Sunday, January 23, 2011
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
I've not mentioned anything lately about running for the simple fact that two circumstances occurred simultaneously and sidelined me… for now.
Circumstance Number One, when I went for a Saturday morning run with the running group in mid-November, I got as far as 4 and a half miles, was feeling great with my breathing and rhythm, was no longer minding the cold temperature, when my knees both began to hurt. A lot. This wasn't a crankiness about the work I was putting them to, this was a downright mutiny. I tried walking a bit, thinking that after a brief break I could pick up again with the running- after all, it was going so well. But when I slowed for a walk they suddenly hurt even worse- in a weird, weak way. I actually stumbled and almost fell. Once I had walked for a bit the pain was gone so I resumed running and the pain returned almost instantly- and the knees had recruited my left hip to join them in their mutiny. I finished the distance, (for a total of 6 miles) somewhere between a limp and a run. Anyone watching my halting gait may have thought I was rehearsing for an upcoming audition for the role of Quasimodo.
Figuring that I needed some stretching and a couple of days rest, I did just that. The next time I laced up my shoes- which, by the way, were only a couple of weeks new- the same thing happened again. Only this time I barely got to a mile before breaking down.
Now there are two appropriate responses to pain which occurs while running. Response Number One is for those pains which are a result of getting this lazy body outside to do something it really would rather not do: Run Through The Pain. Keep going and eventually your body will know that you're the boss and shut up with the complaints.
Response Number Two: Listen To Your Body. This may be a genuine message that something is actually, really, truly wrong and you need to stop running. Now.
After another try or two I acquiesced and went with Response Number Two. Taking a break for a few weeks in order to heal up whatever is wrong with my knees wasn't going to kill me.
Here comes Circumstance Number Two. It is downright cold out there!
I know, I know; I started running last year in January, and it was piled high with snow for the first several months that I ran/walked my way up to my first 5K. Yet then I had momentum on my side. Right now I have a teeny-tiny nagging fear that the pain will return, and that teeny-tiny fear is enough to make me take that first thought of, "I should get out there" and smash it under a pile of excuses so thick I'll never hear it protesting.
"C'mon! Let's go! You can do this! You'll be so glad you did! For Pete's sake- go for a RUN!"
"Did you hear something?"
"No, not a thing. Now get away from that window and sit down with a nice cup of hot tea before you catch frostbite."
So it's now several months since I've been running on a regular basis, the jeans that were starting to fall off of me are now too tight again, and the scale laughs menacingly every time I step onto it. The question that now faces me is this; am I going to take this lying down, (or rather, sitting down with a cinnamon roll in one hand and a plate of lasagne in the other) or am I going to take up the challenge, listen to the right voices, lace up my shoes and hit the road?!
I think I'll hit the road! (The merits of listening to voices which only I can hear will be explored in a separate post later… when the voices tell me what to write.)