healing and recovery, injury, marathon, running, shoes

A running junkie’s withdrawals

I will be OK as long as I can consistently keep in my bloodstream a steady flow of that magical stuff with which running injects my psyche.

Alternate headlines — “how not running has made me a miserable bitch”, “Crazy, fat and pitiful”, or “I know I am a self-absorbed whiner, but allow me to continue” or, for Google-bility, “Running injury recovery.”

Happier days, last year at the DRC Half:Photo by Jose Vega
Happier days, last year at the DRC Half:Photo by Jose Vega

As many of my friends and readers of our city’s daily paper already understand, I have gone through drug withdrawals. Bad ones. If you want to know the whole gory story, my memoir-ette won a prize in 2011 and was published in a literary journal, and an excerpt ran in the Morning News last year.

But, as badass as it makes me sound, I am not here to brag about my drug addiction, jail time, rehab. The reason I bring it up is because withdrawal from running, though not nearly as intense, bears a striking resemblance to withdrawal from opiates.

As with drugs, I did not quit running because I wanted to. I quit because I was badly injured and had no choice.

Hitting bottom

In classic denial, through the end of springtime, I ran on a fasciitis-riddled plantar as my pace progressively slowed and my well-practiced gait deteriorated into an awkward unbalanced trot.

In desperation I paid a podiatrist some $300 to inject my feet with cortisone; the result was nil.

My intervention came in the form of firm lectures from my training partners Paul Agruso and Chris Stratton, strongly worded Facebook comments (this isn’t going away, was the overriding theme, peppered with some heartfelt sympathy) and, finally my coach’s refusal to further enable me.

After my planned spring marathon (Vancouver) came and went (I did not go), and after I — in a period of grief following my grandfather’s death — decided to walk 50 miles in one night, Coach informed me that he would not coach me for the October St. George marathon. It wasn’t going to happen, he said. He called it tough love, told me to stop running for six to eight weeks, let my foot heal … he didn’t come out and say this, exactly, but I felt that his point was this: If I train you in this condition, you are going to run that marathon very poorly and you will embarrass yourself and thus so you will embarrass me,  your coach. Continue reading

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gear, shoes

Testing the Spira Stinger 2

Run testing the Spira Stinger 2. Normally run minimalist. Thought these were gimmicky. But I find myself wanting to put these back on day after day. They do indeed seem to put a bit o’ spring in my step.
Run testing the Spira Stinger 2. Normally run minimalist. Thought these were gimmicky. But I find myself wanting to put these back on day after day. They do indeed seem to put a bit o’ spring in my step.

I ran them by the sports chiro before wearing. He said go ahead and give them a try. I normally wear the Brooks Green Silence. Will post longer-term findings eventually.

gear, racing, running, training

What to wear running

In Texas the summers are hard, but at least we know what to expect: hot — like 100 degrees at night hot. Sometimes there’s rain, but we are prepared for that. When it’s going to rain in Texas in the summer, we are giddy with anticipation days in advance. Winter is a different story. The December White Rock Marathon or the March Rock ‘n’ Roll Half could be 20 degrees or 80 degrees. Snow, rain, 40-mph winds or beating sun, or all three, might greet you  — there’s no telling.

Over the weekend I was rooting around for my tights and gloves, since my long run featured 30-degree temps and high winds, but today, my (hill run day) features 65-degree temps and (OF FU*&ING COURSE) high winds again.

The last thing I want to think about when I prepare for a run is what to wear and I certainly don’t want to wind up out there inappropriately dressed – especially overdressed. That’s the worst.

That’s why I am digging this nifty ‘what to wear’ tool on Runnersworld.com. I saw it back in the summer and thought, pffft. I know what to wear — same every day.

But now, with all the confusion of winter, I’m all: yeah, please dress me, computer.