Injuries suck!

And the worst injury of all is the small, nagging ones that take forever to heel. There are days when I wish I would have just broken a leg instead of being this state of melancholy that I am in now. It started on January 23rd when, on one of the coldest days in a few years, I bagged my mid-week speed workout and opted to run at the gym on the treadmill. Since it has been 8 months since I been on a “dreadmill”, doing an 8-mile speed interval workout wasn’t the best idea in the world. I ended up pulling my left quad muscle. I gave myself two days before I went on a run. It wasn’t the best run in the world but I managed. Then the next day I went on a 11 mile group run. I remember purposely shortening my stride and running with some of the slower members of the group just to plod through. About halfway through the run I felt better. The next day I ran with a friend on a 16-mile trail run near Lake Raystown. Everything was going great until the last mile when my foot I hit a hidden stump under the snow. My entire leg rang like it was a bell. Like a cartoon car that has hit a tree and all of its body panels fall off, it felt like my muscles were about to pop off my bones.
Two days later I tried to run. I managed to do 4.5 miles but it wasn’t pretty. My leg was so sore that for the first two miles, I hopped and shuffled like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The most vexing thing is that after a few miles my leg would eventually loosen up and the last couple of miles were fine. The next day I decided to make the decision that every runner dreads — taking time off. For me it was five days. Five long days. I could tell you that those five days were worthwhile and that during that time I did something worthwhile like getting in touch with a long lost brother, or found the cure for cancer or once again thwarted an alien invasion. But in all honesty I ended up with a couple extra hours which I can not remember exactly what I did other than binge TV watch. ‘House of Cards’ is amazing, BTW.
When I started to run again, I reduced my distance and frequency. Still I would hop for the first few miles like I had a wooden peg leg for the first several miles. Perhaps the worst feeling is that I had to bail on many group runs and on the one that I did show, my lack of speed held up others in the group that I had to cut my run short or figure out shortcuts to catch up with the pack.
Today was the first run that I could be happy about. Though still slow, I cranked out 17.5 miles. My stride length is also shorter by three inches. Yet, it was about a mile into the run that my legs felts at least 75% of normal and they loosened a lot faster than before. It has been 25 days since the injury. Perhaps since the quad muscle is a large muscle to heal and/or I just don’t recover as fast as before, it has seen like I lost so much time and fitness this past month.
Finally, here is ultramarathoner Anton Krupicka to talk about injuries. This is probably the longest introduction to a blogpost in the history of blogging. No lesson learned or any takeaways. Injuries just suck! Enjoy.