I woke with my alarm this morning. Five AM. One of my favorite times of the day. I love and live for the solitude that this time of day brings.

I have been waiting for this day for some time. With it came some fear. I could taste it like bile in the back of my throat. you know that feeling you get when you think you might throw up. I wondered if history would repeat itself. Regardless, I got my ass out of bed and accepted the challenge before me.

running

I also have a healthy level of denial about my age. I’ll be 54 on August 28th. I am thankful that I don’t feel my age and have to be reminded from time to time of my age. The reminder comes in the form of aches and pains from over doing it that I didn’t have at half my age. It’s a good reminder because it keeps from pushing farther than my body is capable and thus avoiding injury. As a result of the injury, I hadn’t run since April 6th. That’s a lie. I hadn’t run since July 15th of 2016. The original pain started the day before yet I pushed through it. Instead of stopping and taking a week off, I pushed through it and returned for more the next day. When I returned home after completing a 10-miler on the 15th, I sat on my porch feeling pretty happy there was no pain. Then I got up and heard a pop in my knee. The pop was followed by pain and a tremendously difficult time even bearing weight let alone walking.

It serves me right. I had been pushing myself through runs. the thought of getting up to run was even painful although this pain being emotional in nature was easier to deny. As time passed the pain also lessened. I thought I was healing and after repeated attempts to return to running even short distances, pain followed.

I sucked it up and scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. The diagnosis was a torn meniscus. I pushed for surgery because his original treatment plan was unacceptable. I was not going to stop running. I was not ready to stop running. Surgery followed as did my first attempt, foolishly at running within one month.

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One year has passed since I ran any distance with the exception of after my grandson or up a flight of stairs. I ran or rather walk/ran this morning. To my surprise, there was no pain. Even better, the love that I had and had lost had also returned. it feels good to be on the path to recovery.

Namaste

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I’m getting there or why I didn’t listen to the voice in my head.

I haven’t written my blog for a couple of months. There has been little desire and frankly, beyond writing in my journal the thought of writing seemed more like a chore.

 
I have no good reason for not writing more. It’s not that I was too busy there just hasn’t been anything in my head that I felt like writing about. This winter has been long and as of this writing (March 26) is getting on my nerves. I’ve written in the past about my love for winter and I do, love winter but seriously; I’m about done with this season. I woke this morning to snow…again. My heart sinks when I see it. I know it sounds like whining but quite a few people who I cross paths with agree, this winter can go away.
 
I haven’t run with any consistency since the Super bowl. I ran that Sunday when I had no business doing anything other than getting up, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and watching tv. But I did run. By mile three I wasn’t feeling it. I  thought about calling my wife for a ride but I succumbed to the voice in my head which kept uttering the word “whimp.” So I kept running. I stopped three or four more times still not feeling anything other than a strong desire to get home. I thought again about calling my wife for a ride and again the voice in my head put that idea to rest. By now there was a hitch in my stride that “felt better as I ran.” The next voice in my head kept calling me “idiot.” I knew it wasn’t good. I knew this pain would result in time off. I checked in with my body throughout the run but that voice too was overpowered by the voice in my head. I felt tense, tight and had even less rhythm than I normally have. Each stride felt forced; my body and mind arguing. My mind won.  
 
Here it is a little over two months later. A few visits to the chiropractor and massage therapist and a helluva lot of stretching and I’m finally able to run 3-miles without pain. There’s some mild discomfort which hangs around long enough to remind me to not rush back. Last year I was injured and unable to run when I arrived in Florida and the entire summer was missed. I won’t let that happen this year.
 
I ran 5K on Monday and felt really good. The run felt good, physically and emotionally. If it hadn’t been for the injury and my recovery plan, I would have gone further. It was that kind of run. I have done quite a bit of walking and have used this form of locomotion as an adjunct therapy
 
For now, I’ll keep listening to that voice in my head.

Grateful for the run

I have not been able to run consistently since the end of April. Those readers who engage in a behavior which has become a part of you will understand why this is important. It feels like a part of me is missing. Some say, “Well, it’s only running.” The runner will balk at this assessment and will ask you if you went a day without food. Running is my food, my nourishment for my soul. It is something which my body and my mind require to remain healthy and balanced.

 
I felt sorry for myself for the better part of 6-weeks. My wife woke one day and suggested, “I just go for a run.” Another couple of weeks of self-loathing and I decided I had had enough. There was not much I could do about the injury other than rest and speak with my doctor. I saw my chiropractor the previous weekend and we discussed the injury. He, unlike the assortment of other medical professionals have been willing to discuss alternative treatments. The runners in the bunch will also understand the importance of this idea. I was dismayed by his comment, “Well you know Chris, we’re all getting older. At best you might have another 5-10 years of running ahead of you. You can imagine my dismay. Reality is what it is but I find myself feeling frustrated by what I refer to as an easy way out. He completed his “adjustment” and I waited another five days before attempting a run.
 
Run #1: 1-mile. No pain at the beginning of the run. This is where the pain would begin and hopes of a run would end. The test always comes several hours later when I find pain increasing throughout the day. This day was different. Mild tightness and discomfort but nothing close to what I had become accustomed. 
 
Run #2:  2-miles. Again, no pain at the onset of the run. I waited to be tested. No pain throughout and again mild discomfort throughout the remainder of the day. Still this discomfort did not approach what I had become accustomed to experiencing.
 
I know the reality of aging. I also know i am not one to give up that easily. Most of us set goals every year regarding the races we’ll be running. My only running goal this year, other than returning to running is to run in Central Park when I return to the city for my 50th birthday at the end of August.
 
I made friends again with the elliptical. I also made friends with the underlying fear that I may never be able to run the distance I had previously enjoyed let alone run again. 
 
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to run on the treadmill and if it is true that I can no longer run, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to run.
 
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