Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New York City Marathon Under Assault

Well, it is 9:15 am Tuesday morning as I start this, and New York is partially under water. I don't know how they are going to pull it off, but the only official reports I have seen are the marathon won't be affected. Of course, the damage hasn't even been surveyed yet, but the subways are flooded, no power in places, flights canceled... going to have to stay tuned.

Assuming it does go off, my legs are under assault as well. I visited my doctor yesterday. She's a marathoning PCP with bits of physical therapist and nutritionist sprinkled in (and she read my book!) She examined my legs by poking and probing and jamming fingers here and there and listening to my neurotic tale with interest.

In my fantasy visit, here are the results:

 "Oh, I think you will be fine. It was just a bit tightening. All you have to do is stretch, foam roll, loosen it up with some short runs but not fast. Rest up, stay calm. You're just being anxious. Once the first drop of sweat rolls down your face you will be good as new."

In reality it was something like this:

"There's not a major rip, but there is a tear in your quad. You were probably tight and then one push off caused some damage. It should take 3-4 weeks to heal. As for the marathon, it may loosen up during  the run, but I don't think it will last the whole 26. Best you can do for now is ice, no heat, no massage or foam rolling, take some anti-inflammatories, don't run at all until then."

I asked  about KT tape, and doctor said this has worked before, but that she had no idea how to tape a quad. 

Asked if I can cause permament damage?
"Your legs will tell you, walk if you need to."

And being courteous I ask "How's your running doc?"
"Oh, that's a whole other story, I may have another stress fracture and haven't run in 4 weeks."

So, that's where I'm at. I had been hoping that my fears were being exaggerated, that it wasn't as bad as I imagined and felt, but chances are my hope is being exaggerated, that my dreams of being able to run the full distance might be an illusion.  I'm big into finishing and crossing the finish line thourgh pain - I enjoy the pain in fact - but I also am a believer in a DNF standing for a "Did Nothing Foolish"

I'm okay with being Rocky Balboa and getting my face pummelled in, and then living to fight another day. But I'm not gonna be Appollo Creed and die in the ring.  (yep pretty much all my endurance analogies go back to Rocky)

Of course, with the weather, there's the chance for a DNS ~ "Did Not Start," but I am neither expecting or hoping for that.

So, I'm using all my favorite cognitive and spiritual reframing skills.  I am lucky to have run 13 marathons with only one injury that sidelined me for more than 10 days. I can learn from this injury. There's so much to still enjoy.

The universe gives us the exact challenges and barriers our spirit needs to grow in certain areas, and I suppose this one is to take my ego out of the way, to remind me that  I'm running for a cause and not just for me.

If the biggest problem I have this week is my leg hurts, I"m one lucky SOB and to fret too much is to dishonor those with real challenges who I am running for as well as  those faced with the devastation who already had enough challenges during the best of weather.   

When sunday afternoon hits and the event is over, I am still blessed with many gifts. And I have these gifts not due to myself but by chance really. In other words I was born on third base I didn't hit a triple.

And so it goes.




4 comments:

Vaudiophile said...

I hope your legs hold up and the race goes on without too many complications. If they get this race in, it could be one of the more memorable ones, given the circumstances. So if you find yourself in a marathon this weekend, enjoy it.

Mark Matthews said...

Thanks Brent!

Greg Strosaker said...

Man, sorry to read this, and obviously things are getting complex with the weather situation (I have a client running NYC too, and am concerned about her just getting there from GA). Best of luck, no doubt you'll play it smart and, by the way, I'm enjoying The Jade Rabbit, read a bunch on my flight back from Amsterdam Saturday.

Melissa said...

"The universe gives us the exact challenges and barriers our spirit needs to grow in certain areas." Wise words, Mark! I will say a prayer that your quad holds up for you. Fingers crossed that NYC will pull together as they have so many times before and deliver a great race!

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