Sickness and injuries are an athlete's worst nightmare. I've had my share of both. I started with shin splints as a beginning runner. This is something that plagued me through my entire basketball career. It took a few years to learn how to deal with that. Then I moved onto some serious hip/IT issues that took me out for the entire 2006 season. I remember when I finally gave in to seek treatment. I was up really early that day and running with the PR Racing team for the Relay For Life. I did my six miles on the track and then a bunch of us headed to Mechanic Falls to run the Pottle Hill 10K. After the race I was trying to get in my car and had to physically pick up my left leg to get it in the car. I learned from that episode not to wait so long before calling my PT! That hip/IT issue has become somewhat chronic but I am learning how to deal with it and can see, or better yet feel, the early warning signs.
Let's not forget the winter I fell on the ice and broke my arm. I remember asking the ER doctor if I could still run. He laughed and said if you can stand the pain, sure. I soon learned why he laughed and didn't run for 2 weeks. I'm sure I looked really awkward running with a cast that held my arm at a 90 deg angle. More recently, my spill over the handlebars at the 2009 Mooseman that left me with a broken finger. A broken finger seems minor but let me tell you, any broken bone hurts. Again, I got some crazy looks swimming in the pool with my cast. Talk about fitting the Nemo nickname! And trying to get my wetsuit back off over the cast took 3 people!
Sickness. Yes, I have trained and race through some tough times. I remember getting sick the week before the MidWinter Classic one year. I hadn't slept well for 3 nights and then decided I would race anyway. I actually had a great race, I'm not sure how, but then got even sicker for a week after. Hell, it's worth it right? Then a few years ago I caught what I would like to call the death plague. I had the flu so bad it landed me in the emergency room and I was put on bed rest for a week! About 10 days later I tried to go to spin class and almost passed out on my bike. Okay, so maybe that was a little too soon. 2 weeks after that I decided to race the New Bedford Half. I made it through and then went into a coughing frenzy at the finish line until I started dry heaving. Lovely sight.
And the whole reason for this post is that I got sick last Thursday. I woke up with a scratchy throat and was sneezing all day. Friday morning I woke up with the full blown cold. Sore throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and absolutely no energy. It continued all day Saturday and into Sunday. I missed an entire weekend of training! This morning I felt better. I thought I might just be able to hit the pool after work to test how I felt. BUT THEN, I fell down my outside stairs. I live on the second floor so I walk down a flight of stairs everyday. I walk out the door carrying my purse, my lunch bag, a bag of returnables to leave by the dumpster for the homeless man, and my coffee. I'm probably five steps from the end and I have no idea what happened. I think I caught the heel of my boot maybe, but start to fall, I try to catch myself, took a step, rolled my ankle, and then fell forward down the other four stairs onto the landing. Of course the first thing you do when you get up is look around to see if anyone saw this! Then I took inventory ... scraped shin, sore ankle, spilled coffee ... I think I'll survive. However, as the day as progressed my ankle has gotten worse. It is very very sore to walk on, in fact I cannot walk without a limp. It isn't too swollen (yet) but is starting to bruise. All I can think about is how long will this set me back? Not a great way to start the week.
So, sickness and injury ... I have no patience for either!