Triage on the Run

28 Jan

Once upon a time, I was a runner.  I liked to run 5Ks and 10Ks–never won my age group or anything, just liked running.  Then one day, I realized I was (gasp) 39!  The horror!  My life was tumbling toward middle age!  Ack!  As if the universe knew, a letter came addressed to me from Team in Training.  “Do you want to be in the best shape of your life?”  (Uh….yeah!) “Do you want to travel to exotic places?” (Duh?!)  ” Do you want to help little children survive a horrible disease?”  (Sniff, *wipe a tear*…yeah.)  I ran the Honolulu Marathon and raised over $2K for The Leukemia Society in 1999.  These are THE shoes that trained for and ran the marathon. 

Came home, loved the whole marathon thing, ran a local race up and over the Colorado National Monument (not quite a marathon, but harder!) in 2000.  The Rim Rock Run is now a marathon, I ran it when it was “only” a 37K run.

Then, trained for and ran the inagural Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Phoenix in 2004…and ended up with an injury from over-training and running on slanty roads.  ITBS–ilio-tibial band syndrome.  Basically a pain on the outside of the knee caused by a tendon rubbing.  But…loved that distance!  A marathon is kind of a long way, but half is awesome! 

Ever since, I’ve been struggling to get back to running.  With weather warming to the upper 40s today, I decided to abandon my treadmill walk and run outside.  About a half mile in, the triage began: 

What is that little pain in my little toe?  Is it a corn?  Can I keep running on it?  Yup.

Oh, the back of my knee feels tight.  What’s causing that?  Can I keep running?  Yup.

There’s that knee twinge–is the ITBS gonna start in again?  Crap….keep running.

And as Yul Brenner in The King and I would say, etcetera, etcetera.

Road running by yourself provides a lot of time to think.  I’m a worrier by nature, but I got to thinking–what if I could triage my worries?  Assess them and make a decision on whether or not I need to deal with it or just “keep on running.”  It’s making more sense to me all the time.  It’s supposed to be 50 tomorrow(!), so I’m planning to run outside again; more time to ponder “worry triage on the run.”  Then I’ll come in for breakfast, and that second cup of coffee.

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