An honest confession about injury

04th October 2015
Just reaching mile 9. Easy-peasy so far. It is a beautiful morning; crispy air, sun shining and I’m still buzzing from racing the Ironman 70.3 in Zell Am See, Austria the week before.
I’m back in the UK for about five days, already run a half marathon distance training two days before this race so I know legs are doing all right.
I want to beat my previous half marathon times, 2 hours. Even if I just come in at 1h 59 minutes. Don’t care, I want to know that I can do it before rolling down the summer season shutter. This is the Richmond half marathon and I'm loving every minute of it.

Hang on.. there’s something wrong.. Why is my pelvis in so much pain? How do I stop it? Well, I can’t so I carry on. Soon the pain is in my right groin too moving towards the leg. And very soon, my right leg feels very heavy. I do a body check and realise it’s a pain I never experienced before. But I’m doing so well in this race and the mile signs disappear one after another. Only a few to go anyway so I keep on running!


[Sunday 6 September 2015 , Richmond half marathon]

I’m on crutches for days after the half marathon, but it was worth it I tell everyone! I did it in 1h 46min, I’d do it again! Ahh the pain? I’m sure it will go.
Three weeks later the physio tells me I have torn my hamstring and my quad muscles at a number of places. She digs her elbow deep into the tear and goes in deeper when I moan loudly. I’m in agony.

4 weeks today since the race where I injured myself. 4 weeks of constant pain, hamstring and glute strengthening, guessing, hoping (and hopping) and waiting.
The first week was bearable because I didn’t realise how bad the injury was.
Second week it hit home. It was now clear another week would pass without cycling or running.
And the third week, well, it was hell. My body and mind were longing after a decent workout but I knew deep inside I’d only make things worse. I had tears in my eyes every time I got on the bus passing happy cyclists and runners. Another lovely and dry day, instead of riding my bike to work I’m sat on the bus. I told myself it was the last week to travel to work on public transport because I have to. Sadly it wasn’t.

The main battle however is to convince myself that it is OK to take some time off. I’ve had a busy summer for sure and since I have over two months till the Aconcagua expedition I know I can build up the muscles again. But why am I in this gloomy, dark place?
Body is suffering too. Having taken all the adrenalin and endorphin away, it's happy when we exercise in the bedroom or go for a swim but I can hear it talking to me.. "is that all you're going to do to me" and my brain joins in "are we seriously going to bed without feeling completely exhausted physically?" So I try to smash my lap times in the swimming pool. It doesn't satisfy me as much as probably the Ham Lake swim race would have earlier today (enjoyed being a support crew though) but it takes the edge off and keeps me focused.

I wanted to share my story with you because there must be others out there who experienced the injury blues. You’re certainly not the only one! One thing is certain, it will pass. May take longer than we think but if we ever want to do a PB, get back on the bike we need to wait it out. And make sure what we do in the meantime is helping the recovery. So here’s a list of how I’m surviving ☺

- books - take it to work with me every day. Since the injury I’ve read eight to be precise and every single one gave me something. A running book gave ideas, a good crime was entertaining. Anything to temporary forget about the injury right?
- friends – spent so much time training for various things in the last two years but luckily a couple of friends stuck with me during the rough times. I thoroughly enjoy my extra time now I can spend with great people and write to my family more often.
- exercises: a good friend of mine once told me when I had the IT band problem that I should focus on things I CAN do. How true. What’s the point of pulling myself down into this deep, bottomless crevasse when I can still do things? And I don’t have to think hard; my swimming certainly needs improving so I go to the pool twice a week. And I religiously do the hamstring and glute strengthening.. Found a youtube video called – ‘How to get Victoria Angels legs’ I pick the exercises I can do and crack on with it. If it works for the ‘Angels’ will do for me I convince myself hah!
- experiment with healthy recipes: I had no time to be creative in the kitchen during the hard core training period. Now I have time to play around with ingredients. Make a healthy dish you haven’t tried before or a cheeky chocolate brownie with no sugar, you’ll love it. Note to self, don’t burn the house down.
- plan a race/ event WELL ahead: having something coming up can give you such a boost during the recovery. Ok you may not be able to go out and do your usual morning run but you can concentrate on some core work? Upper body strengthening? Everything helps and you’ll be surprised how much your fitness will improve when you’re fully recovered. It also helps mentally to focus on and look forward to.


If you want to drop me a line and share you story or have any tips how to conquer the injury blues feel free to drop me a line.