The Stages of Injury or Why My Husband Deserves an Award

So I’m apparently really really ridiculously obsessed with running.  Last night, Dan said, “You know how you say your mom has an obsessive personality?  I think we found your trigger.”  Oops! 

I have been nursing an IT Band issue for the last few weeks, and I’m just getting back into running again.  I ran 2.5 miles last night, and I’m trying to be conservative to avoid irritating it all over again.  Now I just have a slight tightness on the outside of my knee when I go down stairs or sit for too long.  Not knowing that excessive sitting is a trigger for ITBS, I sat all day Saturday knitting on an all girl craft trip to the Outer Banks for the weekend.  That made it flare up a bit, but luckily not permanently.  Now I am standing up at the reference desk as much as possible.

My reaction to injury has been by the book according to The Competitive Runner’s Handbook.  It is very similar to the stages of grief, interestingly.  I was reading the stages out to Dan last night:

  1. Denial – Yeah, this would be when I did a really intense 3 mile tempo run and didn’t stop after 2 miles when my knee and hip started to hurt.
  2. Bargaining – “I will swim this week instead of running, do yoga and strength training, and then I’ll be able to run by the end of the week.”  When things didn’t work by my timetables, I moved on to the next stage…
  3. Rage – I read this one out loud and said to Dan, “Rage? I didn’t really go through that stage.”  Dan: “Oh yes you did.” Hehe, I must have a mental block from that stage.
  4. Depression – I think I’m on the tail end of this stage right now, hopefully.  I felt helpless that all my training would be for nothing if I don’t get better before my race on February 13.  Monday night and yesterday, I was very depressed about things.  The book notes that an athletes first injury, even if it isn’t that bad, is the worst.  Let’s hope so. 
  5. Acceptance – I hope I’m moving in the direction of this one.  We’ll see.  I’m hoping that the fact that I’m willing to consider walking some of the 14K means I’m not quite as mentally unstable as before.
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