The Chronically Injured Chronicles

I signed up for my 2014 goal race at the beginning of October 2013 and this week I made a hard decision to ditch (half ditch) the goal.

I thought I’d be a little more upset about sending an email about dropping to a half marathon, but I’m not.  Completing a marathon should be fun, yes, but so should the training leading up to it.  When I signed up for this race in October, I did not think that March 1st, five effin’ months later, I would still be battling nagging issues, but I am.  The last thing I need to do is stress about a hobby that makes me happy.

This particular tendon that has been irritating me actually goes back over a year.  It started with the arch pain last year which I remedied by taking some rest time, ordering a new pair of sneakers (Newton Distance U), visiting my general practitioner who told me “Maybe, just stop running?”, and eventually the arch pain disappeared.  Who knew this bugger would be the culprit of so much pain down the line in a totally different area?

Before I made the decision to switch races, I signed up for one of my favorite races from last year – the Spring Forward Distance Run.  I’m kind of regretting that decision now that I just had my most recent physical therapy visit and am vowing to not sign up for any future races until I’m positive I’m going to be able to run them.  Unfortunately that logic doesn’t work too well for me because I was positive I could run it.

Speaking of physical therapy, yesterday’s visit was kind of a downer.  It was a bit of a recovery day because I can’t really do much else right now.  It consisted of learning new stretches, Graston technique, and deep tissue massage.  I told Chris how my ankle seems to be aggravated the more I self massage so we know it’s inflammed and I need to rest it from everything for a few days.  Bah humbug.  In addition to rest right now, I have light ankle stretches to increase my flexibility and instructions to ice often, even if I’m not working out.  In a few days I can start to cross train more (biking, since Stairmaster currently hurts), and finally I will be able to run but easy and probably only about 2 times a week for a while.

This news sucks hard.  On the surface it might not look like it, but I’ve been skirting around my injury for a long time.  I’ll say I’m injured, I’ll talk about my rest days and I will take them whenever I need (or damn well please), but despite all that, I never really acknowledged my injuries from a healthy mindset.

Until right now, my outlook on my injuries has been somewhat completely backwards.  I recognize I have pain, I take rest days until the pain goes away, and then I execute whatever exercises I’m given to strengthen myself, in addition to running.  I’m using my exercises as a supplement and pre-hab my running.  Normally, that wouldn’t be a bad approach except I have been attempting to make changes by strengthening and increasing flexibility while simultaneously running ineffectively, trying to force my body to change what it hadn’t even learned and mastered on its own.  I don’t know how I thought my body could incorporate running effectively with this new “knowledge” when I hadn’t even achieved near perfection on these other exercises solo.  Yes, Chris gave me the okay to begin running during therapy but I wasn’t as conscious about my exercises as I really think I needed to be. I read in article on Runners World that really drove this point home.

It’s long overdue that I take ownership of my weaknesses and turn them into my strengths.

So maybe I become a little boring with my lack of hard workouts, race recaps, or the struggles (and triumphs!) of training for a goal race for a little while longer… but I need to truly kick my ass in gear so I can continue running for life, not just this season or this year.  Hopefully the insight I continue to gain can help out another runner struggling, or offer some kind of knowledge that can prevent this happening to somebody else down the line.  Pre-hab is everything and I wish I knew that when I picked back up post-grad from where I left off when I was 17.

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Brittany

Just a 20-something homegrown Buffalo sports loving, distance running, gin drinking kind of girl.

3 thoughts on “The Chronically Injured Chronicles”

  1. There is nothing wrong with switching and changing things up. It happens. I’m sorry you are dealing with all of this but I know you will get through it. Lots of hard work, and beer. Yes, beer. I think that while it must be hard, not being dead set on running a full marathon this spring might be smarter. You want to enjoy the process and training and not let it stress you out or hurt you worse. You WILL run a marathon, and when you do you bet your ass I’ll be there with a beer at the finish line for you no matter when it is.

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  2. I honestly think that is such a smart move. I hate to see you dealing with all of this but at the same time not running a full will allow you to relax and not worry as much for training. Running a full marathon most certainly doesn’t define you at all and you will enjoy the journey just as much! 🙂

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