Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Injuries & The Workout

The running gods seem to be throwing everything at me. In March, just before Cherry Blossom, my left knee acted up and I was forced to take a week + off. After a few weeks of training I got back on track...only to feel the affects of my right foot. Fortunately, all systems were go by the time the spring racing season started.

After the Falmouth Road Race this past August, an Achilles injury (left leg) knocked me out for 2 days. I hobbled back and began to feel fine but was then hit by a hip injury on the same leg. My guess is that one injury/pain was leading to the other. I could/can train through the hip issue, but it hurts a great deal after a hard workout or a race (as was evident after the Kentlands 5k). Last Friday my right knee gave out during an easy run on the grass. It hurt so bad that I decided to skip my intended race the next morning and take 2 days off outright. I also thought the hiatus might improve my hip. I had only a week before the "big dance" (Philly 13.1) and I wanted to crush the injury now rather than wait until early this week. By Monday the knee was A-OK, but my hip hurt pretty bad - likely because I hadn't run on it in a few days (weird how this works). I also woke up on Sunday with a sore throat and spent Monday and Tuesday sniffling and sweating. I woke up every hour on Monday night with a nose full of mucous but was determined to get in my intended workout on Tuesday.

I met Patricks Reaves and Murphy at B-CC and proceeded to run an easy 2 miles along the CCT before running 3 miles at half marathon pace. The goal was to run 5:22ish, then 5:20...5:20 and then stop and cooldown. I was a tad fast at 5:19, 5:17, 5:15 (slight surge in last 100m to change gears) for a 15:51. It was a good confidence booster. The head cold seemed to clear up during my workout but my hip was in some pain on my way back to B-CC.

Lately, I've been engaged in a lot of talk about injuries with my fellow training partners and many non-runners. At the moment I count about 4 to 5 people (incld me) who have some sort of "issue" going on with their respective leg(s). Unfortunately, in this sport, injuries happen - simply put. You can Monday-morning-quarterback all day about what you should have done to prevent the injury, but realistically if you're running as much as some of us, injuries can eventually happen. AND, once the injuries start, they often keep coming. There comes a moment when we need to make a decision; do we carry on and continue to train for the big race around the corner OR do we take time off, rest and fight another day. It's always a personal decision. Some of us are certainly prone more to injuries than others. I seem to have some sort of injury every season, but I know my body well enough to push through it...or at least push through it with short reprieves from training. The unfortunate thing is that I haven't been able to get in the work (mileage) I think I need to make it to the next level. Once I start running doubles, I seem to break down...but I know that running doubles is the "gateway" to future success. To become the best runner you're capable of, one needs to run on that thin line between injury and the amount of work the individual is capable of.
That being said, I am looking forward to some much needed time the END of the season.

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