Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones

"I gotta go to the ER."

I finally admitted it to myself after the nagging cramp in my right side continued to bother me more than 24 hours after I had completed my 18-mile run on Saturday.


While scientists have spent centuries trying to measure man's threshold for pain, it remains an entirely subjective measure.  Where one person feels little to no discomfort after a physical trauma, another will have the same experience and be in complete agony.  The dichotomy, of course, is at least partly related to one's history of pain.  If I were to have a leg severed off in a horrific farming accident (What? It could happen...), then a few weeks later get a head cold, I'd venture to say that the sniffles wouldn't feel so bad in comparison to the leg deal.  Conversely, someone who has never experienced anything more painful than the common cold may find that their mild congestion feels like death.  It's all about perspective.

I've often wondered--and debated with others--where I might fall along the pain threshold scale. While I'm certainly not at the level of a Buddhist monk, I've held strongly to the belief that withstanding the pain associated with running marathons puts me at least somewhere between "handles pain well" and "is a total badass."  And my trip to the emergency room this weekend might have actually given me some concrete evidence to that effect:

After my fall on Saturday's run, I got up and kept going.  I wasn't experiencing enough pain to feel like I needed to stop.  Had I known at the time that I fractured a rib, I certainly would have.  On one hand, I have to take a moment to be a little proud of myself for running 15 miles after I broke a bone.  On the other hand, I'm completely freaking out. 

Typically it takes 4-6 weeks to heal a fractured rib.  The marathon is in 5 weeks.  I have every intention of still running this marathon, but I'm only going to do what my body will let me do. My plan is to see how I'm feeling in 2 weeks, and determine if I can manage to do the 20-mile training run on April 9th.  I have subs for my Zumba classes for this week, and I'm also going to wait-and-see on that as well.  For right now, I'm completely resting and managing the pain with medication (the good stuff), ice/heat, and a healthy diet.

It would be very easy right now for me to get depressed, and at first, I really was.  But, I can only see this as an another obstacle that God is giving me to overcome.  I'm hoping that the power of positive thinking will help heal my rib--and my spirit--quickly so that I can get back to doing the things that I love. 

I may be cracked, but I'm not broken.


Anonymous said...

I hope you heal in time for your training run and the marathon. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear you broke your rib!! I hope it heals quickly.