Running Through Injuries

Yep, so it finally happened. Since moving to WNC in 2020, I've enjoyed a long streak of no injuries. Sure, I've twisted my ankle or tweaked a quad and had to take a day or 2 off. But I haven't had to take a long break in a while. It's been so long that I don't remember my last long break. But, it happened to me. I know it's from overuse and that's fine. I had an epic running year in 2021 and the 8 months leading up to injury were all 200+ mile months where a few years ago, 200 miile months were rare. As always, lets unpack this.

Injuries are bullshit.
Straight up bullshit. I tweaked my knee in late April going up one of my favorite climbs here, Stomping Knob. I decided to do nothing about it for a month or so and then went up another big climb here, Snook's Nose, and it did me in. I could barely walk for a few days. By the end of that first week I knew this was going to be a bad one. So with summer break starting for me, I just hung out at home which wasn't good for anyone. I'm a terrible person when I get injured and I try really hard to not be that person but it still happens. I like to be busy. I like to explore new places. I can't deal with fomo too well either. So I need to be better prepared for injuries and live in the moment. Even though I was injured, I got to spend a good bit of time at home. At home I'm with the people I care about. They love me. My dog loves me. I live in a beautiful part of the country. Life is good.

It takes time to build back up. Once I felt like it was time to start getting back into a flow, I started with a fair amount of hiking and core work. I was doing core work 2 to 3 times each week. I focused on strengthening core muscles and my muscles around my knee. I took some excercises from the 'Knees over Toes' workouts that you can find online. Doing pistol squats and goblet squats with raised heels. I used my lawn mower for backwards sled pulls. I did a fair amount of step downs. These excercises were putting more strain on my knees, but it wasn't until I started doing these that I could walk down the stairs in my house pain free. Little by little I got to feeling better and started to sprinkle in some jogging on my hikes. Then after 3 weeks of no running, I was able to get in my first run. I met up with my friends at the track. While they did 200 meter repeats, I ran a 5k in lane 6. Man it felt so good to be back at it. Now I'm doing around 40 miles per week and this week I completed my second track workout. Speed is coming back and next up is my endurance. Last weekend I did my first 3 hour run in the mountains thanks to new trails and some bushwacking. I'm ready now to get in those long exploring runs in the mountains I call home.

Time to go forward. I actually have long efforts and races planned now. So first up for me is before students come back to school I'm hoping to run a favorite of mine, Creek to Peak here. It has 3 significant climbs totalling out around 10k of vert while traversing around 25 mountain miles. That will be a great test to see where my endurance is for my leg muscles. After that I have some races. I'm signed up for Iron Mountain in Damascus, VA and then hoping to sign up for Grindstone 100 as well. I haven't been up to these areas since running the Massanutten Ring last fall. That was really good for me and I'm hoping for some more good fortunes on those trails.

Happy Trails Ryan

I want to read more!

Posted by Ryan James on 2022-07-15


© Running the Dirty South 2020 Made by Ryan James