22 September 2013

The three stages of injury

What do you do eight weeks into your half-marathon training programme and you pull your hamstring? Well if you are me you spend the first week limping, taking anti-inflammatories and convincing yourself it is not that serious. The second week is spent feeling depressed and convincing yourself that you do not really like running anyway so what has been lost. By week three you pull yourself together, start on a routine of stretching, massage and miracle heat cream.You have realised that while the 13.1 miles is officially off the programme, the 5K race that is also part of the event might well be within your grasp if you approach your recovery both sensibly and with a positive attitude.


So tell me Lara, running - why do you do it?




This past week has been week 3 - getting myself into shape to run the 5K at the Atlanta All State half marathon. I did not want to miss out being there when my training group ran but at the same time, I felt silly just turning up and not running.

Today I went for a run, the first one in three weeks and I felt good. My leg held out, I ran steadily and I clocked a respectable 2 miles. The downside is my fitness level has plummeted and I was pretty breathless at the end of it.

The 'ambrosia' of medicinal creams - what I credit for my recovery

Ultimately this injury was at the 'better' end of the injury spectrum but it was severe enough to put me out of action and painful enough for me to run the gauntlet of emotions on what I feel about running.

The first week of my injury I was confident that it was not serious, a blip that yes hurt, but would not put me out of action for too long and I would be back at it in not time. Clocking up the miles, back on my schedule and looking to see how I can get faster and make a decent time. Unfortunately it did not take me too long to realise that actually yes my injury was pretty serious.

By week two I had sunk into a kind of depression and a sense of "what is the point of all this anyway?" I spent week two seriously contemplating never running again. Here was my get out I thought. While I love running I do not love all my runs. It is a seldom session that ends with me feeling euphoric at the accomplishment, that the run was seamless and at a consistent pace. No, most of my runs are of the variety best left....

I recently heard a very apt description of running. This person said for him it was like smoking, the majority of cigarettes he used to smoke were not very nice, not enjoyable, he did it out of habit. But every twentieth cigarette was bliss. Everything about it was right - for him, running was the same thing.

Week three saw a glimmer of hope. My leg was beginning to feel better, I was stretching and walking and using the miracle cream and it was feeling stronger. I realised that the October race included a 5K. I realised that I could probably, if I was careful, manage 5K. My mood immediately lifted and today I was running smoothly and running two miles.

So while my half-marathon journey is over for this time, I think the injury taught me how to work through unexpected events.  As Mr Lapin said - "you could have done all the right training and come down with flu the week before."

Training statistics to date 


DATE
DISTANCE
TIME
PACE/HOUR
Saturday 13 July
4 miles
44:49
11:32
Tuesday 16 July
3 miles
35:21
11:45
Wednesday 17 July
3 miles
35:10
11:33
Saturday 20 July
6 miles
1:10:48
11.23
Tuesday 23 July
3 miles
33:11
11:07
Wednesday 24 July
4 miles
47:21
11:46
Thursday 25 July - HIIT
2.3 miles
28:36
12:00
Saturday 27 July – Speed work
6.36 miles
1:12:21
11:19
Tuesday 30 July - Hills
2.25 miles
25:19
11:19
Wednesday 31 July
4 miles
48:03
12.:02
Thursday 1 August
NONE
Saturday 3 August
NONE
Monday 5 August
3 miles
33:43
10:55
Wednesday 7 August
3 miles
35:25
11:48
Saturday 10 August
5.27 miles
1:05:12
12.22
Tuesday 13 August
3 miles
32:40
10:46
Saturday 17 August (hills)
4 miles
1:04:50
13:27
Sunday 18 August
4 miles
42:45
10:41
Saturday 24 August
10 miles
1:56:53
11:34
Monday 26 August
3 miles
33:19
10:57
Friday 30 August
1.42 miles
16:02
11:16
Saturday 21 September
2:10 miles
22:47
10:51


Lara