Injury! Or how not to train just after a marathon…

I’ve been pacing my home for the last two hours (can it be only two hours!).  I’ve done the laundry (three loads), swept up in the garden, weeded, rang to book a massage, contemplated a haircut, and googled (a lot) about kneecaps -swollen, hot-to-the-touch kneecaps.

Injury.  That’s what it means.  No running on this beautiful blue sky sunny Melbourne morning.  Denial and despair; exercise options; pain relieving options.  I have not found acceptance yet or done that really dreadful thing: rest.

Marysville Marathon was ten days ago.  And Two Bays 56k is about six weeks away.  So, with two big runs within eight weeks of one another, I didn’t allow long enough for recovery.  Duh.  After Sunday’s marathon, I took off Monday and Tuesday completely, feeling virtuous and wise.  But Wednesday came and I taught my BodyPump class, and taught again Thursday morning, following by an easy 5k run.  Friday is what broke me – 10k on my favorite trail, running light and easy and kind of fast.  Stretching afterwards, I was surprised when it hurt to kneel to stretch – that was odd.  I tried to remember if I bumped my knee, but I hadn’t.

When Saturday came around, the right knee was distinctly swollen.  But the kids were home from school, so there wasn’t much time to focus on such things.  Surely it would be fine with two days rest.  Sunday night, I took a couple of anti-inflammatories, just in case, and it felt better.

And here’s where stupid won out over wise. Monday morning, while my husband took the kids to school, I sat writing in my journal for ten minutes before going to the gym.  “I will not run today,” I wrote.  “That would be stupid.  My knee needs to rest and I’ll only make it worse.”  I was very firm and wise, like an intelligent woman who knew how to take care of herself.

Except when I got to the gym, somehow I found myself on the treadmill for my usual 5k prior to weight training.  I rationalised that by keeping the pace slower than usual, and by stopping at the first hint of pain, all would be well.  And that I had to get my mileage up to train for Two Bays.  And that perhaps the joint would, well, lubricate itself, and feel better afterwards.  And there was this guy at the gym who told me two years ago I’d have to give up running, like he did, and I saw him just as I was choosing between cross-trainer and treadmill.  Treadmill it was.

Idiot.  Of course, the painkillers were still working at that stage, so I happily glided along, lip-singing to Bon Jovi on my iPod.  I did my weights.  All was fine.

But would you believe it (of course, you knew this would happen)?  It hurt later, and swelled up again.  If I could bottle some of my own stupidity…

No good beating myself up, I know.  As a runner, I like to think I am immortal, that by going minimal, I have fixed every possible physical ailment and I can run forever as long as I like.

Somewhat true.

But not when I go beyond the limit.  I guess that’s the only way to know where the limit lies, to step beyond.   So I am not running today.  Or for the next three days.  If it’s not better by then, I’m just going to have to hop, because my house will be so clean and the mail all organised and the Christmas presents wrapped – what am I going to do with myself after that?

By the way, my self-diagnosis is suprapatellar bursitis.  Caused by too much stupidity.  Hopefully, I’ll learn my lesson this time.  Sigh.

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2 thoughts on “Injury! Or how not to train just after a marathon…

  1. Wow Patricia, That sound so much like my story.
    I came off the Washpool ultra feeling great , did a couple of light runs in the days that followed and decided a hard and fast run over mt cootha on the Sunday in preparation of an upcoming race was in order.
    I developed a slight pain around my ankle area which I was not to concerned about at first, now as you know five weeks later I am just starting to walk again without limping, I am hoping by the start of December I will be able to run which will give me about 5 weeks to prepare for two bays, gulp !
    Like you I plan to be there at that starting line and I expect to see you there too 🙂

    • Interesting, as I had a pain in my inside right ankle prior to marathon, which I thought was due to slightly flattened arch and increased pronation. It is my right knee that’s hurt now. Voltarin seems to be helping, and massage today. Hopeful it will come right so we’ll both make start line! It is interesting that your issue also started with ankle pain. Thanks for your support!

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