Monday, January 24, 2011

Stir crazy

Know that feeling when you’ve spent too much time in your house? That feeling where you want to be anywhere but where you are. The longer you stay where you are the more you don’t want to be there?

That’s how I feel. Except it’s not my house, it’s my body.

It’s been over 3 weeks since I’ve run, and the runner inside me is dying to get out.

It’s driving me crazy.

The first week wasn’t bad at all. I was off work and was able to lounge around, a lot.

The second week was interesting. Back at work, the habit, the compulsion to run, would spring to life a couple times a day, especially at lunch. But, it was more entertaining than anything else... “Hmmm, isn’t that weird how I have nothing to do at lunch besides eat lunch?”, “I feel totally naked walking into work without my running bag.”, “Freezing rain? Pfffft, what do I care.” Stuff like that.

Since then, my body has been in outright rebellion. I don’t sleep well. I’m thirsty all the time. I pee, all the time. I’m moody. I’m always hungry.

Essentially, I’m in withdrawal.

My body got used to having a regular hit of endorphins. Without it, the days dull, the senses numb, and the mind slow.

My legs miss their daily workout. They twitch and flinch and cry out for a long, steady, sweaty run and a chance to drop the hammer the last mile.

So why don’t you run, doofus?

Good question, but please don’t call me “doofus”.

The problem is my heel. My left heel. The problem heel.

As the streak drew to a close, and the prospect of time off went from a far-off concept to a reality, I let myself get sucked into a chase. A mileage chase. A stupid, mileage chase.

I’ve said it before...mileage goals are stupid. It’s too easy to over run yourself when you have a number in your sights. You start counting the miles and stop listening to your body.

Even when you know better.

And I do know better. But I did it anyway. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

But wait, there’s more. Thanks to my lovely date with frostbite, I’d switched to conventional running shoes that were very close to my unconventional running shoes. But, there was a difference. They were forcing me to work a couple muscles that hadn’t been worked in while. Those muscles would have been totally cool with that, had I not also piled on so many stupid miles.

Even so, I thought that with a week off, maybe two, it’d be good as new. I thought wrong. Doing nothing for two weeks made it only slightly better than it would have been having run every day for two weeks. Now, I’m stretching, strengthening, icing, yoga-ing, and doing my best to be patient.

So, I still haven’t run yet. It’s killing me. I have big plans for this year, running wise, and I don’t want to spend the year nursing my heal just because I was too eager to get back on the road.

To take ourselves to new heights, we need to be fit; physically, mentally, and emotionally. We need to resist that urge to do something just because we don't like doing nothing, even when nothing is the best thing we can be doing. Blasting out ill-prepared, or ill-equipped, usually doesn’t end well. It’s better to reach the top a little later than planned, than not at all.

The good news...my time hasn’t been wasted. Actually, it’s been very productive, if you measure productivity by the number of Battlestar Galactica episodes watched.

Netflix, ice pack, Napa Cab...I’m set for the evening.

Good running.
Doug

Photo from here.