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?