Sunday, June 24, 2012

Listening to my body

I always tell my patients to listen to their bodies.  As a physician, I've realized the importance of looking for signs that are right in front of you.  Well, the last four weeks have been a struggle.  After moving to California, I've not only been plagued with tons of life stresses, but with some physical issues.  It started as a mild case of plantar fasciitis, which I babied, then did a 5K.  The afternoon after the 5K, I could hardly walk.  I babied it again, but even my wife noted that I was limping.  I did some swimming and a little biking, worked on massaging my calves.  This helped, but I still had some bad days.  I kept looking forward to doing an olympic tri today, but in the back of my head I knew that I could be pushing my foot too much.  On Friday, I woke up with my foot feeling better than it has recently.  No pain at all.  I went for a walk with my wife, and unfortunately, I could feel some discomfort.  I had a theory that walking was worse than running, so I went out for a run.  Overall, it felt pretty good, but later in the day, the pain came back.  In fact, I was really limping and was truly in a fair amount of pain whenever I put pressure on the foot.  Now, I am not one who really complains about pain, so I needed to listen to this.  Moreover, my left thigh was hurting because I had clearly been favoring the left foot during my run.  Lots of self massage, time in the jacuzzi, and finally some advil and I woke up today with only a little discomfort.  However, I know what I have to do.  I need to rest my foot.  Having just signed up for Ironman Lake Tahoe in September of 2013, I have a long ways to go before my next truly big race.  There is no need to cause any damage right now.  I have a pool to swim in every day.  I have my bike.

The other thing I've realized is that my motivation has also been lacking somewhat.  There's been so much on my mind lately, it's been hard to stay motivated about training.  That said, when I get out and train, it feels good.  That's been a struggle.  I want to spend time with my wife, work on my new website and our new business, and...aren't are retired?  I'm going to need to come up with some priorities, but it's really been hard to find the time to even think about that lately.

Back to my body and my foot.  Yesterday, I was hobbling around like an old man.  My father in law, 87 years young and status post a recent knee injection for his arthritis, was walking much better than I was!  Plus, I was really hurting.  OK, no race today.  And, time to give this foot a rest for at least a couple of weeks.  I'll try to spend as much time in the pool as possible.  But I also think that some mental rest would be good as well.  It feels right coming up with this plan.  Listen to my body:)