Injury

10 Things I Think About Being An Injured Runner

1. Is that why you’re not talking?

I don’t think it’s possible to understand the mindset of an injured runner. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a runner yourself, runners don’t empathize with injured runners, they’re like a sub species. Other runners are actually the most annoying people when you’re injured “How’s the shin?”, “It’s not my shin it’s my knee”. “Oh ok, I hope it gets better soon, I’m off for a run now”. Injured runners are not nice people, very angry and very silent, leave them alone they know what they’re doing.

2. Just Tell Me It’s Not Meniscal

I think every runner’s greatest fear is a stress fracture. I don’t fear stress fractures because I’ve been in that boat before. My great fear is my meniscus, that it might tear, I have nightmares about torn menisci. I know all the tests, McMurray and Duck. I blame John for my fear. I probably have magnificent menisci, I was useless at football.

3. The Working Week

I didn’t like being told not to run for the working week. I love running, well maybe not love but I’m certainly addicted, so five full days or 10 no runs was a frightening terrifying prospect. I couldn’t really walk up or down stairs so it was probably logical not to run.

4. Dolphin Deficit Disorder

I think the main thing I miss about running is the way it makes my head feel. The second day of no running is definitely the hardest. There is literally nothing that would make you happy on the second day of no running. Those endorphins and enkephalins are so so good. You’d literally kill for a run.

5. Goodness is Chosen

I think it’s important to do other things when you’re injured and depressed. I don’t believe in cross training as it’s not running and I’d be afraid that I’d like going to the gym and get addicted to it. Instead of cross training I went to an art exhibition in Cobh, A Clockwork Orange at The Kino and a play about abortion at The Everyman. It wasn’t running but it helped my head.

6. RICE

I don’t think anything really makes excessive running induced pinchy swollen knee syndrome get better quicker except rest and lots of it. Despite knowing this I still took many drugs, I took Arcoxia and Ibuprofen for inflammation. Arcoxia works Ibuprofen doesn’t. I also used a magic compression ice pack wrap and rubbed wintergreen cream on my knee. Wintergreen stinks but feels so nice, it’s like the opposite of ice. The one thing I didn’t do was elevate my knee, perhaps this is where I went wrong. If I’d elevated it I’d probably have been back running immediately.

7. Knearly Better

I think I knew I was knearly better on Friday morning. When you’re injured the first thing you do when you wake up is check for miraculous healing. Every other morning my knee was unmistakably pinchy, on Friday, no pinch, well maybe not no pinch but only a subtle pinch. Friday was a good day. The Cork City match made Friday easy, I knearly didn’t miss running on Friday. I knew I was running Saturday no matter what.

8. Run Don’t Paw

I don’t think there is anything worse than the first run back after an injury. You’re never fully better, it’s always just better enough to run on. The first few steps are full of fear, you sort of paw the ground like a big dog with a sore paw, you wince with each step waiting for the pinch. I had no pinching on Saturday so I was happy, I still pawed the ground, when I was mad I would have run 10 miles as that was the minimum not to get obese but because I’m sensible now I only ran 4. Then I waited for my knee to swell afterwards. It didn’t. I was cured. I was so happy.

9. The South Ring

I think injuries breed injuries. It’s like the south ring when you’re trying to get to training, accidents breed accidents. The main cause is compensation from pawing the ground with the paw which used to be injured because of fear. This loads up the non injured paw and causes that paw to hurt. Running is so simple yet so complicated. Never paw, run, pawing hurts your calves, pawing produces many niggles.

10. Niggles

I think it takes at least a week to get back to normal after exercise band induced pinchy swollen knee syndrome. Running injuries aren’t like punctures on the bike, you don’t just struggle to change the tire and drive on. You’ve to gradually get back to normal. It takes a least a week and is very scary, there are so many niggles, I’ve at least seven niggles. The first week back is almost worse than being injured as you only get partial endorphins and you can’t go to arty stuff, it’s like non-alcoholic beer. I don’t ever want to get injured again. Niggles are normal.