Thursday, March 28, 2013

Are Some Running Injuries Mostly Mental?

After my first run yesterday, I started to notice I had some shin pain, mostly in my right shin, but also some faint pain in my left shin. So, all day yesterday, I kept focusing on my shins and wondering if the shin pain would be so bad that I would need to cease training and rest the next two weeks until my marathon.  
Is it all in my head?
Later in the day, I ran my recovery run and kept the pace so slow that my shins were hardly involved in the run. After my run, I took a shower and then as I was getting out of the tub, BAM! I hit my toes really hard on the edge of the tub. As I was wincing in pain, I knew I would be feeling it later.

Since smashing my toes, my pinky toe is one big painful bruise, but on the bright side, I have not noticed any shin pain at all! So how did my shins "heal" in an instant? Can my mind instantly "cure" a minor injury by focusing on a slightly more painful injury? Can my mind only handle one injury at a time? Or, am I just hyper-focusing on injuries right now, since I am so close to my marathon? 

Anyway, I bandaged up my pinky toe this morning and went for a (mostly painless) lakefront run. It was spectacular. There were hardly any runners out there, just lots of commuter bikers. You know spring is officially here when the commuter bikers outnumber the runners.



Just a few runners...
out on the trail this a.m.
Anyone else experience a miracle "injury cure" by having another injury?

9.75 miles total @ 8:21/mile.

Next up: Rest day on Saturday?!

16 comments:

  1. Ha! I like your method of injury cure. As long as it's a little bruise like that and not a broken bone or something ;)

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    1. Yeah, I was wondering if it was broken, but I think I would be in really bad pain if it was. Right?? :-)

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  2. Welcome to taper madness, where your head does NOTHING but play tricks on you. Glad your toe didn't prevent you from having a good run today (and that it cured your shin pain too, haha!)

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    1. Yes, it is probably a dose of taper madness. Gotta love it! :-)

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  3. heyyyy what's wrong with commuter bikers? lol I'm joking.

    And actually.. in my neuroscience class we're learning about pain. Interesting how some are more tolerant than others, but in the end, its good to feel pain since it's the first sign that something is wrong.

    GO PETE! Can't wait to read all about Boston! Take lots of pictures!

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    1. Nothing wrong with commuter bikers, almost all of them are nice. I've only been yelled at by a couple of them, and I was probably at fault. Yes, it's good to be able to feel pain (most of the time). I'll try and take lots o' pictures at Boston, but maybe not during the race itself! :-)

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  4. LOL, yes, I usually only experience pain in one place at a time, or two at the most. The only problem is that my pains have been experienced in: my feet, my ankles, my shins, my knees, my hip flexors, my butt, and my groin. So basically, take your pick of any random combination of one or two of those places hurting at some point during any run. =D

    YAY for Boston!!! It's right around the corner now, so excited for you!!!

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    1. Yeah, I bet if my toe and shin pains subside, something else would bubble up to the top of my pain list! Thanks for the Boston excitement, I will get in party mode once this taper thing is over! :-)

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  5. I think that as runners we experience little pains all the time during training that are signs our body is adapting to high mileage or faster runs. The trick is figuring out which pains are growing pains and which ones are symptomatic of injury. I notice with taper that I'm much more focused on how my body feels and what hurts. Maybe it's taper madness kicking in?

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    1. Good point about figuring out which pains are "growing pains" vs. "injury pains", as there is a fine line there that we must be aware of. I'm sure it's a little bit of taper madness for sure!

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  6. I've been wondering all week if my shin problems are at least somewhat in my head. It's all I can focus on when I run! So I'll go stub my toe or something ;-) I hope you can stay injury-free for Boston!

    I was out on the trail yesterday at lunch, and runners were definitely scarce. I'd expect it to get busier over the weekend since it's going to be so nice and springy!

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    1. I would think with the Shamrock Shuffle coming up there would be more people out on the trail. However I know my neighbors barely train for the Shamrock. It is more all about the after-party for them than running a decent pace. I am going to miss the empty trail when it starts getting crowded!

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  7. I think this to some extent, but I also feel like runner's have a thicker skin than most. Growing up, I was a figure skater and we had a rule "if you're not puking you show up at practice" and that stays with me to this day. So, I'm kind of the opposite and try to push through injuries way too much.

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    1. Love the "puking" mantra you had when you were a figure skater! Yeah, it is a big problem of mine of pushing through injury. I am trying to get to a point where I have good training runs and don't push myself too hard until I really need to!

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  8. I think many people are super sensitive to any abnormal feelings during the end of marathon training sessions. Part of it is the increased mileage, the duration of many miles, and (for some), speed sessions, but I think some of the other issues are mental. We've worked so many months to run this marathon, and would hate to not be able to run it.

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