For those of you who missed it, or are just stopping by for the first time (welcome!), I went roller skating last Thursday and had a bad fall. My tailbone is definitely badly bruised, possibly even broken. I’ve made a conscious decision not to go to a doctor for x-rays to confirm one way or the other, because regardless of the diagnosis of “bruise” vs. “break,” there’s literally nothing they can do for me. A broken tailbone is like a broken toe. You just have to give it time to heal.
As a runner, you may think there’s lots of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth over here. To be sure, my first thought when I fell was, “Crap. Am I going to be able to run tomorrow?” But that concern quickly went by the wayside when I realized how much of an impact this was having on just my day-to-day life. Sitting at work all day hurts. Walking hurts. Standing up from sitting and sitting down from standing hurts. Sneezing hurts. Bending over or reaching for things hurts. So the concern over training has been completely pushed aside by concern over making it through each day without having to confess to everyone I interact with that I have a broken butt.
The pain level has been pretty consistent, and high, since Thursday. I did some quick internet research, and it looks like I’m in for at least four weeks of healing time, and as much as twelve weeks if I actually broke something. There is no shortcut. There is no quick-fix. All I can do is give my body time.
So last night, I made a decision: I’m going to honor my body and the fact that I’m injured and just rest for as long as I need to. No running. No yoga. No spinning. Just rest. I have accepted that this is where I’m at, and what my body needs, and I’m not freaking out (that much). Yes, I’m concerned about losing fitness. Yes, I’m concerned about weight gain. But what can I do? I don’t want to be in constant pain and afraid of moving any longer than I have to be. Which means resting, for as long as is necessary.
And if I’m going with 100% honesty here, I’m relieved. Not angry or sad that I can’t run; just relieved. This totally takes the pressure off. I was feeling incredibly burned out by the end of marathon training, and then to have such a disappointing end to what was supposed to be my first marathon after such a difficult training cycle really took it out of me. I was feeling a lot of pressure (from myself, not from my friends or family) to get right back at it, come up with a plan, pick a new marathon, and go, go, go, train, train, train! Now, I can just focus on healing. I can spend time with my family and friends. I can do the million projects around our apartment that I’ve been putting off because training has kept me so busy. I can focus on life instead of training.
I’m sure at some point in the next couple of weeks I’ll feel some anger, sadness, or frustration over missing out on weeks of training, but right now, I feel at peace.
As a runner, do you ever find you’re able to make peace with an injury, or do you tend to get angry and sad?