Monday, June 06, 2011

Master's runners and pain management

I've been babying this gimpy right foot for six months.  Plantar Fasciitis is a tough injury to overcome and I've been staying in the gym, supplementing elliptical trainers and cycling whenever possible.

I did all I could.  And the pain remains.

It's not always the same pain.  It radiates from the tendon in the lower foot to the ankle, to the top of the foot and back 'round to the bottom.  But it's a manageable pain and I'd suggest slowly morphing to a lower grade sensation than in weeks prior.

Here's the lesson in today's post:  For master competitors, we'd be retired for good if we curtailed running until that perfect, pain-free day came over the horizon.  Fact is, from this point going forward, it's going to hurt on most occasions.  Our creaky bodies have been dinged over the decades and recovery is slow, many times not at all.

I'm in Wisconsin, the weather is wonderful, and I'm out the door before 7 am each morning for my 90 minute loop.  I'm going to run through the bad foot and what ever else crosses my path.  This is what I do, what I want to do, and what I plan to continue to do.

So instead of healing and recovery, I'd suggest a keen focus on adaptation.  We can't skate around pain, but we can alter the stride, relax the pace, and carry our spine well supported over the hips.  I think more about my runs now, from a self-preservation paradigm.

Aging does put us into the challenged athlete category.  Our engines may sputter from time to time, but that doesn't mean we're out of fuel.  It's just a matter of using a gentle touch on the gas pedal.

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