I ran through high school and into college, then took an 8 year hiatus. For the last three years I have been getting back on my feet and trying to get back to the fitness levels I was at – so far I have been doing an okay job. Aside from lung capacity, aerobic abilities, and muscle strength, one of the big differences lies in my body’s ability to cope the abuse I put on it.
I have only really suffered one massive injury – back in sixth grade – when I tore two ligaments in my ankle. Being young, I skipped out of rehab and never thought anything of it, until I started turning my ankle quite frequently playing soccer, rugby, or running on trails. It has taken some time, but I think it is finally back up to snuff, despite a perpetual swollen look to it.
Over the past three years since picking running back up, I have experienced a number of niggling injuries. An annoyance in the knee attributed to patella-femoral pain syndrome – whatever that is – a sharp twitch in the ankle/calf area which I was told was peroneal tendonitis, and a strained calf that came from over training in huaraches. Perhaps these all could have been avoided, I am not sure, but coming into 2013 just getting over the peroneal tendonitis and a perpetually numb toe, one of my goals was to do a better job listening to my body.
Listening is a trick. It is not just a simple, acknowledgement of a sore leg and taking a day off, or easing up on a workout. Rather, the sore leg needs to be acknowledged and understood. It can be tough figuring out what aches and pains are actual injuries waiting to happen, and which are just annoyances that can be smothered with a pillow.
I would imagine some folks do a better job than others at understanding and monitoring their bodies. I like to think I am on the better end of this spectrum and my failure to listen before was due to stubbornness and shortsightedness. This year I have been virtually injury free. Nothing new has presented itself and the problems I had been experiencing seem to have dissipated. It will be interesting to see if I can continue to listen and decipher the true warnings of injuries, and the angry soreness from my body as ultra training picks up.