Running: When Spring and Injuries Matter

I’ve got to admit it. I’ve enjoyed running the past two mornings more than just about any other time during the past year. All of a sudden it’s spring in NE Ohio: early morning temps near 50, mild breeze, clear sky and typically quiet, even with the birds chirping. And it’s exhilarating — physically and mentally — to be back on the concrete again after virtually hibernating all winter.

And after months of chasing the treadmill belt and grinding away on the elliptical trainer, I’ve accepted the fact that my long-distance running days are over. I’m OK to shuffle along for three or four miles — but beyond that: nah.

Anyway, it’s been almost exactly a year since I first experienced the severe pain in my left foot that just won’t go away — and no amount of doctor’s visits or physical therapy is going to get me back to where I was a year, or five or ten years ago. Hey, life’s running watch doesn’t stop for anyone: tick, tick, tick.

And it was interesting to read a story in the NYT yesterday by Gina Kolata, “Sports Injuries: When to Tough It Out.” And this is a gross generalization of an informative article, but essentially Kolata’s point is that barring an injury that clearly requires surgery, most of the time you are better off just using your own common sense than relying on a doctor’s visit and opinion that more often than not just forces you to quit doing what you really want to do.

So I’m going to quit fretting about my foot. Yeah, injuries matter. But in my case at least, I’ve made up my mind that it is not going to stop me from being outside, doing what I’ve enjoyed for better than 30 years, and taking advantage of a perfect spring day.

Hope you enjoy the weekend.

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