I am tired of analyzing the ups-and-downs of my temperamental shin, so instead I am not going to talk about it all and instead reflect on the ups and downs of the last two months of injury. I'm sure most can relate to some of this stuff at some point in their lives...maybe not quite everything...
1. I can't run.
Duh. Running is, plain and simple, one of my greatest loves in life and she has been ruthlessly taken from me. *Sigh*. It has been a tough breakup, but I am confident we can re-kindle our relationship...when we are both ready.
2. The lack of endorphins must be replaced by hard drugs.
Running is slightly better for you than hard drugs, so I would list this as a con.
3. I am becoming soft.
I went from grinding out 100-mile weeks in icy -20C conditions to 130-mile weeks in heat and humidity...to being afraid of cold water...to buying a wetsuit to pool run...to stopping exercise altogether in favour of warm mugs of tea on my couch...yep. That's G.I. Jane for ya.
4. I miss my friends!!!
It sucks not seeing the Angels, my favourite group of girls. Though they have made up for this with GI Jane-centred martini nights, it doesn't replace the comraderie of trucking through long runs and workouts together on a daily basis.
Though I have found a cure for this (see #2), you can't be high all the time.
Yep, can't sleep. Luckily I've found a cure for this one too (see pros #7).
7. Pitiful appetite.
One of the WORST things about not running is not getting the same enjoyment out of food. I've come to the point where I never really crave anything (besides alcohol) and often forget to eat. What the hell? My former loves, peanut butter, bananas and whackloads of candy are now only a faint memory. It is so sad.
8. Muscle atrophy.
Since my appetite has diminished along with my exercise, my muscles are starting to waste away. For a while my injured leg was noticeably smaller than my non-injured leg. That was pretty weird. Now they are equally small and my pants are getting baggier. I want my runners legs back!
9. Chlorine intoxication.
For a while when I was in the pool 3hrs a day, I suffered from some severe chlorine-induced health complications. These included incessant sneezing (co-workers loved this), teary eyes, dry, scaly skin (the worst!), plus my hair was turning into straw regardless of the amount of conditioner I used. And of course the chlorine smell never goes away no matter how much you scrub. EVER. (It's really a turn-on to the opposite sex.)
Boredom all around people! Boredom while cross-training (Why does 10min of swimming feel like an hour of running? Brutal), boredom during the hours I waste when I'd normally be running, boredom because I am less focused when I don't run. Maybe I just get bored really easily.
1. I am still a healthy, able-bodied human being.
Somehow us runners equate not being able to run to being physically challenged. We can walk fine, exercise fine, and when we get to a certain point we are likely not hurting day-to-day. Yet we complain just as much as if we were strapped to a wheelchair in chronic pain. It doesn't really make any sense (...unless you are a runner). But when injured, it is important to remind ourselves that we should be happy that we are fundamentally healthy, able-bodied individuals and we are pretty lucky not to have any serious problems. So yeah, I am grateful for that!
Ok I realize I listed this under cons, but it can also be a pretty big pro. First of all, I can spend evening hours doing a lot more stuff, like getting extra work done, seeing friends, and of course dancing all night (in the process really helping the shin recover...yea).
3. Relief of pressure.
Even though I run because I love it, like most runners I put a lot of pressure on myself and want to perform my best. Now that I can't, a lot of pressure is relieved and I don't worry about everything that I do. It's nice to take a step back and really relax.
4. More time for work.
Yep, sadly this is a pro. I am trying to finish my degree after all, so it's nice not having to boot it all day so that I can get out and run before 6PM...plus with all my extra energy I am more productive at work...errr unless I'm hungover. On second thought, if you balance out the number of hard workouts in a week with the number of nights I currently spend going out, it probably balances out. Shoot. Scrap that pro.
5. My toe nails are growing back!
Ha! My feet are pretty far from normal, but they are becoming more normal, and have stopped hurting me all the time! That is, until I squeeze them into four-inch heels and go dancing. Then the whole blister issue tends to re-appear.
6. I don't have to worry about stomach problems.
I have a very sensitive stomach and a gluten intolerance, which is made one billion times worse by running. Now that I'm never really eating huge quantities and not jostling my stomach around on a run, I have found I can eat pretty much whatever I want without becoming very ill. I'll admit that drunk Jane doesn't really care about my gluten intolerance, so I've consumed my fair share of chips and nachos as of late. But with far less consequence than normal. It's pretty awesome.
7. I can replace water with vodka.
Need I say more?!
8. Spending less money on food.
Again, this is probably negated by the amount of money I spend on alcohol. Dammit.
9. I am spending time with non-runners and meeting more people.
This is probably a healthy thing. I can finally go out with other friends and understand how they can live the way they do. It's incredible how much more energy you have to do things when you don't spend twenty hours a week running.
10. Yea...meeting more people. Continuation of #9. Though one of them may be a runner, sometimes it takes a non-running scenario and two runners not currently running to realize that they may have more than running in common. Best part of this injury fo sheeze!