When you have run for years without injury, and then get sidelined due to (frankly) your own stupidity….
Well, it sucks.
I can’t sugar-coat it.
I have been running for fifteen years. I have been (to my schedule’s ability) training and marathoning for eight years. I am not a huge mileage beast like some of our Salties, as I have a full time+ job, 2 kids with busy schedules and a husband with an extracurricular schedule that rivals my own, but I am known to consistently put in 50, 60, 70 and sometimes 80 mile weeks during my bi-annual training seasons.
For all of these years, I have done it without injury.
I am hurt. (F#$%&ksc!)
The worst part is that I knew it wouldn’t be running that would take me down.
I am pretty darn resilient in that respect. I’ve had aches and nags and stabs here and there, but nothing has sidelined me for more than a couple of days. I am also typically cautious about extracurricular activities. For example, I have declined great sounding skiing trips because I was afraid of wiping out and botching a great running season. My friends have always said I am way too cautious, but I knew I was right…
Why? Because this strategy has worked very well for me. Until about 2 weeks ago, that is.
I mentioned last week that I was recently in Grand Teton National Park / Jackson Hole. It was an amazing trip. My boys have been doing a mountain biking club, so when they saw they could hit the mountain trails, they were all in. It was impossible for me not to ride that energy and get in on it. It was epic – even if a little scary.
We put on a crazy enough amount of protective gear to look like Gladiators. The boys were thrilled. The nice folks outfitting us assured it would be fine (uh huh)…..
The first time we rode the ski lift up the mountain with our bikes in tow, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “what the hell are we doing?!” (for the record, we actually repeated this dialog every time we climbed the mountain).
We got off the lift, grabbed our bikes and took off. It was crazy scary and I rode my brakes as I went over jumps and around turns down the mountain. Cautious was more than the name of the game. But it was AWESOME! After doing it 5-6 times, the tide changed. I was comfortable. I was moving with my bike. I was rocking this! (famous last words). As I hit my last run, I hot-dogged it a bit too much, hit a jump WAY too fast and ended up wiping out BIG time. I landed on my left side after a good 10 foot fall with my bike. Thankfully I did not hit my head, but my shoulder and hip took the brunt of the fall.
All I wanted to do was scream to my husband, John, as I knew he was coming behind me and didn’t want him to hit me between the jumps. But all oxygen had been sucked out of my lungs. I had no air to make a sound despite multiple attempts. Thankfully, John saw the plume of dirt and slowed to a stop before the jump that took at least a month from me. He helped me move off the trail to evaluate. It hurt, but was I HURT?
We concluded no.
I had range of movement in my shoulder and my elbow, which looked iffy, but it really was okay. Nothing appeared broken. Alright. Right? Sort of.
And then no. After a couple of days, my left leg turned purple. Migrating from my hip to below my knee. When I tried to run, it was apparent I had an inner thigh/groin injury too. My shoulder was unbearable and it moved viciously to my back.
Are you kidding me?!
I took it easy the last week, but by Saturday, I could barely move without severe upper back pain. My groin/inner left thigh is also screaming when I walk, let alone run.
I am officially out for the Columbus Marathon.
This means I am officially hurty and cranky.
I am not usually hurty and cranky, so it really SUCKS.
If anyone has advice for the injury-free runner who gets sidelined by stupidity, I am all ears. How do you deal with it mentally while you can’t run? What do you do to cross train?