This morning, I am more than a little frustrated, down, pissed and all those other useless words we use to describe how we feel when we planned and wanted to do something and then pretty much at the last-minute decide to do the “right thing” and not do it.
It sucks royal donkey balls!
However, I also know that it is the correct choice, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
So what happened?
My training has gone really well all week and even though my left foot, wasn’t behaving as nicely as I want it to, it was within my expectations of how I expect it to feel, especially since I am starting to push it a little harder.
I had decided that I was going to do a 5K race out in Belgrade, just to see where I am at, not as an all out race – I am not ready for that yet.
However, last night my left foot was bothering me more than I want it to the night before a race and then this morning when I woke up, there was a little more discomfort than usual, so I decided to not do the race.
Racing brings out the competitor in me, a little too much sometimes and I didn’t want to take a chance on being stupid, getting caught up during the race and pushing it too hard – not that I would ever do that.
Part of the recovery process
This kind of minor setback, is in my experience a normal part of the recovery process and is one of the most frustrating parts. You are making good to great progress, then you change your routine a bit to increase your workload and the part that is recovering tells you all about it – in no uncertain terms.
That is what I did last week, changed my training from straight recovery and running to run, to starting to train for a faster 5K. Other body parts are sore too, so I know that I am pushing myself a little harder and differently and my left foot let me know, I had expected a little too much from it.
In other words I have to be patient and not rush things.
Which is hard, because we, well at least I want to get back out there and race races, run trails, do hill and track workouts without any restrictions or pain from my left foot.
Especially when we read and see on SportsCenter or other sports shows that report how famous/professional athletes are able recover from their much more significant injuries. Some of the things that they recover from and how quickly are nothing less than miraculous. Honestly and I freely admit it, I am very jealous of those athletes who are able to return to their sport so quickly and without too much reduction in their performance (if any).
Unfortunately, whether we want to admit it or not, I know that I still compare my attempts at recovering from our injuries to theirs – which has no basis in reality since I:
- don’t have the professional training/medical staff, available almost daily to manage and supervise my recovery or reassure me that what I am doing or feeling is okay and that I can push through the pain/discomfort without setting back the progress I have made.
- do not work as hard or as consistently as professional athletes do during their recovery program, especially the consistently part.
- do not have an élite athlete’s mental toughness, outlook or over-riding need to returning to their sport as quickly.
- do not make our living from our sport.
- do not have the same time to focus on recovery – life seems to get in the way.
- am a clean athlete and the only supplements I take are a daily vitamin, Vitamin D and MSM/Chondroitin combo. Yes, there are prescribed and non-prescribed drugs that can be used to speed recovery that are used by others, that I do not use. Is it tempting, sure, but not the choice that I am or will make in the foreseeable future.
I am sure you can think of other differences or advantages that they have over the recreational athletes like me, which is what most runners are.
Unfortunately, I also have another strike against me, I am closer to 60 than I am 50 and certainly am not in the prime of my life. I don’t heal as fast or as well as I used to. Just the fact – Jack (for those of you who remember the movie – Stripes)
Does this mean that I am going to stop trying or pushing myself as much as I can to do as much as I can – no.
However, it does mean that I have to be more conservative with what I do and when.
Simply because I do not have all the answers or always know what is normal pain that I just have to suck up and push through and what is pain that I need to be aware of and not attempt to push any further. Because if I do, I could re-injure myself or delay my progress.
The reality is that
These are the problems of an old fart, who loves to run too much.
Come on body, just freaking heal, so I can run the way that I want to again.
Yes, these mood swings and frustrations are part of the recovery process and they suck worse every time, I have to go through them, especially as I get closer to being ready to get back to running fully. I know that I am getting closer everyday, but the little setbacks or second guessing that seem so big now are really not that big a deal, as long as I am not stupid and try to do way too much, way too soon.
I just wish that I had a medical and training staff available to guide and motivate (push my ass harder) through the last couple months of this particular injury, but don’t and will have to rely on PT 2 x week for the next 3 weeks, my experience, research and intuition about what I should be doing next.
Sometimes, doing the right thing by not going to a race or event is harder than, just going ahead and taking a chance that things will turn out just fine – which they probably would have.
It still sucks and I feel as though I should be out in Belgrade running that 5K, instead of pissing and moaning about not being there and writing about it here. Yes, it sucks royal donkey balls, but not as bad as it would if I had gone to the race and re-injured my Achilles.
- How about you, what do you find to be the hardest time of the recovery process after an injury