Another Injured Runner

By: Brighid Klick

I picked up running over a year ago and am so excited to begin training for my first half marathon this summer, so I have been increasing my miles, ordered new shoes, and started reading up on different training programs. Spring has finally started in Ann Arbor which led to more running, and I would return home to realize that I had been running for an hour straight. This was new for me, and I was overjoyed–runs had been limited to 4-5 miles, I had gone for 6 before but not very often, and I was amazed at how easy these long runs felt. So I just kept going.

This past Friday, I went out to try for 7 miles along a new route that would include a portion of Huron Parkway as I was told the southern part feels like up north. Just as I reached the Arb, about a mile into my run, I felt a sharp pain in my right leg, around the Achilles. I was worried but figured I would just run through it, and so I did but shortened the run, doing a there-and-back to Gallup Park. Well, it ended up being more than the 3 miles I hoped it would be and though the pain had subsided, my legs ached like crazy. I immediately threw an ice pack on the spot that hurt at the beginning of the run and thought about the pain I felt in both legs. It had been going on for awhile, I realized, with aches waking me up at night despite the new, slightly more padded, shoes. Sure, I had increased my mileage, but I felt great after the runs; it was only at night when I felt any pain. After the Friday run and the more obvious pain, I really began to wonder if the long runs and hills were affecting me more than I thought. I decided to stop running until the pain subsided.

It has been 5 days now and I almost went for a run last night but reminded myself that most likely, the pain would continue if I did not let it run its course. Thus far, I have not been sidelined with any injury–I did not realize the leg aches were an injury until now. Runs have been a source of release between work and school stress, and provide me with a sense of accomplishment every time I go for longer or run faster. Being stuck on the couch with an ice pack every evening, then, is frustrating. Every day I have to remind myself that going out and running could ruin the work I have done so far by resting, and I cannot wait for the day when the pain subsides. I have read many articles on running injuries, thinking “oh yeah, if I get hurt then obviously I’ll rest until the pain goes away,” but it is not as easy as I thought it would be. Taking time off from running is harder in many ways than the runs themselves, but I hope it is all worth it in the end.

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2 Responses to “Another Injured Runner”
  1. christian says:

    check your shoes. Too soft a midsole will cause a lot of pressure on the Achilles. Good luck. I suggest a visit to a really good sports injury clinic soon: The Running Institute or Probility.

    • Hey Christian,
      Thanks! I’ll do that, though I just got a pair of new shoes. For now, I wanted to see what taking time off would do, so if the pain is still there next week I’ll definitely check out one of those clinics.

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