If you’ve ever hurt your Achilles, you know it’s a hard injury to overcome. The blood flow to that tendon isn’t near what it is in your calf. It’s an easily overused body part. And a healthy Achilles is critical for a good run.
I took about three weeks off, did all the exercises and massages recommended by the physical therapist, and resumed running.
I took a few more weeks off and continued the exercises, resting, icing and heating. I’ve been swimming and biking to stay in shape.
I’m at the tail end of this rest period, and I’ve abandoned my goal of the marathon. Even though people tell me I can still run it, that it’s not until the beginning of OCTOBER, I’m not going to try. Here’s why: I love running. I want to be running in one year, in 10, and even in 30. I’d rather be a good patient now to ensure I can run in the future.
SO much of this mindset comes from Jeff. He was devastated to break his leg, but instead of complaining, he has diligently done his physical therapy, building muscle and staying positive about the long term.
I tend more toward the melodramatic and the angry. As in: FUCK. WHY ME???? To which Jeff replies: Why not you?
Something has to happen to everyone; hell, something always happens to someone. An irritated Achilles, while enormous to me, is small potatoes in the grand scheme of the world.
So there you have it. Instead of running a marathon, I’m riding my mountain bike, schlepping the kids everywhere by bike, and swimming. I’m also counting calories and bemoaning the fact that I went from torching calories on my long runs to, well, not.
More than the fitness and the eating part, though, I’m trying not to miss my morning runs with girlfriends or the running high I was getting quite addicted to.
I’m hopeful I’ll be able to run the Portland HALF marathon this year instead of the marathon. But even if I can’t, I pledge not to complain about it.
Life is too short to let an injury get you down. Better to figure out the problem and try to heal and trust that something else equally wonderful will come in to fill the void that comes when you have to stop doing something for a while.