I feel pretty miserable. It’s the weekend and while everyone else is out running, cycling, visiting friends and family, I’ve been locked up at home, desperately trying to treat a cough and congested nose.
It’s my own fault it got to this point. I could feel myself getting sick two weeks ago but still carried on at work as if nothing was wrong. I still stuck to my running program knowing I had some big races coming up. But the body doesn’t negotiate and finally brings you down.
The sore throat became a runny nose which turned into bronchitis. The body aches reminding me that I was unable to do the simplest task, never mind consider a jog. I landed up sitting on the bedroom floor on a Friday night with a nebulizer stuck to my face, exhausted.
I’ve learnt a couple of hard lessons during it all.
Work carries on with or without you. I should’ve stayed home and recovered properly. Some of my colleagues didn’t even realize that I wasn’t there.
I need to be aware of how much I’m saying yes to. I can’t do it all and eventually I did burn out.
Running must stop. This is the hardest lesson. I had already entered a couple of races which I couldn’t run. I was so disappointed. And when I do start up again, it’s going to feel like starting at square one.
I’m desperate to get better though. I’m sick of being sick. It’s frustrating and I’ve had enough. But I forced myself to rest.
And no, not work from home rest. Proper rest. Cups of tea, blanket, in front of telly, coloring in books kinda rest where I could slip in and out of naps as and when I liked.
It’s helped. I’m starting to feel like myself again.
Thinking back now, it was better that KK never had his ‘groin’ pain checked out properly before Comrades. If he had, he would have most probably pulled out of the race.
We finally know what the cause of the pain is. It’s not a torn leg muscle or groin injury. He went for an x-ray and as clear as daylight, he has a stress fracture of his pelvis.
Photo credit: Google image (not KK’s)
Out for 8 weeks. Out. No gym, no light training, no short easy runs. Out. Complete rest.
It’s been two weeks now and he’s already going mad! How do you tell someone like him, who runs or gyms every day of the week, to do nothing. To rest.
It’s funny how once you know what’s wrong, once you have a proper diagnosis of the problem , how easy it is to put a recovery plan in place to manage. Previously, random Google searches would bring up a million results but leave you feeling confused and frustrated.
KK knows what he needs to do now. He knows the journey ahead and that unless he rests, he won’t heal. It’s a runner’s worst nightmare! But he has no choice.
Boy am I miserable. After a check-up at the doc last week, I was instructed to rest and give my torn intercostal muscle time to heal. It’s meant no gym, no spinning and no running (not even at my slow pace which some might consider a stroll in the park).
I’m trying to be patient. I know that running the Old Eds 10km race two weeks ago was most probably not the wisest of moves and potentially made my condition worse. If only I had listened to my body, I might have started to heal much quicker.
To make things worse, everywhere I look, people are running. Scrolling through my Twitter timeline and running mates are gearing up for Soweto marathon. Others are kick-starting their half marathon training schedules into gear. KK is waiting to see whether or not City 2 City will go ahead. Me? Well I’ve been resting. Lying on the bed after work, glugging down glasses of glutamine and rubbing arnica oil on my side.
I’ve never been the most patient person. I confess that I wake up each and every morning hoping this irritating side stitch will go away. But it lingers…
In a way, it’s been a blessing in disguise. The ‘time off’ has allowed me to check in with my goals. I’ve realised what matters to me the most. I now know what I want to achieve with my running. I know what I want! In my head, I’ve decided on my new challenge. My new goal. My new training regime. But physically, not yet ready to launch… Come on body!
They warn you about Googling your symptoms, but when an aching pain on the side of my body did not want to go away, I became desperate. Having suffered from Ulcerative Colitis (wiki link if you’re keen to know what this is) since 1998 and lately Enteropathic Arthritis (another wiki link), I feared the worst! All the search results pointed to an enlarged spleen or some form of liver cancer. Eeeek!
So I headed off to my Gastroenterologist who immediately did a battery of tests, trying to figure out what this odd pain was. I know a couple of people on my Twitter timeline and Facebook pages suffering from severe illnesses and as I sat waiting for my test results, I wondered how I was ever going to face another complication from my bowel disease.
A pulled stomach muscle? Huh? When the test results came back, and my Doc did one last check, he concluded that yes, I am having another inflammation attack but it wasn’t anything serious. Somehow I’d managed to pull a muscle on my lower left side just under my ribs and that’s what was causing the pain. How the hell?
It’s every runner’s nightmare to be told to rest but that’s pretty much what I’ve been forced to do. The whole week, no gym, no running, not even a walk around the block. Unable to take any anti-inflammatories or pain killers, I’ve pretty much relied on a hot water bottle and panados to ease the pain. It’s still niggling and I’m wondering if I should take another week off? I’ll see…