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Benefits of Injury

As a hurting runner, it’s hard to believe that I would actually consider the idea that there are benefits to being injured. Injuries suck. Period. However, I’m finally starting to see a light at the end of this very dark tunnel. It finally came to me this afternoon.

When I started training at the end of November for my race this weekend, my running life was great. I didn’t hurt. I felt light on my feet. My running form felt perfect and I started to question why I ever got injured in the first place. I am such a good runner. I can do this seven days a week. And I did. December was my best running month ever.

But the miles add up. That slightly weaker left side gets weaker. And those slightly tight glutes get tighter. The slanted sidewalk seems to get even more slanted and what started as a slight ache, becomes a serious problem. I knew it was coming but I thought one more long run would be okay. It wasn’t.

The benefit to being injured is you become more in tune with  your body. For years, I have known my left hip is tight and my left side is weak. For a long time I accepted it as a fact of life and wasn’t proactive. I just assumed that I couldn’t run as much as I wanted to because my body couldn’t handle it. I don’t believe that anymore.

For the past week, I’ve been seeing Dr. Molly for active release therapy. She has told me that my left side is really “congested.” That there isn’t the movement in my left side that there needs to be. And that is exactly how I feel. Congested. She has put me through some intense, painful ART and as my left side starts to open up, I realize what it’s like to actually have movement throughout my left side. To have hips that move like they should. Even as I type this, I’m crossing my left leg over and under my right leg and I use to never be able to do that.

My point is that although injuries suck, there is something to be learned. Do you know why the injury happened? Is there something to prevent it from happening again? Your body is smart and the more in tune we can be, the more we can help ourselves.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


I had Mario take pics of me running this summer. Just look how stiff my left side is. I feel like I should tilt my head for it to be straight.

This pic was taken during a recovery from a left hip/leg injury. The same thing I have now.

This pic was taken during a recovery from a left hip/leg injury. The same thing I have now.

Again, recovering from a left leg/hip injury. it's like there is no movement in my left side.

Again, recovering from a left leg/hip injury. It’s like there is no movement in my left side.

Running Update: Since I ran yesterday, and I don’t want to overdo it before the race, I just went to Dr. Molly and then came home to take care of Mario (now he’s sick). As far as my leg and hip are concerned, they are getting better. Slowly but surely. I’m so curious to know what will happen Saturday morning.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. I am a distance cyclist and last year I was off my bike for 12 days due to the flu. I complained the entire time — but the days off the bike really helped my legs get some rest for the first time in over a year. Once I got back on the bike I was hitting the climbs better than I had all year.

    February 14, 2013
    • I guess if you think about it, years of doing the same thing (biking, running, etc.) really take a toll on the body and a week or so of giving your body some time to get back to normal, is a much needed thing. I really appreciate your comment – it gives me hope 😉

      February 14, 2013
  2. Amy #

    I’m so glad you’re able to stay positive through all of this! Regardless, it sounds like all of the extra care will help you become an ambi-runner! I bet Saturday can’t come soon enough for you. I hope Mario feels better soon. He needs to be cheering you on in full force!

    February 14, 2013
    • Thanks Amy! This has all had its ups and downs for sure. The good thing is I’m alive and I have two legs that will eventually run pain free again. Who knows when. Yes, I am ready for Saturday to come and go. It’s weird… it’s like I think something miraculous is going to happen Saturday morning and my leg is going to feel 100% better. Maybe a lot of advil?? Oh well, it’s at least an small vacation. Thanks for the well wishes!! And on a side note, I’m drinking a delicious IPA as I sit here and type this. How can you not love this beer? 😉 Soooo yummy!

      February 14, 2013
      • Amy #

        You too with the IPA? Oh no! 🙂 I could barely run 2 miles at a time in the 2 weeks before Chicago because of some terrible pain in my tibia that bothered me up until race morning. But thanks to some weird miracle (and some ibuprofen), it didn’t hurt at all during the marathon (but it flared up again right after and I couldn’t walk without a limp for a week and I don’t think I’ve fully recovered yet). I say Advil it up if hitting that 1:30 is that important to you. Good luck!

        February 15, 2013

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