Be Postive And Good Things Will Happen

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Maybe not at first. It may take awhile. Keep a good head and a good outlook and good things will happen eventually.

During this long adventure, I’ve been bitten by the Injury Bug more times than I’d like to admit (although if you run through the history of my posts here, you’ll be able to accurately count). It always happens as I’m gathering steam and about to make significant progress. It’s incredibly frustrating and even more deflating mentally.  Focusing on one goal and striving hard and moving multiple things in your life to accomplish it and then suddenly have to put everything on hold and just wait is maddening.

It’s a hard thing to describe to people that don’t actively run. As I’ve said many times, I only write here so that Future Mike can look back and enjoy the memories and the jokes that only Present Mike and Future Mike gets (for the record, if I do eventually grow up, Future Mike will be embarrassed and mortified in what Present Mike has done in these last few years; blog wise, anyways). I don’t write with a certain reader in mind, meaning I don’t assume that someone else who reads this might not be in my exact situation. Running has been part of my life for better or worse since we started this quest. It wasn’t always and it’s not for probably most who read this. A lot of what I try to describe or document doesn’t really translate to a reader who isn’t doing what I’m doing.

That being said, it isn’t too hard to understand the frustrations that come with being forced to stop doing something you like; something you’re going out of your way to get better at. Which leads me to my latest injury: Stress Reaction.

Its not serious … yet. A stress reaction is the little brother of what knocked me out of the last marathon, the injury that put me in a walking boot for weeks; the stress fracture. I started feeling bad pain on the side of my foot after runs a month or so ago. I would go on a longer run and would have trouble walking the next day because anytime I put pressure on my right inside foot it would hurt. The pain would go away by the time the sun went down and I’d run the next day only to have the pain come back. I did that cycle a few times and then made a call to Dr Pearl, Foot Doctor Dude Extraordinaire. First visit detected the stress reaction. Told me to stay off running for 1-2 weeks and it should heal itself. 2 weeks to the day and I return, take more x-rays, and he thinks its healed nicely, but not completely gone.

A bummer. I wanted to move on and not think about it again but he says it could return anytime. I made a frowny face and asked what I could do to help it not happen. He names off a few pills I could take everyday to detour it. “Damn, I take everyone of those” I said. “Oh, good, keep taking those” he said. At this point I’m glad I’m only due the co-pay. But there was another problem I came in with. A new pain, a pain in my front high ankle, anytime I raised it high, like taking your foot off a pedal. He took an x ray and came back with bad news that he delivered all too calmly (it was 2nd on the list, diagnosis wise). It seems that I have exhausted all cartilage inbetween the ankle bone and foot bone (not technical terminology, for those keeping score at home). “You know longer have any cartilage inbetween the ‘ankle’ bone and the ‘leg’ bone. Its pretty much bone on bone now, from the years of running” he said. “Ooohhhhh, thats not good. I’ve heard that happen to actual athletes. Don’t know why it happened here *I then point to feet*.”

“Ya, well a lot of running on pavement or concrete could do that, it happens” says doctor, anxious to get to next patient.

“Crap. Well, is there anything I can do? Anything to not let it hurt or help the pain? Another insole? New shoes?” said the concerned and very sexy patient.

“Not really. Once its gone, cartilage is gone, doesn’t come back” says doctor.

*I rip off my shirt, punch 32 holes in the wall and cry uncontrollably*

“It might be just a pain that you have to deal with from here on out. I have a knee pain but still play soccer every week” says Doctor Inspiration.

That last part wasn’t a particularly inspiring or revolutionary remark, but I remember it clearly. It kind of struck a nerve. It reminded me of my old thinking. When I first got inspired from running, my thesis on running could be summed up by “Shut Up And Do It”.

And that is what I’ll adapt as my mantra for these last (less than) 3 months. It’ll hurt. It’s supposed to. But be smart about it and shut up and do it. My plan: run hard, bike hard, wear the walking boot any other time to try and heal. Other than taking more weeks off (I don’t have that time to spare), I don’t have any other plan. It’ll have to do cause I’m crossing that finish line with Paul on Oct. 28th.

Enjoy life.

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