Learning from Injury

IMG_2194I remember the exact day that my knee started giving me trouble. I had run a high mileage week and it was really, really cold so I had run my long run on Friday and then another longish run on Saturday. By Sunday, my knee was uncomfortable but I decided to go on a trail run anyway. By that afternoon, I knew I was in trouble.

I took most the following week off and by the end of it, my knee felt great. I started into the next week with another high mileage week. By the end of that week, my knee was feeling pretty good still. I saw my athletic therapist and told him all about how I had had this knee issue but it was good now so we focused on other areas.

The next day, Tuesday, I ran 10k in the morning before my flight to Moncton to start a long work trip. By the end of that run, my knee hurt a lot. After the plane ride, it hurt even more. I realized that I needed to take another break. I figured that if I gave it a couple days that I could be running by the following week. Ha!

I didn’t run at all in my three days in Moncton but I did have a really cold walk on my last morning there. Then it was time to head to Europe via Montreal (2 more plane rides). By the time I got to Germany, my knee was in a lot of pain from being squished in a plane for 7 hours.

IMG_2226As soon as I realized that my knee was not getting better even though I wasn’t running, I emailed my coach about it. This is where it’s super useful to have a running coach! He said that if it’s swollen at all that I need to not run until I get back to Toronto and could see someone about it.

I did just that and instead I walked a lot. I walked 80+km that week. Thankfully, with all this time off running by the time I got home, my knee felt good. I ran 10k on Sunday because I figured that if it really bothered my knee that I was seeing my athletic therapist on Monday morning anyway. The run went pretty well, it was great to be out running!

So the verdict was that I am having a bio mechanical issue with my knee tracking wrong when I strike my foot because my glutes aren’t strong enough. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had this issue so I’m not surprised.

I kept getting in the high mileage weeks because I would rest and the irritation would go away and then I’d run a high mileage week and irritate it again. I was in a vicious cycle of never addressing the real issue.

IMG_1054I am signed up to run the North Face Endurance Challenge DC in less than four weeks. I am signed up for my first 100 miler in just over two months. This definitely is not the best timing but it’s also giving me a chance to step back a little and evaluate.

Because it’s a bio mechanical issue, there’s no timeline on how soon it’ll get better. I just keep doing my exercises every day and wait. Thankfully, it’s not an injury in the sense that I need to stop training but I am being really cautious. I am running a lot fewer days a week and swimming more.

I have a pretty solid base of training so it’s just a question of giving my knee time to heal properly. I might drop down to running 50k instead of 50 miles at North Face but my coach and I are waiting to make that call until closer to the event. Basically, I’m taking it one at a time and appreciating being able to get out there and run at all.

Always takes an injury to show you how much you take advantage of running when everything is going well!

Do you have a recurring injury?

Happy running!

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6 thoughts on “Learning from Injury

  1. Gareth March 18, 2016 / 8:40 am

    I have a similar story with my knee it seems. Has been flaring for a while now and am trying to strengthen the muscles to support it better. It’s not horrendously painful more nagging but I could do without it. I certainly agree with your last sentence!, I cant really run due to some sort of weird ankle injury at the moment and Im missing going out so much. I know I should take advantage of the rest and recuperate a bit but i just want to be out and moving in the sunshine!

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