I think one of the hardest things for any runner to do is not run. And, what do they generally tell you to do after a running injury?
Which is precisely what my physio told me to do a month ago after after I was forced to quit the Adelaide Half Marathon because of an injury. The injury turned out to be a tight ITB and tendinitis on the side of my knee. Quitting the race was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but I am certain it was the right decision. It was also the right decision to listen to my physio’s advice to take it easy during the past few weeks.
I know so many people who have not heeded the advice to rest and have run through a sore muscle or joint injury. Because they return to running too early, it takes them forever to recover. Sometimes, the injury never really goes away.
This was not what I wanted for myself. I had quit the race because I wanted to recover after a few weeks, rather than a few months. My DNF would have been pointless if I didn’t also allow myself the time to heal properly. So, for the past few weeks, I walked and swam instead of running and cycling to allow my knee the time to recover and the inflammation to go down. I also did the new exercises my physio gave me to strengthen my stabilizer muscles to help prevent a similar problem again in the future.
This week, I finally got to start running again. Today I was back up to running 5km, which felt great! I ran my local ParkRun, and even had to remind myself to slow down because I am still in recovery. But, it’s nice to know that my body feels like it can go faster. From here I should gradually be able to recover my distance and speed training.
My next goal is still the City 2 Bay Half Marathon in September, which should still give me enough time to get in some decent training.
I have three silver linings from this injury:
- I’ve discovered that my right knee buckles inwards a bit all the time – this has become it’s default movement. (When I run, when I ski, even when I drive.) This negative muscle memory probably had something to do with past and current injuries. But, it is something that I can work on to fix.
- I always think of myself as not being as quick as I want, or “should be”. But, running easily in the middle of the pack at ParkRun today, reminded me that I’m still a lot faster than a lot of people and not to be so hard on myself.
- I’ve made a new running buddy – Kevin from my local ParkRun who recognised me during the Adelaide Half Marathon and encouraged me to keep going. He has been supportive every time I’ve seen him while out running since.
Have you dealt with a running injury recently?
How did you cope with the recovery?