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January 14, 2014

The frustration of suffering injury can do anyone’s head in. Many see a single injury as the trigger to lose motivation to do anything. Others use this as a trigger point for depression, certainly not a laughing matter as avoiding hard drugs and self harm is something worth avoiding at all costs. A few see this as a setback and try to bounce back too quickly only to aggravate their initial ailment and spend even longer on the sideline.

I only know all too well about how being injured can be a frustration. In 2005 I tweaked a hamstring playing football on a Saturday afternoon and spent the bulk of the day sitting on grass with heavily restricted movement. Foolishly I thought I was OK to run again by that Thursday night, and it only took about 15 minutes of training to realise that the idea of attempting to train again so soon was as bright an idea as eating Vegemite and Braised Steak and Onion sandwiches. As this was the first time I had suffered a muscle injury of this nature (I had suffered concussions prior to this), perhaps I was naive to think that a hamstring injury would heal itself within a week. It was actually about 2-3 weeks before the leg actually felt good enough to run at reasonable pace again.

Since 2008 I have had troubles with my calves being torn and strained rather than just cramping. In fact if it wasn’t for a calf injury suffered in August 2012, perhaps I would never have taken up running as a semi-serious pursuit. But almost annually has come a time where I have had to exercise caution in how hard I am able to run as the niggles rear its head again. To assist I have often tried ice treatments, compression garments, heat gels and creams and there was even a stage where I used a cumbersome brace (fortunately I haven’t felt the need to use it since purchasing the compression garments on the Wednesday before the 2012 Bridge2Brisbane).

Once again I am faced with the prospect of a calf injury rearing its head just as I am about to embark on the training programme leading into the Australian Running Festival in April, where I intend on entering the Marathon in the next 7 days. Training runs have been put on hold for a week after recovery from a training run last Tuesday hasn’t gone as well as planned. Given the job that I have involves long periods of standing and movement, it’s been difficult to properly treat the injury. Naturally the compression garments and heat rubs have been used, as has some self massage of the area in an effort to at least pinpoint the most painful areas of the leg.

Now I know a lot of you may ask why I haven’t consulted a medical specialist to see if they could assist. There are a number of reasons why I haven’t seen a doctor or physio in that time. With work taking priority there is little to no time to arrange appointments, and my stubbornness and lack of trust in doctors in Queensland mean that my preference is to self diagnose and treat in the first place. Plus there are costs that will no doubt get involved, although thankfully the Government’s ridiculous proposal of charging a $6 admission fee just to see a doctor hasn’t processed through parliament as yet (and hopefully never).


To close this out, here is an indication of my injury history that I know about. The following body parts have been injured at some stage during my time on Earth, and there may be more that has escaped the memory at this time…..

– Back
– Baby Toe on Right foot (snagged on a couch)
– Dislocated baby finger (left hand baby finger still not straight now)
– Calves
– Ankle (both ankles have been strapped whenever I play footy, and have been since 2001)
– Hamstring
– Corked Thigh (ran in the 2013 City2South with one, NEVER AGAIN!)
– Shoulder
– Concussion
– Broken Nose (once, 2002)
– Chipped Gum (2000)
– Cuts and Abrasions on various body parks (ankles whilst shaving, bleeding nipples during training runs included)
– Knee (3 times that I can remember, twice from contact injuries….with the edge of a swimming pool once and with the rear bumper bar of a car on another occasion)

So what now until I have the confidence to resume some sort of training? Well unlike many of the times where I have damaged my calf I am able to walk reasonably pain-free, so actually performing my employment duties isn’t a problem. Given my dislike for gym sessions (see the previous entry and you’ll see what I’m talking about), hard walking is about the extent of the exercise I’ll be getting. It won’t affect the plans for the year ahead in terms of competitive running, for the first event I’m even considering using as a training dress rehearsal prior to the marathon events is due to be completed in late March and the first major marathon isn’t until April, so there’s no need to even over compensate for what I miss now when I start training in earnest on January 27. In the meantime it’s almost a case of wait and see, and try not to get overly frustrated while doing so.



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