Something weird happened to me Saturday and I’m sort of
hoping wondering if this has ever happened to you.
First, the normal stuff: I went for an hour-long run around the lake near my house (pictured above) on Saturday. Nothing to write home about. I kept my pace in the 10s, I tackled the big hills twice and I ran into a neighbor on my way home with 5.75 miles to add to the week. No weird pains or tightness.
Now, the rest of the day: We had a meeting/party/dog club thing to go to on Saturday about an hour away from our house. I got back from my run a little later than planned and had to rush to get ready. I did not have time to stretch much, but did a few anyway.
In a rare moment of “I should dress nice,” I put on my favorite pair of red ballet flats. They have no arch support whatsoever, but are super cute with a silver buckle and everything.
The dog club party/meeting was longer than I thought it would be. And I was on my feet more than I thought I’d be.
It was a few hours into the meeting when I noticed it: a deep, bone-jarring, shooting pain in my right shin when I bent down to help my son dry off from the pool. Hmmm. What is that? Maybe just a random spasm? What did I do to myself.
But the pain kept zapping me as the day went on. By the time our hour-long ride home was over that night, the pain was shooting up into my knee, and down through my ankle into my arch.
And it continued to get worse the later it got. It was bad enough that I didn’t want to put any pressure on my leg, and I had to limp around. It was bad enough that I resorted to Ibuprofin and bed.
It was bad enough that I thought I was done running…for good. I did it again. Fractured myself. I pictured myself in a boot, but tried to shake that out of my mind because those things do not look fun.
I can’t run. My running “career” is over. I texted a couple friends because I thought it might make me feel better to say it “out loud.” But here’s the weird thing: I actually didn’t feel that bad about not being able to run.
The most overwhelming feeling I had when I thought I was injured was relief.
RELIEF? How is that even possible? I love running. And I’ve just gotten excited to run long again! Why relief?
Has this ever happened to you?
(PS: I’ll let you know what I think the pain was and why I think I felt relief at the thought of being injured in my next post. Mom duties beckon.)
I know what the pain is, because I get it too. For me, it’s like a creeping muscle cramp that just doesn’t release. If I am on my feet a lot in a given day (made much worse by the hard marble floors where I work) I will get that exact pain, and it is debilitating. I’ve never figured out exactly what it is, but I find that if I treat it like shin splints (ice, ibuprofen, and stretching the shin) it eases enough that I can finish the day. And then the next morning, I’m perfectly fine. Go figure. I think hydration (or lack thereof) plays heavily into it too.
Now as to the relief… yeah, I get that too. It’s hard for me to restart from a running break because I put these insane, half-conscious expectations on myself to be right back where I left off, or at least close enough where I can run more than two blocks without walking (which, for the record, always takes me at least three weeks of actual, committed running). Or long runs more than 5 miles without aching. So if something (injury, schedule, kid sick, whatever) gives me a legit excuse, I’m relieved. And then conflicted.
I have done the same sort of thing. You probably just need to do some yoga and stretching and it will go away. The relief about not running May have to do with the pressure you put on yourself about your runs or workouts. I know that is what goes on with me but only you will know if that’s a factor or not for you. I seem to get all annoyed with myself if I don’t perform up to my expectations, which I’m working on, it’s helps being pregnant because I can’t be hard on myself, baby is more important 🙂 I actually find I want to work out more now that I am pregnant…strange really. Well I hope that gives you some food for thought and you can figure out what your deal is because that’s what mine is 🙂
I went through this phase before. Last year my running motivation was gone, my stomach always gave me issues and my pace was slow and running was not fun anymore. I was glad to be “pregnant” and used this as an excuse not to run. LOVED it! A year later I’m back running again, but I still enjoy my rest days.