The Ultra – Part 2/ 5 (The Injury and Listening to Ourselves)

So, I’ve been training for The Ultra. I will absolutely not say it’s been easy. Long runs on the weekend when I can, “shorter” runs during the week, trying to cross train. Stairs. Lots and lots of stairs. I didn’t realize the exact amount of the incline that this particular race has and my residence is predominantly flat. So stairs.

Now I have a new injury to add to it. This isn’t my IT Band, or a strain, or a fracture. I actually don’t know what it is. All I know is that when I try to run too fast or for too long, my eye feels like it is going to explode. I slow down and after a few minutes it goes away. I start running again and the pressure starts again. It’s a cycle. It happens during cross training too. I have literally never had this happen before. I don’t just mean my eye feels like it will rupture, I mean explode like a balloon out of my head.

So I searched online what it could be. I generally don’t use the internet for medical information because I know what can exist. However, in this case, I needed to know if my eye was going to explode (or even if that is possible). Apparently it can be any number of things. From dehydration to too much caffeine. It can also be a sign of glaucoma or diabetes. It can also be a sign of brain tumors or other terrifying extreme circumstances (hence why I don’t use the internet for medical advice). If I was a betting person, I would put my money on dehydration and too much caffeine, because I drink alcohol at night and 8+ cups of coffee in the morning.

Nevertheless, I booked an appointment with an optometrist. It is scheduled for later today and I don’t think I’ve seen an optometrist since I had eye surgery in… 2013? I will go for a run/walk this morning and take it easy even when I was hoping to do a really long run today. It’s disappointing to me in the sense that I wanted to be ready for The Ultra, but I know that I don’t want my eye to explode.

Generally I give the advice to push through all challenges and endure. How important is it to complete this race (or any race)? How important is it to persevere and push back against adversity, whether it is an attitude, a circumstance or an injury? While I still stand by attitude and circumstance, this is not so important that I am willing to risk my eye exploding. So I did the responsible thing and made an appointment to speak with an actual expert about what it could be and what my options are. Until then (only a few more hours), I will take it easy.

Now I’m off for my run. Wish me luck that my eye doesn’t explode. In my next The Ultra post I will include the results of my optometrist appointment. Hopefully I don’t have to stop drinking coffee.

This is something important. Whether it’s major or minor, it’s important to listen to our bodies. Our bodies tell us when something is wrong, when something is being pushed too hard or alternatively, when things are going great. These things change over time and are different from person to person. I’m currently referring to running circumstances but it also applies to epilepsy. I used to have auras and I don’t anymore, without a reason why. Our medical conditions change too. We need to be aware of what our bodies are saying to us. We need to listen and even when it’s difficult or embarrassing or scary, seek the help that we need to find or how best to take care of ourselves (not based on internet advice).

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