Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jinx! Padlock!

Do you remember playing this game as a child?  When two people say the same thing at the same time, one of them, or a random listener, can shout, "Jinx!  Padlock!" and then the other person (people) can't speak until someone who isn't padlocked says their name three times.  Other versions include, "Jinx!  Buy me a coke!" and "Chin!  Dada!" which is really only the version Baby plays as she tags along after 6 y.o. and repeats everything he says.
Hard to believe this kid would follow his parents around the house, asking them questions to which he already knows the answer so that he can say what they say at the same time in an attempt to "padlock" them.  Not!  What's hard to believe is that there might be something more annoying that a child could do for weeks at a time.
We have "played" this "game" a lot (lot lot lot lot) during the past several weeks, which might be the reason why I keep thinking of jinxes.  Let me clarify- I am not a superstitious person.  I believe that there is actually an Ultimate Plan for my life, and that luck, jinxes, and the like do not, in reality, even exist.  I typed those last 2 sentences with great conviction, and I definitely stand by my wise words.  However, you will never again see me wearing my Buccaneers earrings on game day.  They lose every time I have them in!  Once, I wore them during the first half of the game which was, in typical Bucs fashion, a disaster. I removed the earrings during halftime, they came back out and won the game.  But I'm not superstitious.  So, all of the jinxes I'm about to describe are certainly not actual jinxes.  Jinxes don't exist.  (Unless you and the person sitting next to you just read 'jinxes don't exist' aloud at the same time.  Then you're both padlocked.  Ha!)

The Speed Jinx

I love my running group.  You would not believe how kind, supportive, encouraging and motivating this group of runners is.  Aaaaannnndddd, one of the kind, supportive, encouraging, motivating friends (I won't mention any names) totally jinxed my pace.  June 14.  5 a.m. group run.  Afterward, as everyone chatted and basked in the knowledge that their stink was undetectable amidst the stinks of those around them, this particular KSEM friend said, "So, you're like never even in the 9s anymore, huh?"  He was right.  In the 2 months prior to his comment, nearly 40 different runs, only 5 had been over a nine minute/mile pace.  In the 2 months since, only 1 of my nearly 40 runs has been under a 9 minute pace, and that one was at 8:57.

Lucky 13?

I registered for the race of my dreams on July 13th.  I used a discount code to save $13.  The code was LUCKY13.  All of which, of course, means nothing bad.  How could a number have any power over me?  It isn't as if typing a 1 and a 3 would somehow magically make my calves hurt or something...

The Best Laid Plans...

Every mile carefully plotted out in a lovely calendar purchased specifically for my marathon training plan.  Pace goals.  Rest days.  Projected weekly mileage increases.  Ink color coordination.  For someone who loves lists like I do, and loves writing with sharp pencils on blank spaces like I do, planning marathon training was blissful.  But, as they say, "the best laid plans of mice and men and marathon running wannabes oft go awry."

What If...?

Maybe it's a genetic trait.  My aunt discussed anticipatory worry on her blog a while back.  Maybe I've got a previously undiscovered anxiety disorder.  Regardless of the origin of this habit, I often (like, really, really often), try to think of every possible thing that can go wrong, despite my firm belief that it's impossible to do so.  Without fail, it is the things I don't think of that do go wrong.  My conclusion, which makes complete sense in some part of my brain, is that if only I had thought about a stinking stress fracture (maybe just a stress reaction) that would put my legs on the couch instead of on the road for all these weeks in the middle of my training, it wouldn't have happened.  Here are some of the things which will now not happen to interrupt my training or spoil my first marathon:
- Stress fracture during the race
- Migraine race morning
- Getting lost on the way to the start line
- Hotel not having our reservation
- Super cold weather
- Super hot weather
- Vomiting
- Forgotten running shoes
- Abduction
- ACL tear
- Car accident
- Snake bite
- Surprise pregnancy
- Bad fall
- Dehydration
- Leg amputation after a shaving cut from a rusty razor
This, by the bye, is a pretty small sample of what I've found to worry about.

Missed Wood Knocking Opportunity

My calves were sore, first, but I kept running.  The pain wasn't terrible, and once I was a few miles into each run, they would feel better.  Then, there was that long, hilly run.  My left knee started to sing in awful harmony along with my calf, and kept feeling worse and worse with each passing day.  Probably 8 different times, I said to different family members and friends, "I'm sure it isn't anything serious.  Nothing broken or torn or really damaged."  Do you think I knocked on wood any of the times that I said those words?  Nope.
This image shall serve to remind us all that I did, at one point not so long ago, run.  I even outran all but 1 person in my age group this time, and earned a medal.  Oh!  And remember how I used to smile?!
Knocking on wood is pointless and silly.  Certainly, doing so wouldn't have changed anything.  Right?  Right.  Although the knee pain wasn't getting any better, and the calf pain was still there, I tried every few days to run a few miles.  The last time I did so was Saturday.  I limped/hobbled/made horrid faces for the entire 1.5 miles, and while I showered afterward, I kept distracting myself with reminders of how many times I had been in worse pain. (Pre-epidural.  Migraine.)  With ice, the swelling went down, but the spot on my tibia which felt as though a very mean, very tiny person was chiseling away, did not feel better the next day, or the day after.  After spending some way too much time researching, and after shrieking my way through the hop test, I'm pretty sure that I have a serious problem.

So, here I sit, trying to be calm, trying not to vomit every time I think about/hear about/see anyone running.  I've decided to take a few weeks totally off from running.  If all goes well, I'll still have over 5 weeks to prepare for my first marathon.  No, that isn't even close to as much time as I had planned, but it is better than no weeks.
If all goes poorly, well, I'm sure there's good reason.  I'm also sure that my marathon will not necessarily be the one that I can't get out of my head right this minute.  I will rest.  I will stay calm.  I will smile.  Eventually, I will run.  My legs will carry me where I want to go.  My regular pace will, again, be less than 9 minutes/mile.  I will run a marathon.  And, I will resist the urge to knock on wood as I type, because I'm not superstitious.

My advice for you today is to run when you can run, and rest when you need to rest.  Oh, and have yourself a listen to this!

Do you believe in jinxes?

Do you worry about things in advance?

1 comment:

  1. D'Oh! MANT! DRAT! Who gave you those stupid genes anyway?!

    I say again: mant!
    Also :(