Monday, April 02, 2007

Permission

Four days ago, I had a Dexamethasone injection under my left patella. Don't I sound official. This was a difficult decision for me. I had a hard time accepting that maybe I needed something else to help me with the pain. Something other than religiously stretching and practicing every physical therapy exercise I've ever learned, without fail. Something other than wishing really hard that I'd just get better, finally. Aside from the difficulty, I know there are associated risks. And I know it doesn't always work.

What I also know? I'm tired of hurting. Tired of doing everything right and still not feeling good. So I gave it a shot (ha, I'm hilarious).

Four days later, it feels okay. The doctor says about six days is the time I'll really be able to tell if it's working. All I feel right now, though, is lazy. Because along with telling me to wait six days to see results, I also can't run for another week. Rest, again.

Initially, I was immensely depressed to hear that news. Resting right now means no training. No long runs. Which means no marathon in May. Cue violins, please. Yes, it's very sad. Giving up training half way before a race is sort of like building half of your dream house and then selling it to a really mean person that you know is going to install shag carpet and have no appreciation for the arched doorways or the hand-painted tile. You give up something you're dedicated to for no other reason than the budget ran out and the loan fell through.

But then I had some time to think. The doctor didn't say stop, he just said take some time off. Slow it down a little. And then the unexpected happened: I felt relief.

It's hard to explain, really hard. But sometimes, when you get into running, even if you're not competitive or even fast, you feel pressure. You feel pressure to train, set goals and put in the miles. Part of this is good, it's good for you. It pushes you, to do better and do more. And it feels good.

It's tiring, though. And I don't always know when to say when. So now that I've been given orders to take it easy, for lack of a better phrase, I kinda like it. I feel like I've been given permission. I love the long runs, I love pushing myself further each week, I love the build up, I love taper. But that doesn't mean I can't take a break. So I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to going out and enjoying a quick run. I'm looking forward to a good 10K followed by a bike ride. And if all goes well, it'll be just what I need.

14 comments:

Ginger Breadman said...

Sometimes it's hard to know when to back off - even if you're tired and injured. If you feel relief when someone else tells you, it must be time. Take the extra time to enjoy something else for a little while that you haven't taken the time for. All things in life happen for a reason - you just have to keep your eyes and ears open and listen for the queue.

Sempre Libera said...

Totally agree with Ginger Breadman. Know that when the time comes to train hard again, your heart will be fully in it. In the meantime, enjoy the sleep and the lighter loads of laundry!

Backofpack said...

You've got a positive attitude about things that will carry you through - and I mean through life, not just a hiatus. My buddy Rob calls that pressure "FOMO" - fear of missing out. I felt it this morning - the teachers in our running group are on spring break and meeting for late morning runs. I don't really get a spring break and my toe is still in recovery, so I have a bad case of FOMO!

adam said...

I get a bad case of FOMO everyday I am at the office and the sun is out! I can sympathize. Right now I am running baby miles (coming back from injury). This means I only have 20 to 40 minutes to enjoy my run. I think of it as 20 to 40 minutes more than zero instead of 3:30 less than what I want to run! Have fun!

brandy said...

That's too bad that you are missing your marathon (good analogy, by the way!), but I'm glad to hear that you've taken such a positive attitude towards the whole situation! I'm hoping that you start to feel better soon!

Joe said...

Great attitude! I'm glad you're getting some relief. I'm just curious, did you have to see a specialist or did your regular family doctor do the injection?

Ron Hill's Alter Ego said...

Hey JR - don't get downhearted.

Even us elite athletes get injured some time. Your man here will keep a special place in my thoughts for you - get well soon.

Mind you. Just think, it could be worse.

You could be Welsh!

Keep on tapering.

Ron

Sizzle said...

i am glad you have that sense of relief. i know it is very hard for you to not run but i just know you will bounce back from this better than ever.

and yeah, ha, you ARE hilarious. ;)

Dawn said...

Rest is your friend...and it sounds like you realize that...good for you!

Bre said...

Well, on the upside - more time for blogging and picture taking!

It does suck to have a setback, but I know for sure that you can overcome it!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm glad your knee is starting to feel better, and it sounds as though the treatment is doing what it is supposed to do. Good for you for taking this in a positive light!

singleton said...

sometimes "just what you need" is for someone else to tell us what we need....the rest of the time we keep on running! Enjoy the hiatus, sweet friend, and then rev up, and join the crowd!

Danielle said...

Ah, it is hard to give up that thing that you really want to do. I still debate whether or not giving up the idea of my June marathon was good or not, but I know I don't want to just do it just to do it...

egan said...

I had a very similar setback last year while training for a marathon. I fainted after a 20 mile run. It was my final long run before marathon which was about three weeks out. Thankfully everything turned out to be fine as I just let my blood sugar level get too low.

This turned out to be a great thing because it got me to rest and allow myself the proper time to heal before my marathon. Enjoy the downtime as tough as it may be. Let's hope your shots work.