Team GSF SB Marathon: Injury Frustration and PerspectiveJuly 31, 2011 by Bill Strong
I've been nursing a nasty and painful injury since finishing the Montecito-Summerland Half Marathon two weeks ago. I'm not going to lie, it's been pretty frustrating. It's my left leg and it seems to be a nice mix of a shin splint and plantar fasciitis -- both pretty common running injuries. I spent four days on crutches after the race -- which meant I couldn't pick up or move Gwendolyn safely...which meant Victoria had to pick up all of my slack. And it's been a slow going recovering. Ibuprofen. Ice. Rest. Extremely deep and painful massage. Targeted rehab exercises. Stretching. Stretching. And more stretching. It's starting to show signs of getting better, but it's going to take time to get back out running.
My marathon training was going so smoothly and I was in a really good rhythm. Running had become a part of my normal routine and I always looked forward to pushing myself on my training days -- it has also become extremely therapeutic for me. It's only been two weeks since my injury, but I already feel out of shape. I know most of that is mental, but I just wish I could be out there with some headphones on clocking miles and making progress towards the Santa Barbara Marathon in November. As all of the muscle and tissue and tendons and ligaments have started to loosen up, I've started cross-training on the bike and elliptical machine in the gym. And that seems to be going ok. But it's not the same as running outdoors.
I've had myself a pretty hefty pity party over here the past few weeks but Victoria -- as always -- has been awesome at getting me focused, snapping me back into this universe, and reminding me of the heavy dose of perspective that's sitting right in front of my eyes. A perspective that is the reason I've been motivated to do all of this training in the first place. Gwendolyn. And a shitty disease called SMA. Here I was complaining of being inconvenienced by crutches for a few days, of having to stay off my feet for a few weeks, and of a little self inflicted pain in my leg. And there's my beautiful 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter -- dependent on a breathing machine to breathe, a machine to make her cough, a machine to help her swallow, a machine to feed her, and she's unable to move anything, ANYTHING except for a few slight finger swipes. Instant perspective. And suddenly my pity party seemed just that -- a huge pity.
So, the reality is this will set me back a bit but I'll be back out there in a few weeks pounding the pavement and sweating my ass off training towards my ultimate goal of running the Santa Barbara Marathon in November to help end SMA. I'll accomplish my first marathon. No doubt. And it's more clear than ever that this fresh perspective of Gwendolyn's incredible fighting spirit against unfathomable circumstances, of all of those battling this brutal disease every single day, and of all of those taken much, much too soon by SMA, will be a major factor in getting me through each and every one of those 26.2 miles to the finish line.
If you are interested in being part of Team GSF, please email me at bill@GwendolynStrongFoundation.org. Or if you cant join us in Santa Barbara, you can still dedicate your 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Triathlon, Ultra Marathon, etc. to raising awareness and funding for SMA. Its super simple, super fun, super effective, and super rewarding! As my friend Stephen says, We run for those who cant. Together we can end SMA -- one person, one dollar, one mile at a time!