Open Letters to Various Parts of My Body

Dear Right Knee/IT Band,

We sure had a time in August and September, didn’t we? Bouts of pain, fearing stairs, not wanting to run more than a mile because what if you started to ache and I was too far away to walk home and get to work on time — those were the days, huh?

So, look. Things have been pretty awesome for the past couple of months. I practiced single-leg squats for you. Single-leg squats! I wouldn’t do that for just anybody. I bought you a foam roller; hell, I even bought a second foam roller and had it shipped to Florida, claiming it was a present for this girl, but let’s get real: We all know I’m using it first.

You’ve carried me through some fantastic long runs since October. You even let me run around a track kinda fast and feel like I might be able to hit my race goals.

So this … thing you’ve been doing since Sunday? This weird not-quite-pain-but-just-off-feeling? It’s time for that to stop.

I’ll push my next run to Wednesday to give you another day’s break from the pounding. I’ll ice. I’ll foam roll. Hell, I’ll even do my PT exercises twice before I go to Florida, and I’ve already done them once, so you know I’m serious.

After 10 a.m. on Sunday, I’m not going to be asking you to run more than six miles at a time until … I dunno, May? So it’s just one more week, knee. Then we can hang out in the pool all you want.

Please show me some love here,


Dear Left Big Toe,

I know, this is all my fault. I started squeezing you into pointe shoes when I was 13, and that made you all funny-angled and bunion-y (please don’t be offended; this is coming from a place of love). Frankly, you should have started bothering me years ago; I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think you’d rebel someday.

Last week, when I didn’t want to walk from the stove to the sink because you suddenly hurt too much, I thought you were going to force me out of this race. But somehow I woke up the next morning and you were fine — noisier and crack-ier than normal, maybe, but as I was saying, I can’t begrudge you the protest.

You’ve been nice for seven days now, and I like this trend. But I’ve seen how mean you can be when you decide to be mean. So please don’t be mean until December 12. The Adrenalines need you to be solid, mmkay?

Entrusting my forward progress to you,


Dear Immune System,

Yeah, I can’t believe how much I’m asking of you, either. To weather a sick husband, then an office full of sick coworkers, and then the two office visitors who coughed all over you and your cell phone for a solid three hours — that’s major. Weaker souls than you would have caved by now, and you’re still going strong. But I can almost feel you pleading, “How much longer can you expect me to wait? I need a nap over here.”

Six days. That’s how much longer. Six days.

Sinuses, I’m asking you to rally for me. Just get me through this crazy work week, the cross-country red-eye, and 13.1 miles of necessary breathing on Sunday, and then all bets are off.

I will wash my hands. I will Emergen-C. I will neti pot. I will even get a decent number of hours of sleep by the standards of people who sleep enough, not by my own “six hours is plenty” measure.

I’m trusting you to do right by me here,

3 thoughts on “Open Letters to Various Parts of My Body

  1. Linda says:

    Whew. Here’s to staying healthy, to traveling safely, and to running well this weekend. Good luck on all fronts!

  2. katie says:

    Ugh, the IT band is evil. Hope it calms down soon!

  3. Kelly says:

    haha. I love this post. I hope your body parts respond well to these letters – they should at least feel special that they were singled out, right? 6 more days and you’re golden!

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