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Posts Tagged ‘injury’

Running in Purgatory

April 9th, 2011 No comments

I haven’t written much about running lately because I feel like I am in the runner’s equivalent of purgatory. I am still suffering from plantar faciitis, and while I feel like I am making progress, it is just taking forever to heal (no pun intended). I have at least brought back base milage to my training, and with the stretching and cross-training I’m doing I am at least able to maintain some level of fitness without making the problem worse. Also, I have been living in my Brooks Ravenna running shoes (Disclosure: I am a member of the 2011 Brooks I.D. P.A.C.E. team and do receive product discounts on Brooks apparel). They are the only shoes that I can wear that don’t make my foot hurt, and so they are my “go-to shoe” for absolutely everything. This has been essential as I walk a lot throughout the day and before, when I was wearing my work shoes, by the end of the day my plantar fascia was very sore.

With these recovery steps I can go through most of my day, including my run, pain free. It is mostly the pain in the morning that lets me know I am still injured. Unfortunately, without being able to incorporate speedwork into my running I feel like I am running in an endless loop of base miles. As the Bolder Boulder approaches I am even more reminded of the fact that I will not be running a PR this year, for the first year since I started running it. I am doing my best to mitigate the lack of speedwork, I feel that a high cadence when I ride my bike will help with leg turnover. I know that the key to a faster pace is a quick turnover, so I’m trying to train those muscles as best I can without doing further damage. Hill running is also a no-no, which usually is a huge component of my Bolder Boulder training. My solution to this problem also involves the bike, as I think that doing fast climbs where I am out of the saddle work the correct muscles to get up hills. I’ve also started the “100 Pushups” (Amazon Link) program using the iPhone App. I think the added core and upper-body work will help me power up that last hill on Folsom.

I keep telling myself it will heal in time, but right now it is incredibly frustrating to see yet another season slipping away from me, and not being able to train to improve. I know this is a long haul process, and that my best times are still ahead of me, but for now it is frustrating to be pushing miles and not feel like I am getting anywhere. Like Sisyphus I am rolling my boulder, with no progress to show for it.

A Fragile Balance

March 17th, 2011 2 comments

A couple of weeks ago I rode my bike to work 4 days in a week. I ran 2 days that week too. Final tally: 125 miles self-powered in 5 days. I felt great, and happy to be getting back into shape, but then it all turned around.

I don’t know whether my exertion that week had anything to do with my getting sick, or whether it was inevitable with a co-worker spreading it wherever he went. Regardless, having avoided getting sick all winter suddenly it was my turn. My energy from the previous week turned full circle and suddenly just getting out of bed was a challenge. Feverish and weak I spent my days sleeping, my body needing every ounce of energy to fight off the invaders. Even after I recovered enough to make it back to work I was still faced with a problem: there was no way I had recovered enough to make the bike commute.

So for two weeks now, while this vile disease has run its course and relapsed and run its course again, I have been relegated to sitting on the bus. That has given me a lot of time to think about what I have lost, even if just for two weeks, and how much I take my health for granted. What do I lose if I get sick or injured? I lose my ability to get myself to work. I lose my mid-day escapes. I lose my time with my friends. I lose the ability to play with my kids. I can’t even be a loving husband to my wife. In that sense a sickness that strips me of my energy hits me at the very core of my being. I can’t even be me when I’m stuck lying on a couch.

While this time has been tough, it has made me thankful of what I do have when I am healthy. There are many people who live with crippling diseases that rob them of strength every single day. Their strength of spirit carries them through challenges that I can’t even fathom. And yet some days I don’t run because I don’t feel like it. Some days I don’t ride to work because it’s windy. These seem like cheap excuses when you take into account that I am lucky to be able to run or ride my bike at all.

The cliche is that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, but it’s true. We don’t see the value of being able to lace up our shoes and run 5 miles until we can’t even walk around the block. I hope that you take a moment to realize what you would lose if sickness or injury took away your ability to move. Then get up get out there and get moving, because there are no excuses, only regrets!