Friday, October 11, 2013

A Doctor's Running Advice

Here I am doing something which is most definitely NOT one of my hobbies. I decorate cakes out of necessity only; if a doctor ever told me to give up cake decorating, I would not miss a thing.

Three years ago, my son and I were in a car accident. It was raining, and a car to our left inexplicably skidded across in front of us. I couldn't think quickly enough to avoid it; in fact, in my shock, I went the absolute wrong way and we collided at about 60 mph.

The nightmare came about 10 to 20 seconds after impact. It took that long to figure out what had happened. Then I called my son's name. Those seconds between deciding to call his name and hearing his answer were the nightmare.

Luckily, he was fine. We got checked out at the hospital and he was fine other than a couple scratches. I had something along the lines of bleeding rug burn across my chest and a swelling knee, but was otherwise okay.

That was all great, except for the minor driving phobia I acquired. I almost couldn't stand it when I had to drive my children to school in the rain. Gradually, I got over the phobia part, but I still slow way down in the rain and try not to drive in bad weather unless it's absolutely necessary. Actually, I also try to avoid heavy hours of traffic. I have the luxury of being able to do so, for the most part, because we homeschool.

As kind of a sidenote, I went to a doctor to get my knee checked out. It hurt sometimes, and had a small swollen place underneath. She advised me to stop running until I didn't feel pain at all.

For various reasons, I stopped running for about a year. Whenever I tried slowly starting back up again, I would feel my knee, and I would stop. After a while, I gave up her advice as useless and ran when I could. Other family obligations came first, though, so I didn't get into really good shape.

Now I am ramping up my mileage, slowly. I'm definitely challenging myself more than I have in many, many years. Guess what feels stronger? My knee.

By the way, in the heavily researched Lore of Running, Dr. Tim Noakes says runners should always go to a doctor who runs himself or herself.

Each injury is or can be different from each other injury, and many factors play into its healing and the advice a doctor would give. If something different had happened to my knee, I might have had a different outcome. The jury is still not out. Maybe, in future, I will regret running on it again.

But I doubt it.

(Do I have to do the disclaimer? I'm not a doctor. Don't take my advice. :) )


  1. Way to go! I'm working through my current medical mystery and running anyway, not well, not fast, but out there when I can. We should go together again soon.

  2. Totally! I wasn't sure if you were running again. You were part of the catalyst for this phase of my running. 30K?????!!!!!!!! OK!!

  3. Wow, what a scary thing (the accident)! I'm glad you were okay. I'd probably be afraid to drive after something like that as well--good for you in overcoming it. I'm also glad you didn't let one doctor stop you from doing something you love! I hope you find a running doctor soon if you haven't already.