Tuesday, February 3, 2009

There's Good News and Bad News

Alternate titles for this post that I considered:
  • I Never Should Have Chosen That Damn Name - Nonrunner Nancy
  • Trust Me, Freakishly Flexible is so NOT a Good Thing
  • I'm Mourning 13 Minute Miles
  • I'm a Freak
  • Only Read This if You Need to Feel Better About Your Situation Otherwise It's Too Much of a Downer and Way Too Long

Well, now, I really have some answers. I never wanted to be one of those people that posted every ache and pain and complaint and that is why I have disappeared somewhat. I wanted to be fun and funny, creative, motivational (if not fast). But the answers are none of those things.

I DO have a torn labrum (the cartilage in my hip) and it probably CAN be fixed. However the sit-i-ation is more complicated. This injury likely WAS caused from running, somewhere around the 6 mile point. I am so damn freakishly flexible that my bones rattle around in the joints and just bang the $hit out of each other. To the point of injury. This injury is usually caused by tackling or falling down, but some people that are really flexible can get it from repetitive motion.

I have choices, clean up the broken stuff and just get it out of there (3 weeks on crutches, back to normal activity) or try to repair it (6 weeks of crutches and brace, more extensive healing, then back to normal activity). The doc says he never usually repairs anyone over 25 years old because healing capacity declines. However, he suggests repair in my case just to try to give my joint a little more stability. Freakishly flexible, people. I'm a freak. I feel old.

The reality is I really am a Nonrunner. My body was never made for running. I have too much flexibility, not enough control and my bones are beating up on each other simply from running. (do you have a picture in your mind of me flailing about? well I never thought it was that bad but apparently it is bad enough) It explains why my feet would just literally blow up at 8 miles and be so sore I could barely hobble. I am so sad right now, I can't even tell you. I sucked at running but it was mine. I made so much progress, I shocked even me, I loved the creative posts, the awesome, funny, sweet, ever-supportive bloggers, the time alone, the time with friends, the saying, "yeah, I ran a half" and meaning a half marathon, the beautiful days, the rainy days, the cold days. When I ran a half, I remembered to marvel at my strength even from the back of the pack. Now it seems like the holy grail.

I'm so sorry for the drama, I just needed to write. I really am mourning the loss of running. If I get all fixed, I will need to be a lot more careful and that probably won't involve much running at all. This isn't gut it out and make progress, this is gut it out and risk inury, go too far and need another surgery. I'm mourning the 12 miles I did with Amy and Art and the fantastic tailwind, the day we ran in an absolute snow storm, the day Cavey Girl ran a record pace and God smiled down on her chipped tooth and all, the day I ran my one and only famous Dam to Dam 20k and so many other runs that I captured on my blog. I'm mourning the lessons of being so bad and having to remain positive and everything it taught me. I'm mourning the tris I wanted to eventually do. I'm mourning the virtual races and all of you.

I know life will go on. This isn't loss of a loved one or loss of a limb or something equally as crappy. But I am going to have to find a new holy grail. I am a swimmer and I can certainly do that. But you don't meet your friends at the pool and have a great swim with chat, laughter, tears, hugs, etc. I have to find something that keeps me energized like running did. And, I have to find the creative outlet that it gave me, as well.

I have read that many people live just fine with the freakish flexibility but a chosen few have it so bad they get injured. Their best bet is to be freakishly thin and freakishly in shape. Geez. Can we rub it in any more? Those are two things I'm clearly not. And, if I were those two things, how much faster could I run?

Well, I have to move on and try to be thankful for all the stuff that remains.
I can be fixed.
I have all those sweet, strong, beautiful runs captured on the blog and can read about them any time I want
I have met some lovely people.
I AM a runner, I did a half marathon and a 20k. I rocked. I have medals.
I learned how to be positive and keep going even when I kind of suck.
I learned how to run my own race, something so valuable in every day life.
I still have lipstick.
I still have my club.
Of course, I am blessed beyond belief with husband and kids who will support whatever the new holy grail becomes.

I will still be around. I have to figure out what to do with this blog. Maybe I will continue to be Nonrunner Nancy but swimmer or cyclist extraordinaire. I have a little road in front of me with surgery, rehab, and figuring out how to be freakishly thin and freakishly in shape as well as a lot of creative energy that needs to go into something. But I do want to thank all of you for your inspiration, support, laughs, friendship. You all and running have meant so much to me. Please go easy on yourselves, be thankful every day that your body allows you to run, no matter how slow, marvel at your strength and remember to enjoy all the details.

66 comments:

Mel-2nd Chances said...

OUCH! I'm glad you got some answers and some recommendations. sorry about the running, i hope you find something equally as enjoyable... wishing you a speedy recovery :)

Razz said...

Look on the bright side:
Non-swimmer Nancy
Non-Yoga-er Nancy
Non-Biker Nancy

The possibilities are endless!!!
Keep yer head up!

E said...

It's good that you finally have answers like Melanie said, but it stinks about the running. After recovery, maybe you can still run shorter distances? You are in my thoughts girlfriend and I'm sending you hugs! :)

akshaye said...

Nancy.. I wish you all the best.. and its great that they figured whats wrong and you can now work on getting treated. I vote for any sport you like! But I ain't relieving you of race director duties that easy :)

Stephen said...

Yay for a diagnosis.
BOO! for not being able to run.
Yay for having other options
and a huge
YAY for keeping a positive mental attitude! Keep it up!

Pat said...

sorry to hear this news. Glad you'll get it corrected. Can you do the shorter runs? the 5k's?

here's wishing for the best.

JojaJogger said...

I'd like to echo what RazzDoodle said, your flexibility could be a benefit in other endeavors. I read somewhere that Michael Phelps is also freakishly flexible. You ARE a runner and will always be one. Now you just need to find another outlet like swimming, biking, or Kung Fu fighting.

Jess said...

I'm glad you got answers and that your hip can be fixed. I'm so sorry to hear about the running. But I'm with Razz there are lots of other things out there and you will find one to rock at just as much as running!

Wes said...

Sounds like triathlon is calling your name :-) Sprint distance is only 3 miles of running!

{hugs}

Christie said...

I'm going to miss the virtual races. I think you should still be a race director though. I hope you find something that satisfies you as much as running does. In the meantime, just take care of yourself.

Kristina said...

Oh, Nancy. This makes me cry, but I am glad that you have other outlets that you can turn to and you seem to be really grounded with what ultimately matters in life. I'm sure you can swim with the club strapped to your back.

Jess said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the diagnosis and I can only imagine how hard it must be to deal with.

I wish you the best with surgery, recovery, and life without running!

RunToTheFinish said...

Mourn the loss you deserve it. You are a runner and that has been taken away from you. Then start the healing process...I know there are other things out there that you will learn to love just as you loved running. It may take awhile and you may not love them at first, but you are strong and resilient and postive...it will come. You can still be witty and funny all you want with us or whine and complain, we love ya!

J~Mom said...

I say you do triathlon but just walk it in. The joy will still be there and people walk the finishes more often then you think. I know that you will find a new way to workout and have the bonds and the fun! In the meantime we are here for you!!!

Ian said...

Thanks for sharing Nancy.

Irene said...

Sent here via Runner's Lounge.

I am so very much with you on this one, you have no idea. Everything I'm reading about your injury sounds freakishly similar to mine, injury caused by running, the flexibility (which is why I went misdiagnosed), and the injury itself -- but I went so far as to deal with a broken femur bone. After surgery, and the drugs wore off, I mourned the months I could not longer run -- but you know what? I'm running again. It isn't pretty right now but I'm getting there with the help of physical therapy and sports rehab.

You can still keep in touch with your running peeps by volunteering at some of the races. It's actually a lot of fun at the hydration table. You get to see everyone.

Hang in there.

USJogger said...

Oh, Nancy, I'm so sorry. Life will go on, and you will find new challenges. But you need time to mourn, too. Just remember that you aren't alone. We all love you.

USJogger said...

OK, everyone. Virtual Race time. I have just declared the "Freakishly Flexible 5K", to honor our fallen compatriot. I even made a logo and everything. Check it out on my blog. And everyone please join in. Let's show Nancy how much we care.

ShoreTurtle said...

I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery.

kara said...

Ouch - sounds serious.
REST and heal and keep on blogging!

Sonia said...

This sucks ass Nancy..... I can somewhat understand how you feel as I am still suffering through multiple injuries and that 13 min/mile is what I thrive for right now..... It must be so hard to say good bye to running. It is a mourning for sure. Good luck with the surgery and recovery.

Joe said...

Wishing you an easy and successful recovery. Oh and check out the March issue of Runner's World. Yeah, I got March's issue already. But read the story on the firefighter. It might prove some inspiration for you. I know it did for me. See you on the road soon...

Joe
www.fitnessgeekga.wordpress.com

Frayed Laces said...

Oh Nancy, my heart goes out to you. You have every right to mourn---after all, running is like our best friend, right?
My bet is you will emerge from this and find your new identity as an athlete--whether it be swimming, cycling, or tight-rope walking. Just make sure you find something that brings you joy each and every day. Hugs and Aloha.

C said...

Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry. (((Hugs))) to you. But I think you can run shorter distances once you're all healed up again, no? The long stuff is overrated anyway. :)

Take care and know you are in my thoughts.

Amy said...

Hi Nancy - I feel so bad for you! I totally get the loss you feel about not being able to run... Whatever treatment you decide to have, I wish you a smooth recovery. I am sure you will find something else to be passionate about - and I hope you continue to share with us on your blog! I have really missed you these past months. Good luck and hang in there.

Vava said...

I am so sorry for what you are going through, but I'm also certain that you will find a silver lining to all of this somewhere down the road. Good luck witht the surgery and recovery!

Jamie said...

Answers are good but this still stinks! Maybe you could do partner duathlons/tris? Get healthly and you'll figure out what your next steps will be! I look forward to seeing where this will take you.

Lily on the Road said...

Oh we love you so very much you little "freak"!

There are so many choices and we will be with you no matter what direction you go in.

The good news is, now at least you know what was causing you such distress.

Just have your surgery, get better (keeping us posted along the way of course) and we will be there to cheer you on!!

{{{hugs}}}

Shelley said...

I have this image of you as a rubber person with your limbs flailing about as if you have no bones! My imagination is a little too vivid. Hope you find something you love...maybe join a team where you do the swimming part of a tri...I hope you stay in the blogosphere though, we love you freakish and all.

Midwest said...

I'm so sorry, Nancy.

I know you're sad, but I also know that you are a strong, tenacious, passionate person, and you will find something else to love sometime in the future.

And your runner friends will always love you.

Robert Barker said...

That is a bummer Nancy. I am sorry about the surgery. Hang in there, I am sure you will make the best of it.

Nat said...

Now you have the answers. We have the answers. I'm sorry it's not as easy as new shoes and a few hours with the RMT. You'll get through this, and you'll have to let us know what you decide to do.

I do miss you so.
Hugs.

Run For Life said...

I'm sorry to hear this. :( I hope you have a strong recovery and that your passion in running can be rekindled with another sport, whatever it may be. Keep us updated. ::hugs::

Jennifer Burgett said...

So sorry to hear that you have to give up running. But you will find another sport to love!!!

BTW, I wanted to let you know I am going to run in the Freakishly Flexible 5k in honor of you!

Ms. V. said...

Youch! I'm running with you! YOGA YOGA YOGA

Michelle said...

ROCK ON FREAK!!!

You are OUR FREAK!!!

I love you Nancy for your courage and support and love!!!

Your great!!!! You should be our virtual race director!!!!!

Be strong!!!

Michelle

Anonymous said...

Nancy, my husband lost his sport, tennis, to an MS optic-nerve attack. We miss it, but, like you, we're convinced his inner athlete is waiting for another sport to make itself known to him as his new love.

Here's hoping for a quick recovery, physically and emotionally.

Lauren @ mostly i run said...

I'm so sorry, Nancy. I know how upset I would be if I couldn't run.

I hope they can fix you well enough that you can still jog a little!

Michelle Simmons said...

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. :( If it's any consolation, I just wrote a blog this morning about my awesome swimming partners... they're around... cool swimmers... I hope you can find some to laugh with! :)

Tammy said...

I found your blog from the marathon mama and I am very sad to hear of your injury.

Do you think you might be able to racewalk? It's low impact and perhaps your hip can tolerate it once it's fixed? It gives you the same runner's high and same awesome cardio workout. Check out www.racewalk.com and www.racewalking.org.

You are inspiring the way you are keeping your spirits so high. Speedy recovery wishes to you and I hope you find a sport that your body can tolerate that you love as well as running.

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Sorry to hear this news...I just found you via Marathon Mama and I wanted to send you a virtual hug and say good luck.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, I am so sorry. I know you will make the best of all the choices you have mentioned. I think cycling can provide a lot to the same feelings that running can. I know you will find something. Good luck in making the decisions you have to make.

Anonymous said...

Can you stick to shorter distances? 5ks are a blast and you don't need to do much to do them. You can be a runner without doing much running. I hope everything works out for you, and I hope you continue this blog or some other blog!!

Scott McMurtrey said...

You've already proved that you're a runner. No questions asked. Without a doubt. Even if you never run another mile in your life.

I feel for you and the injury situation. :( It's a tough one. Everyone here has some great advice and I'll echo it. If running will cause further injuries then you can find a sport that will let you get the same thing that you got from running. We'll all be here for you!

Anonymous said...

I just happened across your blog and I had to say I totally feel for you - I'm loose-goosey too. I ran for about a year and was completely in love with it (not that good at it, but loved it!) and then started having hip pain that's just gotten worse and spiraled. I already knew I had ligament laxity (torn labrum in the shoulder - so I know how you feel) and now my pelvis keeps slipping out of position, which is excruciating. I went from running all the time to hardly walking at times. I've started to realize I might not run again, which is sad, but it's important to care for your body. So here's hoping we both find fulfilling ways to keep ourselves healthy. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you're not alone! I hope you find some relief soon!

Missy said...

'But you don't meet your friends at the pool and have a great swim with chat, laughter, tears, hugs, etc.' .... A Masters or Tri swim team can get this part back for you. Even though you're underwater most of the time, there is plenty of time for some good natured harassment at the 'wall.' We have a blast!

The worst part is when something is taken from you that is not a decision of your own. Good luck.

Unknown said...

OH, Nancy! I am so sorry.

You said, "But you don't meet your friends at the pool and have a great swim with chat, laughter, tears, hugs, etc." Know that you can... I do.

I agree with Wes & J-Mom.... we're all cheering for you!

Marlene said...

I'm sorry to read this news, but admire your attitude so much. Do you know how many bloggers are out there rooting for you? You're such an inspiration and just had to pop over to let you know.

Take care!

I Run for Fun said...

So sorry about the running. Hope you heal fast.

Kevin said...

Wow I am so sorry to hear that. Worst case scenario, many triathlons now have an aquabike division that is a swim and a bike but no run

Anonymous said...

Reading this post I revisit the feelings experienced and still sometimes do because of my injuries. I too was a non-runner, self proclaimed such that I would never run in my life. Hah. I began to love it so much, then injury struck due to my non-runner body. I used to bike when I was younger, so we tried that and now I love to bike too! What a rescue being able to bike is!! I was going crazy until we got the bike. I just love being outside in the beauty there and enduring whatever the weather throws at me as much as I can to be out there and experience it!! This is once again possible, on my beautiful, wonderful bike!!! I know you will find something that will give you such an experience again too!!! {{Hugs from another non-runner with a non-runner body!}}

My Life said...

I am sending you the hugest hug! And my shoulder for a tear or two...

On the Pollyanna side... you became a runner! You ARE a runner! You did all that and are moving on to the next stage and you are going to train, and grow, and master something else!!

I'm investing in a bike... let me know if you want to become newbie biking buddies ;)

And finally, You Are Not Old. Chin up, young one.

Bill Carter said...

HI Nancy

You know that this could happen to any of us at any time. Running is so absolutely hard on the body that I truly believe we are all one injury from becoming non-runners. We, your loyal followers, could learn a lot from you in terms of how you have handled all this with such grace. It is never easy to have to admit you can't do something you have done (and enjoyed) so well.

Best of luck to you and I can't wait to see what the Non-Runner becomes... but I'm sure it will be great!

Marcy said...

Ohhhh Nancy I'm sorry I'm behind ( a little blog breaky) my heart totally goes out to you. I can only imagine how you must feel. YOu will ALWAYS be a runner :-) ((((HUGS))))

On the plus side, just think of all the hot little bodies you get to see 90% nekkid in the pool :-)

Pokey said...

You will always be a runner in my book Nanc! Love ya girl!

sRod said...

Oh Nancy. Nancy, Nancy, Nancy.

First, my heart and thoughts go out to you hoping that you have a healthy recovery.

Second, know that you will always be a runner. Not only because you have the medals to prove it, but because your heart is as big and as strong as any marathoner's. You've had a great run and have been able to great things out of running that some people never will (I mean, a cavewoman with a bat--that's beautiful!).

I hope to be as graceful, humble, and appreciative as you when the day comes that I am no longer able to do this.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm so late to the party, but my heart is with you. I wanted to be funny and uplifting, too, but it reached a point where I felt obligated to find a way to get back out there and run so I wouldn't let people down. That was the point where I decided it was time to talk honestly, and encourage people to pay more attention to the messages their bodies are sending.

This post is particularly scary for me because none of my doctors has really found a root cause for my problems, but several have mentioned that I'm extremely flexible. Uh oh! For now I keep my distance down. It sounds like there is no safe distance for you, and I'm really sorry for that because I've spent the last year pondering my running future, and it hasn't been fun. I decided that if I'm not able to run, I will walk/hike/climb, but I will be active.

I'm walking with a friend on Sunday afternoons. We are enjoying the time together, without the guilt of lunch and shopping. Is walking an option?

Laura N said...

Oh Nancy! I'm so glad you shared all this. And I'm so sorry for everything you're going through. I completely understand the drama. Any of us reading who are runners certainly should empathize--life without running would be a tough reality to face.

You'll mourn, you'll get surgery, you'll heal, and you'll find a new passion. You WILL! You MUST! You can't be fabulous & spread the blog love & then go away.

Please come back fighting.

You're an inspiration no matter what your sport.

I'll run a 5k in your honor tomorrow.

Big hugs.

peter said...

Get well! I'm so sorry! I'm gonna do that virtual 5K for ya, I just can't do it today (Val's Day). Your adventures have been so cool!

zanne said...

Oh girl ... once a runner, always a runner. I'm pretty sure it was YOU who told ME that!!

I remember some dark days of thinking I'd just die if I couldn't run, and totally feel for you - I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this, but its' not the end - come out of the surgery, recover and see what's next.

you know where I am going with this one!! The bike thing ain't so bad. You can totally meet your friends for a ride and have a great ride - "chat, laughter, tears, hugs, etc". It's all about the forward motion, covering the miles, chatting with friends, learning something new ... and those miles are covered so much faster on a bike! :-)

You'll get through this - and whatever it is you are doing when you are healed, be it running, biking, swimming or anything else, i am confident you'll still have this creative outlet of an amazing blog with legions of followers as you go on your next adventure!!!

KimsRunning said...

I'm sorry to hear this news. I've been so wrapped up in my own misery I just now got to yours. Your blog I mean, not your misery.

I think you should post from the surgical suite...maybe even web-cam it. We can all be there for you!!!!

Good luck, let us know how it all is going!

Kevin said...

Oh, wow, I had no idea until I read about this on another blog, something about a Freakishly Flexibly 5k and all. And then it said in honor of Nancy and immediately, immediately I thought the worse. My heart still sinks for you cuz I know if I didnt have running, well, I dont know what i'd have. I hope the docs can fix you up, and I hope you soon find the peace and happiness that running gave you. take care.

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow, Nancy. Love your blog, although I'm rather new around here. Sad to hear about your injury, and hope it's all fixed up in no time.

When you mention freakishly flexible, all I can think about is one word - Ashtanga.

It just might be vigorous and challenging enough to keep you entertained until you're back out running.

Michelle said...

Oh Nancy. I am WAY late to this party, but I just have to say I hope your surgery goes well in two days and that you recover fast and can get back out and running again!

I'm like you, though. I have a body that's not really made for running. So sad, since I love it. But I get injured easily and right now have IT band issues. *sigh* We unfit-to-run runners have got to stick together!

I'll be thinking of you.....

prashant said...

i hope you find something equally as enjoyable... wishing you a speedy recovery
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Emre said...

I'd like to echo what RazzDoodle said, your flexibility could be a benefit in other endeavors. I read somewhere that Michael Phelps is also freakishly flexible. You ARE a runner and will always be one. Now you just need to find another outlet like swimming, biking, or Kung Fu fighting.