Beware of Injury – Sunday, January 29, 2017 Run

Injury takes you out of the game. The higher your mileage the more you need to beware of injury during your run. As an RD I get a lot of e-mails from people who have been taken out of the game due to injury. They almost always happen after mileage goes north of 16 miles. Half runners experience something a little different because endorphins kick into high gear around when your run reaches 7 or 8 miles. It’s easy to pound out 3 or 4 extra miles which causes an injury that takes you out of the game. The higher your mileage the greater the chance of injury. Beware of injury. I can’t stress it enough. I want to see you on April 8th.

My next marathon is a week before the Garden Spot race. According to plan this past week’s long run was 17 miles. I was looking forward to this run. Only long distances runners say crazy things like that and only long distance runners get it. We have some common ground,you and I. Injury is on my mind. Several years ago I was signed up for 2 marathons. I slacked on the training, tried to make up mileage and developed a severe case of shin splints. That injury took 6 months to heal, during which a run was not an option. I left two $120 registrations on the table. The only good part about it was my donations went to good causes.

The Run

My last long run was 16 two weeks prior. So far no injuries. The previous week was a down week of 13. Last week’s weather was perfect. Low 30s. Overcast. Very little wind. The reason I was looking forward to this run is because I hadn’t run this route for years and it’s a great route. It’s 8 miles from my door to the spillway at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, add a 1/2 mile beyond the spillway and it’s a 17 mile out and back. it was an awesome training run. Right on marathon pace the entire 17. Didn’t have to walk. Gels didn’t upset my stomach. Legs felt good. Breathing was clear.

However, by mile 16 I was getting tired. I’ve done this enough to know that when I get tired I need to beware of injury.  A number of things happen when we get tired. Our form gets sloppy. We pay more attention to being done than we do running in the moment. Aches distract us. There’s a lot going on. Periodic bursts of endorphins re-energize us but that can be short. At mile 16.5 I intentionally stepped off the road onto the shoulder to run in the gravel. I drug my right toe, caught it on a rock, stepped sideways overturning my ankle and almost did a face plant. Fortunately, I didn’t twist my ankle or go face down in the gravel. It’s not just the blown knees, popped hips, torn ligaments, shin splints or twisted ankles that make for an injury. Be careful out there. Please, just be careful, especially when you start to get tired.

Some Cool Things

While I was out a Warwick Regional Police car was coming toward me. He swung way into the other lane as he passed. Thank you officers! There were snow geese at Middle Creek, see photo. Finally, during mile 17 a little boy, probably 5 saw me coming and road his bike to the end of the drive to say, “hi”. He asked if I like his bike and I told him it was, “a really cool bike.” He was thrilled.

It was an awesome run. Remember the higher your mileage the greater the chance of injury. Be careful out there. We want to see you on April 8th.

Run On!

Scott Miller
Garden Spot Village Marathon | Half Marathon, RD

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