Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crying Uncle

A new look of the blog. I don't really care for the color blue much but I love the Columbine, Colorado's state flower, and I wanted it on my blog for awhile - and the blue, cheery background matched and made me smile. I have spent WAY too much time dinking around with this blog - but I think it was a way to help me think. Do y'all do that, waste a bunch of precious time while you're thinking and then suddenly, you have totally changed it's original origin? I doodle on paper sometimes when I'm deep in thought...and I notice my daughter makes her best art work when her head is flooded in thought; she is a great artist. My boys, I don't think they think. In fact, I'm sure they don't ;).

Sunday, I went for a little run with my neighbor, Jim. Jim ran his first marathon last fall in Denver....some of you were with me back then and may recall I paced him a few miles here and there throughout the course. He's gotten wickedly faster since his running debut a couple years ago - which reminds me that speed comes slowly, it is not an instantaneous thing you get just because you start doing a few Yasso's. Patience. It's not one of my strongest virtues. Nor many souls I know. But if you have it, the rewards can be plentiful.

Anyway...I wanted to run about 11-12 Sunday, my last long run before SF. Jim wanted to run 14 (he's running Denver Marathon again this fall) so when I got to mile 6 in the park near my house, one of my favorite places to run for the sheer beauty, I told him to go on ahead and I'd meet him back at the bike path, a couple miles away, and I'd just run slow and enjoy the scenery in his couple mile absence. So he went straight and I turned back ....and suddenly, my heel was on fire. When he met up with me, I ran another 3 miles with him, pretending everything was ok, when it wasn't. Finally, when I got to mile 10, I told him I was stopping, I wasn't feeling well, and for him to go on and I'd be ok. So he did and I forced myself up a giant hill home, limping. And thinking. Patience.
I had a little soul searching in this painful 2 mile home and decided it was time to stop being whiny and fearful like I have been, it was time for Jill to be proactive.

Some days the heel cooperates, other days it does not - especially on a long run. I can walk around the house all day barefoot or in flip flops and nothing, but put on a pair of running shoes and go 10 miles and wham, there it is. I have not gone to the doctor due to a barrage of insurance issues so I've just tried to train around it, letting IT control me and thus, I haven't been able to train like I want to/need to/love to/crave to, to run a successful marathon. I've been very inpatient, trying to will the pain away and get on with the running life I so love. But my running's been anything but a wild love affair these past few months, so it's time to shift this patience thing to a different direction and now focus it on that thing called healing.

I'm still going to San Francisco, and I'm still going to run. I'm not sure if I'm going to run the full or if I'll stop half way and call it quits .... but I do know that it's going to be my last run for awhile until I can get this heel problem fixed and healed once and for all.

I had a massage gift card given to me for my birthday I had not used yet (thanks, Julie :) ) so yesterday I went and got all the kinks smoothed out of my legs and as I was lying there, cringing at my overly tight ITB and hamstrings as he tortured the stiffness out, I started reading an email from my friend, Jim, after I had told him of my plans upon my SF return (is it sacrilegious to read email while getting a massage on your Blackberry??) and he told me: I could hear you favoring the heel that last mile as it was striking differently and figured the whole episode was doing a number on you. He went on to tell me that I needed to focus on getting healthy so I could train properly, reminded me how tired I was of not able to run to my potential due to the pain, how I can use this time to get back the strength and conditioning I've lost (and miss greatly) by weight training, swimming, cycling, etc., or whatever I am allowed to do, and focus on my nutrition again , something I have not done while whining about my heel (misery loves company)... and just get back in tune with the body I no longer recognize.

I won't lie, tears started to flow as I read his words....I'm certain Mr. Massage Man thought it was his magical hands - the guy probably went home and told his wife he was so good he made a woman cry on his table. Ha. Teach me to read my email while getting a massage. But Jim's words were true and as hard as this is going to be for me - I mean running has been a major part of my life for the past 35 years - it is the right thing to do. It's taken me 3 months of trying to do whatever was in my power to make it go away and I just can't. It is beyond my control now and I cry "Uncle". Insurance kicks back into Jill's life in early August - I'll be first in line at the doctor's office that day.

The truly sucky part is not that I may end up having to miss a fall marathon or the best training season for me (fall), ok yeah that is sucky, but I made a commitment to run the Colorado Outward Bound Relay Aug 20 - 21 and I'm pretty sure I am going to have to bail. My friend, Dennis, told me I should still run it and bag SF, as the team needs me. But the problem with that is now my healing is prolonged a month - if this thing takes months to heal, then I want to start the healing process now so I can come back and train when given the ok that much sooner. Ya see, I still have high hopes I can maybe at least train for a winter or spring marathon so I want the healing process to start the second I cross the SF finish line. I got an email from my friend, Matt who is a teammate on the relay, and I felt better about the relay after that. He was understanding but hopeful I'd still be able to run it. We'll see.

Yeah, I'm a little sad, but I will be fine. Part of me is nervous I won't have what it takes upon return. Maybe a part of me feels like the running world is going to leave me behind. But I feel a sense of relief actually. I'm going to get this thing fixed, no matter how long it takes. Things in the personal life are beginning to look up, too; I believe there is some deep link in our lives because when things are going well in one area, it tends to fuel the other.

Yesterday it was a record 100 degrees. Today it was overcast all day and the temps only reached 72, despite the local weather Gods stating last night it would be 95. A pleasant, welcomed surprise. This evening as I write, giant raindrops are falling outside my bedroom window, relatively unheard of in Denver. The rain makes me feel the magic that comes with surprises. It reminds me of being a kid, and the joy and possibility of never knowing what was going to happen next. I'm not sure why adults seem to think we always know; it's so stifling.

But I'm excited for the surprises that come with my healing patience; I'm excited to see how strong I truly can be!

And don't y'all think I'm leaving blog world....nope, you're just now going to get continuous posts about my rehab and all the killer ab work I'm doing - you're gonna be so jealous of my ripped abs by golly. And when I come back running....oh the posts you'll be reading!

BTW, if anyone's seen my iPod, can you tell me where it is? I'm thinking I'm going to need it to drown out the heel screams. It's blue, believe it or not. And it's been missing since Sunday.

Run strong, friends. I'll be thinking of you all and carrying you with me as I dig down deep in San Francisco this weekend! I leave you with this great poem by Robert Frost, which one of my awesome clients sent me today, when he knew of my struggle (thanks, Chris :) And sorry that blogger won't let me place it a line-by-line format. Err!!):

For every parcel I stoop down to seize, I lose some other off my arms and knees, And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns,Extremes too hard to comprehend at once. Yet nothing I should care to leave behind. With all I have to hold with hand and mind, And heart, if need be, I will do my best. To keep their building balanced at my breast. I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;Then sit down in the middle of them all.I had to drop the armful in the road, And try to stack them in a better load.


KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Nobody like to be sidelined with an injury. It's a huge positive that you are seeing a silver lining in this dark cloud. Any running injury i've ever had has made me appreciate running so much more. The "comeback" tastes sweeter everytime and the things you learn about yourself during these down times is priceless. From what you have written in the post, looks like to me that you are ready to heal for real. You will no doubt be stronger for it...just think about how many more races are in your future compared to the small amount of downtime you will have dealing with your heel....a small blip on the radar.

The San Fran marathon is by far one of my favorite marathons ever. It was my 2nd one ever in 1998. I found an awesome article last week in the Wall Street Journal, of all places, about the SF marathon. You'll love it! Here is the link:

I hope you find your ipod. Love the new blog look, and best of luck running the mary this weekend. Sending you good vibes!

Jennifer said...

Oh JIll! Your are such a strong, strong woman. Facing the facts and truths of our lives (and bodies) is the hardest part, but yet it is so freeing. Only then can we do what we need to get healthy. I know I am preaching to the choir here. You know what you have to do and I can see that with your resolve you will do it and be better and stronger for it in the end. Love you!

Suzy said...

I love your blog layout. Then again, blue is my second favorite color so of course I love your blog color.

I have no advice about SF. Take time off and get your heel rehabbed. Yes, time off sucks but it is worth it to be able to run pain free! Take care and listen to your body (esp your heel).

saundra said...

First- love the new design, the flowers are very nice. Second- YES, it is sacrilegious to have a crackberry anywhere near you when getting a massage :-)

Melissa said...

Love the new look. It's so fresh and pretty.
I'm jealous of the massage. I need one!! I would probably take the blackberry too as I am addicted. :)
Good luck with the heel. So sorry to hear about this!!

Anne said...

Beautiful the look!
I'm sorry to read about your "forced" time off of running. But, you are a strong woman and definitely have the right attitude about this. I've been tempted to try and run a bit through my injury, but having read this, I'm really going to take it easy and try and heal this properly. Thanks for sharing and hang in there.

Mark said...

Jill, I know exactly how you feel! Take care and you will be back! I'm hoping the heel, heals quickly!

Run Jess Run said...

Do what you gotta do, sister! I'm glad you're going to take some time off to get better!

Good luck this weekend in San Fran! If anything, you'll be running a marathon in an amazing city (& don't forget to go to Ghiradelli to get some recovery chocolate!!).

Anonymous said...

((hugs)) injuries suck. sending good vibes that you heal quickly :)

C2Iowa said...

I like the new look. Sounds like you now have a plan. :)

Prayers and good vibes are being sent your way! Godspeed in SF this weekend and please keep us posted. Peace.

Teamarcia said...

You know? The whole injury thing and needing to step away from running is part of the journey...a sucky part, but one that ultimately makes us stronger. I know how hard this is for you, and I love that you're approaching it with a great attitude. Take care of that heel once and for all and you'll be up and running in a blink!
Chicago will probably be broiling hot again anyway. It seems to do that when I'm running it. :0

Christi said...

First, it is againt the rules to read email during a massage but since it gave you clarity we will let it go this time.

Second, we are in the same boat. I am on board for recovery and foundation building. I have been thinking about it all week and I am ready to begin. I am going to focus on the basics just like you; mind, body and spirit. So here's to recovery and coming back stronger. I am sure we will kick butt just as we do with everything else!

Nancy said...

I love following your blog! I recently started running again ( I am about your age with 4 kids) and you always inspire me to keep it going! I have been reading a lot about barefoot running lately - maybe it would work for the bad heel? Just a thought... Hope you are back to 100% soon!!

funderson said...

Hang in there...SO frustrating!
I like the blue and that columbine picture is fantastic.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I haven't read your post yet but had to tell you, I love the new look!!!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

You've been running too long to allow your self to become seriously hurt when you know there is something wrong. When you run this weekend, listen to your body! Don't alter your form just to keep going and end up injuring yourself more! I know you already know this and I know the desire to still run. (I'd be doing it too!) But just use your years of experince to help you suceed at your race and then recover. I'd love to see you go the full marathon! But you have to go in with a plan for what you want for yourself and how you are going to safely get it! I'll be thinking of you! *hugs*

misszippy said...

So sorry Jill! I always joke with my friends that injuries to runners are like a grieving process. You have been in denial and now it's time to face reality--and reality sucks, I know! But you're being brave and facing the facts. Running is a journey and you want to enjoy the journey, so do what you have to do.

FWIW--I was out for 6 months w/ a partial tear to my PF two years ago, so I know how it feels. Feel free to shoot me an email if you want someone who can relate!

Unknown said...

I agree with miss zippy, this is a time of grieving of sorts but it's also a time to redirect your thinking, work on fitness and have some fun, a different kind of fun! Interestingly, this weekend when I hurt my calf, I got kind of strict with myself and my running does not define who I am...and I actually repeated it a few times until I remembered THAT and believed it. Our running is something we love to do but it isn't WHO we are... You are so much more and have the strength and drive to do all kinds of things. This will be pass more quickly than you realize and you'll come back STRONGER. BIG hugs, hope to see you on Sunday and just enjoy everything that race has to offer. It's gorgeous!!!!

Megan said...

I love the header picture.

It's tough to sit out and watch everyone else play. But you need to so you can continue running into your 80s. Maybe you'll find something else you enjoy doing while you are healing, like knitting or sitting still. :)

Anonymous said...

I just made a huge decision for myself today too. As I wrote on my FB today- the most difficult decisions are usually the right ones.

You are going to be fine...better even :)

Runners Fuel said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your injury. I hope it gets better soon. Take it easy!

Katie A. said...

I really like the new look! But I'm partial to blue ;)
Healing and taking time for yourself is just what the doctor will order and I KNOW you'll be back stronger!
Can't wait to see you!!! (((huggss)))

Petraruns said...

Girl! You know I am SO with you. The time has come to stop denying what you know and to crack on with it. I guess you're already booked to go to SFO and hey - go out there and have a ball why not? You're not bailing forever, you're not stepping out of the game really. Just tone it right down and fix it.

We can keep each other's virtual company in the next few months, swimming, cycling and working on our abs. Are we going to do that - working on our abs? Ok.

Big hug.

All Things Jaime said...

Oh no! I hope the massage did the trick .... and that you have a great race (pain free) in SF. Take care of yourself, it will pay off in the long run!

PS: I like the blue.

Heather said...

Sounds like you have the right attitude toward your injury. In the long run, doing what you need to to get healed now will mean more for your running in the future. Patience, right? :)

akjenniekt said...

I think your outlook is very positive and inspiring- I hope that you have a good race in San Fran!

The new picture is so pretty :)!!

Kerrie said...

Oh no, Jill. I know how you feel. :( Hugs.

ajh said...

I hope you are able to heal soon. Take the time you need, I think your friend, Jim, is right. But that is easy to write and not do do!

I have been to the chiro twice this week and I do feel an improvement with my heel. He has finally talked me into orthotics. This problem comes and goes and I am sick of the coming part. One thing he emphasizes is to wear supportive shoes always. I so don't do that but I am sick of hurting and am wearing my old sneaks right now. He has not told me to stop running so I am not. It usually hurts later not when I am running.

We are getting our second massive thunderstorm of the day. I can't imagine it not raining!!!

Take care of yourself. I can see why you would want to opt out of the relay and not delay the healing process. Do what is best for you!!!

Love your new header BTW!

ShutUpandRun said...

Love the blue.

The challenge of not being able to run makes you dig deep. Makes you analyze why the hell running is so important to you anyway. I think any time we can't do what we want to do it's a time to learn and expand. Not that's it's easy or fun. It just is.

Good luck in San Fran!!

Irene said...

I have no actual favorite color, as I like all colors for different reasons and go through color phases, but the blue a lovely change. I didn't know columbines came in blue. I have yellow and pinkish ones on my side yard. :)

Oh maaaaaan! The heel sounds painful! I hope you get that squared away when you're able to. Can you partake in water running?

Wishing you all the best in SF. Say hello to everyone there for me. I wish I were going to THAT party! LOL. Take care.

DRog said...

This totally sucks especially since it seems to flare after 9+ miles or so, I totally get that feeling of loss: not being able to run due to injury. When I went down this year on May 22nd I REALLY turned up my training hardcore in the pool and on the bike and in the weightroom. Weights and Core almost everyday...LOTS of swimming and biking. And I ate right...I was really zero'd in on eating. I lost weight...added muscle...and am way more fit because of it. I am now close to getting to run pain free. I HOPE you heal fast when you start your process. Do the other things you mentioned just do them over and over and do them hard and correct - rock that bod! you can do it...could be GREAT chance for shock the body with different stuff, I agree with your friend Jim suggestions.
Hang in there!

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
I am so glad that you used your giftcard and finally got a massage before San Fran:) I have to tell you that I agree with Meg. Running is something that we love and enjoy but it does not totally define us as a person. Run San Fran and enjoy it! Take the time to soak it all in....look for special things along the way that you normally wouldn't and have fun! You are so dedicated and I admire your strong work ethic and drive! Good luck to you...I know that you will do great! Take care of yourself and run smart! It is really too bad that I just missed you by a week:( We will meet sometime....for sure:)

The Boring Runner said...

I like the peach more than I liked the blue.

Good luck this weekend! Hopefully your heel holds out.

RunToTheFinish said...

aww bagging any run sucks and it really sucks when you feel like people are depending on you...but your long term health is really pretty darn important.

I'm a doodler too ...and my husband can blank out any time. :)

Mikey B said...

First, I love the new pic at the top of the blog. Very colorful and vibrant. Nice change up.

Second, and most importantly, do what you need to do to heal. We never seem to appreciate our feet/legs until injury strikes and we look outside longingly at the other kids running on the street. Take as long as you need, and don't worry about bagging upcoming races. Fellow runners and true friends will understand.

Get well soon, Girl.

Mikey B

Johann said...

The very difficult but right decision to make. Good luck and think long term. I had to miss running for 3 months in 1995 due to ITB issues. Yes, 1995…but I’ve never had a problem since then. Three months in all those years = nothing. You’ll be back stronger. Good luck with SF!

Marlene said...

It sounds like a wise friend you have. Sometimes we need someone else to lay it out fr us, even if we know deep down what we need to do. I feel for you, girl. :( Hope that heel HEALS up quick!!! {HUGS}

Molly said...

I think taking a break will do you a world of good, healing takes a while, but then you'll have a new, healthy start when you get back at it.

Good luck in San Fran....and Dude, next time turn off the crackberry during a massage!!

Robyn said...

I totally text while I get my waxes haha. Sorry about having to take a break, it sucks, but worth it if it means you'll get better.

LMC said...

I get the sense that you do not cut yourself any slack. So, I am sure that you are now really ready to take a break in order to heal. I hope that you do not doubt that we'll be here throughout the break and the healing. I think many of us read your blog, not just because we share a love for running, but also because you offer us ideas and lessons about life, a positive attitude through adversity, great stories and good writing. Blogging for me, is not just about running, it's also about sharing and bonding and connecting with kind and thoughtful people and I consider you one of those people. I only hope that we can give back just a little bit to help you through what we know will be a tough time. One thing I think I'll bet on, is that you'll be better on the other side! Stay positive and have fun this weekend at SF!!

AM! said...

YEAH! I am SOOOO glad you are going to put YOU and your heel/health a priority!!! Focus on xtraining (swimming, ST,) and know you are going to come back ready to rolll!!!!!

I'l email re: potential hook up on sAt!

AM! said...

also, love the new bloggy look;-)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

GREAT photo! Good luck this weekend. I hope you can find a CURE to your injury..

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear the heel is bothering you so much chicklet. August is only a week or so away, so get it checked out SOON. Best of luck with San Fran! but run safe :)... RC

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill: I am new to your blog but on your post 1) Love your blog header. It is beautiful. 2) Sorry about your injury. But it is good you realized that you need time to heal. I do wish you good luck iin SF! Can't wait to hear how it went.


ajh said...

Hey Jill,
Thanks for the nice comments! Have a fun marathon tomorrow and I hope it goes the way you want it too. You have my total sympathy with this heel crap! I have a feeling it may take awhile to get over it. Yesterday mine felt great BUT I didn't run. Today so so. The day of the 16 miler it hurt like crazy. Oh well, you can inspire me by taking care of yours! Can't wait to see your race report!!! Hope the weather is in your favor.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Trying to catch I write this you are in SF and I'm hoping your able to see the beauty all around. Jill - you are wise to take a break. If you let yourself heal, your running will be so much more enjoyable than your struggles of the past few months with the injury.

I LOVE the new pic, I'm a flower girl for sure.

Looking forward to reading about the ab workouts and I'm hoping I may join you for some of those. I can always use extra ab work.