Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Running Gods Are Smiting Me

crap [krap]
1. vulgar : nonsense, rubbish

This was my first thought yesterday as, half-way through my 8-mile planned run, I began to feel pain directly below the site of my outer ankle. Or, what foot physicians refer to as peroneal tendonitis.

It began as an ache, really, that grew progressively worse over the course of several days. I, of course being the stupid individual that I am, blew it off as a minor thing that might accompany the stress of the 50+ miles a week I regularly run.

I was very wrong.

I've gone through injuries before, most noteably last summer. I was inflicted by tendonitis near the inner ankle, followed by two weeks off from running. A week later, I got a repetitive stress injury that came frighteningly close to a stress fracture. Thus, 6 weeks of no running was in my future, which meant 6 weeks of intense training on the stationary bike. Because I went back to running too soon, with the permission of my far-from-knowledgable-about-running podiatrist, this stress injury plagued me for many months after its onset.

This spring, it fully healed and I was running with an attitude of iron. Or perhaps of titanium alloy. You see, I was the "bionic woman," training as hard as ever. No injury could even catch me.

Unfortunately, yesterday was the moment of brutal realization: I am as susceptible to injuries. My bionic facade has been crushed, and my far-from-machine-like body has brought me to remember the physical and mental anguish of injury.

Today is a scheduled rest day, making it mentally easier to not run, but what about the day after that? And the day after that? I will evaluate my situation on a day-to-day basis, but in the face of denial, I realize deep inside that this may require a week or more to heal.

Perhaps not running as a result of injury should be dealt with the same mental strength as running. Instead of putting my energy towards running, I must temporarily direct it towards cross-training (i.e. biking) and healing.

There will be ups and downs along the way - times when I want so dearly to succumb to my running addiction - but for the betterment of my training, it is a duration as necessary to my training as a long run.

I may come back to read my own writing tomorrow, the next day...however many days I am out of commission. I need to take my own advice and put aside the hardcore runner within me until my peroneal tendons decide to cooperate.

Regardless of how I'm talking tomorrow, ranting on about my anger towards the running gods who seem to have so quickly turned on me, I will accept my fate as an oppurtunity to grow. Ironically, I posted a while ago about the meaning of patience. Looks like this is my chance to practice some.

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