….and My Story Runs On….
A ChiRunning Instructors biggest nightmare….INJURY! Please don’t let it be true….
Well, it is true and I’m feeling compelled to blog about it and share my experience with you. How can I be injured when I’ve been teaching ChiRunning for 4 years and I KNOW that my form is good? Of course not perfect but good enough to know that it’s not my form that caused it.
First of all, let me preface this with saying that yes, we say ChiRunning is injury-free. These are two very powerful words in the running world and many people seek us out for this. And the ChiRunning instructors have had some great conversations on our secret facebook page about injuries and the words “injury-free”. To summarize, ChiRunning does absolutely lend itself to being less prone to injury than “conventional” running. From arm swing to foot placement to cadence, we teach people how to use their bodies correctly to move forward without injury. But is it a gaurantee that it’s injury-free? OF COURSE NOT.
Why? Because there are other variables that can cause injury that are not related to the form. You could have a postural distortion that requires more correction than technique and need a physical therapist to help you OR in my case, you could’ve made some STUPID moves in your training. So now it’s time for….
Confessions of a ChiRunning Instructor:
One of the things I love most about ChiRunning is that it’s taught me to body sense, listen to my body and be my own detective. Sounds basic but this is not a skill that runners hone in on. Conventional running tells you to run through the pain and fix it later….not a smart plan if you want to run for the rest of your life because this will backfire on you at some point.
So about a week ago and a half ago, I started feeling pain in my right heel. I thought maybe I had bruised it since I have some new minimal trail shoes and maybe hit a rock and didn’t remember it. At least this is what I was praying for since I knew in my head what the other alternative was…..yep, you guessed it…. the plant! I’m talking about plantar fasciitis. Ugh, are you kidding me? I already knew the symptoms but looked them up again hoping that my detective work was wrong…
Nope, pretty sure it’s the onset on plantar fasciitis. If you’ve never had this, I hope you never get it. THANKFULLY, I feel I’ve caught it early enough to “fix” it. Here is a great article about Everything You Need to Know about Plantar Fasciitis.
So how could this be? Well, I know for sure it’s not my form. I’ve been recently video taped by Danny Dreyer himself and I know I’m not heel striking, crunching my toes or toe running. So what could it be? Here is what I discovered through my detective work:
- I ran 15 days straight without taking a day off from 5/29-6/12. (I’m training for a 12 hour event in July which will be another blog post). I got so sucked in to getting mileage and was having so much fun running (yes, crazy I know) that I just never ended up taking a day off.
- Within this 15 days, I also hiked Havasupai. 11.5 miles in on a Friday and 11.5 miles out on a Sunday. I didn’t train for hiking since I’ve been running so much and I’ve run more than that so I didn’t think it would effect me…WRONG! There were some steep uphills/downhills and lots of wash (sand). So even though I really focused on my form, my body was not used to those conditions and I’m sure my calves were working harder than they have in years. Seriously, I don’t remember last time I had tight calves until this trip.
- Within this time, my weekly mileage went from 33 miles the week ending 5/26 up to 52 miles and 43 miles for those 15 days. REALLY LISA? Is that a 10% increase in your weekly mileage? NO! What the heck what I thinking? I don’t know but I’m surely kicking myself now.
So even though I’m glad I had another aha moment (or as I tell my friends, these are signs of us “growing up”…lol) that I could learn from and write about, I’m annoyed at myself now because I have to take time off running! As much as it’s KILLING ME, I know this is the advice I would give any of my runners. I also know better than to beat myself up about a mistake I made as a running coach in my own training. Thank you for the lesson, Universe and thank you for making me a good detective, ChiRunning!
So I’m crossing my fingers that 5 days off along with a lot of stretching, rolling my foot on frozen water bottles (what I’m doing right now), gravel walking, and gripping towels with my toes, are going to make the difference. This is not the best time for this to be happening since I have a big event on 7/12 but it’s already put me in a place to make some different decisions about that event if I have to.
Please cross your fingers for me 😉
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)