Friday, May 21, 2010

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

Watching sports on TV probably takes up more of my time than it should. I justify spending several hours at the sports bar with 20 TVs on a Sunday in part that I am also spending time with my community of friends, who also spend too much time drinking beer watching sports. Besides, the golf courses are packed and way more expensive on Sundays. Granted, the day is on the horizon when golf carts come standard with a 13” flat screen that can easily be toggled between the GPS navigation to help every idiot who was watching football, instead of their ball, and the NFL package. I guess if you’re watching The Masters or The British Open, at least you’re multi-tasking. But golfers don’t generally break suffer horrific injuries like they do in football or soccer. Like this….

Now that you’re queasy, let me assure you I’m not hurt that bad. Pro football players have to be some of the toughest fuckers out there. Hell, even the kicker gets turned upside down occasionally. It’s not like boxing where you have months between beatings. These guys pummel the shit out of each other from August to January. Unless, of course, you’re the quarterback. What pussies.

Have you ever heard about an injury and thought, “Seriously, what a wuss. It can’t hurt that bad.”Or “He should just tough it out.” Isn’t that we tell our kids when they are bleeding from the eyes? Unfortunately for runners, our injuries are not glamorous. Tell someone you have a stress fracture and they may offer you a Prozac and an ice pack. Turf Toe? Why the fuck were you running barefoot? Shin Splints? Really, you’re making that up right? Bum Achilles heal? Yea, I can see how that may hurt.

I felt that way about groin injuries. These 300 pound men go down for 12 weeks with a groin pull. It can't be worse than blue balls, can it? Rub one out and call it a day. Wimps, I say! Maybe they should have backed off  the bedroom gymnastics. Leave the pommel horse alone and stick to a mattress.

About three years ago, I suffered a groin pull, and unfortunately, it did not occur while riding a bedroom pommel horse. For a couple years, when I pretty much hated everyone, I took a job delivering milk. For a while, it was great fun. Driving around in the middle of the night, nothing but me, my iPod and clear streets, only having to stop about 200 times a night to deposit some cow lactate to slumbering households. Most runners who are forced to occasionally run through snow and ice will sing the praises of Yak-Trax. Essentially, these contraptions are mini-slinky’s which strap to the bottom of your shoes which in turn are supposed to provide traction. They work pretty well, on ice. However, they don’t do so well on rubber mats. You see, our milk trucks are like UPS vans, minus the ugly brown paint. In addition to spilt milk, the floors of the trucks also collected the water from the melting ice which keeps our load cold. There is nothing like having a cold load, wouldn’t you say Beth? Therefore, we have mats on the floor of the truck.Rubber mats are great as a slip resistance surface, but not so great when your slinkys get stuck as one attempts to leap out of a truck. On a cold January night, as I was exiting my vehicle, arms full of breast nectar, one foot decided to stay in place while I attempted my best Shawn Johnson.

The sound it made resonated over the music that was blasting through my iPod. I probably didn’t actually hear the tendon rip, but it makes for a better story that I did. After that, my gait resembled that of a post-prom-night virgin for about 6 months. Again, I am humbled.

The bottom line is that I have suffered an aggravated groin pull (a recurring injury) and a left quad strain. My PT compared my left side flexibility to that of a sensible national health care plan: non-existent. I have run 3 times in 21 days and all hopes for 26.2 miles are gone. Now that I can finally walk without looking like a drunk who is trying real hard to keep it together, my new plan is to bicycle and elliptical at the gym for the next two weeks. While this meager attempt to regain some fitness will hopefully propel me to feel physically confidant to run the half marathon, it doesn’t replace shoe to pavement. Or will it?

Now that I have droned on for too long, I do have a couple quick things to say.

1. I’ve been slacking on posts. I know, and I’m sorry. Between the depression from the injury and finals at school, my motivation was all but sucked up into the constant ache in my left leg. But I’m back now….hide your children.
2. Heads up: While this blog will still contain a lot of running shit, I’m going to start injecting a fair amount of social commentary. You can tell me to shut the fuck up, but only if you’re nice about it.
3. I over-trained and I am now paying the price. More on that in the next couple days
4. Raise your hand if you are doing the Bolder Boulder. See you out there!
5. Why didn’t I sign up for Warrior Dash earlier? Procrastination blows.
6. It feels good to write again.