It only hurts when I walk
I think I have injured myself. Strangely enough, I seem to run fastest when I’m in pain.
I have top-of-the foot pain and knee pain, in my left foot and left knee. Sometimes I’m walking with a pronounced limp. This is not how it’s supposed to be, but here’s what I believe is the strange part: it doesn’t hurt when I run.
A few years back I ran a raceit was a 5K in Golden Gate Park like today’s racewhere I ran with foot pain. It was top of the foot pain like this and by the time I was halfway done I was hobbling and running with a limp. The race seemed to go on forever and I was relieved to cross the finish line after such a slow, grueling, painful race. Come to find out that although it felt like I was going extra slowly, I actually ran the fastest 5K I’d ever run or have since: 25:54
Today’s race wasn’t that bad but I was going pretty slowly. As I mentioned, I’m mostly only experiencing any pain when I walk, not when I run. There were still some moments where I landed wrong and felt discomfort either in my knee or my foot. I kept going as best I could and when I dragged myself across the finish line I looked at the clock and saw that I’d finished in under 30 minutes. After all this time I’ve been trying to break the twelve minute mile, here I was struggling just to finish and came in under ten minutes to the mile.
So here’s the mystery: why do I run faster when I’m fighting against an injury? I’d love to believe that the threat of pain causes me to keep better form than I usually do, but that’s just wishful thinking. Even if there’s something to that, the answer isn’t to run while injured.
The practical question becomes: how do I rest? Normally I’d walk more, but walking is what still hurts. It doesn’t hurt when I run. So do I need to take time off entirely? If so, how much time? I’m tempted to just run, but that seems like an ill-advised idea. One option is to keep running but only very short distances, which gives me the advantage that I can at least get out on the road, but short distances aren’t as much fun.
I suppose that whatever I do I’ll see what happens and it will give me more information. Even if I overdo it and these pains turn into a real injury I’ll have learned something valuable. There are some lessons I’d rather not learn the hard way, so I’d best not push it too hard.
One Reply to “It only hurts when I walk”
Pain is usually considered to be nature’s way of warning you that something is wrong with your body. I’d give it a rest and a chance to heal.
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