It is a cool 49 degrees out this morning. I am not running today and I’m a fair weather cyclist so that ain’t happening. Given the fact that the pool is closed all next week I really should go swim. But I don’t want to. I didn’t sleep great last night, I’m a little tired and don’t feel like submersing myself in the boring pool. Frankly, there is no motivation to do so either.
I mailed off my letter of appeal to my health insurance company last week in hopes of getting them to agree to pay at least a little toward the surgery that would give me freedom again. I won’t re-tell the increasingly lengthy 1/2 year tale of the athletic pubalgia (fancy word for groin injury) I suffered shoveling snow last winter. Suffice it to say that apparently not enough money can be made in recognizing and treating these injuries by the healthcare industry so there are not any real studies or treatment plans that are documented or not considered experimental by insurance providers. Generally, one is expected to suck it up and live with it.
For me that means no more running fast or far. No more weight/strength work at all. No more long-distance triathlon. I can run, bike, and swim a little. In fact, more than most people do. I suppose it is enough to keep in somewhat good shape. My last official race of the year has come and gone. For the first time in 7 years, I have nothing on the calendar to prepare or train for. The desire to push myself out the door on days like today when I’m tired just isn’t there. Even the last two days I happily chopped miles off my planned runs because, well there just isn’t a reason to do a lot of running.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy running. I love my running friends and the greater running community. The highlight of my week is my Friday morning run with some of my closest friends. But 5 miles or 10? Why would I choose 10 at this point? Or even 8?
I am a bit worried the downward trend will continue but have decided I can live with it if it does. I am not hopeful I’ll get a positive answer from insurance regarding my appeal. I’m also not sure I want to spend a significant portion of my savings out-of-pocket to be able to be back on the podium at a 5K or to run the Boston marathon again. This type of groin injury causes daily discomfort. Riding in the car is uncomfortable, sitting for long periods is uncomfortable, mowing grass sucks, but it is not excruciating by any means. In the grand scheme of life’s woes, it is tolerable.
The question is how much of the rest of my life will be impacted. I may get a sample of this soon. If you haven’t figured it out by now, my life is driven by motivation. I’m not Forrest Gump. I’m not heading out for a long run just because I feel like running. I need to have something to focus on and be prepared for. Most often times for me that thing has been race day. Sometimes it’s been an upcoming, arduous hunting trip. Later this month, myself and a couple friends leave for Newfoundland to hunt moose. This trip will involve long days of walking many miles across the tundra in boots with a pack. I wonder how I’ll hold up? Similarly, deer season follows. I’m wondering how well I’ll be able to operate a climbing treestand? This requires much use of the core. There are a lot of fat guys with a lot of health problems that are able to continue doing these things so I think I can muddle through. Time will tell.
My plan for now is to see what the insurance company comes back with (pretty sure I know). I’ll also evaluate how I’ll feel after the 30+ hour drives to and from Newfoundland and all the walking (and hopefully moose meat hauling) and decide if I hate life enough to drain my bank account to pay for surgery.
In the meantime there are no races forthcoming. I see no point in paying money to swim, bike, or run at a leisurely pace. I can do that for free any time I want. Or not. As Boston sign-up approaches and the fall marathon season kicks in to high-gear I will watch enviously from the sidelines wondering if I’ll ever do another marathon.