“There will be a day when I can no longer run”…

Today was kind of that day! Every runner has gone through difficult times, and we all know how it feels to be injured while just wanting to head out for a run especially on those excessively stressful days at work.

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Having an injury and being off the roads for months is just not something new for me, but being singed up for a half marathon 3,800 miles away from home and getting injured a month before is more mentally devastating than just not being able to sign up. The story goes back on the first week of october, and the second month of preparation for my first Marathon on February 2014. Averaging 60-63 miles a month I felt more prepared than ever to run the second half marathon away from home…..until my back started to hurt. As a the average runner I shut down my pain and kept going until I realized the pain was so bad I couldn’t run, walk or even sit properly.

So I went back to the doctor that had seen me years back about the same pain, just to be told that my vertebral compression signs seemed to have worsen and now I was showing symptoms of Sciatica Nerve Compression. First Rule: NO RUNNING!

Yeah….you can cry with me.

So I started a multiple doctor search to investigate what was really going on since my xrays were kind of old. After several exams and even an ultrasound scan on my hip (which I didn’t know was possible specially after hearing the nurse say – where is THAT located?- the exam didn’t specify the hip) I headed back to the doctor, just to be told that my vertebral compression was no longer there….

WOHOOOO…….you can jump with me.

Oh NO….wait…..”there’s nothing wrong about your column, but there is something going on with your hips” And yeah if we take a close look at the xray just imagine it was taken with one foot on a side walk and the other on the street. That’s the way it looks. I was then sent to the absolutely horrifying, claustrophobic, dramatic, and scandalous MRI, at 12 am, I received my birthday inside that mentally disturbing machine…just because, I wanted to hear I was so perfectly FINE that I could run the half marathon in 8 days.

To bad the doctor couldn’t check my result before leaving my country and thus I arrived to the US Half Marathon with the one and only rule going on….NO RUNNING, at least until I’m diagnosed.

So now what…..should I run? walk? neither?

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Once we arrived at to the pick up and the Expo it was just not possible to desist. SM wasn’t even registered because on the last Half Marathon he swore to himself he will never again run anything longer than a 10k since he does have a very serious knee conditions.

But here we where again…infected with this “I NEED TO RUN” minion inside ourselves, watching everybody emanating happiness, competitiveness, goal accomplishments, and EVERYTHING you feel the day before a race. Completely surrendered SM got signed up, making me feel walking 21k on my own wouldn’t be the worst nightmare ever, now we were two on the same train :) at least we would cross that finish line together at the speed of anyone watching the race, even if our minions were furious.

We spend all day figuring out how to avoid our competitive side and the need to just run no matter how bad it hurt, and being rational we came up to the idea of running just the first half, no matter WHAT! Vertebral, hip and knee conditions are just to serious at our age not to be conscious of what they will imply on our next 30 years of life, and we have come to resolve that if things are so serious we would give up running just to be able to walk properly with our kids sometime soon.

So we showed up after cycling all the way from home to the starting line, and set our competitive ego to the idea of ONLY running 6 miles over all, which after being a month off the road was quite a distance. To our surprise by mile 4 we were on a runners high that simply nobody could stop us, no pain, and nothing there to remind us we HAD to stop.

But we did, and we managed to go against our winner self and say NO, we walked, we run, we jogged, just enough to satisfy our fanatic exercise minion living inside, and we crossed the finish line, knowing we wanted to know NOTHING about the clock. We got our medals which are today a representation of our will power, our rational sense and our willing to care about our health more than our exercise minions, which can sometimes, if not ALWAYS, be more impulsive than rational.

“Exercise: A specific activity that stimulates a positive physiological adaptation that serves to enhance fitness and health and does not undermine the latter in the process of enhancing the former” *1

Having that in mind…walking was much more of an exercise than running :)

*1 Guff, Doug Mc. “Body by Science” New York Mc Graw Hill 2009.

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