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Who Invited The Bursitis?

I miss running.

To a lot of people I know, that statement is something a crazy person might say. You miss running? Running is hard! I like Doritos! It’s so bad on the knees!

I swear if someone lectures me on that knee garbage one more time …

OK so I’m not going to slap anyone but hey, I love to run. I’m not one of those athletes who can run 10-15 miles any given day nor am I a speed demon, I just like to run at my own slow pace.

A few years ago I discovered that I could run as long as I threw the idea of speed out the window. I spent the spring, summer, and fall of 2008 running my heart out. I wasn’t fast, heck I was barely running by most standards, but I loved it.

Then the Michigan winter arrived and I chickened out. I even bought all the winter accessories one might wear while running in the cold but I still couldn’t go through with it. I bet I would have looked great in those tights.

That was the end of my running for a while. I wish I could say I picked back up in the spring of 2009 but I didn’t. Sure I tried but I only made it a week or two before I gave up. I repeated this in 2010 and 2011. I tried every year, I’ll give myself that much credit, but the habit didn’t form.

Why do I love running so much? Let me count the ways. First and foremost, I need it. I’m a typical American with extra baggage in the mid-section, what a shocker! I find that running helps keep me focused on my diet so it’s almost like I’m being healthy or something.

Other than the health aspect, I like having time alone to think and the extra blood flow to the brain helps a lot. In fact, I find that my brain works better all day long if I run. There’s also the metabolism boost and a sense of calm that results from having a lower resting heart rate.

So there it is, I like all that stuff. I’d trade any carbohydrate-laden sluggish week for one day of that post-run feel.

I was telling a story before I interrupted myself, let’s get back to it.

I tried to run again in 2012 and this time it actually stuck, I was a running fool again! I worked my way up to 3-5 miles a day depending on how much time I had, I was back baby!

Then came July 11th, 2012 — a day I’ll remember for at least a year or two.

I know the exact date because that’s the last run recorded in Endomondo, the tracking app I use to record my runs. The list that details my runs ends very abruptly at that date.

It wasn’t a dramatic exit, I finished my run and went to work. Later that day I noticed a twinge of pain in my right heel and as the day progressed, it got worse. Never run on an injury, that’s a basic rule.

I hobbled around for a month convinced it was healing but the pain never went away. Finally I visited my doctor who referred me to a podiatrist, a man so busy I had to wait a month and a half for an appointment. Finally in early October, I had a diagnosis.

What kept me from running for 3 months? An inflamed bursa, the sac of fluid that keeps the Achilles tendon from rubbing against the heel bone had somehow been angered during that July run. The solution was simple: shoot it full of steroids.

Two days later, the pain was gone. Like magically gone. Steroids are serious business!

I’m reluctant to try to run again this year as I want to be sure the injury is completely healed but the pain I endured for 3 months disappeared the day after the shot. If only I had been able to see this mysterious medicine man sooner!

Bursitis ruined my 2012 running season but I refuse to let it stop me from running again. 2013 will be another successful year, not a repeat of 2009-2011, I owe that to myself.