back from injury?

one of the hardest things to do besides not going insane while being injured is returning to running after the injury. why, you ask? it's because you never really know if you're fully healed. how do you know if you're "fully healed," you ask? you go run and see if it hurts.

i've been off running for nine days now since i felt major right knee pain during a recovery run and without training altogether since last wednesday when i had my bike accident. it's been a long week or so to say the least, but i've been doing surprisingly okay mentally. honestly, i truly believe it's because my mind is so caught up thinking about other things nonstop so i haven't really been focusing on it too much.

anyway...meanwhile back at the ranch...i went out today to see if my knee was doing better. oh, and i also had major back, hip, and left knee pain since my bike accident so i had to feel that out, too. it really seemed like my legs were out to get me! i went out for a sloooow one mile run and besides the fact that i was extremely bored...i felt NO pain. trust me...i learned years ago not to get my hopes up, but it's still a good sign!

of course i had to ask the "old wise runner" (aka my dad) what i should do next and he gave me some good advice, so we'll see how it feels tomorrow and i'll take it one step at a time. baby steps, of course.


injuries and pessimism

well...i'm injured. *long melodramatic sigh* i honestly have no idea how it happened. actually, i have a few ideas but that's just me overthinking things like always. i haven't been injured in a long time...and it SUCKS! to not be able to do something you love is one of the hardest my opinion.

i had a sixteen mile long run this past weekend and it went alright. my pace was what i wanted it to be and i recovered fine. then came monday's recovery run: bad. it was a slow four miler and i felt a sharp pain in my right knee for almost three miles of it. (flashback warning) a few years ago i was diagnosed with patellar tendinitis and ended up going to physical therapy for it. it kept me from running for months! of the hardest few months ever.

-should i stop eating so much?
-will i get fat now?
-does this mean i can just sit around and watch tv?
-what's on tv these days? i have a tv?
-how much could i sell my running shoes for?
-i totally forgot i had a bike! i'm gonna go pedal for hours...
-is it okay to ride a bike?
-should i stay in bed all day to speed up recovery?
-will i ever run again?
-should i ice my knee?
-should i put heat on my knee?
-what did i do wrong?
-is this because i don't run barefoot?
-(while looking at training plan) i followed this thing to a 'T', didn't i?
-i guess i didn't stretch enough?
-did i stretch too much?
-why do i run?

i guess the point i'm trying to make from the questions above is this: do we ever really know why stuff happens? well...yeah, we do (sometimes). some stuff we bring on ourselves, BIG BUT, some stuff we don't. like this injury per se...i really don't feel that i did anything intentionally to bring this on, but it happened and NOW is the time to deal with it. the tony several years ago freaked and complained the whole time about not running when he was injured, but the tony now...i'm okay. not great (yet!). just okay...but i'll take that! it's an improvement and i'm dealing with it.

i'm taking it easy and not wishing unpleasant things upon runners that i pass while driving. that's a good thing! honestly...there was a point during my last injury that i couldn't even talk about running, see anyone running, and you didn't even want to ask me about running. it would've turned into a total emo-self-pity-fix-my-knee-right-now-running story.

i'm finally to a point in life that i can thank God for times like this. times that i cannot stand, but times that literally slow my life down without my consent! times that i want to often skip. times that i wish weren't happening...but what does that say to God? it basically says, "umm...hey...i totally know You had this all planned out...but it sucks...change it. i know better than You and i want to be running and moving on with stuff." well, it doesn't work that way and i've finally learned that! now if only i could learn that you're not supposed to end sentences with the word 'that'...maybe someday.

until then....keep your head up. who knows what you'll learn during this "slow" times...

UPDATED (9/14/12)

so...i had to come back and update this post because since i posted it wednesday evening i had something interesting happen and felt the need to share.

about an hour or so after i published the above post i went out for a bike ride to see how the knee felt. i didn't feel any pain while pedaling so i at least felt good that i'd be able to incorporate cycling into my time off of running. i was pretty confident that swimming wouldn't bother it, so i had to test the waters on my bike.

then something unfortunate happened: i was cruising around 20-25mph on the edge of town and a car rolled through a stop sign without even seeing me. i had to slam on my brakes and ended up hitting gravel and crashing. the driver did stop; however, he failed to apologize but at least asked me if i was ok. i fought back the urge to yell at him for driving like crap and am proud of myself now as i look back.

so, now with a bum right knee i have some decent road rash on my left leg and a messed up back. thursday morning getting out of bed was about as hard as sending the first man to the moon. i've been popping pain killers and trying to rest as much as possible, but it's difficult when you have a physical job. so instead of this weekend including an exciting 18 mile long run i get the excitement of resting my aching body.

i'd say "at least i can still swim" but now i'm nervous to get in the water. 2/3 of my sports are not liking me lately...


you know you're a runner if...

lately i've been seeing a TON of "you know you're a runner if..." statements. honestly...most of them are hilarious. it got me thinking though...there are a LOT of runners out there. i'll say it now and i'll say it again: if you go out and run around the are a runner! it doesn't take race experience, a PR, a medal, running stories, a marathon, a 1/2 marathon, or even running injuries to "make" you a runner. you are a runner if you get out the door on a semi-regular basis and RUN!

sure...some are more obsessive than others. i willingly admit that i am a bit of an obsessive runner. i think about it all the time. i have dreams about running. i follow professional runners online as if they're my friends. my wife would also admit...i may be over the top at times and think about races and running faster way too much, but that doesn't make me more of a runner than someone who goes out once or twice a week and rocks out a few miles. no, doesn't!

you know you're a runner run! just NOT call it jogging!


speaking of running....a few weekends ago emily and i had the awesome opportunity of running in a color run with our good friends matt and claire! it was one of the coolest running experiences i've had yet!
it wasn't for time.
it wasn't to "qualify for boston".
it wasn't to show your skills and how hard you've trained.
it wasn't to medal.
it was to have one of the best times running you'll ever have!
...and that's exactly what we did!







we all got first place and qualified for boston by the way! see you there...