Running, like life, is full of ups and downs. Unfortunately, I've had more downs than ups in the past year. Throughout high school I experienced a handful of injuries, but perhaps the most frustrating ones have been those that I can't figure out. As in, pain that is not easily pinpointed. Among these have been what I guessed where a peroneus strain senior year of high school, some sort of nerve or hip issue freshmen year of college, and now, what seems like pes anserine bursitis. Sometimes it is easy to see in retrospect the causes of injuries (for example, some form of too much too soon). Other injuries do not have obvious causes, and this can be extremely frustrating. After not running from October 2011 to March 2012, I finally had shaken my injury from last fall, and started building mileage again. Despite being extremely out of shape, I ran the most miles I have ever ran this summer, hitting several straight 70+ mile weeks off singles. Coming into the cross season I was probably in comparable shape to the end of cross season my senior year of high school. Trained pretty solidly through August and September, ran my first 5 mile race, and was just ready to cut mileage and start racing more (I had only raced twice this season). Then, I was coming down the fire trail on my usual Tuesday run when I felt a soreness in my knee. Was almost home so I ignored it, forgot to ice that day, and probably took a day off. On Thursday it felt a bit better so I ran a workout, and even did a shortened long run cautiously on Saturday. After than, things just went downhill. The knee wasn't getting any better and was bothering me coming down stairs. Usually knee pain seems to be localized in two spots: the outside (lateral side) which is ITBS, or under the kneecap, which is runner's knee. For me, the pain was on the medial side, below the kneecap and felt on a bony area. I had absolutely no idea what to do and pretty much haven't run for the past month. Seems like it is bursitis, but a combination of being busy with school and not wanting to spend money has kept me from going to a doctor. So if any of you guys have experience with bursitis, please let me know how you recovered. I've been icing and stretching and it seems to be slowly getting better.
But I guess the main point of this post isn't to whine, but to say a few things. First of all, a lot of runners get injured, so if you are healthy, be thankful. Second, training can get tedious and there certainly were days when I did not want to run, but when you are healthy you should take every opportunity you have, because the ability to run could be gone just like that. As those who are injured know, every day of healthy running is a blessing, so be thankful that you have such an opportunity. And finally, if you are currently injured, don't give up on running, and be patient. Sometimes some time off of running is a good opportunity to achieve balance in other aspects of your life, and you will return with even more motivation to train. And while injuries are annoying, there is always a lesson to be learned. So spend a little time analyzing your log, and see what could have caused the problem, so you can be on the watch for the signs that you need a rest day in the future. Best of luck!