Thursday, February 10, 2011

The boy who cried "OW!"


I complained all last week about being injured, and many of you offered your sympathies and condolences. Thank you.

But then I went ahead and completed the Uwharrie 40 miler.
People have pointed out that this is a recurring pattern on this blog;
I complain about being injured, but then run a race and perform well.

This appears to be pre-race nerves or "taper madness" or sandbagging.
So from now on, I will try to avoid complaining about my aches and pains unless I have photographic proof, like a bone sticking out.

But let me just rant about them one last time, and then I will shut up and stick to race reports.

Listen to Your Body
As a runner, you often hear the advice "Listen to your body".

For most of my running life, I did not heed this advice. Instead I would listen to Runners World, doctors, shoe salesmen, and physical therapists.

My knees would swell up with the message "Hey moron, quit over-striding!".
But I would silence them with ice bags, and start stretching my hamstrings.. 
In turn, my hamstrings would become inflamed and painfully shout:
 "Ahhgg! Quit over-stretching!"
But I would drown the cries out with Ibuprofen.

It took years, but eventually its message got through, and what my body was saying made perfect sense.
I ditched the ice, Advil, stretching, orthotics, and extra-cushy shoes. I started taking small steps.

I started listening it, and it rewarded me with a couple years of  healthy and happy running. It would tell me when I was overdoing it and I would rest.

Your Body may be Full of Shit
But one day last summer something strange happened. I developed an acute pain in my left quad.
It felt exactly like the pain you get at mile 26 of a marathon, except this was mile 3 of an easy run.
I turned around and gimped home, baffled. Two days latter the pain was completely gone, so I tried to run again I made it 16 miles without a hint of pain. Strange.

Then it happened again. In my foot, my back, my Achilles.  My body started cursing and screaming spontaneously and nonsensically. They felt like real injuries, but I love running so much that I ran anyway.
And miraculously the pain would disappear as mysteriously as it had come.

It seems that my body has developed Turrets Syndrome.

Maybe it is the excessive abuse I have inflicted on it that has caused it to go a little nuts. 
In any case, I will stop relaying these babbling aches and pains. Unless of course we get some good pictures of that bone sticking out.

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