Friday, February 10, 2012

Recoverer-Which type are you?

I have been reading running blogs for almost a year now, and in that time I have made an observation.  It seems like there are three types of runners: runners who are injured, runners who are recovering from an injury, and runners who have re-injured themselves.  Sometimes it feels like running is just what we do to fill the time between foam rolling and icing our butts.  If you are thinking, "Hey, I'm a runner and I haven't been injured," well I'd like to welcome you to the world of running.  I hope you enjoy this new adventure...oh and by the way, you're going to get injured. 

The fact is, running is a high impact sport...taken on mostly by type A, anal retentive, performance driven, over-achievers.  Yeah, I'm talking to you....and maybe me.  We tend to be so focused on getting faster, running longer, PRing, BQing, and for the most part, this is what makes runners so great.  We are dedicated, hardworking, and tenacious.  The downside is that sometimes we don't take the breaks our bodies need and we end up running ourselves right into the exam room.  If you haven't been there, like I said before, you will be.

I know it sounds like I am being a Negative Nelly who is discouraging people from taking on the sport, but I'm really not.  I'll take an occasional foot strain or pulled hammy over plaque covered arteries any day of the week.  Sitting on the coach all day might keep you injury free but then you would never know the thrill of the finish line.  Injuries in running seem inevitable but I assure you doing nothing is far more hazardous to your health.

However, this post isn't about getting an injury.  It is about recovering from them because, right now, that is the type of runner I am.  I gotta tell you, coming back from a 3 month hiatus has not been easy.  It has left me slow, winded, and since I've already admitted it in my wetsuit post, paunchy.  I haven't been taking this well.  It seems like I worked on speed for a year and in 3 months I was back to square one.  I am no mathematician, but those numbers don't seem to add up right and it kinda pisses me off.  Which made me realize that I am not a good recoverer (which spell check tells me is not actually a word, but I'm using it anyway).  This led me to think about the different types of recoverers.  Here they are:

The Grateful Recoverer:  Ah, the grateful recoverer.  They don't care how slow they are going or how far they go, they are just PSYCHED to be back out there.  While their cheeriness is admirable, it is also super obnoxious. 

 The Planner:  The planner has a fully detailed recovery plan ready to go.  They place it right between their house cleaning schedule and their meal planning calendar (I'm told those things exist).  When they get the ok from the doctor they begin to follow it religiously, making sure to cross things off as they go.  They are the ones who like to say, "I told you so" to The Divers. 

The Diver:  The diver says screw it to recovery plans...and doctors.  Once they are semi mobile, they are running.  It is not unheard of to see a Diver rocking an aircast on the treadmill.  These guys like to scoff at The Planner's caution.....until their inevitable re-injury.

 The Scaredy Cat:  This runner is the opposite of the diver.  They are totally freaked out that they are going to be re-injured.  They actually talk their doctor into prolonging the ban on running.  Once they finally start running again every ache and pain is over-analyzed to the point of nausea.      

The Quitter:  You would think The Quitter would be a runner with a hardcore injury like a torn ligament or a severed leg.  But the quitter usually gives up running after an injury like a blister, sore muscles, or heavy breathing.  The Quitter never wanted to be running in the first place.

The Slacker:  The Slacker is actually just a quitter who is too lazy to actually quit.  They keep saying they are going to get back out there and start running again....but they never do...but they still keep talking about it.  How this person ran enough to get injured in the first place is a mystery.

The Angry Recoverer:  The angry recoverer is mad...about everything.  Mad they got injured, mad they couldn't run, mad they ate racing fees, mad that the are now slow.  If they could punch running in the face, they would.  But they can't so they just make everyone around them completely miserable. 
The Cry Baby:  The Cry Baby is the another variation of the Angry Recoverer, but instead of yelling and throwing chairs, the Cry Baby weeps and throws fits.  This type of behavior is unacceptable and ugly when toddlers do it.  It is just downright embarrassing for a grown human.

Ever been injured, and if not, what is your secret???

Which type of recoverer are you?  I am obviously a mix between the Angry Recoverer and The Cry Baby.