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Dealing with injury

February 25, 2012

Injuries are something I haven’t discussed here yet. Most people who are training for a marathon seem to get one at some point. This week I got mine. I’m hoping it’s the only one.

Strictly speaking I haven’t actually injured myself; I’ve got a genetic condition called hypermobility. Essentially, all my ligaments and tendons are a bit loose, so my muscles have to pick up the slack when it comes to keeping my joints stable. It’s actually part of the reason I run – my knees are particularly problematic, and running keeps the muscles around them really strong.

Of course, it also puts my muscles under a fair amount of strain. Training is a balancing act between building up the strength of my muscles and not pushing them too far. This week I’ve got the balance wrong. The cause, I think, was running 18 miles last weekend and then getting on a plane. Being stuck in a cramped space does my knees no favours at all. Whatever the reason, I spent quite a lot of this week with a knee the size of a grapefruit. It was no fun.

Obviously, I couldn’t train like that. Being stuck on the sofa when you want to be training is incredibly frustrating, but I know from past experience that pushing myself when my knees are playing up only results in more pain. So I sucked up the frustration (and some seriously strong painkillers) and waited for the swelling to go down.

I finally got out for a run this morning. A few days off hasn’t done too much harm, it seems, so I’m still on track for the big day.

I’m also well on track to be running the whole 26.3 miles in a cookie monster outfit. There’s only £600 left to go. With your help, I’ll get there.


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