|My mood after the news|
Last week I got some not so good news about my foot. I handled it well in the doctor's office, but I could feel the dark clouds swarming toward me as the day progressed. After too much time spent in my head, I completely broke, and the rest of the day was a blur of tears and fatigue. People have offered advice, condolences and have tossed out a few, "bummer" comments. What else can they do? I get the feeling any runner would probably be thinking, "I'm glad it's not my foot!" My response was to isolate and remove myself from anything running related. I can't take reading about people bitching about how "slow" they are running at under 7-minute pace and complaining that they "only" ran 10 miles etc. Now, I'm sure this could be seen as selfish on my part. It's not a death sentence. Still, I feel like I've lost a part of myself, and yes, it is my issue. Fuck it though. I'm going to be immature about this for a little while. It SUCKS!
I don't feel like writing very coherently, but I also wanted to vent. It turns out that the joint above where I had the surgery is also out of alignment. The result is more instability along the 1st Metatarsal and into the big toe. This is why I keep straining the muscle that runs underneath my big toe. It's working too hard to try to stabilize my foot. The doc suggested that we try to do the best we can with tape and inserts. I guess my foot has always been a little bit weird, but in the end it just means more pain and not being able to fully use my foot the way I want. I can "run", if you want to call it that. I just can't run normally, and wow the rest of my body hurts because of it.
Am I happy I can get outside and move? That's like asking an artist if he's happy three of his fingers were cut off but he can still hold a paint brush and make stabbing gestures at the canvas. I'll go with sure. I'm thrilled. You just have to realize that throwing globs of paint in the general direction of a work in progress is not the same as actually painting.
I started a separate post, addressing a few ideas I left out of one of my other posts, but I think I will include it here.
One of the things I can't seem to stress enough when it comes to what makes a great athlete is addressing the person as a whole. So often in running forums and articles about runners, the focus is on mileage and hard running. However, it's impossible to apply what works for one to another. Instead of getting into debates about how much mileage is the best for runners, we need to start moving away from that kind of mentality and instead look at all aspects of a runner. Of course running well is a product of good training, but it's much deeper than that.
What am I getting at?
Here's what I mean. Racing to one's full potential requires some suffering. You can't get around the fact that running hard is going to hurt at times. The end result is that this kind of suffering affects a person not just physically but on many levels -- emotionally and some will even say spiritually as well. So, in order to "make" a good runner, one has to consider all aspects of the athlete, not just the training part. This is why most coaches fail. Well, that and they tend to be attached to outcome. One absolutely has to address how running hard affects a person emotionally. Obviously a runner who can handle more training will likely do better, but it's not just physically handling the work load that will get a runner to the top of his sport. It's important to look at everything from how to handle stress before a race to how to deal with injury and down time.
Years ago when I started doing some racing again (before the foot thing) I was emotionally exhausted. I can be a little overemotional at times. My coach told me that it was the first time he had to consider someone so affected by emotions. I could be physically ready to go but too emotionally drained to get my body to respond. Before you go thinking this is all bad, keep in mind that this side of me was also what got me to run well in high school and college. Anger is an energy, is it not? It's just that My ever changing mood might be a bit extreme. Before I continue Going nowhere slow (ly), I will add that a coach who can avoid attachments and look at the well-being of his athletes has what it takes to be a great coach. Trying to push an emotionally drained athlete is about as effective as making an athlete do intervals on overly exhausted legs. It doesn't work well.
Uggh. I'm in a mood lately. Sigh. Distracted.
Enjoy this while I attempt to get my shit together:
Oh! I almost forgot to add that the author of She Was Once a Runner has finished her book, and it is now available for purchase. *I can't actually buy it, because I don't have one of those reading devices, but I'd love to eventually read the finished product. Some of you may remember that I did an interview with her on my blog.
* Correction! I just bought it, because Smashwords actually has an HTML format for sale too.