If you've had an injury before, you understand what a neurotic mess you turn into. And if you've haven't, I hate you.
*you analyze every training run previous to the injury down to the shoes, speed, and incline.
This is not something you want to repeat therefore finding the root cause is essential in making sure it doesn't happen again. Then, calling yourself an idiot for not seeing it previous is helpful in this process.
*you make immediate plans to keep your cardiovascular shape intact for the glorious day when you can run again. This means you are willing to stuff yourself into a swimming suit, subject yourself to inhumane amounts of chlorine, and shave yourself all over even when it's not summer. It also means you will sit on a hard, triangle shaped torture devise for miles upon miles clipped in and strapped to a fast moving two wheeled contraption while the panic of being hit by a passing car is surpassed by the drive to get your heart pumping and legs moving.
*you start to wonder whether "other activities" are cardiovascular and therefore have additional value. You husband tells you they are. You consider wearing a heart rate monitor and setting your interval timer but decide that would ultimately ruin the mood.
*If you are a woman you worry about your pant size expanding in the weeks that you will go without running. Swimming, weights, and biking do not equal the happiness that running provides and therefore do not burn as many calories.
*You are on an emotional roller coaster that consists of the grieving stages. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Only it doesn't end with acceptance. It just continues to circle around and around. Your family and spouse will suffer right along with you. They may consider institutionalization.
*And finally, when your pain is gone and you are ready to move on... the fear of repeat pain and injury is right around the corner, waiting. Like some horrible creature lurking in the darkness, ready to pounce on you again and laugh at you in some cruel fashion.
*Surely you have something to add to my list, right?
The past few weeks might have been slightly better than I've described, but only just on the outside. On the inside, in the deep recesses of my mind, I have been insane. During the week, I have been able to remain very positive. I am excited to do other activities and keep my cardio up and the push up challenge has been fun and hard. I am excited at the improvements I am seeing. I have found ways to push myself in the pool and on the bike. But it's just not the same as running.
Thursday I woke up and gingerly stepped out of bed. I was surprised to find that I had zero pain. It was glorious. I wanted to dance around the house. But I was cautious. I had only a few twinges of pain that whole day. I had hopes of running on Saturday. It also happened to be the day that my best friend and running partner, Heather found out that she has a stress fracture in her foot. She's been in pain for 8 weeks now. She did get an x-ray earlier that didn't show it. She then was told that it was tendonitis only to have it worked on for 4 weeks and have little improvement. So this was a big blow. She has 3 weeks in a boot and on crutches and then probably another 3 weeks just in the boot. And if that isn't bad enough, her other foot hurts too, but doesn't show a stress fracture, yet. I was really getting ready to go get my foot x-rayed too, just to make sure. And then I had a really good day. Until I went to spinning and it hurt afterwards. Friday was o.k. Slight pain again.
And then Saturday came. I am alway so positive through the week until Saturday comes. I think I figured out why. For the last 2 years I have woken up on Saturday morning and have gone on a long run. Sometimes it's the earliest I wake up all week long. Usually no one else in my house is awake. I run and recharge and when I come home, everyone has done their chores (thanks to my husband) and the rest of the day is just waiting. Now, I eat breakfast and wander around the house wondering what I'm going to do with my day. Sure I could do laundry or clean...but really? So after moping around all day long, my husband MADE me go on a run. I cried. I told him I didn't want to hurt myself further. I cried about not knowing what to do, worrying that it's a stress fracture, it not showing up on an x-ray, and just not knowing what it is or who to go to. He told me to go get dressed and to go on a just a little run to test things out. That way I would know for sure what to do. I did and then had the dilemma of what to wear on my feet. My husband thinks it's the monkey feet causing the problem. He thinks that our feet are not meant to be spread apart like that. And he might be right. So I decided that I would be the lightest and most careful just in my bare feet. It would keep me from going too far. And as crazy as it seems, the harder the surface and the less you have on your feet, the softer you will land. So I took off with my Evo's in hand and went really slow. It was amazing. The slight pain in my foot went away after a little bit and everything loosened up. I've been so worried about my feet getting all soft from that stupid pool, but they actually felt pretty good.
One of my favorite parts about running barefoot is feeling all the different textures and temperatures. I like running through shady parts and feeling the difference from the warm asphalt to the cooler parts. I like the sidewalks and smooth asphalt and pebbly roads and hate, hate, hate the chipped asphalt. I only wore my shoes to cross a busy street and enjoyed the rest of the run barefoot. I did 5 miles and though it was slow, it was like medicine to my soul. It felt easy and relaxed. My foot felt better when I was done than when I set out. My foot did hurt again the next day a little, but not bad. And the last two days have been even better.
Now I have to figure out how to get back into running without hurting myself again and I need to make decisions on upcoming marathons. I still have a road ahead of me and I'm not sure I'm better. I still have a little bit of pain. But at least the neurotic part of my brain was cleared out for a few minutes. And if you ask my husband, I really needed it.
We had spring break this weekend and everyone was home. It was wonderful. I'm so behind on your lives, but I'm going to get caught up now!
Monday: week 3 push ups, 60 minutes pool running
Tuesday: 60 minute spin class
Wednesday: week 3 push ups, upper body weights and abs, 60 minutes pool running
Thursday: 60 minute spin class
Friday: week 3 push ups, upper body weights and abs
Saturday: 5 mile barefoot run