Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Discomfort Can Signal Trouble

I am writing this out because I KNOW I will need to re-read this every so often to remind myself, I can take a break and be okay.

A few things injury taught me or made me more aware of:

Discomfort can be a signal there's trouble.

My thinking has always been pain would tell me when to stop, but waiting till pain drops you may not be the best method.

Be careful when speeding up the pace, over-striding puts extra stress on bones.

Be careful on hills, yes they are very good to strengthen the legs, but shins take a lot of impact on hills.

Shin pain is serious. Shin pain can occur in the front, near the ankle, or on the outside of the tibia bone.  If you feel tightness or burning near your inner shin, especially near your ankle, take a break.

Calf tightness will often be the predecessor to sore shins.
                     

My tightness and burning sensation seemed to occur simultaneously quite often. I wasn't tuned in that the burning sensation was a problem, I thought it was part of the tight muscle feeling. 

Rest, take real rest when I experience discomfort! This will be tough...

My doctor seemed amused when I said I "rested."
"How long?"
me: " Four days"
Doctor sighing...


Sadly, four days off doesn't cure every aliment on earth...for most runners that sounds like a big rest break.

Oh, and yes I can do other things! Switching to non-impact activity is possible. 

Did I love all that cycling and swimming as much as running, umm, not really, but I can do it!





My training while injured- no runs, but I managed to stay active


Reading articles and blogs others wrote about their injury or stress fractures I noticed a lot of us had those lead legs days, and pushed through it.

It really may be beneficial to your health to just cut a run short when you are having a heavy leg day, or your form starts getting sloppy because your legs have turned into tree trunks

Muscle absorbs impact, when muscles are fatigued and tight they can't absorb the impact and your bone is compromised and at risk for injury. 
The last thing a runner wants to hear is take a walk break, but if it saves me from injury it's worth it. 


Don't beat yourself up for taking a break, pat yourself on the back that you are taking care of yourself. 

Any thoughts or important things you learned from injury??

15 comments:

  1. It is always hard to take a break from running but knowing when u need to is so important to rest to be able to come back strong and ready to go again. -L

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    1. I hope I can call this a one time event in my journey :)

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  2. I agree with what you said about cutting a run short or not even doing a run if you know you are going to be tired and your form will suffer. It will do more harm than good! Thank you for that reminder, Karen. We all need to read this post!

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    1. I have been pretty bad about doing this is the past, I was getting better at it this Fall, but apparently the days I bagged it weren't enough.
      I never really use to think of my heavy legs leading to injury, but I will now.

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  3. Great post, Karen! When my calf started hurting after my marathon I took a whole week off, but that was a lot easier for me because I wasn't training for any big races. Reading yours and others' posts about injury really makes me realize that I'm actually very lucky I got out when I did. I might have just narrowly sidestepped an actual full blow injury.

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    1. I do think you dodged a bullet, especially after a marathon when you are more vulnerable to injury, it's a lot on the body. Anytime you really push during a race it's probably good to plan a break even if you don't feel you need it :)

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  4. Why is it so hard for us running people to rest? I read your post before going to sleep last night and decided NOT to run this morning and I patted myself on the back too. Thank you! My cranky knee appreciates it!

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    1. Awww, that's good. I hope your knee feels better!
      Gosh, it is so hard to take a break or skip some runs!! Whether I am strong enough to follow through remains to be seen.

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  5. Karen, great idea to write down your thoughts on injury (and what to look for) so that you can revisit this post and remind yourself "I've been there and I don't want to go there again." I find that writing things down helps me process and internalize important points; maybe the same is true for you.

    My last "injury" was this tightness I would get in the heel of my right foot when I would run for more than an hour. After each of those runs, I would spend 2-3 minutes with a tennis ball (or a golf ball) kneading out a tiny knot that would form at the base of my heel. Never did find out what it was, but I always made sure I worked that knot every single time.

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    1. That's good you found something that helped worked the knot out!
      Do you think you developed a heel spur? I've had them for years and they can flair up and cause the tissue to become really sensitive. Spurs are finicky.
      I have looked back at several posts, it's one of the great things about blogging. You have some wonderful posts to look back at :)

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  6. Excellent point about cutting a run short if your legs feel heavy and your form is suffering. If my legs are feeling like lead I usually try walking for a bit and then re-start running. If my legs still feel like lead after that I'll cut the day short. No reason to run junk miles, right?!

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    1. Yes, I need to say NO to junk miles :) I fought taking walk breaks for the first full year I ran, I was finally getting better at it and wompppp womp, too late I guess.

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  7. Good reminder. We have all been there.

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    1. We need to take care of our legs so they will take care of us :)

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  8. Good reminder. We have all been there.

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