Thursday, May 15, 2014

Carpentersville running
As of the beginning of May, I am now injured and not running.  The last day I ran was on May 4th.  The previous week I was beginning to hurt but I thought it was getting better when I went out for my last couple of runs.  I was wrong.  So instead of continuing to run injured, I stopped.

So how did I get hurt?  No idea.  What is the injury?  No idea. 

My right knee and calf area hurts.  The calf area feels tight, but knee has some pain at times too.  Some days I walk with a limp, other days you would never know I am not able to run.  When I was running, it was becoming extremely sore shortly after the run, so that is why I stopped. 

I do not want a hobby like running to affect the other aspects of my life (like playing with my son).  If what I am doing for "fun" is not allowing me to play catch or wrestle around with my kid, my priorities in life are wrong.


I have done a massage and have foam rolled the calf and ITB areas and it has not really improved.  I have good and bad days, but for now, I am not rushing anything.  I am at peace with the current situation.  No, I have not given up...I am just accepting what life has served me for now.  I am reevaluating my life and priorities right now.  There is nothing wrong with improving your life.

I always try to be better than what I was yesterday and I always have a lot to improve on.

So am I upset?  Nope.  Am I feeling sorry for myself?  Nope.  Do I regret anything I did in my training?  Nope.  I was only up to about 30 weekly miles after I had recovered from the Chicago Lakefront 50K.

Life is good.  I am alive.  I have a wife and son and we are all alive and for the most part healthy.  So why would I sit here and cry that I cannot run? 

Running is NOT my life. 
Running was just part of my life.  It was a hobby that was keeping me "healthy".  (Some articles recently would disagree with that, but who knows.)  If and when running is ready to come back, I will welcome it with open arms.  If ultra or marathon running is never part of my life was fun while it lasted.

If you would have told me 15 years ago I would complete numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, 2 full marathon races, a 40 mile run and cycle ride and run a 50K before I was 40 years old, I would have thought you were nuts.  For what I have been able to do and change in my life, I am grateful. 

So what will I do now?

I am focusing on what I can do, not on what I can't. 

  • I will cycle once this gets better to see if I can handle that without pain or soreness. 
  • I will weight lift like I never have before to build muscle.
  • I will spend more time with my family.
  • I will try to get more sleep on the weekends, like I have not been able to in the past.
  • I will focus on burning fat, building muscle.
  • Play more video games with my son.
  • Play catch with my son.
  • Maybe swim lessons?  Might be time to face the fears and weaknesses.
Having muscle later in life is so important in trying to stay healthy and strong for as long as possible.  So if I can't run, I will try to build muscle, even if I have never been able to before.

As an endurance athlete at times you will push the limits and sometimes burn out.  Other times, you are just dealt with bad luck or genes.  Once in a while, it takes an injury (or two, or three) to show you what you are missing out on in life.

As a runner with no natural talent, you will have more bad days than good.  How you prevail through the bad days is what will really show you what type of person you are.

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  1. Thanks for keeping it REAL, Fred ! Your son's note really struck a chord with me.

    Get better soon for running, but DO take that swimming class. You will never regret it.

    1. Thanks Raina! It was a great moment, when I read that note after school one day. Just seems like those little tokens in life mean more to me than a medal after a race. Now on to swimming...Oh wait, I have 100 other things I would rather do. :)

    2. I hope you decide to do it!! You and your son BOTH would get a lot out of it :)

    3. :) Thanks. We do plan on swimming and I will get lessons this fall.

  2. Fantastic article Fred. Way to listen to your body and focus on priorities!

  3. Thanks Brian, I really appreciate you reading and for adding a comment. Hope all is well!

  4. Good blog, Fred. Hope you heal up quickly. Looks like your priorities are pretty sane. What I've learned in my own 11 year journey us that many of us have had a time where we're kind of obsessed with running, and ended up pushing things a bit far in terms of training load and priorities. But that changes, and we learn we can still be dedicated, but it has its place on the priority list (after family and friends and health and for some, spirituality). We also realize there is an optimum training load that will keep you progressing and healthy at the same time. Keep blogging, Fred. Like your stuff. :)

  5. This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something