Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Big Picture: Injuries

I had thought about a series of blog posts that deal with the “Big Picture” and deal any number of
areas from Faith, Family, Training, Diet, Racing, Injuries and other topics as they relate to Running and the “Big Picture.”  That said I did not contemplate that my first “Big Picture” post would on injuries.  The truth is I would rather not speak of them, what runner does, but providentially I had a foot injury this past week so here we are.

Injuries and how you deal with them are largely influenced by how one views their running and the “Big Picture” you have with regards to your running.  I guess having a “Big Picture” outlook depends on if you have taken the time to formulate one.  As my posts I am sure will be read, if read at all, by the average runner and not the people who run as a living that will be where I will tend to direct this post, and future ones.  I should add that the significance of having a greater view of why one runs is that it helps with how one deals with running’s relationship to the rest of life.  I will post a separate post on developing a “Big Picture” outlook at a later date.  Probably should have done it first but that is not how things have fallen into place so let’s look at “The Big Picture and Injuries.”

Recently, I was running a couple loops (11.3 miles and 2100 FT) of a trail run that while having a fair amount of vertical, 1000+FT in 5.65 miles, is far from technical but is steep in areas, basically on dirt roads.  On the second loop I was letting things just go running down hill and suddenly my right foot starting hurting when it landed.  I did not hit a rut or a rock that I could tell but basically it seems something just went.  So I hobbled the rest of the way through the run and finished up in some pain.  The next day my foot was swollen below the ankle and it hurt to walk on so decided there would be no running for a few days to see how it would be.  

As I had a ½ marathon trail run coming up, The Rugged Red, I figured it would be best to rest up if I even wanted the possibility of running it, around 11 days from when I hurt my foot.  3 days after hurting my foot it was still swollen, see the picture on this page, and hurt when doing other than walking, which itself was not comfortable.  On writing this post it has been 6 days and it is still swollen and sore.  Not sure how it will be for running in the up coming week so I have decided to get an X-ray in a couple days to make sure it is not more than a strain before I run on it again.  I foresee some riding in the future to keep in shape for other up coming races and runs.

So how does this all relate to the “Big Picture?”  First, I need to share at least part of what I consider my “Big Picture” view of my running.  I have to remember that running, at my stage in life especially, is a part of my life that keeps me in shape and helps as a relaxing, yes relaxing, activity that I enjoy but it is not all there is.  While I enjoy racing and do so when I can I need to make sure that when faced with decisions related to injuries and races I think about how the decision will affect other areas of my life as well as my future running and racing.  Let me also add here that I do not believe in accidents or coincidences and while I may not know why things happen I do understand that they happen for a purpose, again even if I do not at the moment understand the purpose.  So this all becomes part of my “Big Picture” view of running.

So as I face what to do about a trail race I have been looking forward to do since I ran it a year ago, running a less than stellar race, I have to keep in mind how doing it with an injury fits with my overall view of running and life.  With that in mind while I might be able to gut out and suffer through the trail race with my foot still sore less than a week out and not knowing how injured it is going through with a race such as the The Rugged Race would be less than wise. The Rugged Red is not only a ½ marathon trail race it also has in many places technical sections, both up and downhill, that would put lots of stress where it is not needed.  Thus, with the possibility of not only hurting myself more and not being able to run for even longer but also, as it is a point to point race, being stuck out there if I injured it even more, I will hold off running it this year and hope to run it next year.

Not sure about everyone else but holding off going to a race is not the top of my list.  Having a “Big Picture” view of my running helps in making such as decision as I have made.  It does not make it easy but does help in making the correct decision.   Usually I first struggle with the fact I have paid for the race so need to run it.  The fault there is that while it is paid for the funds are gone and thus not running really does not cost any more monetarily but may cost from a health perspective.  Secondly, when I enter races they are ones I enjoy and want to do since I find little reason just to enter races.  This is especially true of trail races as I very much enjoy the challenge of running trails thus making this decision even more difficult.

While I still would like to run and being 6 days out I keep telling myself I may be OK it is best to just decide now so that I can make a long term plan for what to do now to get over this injury.  With having a couple 5Ks on the schedule over the next two months, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in Early November along with my first 50 miler in March of 2017 wisdom, and seeing the “Big Picture ,” allows me to be comfortable with taking time off to get well and then training in such a manner as to be ready for those up coming races. 

While I will write more on the idea of having a “Big Picture” I encourage you to work to formulate one for yourself as it truly does make dealing with injuries easier, not easy but easier.

Update: Sept 6th, 2016
Got in to see my doctor today and got a couple X-rays.  The good news is nothing is broken, the bad news is I still need to rest it for the rest of the week so The Rugged Red  1/2 Trail Marathon is for sure out.  The good news is I can set my bike up in the basement and at least get some activity in for the rest of the week.  Also, looks like with 2.5 weeks till my next 5K I should be OK.   Gives me plenty of time before my 5K in October and Indy Marathon November 5th as well.  Now to just rest it up and get back to training and not hurt it again.  I know my penchant is to jump right back in where I ended but I need to ease back in to stop it from flaring up and creating more problems.

No comments:

Post a Comment