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
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.