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.
I want to read more!