Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The frustration of inactivity...

After spending the last year and a half running on average 4x a week, I feel that I'd gotten myself into pretty good shape. A sub 1:30 half-marathon showed me I was in a lot better shape than I thought. My newfound speediness notwithstanding, I've always found exercising as a means of meditation. Not so much in your classic zen/yoga mat style but instead my running has always given me the opportunity to put on my shoes, hit the road and empty my brain of all the excess thoughts that come living in today's internet age. People are always amazed when I mention I don't wear the requisite iPod (though it's a necessity when I bike) when I run. Even running for 2 hours I don't find the need for any more external stimuli that what Mother Nature brings to the table.

When life conspires to keep me from running, I find myself getting progressively grumpier until I'm finally able to go out, run and get it all out. Unfortunately life has been unkind the past five weeks physically. I first picked up what can only be described as some industrial strength crud right at the end of last semester. This laid me out for about two weeks and the coughing got so bad that I even threw out some muscles in my back. If this wasn't enough, I then was running up in Forest Park and was running down a flat trail and had my knee just give out. Unfortunately I had about a half hour of sunlight and 4 miles back to the car. As a result, I had to keep running on the knee and by the end I was struggling quite a bit. After a week or two of having it give out at random times and struggling with some basic functions, I elected to go to the doctor. Despite a number of injuries over the years, this was the first time I'd actually had my knees x-rayed and MRI'd. The good news was they were "pristine" structurally. The bad news is that I picked up a cartlidge tear in a spot in the near where it's very difficult to fix. The initial diagnosis is physical therapy though the first available appointment is over a month from now (and how is this any different than the socialized health care some Americans like to savage?). The best surgical option is microfracture surgery and with images of Greg Oden dancing in my head, I elected to pass. It's a weird injury though; supposedly I can try to run on it but it's not supposed to heal on its own. I'll have to test it out and hope that I get my meditation back.

In the meantime, I've been doing my best to find other ways to find my zen. Going for walks is ok from the physical perspective but I get bored quickly and find myself wishing I did have my iPod. I haven't quite gone to meditation yet though I do find the bus ride to class strangly soothing. Hopefully my body elects to let me back on the road soon. 33 is way too young of an age to have to think up a second act.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am very impressed. A sub-1:30 marathon??!! You need to get that knee healed quickly so we can get you on a plane to China for the Olympics.

I hope the knee heals quickly.