Friday, September 21, 2012

I Absolutely HATE Being Sensible

Yes you read that right, but I'm also discovering that the older I get the more sensible I become.

I started running in early 2000. I was 30 years old and had begun a quest to run the Chicago Marathon -- which I did that year and four more times before I last ran it in 2008. Back then it was pretty easy to ramp up the miles, and though I had an IT band issue during that summer, it went away and I was back to running.

I've been lucky to not have suffered any serious running injuries, like a tear or a stress fracture or anything that has befallen some of my friends and training partners. I have had a few things crop up here and there but they would come and go with time.

One thing I have noticed as time has passed is that the "going" part of an injury takes much longer than it used to. A couple of days has turned into 5-7 days, and sometimes even more.

Back when I first started running I probably ran through a lot of issues that I maybe shouldn't have, but I'm stubborn and competitive and don't like to give in. Even when I'm sick I try not to let it affect my daily routine. I used to have bad sleep apnea and 2 1/2 years ago I had a surgical procedure where I had my tonsils taken out, my pallette shaved and bone spurs cleaned out of my nose.

People I had talked to before told these horror stories where they were laid up for 2-3 weeks after having the surgery. Though I did take an entire week off from work, I was so stir crazy I was up and doing many of my normal things about four days later.

That's me...at my age still young and stupid sometimes. But I have gotten better over the years, even though I hate it.

Which finally brings me on topic. Back in June I had a cramp of some sort in the lower part of my right leg. It sort of stuck with me for a few days and it went away. A few weeks later, I was about two blocks away from completing a run when, in the same spot, I felt this really big pull.

Back on the shelf.

Things had been OK with it since. I have been stretching and am continuing to run slow, just because keeping at an easy pace doesn't take as much push-off on each stride.

It came back yesterday. On a walk of all things! I had gone on about a 2.5-mile walk at lunch, but I wore my older dress shoes instead of changing into my running shoes. I mean, come on, I was walking...what could possibly go wrong?

Well when I got back I felt a twinge back there again. So I walked it off and streched it a bit, and was thinking of giving it a go on a short run last night. I was halfway to the door and I felt it twinge again. So I didn't run.

I brought my gear to run at lunch today, and I felt it again. Which means I didn't run.

Sensible? Yes. Frustrating? Yes!!!

Back in the day I would have probably given it a go. It didn't hurt too bad, and if I were careful maybe I could run through it until it went away.

That was back in the day. The odds of my aggravating it would probably be much higher now, so all I can do is wait. Ugh.

So I'm being sensible, which I don't want to be. Today would have been a great day to run. It is about 60 degrees and there is a light rain. I love to run in the rain -- not a coming-down-in-buckets rain, but just a light shower that keeps things cool.

Fall is one of the best times to run. It just feels so good to be out in the cooler temperatures, and the humidity is usually down. My motor runs much better in these kinds of conditions.

But I wait. Instead of running I spent my lunch going to Walgreens to buy some heating pads that you stick on and leave for several hours. Those seem to work pretty well for me. Buying heating pads and talking about the weather...is this what getting old is all about?

I guess the toughest part is that I had a couple of great runs this week and was looking forward to continuing that momentum. I had a great 5.25-mile run on Sunday and then I put in 4 miles on Tuesday, and even though I picked up the pace a little it felt easy.

But it's better I wait. There are lots of good runs waiting out there for me if I'm smart enough to be able to run when that time comes.

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