Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I suck at being injured.

I’ve been running a long time (not at once—that would be a record). Though I had run for exercise a couple of summers earlier, I started running for good in January 1984 (not a New Year's resolution). I had no real idea what I was doing, which I think is part of the reason I stuck with it. So here I am starting my 29th year of running, and I’m injured.
You’d think after so long, I’d be better at this part. But being injured sucks, and I suck at it. I get frustrated, moody, depressed. I struggle to find some other physical output: I’m a junkie, and I know it.
I’ve been injured before. I’ve even had a couple of surgeries, something that I laughed at when I was in my 20s. Thank Jim Fixx, none of my injuries has been major (not even the surgeries—a little meniscus tearing after 20 years or so). This one won’t be either, I don’t think. My right calf, long a problem, is tight, and unlike general calf pain, this one is pin-pointed. It’s been persistent: September, October, now December—each time down for a week or two. The hardest part has been the recurring and non-traumatic nature of the injury.

Every injury has come with the attendant perspective battle: I don’t need to worry about the next race I’ve already signed up for (Harbison 50K), I don’t need to think I’ll be fat and out-of-shape by the time I heal. This running epidemic in my life has long been about, well, the long run. Often I’m asked what I’m training for, and sometimes I answer, “I want to run when I’m 80.” I’ll volunteer at Harbison, or run one loop of the two, or use the race to go a long way (it’s been a long time since I “raced” anyway). PRs don’t matter, right?
I repeat platitudes. I do more core workouts. I whine. I look in the mirror. I repeat platitudes.

Tuesday 12/20 5 miles on Cottonwood in new shoes, Montrail Rogue Racers, my third pair. My calf was a little tight, but nothing big.

Wednesday 12/21  2 miles on Cottonwood. A little ways on the trail, and the familiar pin-point pain in the right calf hit. Decided then to turn around and head home. I was pleased with what I saw as restraint.

Thursday 12/22 off

Friday 12/23 Planned a long-ish run at Croft, but backed out with my sore calf.

Saturday 12/24 Bagged the planned long run.

Sunday 12/25 no running

Total  7 miles

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