I must be crazy. For the weeks and days leading up to our current vacation in Cabo San Lucas I barely gave the trip much thought. I was content in the onset of winter, working to close out the year, concentrating on rehabing a running injury and for some reason didn’t much care to travel to the weather paradise environs of Mexico’s lower Baja California peninsula. Now that we’ve been here a few days I have realized a few things. (1) I still enjoy the beach- though not as much as the mountains- and it is nice to sit in the warm sand and soak up the sun with a good book and a cerveza. (2) The injury that has plagued my running since the spring, which I thought was a hamstring strain though actually a result of said strain, I am now fully convinced is piriformis syndrome. This is good news because now I can and will focus on exercises that heal this problem rather than aggravate it, which is what I was doing up until as recent as a few days ago when I still thought my injury was hamstring related.
This bout with piriformis syndrome has caused me to realize a few additional things as well. (1) As excited and recovered as I feel to jump back into regular training and mileage perhaps my body needs more rest. I’ve never heard an endurance athlete complain of resting too much but we all know the disastrous consequences of not resting enough. So, rest more I will. After all, it is not even January yet. There is no rush. After a month or so of base building beginning after the holidays- hopefully with a relieved piriformis- my body will soon gain back fitness. (2) I often see in others and I, too, have suffered nagging emotional distress when sidelined by an injury. Usually I run through tendonitis issues, etc. and they eventually go away. Or a race miraculously remedies an issue- this has happened at least twice. Unfortunately Masochist didn’t remedy my injury in November and I doubt any other race would take care of it either so proper exercise and rest is the remaining necessary prescription. Knowing this, I choose not to be upset about the additional down time. No good will come of it. With rest comes healing. With healing comes a return to running with eventual greater fitness, confidence and strength levels than before. And with all of that comes a return to racing in 2011 and the creation of more excellent memories which, truly, is why I run and race in the first place. Yes, memories and the constant, progressive cycle of self-actualization in running… I just can’t get enough.