April 14th, 2007

Pam of Pain

Failure Is Just Success Rounded Down




That's what this post was supposed to say. That's what it was going to say. That's what it should have said, if I didn't suck.

I've developed an overuse injury.

Not long after I managed to run twelve miles all by myself without my feet so much as tingling, a miraculous feat that made me believe I could actually run a marathon successfully, I inexplicably found myself unable to run a fucking mile before my left shin started to hurt a lot a lot a lot. I'm talking, I had to limp during my walk breaks. I attributed it to the fact that I hadn't stretched properly, which I have to believe now was just a malicious coincidence because three days later, I did stretch properly and still experienced the searing shin pain during my six-mile run. I was only able to finish by taking copious breaks. I iced the shin afterward, hoping it would get better. It didn't. On Tuesday, I again could barely accomplish my two-mile maintenance run without being in crazy pain. The pain even radiated down into my ankle.

My coach thought it might be a stress fracture, so I went to the doctor, who listened to my symptoms and concluded that I basically had shin splints; if I had a stress fracture, it would hurt all the time and not just when I ran. Either way, the only cure was less cowbell. My coach still thought it might a stress fracture because when he had one, it only hurt when he ran. He told me to rest for a few days.

I knew that wouldn't help, though. I'd had a couple days rest in between my last three runs, and it still hurt. I knew there was no way in hell I could run fourteen miles today. I wouldn't even make it a mile before it started to hurt. It's just as well that I got horrendously lost on the way there and was a half hour late. Clearly, it was a sign.

It's not fucking fair. Hundreds of other people are out there running right now with no problem. Many of them, just like me, had never run before starting this program. Me? My fucking feet go numb. I dislocate my fucking shoulder, forcing me run in a sling, which may have thrown off my mechanics. And now I finally have shin pain that I can't just work through because it hurts too fucking much. Apparently, I'm not cut out for this. I'm just not good enough. My body truly is a blunderland.

My only recourse is to downgrade to running a half-marathon. Set the bar lower. Failure is just success rounded down.

And I hate it not just because I feel like a failure and a quitter and a loser and all that good stuff, but because I've raised $2,864 under the pretense that I was going to run a marathon. And now I appear to be physically incapable of fulfilling that promise. So I feel like a fraud and a cheat in addition! I can only meet you all halfway, at the least. I don't even want to think about what happens if I don't recover from this in time and can't even do that. I hope you don't want half your money back. It all belongs to the AIDS Foundation now. Suckers.

I finally had a good Veronica-style cry about it in the car.

At least I still get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge.