Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baby Jesus for Breakfast

It’s a favorite day around here. We like to call it chocolate for breakfast.

December 1st and that means advent calendars. I used to have the loser one that had pictures of angels and fireplaces when you opened the windows. Dammit, I have dedicated my life to my children having better advent calendars than I did. The ones that are devoid of meaning and full of molded cheap chocolate shaped like the baby Jesus. $1.99 at Target.

So, they get chocolate. Everyday. Before breakfast.

It’s okay. It’s just a small piece. Don’t go calling social services or anything. It’s not like I fart in the car and lock the windows or shove anyone’s head under the covers for a Dutch oven. Well, maybe once.

Yep, we’re gearing up for Christmas. Baby Jesus for breakfast and Dutch ovens. What am I wishing for? To bid the pussy posse farewell and do some land running.

I didn’t make it to the pool today. I hit the gym for 45 minutes of stationary bike action. It rocked. I really liked the part where I got to stare at a soundless television and smell the B.O. from the guy’s ass on the treadmill right in front of me. I’m not a huge treadmill fan, having once fallen off and preferring to run outdoors. But, I miss running so much I even desperately and wholeheartedly long for the treadmill. I would give my left nut (or Ken’s) to be able to do a run on that thing.

It’s been 54 days since my last run. Sad thing is, I didn’t even know it was my last. Had I known I might have done it naked or had a going away party. Or at least appreciated it more.

I think my greatest fear with all this injury stuff is that I will not heal and I will not run again. Or, that I will never run again in the same way. I know it’s a drastic and dramatic fear, but it’s not that different from hearing a noise in the night and deciding it’s someone coming to behead you and your family.  Well, I guess it is kind of different, but my point is that the mind likes to go to crazy places if you let it.

My friend, Dana, is someone I have not met in person. He began emailing me right before I got injured after having read about me in the paper. He is a local runner from Longmont and has an impressive running resume including countless marathons and seven consecutive Leadville 100s. He’s also done the Western States Ultra.

The dude has been running injury free for 40 years!  He always knows just what to say. Yesterday, he sent me these words. I want to share them with you because I think it’s good advice for all of us on the injured list (which some days feels like the majority of us). You can substitute “hip” for your injury of choice (plantar fasciitis, knee, achilles, tibia, etc.):

I am convinced that whether your hip likes it or not, it will heal out of shear mental will power. Come hell or high water, you are going to mentally force your hip to heal.

Coming back to earth, your body really does get a vote and it reminds you of that once in a while with a twinge of pain.  When you start running again, it will be difficult not to place all of your focus on your hip. It is important not to forget the rest of your body. Don't forget that everything else has not had the benefit of the demands of running for 3 months as well and will need to be reintroduced to running right along with your hip.

I have found that after taking extended breaks, you will feel like you are starting all over for about 2-3 weeks but all of a sudden everything will fall into place and you will magically be close to the level you where at before the injury. You just need to have patience in the first few weeks you are back running. During those first few weeks expect it to feel like Boston will be impossible but just have the confidence that everything in your body and mind will click at some point and overnight things will change completely.

The worst thing you can do is force your training in those early weeks. The only thing that will do is delay the magical day when everything falls into place and it will also put you at great risk of developing another injury.

In the meantime, put a new pair of running shoes on your Christmas list, you will be needing them in a few short weeks.

I hope he’s right,

SUAR

53 comments:

  1. I'll give a hip to have a painless right foot.... Shit, there isn't much I'd rather have right now.... Le sigh!

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  2. That is some awesome advice...you did write that down...yes???

    Game on SUAR, Game on!!!!

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  3. I mean, ya, you wroote it on the blog...but did you put it on the fridge, the mirror, the shower curtain....the toilet!!!!!

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  4. Hahaha my 5-yr old was begging me to start the advent calander a week ago, but I told him it would be worth it to wait and he made it! I got a fancy dollar store one :D.
    Great advice as well, I might need to take it myself in the future.

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  5. thanks for sharing. 40 years though! Wow! is all i have got to say.

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  6. Neat words of advice!

    I love how you state that Christmas has officially begun at your house - baby Jesus for breakfast. Hilarious, as always :)

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  7. Amazing advice! Keep healing lady :)

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  8. I have a hugely overactive imagination. From one worrier to another,
    Worry is like a rocking chair,
    It gives you something to do but you get nowhere.
    Chin up chica!

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  9. Oh crap its December, huh? Guess my kids will get to double up on their advent calendars tomorrow.

    Awesome letter, thanks for sharing.

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  10. The holidays are the same without an advent calendar. My aunties in Scotland would always send us one as kids. When my mom passed away 5 years ago they started sending them again. And these aren't crappy ones either. CADBURY CHOCOLATE!!!!! My favorite chocolate and not the crappy Cadbury chocolate produced in Hershey PA. The real stuff from the UK! Thanks for the reminder about it, it totally slipped my mind. Off to pop open the first door!

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  11. I love Advent calendars. And, yes, the one I do for my boys ROCKS if I do say so myself. It's full of lots of fun things and goodies to eat! :)

    The letter you shared is awesome and so true! Thanks for sharing it with us. He's right though...you'll be needing those running shoes pretty soon! :)

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  12. THANKS for posting that encouraging letter! I'm laid up with a bum hamstring and piraformis and I'm so stressed out thinking that I'm not able to start training and I won't be ready for my races next year. I've been pushing weights to stay fit but it's probably not helping. This was a great encouragement to stop stressing out about it. cheers,
    Jennifer

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  13. I have tried to will my foot pain away...why won't it work?

    And holy cow, a bike over the old ladies at the pool has to be like 10 notches up on the exercise ladder - woohoo!!

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  14. Sage advice. My kids love the Lego advent calendar, though I'm sure they'd go for chocolate as well.

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  15. nice words dana, and I agree. Its all mental toughness! And girl, you got that!
    LC

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  16. That's great advice. I hope it rings true for you.

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  17. Crap I've got Advent calendars and forgot to pull them out yesterday! Looks like 2 waxy Baby Jesuses this morning!
    You won't be the same runner as before. You'll be faster and stronger and better. I told you before I've seen it more than a couple of times. I bet you're in for a great 2011!

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  18. May as well get a whole new running outfit for Christmas too. I mean, when you step out for the first time, you should not only feel good, but look good!

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  19. yay for an awesome mom! chocolate for breakfast? very cool. Thanks for sharing Dana's message. His words are very inspiring and very true.

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  20. What great advice and while it pertains to injuries I substituted the race this weekend b/c the mind is playing tricks on me right now as well.

    Thanks for sharing the letter. Terrific.

    But really the best part of this post is the dutch oven. I can't stop laughing b/c I always try to get Chico when we sit on the couch watching Scooby-Doo with a blanket. Kid's smart to avoid it.

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  21. I never made it past your title...I think I love you... :)

    Crossing my fingers for your next run to be on pavement VERY soon!

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  22. YAY!! I love Advent season... but I like to save my treat for bed time. :)

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  23. You crack me up, yet again. Love the post!

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  24. Yeah for Advent!! Great advice.. I totally agree with it and can relate. You know that!! Have a great day!

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  25. The first thing I thought when I saw your title was the movie Talladega Nights and the sweet 8 pounds 6 ounce newborn baby Jesus "prayer." :-)

    Daughter is so mad that I forgot to buy the advent calendar. (bad mommy, bad mommy)

    I want a friend like Dana. Magical words!

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  26. Very good advise. Though I have not been injured, I have taken some time off and found that after a week or two I was right back at it like I had never taken a break. Keep your head up and all will be fine...unless someone chops it off and helps you realize your other fear was correct.

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  27. I really have to wonder if you don't crack yourself up while you are blogging away. Like a bit of a sinister cracking yourself up! ;)

    Dana is so right. Where you were before you were injured, is honestly steps away when you get back and trust me, the time away from running, will make you faster than ever (no lie) once you are back. Enjoy the break and while you're hanging out with pussies (which by the way, if you lived near me, I'd show you how cool we no-blue-hair pussy's are), just be planning how you are going to come back without overdoing it! That's the hardest part, the smart come back!

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  28. We had a candy advent calender one year when I was a kid and I though I died and went to heaven.

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  29. Beth--Isn't it great to have a great support network. I've learned the most about mine during my setbacks as well. This week, all of my online friends that I've never met have been sending me positive bytes. My massage therapist and physical therapist have dropped everything to get me in and get some work done. And my wife has been a rockstar putting up with all the wallowing in my self pity. Things will turn around for both of us I'm sure of it because we have such great people propping us up!

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  30. Great comment from Dana. Hold onto that. You'll run again. You've already overcome some challenges, you'll get over this one.

    Is the weather conducive to running through the winter where you are in CO? or are you forced to use the "dreadmill" some days?
    It's going to be tough training through the winter in Upstate NY so I guess I'm asking you to see if I'll be having some company on those boring indoor "forced" running days.

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  31. Chocolate for breakfast, yes please! I loved the line about farting in the car and rolling up the windows...you had me laughing hard.
    So, I totally needed that article. I completely agree, the mind is so powerful.
    P.S. Dots in bed sounds amazing, I will be doing that tonight.

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  32. Thank you for sharing Dana's words - they were definitely the encouragement I needed as well.

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  33. i totally agree with what he said about forcing training in the early weeks. it was so hard for me to come back slow but i'm so glad i fought the urge and took my time. i had the same fears as you and thought i'd always have some sort of pain. but you get over that. you raced a marathon...you're already full of determination and will power. that will get you through this, too.

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  34. Ooh, that letter almost gives me goose bumps! My longest "run" so far has only been 15 minutes total, fragmented into 5 minute intervals.

    This dude sounds almost Yoda-like. May the Force be with you, now and into Boston!

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  35. I'm back again ...one more annoying question for you: Have you made up your training plan beginning in Jan. for Boston yet?

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  36. Yeah. WTH on the BO. Seriously. I pay good money for the gym for what? To get stanked up by someone else. SO GROSS.

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  37. Great advice on the injury. As much as we fear losing our stamina or muscle memory, it's still in there somewhere. We just have to dust it off.

    Love that you have a "dutch oven" label for this post...

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  38. Joanne - I am still fine tuning. Want to hear what my doc has to say about my re-entry into running. I think the first few weeks will be walk/run. Then I will start a pretty typical training plan for me (3-4 days per week, working up to approx. 35-45 mpw), but my paces will be slower as I get back into shape.

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  39. You'll be back again and you'll be awesome and we will all be reading closer than ever to see your comeback!

    So, you always make me laugh more than any other blog so would you please share a story or a something that makes you laugh when you are not supposed to laugh. Or when you find yourself holding back a laugh since it might be inappropriate to do so right then? I'm getting some great and funny comments on my recent post but I bet you'd have some of the best stories of all. Please share if you have some...I'd love your participation. :)

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  40. Dana's right - you will run again. So what new running shoes are you going to get?

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  41. freaking hilarious [Jesus part].

    we try and buy ours on the 5-8th of December so we can eat all the "animal" portion of the nativity in one sitting.

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  42. Okay, love this post because I've been trying to will my ITB to heal for the last two months. I'm up to saying "You will heal and be fine" 5,000 times per day.
    You're on the bike now? Su-weet. So happy for you.

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  43. BTW-I am plagued with horror thoughts of me never being able to run again too.

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  44. OK, those paragraphs by Dana were meant for me today. Thanks.

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  45. Great advice! I was expecting some sarcasm ... or poop jokes and it turned out to be great running wisdom!

    BTW Adam (and wife) had a baby boy this morning Hayden age 0.

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  46. I need this guy to be my running friend. You are a rock star. I never doubt that you will return stronger, better, faster. You know,'cause you're my idol and stuff.

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  47. I just received my advent calendar in the mail from my aunt. She buys the good kind at Laura Secord (Cdn chocolate shop) and sent it Express Post so it would be here on time. Basically it's a $30 advent calendar so that I can have a little punch of sugar every morning.

    What kind, wise words.

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  48. Dana made me cry, and my hip doesn't even hurt. Maybe I need to eat a cheap piece of chocolate now.

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  49. He is right.
    I took 10 weeks off due to a bad WBC count in a routine test. When I got back I was so slow and fat. After three weeks of running so fucking slow I wanted to shoot myself in the head, yesterday I ran my usual 7 mile loop at exactly the same pace as I had been before I stopped running--all in zone 2. thank god.

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  50. Amel's gone through 2 of those calanders already.

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