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Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012: a year of injury

2012 was a bad, bad running year for me. The funny thing is, I kicked it off with a bang  - I had several good races early in the year, followed by hell and horror for the rest. Slight exaggeration, there.

The good stuff:
January: I came in 3rd female at The Louisiana Marathon, and despite crashing full force into the dreaded wall, I feel like this was one of my best-run races. That or it was just one of the few with good weather all year!
Having a rare good race, despite being surrounded by slower half marathoners thanks to the course design.
February: A few weeks later I won for the women at The Wall 30k, which was my first race longer than a half marathon back in 2010. I took 42 minutes off my time in two years! This year it was a tough race, since we were on top of the levee right on the river and the wind was brutal that day.
This picture is hilarious - and could be used for blackmail - since I am so confused by the finish line tape. I almost look scared of it. 
March: My current marathon PR: RnR New Orleans. I missed my goal of 3:05 by more than a minute and felt like I lost touch with the race in the last ten miles. I was miscalculating pace and off on nutrition and water - just not a well-run race. And my groin was really bothering me.
I'm trying to escape The Loud Breather behind me.  And I don't look happy.
Also in March? My Boston training run: a free entry into the hilly Publix marathon. I nailed my pace on that one despite the uncomfortable heat.
Publix: training race or not, still intent on ruining my finish line picture by messing with my Garmin
Things start falling apart:
April: Ah, Boston. The morning we flew out I fell running (tripped on nothing) and my knee filled with fluid and blood. Then the race itself turned into yet ANOTHER "marathon for fun". What else can you do when you run yet another marathon in the 80s? No 3:05 there...ran  a 3:24ish!
Not hard to run like this at all. In high 80's weather. 
May: With my million marathons behind me, I finally addressed this annoying groin pain. I was diagnosed with osteitis pubis, and was cheerily told I should be out of the woods in just a few weeks.

Crash and burn:
June: Pain, appointments, PT.
July: A sad and miserable 4 mile race on the 4th of July demonstrated my complete lack of fitness and my persistent pain.
These men look better in bikinis than I do, hateful little creeps.
August: Pain now includes adductor tendons, not just joint space.

Short rally:
September: I read a Runner's World thread addressing training with osteitis pubis. To my surprise, more than one runner said regular high mileage helped the problem. Another runner detailed exercises that helped her, so I dropped any PT that caused pain and started doing the bridges, planks, and clamshells that she recommended. I spent September working up to a 45 mile week.
October: I started a Brad Hudson marathon plan and averaged around 65 miles a week. The osteitis pain did, indeed, lessen! But my fitness was lagging. My first race back was uncomfortable and slow.
Nothing wrong with my form can't be why I keep getting injured....
I suck at running:
November: I woke up one day and looked at my Garmin. I was slow. And slowing further. Slower than a year before. What was I doing wrong? I felt tired and everything was an effort. I quit on a few runs. My calf felt strained. So what did I do? Ran a 5-miler on it. I felt sore and achy later, but it wasn't until I tried to run again that I realized I had hurt something badly on the other leg.
December: A chiro diagnosed me with a hamstring tear (pretty obvious based on the striated lines of blood under the skin!) and cracked my joints a few times. Then his coworker did some ART and Graston. Now that helped!
I'm limping back to the starting line.
What does 2013 hold? Hopefully for me it will be recovery from injury, discovery (why am I getting injured?) and victory - a good race or two and maybe a PR as well!
What was your favorite running moment this year? Goals for 2013?


  1. I hope 2013 brings you back injury free!

  2. A. Fast runners like you can joke and laugh about their funny pictures breaking the tape ... must be nice! ha

    B. No doubt 2013 will be better for you - but since I started reading your blog earlier this year - I've really found motivation to get faster in case I ever run into you at a race.

    C. Thank you in advance for never-ever publishing pics of dudes in bikinis again.

    1. Haha! I have a enough pictures of my running group in bikinis from that race to post one a day for a year. But I will behave.

  3. You have had a tough year. The year did seem to start out fantastic for you, you had a lot of good marathon and race results. Then it seemed like it got tough for you with injuries. Hopefully you're able to figure out the root cause of your injuries and get back to running consistently.

    I guess my year went pretty similar to yours though backwards - I was injured earlier in 2012, then mainly injury free, and now might be injured again. The injury rollercoaster never seems to let me off.

  4. You ran an awesome PR, so even though there were some tough months, in which you are still sorting out, you have to be happy with your first couple of races. I really think, you have to go through the downs to get the bug ups in running. It's s tough sport, and we need to be smart about training and our bodies. So it's a learning lesson through trial and error. I think once you get over this hump, you will be stronger than ever.

    Also... looking at your "bad form pic" it looks like your glutes are failing (the twist in your leg, knock knee look). I had this problem which caused me injuries in the spring. I started doing Glute stabilizer workouts 2x a week and have been injury free since. Something to think about.... Here's my blog post about it:

    Hope you had a lovely holiday! & Cheers to 2013!

    1. Thank you for the link! I have often winced at the turned-in foot I see in late race pictures. If this is part of the problem and I can fix it. I will be all over those exercises!

  5. I wish I could say that was the first time I saw dudes in bikinis... sadly, not.

    I hope you get all these injuries squared away. Being injured is NO fun.

  6. Man. You've really seen some ups and downs in 2012. Here's to more ups than downs in 2013!!!

  7. Here's to a great and pain free 2013!

  8. You had quite the year of running! I can't believe you tripped before Boston. What luck. Alas, it sounds like you're heading in the right direction. Heal body, heal!

    My running is pretty mediocre right now. Just fitting in the miles when I can and doing lots of other things like hot yoga, spinning, weights, etc. For 2013, I'd love to BQ, but I'm not putting huge pressure on myself bc of the upcoming wedding. I will be running Chicago Marathon and maybe Eugene. Also doing a half or two here and there.

  9. I've always thought running such a close analogy to life: there is no straight path upwards. Rather, ups and downs along the way, that, whether it seems like it or not, is making us stronger! I don't know ANYONE who is able to continually improve their times with no setbacks. NO one. Not even the professionals. They all deal with injuries and other obstacles along the way. That's part of running. That's part of life. You are a phenomenal runner. Not everyone can claim they've ran a sub 3:10. I certainly can't!! And so maybe you're injured and not where you want to be right now with your fitness level, but you clearly have the potential and will get back there. Be patient. Nothing worth achieving is easy, right? But it will be worth it, and when you work back up and beyond to where you were, think how much sweeter the success will be!

  10. Running is cyclical, right? Good days, bad days, great years, rough years. Maybe you're on schedule for a pain-free and successful 2013. (Ps. PRs and race wins -- not such a bad year, to the casual observer!)

    But yeah, not being able to train or perform to your ability due to injury and consistent pain is just the worst. I'm bummed to hear about the chiro screwing up the osteitis pubis pain even more. Uggggghrhg.