Sunday, May 24, 2015

Learning patience

I have been in pain for quite a while. The pain started in earnest when I began to increase my running mileage during my 20 weeks of training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon; anything over four miles left me sore for several days. The pain starts in my lower back, extends through my left gluteus, down my left hip, and along the side of my left quadricep to my knee.

I have been seeing a massage therapist and chiropractor every other week since late February/early March hoping for a miracle cure but needing at least some relief from the pain. Now that my half marathon is over and I don't need to start training for my next half marathon until the end of June, I have gone back to walking every day instead of alternating walking and running on alternate days, and on Thursday I went to my first appointment with a physical therapist.

The therapy session was painful, to say the least: stretching and deep tissue massage of muscles that are nearly fused solid hurts a lot. I also have stretches to do twice a day at home; those are painful as well. In addition, the therapist told me to avoid running if it causes any pain, so that's pretty much confirmed my decision to focus on walking for a while instead of trying to keep up a regular running schedule.
Patience is not about how long you can wait, but how well you behave while you're waiting
Photo by BK, via Flickr
The problem is that I don't want to wait, or rather, that I'm scared not to run for fear my body will forget how to do it and I'll be put right back to the very beginning of my running journey. That fearful part of me wants to lace up my running shoes and go for a quick 3-mile run three times a week, as I'd planned to do several weeks ago when I was trying to plan for my post-half marathon routine. I'm trying to treat this whole situation as a great opportunity to cultivate greater love, compassion, and gratitude for my body and all of the amazing things it does, but that is easier said than done.

In the meantime, I do my stretches, as prescribed, twice a day, and breathe deeply as I do so. I enjoy my walks and the solitude of walking along in the cool morning air, and I know that doing that helps burn calories, maintain my healthy blood sugar levels, and keeps my anxiety under control. None of this is as planned but then life seldom is. Not every part of the journey to better health is something fun, so I keep my "why" front and center, for those times when gobbling down a dark chocolate peanut butter cup sounds like the best thing in the world, because it's not.

1 comment:

That Girl said...

If it's any comfort, I was sidelined for months when doing PT - slipped disc, sciatic issues, and problems with my SI joint all rolled into one. But physical therapy really helped me learn how and when to push my body when I did return. I was able to return to running and haven't had any issues since because of what I learned.