or a surgeon. You just need to give your body time to repair itself.”
2. Episode 152 of Marathon Talk where they chat with Andrew Lemoncello who recently had a disastrous race that ended with a DNF and he manages to have an “ahh, well, nothing I can do but be positive and work towards healing, even though I am a professional runner and have a baby on the way and no real medical insurance to cover any of these costs” attitude which I found slightly jarring as it is so far from my own current state of mind and I have a lot less at stake.
3. A recent NY Times magazine article in which they profile a teenage girl who can’t sense pain – pressure yes, but pain, no. This has led to no end of trouble for the poor lass as she’s quite susceptible to burning herself and all other manner of unintended self-harm because she can’t receive the pain messages that protect most of us from hurting ourselves. “Pain is a gift” the article boldly states – literally, in bold print in large font size in the middle of the page, as if shouting out to me to be grateful for the fact that I can tell that something is wrong and can prevent further damage.
But here’s the problem (and why this pity party is going to be epic) – I know that resting is the answer, but the tears I am shedding on a daily basis are not making that particular pill any easier to swallow. I don’t care that I should be positive and look on the bright side (“hey, it’s just soft tissue, it will heal!You can still swim and be active in the meantime! And, oh, hey, no one’s dead and your bills are paid and you have a roof over your head and you did not get your arm stuck under a boulder and have to cut it off with a dull blade so this is not even an actual problem!”). I don’t care that pain is a gift and furthermore, if this is someone’s idea of a gift, please take me off that Secret Santa list. I don’t care that there are, oh, 8 bajillion problems that people deal with that are way worse and harder than this one. None of that “put it in perspective” stuff is working with me right now. The only thing I am currently capable of is wallowing.
One day soon, I hope to be able to see this for what it is – a small bump in the road. But right now it feels like Mt. Everest. It’s insane to me how hard not running is – I literally feel like I’m coming apart at the seams. The worst part is that the best way I know how to deal with stress is to run and just when I need it the most, it is not an option.
They say attitude is everything and mine sucks. So where do I go from here?
PS While looking for a graphic for a “pity party” I came across a guy’s blog who has terminal cancer. And now I feel like even more of a douche.