My Version of Groundhog day.
I wake up, run really hard for many weeks or months, realize I am injured, curse myself, research, swear prevention, buy some injury prevention knick-knacks, wake up, run really hard for many weeks or months, realize I am injured, curse myself….
Yes, this is my Groundhog Day curse.
My injuries have not been huge over the years but they’re coming with more frequency. This week, I have scaled back my training in a major way after feeling the same injury that hit me last November just before the New York marathon.
It’s probably too simple and just wrong to think of training as just pushing one’s body to the edge of injury, and then waiting for it to adapt to the demands and get stronger, but that’s been my guiding philosophy it seems. There's this feeling that the only way I'll get the most optimal results is to always dance on the edge of injury. As I’ve heard one local running celebrity say, “If you’re not icing something, you’re not trying.”
So, when in doubt and in need of wisdom, I like to refer to my Bathroom reader for all my wisdom. (If I could fill up a library with only my Bathroom Readers it would include the poems of T.S Eliot, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Collected Stories from Franz Kafka, and of course the yearly ‘Keeper’ version of Michigan’s Outdoor Athlete.)
Right now I have some Eastern philosophy; “366 Readings from Taoism and Confucianism,” and as with any religious tomes, things are not true because the book says them, but the book says them because they are true, and during one especially pleasant and illuminating sit-down, I ran into this bit of injury prevention wisdom:
"Lieh Tzu continued: ‘When the eye can discern the tip of a hair, it is about to go blind. When an ear can discern the wings of a gnat, it is about to go deaf. When the tongue can discern the difference between the waters of one river and another, it is about to lose its sense of taste. When the nose can discern the difference between the odor of scorching linen and scorching silk, it is about to lose its sense of smell. When the body takes special delight in sprinting, the limps are about to stiffen. And when the mind distinguishes most sharply between right and wrong, it is about to go astray.
So do no push yourself to the limit."
Yeah, well, if Lieh Tzu had ever felt the rush of a negative split marathon run, he’d be foam-rolling and icing himself somewhere.