The I’m Not Running Blues

The culprit in repose, overlooking West 92 Street

Last year I broke my hand in the midst of a 50K trail run. It forced me to show some respect for the extremity I had always relied on, without giving it much thought. This week I did something painful to a tendon in my right foot. I can’t run. I can barely walk.

X-rays show no fracture, which is the good news. Chiropractor Mark Bochner, an expert in running injuries and a triathlete  himself, is doing good work on it, which is more good news.

The bad news? I have not run in 3 days; the first time in years. I think I won’t run for several  more. Rest is the word. Aches in my calf and back are suddenly manifesting themselves. Who ever said running is not dangerous (me?!) didn’t know what he was talking about. I feel restless and need to stay concentrated on work and the people in my life in order to avoid the I’m Not Running Blues. (In fact, maybe I’ll write a song with that title.)

Anyway, my new Dutch column is about the troubled mind of the injured. Here’s one paragraph translated:

I am suddenly a slow walker in New York, where people keep a pleasantly tight pace. Descending the subway stairs I am like the old guy or the young mom with the toddler: slow, cautious, and a little annoying to the hurried masses. Runners fly by me in the park and on the sidewalks. I watch them, sad and envious. A perfect day to run, and here I am, struggling. But I know self-pity is the least attractive of all traits. Like my Dad says: chin up! Like my Mom says: be kind to yourself.

I’m learning once again to show some respect to an extremity I have not always treated so well, while expecting the world from it. And while the weather has turned positively, un-July-like gorgeous in New York, while my speedy friends Chris and Mike can’t run either, I say: happy running.

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4 thoughts on “The I’m Not Running Blues

  1. arrrghh, so sorry to hear, especially since you had such a hot streak lately. i totally feel your pain, having been bitten by the injury bug several times in the last few years (and I know it’s tougher when marathon madness is going on!) you’re smart by not training through it (i never understood that-why make an injury last longer than it has to?) and you’re in good hands (bochner helped me big time when I had an injury a few years back!) hope to see you up and running soon!

  2. It sucks. I can’t find a more elegant way to say it. The weather might cooperate this week with extreme heat alerts that may force runners indoors. Next week: well, you’ll see how it goes. Bon courage, my friend.

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