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Welcome to November!

I realized today that I need to deal with the hamstring injury in my right leg.  I’ve been trying to baby it and stretch it and pray for it and on and on. It’s like a phantom pain.  Sometimes I can locate the exact source.  Other days it’s impossible to pinpoint. It never gets all the way better.  The first couple miles of running will be okay.  Then miles 3-6 will hurt pretty badly.  Then it’s better but my left foot takes a beating.

I read up on it a little.  It could be that maybe I didn’t warm up enough and that’s what strained it.  But since I distinctly remember hurting it after jumping on bubble wrap and falling down, I didn’t think that was it.  You really can’t recapture your childhood.  Trust me.

I mentioned the strain to my kettlebells instructor yesterday and she said those injuries take a long time to heal.  Other people in the class weighed in.  One asked if I’d been to the chiropractor.  Yes, several times.  Another wondered aloud if I ran heavy on my right leg.  Huh?  Not even sure what to say to that…Another asked if I’d done a massage – deep tissue type.  No.  But what a great idea.  One of the gals in the class said her left leg had the same issue from playing soccer.  She would get a massage at the beginning of soccer season and it took care of it.  Hmm.

Today I ran outside, paying close attention to my leg.  Shelton in November is far different from Shelton in July.  I put aside my dislike of getting rained on and headed out.  And, surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad.  Temps hovered in the mid-forties. The trees, formerly gloriously crowned with gold and red leaves, were now stripped bare.  The rain poured down sometimes.  The wind picked up, 20-30 mph gusts, and blew the wet stuff under the visor of my baseball cap.  Drops landed in my eyes.  My feet got wet.  Debris stuck to my legs.  But it was fun!  Maybe, just maybe, I can train outside after all.  I know all my long, early morning (read:  dark) treadmill runs did not help me for the marathon.  And I know this injury has changed my running gait.  I seem to be rolling my right foot a bit and curling my toes inside my shoe.  Hard to analyze too much when you’re in mid-stride, but that’s what I’ve noticed.

Just as a sidenote, is this what Jacob’s hip injury from wrestling the angel was like?  Or maybe Paul’s thorn in the flesh?  If so, arrgh!  I’ve tried meditating on ‘Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me ‘ (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT). And I feel like He has, in so many ways.  Learning to keep running even when it hurts a bit teaches me that pain passes and I can lean on His arms when my human weakness is showing.  A friend of mine pointed out to me that I had several interruptions to my marathon training – Hawaii trip, a funeral and sundry other things.  But I kept at it. Maybe that counts for something after all.

I truly love running long distances. I feel like it clears me out and helps me gain perspective.  I’m not willing to give that up yet.  I want to run for a long, long time.  I want to run long enough to embarrass my children, if that’ s possible.

I’ve got work to do.

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