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runner anxiety

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A year post marathon training injury....

So, it’s September…. I’m not exactly sure where the summer went, but I am accepting the fact that it’s September in NY, fall is around the corner…. and #winteriscoming.

I’ve been thinking this past week a lot about my previous year. I honestly haven’t given my injury a ton of thought… it comes up when I realize I’m not as fast as I used to be, or when I felt grateful for finishing the Brooklyn Half pain free. But for the most part, it does kind of seem like last September-December has disappeared into a black hole of marathon training injury feelings. Anyone else have a similar experience?

This time last year- I was at the very beginnings of my injury. I remember it first popped up after a Mile High Run Club class where something felt a little off and tight. But no pain intense pain. I just had a weird feeling in my hip. I stretched after what felt like a good class, and went on with my day. I was well into my Chicago Marathon training… just under 5 weeks out from the event. Which would have been my 3rd marathon. I had just nailed what felt like a very solid (and speedy, for me) 17 miler. Things were feeling good.

Until they weren’t. The morning following that MHRC class, I woke up unable to move without extreme pain. The worst pain I’ve probably ever experienced. I had been going to Finish Line Physical Therapy for preventative work throughout my training, so I was quickly able to get in and try to figure out what was happening. It was not clear. Was it my SI joint, a slipped disc, a quad injury (my quad would uncontrollably spasm)…. doctor’s appointments, regular PT, X-rays & an MRI…. and still no clear answers. I remember moments hoping to just be able to put on pants without pain, or to walk without a limp (and pain). It’s amazing how quickly your perspective shifts…. and, when running & healthy, how much you do take for granted. Needless to say, I was not healed and ready by October 7th. And I did not run my 3rd marathon. However, I still carb loaded and fully enjoyed Chicago— cheering on all the other rockstars. By that point, I was generally happy to be able to walk around the city with limited pain. It felt like a win.

So, a year later… as we’re getting ready to be in fall marathon season, I’m reminded on how far I have come. I’m still frustrated by never getting a clear answer or fully understanding what happened. And angry that I’m still paying off the MRI that it didn’t seem that I actually needed (after a frustrating experience with a doctor who did not listen to what I was telling him). But I’m happy and grateful to be fully healed. I didn’t run again until the very end of December. I slowly built up and tried to get into a regular routine again. The Brooklyn Half was successful…. not my fastest by any means, but finishing easily and pain free felt just as good as getting a PR. This summer I ran 2 10k legs in the Catskill 100k relay. I’m not currently training for anything, but I am pondering what might be my next steps. And taking time to enjoy the cooler fall running days.

I’m someone who typically likes plans and lists and getting shit done. So, taking a step back and just letting things be isn’t necessarily my norm. So, here it goes…. we’ll see what happens.

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