Bit by the Injury Bug

Injured matt

Injured and unhappy Matt after the Madrid Marathon. Let’s hope he improves.

It finally happened: I’ve made it through a 100 mile race, a 50k, and 5 marathons already this year with only minor issues (serious soreness and a lost toe nail) but after the Madrid Marathon 9 days ago, I’m still not running.

At first it wasn’t a big deal, ”rest a few days” I thought, and like normal, I’d be back out there running nice and easy with Julie until the next marathon. Not to be this time around.

I felt a specific moment during Madrid when the lower, front of my left knee, probably the patellar tendon, became aggravated. I thought at the time, “huh, never had that one but it doesn’t feel like something that’ll stop me”. And it didn’t, I pushed on, increasing my pace and place all the way to the finish. At the end I felt like I usually do: worn out, knees locking at first but after resting a few minutes having things come back to where I could get around with only a slight limp. Everything was fine but by the second and third days following the race (and an all day walking tour of Rome the day after the marathon) the knee wasn’t getting any better. I thought to myself, “oh well, looks like I’m taking a few more days off”.

But the days off turned into a week and this past Sunday ,while on a 90 minute morning walk (while Julie ran), I walked right into the start of a local 5k race. I suddenly had such a strong desire to be in the race, even though I knew my knee wouldn’t allow it and that I hadn’t even figured out enough Italian to know there was even going to be a race that was literally starting on my front doorstep until the runners were on the starting line.

Upon returning home, I knew it was time to get in gear and get fixed up and back into shape. The injury is my fault. I hadn’t run faster than 8 minute mile pace since the 50k over a month ago in Guatemala and then I jumped in and ran sub 6:30 miles for the marathon. While I could do it, I had to pay a high price, being bitten by the injury bug. And once I know I can’t run when I want to, I know it’s too high a price to pay.

So I’ve been icing regularly since and even found my way into an Italian pharmacy where I was able to get 600mg strength Ibuprofen. I’m back doing core work everyday (5 days in a row now), and when I get back to running – I think by this weekend, it’ll be steady and focused. It’s back to a real training plan with some speed work so I’ll be ready for the slew of races (check out Urbyville FB page for the complete schedule) starting in 12 days in Prague.

As of this morning, the knee is still a bit tender but no longer shoots sharp pains with each step. It’s definitely a move in the right direction and with some more high focus care I should be done with this injury bug. I simply need to remember to be better next time about not letting the bugs in in the first place.

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