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October 25, 2011

When I decided to start long distance running I was given plenty warnings about the harm and peril it creates for your body. I’ve heard things like “running is bad for your knees” “it wreaks havoc on your joints” “it’s hard on your body” “be careful, don’t get injured”. I tried not to let these these words bother me, but I couldn’t help but worry for myself. I researched and became familiar with the common running related injuries; IT band syndrome, runner’s knee, shin splints, a torn Achilles tendon. With knowledge comes power.

To avoid these common injuries I have engaged in active prevention. I make sure to strengthen my hips, glutes, and thighs to avoid IT band issues, I pay attention to proper form and shorten my stride to take any extra pressure off of my knees and shins, and I stretch before, during, and after my runs to make sure all of my muscles and ligaments are not pulling anything in a dangerous way. I drink plenty of water everyday, get lots of fruits and veggies, protein, and whole grains to make sure my body has plenty of vitamins and nutrients.

Even after all of these precautions, I have found myself injured, and am sidelined from training- which has been a greater fear than the injury itself. BUT my ailment was not caused by running! How did you get hurt, you may ask? Tim, my loving boyfriend, stepped on my foot!

Yes, I am injured because somebody stepped on my foot, how ridiculous! Sunday night, after running 18 glorious miles, Tim stepped on the outside-top of my foot with all of his body weight and pressure. It hurt very badly momentarily, but the pain subsided. Monday, as the day went on, I noticed an aching pain in the outside and bottom of my foot, in between the arch. I couldn’t understand what was happening or why I was experiencing such a pain, so I ignored it. That evening I did some yoga and took Griff on a walk. During the walk, the pain worsened so much so that I was walking with a limp and struggled to get back home. My foot did not hurt at all when I poked and prodded it, or when I rotated my ankle, only when I put standing pressure on it. I could not pinpoint the source of the pain at all.

Puzzled and irritated, it dawned on me that the pain must have been a result of Tim’s assault on my precious foot. I must be experiencing some sort of internal bruising, which is causing me pain when I walk. Most of my irritation and concern stems from the fact that it is an impediment to my training. I was supposed to run 5 miles today, but was instead relegated to the pool.

I swam 1600 yards, doing speed intervals every 100 yards or so. I also tried out a little aqua jogging, and it wasn’t too bad. My foot did not hurt for the duration of my pool workout, so if I am not better by tomorrow, I will be there again, swimming away.

How do you deal with injury, both physically and emotionally?

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