Captains’ Corner – Dealing with Injuries

Dealing with injuries is frustrating enough – but coping with illness on top would test the patience of many a runner! This time on Captains’ Corner, Debbie talks us through a challenging few months – finger crossed you’re fit for Victory, Debbie!

The season was going well at the start. I had been appointed Ladies Captain, something I never imagined would happen, and had decided I would lead by example and enter all the Hampshire Road Race League and Cross Country league races while encouraging other club members to so the same. The ladies A team were relegated from the top division last year, largely through lack of participation at the less popular races, so here was my chance to help address the issue.

At the first race in Overton, we managed to get 4 ladies to cross the line, so an A team was made at least, but not a full B team. Personally, my performance was average. Nothing to complain about,  I was back on track. The second race was the Solent Half, and we were blessed with a new runner, Karen Willsher, who ate up the course and was our first lady home. We also had two full ladies teams, so as Captain I couldn’t have asked for more. My performance however, was well below par. I had expected this, given that I hadn’t really done too many long training runs in the weeks before the race.

Around this time I started to experience a slight achilles twinge, so I had to be careful with not overdoing it. All the same, in one mad evening I entered Lordshill, Gosport, Victory and Stubbington races, to get ahead of the game.

So, at what point did it all go wrong? Well the ‘one run too far’ for me was a Tuesday training night. I managed the session okay but the next morning I was actually limping. The proper damage had now been done. I shouldn’t really have been running at all that evening.

So began the attempt to recover. Would I make Lordshill? Would I make Gosport for the half marathon? Well, I would definitely be fine for smaller Victory 5 mile race, wouldn’t I? I tried the gym. The Crosstrainer was hard work on my achilles, but the static bike worked for me. In an attempt to retain some level of fitness I worked out until I was a sweaty mess on the static bike, followed by all those recovery stretches, which seem to have become part of my everyday routinecouple of try outs on the treadmill told me I was still not ready for a run though, and so I handed over my Lordshill 10 entry to another runner.


Not to be disheartened, I still had hope of making it to Gosport . I didn’t have to worry about my time, just trot around and be a participant. That’s all that matters, I could do this! However my luck refused to get any better as I was struck down by the flu! I never get ill,surely someone was trying to make me rest? I couldn’t help wondering if there was a reason for this. My legs had to rest now, although my stomach was getting a good workout from all the coughing I suppose, every cloud. It seemed fate that my Gosport number also winged its’way to someone else. 

Will I make it to Victory?? Who knows? I have now managed 4 short runs, 2 on the treadmill and 2 outside, so as long as I don’t overdo it, I appear to be on the road to recovery. All I do know is that these injuries and illnesses need to be treated with respect and patience, and returning before you’re ready is never the answer. Rest is a hard programme to adopt, but a vital one if you want to recover. Onwards and upwards!

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