I mentioned just a few days ago that I would make fun of my running buddies and their nagging physical ailments while I can. Well, that window of time has officially closed since I am now on the team's disabled list. Excruciating pain erupted in my lower back and upper butt yesterday afternoon, which I believe is a residual issue from running in slippery and icy conditions last week.
I recall reading somewhere about the three stages that a person goes through after experiencing something traumatic. Well, I think I'm already through to the final stage now. Stage #1 is known as "denial", and there was certainly a lot of that going on yesterday. As I was walking around the Connecticut Children's Museum in West Hartford with the kids, I tried to convince myself that the pain in my back (which was making it impossible to go from a crouch to a standing position without half-screaming) would probably blow over. There was certainly no need to call off my tempo workout with Sattler scheduled for Tuesday morning...not yet, anyway.
Stage #2, the "depression" stage, lasted straight through to this morning. There was that sense that this will be a permanent injury that would end my running career, that sense of unfairness, the frustration of not being able to play actively with the kids, the stress of wondering if I would be ready for the Albany Marathon, etc. And, of course, there was that nagging realization of mortality...that I was subject to injury like every other runner out there.
So now I'm well-settled into Stage #3..."acceptance". I plowed through a half-dozen medical websites this morning and determined that this is not, in fact, a permanent and career-killing issue (the fact that pain does not radiate down into my legs is apparently a good sign). I learned that 90% of back problems disappear all on their own within a month. I also learned that bed rest is not recommended and that I should continue to do what I do around the house as much as I can. And I'm doing significantly better today than I was yesterday. So now it's starting to dawn on me that I will actually run again...it's just a question of when.
So I would say that since the Albany Marathon is only 33 days away it is now firmly in the "if-y" category. But since April is a few months away, Boston is still in the "definite" category, at least.
But I think the worst thing of all is that I no longer have standing to make fun of my "old training partners" anymore!