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Olympians and Injury

I love Desiree Davila. There is something about her that just seems so bad a** and determined. Perhaps I like her even more because, for quite a while in her running career, she was never considered the favorite. In fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago when she really started being a contender for the marathon. She worked her butt off and made things happen.  She’s the fastest American woman to ever run Boston and she qualified for the London Olympics. Then an injury forced her to drop out of the marathon around mile 8. I think I may have cried for her.

Competitor recently published an interview with Davila and it made me feel like I was in good company with my running injury. After London, Davila found out she had a stress fracture in her femur, which was originally diagnosed as an injury to her hip flexor tendon. It took her 12 weeks to recover and she still had to pull out of the 2013 Boston Marathon because her training wasn’t 100%. And I’m worried about my three weeks of no running?

It’s a great article and I highly recommend you read it, especially if you suffer from mild depression due to a running injury like I do. However, there are a few things I’d like to point out that I took away from the article:

First, Olympians worry about losing fitness, just like us mere mortals do. For me, I have this idea that 12 years of running will be completely undone by 3 weeks of no running. I think I should get a grip.

Second, we all have weaknesses and strength is IMPORTANT! If you want to run without injury, you are going to have to build a strong core and strengthen those stabilizing muscles.

Third, learn to understand your body and get in tune with what you are feeling. I like this quote:

Obviously, I think I have a better understanding of my body and knowing the difference between pushing through something and “OK, this is an injury.” In the past, I couldn’t tell you the difference until it was beyond the point of being able to fix it, and I think that’s something I’m still kind of learning right now. We’ll go out and do a hard day and I’ll have a little bit of soreness and think, “Is this because I’m going backward or is it because the soft tissue is adjusting to working hard?” So it’s being a lot more cognizant of that.

I am no Olympian and certainly have many more races ahead of me. The Olympics however, only come every 4 years. I can’t even begin to imagine the mental struggle Desiree faced after dropping out in London. But she has handled the experience like all good runners do. She has learned from it and moved on. I’m trying to do the same.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Recovery Update: I still haven’t been able to run, even though I was really hoping for an easy few miles this week. However, I can tell my hip is continuing to heal and I know I’ll be back out there soon enough. Today at the gym, I did the stair climber, bike, burpees, one legged squats, and other core strengthening exercises. Now I’m off to practice my handstands.

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