Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Prozac?

I am an addict. I like to get high everyday, my doctor says it is bad for me and my body is falling apart because of it. But I cannot stop. I wish it were crack or heroin. Sometimes I think those would be easier habits to break. But nope. I am one of the unluckiest addicts at all. I am addicted to running.

I know all the health statistics blabber on about good exercise. It is good for you. In moderation. But as R always says: "Sashy no likey moderation." True dat. I do nothing in moderation. If I love something, it is getting everything I have got. And to running I have given both my knees, my shin, my ankles and countless other pulls and tears in my leg muscles. And still I run.

Last week I saw an orthopedist. I told him that I was having excrutiating pain in my shin that meant I could not walk. But running was fine. I was still managing 3-5 miles a day. He asked: "so, you are telling me that you walk with a limp, can barely climb stairs and yet you run everyday?" Somehow it sounded much saner coming from me.

Apparently I am not alone. One of his runners ran on a fractured leg for two weeks. He explained that the addiction is so strong, our bodies literally crave it. They start to shut down pain in order to get a fix. Damn. "You are all crazy," he said. I guess so.

I need running. Just ask R. Any days I do not get my run in are days no one wants to come near me. I start fiending. I get the shakes. My palms sweat when I see a runner. I get a jolt of electricity at 11 p.m. when I realize that I have not run and I consider going out for just an hour, just to get it in before midnight.

For two weeks I have cross trained on doctor's orders. I would have ignored him had he not described the steel rod he would be forced to place in my leg if I did not cease and desist. But of course it is not enough. I am spinning once, sometimes twice a day and I love it. But nothing--nothing--can replace the feeling I get from running. Yesterday I thought I was going to get the green light after a follow-up exam. But I have to cross train for another two weeks and even when I return to running, I can only start at 10 miles a week. I have to slowly build up to 30, adding one or two miles a week. Have you ever seen a kid lose their lovey? Yep, that's about how I felt yesterday afternoon.

I waited six months to run after my pregnancy. Every cell in my body craved it. And now I have to wait again. Great.


Stephanie said...

Personally, I don't understand the addiction to running. So, I propose this: you give me some of that 'I have to run right NOW' feeling, and I'll give you some of my "eh, maybe I'll start running tomorrow"-ness. Maybe we'll even out? Seriously though - take care of yourself! :)

Enna said...

I had a similar experience in college when I hurt my foot. I was crushed when the doctor told me I had to stop running for four weeks. Riding the stationary bike is just not the same. But I know you will get through it—you do not want to end up with a steel rod in your leg!

Kristi said...

I have some of the same feelings about running as you do, but not quite as strong. I run six times a week, around 20 miles a week on average, depending on my schedule, and on the one day I don't run, I don't have nearly as much energy as on the days I do.

Plus, running is my "me time," which comes in all-too-infrequent quantities.

Take care of that shin!

Larisa said...

I just stumbled here. I gave up running because of all my IVF cycles, but I miss it so much. I crave it the way you mention, and I'll run with all kinds of injuries.

I can't wait to run again.

ThePapaDog said...

I'm like that with the gym. I just want to bite peoples heads off if I miss a day, let alone two...