Saturday, April 12, 2014

Runner Down

Type. Delete. Type more. Delete. Tears, anger, frustration, my inner self yelling big yells and crying big fat ugly cries.

I have tried to write this entry for several days now, but realized that all the gibberish just bored myself and would no doubt, bore my reader (because I highly doubt I have reader"s"). As a former newspaper reporter, I feel obligated to give facts, but quite frankly, my emotions are driving this post tonight. So, the facts will be sketchy, the language may be colorful and my words may be all over the place, but I just have to get it out of my system.

It's been one month tomorrow since I laced up my running shoes, drove to Mingo Park, and pounded the pavement for 3.45 miles.
March 13: My attempt at a selfie before 3.45 miles-I don't do serious selfies.

 I remember it was a super rough run, only because I had decided back in February that life simply was in the way and wouldn't allow me to have time to devote for training for Cap City AND be a wife/mom/photographer/babysitter/volunteer. That was technically the first "blow," albeit mental. So, I scaled back my runs a bit, decreased my mileage and finally, enjoyed running again, just doing between 2-4 miles (maybe a five miler in there somewhere), here and there. My endurance on March 13 was iffy, and I remember being pissed at myself that I couldn't run a full two miles without stopping. Maybe not even a mile. I don't know. But my endurance was HORRIBLE. It felt good, though, to finish my last stretch running from Mingo to Performing Arts Dance Centre up the road, where my family waited while my oldest had dance class. We then ran errands, and my body ached from my mind giving it a mental kick in the ass, but it was a good ache.

What I wouldn't give, especially on a day like today, to lace up my shoes for ANY run, even if just a mile. To walk out of my front door, turn on my Pandora and MapMyRun and run some miles to decompress. But, I can't. I'm now in limbo with a hip injury, one that almost requires I wear a disclaimer on my shirt: "May or may not stumble with each step I take." Or "Warning: Raging Bitch." Or "Hide All Food: I Will Eat It All In My State of Depression." Seriously. And I'm hungry.

I have a labral tear in my right hip, and a cyst somewhere around there as well.

I can tell you the exact moment that I knew I was in trouble. The night I shot a wedding as a photographer, I came home, leaned over the bed as I was in a decent amount of pain and could barely walk, rotated my hips to stretch "it" out, whatever "it" was, popped something and fell over in pain. Not smart.

These death sticks did not last long. But, my arms are killer.

Doc has me starting physical therapy, in hopes of strengthening hip to prolong surgery. However, surgery may be inevitable. I have to play my cards right. I transition to fulltime photographer in June, losing a consistent income in babysitting fulltime (hey, know of any part-time flexible jobs for this awesome girl?), so to say I'm already overwhelmed/anxious/scared is an understatement. Now, add in the possibility that I may have pain indefinitely until I have surgery, but I have to plan surgery around my source of income ... overwhelm times ten million. He said there's a possibility I may return to running before the year is over and maybe, without having to have surgery. Yikes. I don't even know. I mean, the prospect of being able to run again makes my heart soar. But the prospect of doing any more damage makes me want to puke. And I've already felt quite nauseous over this whole thing, thankyouverymuch. Surgery, according to my doc, could take a month from which to recover, but Dr. Google says it could even take as long as 4-6 months. Yes, I know. Stay off Dr. Google. Regardless, surgery=suckage, but with a nice pot of running at the end of the rainbow.

My non-runner friends and family more than likely think I'm a whack job, getting so worked up and emotional about this. But, I remind them to think of it this way: When I worked a traditional fulltime job, photography was my outlet. Now that it's my job (albeit an AMAZING job and doesn't even feel like a job to me, no joke), I need my running to be my outlet. I need that sense of physical pride in myself, the motivation, the adrenaline rush and setting those personal physical goals. It's my "me" time, a time I can take for myself (because I don't have that commute to and from work anymore to decompress), to think about everything, nothing, successes, failures, food, etc. My girls saw their mom setting a goal for herself, practicing and working hard to accomplish that goal, and now, Mommy is sad, hid her running shoes, and shoved her running clothes as far underneath a pile of laundry that needs folded.

Hot Chocolate 5K, November 2013
While I cherish my "shop talk" with all of my 'tog friends, I geek out on "run talk" with my fellow runners. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I can't relate to my runner friends and their gear talk, mileage talk, race results, etc. I haven't been a part of the running club I (would like to think I) help start, and was so enthused to see it grow and thrive. I HATE being sidelined. My newsfeed fills with my awesome friends posting their awesome race photos, and while I'm fist-pumping their success, I'm cursing my stupid hip for keeping me from registering for awesome races this spring and summer. I had to hide notifications to a couple of running groups, am going through and unliking Facebook pages for upcoming races ... Yeah, it's like that. I'm a bitter brat having a temper tantrum. And, I'm sorry for that.

I know it's temporary, but it feels so permanent. I hate-HATE-to complain because I have some friends who are experiencing far worse, which is why I kept deleting my posts, but I just really have to get it off my chest. The above is how I feel mentally, and physically, it's up and down on an hourly basis. (Which, by the way, if this is a little tear, I can't imagine what a larger injury to the hip feels like.) I can't pivot on my leg, so I do this weird shuffle. Sitting on the floor to change Josie's diaper is a crapshoot-if I put my right leg out to position myself to change her diaper, I can't rotate my leg in and out or else it'll pop/crack and I'll feel intense pain. Every single time I stand up after sitting down, again, crapshoot: Will I be able to walk normal, or will my hip lock up, causing me to buckle? Will my hip hitch mid-stride and I walk normal for a few steps, then walk on the right ball of my foot? Everyone who sees me probably thinks I'm a nutjob/faker: One day, I'm fine, walking and following Josie as she happily explores outside, the next, I'm limping or bracing myself on a crutch. Parts of me just wants to freaking book the surgery already. But I wait. And I'm crossing my fingers that physical therapy really does help.

Anyway, if you made it this far, thank you for reading. Again, I know I'll be fine. I know I'm going to eventually be able to run again someday. I know many more people are struggling with worse. However, I have already found comfort in other blogs about injured runners; maybe I'll be able to look back on this one day and thank my lucky stars that God made me slow down enough to focus on what's important: My health, my children.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Megan! I'm so sorry! I can relate a little--not completely, of course--I was finally consistently working out when my left hip began hurting constantly. I haven't been able to work out since the end of January. Thankfully, my hip was just out of place, so with chiropractic care, I am feeling much better. I am trying to get back into a routine with working out, but it is hard to start again...I've gotten lazy in my time off, and gained weight...ugh. This getting old stuff is for the birds!! Hoping and praying your p.t. works and helps you get back out there again soon!