Post-injury run: a step into the unknown

Mind Your Step sign

Careful now. (Photo: cyanocorax via photopin cc)

The story so far: Your blogger was struck down with an injury around the right knee and had to miss a 5-mile race. After a few days of resting up, the time has come to make a return to running. Now read on…

I went for a run tonight. This is no small thing, because it was my first run after a few days of injury and recovery.

Thanks to the deep tissue massage I got at the physio on Saturday, the muscles in my right leg have now relaxed and are not straining my knee any more. The leg feels lighter and looser, though still aching a little at the top of the calf.

After some dynamic stretching without any twinges or aches, I was satisfied that I could at least attempt a run. I resolved to go out easy, on a familiar route, and without a watch so that I wouldn’t feel the urge to up the pace.

It had been raining earlier, but the sky had cleared by the time of my run. Still, I was concerned about skidding on wet leaves, manhole covers or ornamental tiles, which always become slippery in the rain. As it happened, this was another inadvertent factor in keeping me cautious and sensible on my run.

For me, the most nerve-wracking part of a post-injury run is the very first step. Will the knee hold up after all, or will it just crumple under the weight of me? Is that Achilles tendon ready to snap like an elastic band as soon as I lift onto my toes? And is that cheese-wire poised to strangle my shin again?

Luckily, my first step was ache-free and reassuringly banal, as were all the subsequent steps.

I shuffled around my usual three-mile route without incident, and pretty soon into the run I was able to relax. There were no twinges or pains or giving out from my right leg. I used the enforced go-slow as an opportunity to practise my ChiRunning techniques – spine lengthened, shoulders relaxed, pelvis engaged, ankles relaxed too.

So, that’s the first post-injury run successfully completed. I’ll continue with my cautious approach for the rest of the week – I’d like to try a five-miler tomorrow night, a three-miler again the following night, and all going well I’ll try a slow 10-mile long run on Friday night.

That might be ambitious, though. For the time being, every run is going to be a post-injury run, slightly fraught with apprehension but hopefully full of common sense and progress.

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9 Responses to Post-injury run: a step into the unknown

  1. Gotta like a first run 😀

  2. Jill says:

    Hope you are fully recovered soon!

  3. That first run after an injury is scary as hell…. the fear of it still being there is almost to much to take! Glad all went well for you. 🙂

  4. I’m in the same boat. Seeing my PT on Tuesday. So until then nothing but elliptical. I’m afraid the twinge in my knee won’t go away, even though all of my other injuries have cleared up over time. For some reason this knee thing has me freaked out.
    Good luck and be careful.

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