Injuries Suck

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Training
Tags: , ,

I’m injured.

There it is, I said it out loud.  The inside of my left knee hurts when I run.  It’s not just a little “niggle” as us runners often refer to a strange feeling or twinge.  It’s not just some minor inflammation, which I was hoping for when it started acting up out at the Ragnar Del Sol race in Arizona.

It’s an injury.

After taking a full week+ off of running, meaning I rested an entire “run week”, then took my Monday off as usual, I returned on Tuesday hoping to run my usual 6.25 mile training run.

The knee felt a little bit stiff when I was stretching on the living room floor, but I was hoping against hope that once it warmed up I would be able to make it through my run and get back to training for the Cap10K coming up here in Austin on March 27th.

I left the house and posted a 7:15 mile up the hill leaving our neighborhood.  There was no pain yet, but my knee definitely felt a little bit strange.  Runners are funny in that we can sometimes imagine a pain or issue when there is not one.  During most runs something is feeling a little bit off.  A stiff neck, sore quads, a tight calf – those are just part of the deal when you are training.

But somehow we just “know” when we are feeling something that is not pain but injury.

I had a coach back in High School who used to ask, “are you hurt or are you injured?”. 

At the time I thought the question was an odd one, but there is definitely a mark of delineation between the two.

As I came down the hill into the neighborhood next to ours I felt the first pangs of pain that I had experienced over the final legs of the Ragnar Del Sol Relay.

At the 1.66 mile mark it was back.  Each stride sent a specific bite to the inside of my knee.

I stopped.

There is nothing worse than having to walk home from a run knowing that you are injured.  A run that should have taken me 44 or 45 minutes on Tuesday was reduced to just 12 minutes flat.  My breathing felt great, my pace was solid (7:13 min./mile) – I felt great all over with the exception of my knee.

Later today I will be visiting with my old friend Dr. Jim Fernandez at Austin Sports Medicine.  He is the Doctor who helped me through my shin issues training for the Boston Marathon last year and got me back on track with no recurrence.

I’m hoping that Jim has some ideas about what is ailing me and the best way to get me back out there doing what I love to do, pain and injury free.

I’ve been surly and depressed this week.  I’ll be the first one to admit it.  It is a tough thing having something that you rely on so strongly to keep you centered taken away from you.  Each morning I wake up and find myself wondering what day it is.  Is it Wednesday or Thursday today?  When am I going out of town next week?

I have lost my compass.

Today would have meant hill repeats.

Yesterday would have been a 10-mile pace run.

Tomorrow would be my rest day.

Thursday, Wednesday, Friday – I would have known them all without thinking about it.

I would be counting down the days to the Cap10K (17).

Thinking ahead to the Cooper River Bridge Run (23).

Dreaming of another Marathon at the Run for the Red (65).

All I can do right now is sit and wonder if it is simply a minor irritation that requires rest, or if my plans for racing this spring are now scrapped and I will be looking at a much longer rest and rehabilitation period.

Whatever it is I know one thing with great certainty.  I will once again find myself gobbling up miles and hills without thinking about my left knee.  It will take some time to get there, but that run is out there ahead of me.

I will finish up at the house, stretch against the garage and realize that I didn’t think about my knee one time during the run.

That is the day that I’ll know that I am back.

It may be a week or two or a month or two – but it’s out there ahead of me.  I just need to stay positive and learn from this injury like I have all the others.  I have always come back from my injuries a more determined and frankly a better runner.

I have to lean on that and know that this is just a temporary set-back and my best races are still ahead of me.

It’s tough though, I have to admit.  All I want to do is go for a run.  Not too much to ask for is it?

  1. Tim Wilson says:

    Sorry about your injury. I too well know those feelings.

  2. joerunfordom says:

    Thanks for the message and well wishes Tim. I’m trying to find the silver lining in this one – but it is hiding from me with great tenacity.

  3. Shenese says:

    Ill say a prayer for you, Joe…for a speedy recovery!

  4. luau says:

    Hang in there brother. This too shall pass.

  5. Jim in Maine says:

    Best of success with the Dr and whatever plan of action (or inaction) you take to get back to being ready to run injury free Joe.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jim! Hope things are great up in Maine – sounds like you had a little “bite” yourself this morning. Smart shutting things down when you did. Feel better Jim!

  6. Jodi Higgins says:

    Although you see yourself as being depressed and frustrated in this point, I see a self-confident runner with great determination. You still managed to find the good in all of this by the end of your post. Here’s hoping that the Dr. knows exactly how to fix you up. I know all too well how frustrating it is when you really want to go for a run and just can’t. Hang in there Joe and know that you are still my hero!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jodi – thanks so much for the visit and the pick-me-up. Can’t keep a good man down for long right? I was really looking forward to racing in Charleston – out of all the plans I had – I hope that one still can happen. Take good care and keep crushing it – you are looking great!

  7. David H. says:

    So sorry to hear about this. I hope the doctor will have some answers for you. I completely understand what you’re going through having been through a lot myself in the past 4 months.

  8. onelittlejill says:

    Injuries are definitely the worst and I hope it turns out to be nothing. but if it is something- I know you will PT the hell out of it and be back on the roads ASAP! Take Care Joe, there are PR’s to be made out there for you!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jill! Thanks fo the message. I’m actually sitting at the Doc’s office right now. Hoping for some good news. Whatever it is, we’ll just put in the rehab time and get back out there.

  9. Oh no Joe! I’m sorry you’re laid up with your knee. I injured my back and I’m definitely feeling the effect on my mood. It’s gorgeous weather here and so light in the morning…I just keep reminding myself that a little ltime taken now will prevent a long time on the sidelines in the future. Rest up and take care!

  10. Sorry to read this Joe. I could throw the platitudes your way on how the forced rest will be good for you in the long run, injuries help us learn more about our weaknesses so we can improve our overall approach in the long run, blah, blah, blah. But this is week 2. You aren’t ready for that yet. Been there, done that.
    I do know that knee injuries seem to heal more quickly than other types. And, in the long run, yes you will come out better off for all of this. You are just that type of runner. Take care, and listen to the doc but, more importantly, listen to yourself.

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