Monday, September 16, 2013

An alphabet of woe

Who among is righteous enough to say: ‘I have not sinned?’ We are arrogant, brutal, careless, destructive, egocentric, false, greedy, heartless, insolent, and joyless. Our sins are an alphabet of woe.

For those of you who weren't really hungry this weekend, let me fill you in. This line is from the Reform Jewish Movement's Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) liturgy. On Yom Kippur Jews confess their sins collectively so not to embarrass those who actually are heartless or insolent. The traditional Hebrew prayer, Ashamnu, is also an alphabetical acrostic.

This year, as always, I was not righteous enough to say, I have not sinned. This year, it was clear that I had committed just a few of these alphabetical sins, most obviously arrogance, carelessness, and destructive behavior.

And that was very clear as I stood for long periods during the communal confessions of these sins.

While the actual pain isn't the point, the time to sit and think about your short comings is exactly the point. My ankle hurt a lot during these extended standing prayers. So when we were sitting there and doing our thing, I had the time to contemplate my arrogance and carelessness.

I believe that after dealing with this injury, or rather not dealing with it, I won't commit these sins again. And it is also part of the liturgy that to truly atone, one must not only be sorry, but not do it again.

Happy New Year Jews and here is to not being an arrogant asshat in 5774. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Doctor and Everyone's Second Opinion

Yesterday's post elicited a number of emails and comments from running friends.  Nearly everyone of them started with "boy I am sorry about the news" and finished with "you should find another doctor."

While I thank everyone for their support, I don't think my doctor is wrong. Nor do I think I honestly represented what she told me.

Now here is what she actually said.

"I have been thinking about you and your dedication to running...let me put it this way, you never would have been allowed in the army during WWII." She went on to say that the mechanics of my feet (which are flat as a board) are not conducive to distance running. Additionally all those fancy pictures say that the other issues listed after the cyst on yesterday's post are most likely not directly due to my acute ankle sprain but rather thanks to the over 4,000 miles I have run in the past three years.

In other words, I have been beating up my feet and it really isn't a fair fight. 

This is not news to me. Since I was a kid, running wasn't easy for me. I was slow and big. I was always one of the last to finish the mile in gym class and I was in the bottom third of the football players during sprints and other such torture. My ankles always hurt when playing football and when I would push myself to work out when I was in college. But ever since I got better at running back in 2010, these problems weren't really a problem.

I ran uninjured until I hit 45 miles per week. That was too much. In addition to the flat feet, I was born stubborn. When combined with my flat feet and running, it became a dangerous.  I kept running through pain which lead to this situation.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Explitives but not only explitives

A ganglion cyst in my sinus tarsi. Stress reaction in under my sinus tarsi. Mild Achilles peritonitis and enthesitis. Mild peroneal tenosynovial inflammation and reactive edema in the subjacent portions of the calcaneus. Old injuries and scarring of the mortise joint ligament stabilizers. Mild posterior tibial tenosynovial inflammation and pes planus.
You can see the inflammation

Well that is what I got.

What I don't have: A stress fracture or a tear in my tendons. While this isn't great it isn't horrible. The real issue at hand is fixing the ganglion cyst in my sinus tarsi.  There are a number of things to do to fix it and I will start doing those things in the coming week or so. I will document that as well.

The bad news is the doctor says I shouldn't be running. Like not just not now, but not ever. That clearly won't do. I am trying figure out what I am going to do to get rid of this ganglion cyst in my sinus tarsi and other inflamed things in my left foot (I can't believe I haven't made more "My Left Foot" jokes) as I wrap my head around potentially never running another marathon.

A longer, and perhaps a more profound, post on this issue tomorrow. For now I am going to watch Sports Center and sulk. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Running Myself Aground

My MRIs and XRays will be read tomorrow. I will hopefully find out what kind of damage has been done and what I will need to do to fix it.

I am getting nervous. Ok, I am just willing to admit that I am nervous. I have been nervous since not being able to run more than five miles without serious pain back in June.

And until this morning I was channeling this energy into less-than-healthy pursuits of eating lots of food and drinking lots of beer. And since I (less-than-) humbly bragged about my weight loss on this platform during my running days, I will humbly note that I am just about five pounds off my move-to-California weight. This is bad.

Recently I went to the doctor for a physical and received a very clean bill of health with cholesterol levels well above and below the right numbers, liver and kidneys found to be in good order, and everything else is working-as-intended. As he was leaving the room, the doctor said, "You are a healthy guy. (pause) You could do something about the weight, but otherwise you are very healthy." Yeah. Thanks Doc.

In the best case scenario, I will not be able to run for about six weeks. This means I need to figure out what the hell I am going to do to loss some of this nervous weight I have put back on due to my inability to run and feeling sorry for myself.

So in addition to using my trusty MyFitnessPal app again, I started swimming seriously last week complete with a training program for geared toward developing endurance. I love me a training program. It starts with a 50-100-150 pyramid warm-up, then the main workout is 400s broken out into odds and evens, with odds being a 100IM and 300 Free at a moderate to strong pace and evens being a 400 Free at a moderate pace.  I do a just-barely-not-drowning Breast stroke for the proscribed 200 cool down of "non-Free." Today I did three reps (odd, even, odd) of the main workout, total time in the water was about 50 minutes.

JCCSF: Where I swim with the yentas.

Swimming is fun and I am getting better at it as I continue to swim (shocking I know).  But it isn't running and I am not good. Also, even at my best, I look more like the old dudes doing aqua-floaty-aerobics than the Ironman bros doing mad laps in the fast lanes. Not that I care that much about how I look walking around the pool, but I actually care a lot about how I look walking around the pool. It is quite literally a slippery* slope regarding how I feel about how I look and what I can do about it at this point of my injury.

There will be no running for a while. So into the pool with the hopes of knocking out flip turns without having a gallon of water rush up my nose. Who knows, the doctor my proscribe me a floatation belt and I will get to know some of the older folks yacking it up in the deep end.

The update tomorrow may or may not be comprised solely of profanities. Fair warning.

*I made a "don't run on the deck" joke and it was very bad. Sorry about that.