If setting out for a run and ending up walking home from the far side of the park with bad IT band pain in the rain isn’t enough to get me down, the prospect of not running for a while surely seals the deal.
Which is why I’m feeling like a whiney, crankypants brat.
Injuries suck, yo.
I truly believe we runners go through specific stages when injured, and have definitely “been there, done that.” Here’s how I think this injury is going to go down.
1. Denial – the IT band pain I felt during the last few miles of the marathon was just fatigue! It will be fiiiiinnne in a week. And I just ran my first marathon and it was awesome WOOOHOOOO! I can’t wait to run again and I’m setting MASSIVE goals for the rest of the year and 2011 NOW!
2. False positivity – the first run since the race on Sunday was oooook, just a leeetle tightness. But it’s ok! I really dodged a bullet, phew!
3. Reality – oh shiz, 2 miles into a run and there’s that familiar ITB pain I know so well that takes MONTHS to go away. And hey, I get to walk home from Central Park and watch tons of other runners zoom by me.
4. Depression – if this injury is anything like the past two IT band experiences, I won’t run normally again for months. How am I going to capitalize on that post-marathon fitness? Or get that last “9+1” race in for 2010 so I can run NYCM next year? I’m going to feel sorry for myself now. Whyyyyy meeeeee??
5. Resent and hatred – projected onto healthy happy runners, frolicking for 7 miles in the sunshine without a care or pain in the world. I don’t want to talk about running. I don’t want to hear about running. I don’t want to write about running because DAMMIT I can’t do it and it SUCKS.
6. Improvement – oh heeey, I can run for 20 minutes and it feels ok! I’m ok! I’m getting better! There is HOPE!
7. Setbacks – wait, why does it hurt when I’m walking down the stairs? How come that pain came back after just 5 minutes of running? I THOUGHT I WAS BETTER. MAKE UP YOUR MIND IT BAND, YOU LITTLE BITCH.
8. More improvement – consistent bouts of short runs with no pain. Slooooow increases of mileage result in no pain. And yay to almost feeling like a runner again!
9. Injury prevention – lots of cross training and slow mileage increases with stretching and physical therapy to keep the IT band comfortable and happy, that little bugger
Even though I’m just settling into the depression phase, I will say that I’m glad the injury happened during the last part of the marathon rather than during training or at the beginning of the race, because it truly was an experience of a lifetime and I’m really thankful I got to enjoy it.
Now I’m going to go back to feeling sorry for myself.
Dear running: please come back soon. I miss you already. XOXO, Kelly.
Question: any phases you would like to add?