Injuries, babies, and running

Let's be honest here. I have very little expectation that many will read this blog. But these days it seems there is very little besides social media like FB, Instagram, and Twitter to chronicle a history of our lives. I wonder what we've lost when all we have are pictures on platforms that are mobile and perhaps impermanent. But then again what things about being a human have ever been permanent? It's all chaff in the wind.

Jesus that was deep. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. It's been a minute since I've written in this blog and in that time I've had a platelet rich injection into my left heel after overtraining had left me with a serious case of bursitis. It was I suppose a blessing in disguise that made me rethink my orientation toward training. I've never been the 100 mile a week kind of person and this injury only underlined the fact that I may never be. And now I don't want to be. I've come to realize that at least for me quality over quantity in training has to be the goal. I've also realized that slow improvement in my behaviors around training is far more likely to occur than a sudden perfection when it comes to training goals. What is more putting family first and mental health first has necessitated a holistic approach that is heavy on being as opportunistic as I can around my work/life schedule. If I'm going to train enough to complete a 50mi and 70mi this summer then some of my training must occur with a backpack on, on pavement, to and from work.

The problem is my body has rarely stood up to running on much pavement in situations where there is no time to warm up first. My injury to my heel occurred in precisely this context. My run commutes are 1-3 miles at most with stairs thrown in. So I've been working on not running too fast, not pushing any muscles or tendons that are not ready for load. I stop when something doesn't feel right. I've been willing to move away from minimalism to buy big plush marshmallows shoes that make me happier about running on rock hard concrete and through and around Seattle's perpetual construction zone.

Regarding the priority of family with training, I've pivoted toward taking some personal days off from work to run long runs when toddler is in daycare. I run during his naps as much as I can. And when my toddler is cranky and needs all day attention training becomes a slow hike or stroller excursion. I can think about isolating my ass muscles even on a walk to breakfast.

Regarding the achilles injury, constant attention is paid to that injury even now. I just completed a 50k with no pain or even tightness around my left heel and calf. Even so I roll my calves, IT bands, quads, and back and pay constant attention to staying symmetrical in my running as much as possible. A wonky right knee still causes me to favor my left leg and calf thus putting asymmetrical strain on that left heel which likely caused the bursitis in the first place. Training like life require constant adjustment and attention to the minutia.

Surprisingly injuries and babies have not led to a reduction in running in the last year and a half. While some take years off I'm grateful to have a partner in Kristi that supports my need to address my mental health and my primary mood stabilizer these days is running. I'm a better father, husband, and person when I run. As an added bonus I get to buy more shoes. The more I run, the more I wear shoes out thus fulfilling my needs in regards to my gear addiction.

Have fun y'all, get out and run, and hit the asphalt even if it's spitting mist out there in the June gloom. And get yourself a pair of those now ubiquitous GOODR sunglasses for that annoying cloud glare.

Comments

  1. I well remember what a juggling act it was to try and get exercise...running or even a quick ride on my stationary bike, when my kids were little. Bless your darlin’ wife for supporting you. I often had to resort to early morning or late nights. Looks like you are a good team and are balancing it pretty well. The time goes too quickly. Enjoy your little munchkin to the max. Hope you heal quickly.

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    Replies
    1. balance you say? not sure i've found it. but i keep trying.

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