“It’s been 7 hours and 15 days, since you took your love away”, said Sinead O’Connor about some bloke. Well, it’s been 6 hours and 10 days since I last ran and I reckon O’Connor knows nuthin’ about misery.
Not running is rubbish.
I have, however, observed some interesting things about the condition. Those things are these:
- You need to go through a runners version of the “5 phases of grief”
Firstly, DENIAL. That doesn’t hurt! Bah! Just a little tickle, is that all you’ve got pain. Bring it! HA, think that’s going to stop me. OUCH! You limp to the shower and tell yourself you are just practicing funny walks.
Later that evening: DANG! I really am injured.
Next, ANGER. Me: Throws trainers at the wall. Me to running friend: You only did that run to wind me up. Me to foot: YOU STUPID FOOT, I give you Jimmy Choos. I paint you with Chanel. This is how you repay me! Rant, rant, and rant.
BARGAINING: OK foot…if I don’t run, for like one day, I’ll literally NOT RUN FOR A DAY all day long! And I’ll get you a massage. PLEEEASE stop hurting, please don’t be broken – please – for me? For me?
After that DEPRESSION: I’m never going to run again. It’s because I’m old. I’m washed up. To your running friends: I can’t be your friend anymore. You need to be with runners. Weeps.
And finally on to ACCEPTANCE: OK, we’re doing this. I’ll do spinning. My other muscles will become awesome and help the running ones. The rest will be… REJUVENATING. I’ve got this. Foot, you and me – we’ve got this. NOW HEAL or I’m chopping you off. No I won’t. I might. ARGHHHHHHH.
- Other runners become a bit of an issue (it’s temporary)
I think this can be best explained through the medium of the scene in An Officer and a Gentleman where Gere comes in the factory in his sexy piloty togs and lifts Paula off to her better life. Pilot wanting Lynette, who has stuffed up her dream big style (a bit like an injured marathon running in training) shoots Paula a death stare – then swallows it and shouts: WAY TO GO PAULAAAAAA…. WAAAAAY TO GO. She doesn’t mean it. She hates Paula.
This is a bit like what non-injured runners are (temporarily) to injured runners*. Looking at Strava is like stalking an ex who has a gorgeous new girlfriend. You don’t really want to look but you sort of have to. I go through what I’d like to call Kudos Discomfiture™ You see your beloved friends have been running. First thought. I’m not kudossing, they’re only doing it to wind me up. ARRRGHHHHH…. Your hand hovers, you press it. You feel proud. A bit of sick comes into your mouth. Then you cry (you still love them though, you’ll always love them).
*Its not real hate but an artificial and temporary emotion brought on by lack of endorphins
- You obsess over what caused your injury. DELUSIONAL CAUSE PROJECTION™
My injury is something to do with tendons. Here is what I think might have caused it:
- Too tight trainers
- Over zealous running man practice for discos
- Running too fast a few too many times
- Lunar cycles
- Ben making me carry him once
- Eating too much beetroot (real)
- Being 46
- Other runners
- American Cheese
The scary thing is I will never actually know.
- Every morning you wake up with DELUSIONAL POST SOMNOLENT OPTIMISM™
This is that morning where you test the water to see if last night was the night your injury went away. You take a few steps! It’s GONE! Yay! You skip down to breakfast only to realize, now you’ve fully woken up, its still there. The cycle begins again.
- You learn a new respect for running
I think this is probably the big one. I love running. I have always known an injury would be horrible. In training last year for my Columbus marathon, my running friends and me would talk about it in hushed tones, terrified to say it aloud, should it make it occur. I was never naïve about how hard it would be. I did get complacent however. I did run too fast too often. I did have ouchie shoes but carried on regardless. I am just a human runner. I’ll never make these mistakes again, humanity notwithstanding.
DEAR GODS OF RUNNING: Please forgive me. Get me off this bench. Because, in the words of Sinead:
NOTHING COMPARES… nothing compares… to yooooooouuuuuuuu.