If a person’s fitness can be roughly measured by how quickly that person returns to normal after doing something strenuous, then I suppose that I am becoming fitter as an injured person.
There. I said it. I’m injured. After two weeks, I accept this. I still have not gone to the ortho, for a few reasons that I won’t go into here. But they are rational ones. And I’ll go shortly should I stop making progress.
Glimpses that I am slowly lurching toward recovery include:
- The fact that I haven’t needed to take a painkiller since Saturday. Not even a Tylenol. The pain is sometimes a little annoying, but it doesn’t make me cry anymore.
- I am walking more or less like a normal person most of the time, albeit still with some limited mobility on the right side.
- Instead of plunging into a pain-filled oblivion after 5 minutes of walking, I can now go for about 20 before I have problems. Even then, they are not nearly as bad as they were.
- I can sleep on my right side again. God, was that ever (literally) a pain. Previously, I’d roll over and yelp myself awake.
- I am not sleeping like an exhausted person anymore. I was sleeping for 9-10 hours, plus sometimes needing an additional 1-2 hours of napping during the day. I think it was a combination of being exhausted from being in pain all the time, plus my body was working very hard to heal itself.
- When I do screw myself up with too much walking, I’m not screwed up for the rest of the day and evening. I’m pretty much back to normal in about an hour. My injury is now more like LensCrafters than the Manhattan DMV.
I spent 45 minutes today getting a tour of the White Plains YMCA. I looked into some local health clubs, but quite frankly was horrified by their reputations as snake pits of high-pressure/shady sales tactics, overcrowding and filth. The Y was a pleasant surprise. It’s huge, clean, very well-appointed and not crowded. Everyone there is relaxed, friendly and helpful. It’s slightly more expensive than someplace like NY Sports Club or Bally’s, but I can see actually wanting to go to this place. Better yet, I can see Jonathan there. He wouldn’t be caught dead in a clangy, techno-beated gym full of grunting thumbheads.
The bad news is that both the White Plains YMCA and YWCA have closed their pools for cleaning between now and Labor Day. I am hoping the Mt. Vernon Y is not also on a cleaning spree, although the White Plains staff said not to get my hopes up. I’m waiting for a reply to my inquiry.
So, in that regard, the bad timing continues. But at least I know there’s a good local resource for cross-training (I wanted to find access to an elliptical anyway). If worse comes to worse, I’ll see if I can get myself well enough to use a low-impact machine and plan to plunge into pool running (get it?) after Labor Day.
I don’t like thinking that I’ll still be a mess by then. I don’t think I will be, based on the last few days’ progress. But I have to consider it as a possibility and deal with it.
The virtual world remains a source of hope, generosity and envy for me. Patience and acceptance are the watchwords from those who have been or are now injured. A stranger, through another stranger, has FedExed me a doohickey that allows me to use my MP3 player in the pool. But those warm fuzzy feelings are sometimes eclipsed by the envy that rears its head when I see the mundane posts about runs that everyone throws up on Facebook, Twitter and in BlogLand: 8 miles with 3 at race pace, 16 mile long run, 30 minute tempo run, 4x800s, a solid 10K race. These are the runs I should be doing. Reading about other people running, and running well, is killing me with envy, despite how happy I am for them.
Meanwhile, in the real world, as I drove through Scarsdale and White Plains today, I found myself trundling along streets that I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours training hard and dilligently on for the past few years. That got me feeling very depressed indeed. It wasn’t just thinking of all those runs that ultimately led me nowhere in terms of improvement. It was also remembering how pleasurable so many of them were, and realizing how much I took running for granted. I won’t do that again.