Jan 17, 2012

Update on the Bendy Bits

I shall run again!

The Running Doctor has diagnosed me with runner's knee. Don't let the name fool you; this ailment is not the result of running - nay, slamming my feet onto the ground over and over for miles on end did not bring this on. Yoga did.

The sound of dramatically shattering glass you just heard? That was the sound of my poor, betrayed heart breaking to pieces at my feet.

One never suspects yoga - sweet, gentle yoga - of sinister things like knee injuries. But, when one's knee is repeatedly exposed to stressful situations (such as, I learned, bearing weight in a bent or lunging position) one's knee eventually tires and then begins bitching loudly at you while you try to bang its connecting joints and appendages (feet and whatnot) on the ground over and over for miles on end.

I learned all this from The Running Doctor who, after doing normal, doctorly things like quizzing me about the onset of the pain, watching me walk to and fro and prodding at my knee while inquiring Does this hurt? said to me I'd like to see your knee when it's angry and hurting. Go run three miles then come back and see me. 

If you say so.

Running three miles seemed like a godawful idea after several days of significant pain brought on by such strenuous activities as sitting and, oh, standing up. But, what do I know? I'm not The Running Doctor. So I set off.

The run itself wasn't interesting (lots of birds to look at, some surprising speed on the part of Yours Truly, the to-be-expected knee pain), nor is the ensuing visit to The Running Doctor (except for the part where he grabbed my unshod, sweaty, just-ran-three-miles foot in his bare hands and I, Foot-Phobe Extraordinaire, silently screamed You, Sir, are a disgusting man!); all that you or I need to know is that my injury is a normal thing with a cure and that I got confirmation from my running coach that I can still train for a half marathon at the end of April.

Since the diagnosis my knee has continued to feel better. I'm still not able to run run the way I had been before the injury, but it would seem that its not too far on the horizon. Today, for example, my knee felt pretty great, like, 99% of the day. I'd go so far as to say that it felt super-great. I sorta wanted to open doors with a mighty kick and leap off the tops of staircases - anything to celebrate that I'm back and I'm awesome and I'm ready (so ready) to run.

Jan 9, 2012

Running and I

Running and I are young and in love. I would never not go Running when Running is a possibility. Every weird little thing that Running does is adorable and endearing to me; Oh, Running, you made me pull a muscle in my knee and endure days of searing pain, you trickster, you!

I’m wondering if there will be a point where I fall out of love with this sport. We’ve been at it nearly a year, now, Running and I. We went through the awkward courting phase (I would wheeze my way through a one-minute run, walk for three minutes, then mutter fuuuuuck under my breath as a revved up for another minute of agony) followed by months spent in delirious puppy love; Running tentatively inhabited my body and I warmed to it over time; I lost weight. I gained speed. I built the endurance to run longer distances and would finish my runs with full-out sprints, laughing and with an idiot’s smile plastered on my face.

Around the tenth month we began to have our differences; Running caused me side pains and foot cramps. Though we worked through those issues things still came to a head when Running socked me in the knee with debilitating pain. One-third of my way through a three-mile run I mulled over the decision to cut it short or hobble on through the discomfort. Against my better judgement I finished the second and third miles, finally whimpering my way to a full stop at the side of the road and admitting to myself that we had a problem, Running and I.

It’s been three days without Running; three days that I’ve counted because I feel the absence so sharply. Three days of icing my knee 'til its chilled to the bone; three days of cringing when I lift my knee; three days of limping until I coax myself to walk normally as I feel the pain subside. Whatever this injury is it’s a minor one, but it’s pulled me away from the hobby I’ve become so fond of and I miss Running in a visceral way. My body needs something that it’s not getting.

The thought of running again makes me feel giddy and excited, and this brings me hope. I like to think that rather than getting bored with one another and letting our relationship go to weed Running and I will fall into a comfortable pattern of cohabitation. I’ll brush my teeth in front of Running and let Running see me in my rattiest pajamas; Running will admit that it has feelings for me, too, and will let down its guards so that I may fully revel in its presence.

It’s in these tenuous times that I realize the depth of my dedication to this thing. Running hurts me; Running threatens to leave me for good and I think don’t leave me, not now; I need you.