Wednesday, March 24, 2010


By Bonnie Edema

Have you ever noticed it's the little things that can take down the giant?

So there we were - running up Mt. Everest. Okay, not the Mt. Everest but Eagan's version of it. With just a few more thousand feet to go I was considering how well our training had been going the last few weeks. Both my fiancé and I are recovering from ankle injuries and had taken several months off training. I proudly blurted out, "Isn't this great! Not one injury so far!" You could hear the needle slide across the vinyl record and come to a ripping stop. I glanced next to me only to see houses, cars passing and wind blowing. No fiancé. The air seemed to suddenly hold only the sound of birds chirping in ignorant bliss in the distance. I turned my body to look behind me and there he was: stopped dead in his tracks. He raised his arms to the sky and admonished me, "Don't say that out loud! You know how unlucky you are!" After we finished the run I took an ice bath for good measure.

That was two days ago.

Spring has sprung and we all are taking every opportunity we can to train outside. Ah, yes - the sunshine, the cool breeze, the dog poop plastering the sidewalks since apparently the pooper-scooper law isn't in effect in the winter....

I'm not sure about you but I'm hearing from friends that injuries are popping up like baby bunnies in early spring. Overtraining? Overzealous for the outdoors time? Changes in body mechanics from the shift from the mechanical running track of bodily hate (a.k.a. the treadmill) to road and sidewalk surface?

A friend of mine is experiencing heel pain as of late. He's an avid runner and preparing for another marathon. Though the temptation to run outside is there, he's abdicating to following orders to give it a rest, some massage and stretching. He inspires me.

I sent my surgeon a text this morning explaining my ailment - 'Severe pain in my left foot arch. Haven't been able to walk since the run on Sunday.' After his words of wisdom, which included the much-dreaded words no endurance athlete fresh back to training wants to hear, "Take some time off," I relinquished and sent my coach a note. The last thing I want to do is to have to take extended time off from training. Better to suffer a bit now and lay low than to train through the pain and hope it magically disappears.

Enjoy the weather and the feeling of freedom that comes with commencing outdoor training. After I finish up with some rest, foot-strengthening exercises, new shoes and inserts, I'll be joining you. And being careful of what I say.