Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Run While Injured

I've finally cracked the code. I don't know why I didn't discover this ages ago, but somehow I missed it. I've figured out how to run through severe injury pain, and the solution does not involve drugs or alcohol. Not that I would ever run under the influence anyway, but this new discovery promises to be the breakthrough all of us broken down runners have been seeking.

In an effort to launch Scott 3.0, I've started slowly running again. I'm limping and shuffling around a track for 30 minutes even though all the injuries of the past 8 months are an ever present source of nasty, persistent pain. My knee aches. My hip flexor flexes painfully. My achilles kills me. And my PF is blackmailing me with nasty letters made with clippings from articles in the latest Runner's World magazine. But I think I have beaten them all at their own game.

While running around the track today in the 95F heat, with the symphony of pain from my various ailments blaring their awful muzak in my sizzling brain, I fell down. Yes, I know I'm an idiot. Yes, that's sad that I fell on seemingly flat ground (I swear there was a root!). Yes, now shut up and listen because this is the important part!

I banged my knee pretty hard on the pavement, and it hurt like hell as I started running again. But lo and behold, none of my other ailments could penetrate my brain with their songs of pain. My bruised knee out-sang them all! And I ran semi-normally for the first time in as long as I can remember.

The solution, as you have surmised, is to mask pain with MORE pain. Works like a charm! So, if you see me out on the track in the next few weeks punching myself in the nuts as I run, you'll know why.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Scott 3.0

222 miles. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Seems like a lot if you are talking about running. Not so much if you are talking about running mileage over EIGHT MONTHS. Sadly, that's true for me. I've been totally busted or partially busted since last October. I've muddled from plantar fasciitis (finally gone! woo hoo!), to a Baker's Cyst, which I burst on long trail run (hurt!), to a strained hip flexor (no conjugal activies?! ARGH!!!). Of course, you aren't surprised. I'm the king of injuries after all.

What IS surprising is that I'm not as depressed about all of this as I would expect. Not that there isn't some depression, but my life is good, better than the vast majority in the world even, so I try to maintain some perspective. But not running is indeed quite a bummer.

So, I'm initiating Scott 3.0. I'm starting over from scratch. I'm rebuilding from my pathetic base just as soon as my latest hip flexor is flexoring properly again. But before that starts, let me tell you about Scott 1.0 and Scott 2.0.

Scott 1.0
Oh, how I miss Scott 1.0. That was the Scott who joined the cross country team in high school so he could goof off in the woods with his friends. The Scott who could run a sub-20 5K with only minimal puking at the end. The Scott who rarely trained hard, and never raced hard, preferring to run at the back of the pack and talk smack for the entire race. "You so slow, they time your 5K with a calendar!"

Scott 1.0 faded away in college, replaced with marathon sessions of studying and homework, and pizza eating. But he returned after college, again running 5Ks a bit over 20 minutes. But Scott 1.0 had no sense. He had never learned to train. He had never learned to run for fitness. Inevitably, he imploded, along with his knee. So he switched to rock climbing, snowboarding and mountain biking. Much more knee friendly in Scott 1.0's brain.

Scott 2.0
It took Scott 1.0 about a decade to totally destroy his knee, but by god, he managed it. Who knew landing big jumps on a snowboard were bad for an already battered knee? Not Scott 1.0. When the knee had finally had enough, and the work-life balance scale had crumpled under the weight of 70 hour work weeks, Scott 1.0 slid down the slope of obesity and bad health. 25 year old 128 pound Scott 1.0 landed on his 185 pound fat ass at 38. And then promptly fell into a hospital bed with a litany of stress, weight, and lifestyle related auto immune issues. Followed shortly thereafter by 2 more reconstructive knee surgeries (ACL, MCL, meniscus, kitchen sink, etc.)

From that pudgy, sick pile of Scott 1.0 arose Scott 2.0. Determined to turn things around, Scott 2.0 went on a long 3 year journey to reclaim his health. That tale of that journey is for another time, but it involves caffeine cave monsters, sour dough dragons, and the flaming sword of fiber. Truly an epic tale.

Scott 2.0, returning to health and happiness, decided to take up running once again. That tale has been written in the pages of this very blog. Stupidity, forever inscribed into the great halls of the interwebs.

Sadly, Scott 2.0 had little more sense than Scott 1.0 when it came to running. True, Scott 2.0 had a more seasoned and mature perspective on life in general, but running still seemed to involve Scott 1.0's smack talking lizard brain. 222 miles ago, that road ended in pain, and the end of Scott 2.0.

Scott 3.0
With the sad, slow, 222 mile death of Scott 2.0 now truly and utterly complete, I embark on the journey of Scott 3.0 - The Way of the Plan and The Plan of the Way. Stay tuned for the next chapter in the epic Saga of Scott.