Sunday, March 20, 2011

On (not) running

Well, it's 1ish on a Sunday afternoon and I am still in my pyjamas! Bliss! I will now subject you to an annoyingly non-bookish post. Sorry about that.

The pace of the past few weeks has been especially punishing, pushed over the edge of what is humanly possible by physiotherapy, as alluded to earlier. So what's the deal with me? Basically, I fell up the stairs (as I keep saying, "better than down!") at work in January, catching my kneecap on the metal edge of our staircase. I know knee injuries can be especially complicated and stubborn, but I am still kind of amazed that two and a half months later, my knee is still swollen. The pain has gone down a fair bit, mind you, so that's good.

The biggest stressor in all this (well, besides dashing off to physio, fighting with WSIB, and icing the 'cap every night) has been NOT RUNNING. At all. I have never, ever, taken the ability to run for granted; I have always been actively grateful for the fact that I am able to push my body to new limits. Not to belabour the point, but I did grow up with one parent frequently short of breath. I treasure the fact that I am healthy, and, overall, I still am. But the knee thing has scared me a fair bit, if I am honest (as in, awake in the middle of the night in a panic); not only does it remind me how fragile health can be, but it also reminds me how much I rely on running as an outlet for releasing stress and generally improving my mood. I don't have a lot of hobbies; it's pretty much reading and running. Without one, I am feeling a bit bereft (others might add depressed, lazy, especially needy and generally ill-tempered).

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though: on the advice of my slightly-blasé GP, I did attempt a short 4k run yesterday, to Library and Archives and back. I conscientiously walked all the hills, and anytime I felt a twinge of knee pain. It mostly felt like I had a bruise, and not like my kneecap was going to pop off (which is how it felt the only other time I attempted running since the fall).

I can't tell you how great it felt. Some of you are runners, and you know what I mean. I feel a bit like the last two and a half months were in a fog of endorphin withdrawal; I was slightly tired all the time, but in a weary-but-restless kind of way.

Here's to getting back on track, especially for a very special event in May. More news of a non-knee-related nature tomorrow; there have been other interesting developments to shake things up recently!


  1. All the best, Alex. You're an inspiration!

  2. oh I know exactly what you are talking about, Alex. When I go running, couple of times a week since I'm 16, I give thanks to my legs and lungs. It just has to be done.
    Hope you will be 100% soon. On an other note the half marathon is already sold out, boooo!!

  3. Thanks Christine! Miss you!!!