Thursday, September 11, 2008
I miss being high.
I think I might be depressed. No joke. This past week, throughout the day I found myself deeply sighing, frowning, and feeling sad. I don't have an appetite, I feel a bit lethargic, and my energy level is way down. I'm diagnosing myself with depression... and I'm depressed because I haven't been running in a week. The 'runner's high' that I am addicted to and am no longer getting is putting me into withdrawals. I think I need to check into rehab or go on a suicide watch or something.
So I am taking a little hiatus from running because three weeks ago, after my 20-mile long run, I felt a twinge of knee pain below my knee cap at the attachment point from my shin to the lower knee (I've taken anatomy but those 'origin' and 'insertion' points are LONG gone.) I iced it one or two times but, like an idiot, I did ANOTHER long run but after 15 miles, I called it quits because my knee was acting up and I didn't want to push it. So fast-forward to today and I am day 7 of not running and it's killing me. Driving to work tonight, I felt my stomach drop every time I saw a runner... jealous that THEY were out on a run, pain-free, and I was stuck in my car. It felt akin to the feeling after having ended a relationship... like I broke up with running... and seeing 'running' was bringing back all of our old memories together... remembering all the good times and not remembering the bad, like the nagging knee pain or last year's sciatic pain. In my mind, running can do no wrong and I am to blame for our relationship ending. I kept thinking of how I could have changed... how I could've kept us together: I was selfish and didn't stretch after my runs like I should have. I didn't buy new shoes when it was time because I thought I could squeeze one or two more runs out of my old pair. I neglected all the little signs and I pushed my knee further than I should have. I took my relationship with running for granted and the old adage couldn't be more true: "You don't know how good you have it till it's gone."
I'm being a little dramatic in my description of my knee pain. It actually feels more like my quad is tight and it's pulling my knee a weird way or something. I've been icing and stretching and I had a massage yesterday that was so helpful and so amazing. The massage therapist told me my entire right side is super tight (my sciatic pain originated on that side also) and that I need to be religious about stretching. I am vowing to myself, my knee, and my future limber muscles that I WILL stretch every day and I WILL make more time for cross-training. And I know that on the 20th of September, when I get to the starting line of my 10th Top of Utah marathon that I will feel revitalized, energized, and pain-free. It will be like me and running realized how much we missed each other and that we can't stand to be apart another day... like running 'make-up sex.'
I don't plan on a scorching finishing time this year because, frankly, I haven't done the speed work like I have in year's past. I know that I will finish and that I will enjoy being back out there, 'pounding the pavement' as lightly as possible, and enjoying the Utah fall weather. And the weeks following the marathon will be full of stretching, biking, swimming, more stretching.... and I think I'm going to start Pilates. I've heard it does wonders for the muscles. After all of that, I'll be long, lean, limber and pain free... I hope!