Monday, January 11, 2010

Keep on moving

These are my winter trainers drying in front of the wood burner after a particularly snowy run where I embraced the weather rather than cursing it . Winter running is a challenge but the victory I feel after a run in extremely brutal temps is worth it. There is nothing like icicles hanging from your eyelashes and balls of ice accumulating in the elbow of your outer layer to make you feel like a real runner. The look my husband gives me upon entering the door is anything but admiration and more like he needs to call the mental health authority, but hey, to each his own. I don't think running the snow blower for 3 hours just to hear the hum of the machine is all that sane either.

I always get the odd person that suggests I take the winter off, these people typically are not runners or even someone that exercises regularly (and that's okay, I'm not judging), but that is not an option for me. One winter I had been given a stationary bike and I was pregnant, the bike was set up in the granery (so I didn't wake up anyone in the house) and on really nasty days I would bike. It was miserable monotony. Horrible. But I got out there anyway and peddled my way to a semi-endorphin high. I have never been that desperate to avoid the elements again and instead tough it out with plenty of layers and lots of determination.

I'm a perpetual motion person and anyone that knows me or is around me often enough realizes that I don't sit still very well. Running and I fit very well together.

However, the fact that I do run and continue to run is very confusing to my doctors. When my medical problems first surfaced it was easy for them to see my labs were not normal yet when I reported that I was still running they dismissed my complaints because if I could run I must be fine. After my experience I am convinced that runners need doctors that run or at least doctors that are physically active if the actual title "runner" is not available. I recently switched general practitioners and after Googling several names I had been given I selected the person that had recent race times. She understood why back in October 2007 I went to that starting line even though I knew deep down that I shouldn't have because she would have too.

On Saturday I had an appointment during which my rheumatologist and I were discussing my hip pain and I told her how it hurts to sit, lay down, squat, etc. but that when I'm moving I feel better. It is tough to get out the door to run but once I'm going I don't want to stop because I know it will hurt worse to stop than to keep going. Running is good for my cells, it makes them work; it makes my joints lube up so they are less cranky. She confirmed this as very typical of an inflammatory joint condition and for the first time in two years my running was validated by my rheumatologist (the prior doctor suggested I quit running) as a productive way to help my condition. I guess I ought to look into running some ultras...


Abby said...

I'm so glad you finally have a couple of understanding doctors. Who's your general practitioner now?

Mechelle said...

It sure helps to have someone that "knows"! Her name is Lekha Karu Richardson and she is wonderful, a runner with children.