"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg Lemond

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Forced time off

Today is the first day that I've really felt it.  The deep sinking feeling associated with an injury.  That listless, what do I do with my energy, what do I do with my time, milling about that only a person who is used being physically active most days can relate to.

It happened a week ago.  I woke up and my knee hurt.  There was no particular acute moment associated with pain onset, just a noticeable stab when walking downstairs.  I decided to take the day off, it was time for a day off anyways.

The next day I ran 15 miles on it, and while there was some noticeable pain, it wasn't excruciating until I got home.  Then it was worse and I canceled my Saturday outing.  Then Sunday   Then Monday   At the time I was sort of relieved, I'm in need of an off season.  Of legit downtime.  I haven't taken more than 2-3 days off in a row in years.  I've read and read about the benefits of an off-season, but can't take one myself, my slightly (ok very) addictive personality keeps me going out the door, day after day.    I'm pretty sure its a significant case of petallar tendonitis/runners knee.

Usually Sundays in February are a day for an introspective run in ankle deep snow, but its not even an option with my injury.  So now I sit on my couch on Superbowl Sunday not sure of how to accept that today I'm going to be a normal person and enjoy the company of good friends cold beer and warm food.  So now, it's not that bad right?  I'm lucky in a way, these are the social events that I usually sacrifice in order to maximize my running time and recovery time.  I hate to say it, but I can't wait to sacrifice them again.

I'll try not to whine much more.  I'll try to enjoy my downtime.  I could/should extend it to 3-4 weeks.  I'll write my dissertation and focus on being a good teacher for the students whose lab I'm assisting.  I'll give back to the ultra community that has given me so much.  Cheer on my friends and celebrate their accomplishments.

It is easy to take our physical abilities for granted.  You forget how blessed you are to be able to go out and run, until it is taken away.  You forget how much of a stress relief it is, such a pure and simple high.  So now, I will sit in my stress, and try to harness it into being productive.  Running is still my passion, but for now, I'll focus on the rest of my life.

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