Current injury status

Yep so I’m still injured. I really only have myself to blame for this as I consciously made the decision to finish the Bournemouth marathon, despite being in pain.

At around 16 miles I chose to carry on despite my race now becoming a run, stop, stretch, walk repeat affair. I was in pain – not a niggle, not a discomfort – genuine pain, to the point that I had to stop running and walk the entire last two miles as the pain was far too much.

Having suffered with the dreaded IT band injury before I’m well aware of the timelines of these sort of things. Last year I took off a total of six weeks – though not all of those weeks were because of the injury. I decided to not start running again until I was mentally ready, not just physically ready, because I was fed up of the continuous injury cycle. I’m pretty sure it was four weeks though before I was entirely pain-free and discomfort-free.

My current injury is pretty much following the same pattern. I remember feeling the same pain, even two weeks later. What’s frustrating is that towards the beginning and middle of last week it was really improving, but then a sharp trapped-nerve like pain began sporadically when I walked (I remember this pain as similar to last year around the same time as well). I haven’t tried running and I’ve kept away from cardio apart from a few bursts on the bike… I wonder if that might have niggled it further but it genuinely felt fine during and after. So I’m just holding my nerve and not panicking as I know I could be in for two more weeks of not running.

I had some swelling after the marathon which has gone down a lot, but there’s still a slight puffiness to the area where the IT band joins in the knee.  Basically I just need to get rid of the last inflammation and keep stretching it.

Gym-wise I can carry on with what I was doing which I’m glad about. Squats and deadlifts feel absolutely fine, though I’ve gone down a few Kgs in weight for the squats to be cautious. And I’m avoiding anything like the elliptical machine or stepper to avoid unnecessarily aggregating things.

I know I’m going to lose running fitness but I’m not bothered. Yep that’s 100% truthful. This year I achieved more than I thought I would and I had no real goals for after Bournemouth anyway (until next year anyway). Perhaps my only annoyance is that there’s a 10 mile in a few weeks time that I would have liked to have raced as I’ve never had a good 10 miler but I’ve conceded defeat. Taking that out of the equation also takes off any pressure to try and start running too soon.

Really though it’s the mental side of things I’m struggling with. The need to get outside and just run. To feel the freedom of outside, the fresh air and the mental freshness I get when I run. And I miss the social side of training runs with my club and running at parkrun. Of course I can still volunteer at parkrun but it’s not the same. You’re on the sidelines watching everyone do what you’d love to be doing. But the weeks will pass and my leg will heal.

What went wrong? Well, I don’t think you can ever know for sure but it was probably down to not following simple injury-prevention strategies. I’m so angry at myself. I was so smug about going to the gym and strength training that I forgot the other side of things as well. I’m an injury-prone runner and can’t neglect the basics of stretching and foam rolling.

I can’t remember the last time I foam rolled before the injury. I used to be really good at it. Sure for some people they don’t need to do it, but for me I know I do. I need to do everything I can to lessen the impact of running on my body. And going to the gym and lifting heavy weights and then running on tight and sore muscles is stupid for me. Other people can get away with these things, but I certainly can’t.

It’s funny because though I’ve been running properly (I don’t count my treadmill years) for over three years now and I’m still learning lessons. I just hope that I can stop making such simple mistakes in the future. For now though I’ll continue to go to the gym and enjoying my strength training, trying not to focus on how much I’d just love to run right now.

Do you foam roll regularly?

What exercise mistakes have you made in the past?

What injuries have you suffered?

14 Replies to “Current injury status”

    1. You are so disciplined with your strength work, so give yourself some credit for that! Also don’t forget you ran two marathons within a few months before Bournemouth so don’t beat yourself up about the foam rolling. Its more likely your body is under strain from doing Cheddar Gorge marathon so close to the other two rather than the lack of foam rolling……I think it often takes longer to recovery from long distances than we think. Superficially we can feel recovered and ready to jump straight into another long distance event, but there is often a lot of underlying muscle damage going on that we might not be aware of.

      1. You’re absolutely right. I feel like such an idiot because I was so careful and so ‘on the ball’ with my training for Liverpool that as soon as I finished that I just went into stupid mode and took stupid chances. Hind sight is an amazing thing, but I wish I could go back and change several things! I need to remember I can’t do everything at once and not get complacent.
        AnnaTheApple recently posted…My little holiday in WalesMy Profile

  1. I’m so sorry this injury is lingering for a while. IT band problems are the absolute worst, and the issues I had in 2010 put me out of running for longer than all of my stress fractures combined. I really hope it settles down ahead of the timescale you’re expecting.

    I do think perhaps this occurred because you went from a reasonable marathon timetable to a ‘blogger’ one…in the respect that you had two marathons potentially spaced out very well through the year but then added a *very* tough trail one in on top of that. I know how hard it is to see other people running marathon after marathon and training like idiots, and to wonder how they get away with it. It seems very unfair to me and it genuinely just boils down to pure luck. And I do believe it will catch up with everyone eventually. The reality is that most of us can handle two marathons per year. I was fortunate enough to have a run of two years where I could run multiple marathons back to back, but that was after four years of build-up. I can’t do that any more, and while I am grateful for those times I regret burning myself out the way that I did. Some people can run 100 mile races. Others break down from running one half marathon. Both can put in the same work, the same training, but despite all of the inane platitudes out there on social media, one cannot transcend the limits of one’s body, no matter how much you ‘dream big’ and all of that crap. Sure, we can all push our limits, but learning to respect the toll marathon+ distances take in particular is something that I think a lot of us (myself included) need to do. Trying to compete with others is, without a doubt, the worst mistake I ever made in all my years of running.

    I foam roll religiously every day! I use my ‘insomnia time’ as an opportunity to roll out my legs and back for at least 30 minutes….if I’m not going to sleep, I may as well use the hours wisely.
    Jess recently posted…Marathon MisfortuneMy Profile

    1. You’re right. I let myself get carried away with reading other blogs and what other people can do…and because my training for Liverpool went so well I just forgot to carry on being sensible. I thought I was out of the woods and took stupid chances and forgot the basics. I can only do what MY body will allow me to and trying to do too much is stupid.
      That’s a good idea about foam rolling when you can’t sleep. I try and do it when I watch TV so at least I’m entertained!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…My little holiday in WalesMy Profile

  2. It sucks. But hopefully you are on the mend now, and at least you can still go to the gym and get some of your frustration out.
    I am terrible at foam rolling- I know I should do it and I get really tight hamstrings, but I tend to only do it after very long runs, or tough races.
    I think when I first started running I got a bit fanatical about keeping to the 3 times a week and felt paranoid that I would go back to square 1 if I missed one, so a few times I had a bad cold or cough and still went out, whereas now I am a bit more sensible, or more aware of when a run will help and when it will make me feel worse. Pushing through made me more ill, which of course then meant I missed more overall. But we all have to learn from our own mistakes- especially with running because everyone is so different.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Earth miles goodies, a trip to London and a chilly runMy Profile

  3. I’m so rubbish at remembering to foam roll! I know I need to do it regularly as I’m also an injury prone runner – I’m struggling with a persistent knee niggle at the moment. It’s not bad enough to stop me running, but definitely means I’m not going as far or as fast as I could be. I hope you recover soon, and can get back to enjoying heading outside for a run! 🙂
    Beki @MissWheezy recently posted…Health Food Hampers with Discount Supplements {giveaway}My Profile

  4. I sympathise with your frustration but sounds like you’re being really sensibly with the recovery process, even with the smaller things like dropping a few kgs on the weighted stuff at the gym so that’s really good! Then at least when you get back to it you’ll be fully recovered and unlikely to re-injure it! 🙂

    And 3 years sounds like a long time to have been running, but I’m sure there are people who’ve been running 20/30/40+ years who are still making mistakes and learning lessons from them! Just like in all other aspects of life, I don’t think we ever really stop learning, so think of each mistake as at least one more little lesson ticked off the list! 🙂

    April xxx
    April recently posted…A very cakey post! Plus a little Joggbox reviewMy Profile

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