Dammit, dammit, dammit! I may be forced to abandon my 5K training.

I actually started running about eight or nine months ago. I was taking it easy, following a standard Couch-to-5K program on the treadmill in my gym, even repeating weeks here and there as I felt I needed to. But then I started to have knee problems. I scaled back the running and did some research. I found that many people’s knee issues are improved by amping up core and general leg strength, so I concentrated on that for awhile. After a month or two, I started running again. It went great at first. Then I started to have feet problems. I stopped trying to improve my distance/time, and just maintained for awhile, hoping my feet were just protesting what they considered to be uncalled-for abuse. It seemed to work, but when I advanced to another week in the C25K plan, they got worse.

A LOT worse.

So I caved and went to an orthopedist specializing in sports injuries, and he sent me to a physical therapist and pedorthist. Turns out I have Morton’s neuroma in both feet. But a lot of people — I know they are out there, I googled them — run with that condition, so I stayed positive. After following treatments suggested by the smart people I paid, I started the gradual running thing again. Slowly but surely, I started to improve. Again.

I was doing so well that I joined a running group. Yay! I was very excited. You remember the post, right?

Then, during a run about three weeks ago, my hip started freaking out. It was a familiar feeling from the days before my current gym obsession. It began as a “presence” in the side of my lower back, but within ten minutes or so, it had turned into a disconcerting pain with every stride. Shit.

Still not willing to give up, I found a chiropractor with awesome experience treating athletes. He got me feeling better pretty quickly — I only had to miss about a week of running. I hit the group’s training schedule again, committed to catching up.

But within only a few days, the neuromas started plaguing me again. Fuck, and doublefuck.

So, on this beautiful Sunday, I sit on my butt-sucking blue couch, Powerbook in my lap, feet not exactly hurting but throbbing with a weird blend of numbness and electrical impulses. They feel better today, and I think I’ll go to the gym this afternoon and attempt a treadmill run. I’ve tried to maintain my fitness with high-intensity workouts on the elliptical and the spinning-class bikes, but it’s not the same…..at this point, I’ve missed so many runs that I’m afraid I won’t be able to catch up. I’m going to try, though. Again.

I’m very close to admitting defeat, however. I mean, geesh….if the universe whacks me THAT many times with a warning, perhaps I should listen.

Grrrrrrrrr. I’m pissed. I’ve grown to really like running — it boosts those happy endorphins like no other activity, and it makes me feel strong and healthy. But…..I suppose if it doesn’t work out for me to run hard, perhaps I can at least do one or two easier runs a week. That’d be better than nothing, which might be what I’d end up doing if I hurt myself trying to push through all my body’s failures.

And maybe I can view it as an opportunity to try something new. A few people I know keep encouraging me to take up cycling — my new chiropractor, especially. Spinning class has made me curious to tackle it in the “real world,” and I’ve even heard about an organization in Spartanburg that loans bikes for free. When one door closes, another one opens.

Hmmmm. A neverdone! My bike-riding has been limited to recreational, lazy outings. I’ve never tried to kick my own ass with it. Now if I can remember how to change gears….

But I’m ahead of myself. Maybe this afternoon will go well. Keep your fingers crossed.