The I Word & Being a Head Case

Ironically I started this post a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting in Half-Written Wasteland since then because, let’s face it, no one wants to publicly admit that you might be a head case.  But this week’s events have spawned me to actually finish this bad boy and come to terms with how I can often be my own worst enemy.

Being a head case in running takes place in a variety of ways.  Some of the manifestations:

psych_radical_90s_button-r9d2782b8c04746b79d8b9b3c5903898d_x7j12_8byvr_512-Psych!  More than just one of the best things to come out of the 90’s (other than neon spandex), the Psych runner is his or her own worst enemy.  When your best just isn’t good enough.  We’ve all seen the type (heck most of us have lived this one), and it’s one of the most brutal to watch, and a freaking disaster to be a part of.  The “Psych!” head case is one that is physically capable, trained and ready and just can’t get past the mental barrier of pushing his or herself to their fullest ability.

3796039230_098c68d1d9-Injurychondriac.  This is the person who freaks out with wiggles, niggles and pulls.  And this is the one I’ve fallen prey too.  As a recovering “pain means gain let’s sideline ourself for 3 months with a major injury” I get overly cautious with things.  Yes I’ve had some unfortunate situations in the last year (umm…spraining your ankle on kids toys does not heal quickly nor well…sprains are ugly, mugly, fugly).  But beyond that, I’ve been uber cautious and pulled back when things have gotten tight, twisty or even the slightest bit painful.

This is so counter to my push through it and ice & ibuprofen later approach from the years before – and quite frankly it was starting to annoy me.  “Ehhh….you’re such a whiny twit,” I have been telling myself.  “Get over it Whine-O the Clown!” I’ve chided to myself.  And ironically when I finally took my own advice to let go and just get GOING, I started getting knee pain – not when running, but sitting.

F….and I don’t mean for fabulous.

Dear Knee, You're stupid.  Signed, Sheila's Brain

Dear Knee, You’re stupid. Signed, Sheila’s Brain

Sitting in a chair hurts.  Running – notsomuch.  So I kept running, but I didn’t get that stupid.  Long story short…I did do an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” approach and saw the doc and found out something in my patellofemoral pain or something like, ‘something we diagnose at sports med facilities every 15 minutes”.  It’s not a major deal apparently and requires a few trips to the PT and being much more diligent about weight lifting (which ironically is what got me into this whole mess but whatever I digress).

Honestly it’s a mixed message lesson for me – Do I listen to the wiggles and niggles or do I push through?  I don’t know.  It’s a tough balance.  I have been babying my little tight hammy through the summer due to visions of it snapping on a run for most of the summer – but was it necessary?  I have no idea.

With some anti-inflammatories, ice, a little PT…probably take a week off and then slowly build back in.  Something like that.  We will see what the PT says.

Do you fall into either head case category?

How do you handle wiggles, niggles and pain?

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6 thoughts on “The I Word & Being a Head Case

  1. Gwad…..total head case right here. It’s exhausting. One time, at band camp…eh I mean one time at the track (well 2 times actually) I had to FORCE myself not to think and just run. Results were shocking. I’m still alive and had best splits ever. Cuckoo-ca-choo 😉 Good luck girl!

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Can I tell you that I am a slacker and read this DAYS ago (despite just getting to reply now) but totally died of laughter reading it. I even read it out loud to my spouse. #absolutelydying

  2. I tend to be the “I’m going to ignore the pain because it isn’t THAT bad” person. Luckily my boyfriend is the level-headed one who yells at me to stop and makes me promise NOT to run, and subsequently makes me define the word “run” (because I have been known to find loop holes). Stay smart and good luck with the recovery 🙂

  3. I tend to deal with it for awhile. Doctor is last resort. But maybe-not follow my example too much?? I just feel like our society is “overhealthcared”. Meaning, we’ve been programmed to run to the doc for every little thing. My kids are overhealthcared. It’s turned them into wimps… This entire comment may have come off in the wrong tone. I promise I am not a bad mommy. Pinky-promise.

    • I agree. I hate the doctored approach – and yes, I always crack up when I’m at the doctor and a parent rushes in, “MY KID HAS HAD A FEVER FOR 48 HOURS”. Good for the fever, it’s doing it’s job. Oye!

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