Challenge Of An Injury

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have been barely able to walk since Monday and resorted to utilizing crutches yesterday.  After running the Phoenix Rock n’ Roll Marathon on January 16th I took 3 complete days off from any form of exercise.  By Thursday I had absolutely no pain and felt great.  I ran 6 miles on the treadmill and was amazed how I felt; my form was smooth and efficient and the run felt effortless.  Friday morning was my last opportunity to run in 78 degree weather before returning to much colder temperatures in New England so I ran 10 miles along the water in San Diego.  Again, I felt great and there was absolutely no indication of any residual effects from my marathon effort.

I arrived home early Saturday morning and was only able to get a couple of hours of sleep before driving to Boston to meet with the Marathon Coalition runners.  I felt extremely tired and cut my pace way back.  At the turnaround at the Fire Station I decided I would ease up the hills and cut my run short at 8 miles rather than the scheduled 13.  It’s very unusual for me to not complete the scheduled distance but I knew it was the best decision.  I stretched afterwards, drank several glasses of chocolate milk, and greeted everyone as they returned.  I took a nap for several hours and was in an extremely deep sleep as witnessed by the picture my lovely wife took of me with several props that her co-conspirator (4-year-old Macie Jo) placed strategically around me.  That evening we had dinner with friends and attended a Worcester Sharks hockey game…again no problems or issues.

On Monday I noticed a very slight pain in my left gastrocnemius and Tuesday morning I could barely walk.  I felt like I was listening closely to by body during the recovery process.  The lesson here is that you not only have to listen to all the signs your body is providing, you also need to be rational and employ caution as your body fully recovers from the effort of a long run or marathon.  While I felt great after my 3:27:47 effort, I should have cross-trained and incorporated a day of rest between my runs.

So now I have to manage all that being injured entails.  I have total confidence that I will manage this aspect of my training as well as if I were not injured.  Managing an injury can be challenging, particularly if you’re training for your first marathon, but I know I need to sustain a positive attitude throughout the transition back to pain-free running.  I will also continue to eat well, stay hydrated, get sufficient rest, and ease back into running by focusing on non and low-impact cross training for the foreseeable future.

While the pain of this injury is significant and makes even walking difficult, I don’t see this preventing me from running Boston in April.  I do see it as helping me to be a more enlightened and appreciative runner and coach.  I look forward to seeing all of you on Saturday.  Go TEAM!

  1. Cheryl Reed says:

    Your attitude to this injury is inspiring and motivating, but I am also sorry to hear that you are dealing with it. No matter how we manage these sidelining injuries, they always stink!:(

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