If you actually read this drivel, and I know a couple of you have, you’ll remember me whining several times about my aches and pains. I guess everyone who trains for athletic events runs into some injuries from time to time, but it seems like I’ve run into more than my share. You can attribute my fragility (is that a word?) to being undertrained in the first place, doing more than I’m capable of doing, or any one of many otherÂ good reasons. But I really think a lot of it has to do with the way I’m built.
I have a lot to thank my parents and grandparents for, but athleticism isn’t one of those things. I can’t remember anyone on my Mother’s or Father’s sides of the family being athletic at all. Part of it was the era that many of them grew up in. Part of it was that women didn’t participate much in athletics for many reasons. But even if they weren’t involved in athletics, they would have passed on thoseÂ natural instincts.Â Those things that make good athletes great are usually size, body composition and great hand/eye coordination. I have size but not height where I need it,Â and my body compositionÂ puts thingsÂ in the wrong places.Â Plus, I have very little coordination of any kind (want to see me dance?).
I’ve always liked sports and have been active in many different things, but I’ve never really been what you would call “good” in any of them. I actually wrote a series of chapters in a book I call “I Am Not The Greatest”, a takeoff on Muhammad Ali’s claim “I Am The Greatest” throughout his boxing career. I chronicled my forays into many different sports from childhood on up through now. If I ever get over the fear of criticism, or I get arrogant enough to think that anyone would be interested, I may let a person other than me read it (it’s password protected).
Last fall it was plantar fasciitis. Recently it’s been my hip. When I run more than three or four miles, my left hip starts to hurt. I’ve laid the blame on old age and beingÂ overweight, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. After a crappy run on Wednesday, Jean and I rode the bikes on Thursday. It was a really nice day and the wind wasn’t blowing that hard (until we got out there), so we rode the time trial loop. From our condo it’s about 23 miles, so it wasn’t all that far for a third ride of the season.
I was fine on the way to Middleville, but as I got as far away from home as the ride would take me, my left hip started to hurt. It hasn’t done that on the bike…only when I run…until now. I got to squirming on the bike seat and just couldn’t get comfortable. I think I kinked my body to make it as comfortable as possible and that’s what strained my back (shades of Jean at the Hawaii Ironman). It’s muscular (back spasms) so it isn’t serious, but it’s reallyÂ sore. I can’t get comfortable sitting, standing or laying down.Â If that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve fought with PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) for several years and they aren’t a serious problem, but they do cause me to tire easily. That, and turning into the wind that the weather channel said would be 5 mph but was actually 10-15 mph, and it made for a long ride back.
I think I’ve figured out that my brain, my muscles, my bones and my joints are all working against me. I think they’re sitting around drinking coffee, decaf of course, trying to decide what to torment me with next. Since I don’t have any natural ability, but I go out and do all these things anyway, they try to figure out what will make me stop and sit in a rocking chair like I should. A few years back they ganged up and made me take a couple of dives off the bike. After the third, and most serious mishap, they figured out that I wasn’t going to quit until I croaked, and that wouldn’t be in their best interest, so they gave up.
This past couple of years they’ve decided that the only way it will work is to keep throwing things at me, one right after the other, until I can’t take it any more. My only saving grace is that I have someone on the inside of the group as a spy. As much as my brain wants me to stop, it realizes that if I do, and I do sit in a rocking chair the rest of my life sampling homebrew, I will gain way too much weight and things will get worse. So “Brain-Jack” goes along with the other parts until I’m almost ready to throw in the towel, then eases up, thinking that, by doing that,Â I will get out of my long distance training and into a more sane lifestyle. Maybe I will, but I’m still signed up for TheÂ Muncie Endurathon Half Ironman, so I can’t back off yet.
Once my body realizes that I’ll walk that race if I have to, it may ease up the injuries to let me get through the race with a modicum of dignity…or not.
Just (Laying onÂ A Tennis Ball To Loosen Up The Muscles) Jack