So. I have sustained my first running injury.
It isn’t really an injury, as I think of it. I didn’t fall, didn’t twist an ankle or a knee, didn’t stub my toe. I overworked my body. Last week, when I went on my daring morning run adventure, I forgot to remember that I am forty-three years old, and so are my joints — my hips in particular. One hip, actually. The right one, that vile betrayer, started hurting Saturday night, shortly after I arrived at work. I’ve had a few knee injuries (in my 20s, not from running), so I knew the signs and symptoms of “oh crap, I’ve screwed up a joint.” It’s inflamed and I can feel a little crepitus when I put my palm on the greater trochanter. FYI, I am an ER nurse. Like all nurses, I spend most of the shift on my feet. Since I have chronic back issues (thanks to nursing), I also keep acetaminophen and ibuprofen in my locker. I popped some of each and kept on trucking. Fortunately it was a relatively slow night.
It hurts worse when weight-bearing, walking up stairs, and getting out of the car. The car is the worst, actually I don’t watch much television and truly disdain reality TV, but I do remember catching an episode of that show where people competed be Paris Hilton’s BFF. They had to get out of a low-slung sports car in mini-dresses without showing any of their frillies. The trick was to keep one’s knees together while gracefully twisting the hips toward the open door, then placing both feet on the ground and maneuvering upward and outward. Oh, and they were also wearing spike heels.
Unless I have a car specially modified (i.e., with longer gas and clutch pedals), I would never be able to do this. I am only five feet tall and my seat is fairly close to the steering wheel. I once tried the “Paris maneuver” and discovered that my right hip gets stuck against the steering wheel. Unless I move the seat back, there is no room to twist or pivot. I don’t wear ultra-mini anything, being fond of running shorts/skorts, jeans, and yoga pants, so this is rarely necessary.
I’m also too impatient to fuss with moving my seat around just to look suave upon embarking from the luxe cloth seats of my ultra-stylish Hyundai. Frankly, at this point I would be flattered if anybody wanted to peek up my miniskirt. Over the years I have developed a rather unique way of getting out of the car quickly and efficiently without performing potted palm or down dog. It’s a rather odd maneuver of sliding my woman’s hips out sideways beneath the steering wheel, then pushing off with my right leg to get up and out. That hurt quite a bit when I arrived home this morning.
I don’t want to sound like a whiny baby (I hate whiners), because this doesn’t hurt that much. It’s probably a 2 on the 0 – 10 pain scale (3 when I get out of the car). Most days, my lower back hurts much worse. It’s what this injury symbolizes that is off-putting – I will have to take a break from running, a thought which I meet with much dismay. I’ve worked hard for a year and a half to get where I am. I intended to run a 5K on July 4th, was contemplating a 10K in September, but my main goal was join the Run For Your Lives in St. Louis on October 12th.
Here at Geektopia, we’re obsessed with zombies, from “Zombieland” to Max Brooks to “The Walking Dead.” I totally expect to turn into a genuine “prepper” with a houseful of supplies and weapons after I finally get to see season 3 of “The Walking Dead.” We’re waiting for it to come out on DVD, because I work weekend nights and because it’s true that one does not simply watch one episode of the “Walking Dead.” This race was my number one motivation to start running again, and from there to get faster. Because it’s an obstacle course, I also started fitness kickboxing classes. I had also recently decided to step up with my fitness routine overall, increasing my fitness kickboxing classes from two to four days a week.
Somewhere along the line, I went from running to boost my diminishing metabolism to running because I love it. I look forward to my runs around the lake, both because they make me feel incredible and because I jam to awesome inspiring music that inevitably results in great new story ideas. In fact, several times I’ve been stuck with some sort of plot dilemma, have gone for a walk or a run, and the idea just comes to me out of the blue. Call it “sweat inspiration,” if you will.
Over the past couple of days I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll be off my feet for at least a week, probably two, and maybe even three. Of course I can’t quit going to work, so that’s something that might delay my healing. I’m weighing the pros and cons of going to see my PCP. If it really is bursitis like I think, a steroid shot to my hip would be helpful.
Mostly I’m trying to see this as an opportunity, rather than a setback. Attitude is everything, right? *grumble* On introspection, I’ve been pushing myself too hard, my diet is crap, my back is killing me because I haven’t been doing my Viniyoga for it, and I haven’t been meditating. About the only things I’ve been doing right are running and getting enough sleep, and I’ve been using those things as an excuse to neglect everything else. I’m running, therefore I don’t need to do the Viniyoga. I’m well-rested, so I don’t need to meditate. I’m too busy, so I’ll just eat frozen pizza and that’ll be okay since I eat a couple of pieces of fruit every day.
I’ve discovered that in my life, when I’m off track, the universe/god/gods/god and goddess/my own subconscious will do something to gain my attention. My writing has taken a back burner, which is hardly good for a writer aspiring to publication. I’ll have to slow down and sit down, which will give me the perfect opportunity to write. I’m not finished with spring cleaning, but hell, I hate cleaning anyway.
I bought Gwenyth Paltrow’s new cookbook It’s All Good in an effort to improve my health and wellness. Actually, I’m a sucker for good writing and a good story, and I liked her introduction. I can swim laps in our pool, work out with weights, and continue the pushups/ situps/ things and stuff that we usually do in kickboxing class. They say that yoga is good for the mind and soul as well as the body, and really it is the perfect prelude to meditation. My husband has been getting our pool ready for summer, so I’ll be able to swim laps.
A wise teacher that I like to listen to on podcast says: “In order to speed up your progress, you have to slow down.” He speaks metaphysically, but the concept is the same. I have to slow down, but I don’t have to stop. It’s a setback, but not the end of my running avocation. It’s a chance to get stronger in areas in which I am weak and to make improvements that will serve to make me a better runner in the end. And maybe I’ll have that new Garmin GPS watch and will know how to use it by the time I’m better.
As usual, the universe seems to know what it is doing.