Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pain in the Ankle

I’m injured! Already! Waaahhhhhhh!

About a week ago, my ankle started hurting. No biggie. I popped a couple of Advil. I iced it. But the pain didn’t go away. So I went to the pharmacy and spent $60 on shoe inserts, an ankle brace, and old-lady compression stockings. I came home and put them all on. But the pain still didn’t go away. On Sunday I ran 10 miles. By the end, I was limping. This seemed to be a bad sign. In my recent issue of Runner’s World, marathon superstar Kara Goucher had this to say: “We all have these little niggles here and there . . . Something that carries on for two, three, even four days, that’s okay. But for something that goes beyond that time frame, or that is causing you to run differently? That’s not a niggle, that’s an injury.” Oh sh*%, I thought. Injury. Not cool.

Yesterday I broke down and decided to make an appointment with a doctor. I wanted to see someone with a background in sports medicine, but finding a good specialist in New York is about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack, a haystack full of really awful needles. New York has millions of doctors and most of them suck. But, in this case, it turned out to be easier than I expected. Dr. Weiss just so happened to have an office right near me. And, oh!, he could get me in the very same day.

When I rolled up to the doctor’s office, I recognized it immediately as a place I had recently ridiculed for having this man in its window.

And, no, that’s not a poster. It’s a television showing a VIDEO of this guy talking about, apparently, spines. The television faces the street and it seems that the video plays all day and night. I took this photo at 9pm. No lie.

But aside from a very annoying hour-long wait, the experience was positive. The doctor (not the guy in the video) was normal and seemed competent. He asked me some questions, pushed on my ankle, and then he did an ultrasound. The verdict? Meh, maybe some sort of tendonitis. The prescription? Lay off the running. Well, I could have told me that.

Here are some other things I learned at the doctor’s office:

1. A marathon is too far to run. Running that far is “not good for you.”

2. I have bony ankles that are difficult to ultrasound.

3. If something hurts when you run and you want it to stop hurting, stop running.

So I guess there’s only one thing to do . . . run less. I’m going to take a few days off, and maybe invest in some new shoes. I don’t mind really. Running is exhausting. Even the cat gets tired.

In other news, fundraising is going nicely. I’m more than halfway to my goal of raising $3,300. To those of you who have contributed, a big, fat thank you! If you haven’t donated and want to, click here. Only $1,464 left to go!

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Training Begins

Actually training has already begun. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to follow Hal Higdon’s 18-week marathon plan. Because Hal isn’t trying to be hip. That gray-haired old man is just focused on getting you across the finish line. I bought Hal’s training app, so now occasionally as I run, I’ll hear Hal’s reedy voice say something like, “I run to see what’s out there in the world!” Usually this happens during some hardcore rap song. Tricks be gettin’ whooped, and then there’s nerdy Hal assuring me, “Don’t worry. Your endurance will improve.” Thanks, Hal. I needed that.

The indomitable Hal Higdon.

You know what sucks about training for a marathon? The running. I feel like I’m running all the time. And that wouldn’t be so terrible except it’s summer in New York. Which means it’s 90 plus degrees and humid pretty much every single day. The idea of running makes me want to vomit. Hot running is a completely different beast from cool running. Your shoes feel like they’re filled with cement. The sweat pools in your sports bra. Your fingers puff like marshmallows. Your brain swells. Seriously. My last long hot run turned me into a bobblehead. By the end, it was all I could do to hold my gargantuan noggin upright.

My strategy to beat the heat is to run early. But it’s a toss up whether it sucks more to get up at 6am on a Saturday or to run when it’s 90 degrees. And sometimes you get up early to find that it’s already stifling — the worst of both worlds. Lucky for me I have Hal to cheer me on. “Only 500 more yards to go. You’re doing great!” Thanks, Hal.

If only Hal could help me fundraise. You may remember that to gain entry into the New York City marathon, I’ve agreed to raise $3,300 for Camfed, an organization that helps girls in Africa pay for their education.

Please consider making a donation to help me, but mostly to help people like Katumi. Hearing her story makes me think I should stop whining and start running. Heat be damned! You hear that Hal? I’m done complaining . . . for now, at least.