Take it and run Thursday: Injuries
On a day that I ran a half mile for the first time in two weeks, I find it a bit ironic that today's theme for Take It and Run Thursday over at the Runners' Lounge is on injuries.
In four-plus years of running, I consider myself lucky that I haven't had too many injuries. The only problems I've ever had is when I increased my mileage - first in 2006 in training for a 10 miler, at the end of last year after my first marathon and less than two weeks ago in the Shamrock Half. Without really haven't to go into too much detail, the biggest lesson I've learned is to rest, rest, rest and rest. If you have a problem that impacts your running form, you have to stop. In '06 when I had knee problems, I treated it with ice and Advil, which helped get me through the race, but after a hilly 10 miler, I couldn't hardly walk for a week.
I used my first injury, though, to motivate me. I wanted to be a distance runner. Instead of sitting around that winter, I trained for a half marathon. After basically not running for two weeks after that race and then taking it really easy for a couple of more weeks, I came back feeling great. Resting was key.
At the end of last year with my heel issues, I just stopped running altogether and didn't run again until I felt no pain. With the gradual increase in miles, I came back pretty strong, only to have the other foot hurt. Today, actually, is the first day that my foot hasn't hurt at all, but I'm in the "one more day" frame of mind before attempting a few miles.
In the past two days though, I've realized how awesome it is to have a bike. In two days, I've rode about 9 miles and I've worked muscles that I forgot existed. In a short time, I already realize how important cross training needs to be and how a bike can prevent losing endurance.
The hardest thing I've encountered is how to deal with everything mentally. This recent injury hasn't been so bad, since I know that I need rest. But with nice weather, it's tough to sit still. Thankfully, I now have a bike, but I'd rather run. There's no cure for that itch to run. When you're hurt, you don't want to see other people running, you don't want to talk about it and you don't to read about it. Just know that if you're hurt, there is an end. The more patient you are, the quicker than end will get here.