Anger and Coping.

January 10, 2012 at 11:37 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy) | 3 Comments

I have been struggling with IT Band tendonitis since my marathon last October.

All things considered, tendonitis is a piddly little injury. That I got through all the running I did last summer and fall with a tiny case of tendonitis?

It’s a very good thing.

But tendonitis, it seems, is tenacious as hell. I’ve been doing physical therapy for 6 weeks now, and I’m STILL having trouble with it. At the very best, my right ITB is as tight and hard as steel.

At its worst, it sends stabby pain into my knee AND it’s as tight and hard as steel. Painful when I stretch, painful when I foam roll. Just sucks.

A couple of weeks ago, I got clearance from my physical therapist to start running 3x a week. Which was good, because I was starting to worry about training for the half I signed up for at the end of February.

I started my “new” schedule on January 1 with a 4 mile race.

And since then, I’ve been following a beginner’s half marathon program that starts out REALLY short, running three times a week, nice and easy.

Last week? I ran 2 two mile runs and a four mile run.

This week’s schedule has me doing 2 two-and-a-half mile runs and a five mile run for my long slow distance run.

I went to attempt my two-and-a-half miler today, and I swear my ITB screamed with EVERY. STEP. But it didn’t erupt into pain during the run, at any rate.

Until I was home, after icing it, and I went to shower. I stepped off my scale, back onto my right leg… into stabby acute pain.


(That’ll teach me to even get on a damn scale.)

I’m really having a hard time with this injury. Not because I’m “obsessed” as some people on FB have said to me.

But the thing is. Running is how I cope.

It struck me in my therapy session last night. I’ve been angry for 25 years now. Underneath everything, no matter what I do, I’m ALWAYS angry.

Mind you, I’ve learned how to CONTROL the anger. I keep it chained up in some deep place inside me. And I don’t really indulge it very much. Because over the years I’ve seen how it’s not HELPFUL to a situation.

I use it for motivation. I use it against myself, probably more than I should.

And there are times when I’m better in control of it than others.

Right now I’m in a very angry period. The upheaval over J’s new job and coordinating schedules and balancing his work with my own job, particularly since my boss told me just before Christmas that I didn’t work enough hours is stressing me the f*ck out.

I’m jealous that J has a job now that he’s going to love. I’m worried about his commute in the winter in New England. I’m worried about how it’s going to look when I have to pick O up from daycare because he’s sick. I’m worried that a sick day means now that I have to be home all day with him, instead of splitting the days like we always have.

I’m also working through my anger at my clinic, with the f*cked up cycles this past year, from the overstimulation IVF cycle to the non-assisted hatching of the second cycle, to the f*ck ups in protocol and communication which ultimately left me not-pregnant.

I’m angry at the idea of going to ANOTHER doctor, doing it all over again. I’m angry that I have to FIGHT to get the family I want when there are so many undeserving people in the news that clearly have no issues procreating.

And I’m angry with myself for always wanting more, not being content with the here and now, NEEDING another mountain to climb. Seriously, why can’t I just sit here and live with uncertainty for a bit?

So the episodes with O this past weekend worried me a lot. Because I think he’s picking up on MY anger. It’s too close to the surface, too apparent.

I have to get it back under control in the short term, even as I’m working with my therapist to work through it.

Running is the most important coping tool I have. Because on a run, I can pound out your anger, run faster, get it OUT. Cry, scream, smash it into the ground. Take it and USE it to run farther and faster and feel like I ACCOMPLISHED something. I can use the time on the road to think, work through my anger, find my Zen, process and move on.

God, I miss running. I miss the easy, long runs, where it was just me and the road and nothing else. I miss running 8 miles before work, going in with the knowledge that I did something epic while most people were sleeping.

I miss it so much.

And I think that’s part of the anger.

I am giving up so f*cking MUCH right now. Really, can I just get a break here? Please?

Apparently that’s not how rehabbing goes.

So I’m going to have to scale back my running again. Maybe instead of 3x a week, I’ll run every three of four DAYS. I’ll stretch, ice, rest, do my physical therapy. Maybe I’ll have to give up on the half and go and cheer my running club on instead.

Doesn’t mean I have to LIKE it, though.



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  1. Ugh for you! It sounds like a really rough time, not being able to turn to the ONE tool you know helps your cope. At the risk of sounding like a pompous ass, it is probably a good time to try to find at least one other, fall back, coping mechanism. You’ve expressed a lot of anger over things mostly out of your control, and anger can be both physically and emotionally destructive. I hope there is something else, something new, perhaps, that can bring your solace to ease your troubled mind.

  2. Damn! I am not a runner by any means…but I can so tell what it has done for you. And the way you describe it…it is very cathartic for you. And to have it shortened and stripped from you….that just so fucking sucks!!

    BTW, since I am unemployed right now–if there is anything I can help you with if you are in crunch because of J being in RI, let me know. Of course, might be good to meet up before then! 😉

  3. Wise words from IIWII….even if it sucks to hear it.
    Still, I get it. I find my time to clear my head is when I am on a run or doing a mindless machine workout. It is shocking to me just how much I can sort through in my brain in such a short time. Perhaps there is another, lower impact activity that will give you the same space to clear your head without aggravating the injury further.

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