I’m leery of you, Legs.

15 Nov

Any runner knows that little aches and pains are a part of running. They usually go away on their own so they’re not really anything to get worked into a tizzy over.

Until they don’t go away.

And you have to sideline your dreams of running {insert race name}.

You even have to kiss some of your money good-bye  – not just because you registered for a race you can no longer run, but also because you need physical therapy, ice packs, foam rollers, compression tights and KT tape.

Even then, you’re not guaranteed that the pain won’t return.

That’s the dilemma I find myself in. Ever since I had to bail on the full marathon last year due to knee pain caused by IT band tightness, I haven’t trusted my legs. I want with all my heart to run the Eugene Marathon next April but to be honest, I’m not entirely confident that my legs can make it to the finish line healthy and injury-free. Every run I’ve done lately, I find myself with a nagging pain in a shin, a tightness in a hamstring, a clicking in a knee joint. Every ache and pain makes me leery. What if I can’t run this marathon either? What if I can’t prevent my IT band from getting tight? What if something else goes wrong that I can’t even predict or plan for right now?

Then I start thinking about how I’m probably the most unnatural runner ever.

Like chicrunner posted on her blog:

That picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

I know that I’m not the only runner who has ever gotten injured training for a marathon. I also know that plenty of people get injured at some point in their running career and yet go on to run marathons later. I’m also not the first runner to ever be discouraged or doubt themselves.

When you think about it, training for a marathon is really not all that different from pursuing a personal or professional dream – you take a risk and put in a butt-load of effort without knowing for sure what the end result is going to be. But you try to be smart about it. You take advice from other people who’ve blazed the trail. And you declare that quitting is not an option.

So I’m going to keep on keepin’ on with my training schedule and continue to intentionally fit in my mileage, strength training and the “good hurt” of foam rolling.

Just to make sure we’re clear, Legs:

I won’t go down without a fight.

Have you ever gotten injured during training? How did you recover mentally?

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3 Responses to “I’m leery of you, Legs.”

  1. thetortoiseruns November 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    I fully agree! Although I’ve never been put out of a race before, I have been forced to scale back on training, which meant a poorer performance. I’m always waiting for something catastrophic to happen, which I realize is pretty pessimistic. Mostly I try to focus on not overtraining and icing anything that hurts asap. I’ve got a strange pain on the sole of my foot, near the toes, that I’m still trying to figure out. Best of luck in staying injury free!

    I’ve started a blog recently about running and I’m looking for feedback. Hoping to inspire or just make fellow runners laugh. Check it out if you’ve got a minute:

    http://thetortoiseruns.wordpress.com/

  2. Jessica @ Running for Bikinis November 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    I LOVE THAT PICTURE. I have a feeling you look way more graceful than that second image, but it’s a great thought, isn’t it?

    I haven’t had to come back from an injury (knocking on wood as I type this), but I can absolutely relate to that feeling of doubt, and questioning your abilities and your strength. My second to last long run before the Denver Rock ‘n Roll was awful – I quit only a few miles in, my legs were in a lot of pain, and my hips were incredibly sore. I remember that I walked in the door, threw my Garmin and my Camelbak on the floor (super mature, I know) and then flopped onto the bed, crying. Part of it was physical, because my body was in pain, but mostly, like you said, I needed to recover mentally.

    Personally, I went with the tried and true method of crying over it, whining about it to everyone I knew, having several people practically slap me across the face and tell me to JUST DO IT ALREADY, and then having to come to terms with the fact that I had put in the training, everybody has a bad run once in a while, and that I would be fine. I know having an injury is a lot different because you don’t want to injure yourself further, and I respect that. You’re very smart for being in tune with your body. And because of that, honestly, at the end of the day… you know what’s best. And you’re a rockstar whether or not you run that marathon (but I have complete faith in you if you do!)

    Sorry for the longest comment ever… I never shut up :)

  3. Danielle @ Happily Ever After November 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Yay!! So glad I found your blog! Thanks for stopping by today!

    Unfortunately I faced quite a few injuries while training for my first full marathon. I did lots of ice massages, stretching, ibuprofen, Epsom salt baths, BioFreeze, and got massages. I had to take a couple weeks off, but fortunately was in shape enough by that point I didn’t lose much.

    Anyway…you & your hubby are adorable! Looking forward to reading more!! :)

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