Five Years Worth of Injuries

After writing a post about staying injury free last month, I received the question of what types of injuries I’ve dealt with.  Honestly, I’ve dealt with a lot of different issues.  Before recently, my blog could have alternative names such as fueledbyInjuries or InjuriesNlolz. To be fair, two out of five of my issues were due to blunt force or falling. 

Luckily, for myself and training I’ve realized what has worked with training and what hasn’t.  Since I’m a relatively new runner, I don’t have the experience many other people do.  I don’t have eight years of high school and college running.  I have a few years of haphazard LOLZ running and a couple of years of effective training.  As with anything, I learn best when I do something and make mistakes along the way.

You can read my full running story here (or in one of the headings above).

In summary, I began running July 2010.  I ran off and on and was still a member of on my collegiate swim team.  Swim season lasted from September until late February, so there was no running during that time.  During the off season, we were allowed to work out as we pleased, so I picked up running.

An early road race
An early road race

Tibial Stress Fracture (July 2011-September 2011)

How it happened:

I ran every day for an hour on the treadmill.  I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to train fast every single day.  I thought to race faster you must train faster.  So every day I made the goal to beat the previous days mileage for 1 hour.  I was running between 7-7:15 pace for an hour.  Ultimately I was far more exhausted running 50 miles then I am now.  My body broke at a road race on my 21st birthday.

I learned more about myself than any other injury.  To be honest, I needed that injury to realize that training was idiotic.  My tibial stress fracture shaped my training to include a lot more easy miles.

Later that night still enjoying my 21st birthday...
Later that night still enjoying my 21st birthday…

 

Between 2011-2012, I improved and Pred in everything.

Cyst: August 2012-October 2012: 

How it happened: During September 2012, I developed a cyst in the arch of my foot.  The doctors still don’t know exactly how it formed it could have developed anywhere in my body.  They don’t believe it was running related, but it prevented me from running.  I am lucky it didn’t develop in my brain or somewhere very serious.   I was able to run with minimal pain until the cyst became large enough to rip the muscle from my bone.

After recovering for 2 months,  I came back and ran my fastest XC race.
After recovering for two months, I came back and ran my fastest XC race.

Ultimately I gave my bone two months to heal, and steroid shots took away the cyst.

Fractured Elbow (August 2013)

How it happened: While cooling down at a road race in August 2013, I was hit by a cyclist.  I was knocked to the ground, fracturing my elbow.  I was devastated but after a week, I was able to run slowly.  I decreased mileage for a while, but it ended up being the most nonserious elbow fracture I could have.  At the time, the decline in mileage was not great because I was training for my first marathon, NYCM.

It was so nonserious they just put a soft cast on
It was so nonserious break so they just put a soft cast on

In between August 2013-August 2014, I trained for my first marathon and then took some time off afterward.  I didn’t run consistently because the marathon burnt me out.  I also moved across the country and had a lot of life changes.

Metarsal Fracture (August 2014)

How it happened: 

Fast forward to August of 2014 and I received my other stress fracture in my second metatarsal.  In hindsight, I believe I upped my mileage too quickly.  Even though I was running easy, I think my mileage went up too fast.  At the time, I was training for my second marathon, Wineglass.  I healed by the time the marathon started, but it would have been dumb to run a marathon on a newly recovered stress fracture.  To be honest, I don’t think my heart was ready to race another marathon and to have an out was good for me.

Bum Butt (February 2015-March 2015)

How it happened:

I tweaked something running my second marathon and kept running.  Around mile 18, my butt started to throb.  Eventually by the end of the marathon, my whole left side was in pain.  Should I have finished the race?  Probably not…Did I PR? Yes…

Oh Phoenix...

I didn’t heal as fast as I should have because I continued to run after the marathon.  I took two weeks off (which helped) but then I ran too hard too fast.  Looking back, I made good progress and then threw it all away running again.  This is something I’m 100% kicking myself for…even though I had an excellent time at Shamrock 2015.  If I had taken a month off, I wouldn’t have had two months to deal with the issues.  I wrote more about what helped my butt, hamstring, IT band and everything else here.

When looking at my running injuries, I’ve realized I’ve had bad luck with some:

  • Foot cyst
  • Getting hit by a cyclist

And I’ve not trained smartly for others:

  • Tibial stress fracture
  • Metatarsal fracture
  • Bum Butt

I’ve received bone scans and gotten my calcium levels checked and despite a few breaks, I’m surprisingly in the normal range.   It was important to me to get those bone tests done.  My passion for running might come and go, but overall health does not.  There are other things in life that cannot be done without being physically healthy. I take a calcium and bone supplement daily as well as drinking milk and taking calcium rich sources.

There are many times I look back at my training and think: If I had taken a few more days off, or if I had realized that ache was a minor bone pain….but each is a lesson to move on.  I have learned that running in pain isn’t worth it to me.  

You cannot outrun health, and it will catch up to you. 

Question for you: Have you had a running injury before?