Monday, May 27, 2013


I still haven't run since May 3rd.   Or worked out at all since May 13th.  That's 24 days of no running; 2 weeks of no exercise at all.  And I'm fine with it.  Perhaps a little *too* fine.  

I've crossed a line during this rest period.  Prior to crossing this "line", my momentum was in favor of working out consistently.  (Every day, 1-2 hrs a day).  Mentally, I feared that if I rested I was lose "too much" fitness, or start gaining weight like crazy, or get in the habit of being sedentary (which is what has happened when I've been injured in the past).  I was focused on the next goal race, and trying to maintain fitness and decrease pain in time for it.  

My momentum has shifted now, and "not working out" no longer feels completely foreign and wrong.  I am really enjoying all the time I have to do other things, and I think I will have a hard time starting a workout regimen back up again.  At the very least, when I start, I know I won't be working out as long each day, because I have so many other things I'm in the habit of doing each day now.  If I really wanted to, I could still be going to the gym everyday and doing the hand cycling machine, or swimming with a pull buoy between my legs.  I guess I'm just slacking.  

Have you tried these arm bikes?  They are hard, and boring.   No fun at all. 
I'm no longer afraid.  I haven't gained any weight at all since I stopped working out.  And I haven't been counting calories either.  I was 144.4 yesterday, which is quite low for me (though probably a fluke, I'm more consistently around 146 recently).  As for the fitness, yeah that sucks, but that can always be regained once I'm pain-free. 

As for the races, I had a bit of an ah-ha moment when I read this post by Charlotte at the Great Fitness Experiment about the sunk-cost fallacy.  I knew I should have attended my econ class freshman year.  All I remember from that class is using colored pencils to draw plots for the test.  

"Sunk-cost fallacy occurs when people make decisions about a current situation based on what they have previously invested in the situation. For example, spending $100 on a concert and on the day you find that it’s cold and rainy. You feel that if you don’t go you would’ve wasted the money and the time you spent in line to get that ticket and feel obligated to follow through even if you don’t want to." (source)

Well geez, I use that line of thought all the time!  For one, how about clearing your plate at a restaurant, when you know the food won't be good as leftovers.  You don't want to eat that much (because you'll get fat, and you're getting full), but you want to "get your money's worth".  Well, what about justifying that "waste" as a purchase of feeling good and being healthy?

How about races?  I have been running races just because I paid for them, despite delaying healing and extending my injury.  If I would have just taken a solid rest when all of this started it would have probably disappeared quickly.  I read Charlotte's post in time to decide to no-show at the Cleveland Marathon, May 19th.  My first DNS.   It was hot that day though, so it probably would have sucked anyway. :P  I would have walked it, but as I said, I have been having pain with walking too, so that wouldn't have been much of a solution.  At that time, I was also looking forward to trying to heal up for the Alaska Mayors half marathon on June 22nd, which I would really like to do, and not just because I already paid for it.  It's not every day I get to run in Alaska!  At this point though, I'm not sure if that's going to happen either.  It's less than a month away and I have zero miles under my belt, and not a single long run since the Martian Half on April 13th.

Ultimately, if it doesn't hurt to walk I will walk the race, maybe jogging here and there, and hopefully enjoy the scenery.  If it does hurt to walk, I'll skip it.  I'm not interested in having every single run being painful.  I refuse to tape and brace myself up just to get through a few miles.  This is supposed to be good for me.  I am okay with never running again if it comes down to it,  as long as I can get back to swimming, spinning,  yoga, pilates, workout classes, etc.  Not that I think I am going to be benched from running for life, I'm just saying I'm okay with if that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Then again, maybe I'm just making excuses:

The really bad thing is that despite all of this rest, it's not getting better.  It was feeling better after a week visiting my family, with not much time on my feet, but then I got a sports massage when I came back to Michigan (hoping it would be a miracle cure), and he rubbed the painful spot deeply (like the PT guy did months ago), and once again it caused severe pain the next day and knocked back all my progress.  Since then, while I haven't "exercised", I also haven't sat down much either.  I had some really busy days at work, and have been on a crazy cleaning streak of my house, so my days off and time before and after work are being spent on my feet or on my hands and knees.  And my knee (and hip) just haven't recovered.  Frustrating indeed.  Although, it has occurred to me that perhaps the pain is a "healing pain", that it is just tightening up as it heals.  Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.  Probably.

The other bad thing is that running was such a huge part of my identity, and basically the only thing important to me.  And people knew that.  So people are always asking me about running, and wanting to talk about running, etc etc, and I'm just like, yeah, I haven't run in a month.  Don't want to talk about it.  K bye.

I made a doctor's appointment for tomorrow at 10am.  I'm willing to get a steroid injection this time, since I feel like I have done everything I can (rest, strengthening, stretching, PT), all to no avail.  I'm going to try to get an MRI and a referral to an ortho, since I don't trust family practice/ internal medicine docs too much with this sort of thing.  Or much of anything really.

Also, I am still looking for somebody to take my spot on a ladies-only team at the Great Lakes Relay. I am willing to pay the registration cost ($120), so you would just have to share hotel, gas, and food costs. It is July 19-21. Each runner must run at least 24 miles over the course of 3 days. It is a trail race.  Contact me if you're interested!

1 comment:

  1. I think I"m your running doppleganger. Two reasons: economics: I spent money I wouldn't have spent on a mismatched rim just to make it to Bayshore marathon, and now I"m signed up for New York, but currently feel too injured to run, but, after all I spent, I have to go now, right?

    As for injury and rest, I'm right behind you in the long term rest category. I plan to take a month off with some foam rolling and icing and supplements. I think you have an IT band issue, which is one of mine. Whole left side throbs and rubs on the outside of the knee. Also right side issues. Keep us updated. I'm surprised that many days off hasn't done the job.

    You may be closer than you think, regarding the 'healing pain.' I'm hoping so. Hang in there. I'm posting soon on my own plans for rest. As usual, it will be bizarre and probably hard to understand.

    As for not gaining weight, I find it easier to control my eating when not running since I do not have as huge an appetite.


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