Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our Fear of Injury

I was listening to Phedippidations yesterday (episode 136) and Steve mentioned that he was having a problem with an ankle. He said he probably shouldn't run Boston on it but that he was going to. For a non-runner, that is proof that runners are crazy. Maybe we are. But they have to understand why most of us would do the same.

When people start running, some of them will become runners. Some don't. They just run, but they don't identify with it. For some reason, some of us associate with running at a deep level and it becomes part of our identity. There lies the problem. When having to make a rational decision about running, we are often incapable to do so, specially if the right thing to do is not to run. Because runners run. That's what we do. We are afraid that if we stop running, we will become less of ourselves.

So we fear injury. We deny its existence as long as we can. We test its reality as soon as we feel it start to heal. Maybe it's gone magically during the night! Let's go for a short run and see!

I understand Steve. The goal becomes part of our identity and we will try to reach it if we can. If we can't, it will hurt and a small part of us will die with it. But there will be other crazy goals we can aim for which in time will allow us to heal.

1 comment:

Oscar Yeager said...

When running becomes too much of an obsession, I think it's better to do what your brain is telling you to do, and not listen to your reckless craziness side.

If Steve Runner thinks he really shouldn't run the Boston, If I were friends with him I would try to talk him out of it, even being a runner myself.

He obviously won't be happy with his finish time, unless somehow he PR'ed which is extremely unlikely.

Of course we all believe that just finishing a marathon is a victory of sorts, but I know he's one of those people like me who are very concerned with time and performance as well.

I've run races coming off of injuries and stuff, when I knew I wasn't going to perform well, yet the difference is there was less at risk than running with an injury that could end up putting you on crutches for 10 weeks.

Also, I disagreed with his method of training this year. I don't claim to be some sort of running guru, but I really don't believe in this so-called "base-training" crap.

I'm not even a coach or nothing, but I've found personally that it's better to run EVERY practice run as if it were a race, but maybe that is just me.

However, I do feel that my mainly being a treadmill runner gives me an edge in knowledge of what works and what doesn't, since you have all of those readouts in front of you and can micro-analyze every workout in an identical environment each day.

Running outdoors, there are too many variables such as the temperature, humidity, terrain, etc. that can cloud your judgement and self-analysis of your workouts.

Anyway, I just like to talk about running and stuff, and leave no stone unturned, no topic undiscussed when it comes to the subject.

Best wishes with your "Ridiculous Endeavors."