My pain, it is increasing! A negative “positive” feedback loop.

What is a “heavy” runner? Don’t ask runners! I looked it up and like so many others, they just want to argue and posture. I am looking for clinical definitions! I hurt!

I am sort of heavy for a long distance fellow, I think. I weigh around 190, which is, give or take 15 pounds, about what I’ve weighed since I was 17. Generally, when I’ve gone on big running programs in the past, I’ve stayed smoking (because I used to be super human, and an idiot! Hey hey!) and dropped a ton of weight. Now I don’t smoke (over six weeks). I run. I eat like you would not believe, mainly of the burger, fries and beer family (how else am I going to soothe my broken smoker’s heart?). And, my lower legs are killing me.

Places I hurt.

There are a lot of reasons runners get lower leg pain:

1) They increase mileage and intensity too fast without taking easy days (not my problem– I’m going real slow).

2) They don’t run with proper mechanics. Lots of pronation (feet turned in) or supination (feet turned out) can cause calf and shin problems. I’m a natural supinator, but have not had this trouble before.

3) Running on wicked terrain, like the mountain trails! Or the craggy desert dried river bottoms! can cause one’s feet to pronate or supinate accidentally thus causing the injuries in number 2. But I run primarily on a treadmill. So, that’s flat.

4) Crushing and pounding of heavy fellow running, destroying tiny legs beneath him!

Here I am running on the Ohio State football field in 1965 after eating at Fuddruckers.

One thing leads to another. I enjoy running. It helps me not smoke. Not smoking makes me want to eat beer and burgers and fries every meal. Bad nutrition and the weight it causes (plus, really, likely, some kind of chemical deficiency it causes) makes me fat and in pain when I run, which makes me not want to run, which makes me want to smoke and eat fat burgers and beer fries. This is a positive feedback loop, which can only be described as positive in that I am positively in huge, enormous, ever-growing-greater pain.

Positive feedback loop: not really “positive” in this case.

In fact, let’s call it cumulative causation leading to a complete breakdown of healthy living! I must “stop the madness” if I am to keep running. That means I have to eat right. It is a root cause discipline I need right now. No bad eats!

I am ashamed to say I did not eat my bag of lettuce last week, but instead ate pepper jack cheese. The kingdom might crumble if don’t stop it!


1 Response to “My pain, it is increasing! A negative “positive” feedback loop.”

  1. 1 Jaime August 29, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    You remind me of when I started running.
    It seemed like a neverending positive feedback loop. I run, I feel great, I loose weight, girls notice, I eat healthy…
    and then one of those nagging injuries comes to my life and turns it upside down. I guess it’s just abput being patient and serious about it.

    In the other hand I just picked up smoking again, and liking it. Of course it is twice as difficult since neighbors may be wondering is the guy smoking out the window isnt’ the one running in the morning?

    Great blog, had a great time.

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I am…

Geoff Herbach. I am the author of Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, among a bunch of other stuff. When I'm not writing, I teach writing at Minnesota State, Mankato.

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