Injuries and Races

I have some new injuries. I tripped while running on two occasions in the last week. Neither was epilepsy/seizure related. One was during a little 5k run and one was while running for the bus (while wearing hiking boots). There was really hard impact on the fall while wearing hiking boots and my knees actually still hurt. I was wearing shorts during the fall on the 5k run, and I have some really nice road rash in three places now. Road rash is always painful at the time, but it’s really a pain in the backside for the following weeks while it heals, then cracks open again, then heals, then cracks open. The whole process is awful.


Why is this such a big deal?


In less than a week, I am supposed to run a marathon. Not just any marathon either: a trail run. I am not great at trail runs, and I certainly have never done a full marathon on a trail. So this was already something I was hesitant (and of course, super excited) about, prior to the additional injuries.


Of course, we also can’t ignore that I haven’t been training as much as I should be coming up to a marathon, because I have a stress fracture in the arch of my left foot. I have been taking training advice and taking it easy overall and I knew that the upcoming race would be a challenge because I hadn’t been running as much. Now I am actually a little bit concerned. Foot, knees, skin. What’s a girl to do?


I have a few options:


  • Run the full marathon and hope for the best. I would be risking my ability to run completely and may have to stop not just mid-way on Saturday, but stop entirely. Forever.
  • Change the distance to a half-marathon and hope for the best. I would still be risking my ability to run, but the shorter distance would lessen that risk.
  • Change the distance to a 10K and hope for the best. Even less risk!
  • Not run at all and go support my friend who is completely capable of doing the distance. I would not be risking my future in running.


Sometimes I wonder what I would be like as a runner if I was to do a race and not start out with an injury that I have to be aware of. Since I am already so used to it though, I might just get spoiled by being able to run and focus on just that.


In the words of Lewis Carroll: I give myself very good advice but I very seldom follow it.


I will likely decide on Friday (the day prior to the race). I work and will be on my feet all day, so my knees may not be up to 42.2K. This kind of kills me to acknowledge that I might not be able to do this race. I was really looking forward to the challenge. I was looking forward to doing a trail run. I was looking forward to having a day off and spending a few hours just running. Not thinking about the things I have to get done, not thinking about the things I have to organize, not cleaning or budgeting or studying or working. My phone would be in my backpack somewhere – Most importantly, my phone would not be with me.


If someone else was in the same situation and asked me what I thought they should do, I would absolutely tell them not to run. I would say they should take care of themselves and rest. I would say they should go and support their friend, but not to run. I would say that it’s not worth the risk of not being able to run again, ESPECIALLY considering there is another marathon in less than a month.


I guess we will see this weekend whether I take care of myself, or if I stay on the same page as Alice in Wonderland.

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