Starting to run again after injury is a crazy mix of hope and fear. Tuesday I ran for six consecutive minutes to make a video for a gait analysis at physical therapy. My foot felt fine, but I spent the rest of the day wondering: did I just feel the plantar fasciitis? Was that arch pain? Is everything ok down there, foot? Thursday I ran at the gym. Three minutes of running and one minute of walking for a total of 1.09 miles. Again, the foot felt fine. Maybe a tiny twinge in the last 20 seconds, which leads to….
Is this going to be ok? Am I going to get back to this thing I love so much? Or, even now, do I feel….something….on the bottom of my heel? Or is my brain playing tricks on me? Probably I am fine. Maybe this is going to go on forever? Maybe I should register for a race? Probably too soon for that. Definitely too soon for that. But maybe I could run with my girlfriends soon? No, they will not want to run-walk and they will not want to run this slowly. And anyway, I want to stick to the treadmill in case something starts to hurt so I can stop right away. Because surely it will start to hurt at some point. Or maybe it won’t? I find myself drifting over to race registration websites. How many weeks until….??
Ah, welcome to the Hope-Fear Seesaw of Insanity. That special crazy-making zone where half the time you are sure this injury is basically over and done with and in no time at all you’ll be running again and half the time it seems like you will spend eternity waiting, waiting, waiting to get better for real. For me at least, the closer I get to returning to running, the greater the prospects for crazy because if this recovery is definitely taking 3-4 more weeks, I can reconcile myself to the bike, the pool, the rowing machine, etc. But if running is right around the corner, I want to know: How long? How far? How fast? And most importantly, will it hurt? Because I am really sick of hurting while running.
So far I have done a pretty good job staying off the Hope-Fear Seesaw of Insanity because A) I am keeping busy and B) I trust the Maestro and C) I have been down this recovery road before so I know it leads to running eventually. But I also suspect that while more running is going to lead to lots more smiling, it’s also going to dump me on that damn seesaw for a bit. So, here we go. I hope.