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,