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Signed up for my first 8km run and now TMS is back

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Paulita, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Paulita

    Paulita New Member

    Hi All,

    I'm working through the SEP which is challenging but good. I'm journalling every day and doing a lot of reading. I have been running for about 2 months now since my sciatica and knee pain were 'cured' by reading Dr Sarno's books (and other books since then). I've signed up for my first 8km race which is a very popular run through the streets of my city. Since I've signed up a few days ago, I'm getting knee pain and hip pain. I haven't significantly increased my running distance - I do that slowly. So it looks like TMS again. Is my brain using the fact that I'm going to be training longer and harder to try to frighten me? I'm so disappointed by this as I thought I was doing great. I must say that I am writing about a lot of traumatic past events so I thought that acknowledging those feelings would keep my pain at bay. I'd appreciate any feedback or advice on this new development. Thanks
  2. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    it may be because by signing up for the run you are putting pressure on yourself... psychologically as well as physically... when you review traumatic events - see how you 'feel' and 'react' to them, maybe read the recent post by Steve O - in the 'recent threads' list... Finding out what makes you tick - identifying your character traits - all help lead us to realisations about what 'triggers' tms - so we can then manage those aspects of ourselves in a less destructive fashion. Sometimes we can even turn them to our advantage...
    I feel i have become a much calmer and more rational human being, far less prone to 'reaction' and better at dealing with others and stressful situations than i ever was before the tms journey!
    Ellen and Paulita like this.
  3. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Hi Paulita,

    I'm a runner and I've also had that happen to me. I've gone through all sorts of different pains over they years. I found out about TMS in 2007 and since then I started running again after many years off. Even though I experience pains here and there, some which I did take months off, I have continued to run and be active.

    I would say that if you are following a conservative plan with very minor increases in distance/speed then most likely your pain is just the symptom imperative (TMS pain moving to a new location). It can happen even if you are doing all the right things. Real injuries typically require some sort of trauma or in the case of overuse would require quite a lot of strenuous activity over a significant time. What I would do in these cases (Im actutally just getting over some knee pain myself) is that I would do exactly what you're doing... seeking help and advice from others, journaling, reading, and slowly gain confidence in the TMS diagnosis.

    Also, ask questions about your symptoms. Is the pain there when you are running or is it after you run? Does the pain start the next day? Try to look for evidence that it really isn't a physiological injury. For me the pain often didn't become noticeable until the next day... if it was a real injury wouldn't it hurt during or immediately after? Why after a day? Weird.

    One key insight is that the pain started after you signed up for that race. Don't you think that's kind of weird? That seem to indicate that it's related no? Put that on a list of reasons why it's probably TMS. As your list grows with reasons, you will gain more confidence that it is TMS.

    Which 8K is it if you don't mind me asking?

    hecate105 and Paulita like this.
  4. Paulita

    Paulita New Member

    Hi Enrique,

    Thanks for that feedback. I have never been a runner but i am loving it. I started to run about 2 years ago and I got really bad sciatica and knee pain. Having done the rounds of physiotherapists and osteopaths and acupuncturists and MRIs, I found Dr. Sarno's books. I was so convinced about TMS that the pain stopped and I started running. I do talk to my knee while i'm running if it twinges. For me, the pain can start at night after a run so I have a good conversation with my mind/brain. It is absolutely amazing to me that I wake up with no pain the next day! I had some pain during a run yesterday - in a new location :) So I talked to my leg at the end of the run and the pain went away. I will continue with my training program for this run http://www.active.com/galway-city-connacht/running/distance-running-races/galway-clinic-streets-of-galway-8km-2017?int= (Galway Clinic Streets of Galway 8km 2017)

    By the way Hecate, I appreciate your advice. I went back over some of the traumatic events journalling that i have done. And i added some more on how I feel. Yes, I'm enraged that I had been unloved by an ex, enraged that I am not cherished and appreciated by my boss, by my partner. My unconscious is definitely a narcissistic child who believes that she is wonderful and should be adored. That's OK.

    This is really quite an amazing journey - reading, doing the SEP, journalling, being on the forum.

    hecate105 likes this.
  5. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    I talk to my knee also.. and my hip, and my whatever :). It's amazing how that works. It sounds like you're on the right track with this!
    Paulita likes this.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Return of your pain is a very strong indication that it is in fact TMS. I found running extremely meditative and went from running my first 5K (never ran before, ever!) to finishing a half-marathon in 2.5 hours a year later. I simply start running the 5K distance once a week and think of my emotions as I run. Pain slowly goes away and I finish my run with less pain.
    Paulita likes this.
  7. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Paulita, I think it's absolutely amazing that you've taken up running and that you've even signed up for a marathon. Wow. I took up running a year ago and I run 25-30 minutes every other day. I really enjoy it, but I have the tendency to want to add and get to a certain goal, and I've decided to stop myself from doing this because I may stop enjoying it and stop running. So that's all I do and I won't increase it. I don't want it to be a chore or a goal, and with my personality, it's easy for it to become a project. Since I really don't want to give it up, I'm sticking with the running I do. Could it be that putting the demand of a marathon on yourself it caused pain? Not sure if that's the case for you. But, even if it is, I think we still need to go on with our life and not let pain rule it. But maybe you just need to keep giving yourself the self-care that you require, like you're doing through journaling, and talking to parts of your body (I do that too). Maybe when we increase demands on ourselves, even if it's a fun activity, we need to increase the self-care activities we do. How about setting time aside to paint your toe nails (since running involves the feet), or indulge in some special lotion ritual for your legs and feet after you run. Not sure if that would help, but it's one idea.
    Paulita likes this.
  8. Paulita

    Paulita New Member

    Oh I hadn't thought that I might be putting too much pressure on myself. That old perfectionist trait :rolleyes: I would like to do the run because it's a fun event but I will try not to become obsessed with it. Self care it is honey badger thanks.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    hecate105 likes this.
  9. miquelb3

    miquelb3 Well known member

    Hi, Enrique. I have sent you a PM.
  10. Paulita

    Paulita New Member

    Hi All,

    I thought i'd share an update on my training program. I have been journalling and noticing when I feel triggered. It's my birthday today and my work colleagues had a surprise cake for me yesterday. I felt very anxious being the focus of attention and I felt shame afterwards for the few words that I did say "Oh they must think I'm an idiot" or "Oh, I shouldn't have shared anything personal". I am becoming aware that I feel a lot of anxiety and shame through the process of journalling. I also decided last night that i would break up with my boyfriend (we have been having difficulties for a long time now).
    Today, i went for an early run - 30 minutes and warm up/cool down. Just at the end of the run, I noticed that my calf was sore and then i felt a "twang" like an elastic band snapping and I felt bad pain, like a cramp. I managed to hobble home and it's still quite painful. So I'm wondering if this is a TMS symptom imperative. The calf is a completely new pain location for me. Has it arrived to distract me from my strong feelings? Or did I in fact injure myself?
    Sorry if these are common questions for beginners. I'm reading Steve's book now - having read lots of the other MBS/TMS books. This is quite a journey.
  11. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Thanks for the update Paulita. It looks like you're doing a lot of work through journaling and I think that's fantastic. I have trouble sticking to journaling unless I'm really stressed out and anxious. So good for you for sticking with it and discovering how often you feel anxious.

    I can't remember what entry or TMS recovery program I was reading this, but it seems that keeping our minds in a state of anxiety or fear is actually the main goal for TMS. It is trying to distract us from certain emotions, but it does this through creating a certain amount of fear and anxiety. That guarantees that we will stay focused on the physical problem. We're much more likely to look at the calf pain, for example, and start being concerned about it (did I injure myself? do I need to rest? can I walk with these shoes?) and then it's done it's job.

    I keep reminding myself with any pain that starts up or continues, that I have to take away the two fuels from it: fear and attention (as Alan G. has said). What I would do about your pain is think if the 30 min run was a real strain for me to do, or if it was within what I normally would do. If it was within my normal workout routine rigor, then I would probably ignore the pain, or use it to dig into emotions (which our mind doesn't like), every time I had a pang, or it got more intense. And the moment it changes, shifts location, or stops, I would jump on that and say aha! I KNEW it was TMS, and then I would be free to ignore it or dig deeper into emotional work. I have a similar pain on the outside of my left foot, and since I run and am also constantly on my feet, I figured I had hurt myself. It can be really painful so it had a lot of my attention and at first I tried to walk differently. And eventually, I figured there was nothing I had done differently, and decided to just go with the idea that it was TMS. And it continued, and continued, but one day it stopped, only to resume a few days later. But that pause was enough for me to know that it was TMS. If I had a real injury, there's no way it'd stop. So I was thrilled to discover that. It still comes and goes, but it doesn't scare me anymore.

    Thanks for the update and don't forget to do lots of self-care to address the end of your relationship.
    Paulita likes this.
  12. Paulita

    Paulita New Member

    Thanks honey bear. I spent a lot of today reading the forum and the wiki and searching for the posts you mentioned about fear of the pain or anxiety about whether I've injured myself or not. Afterwards I sat down (reluctantly) to write about some recent events where I felt shame or anxiety. And the pain in my calf has really diminished - TMS ! I limped to the supermarket this morning but I hope to run tomorrow or Sunday. Yippee ! There are so many great resources on here but I do think I have to do the work and not just read about it :)
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  13. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Hi Paulita - Wow, I'm glad to hear that you discovered that sneaky TMS! Isn't it great to know that's what it is? It's frustrating, but it's also a relief. I tried to find the post where Alan G. talks about fear and attention being fuels to TMS, but couldn't find the exact one. But I did find two other good ones by him (he's my favorite TMS therapist) that I think are similar and will help.

    This one is Alan G's reply (second post in the link) to someone who is trying to find why she keeps getting TMS flare ups. His answer addresses our trying too hard, which in turn keeps us stuck in TMS because we stay worried (attention + fear).
    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Breaking_the_Pain_Cycle,_by_Alan_Gordon,_LCSW (Breaking the Pain Cycle, by Alan Gordon, LCSW)

    This one is longer but really good: "Breaking the Pain Cycle". He talks about how we reinforce the pain, and how we actually perpetuates the pain. It's really good.
    http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Breaking_the_Pain_Cycle,_by_Alan_Gordon,_LCSW (Breaking the Pain Cycle, by Alan Gordon, LCSW)
    Take care!
    Paulita likes this.

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