Monday, December 3, 2012

Injuries only in my head

I have recently started to feel aches and pains when I know that I have to go out for a run.

Sometimes I feel the pains when I wake up at 5:30 am to go for a cold run in a New Hampshire winter. Sometimes I feel the pains the night before when I decide when to set my alarm. Sometimes I feel the pains after I've decided not to run because of the pain. Those post-non-run pains allow me to justify not having run earlier.

The crazy thing is that I know that the pain isn't real, or at least I'm 99% sure that it's not real. They're knee and foot pains and sometimes they even amplify into limps and aches during the day.

I'm pretty sure the pains aren't real because when I finally push myself to get out and run, I feel totally fine. The foot, knee, and back pain is gone. Or, more correctly, they were never there to begin with.

It's a phenomenon known as psychosomatic injuries. In other words, though my injuries or aches feel very real physically, they're caused by my brain creating them or making them worse.

I've been running for the last 7 years or so. I think what's happening is that running is becoming a chore for me. I know that it's the quickest and most efficient way to burn calories and it doesn't require me going to the gym. So, at least in the last year, that's why I've been running. I've been running not because I love it as much as I used to, but because it's the easiest way to burn calories.

But this isn't the first time this has happened to me. I've been able to get out of it by trying to stay out of my head. I've tried to make some games out of running (hence the run from Philadelphia to Los Angeles over 3 years), and all of those things seem to have worked. So, now, I just have to do it again.

And until I'm feeling like I can run and never stop, I'll still get myself out the door and put one foot in front of the other. That's how I started and that's how I'll keep going.