Friday, April 07, 2006


Elliptical, 42 minutes. So I've calmed the hell down. Apologies for my crude outburst. Saw Dr. Z. He's quite certain it's not a femoral stress fracture, in fact he said he's never even seen one, not right in the middle anyway, quite uncommon. Not sure if this reassures me or casts doubts on his experience, but I'll go with the former.

He thinks it's probably an adductor or possibly sartorius strain, and not too severe at that. The ever literate Dr Z (he's always got lots of New Yorker magazines around, in fact I started reading an Updike short story there, My Father's Tears, which I just found online and need to finish), he educated me on the etymology of the word "sartorius". It comes from the Latin "sartor", a tailor, who used to cross their leg in a such a way that the sartorius muscle was employed to rotate it into position. The sartorius, btw, is the longest muscle in the human body.

So I'm relieved about this, both knowing the origin of sartorius as well as the not so horrible prognosis on the thigh. I overreact I know, but one, two, three weeks off is hard to imagine. But I've done it before, I can do this.

And the doc also recommended massage, gave me the name of his own massage therapist, a Russian brute named Leonid, at the health club.

Took it pretty easy on the elliptical, trying to "land" gently, could feel the thigh through most of it, not quite pain, it made its presence known. But decided to keep it up; I need to get the lay of the land with this injury, what makes it worse, what doesn't. I remember reading about some coach emphasizing that you always need to push the envelope — if you're running 30 miles a week and getting shin splints, try cutting back till it's okay, then increase it some more. This is basically what I did to finally beat my shin (MTSS) problems, run, rest, run, elliptical, run, elliptical, etc. It can be tedious and frustrating, but it can work, listen to the body.

It's weird, the last 15 minutes on the elliptical, I started pushing harder, and the sensations in the thigh diminished. I wish I knew what was going on physiologically when this kind of thing happens. Is it numb, loosening up, tightening up, God knows. I'm still under the influence of post workout NSAIDs and ice, but so far no worse for wear. This weekend's long (or any) run is out of the question though. Play it by ear. And calm the hell down.

I heard some program on NPR the other day about college admissions. Made me think about this classic college application essay by Hugh Gallager:

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.


At 8:21 PM, Blogger E Colquhoun said...

Hi David,

I hear ya' brother. I ran my first marathon 3 years ago and missed qualifying for Boston by 5 minutes.

I have bookmarked ya'


At 9:22 PM, Blogger Duncan Larkin said...

Contemplate pool running if you are serious. Bag the eliptical in favor of running in a pool which is about as boring as it gets unfortunately, but that's what the pros do. I whip this link out every time I come across a fellow runner who is injured. Best of luck and don't give up. You can work through anything--that's what running is supposed to teach you.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.


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