Sign-up for ten mile race…check!
Create b-tchin’ running playlist…check!
Buy ridiculously expensive running shoes…check!
Start training program…check!
Take precautionary measures to prevent injury…check!
After weeks of training, forget to take precautionary measures after one long run, and get injured…CHECK!
When I woke up Monday morning, I knew something was wrong. I’d completed my long run of the week on Sunday, six miles, and the rest of that day flew by in a flash. I was distracted from my normal post-run routine of stretching and rolling the eff out of my legs, hips, and lower back with the
dreaded foam roller. There was lunch to make for the little girls, and a party to get ready for, and books to read. I woke up Monday in a world of hurt with an old and familiar injury.
F-cking herniated disc.
Monday was a “rest day” in my training schedule so I promised myself I’d go straight home to stretch and roll after work and then I expected it to be fine. I’ve run for weeks and weeks without my herniated disc acting up one bit. I was sure I just needed to spend a little time working it all out with the roller and by Tuesday I’d feel like a million bucks.
Only I didn’t. I woke up yesterday and it was worse. Much worse. I started panicking a little. Do I go back for another epidural steroid shot? I really really hated the last one (you feel cheated when you have an epidural without getting a baby out of the deal). It felt so wrong. But on the other hand (as my chiropractor Grandpa rolls in his grave) I cannot be going to the chiro three times per week right now for the amazing treatments that do in fact help (eventually). Not to mention, I’m six weeks out from a ten mile race. A. Ten. Mile. Race. I don’t have the luxury of time to just take a break! But oooowwwwwiiieeee!!! It hurts!!!
So I emailed some friends…
WHAT DO I DO?!
ANOTHER STEROID SHOT?!
MAYBE I JUST CAN’T RUN? EVER???
When I’m whining, I don’t typically email my husband. There are a few reasons for this. A for one, the man works his arse off from the time he walks into his office to the time he comes home. Lately that’s been 7am and midnight, respectively. I’m pretty sure that if either of us has something valid to whine about…it’s him. B for two, he sometimes thinks I’m a baby. I think he thinks that I have no tolerance for pain and that I b-tch and moan about anything that is remotely close to hurting. C for three, he was skeptical of this ten mile anyway. D for four, we just made a $100 bet on Sunday that I would start lifting weights two days a week and he would start running two days a week…because we both do all of one and none of the other…we’re supposed to start running together next week. And finally, E for five, he’s just not the kind of guy to swoop in and make it all better.
One of the reasons my husband was attracted to me in the first place was that I wasn’t the kind of girl who needed a guy to swoop in and make things better. I had my sh-t together, owned my own home, had a great job, and was not interested in drama. I can hold my own and thus there are rarely times in which I need him to defend my honor or argue on my behalf. We just make really good partners. Both strong, both opinionated, both independent, both successful, and both able to take care of ourselves.
If I’m worked up over something, he lets me work through it. He doesn’t jump in and try to fix things (aside from my golf game…which makes me crazy). There have only been a couple of times in which he’s gotten worked up on my behalf and they were for things about which he felt very strongly.
I was reluctant to get him involved in the discussion about my injury rearing its ugly head. He doesn’t believe in chiropractors (again…Grandpa rolling in his grave) so I knew he wouldn’t be overly enthusiastic about a plan involving numerous trips to the chiro per week. I predicted he’d think it wasn’t that serious. But he’s been involved in my training, in that it takes scheduling and logistical figuring. If I have to run four miles on a Tuesday, what does that mean for getting the littlest little girl to karate or making dinner or walking the dog? So I knew I’d have to bring it up…I was scheduled to run four miles last night, two tonight, and four tomorrow…plus another 5k on Saturday.
I finally emailed him to tell him the problem. Herniated disc hurts like a mofo, think I have to take a couple of days off, so discouraged about it, not so excited for another epidural, and maybe…just maybe…running (at least long distances) can’t happen for me anymore. And then I waited for his response…which I expected to be something along the lines of “I think if you run through the pain you’ll be fine.”
Instead, do you know what my lovely husband did? He started asking questions. About the running, and diet, and the injury itself, and other forms of exercise that might be better for me, and about a plan. As you know, there’s not much I love more than a plan. As I answered his questions, and we started talking through the options, I realized that his responses were all about what “we” were going to do about this. WE are going to take a couple of days off, and WE are going to try to run the 5k on Saturday, and WE are going to see how that feels, and if WE find out that WE can’t run, WE will go a different direction.
I breathed a big sigh of relief and in that moment I realized that I had been feeling like a complete failure, like I was giving up, all because an old injury is flaring up. Something over which I don’t have complete control. All it took was my husband saying “okay…let’s figure this out…what do WE need to do” to make me feel so much better about it.
TODAY: What if I don’t need to be needy, or a damsel in distress, to really benefit from simple support from my husband? What if attacking this issue with the backing of my husband allows me to figure it out once and for all?
PS – I’m starting to actually consider the fact that I may not be able to run anymore and it totally bums me out.
PPS – That said…I think I’m going to try a spin class at my gym…have I ever told you about the horror that was my girlfriend Ess and my first spin class at the YMCA several years ago? It was the opposite of pretty. And that, my friends, is a gross understatement.