The injury journal: An awful run

  • So the other week, I woke up in extraordinary pain. It quickly became some kind of sickness. But I try not to let anything stop me from getting to the gym, so I went for my normal leg day, just toned way down. Besides, I lost 9 pounds, so I figured I needed to act. The first time I tried it, no big deal. Lots of coughing. The next week, as I continued to recover, I warmed up to another lightened load, just a little tougher than the week prior. This was a mistake.
  • Not long after my set, I realized the slight form breakdown I had on my second rep led to putting too much stress on my rib cage, causing… Something wrong. It hurt to cough, breathe deeply, laugh, et cetera. OK, I thought. I’ve got a day to heal, and then the day after, I’ll go super easy. It’d be back day, and I’ll just use machines, so I don’t harm myself. I quickly got cocky.
  • “Machines only” became “machines plus pull-ups and crunches.” I’m a glutton for punishment. The next day was worse than the last, causing immense pain to cough and deep breaths were quite uncomfortable. That night consisted of a lot of rest and sleep.
  • So here I am, typing up my first update in two weeks, wondering when I’ll be able to run again (half marathon in a month and a half) and how I’ll have to alter my training. Would I do it again? Probably a little differently.
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Note the lower left corner containing a squinty-eyed, squiggle mouth emoji, indicating a bad time.
  • With only about a month left in my training for a half marathon, I started my recovery with a run. The first mile felt great! My shoes had the bounce, it was nice to stretch my legs, et cetera. It made me remember that deep down, I AM a runner. Then reality set in. I hadn’t run distance in over a month, and I felt it after the first mile. Honestly, it might’ve just been that I went out too fast. Although at 8:03 on mile 1, that doesn’t bode well if my body though THAT was fast (usually, I’m hitting 7:45 or so on my first mile when I realize I’ve made a pacing mistake).
  • Mile 2 was me convincing myself to keep going until I completed it, then I could walk for one minute. Then mile 3, walk one minute. Finally, I got into a little bit of a groove, even if it was slow (Nike Running says I hit 9:26 for my slowest mile). At mile 4.5, I walked for another minute. I realized if I walked again at mile 6, as I planned, I would put my pace above 9min/mi and if that’s the case, I’ll fail to meet my goal of a sub-2 hour half marathon. I decided to run the entire rest of the way.
  • It mostly worked! I had some good music that matched my steps, I mentally searched and found a mantra (“I am looking for a way to deal with my pain”), and I had a woman in my crosshairs to catch up to. Then my GI tract betrayed me. It felt mostly like I was going to throw up, and it caused me to stop for a second. Not walk, stop. Apparently it didn’t take that long, because I was able to get it together and catch up to another woman that passed me. I paced it for the next 1/10th of a mile, then sprinted the last 1/10th. Then I almost threw up again. I didn’t, thank God, but it’s looking like during the next month, I really need to hammer down on my training, instead of relying on my base level of fitness and natural athleticism. For the first time in maybe 10 years, I’ll have to really try.
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