After a week of visiting various doctors and receiving further strange and contradictory opinions, on Friday, this happened:
It has seemed inevitable for long enough now that I’m not upset. I just hope it works.
The immediate precipitating events: On Wednesday, my podiatrist told me to go for a run. Instead of being happy, the way a runner would theoretically be happy upon receiving this news after a six-week break, I wanted to cry. I heard it as “there’s nothing else I can do for you.” On Thursday, on my way to the chiropractor’s office, I had to run two blocks for the train, and that was enough to know that going for an actual run would be a wildly bad idea. I thought I’d need to go to another podiatrist, since the chiro’s office doesn’t take my insurance, but they figured out a way for me to just buy a boot for roughly what my insurance would have charged me anywhere else, and, that was that, for the next two weeks. (Except not exactly, because they were out of my size of boot on Thursday, so I had to wait till Friday, LOL LIFE. At least that gave me time to get my attitude into the right place and also do things like paint my toenails and stockpile snacks for the weekend.)
I have doubts about this strategy — I still don’t have a definitive diagnosis, for one thing, and maybe I never will. I also know that doing what I was doing wasn’t getting me anywhere, and I’m tired of flipping the calendar and waiting for magic. If this works, great! If it doesn’t, I have new insurance starting in October and can start over if I have to. (But I really hope this works.)
There have been times in the past couple of months when I’ve thought, you know, maybe I’m really not supposed to be a runner. Maybe the people (two of them, and for the record, both were doctors) who have told me I don’t look like a runner, that the issue is my build — maybe they’re right. Maybe I could be content with just swimming and cycling, maybe the occasional hike. I sit with that for a day or two, and then I realize I’m not there yet. I might have to get there, but I’m not there yet. (I really hope this works.)
So, I’ll do this. Honestly, it’s not that different from what I’ve been doing, just with one sneaker instead of two. I can swim, I can pool run, and — after a little coercing on my part — I can bike to and from the pool (and “other flat places,” so, you know, basically to and from the pool). I paid my dues for the masters group, but I didn’t quit my neighborhood gym yet, so I have maximum options for the next month. (I hope this works.)
I won’t miss running, at least not more than I already do. I will miss driving and open water swimming — too logistically complicated — and climbing. But with any luck, I’ll only have to miss them for two weeks. And, it’s not like I was signed up for any more races this year. It’s a good time to do this right.
(I hope it works.)