The one about My First Running Injury

It’s not all medals and roses, as most (if not all) runners will tell you, even the professional athletes. There’s lots of sweat and hard work put into it. Lots of discipline needed. Lots of pain. But oh the joys … and that’s why we still do it. We crazy people!

I wasn’t prepared for my first running injury. It came from ‘nowhere’. I guess you could say I was a rookie.

I thought [sports/running] injuries only happened to older people or people who ran insane amounts of miles ‘really fast’. Or professional football and basketball players- after all, they were always in the news for one injury or another and having to miss x amount of games in the season. It just didn’t happen to first time runners who were training for a half marathon. #sonaive

My injury happened the very first long run I did without the running club. So the lesson here is always, always, run with the running club; especially long runs. Lol. I kid.

The reason I didn’t run with the running club that day was that I was out of town in Washington, D.C. for a wedding. At the time, I depended heavily on the running club for motivation and support. It was my very first race, I was a baby runner (still am, I suppose) and it was the longest long run of the training season. I had to run 7 miles. I felt I would never make it on my own. Where would I get the water and sports drink generously provided by the running club at intervals during the pre-planned route. The route! Who would plan my route for me?? Where would I run? #everybodypanic

Skipping the run was not an option for me, or so I thought. At the time, I thought that skipping a long run was a sure recipe for race day disaster. Even though we’d been told that taking even 2 weeks off of training won’t do too much negative impact to the training, that it was more of the mental struggle of not being able to run (say if you were sick or injured) that one would have to deal with. I obviously didn’t believe that. 2 whole weeks!? Inconceivable!. In fact, if not for the training schedule we were provided with, I would probably have tried to run every single day! *Signs of a Rookie*

So I packed my ‘running shoes’ (just some generic Nikes I’d had for years- another rookie mistake) and headed to DC. I got my friend to run with me but she said she was definitely not doing 7 miles. I said it didn’t matter-I’d take whatever I could get and complete the rest on my own. Because it had to be 7 miles. Anything less would ‘mess’ with my training, of course. lol. Early Saturday morning (the day of the wedding), we headed over to the memorial mall – route issue solved. In fact, it was a popular running area. We saw several people running there.

It was basically a very slender rectangle. Maybe about 2 miles for a loop? There was also a water fountain on the loop so hydration was taken care of- but not electrolytes. Parts of the route had tiny gravel/sand, but I am not sure if this contributed to my injury. Maybe just the fact that it was new running surface for me.DC

Photo credit: Running buddy 🙂

So anyway, I completed the 7 miles (plus a little more- peep my stats below). I felt great. I survived a long run without the running club. I didn’t have to think about long runs for another week. And … I didn’t collapse (sweaty selfie evidence below). In fact, I felt like I could go another mile. But I didn’t. I didn’t feel any unusual pain. I stretched. I went to the wedding. I wore [thin] high heels and danced in them. Maybe this is where the injury came from? Anyway, by the end of the night I could barely walk!

On Sunday I ran again, even though I was sort of sore, because the training schedule had me running on Sunday. I followed that schedule to the T!

I got back home and by the next day (Monday) I knew my left knee was definitely injured. Funny thing was, it didn’t hurt [that much] when I ran! The irony. Only when I got up after sitting for a while or while going down stairs did I feel the pain. My sister got me a knee stabilizer which helped. I used it for the rest of the training and even on race day. (Note: I used it in training even though my knee didn’t really hurt while running because I wanted to wear it on race day just in case. And they told us during training to practice with everything we planned to wear on race day- I took that to include knee stabilizers). I also supplemented with lots of advil 🙂

Thankfully, that was the only injury I had that training season. Oh, and I got proper running shoes within a short period of getting back from DC 🙂

This weekend, my planned long run is 7 miles- but I plan to run with the running club 🙂

Any tales of running injury woes you’d like to share? Comment below.

 

Header Photo: Mill Race Marathon 2014. My first half marathon. Photo by Ms. Smith 

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