Friday, April 17, 2009

Pressure cooker

That pretty much describes me lately - a pressure cooker. This is my most significant running injury to date and I'm not handling it very well. Yesterday was awful as I was clearly suffering a setback; my leg was tender and sore and walking normally was an effort. Was it from the PT and massage? From the modified leg workout? From the spin class? It drives me crazy to think I may have contributed to the setback. At the same time, I am trying to balance recovery with the maintenance of some degree of fitness and cardio readiness within the guidelines I have been given.

With the 4.16 anniversary yesterday I felt raw, sad, and frustrated. The 3.2 mile run for 32 was a huge success, but I was unable to participate. My chiropractor was not happy with my progress and described the area as "still hot." Appropriate, considering how acutely sore some areas are. Deep down I know that is not a good thing and with two weeks to go, my optimism is waning at the moment.

My frustration hinges on my fear of not being able to run the Pittsburgh Marathon May 3. Of course, what's worse? Missing the marathon or starting it, then dropping out or posting a really sorry time? I guess this is the first time I've thought about it this way. Would I run if I didn't have a chance of running the race I know I can run? If I knew I could run it, but in a 4:30 time (rather than the sub-4:00 time I want), would I want to?

I've done so much training and the thought of falling short of the experience I have been dreaming of is very disappointing. I know I can pick another race, but that means I have to rehab and retrain and do it all over again. And it won't be Pittsburgh. I know I am acting like a self-centered, narrow-minded child about this but I can't describe the degree of compulsion involved. And I'm certainly far from the only person this has happened to and admittedly the stakes are pretty low for me. I can't imagine the feeling of missing a championship, the Olympics, etc., but it happens.

This is such a marginal injury - just bad enough to provide a significant interruption, but not so bad that the go/no-go decision is clear to make.

I am thankful that I have help from so many people on this, but the downside is that I get some conflicting information. Frustration results when I am left with doubts that my recovery plan is optimal (that's the Industrial Engineer in me).

I have had many tearful discussions with JRP who has had to talk me down on a regular basis reminding me to take it one day at a time, focus on other goals, and just keep moving forward. He has enormous patience - more than I have for me.

I have PT in less than an hour...and a horrible feeling of forboding. More later.