Thanksgiving and the Case of the Haunted Leg

First, Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful. We cooked; we ate; we lounged. We ate some more. We watched all of The Lord of The Rings (for fellow geeks who want to know: we did the extended edition of Fellowship; theatrical releases of the other two because that’s what I happen to own on DVD). Well, fine; we may have napped through a good portion of the movies, but that just makes it better, am I right? Here are a few random snaps from the day:

Centerpiece
Me and Eegs
[327/366] Table

Sorry there aren’t any food beauty shots — we were too busy with all the cooking and the eating and the enjoying of the moment.

On another topic, here’s one reason why my week off was so restful: I am currently suffering from a Haunted Leg. My last run was two weeks ago. The day afterward, at work, I was getting up from a chair at work and I had a sudden, unfamilar pain in my lower leg that continued to bother me off and on for that entire afternoon and evening. I don’t have any clue what it was — it seemed to be felt variously all over from just below my knee to just above my ankle. The spot where I felt the pain was never really consistent. I didn’t have any sore or tight muscles; it didn’t feel like bone pain or nerve pain. It didn’t throb or radiate, really, but it did feel worse if I stepped down really hard on my heel (which of course I tried, among many other experiments, to see what made it hurt worse). It hurt like HELL. What the frak was it? It was gone the next morning, only to return the next afternoon when, after having sat in the car for hours on the way to Chattanooga, I walked about a mile. I sat in the bleachers at the wrestling meet all day, distractedly worrying about my own leg as I watched a 141-pound Hawkeye get his knee wrenched around badly and then go on to finish the match. When we got up to leave, my leg felt fine. I had no problem walking to a nearby pub for dinner and then back to the hotel. After that, the pain has never come back.

I figured it couldn’t hurt to take some rest days, so I spent most of the rest of Thanksgiving break sitting on my duff with only the occasional short dog walk to break up the long hours of sloth. This week, after three days back at work, wandering the hallways and pacing the classrooms of the university, I’m still feeling no pain — and still not running. Because my leg is fucking haunted, of course. Seriously. I can still sort of sense the ghost of that pain. I am afraid to go for a run lest it resurface just when I’m a couple of miles from home with no choice but to limp back. It really was that bad — I never want whatever it was to happen again.

But, so, see, I have this 10K I’m signed up for on Saturday morning. Since I’ve now been pain free for almost two weeks, and haven’t run in over two weeks, I’m thinking I should try it? Yes? Or no? I don’t know. I’m not worried about missing the last two weeks of running since I was in no way trying to “race” the 10K — just planning to make it a relatively easy and fun run. So the extreme taper isn’t an issue. I could also switch to the 5K, I suppose. I could DNS it. I could start the race and then DNF at any time if it hurts. I could go out for one or two test miles tomorrow (which I think is what I’m going to do).

Ugh, man. Ugh. Just as I’m really feeling recovered from my hip saga, this happens. I do have to say, I have been very conservative in my overall training, especially my mileage increases, since returning to regular running. I would be absolutely shocked (SHOCKED!) and dismayed if I were to have something like a stress fracture. I don’t think that’s what it was/is, but I’d be stupid if the thought didn’t cross my mind. So wish me luck, y’all.

I’ll report back when I see what happens. So long as this mean-ass bastard of a leg ghost doesn’t drag me back to hell with it, anyway; damn.

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