Tuesday, April 7, 2015

To hang up, or not to hang up, my running shoes

Dr. Alyea usually asks me, "How's your tennis game?" (A sign that nothing is wrong.)

Dr. Berger asks, "When are you going to run the (Saint Patrick's) race again?" (He always runs it.)

Yesterday when I saw my internist about a couple of things, he spoke about the race differently, not wondering when I would run it but instead saying I probably couldn't run any long distances again.

I told him that I had hurt my foot/toe, that it had greatly improved and that I was back (mostly) to tennis but that I hadn't run the race this year due to my toe, and that when I had run just a little over a mile this weekend it started to hurt again. Not a dull ache but spiky shooting pains to get my attention.

I put the boot back on around the house and it calmed down. I thought I could play tennis three times this week, but instead I went to a clinic yesterday and hope to add one more time instead of two. It felt OK after tennis.

I don't have a running community, but I do have a tennis community, and I'd hate to ruin it by re-injuring my toe when trying to run. The endorphins are not the same, but they are present in playing and practicing with a good group, combining serious learning and fun.

I wouldn't rule out EVER getting back into it. But I (and many of us) come to a point where our feet can't support the pounding. The constant movement hurts, compared to stopping and starting in tennis and less pounding in general.

I had identified as a runner, and it's hard to let it (and the endorphins) go. For a long time it was a panacea for everything. But it was a good habit that has turned into a detrimental one.

When I talked to Dr. Berger about the possibility of getting the ECP for my Graft vs. Host of the skin, he said he didn't know much about it but he could see that my skin was, well (not his word) funky.

He pinched my hand and my arm, and there was nothing to grab. He pinched his own to demonstrate that there should be some loose skin.

By the way it's not because I'm thin. He is a runner and super thin. He just was showing how normal skin is supposed to behave.

If I do give running up, I guess I can say what those of us formerly in the newspaper business say: "It was a good run."

1 comment:

old_black said...

I agree with the comment that in later life (even for people such as me without AML) the ability of feet to withstand the miles is what often forces the end of running. I have been a runner my whole life, although not at your level, and my feet are getting less & less tolerant of running stresses. I am dreading the thought that I will reach a point where I am no longer able to say I am a runner. It will seem like the end of life.