O Log - Injured Again

[14-Sep-04] 

    Third year in a row with at least moderate injury, that is, an injury where a doctor says you're not allowed to run. In this case, I can't run even if I wanted to. Its frustrating and demoralizing because it always seems to happen when I feel I'm getting some momentum going. I don't handle the poor morale of being injured very well. Some better results earlier in the year were finally a result of what I knew I could do if I could go for a while not being injured and get in top shape. And I don't have the luxury of just concuding the doctors are wrong and just running (last injury I got three totally different diagnoses).

    Its something in the lower leg/ankle region. Weird thing, Mon nite, no training that day, and my leg just started hurting out of the blue so that I could not even walk. Felt sorta like an ankle turn feels, but for me, they usually go away in about 60 seconds. Had an ankle turn in Sunday's race, but it was real mild and ran it off and ran fine the rest of the race. No swelling at all, doesn't seem like an achilles problem either. I'm being tested for a stress fracture, and will know in a week. If I were a pro in the US, I would know in three hours (that's how long the test for a stress fracture takes). I wonder if amateur O'rs in advanced O countries have instant access to diagnostic medical care like pro American athletes do? In any case, no training until then, tho I guess I can ride a stationary bike if it feels ok.

    If it is not a stress fracture, I'm hard pressed to figure what it could be. Certainly doesn't feel like a sprain. I'm hoping it isn't something more sinister -- the unexplained and unknown always seems the scariest -- but a perusal of various medical web sites did not turn up any plausible candidates other than the usual ankle problems.

    As an aside, one thing that is starting to disturb me in the doctors' offices is the doctor doing his clinical thing while checking my chart to see what sort of insurance I have. Clearly his approach and clinical technique and how to proceed were influenced by such non-medical matters as what tests my carrier covers (and I suppose what a tort lawyer might say). I could write more on how tort lawyers, insurance companies, and others "influencing" clinical (and other aspects) of medicine, but I'll spare it. I'm just in a bad mood. I'm actually fortunate to have insurance that pays for this test (provided it meets certain criteria), and am fortunate to live in a country where I can see a doctor the next day, and even have access to this technology. Yeah, I'm in a bad mood, as when you just can't run at all, sort of inexplicably, you worry that it is career threatening until it blows over. Fear of the unknown.

    The relay champs are in grave risk, as is the US champs, I guess. OTOH, hopefully it will blow over in a few days and a week off will count as "tapering".

    I hadn't planned to write much during the WOC anyway, and with my morale shot, probably won't write until I get the diagnosis. But while I'm here -- good runs guys and gals. I didn't analyze the country comparison too much, but it appears from that metric we are doing well (tho it would be nice to beat our friends from the north). We'll have to nail them in the relay.

    The other thing to say about WOC is -- why, if the IOF is intent on developing O outside of Europe, do they make it harder and harder to qualify? I'm not whining because we didn't qualify yet (the data is the data no matter how you interpret it), but it just seems silly to talk promoting worldwide O excellence on one hand, and raise the barriers to perceived excellence on the other. I had written a long entry exploring this subject -- basically along the lines of perceived realistic chance to qualify being motivational (for both some athletes and the support organization) -- but I figured it would come across as whining. Should have been written before the races.

    When I'm injured, I often write about music, so I'll add that a band I'm really getting into now is the Dropkick Murphys, an Oi! punk/Celtic fusion outfit out of Boston (but not hate Oi! like Skrewdriver, of course). Other bands that have been around, but I'm starting to listen to more are Pennywise and Lagwagon, both traditional Cali-punk outfits. Songs to start with, in order from the three bands: "Walk Away", "Yesterdays", and "Never Stops". Of course, Pennywise in particular has a lot of older material to explore.

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