Saturday, March 12, 2011

I was a runner in a former life

I haven’t run pain free since October.

On October 31st I was at mile 21 of a marathon when my leg completely seized up and I had to walk limp to the next aid station, wherein I was driven to the finish. Since then I’ve run several times. Some runs pain free some not. All of them fear driven.

I felt my IT band throughout the later stages of my half ironman last summer. I’m 99% sure that it came from an ill fitting bike. Every brick, it was there. During the race it reared it’s ugly head worse than I’d felt it in a couple of years.

Like many runners, this has been a chronic issue since my first marathon. I learned how to keep it under control. Until now.

I felt it on my last 22 mile run before taper. I cut it short to be safe, but there it was. I ignored it all through taper. It didn’t hurt, but I put it out of my head refusing to acknowledge it. And I barely ran. I was trying for a sub 4:30 marathon. My training was spot on.

At mile 8, it started. It was at a stage 2. By mile 16 it was at a stage 6 and I had already taken a couple of stretch breaks. By mile 18, stage 7. Finally at mile 21 it was full blown code red and I physically could not bend my knee. I walked 1/2 mile to the next aid station with a bum leg and silent tears of defeat.

Over the next several months enter: time off, cortisone injection, physical therapy, fancy sports medicine doctor, more physical therapy, more time off, video gait analysis, podiatrist, casting of my foot, orthotics, and graston.

I finally gave up on running about a month ago. It has become a source of stress and anxiety rather than the loyal head-clearing friend I had grown to love so much. And I’m fine with it. it’s like I hit rock bottom or something. Trying so hard to fix yourself so you can get back out and run yourself into the ground again.

My new approach: If you love something, set it free…….something to that effect.

The marathon eludes me. Maybe I’ll be back to settle on some unfinished business, but once I’m healthy again I’ll be content with racing halves. Hopefully.

Quitting running, albeit temporarily, has proven to be hard in some less obvious ways.

First, you really learn who your friends are. I realized that A LOT of my friends are only running friends. When I wasn’t able to run, I rarely saw most of them. That sucks.

Second, I work at my local running store. You can imagine how lame it is constantly explain your injury to customers. Every day faced with the fact that YOU CAN’T RUN.

Third, blogging. What the hell do I have to blog about? And reading blogs that revolve around running is no fun either.

Soon I will venture out for a run. If it goes well, great. If not, I’m perfectly content perfecting Crow Pose.


Amy - the gazelle said...

I am so sorry. When I was unable to run due to the foot injury, it was so frustrating, and building back up now is also frustrating, so I can understand a little.

I think that you have a great attitude about it! And I'm sure you'll have plenty of interesting things to blog about even if you're not running very much.

Molly said...

wow, I didn't realize the injury probably came from your bike. And I can COMPLETELY relate to your feelings about not being able to run. I tore my hamstring a couple of years ago, and I swear I didn't run for about 8 months, and I wasn't pain free (just walking) for a whole year. It sucks BIG time. I still have to be careful with it (like when I pulled it again last fall). You're STILL a runner, just on hiatus. Now about that crow pose, I was thinking the other day, I want to try and learn how to stand on my head, without leaning against the wall : ) xo

joyRuN said...

What did the gait analysis & all that show?

I'm sorry to hear about all this :( So frustrating. I went through it & just focused on the swim/bike/yoga - it was actually liberating, & when I finally did return to running, I was ready for it.

Christi said...

That sucks. I am so sorry to hear that you have been in pain. I hope that it gets better real soon!

KK said...

Oh yuck, I had no idea it was this bad. It makes perfect sense that you would want to avoid everything that reminds you of what you can't do. I feel your pain sistah. I've had chronic IT band issues in the past too and it is no joke.

I guess we can look on the bright side in this situation though: at least you can still drink red wine. (If I lived near you, I would take you out for a really fun girls' night.)

Alisa said...

I love that you have set it free. I had to do that with the alien water balloon. You've got a great attitude and I know you'll find joy in doing other things. Let that leg heal up completely and try again.

I really want to get together soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Running and living said...

I did not realize you were injured. ITB issues suck, I should know:)

I too like the half distance much better than then full marathon.

Hope the run went well, and that the ITB behaved

Jon Gilchrist said...

wow, those ITB issues aren't very good at all. I certainly hope that you cans get the treatment you need to get healthy again..and get back to more pain FREE running...

jen said...

I'm sorry you're dealing with this. Injuries suck but I think you have a good attiude. There is a lot more to life than running. We want to hear from you on non-running stuff, so keep blogging! :)

Aron said...

Ugh, I can't even imagine girl and I am so sorry you have to deal with this, but sounds like you are in a much better spot with it now.

PLEASE keep blogging! I love reading your blog and honestly it's nice not reading about running all the time ;)