We all know what I’m talking about. It’s the sore Achilles after a hill workout that we pray is just from an hour of hard work. It’s the tight calf or the vague soreness around the knee. It’s the moment of panic after slipping on a patch of ice where we pause to take a full-systems check.
In my life pre-surgery, I suffered from very minimal injury paranoia. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve been incredibly lucky with injuries. 10 days before my first marathon, I twisted my ankle running trails (right, I asked for that one). While I had regular taper craziness, I didn’t worry too much about it. I did the elliptical, took some advil and moved on. Post-surgery, however, I find myself over analyzing every sore muscle. Because of the location of my incisions, some nerves were nicked during surgery, but that doesn’t stop me from a full panic every time I have some decreased sensation on my left side. And don’t get me started on my leg falling asleep (often after sitting on it) or a calf that feels “funny” during a run.
I suspect I’m not the only runner who suffers from injury paranoia. In some ways, it’s a self-protective measure. Most of us have probably attempted the “run through it” approach and taken ourselves out for longer than it would have taken us to just recover.
But where is the balance between being cautious and being crazy? Am I really going to run indoors all winter long to avoid a slip like the one I had yesterday? (As a sidenote, I saw a woman fall and crack a rib on the treadmill the day of my indoor 16, so I’m not convinced indoors is much safer.) Is running without some pain or twinge even a realistic expectation when I don’t have all day to dedicate to strength training, flexibility, massage and physical therapy?
I hear from a source who bet his paycheck on it that we are destined for some delightful temps at the end of the week. I expect to see you all out there in shorts, paranoia stricken or not.