Injuries Abound

2 Oct
Even on concrete paths, still beware the branches.

Even on concrete paths, still beware the branches.

I’ve been running for about six years now. With the miles that I take on, I always say I could do a 10k on a Tuesday. My knee keeps me somewhat humble on my treks, but I can still get it in.

Aside from the IT band weirdness, I can gladly say I’ve been injury free. No twisted ankles, no broken limbs, no missing toenails (yes, that’s a thing). Those were all the things my runner friends told me to look out for.

Imagine my surprise when I found a new one: chafing.

Last weekend, I did a stupid thing and ran around the city for about 20 miles in a five-and-a-half hours. My hips hurt, my thighs burned and my knee was starting to get to me. At the end, all I craved was an ice bath followed by a warm shower. The ice bath did the trick and kept me from swelling. The warm shower was an amazing relief—until I began the actual washing process.

I’d been running around the city so long that my sports bra stopped being kind. Somewhere along the way, I’d rubbed off some skin on my underboob. Have you ever had to clean a wound on your underboob? Can you imagine awkwardness of putting Neosporin and a Band-Aid on an open wound there?

It was…weird, to say the least. Because this was something new, I polled my runner friends, none of whom were unfamiliar with this chafing phenomenon. No one thought it was a good idea to warn me about this crazy injury, either.

As a matter of fact, no one told me about any of the peculiar things that can happen to you as a runner. But since I’m in the business of offering readers a service, here are some things I’ve discovered can happen after you lace up your sneakers.

1. You can cut your chest with your keys and ID. My chafing injury wasn’t the first time I’ve had to bandage my boobs. Not long before that, I’d gone for a run in pocketless pants. I wasn’t going for a long run (about 4 miles), so I figured I’d be OK. Nah. My ID cards pinched my skin in such a way that I actually bled. Lesson learned: either only run in pants with pockets or stick my key and ID in my shoes.

2. Bugs have no chill. When you’re out for your jaunt, know that gnats and flies can and will get into your eyes, nose or mouth. You will gag and cough and likely want to throw up. Just get it out of your system, drink some water and take it slow. And swat away in front of you whenever you see a swarm.

3. Mowers are the enemy. It’s not so much of a problem in the late fall and winter, but during the spring and summer months you’ll have to contend with landscapers. They’re doing their jobs, so you can’t be too mad at them. But it will begin to seem that they only want to mow the grass during your time to run. I usually pull the neck of my shirt over my nose and mouth and try to hustle out of there quickly.

4. At some point, a cyclist will try to run you down. Depending on where you are, pathways can be quite narrow. One of the paths I run has a foot-and-a-half wide space for runners and a three-foot wide space for cyclists. Cyclists don’t like riding so close to one another, so they’re always in the running lane. You’re then forced into a game of chicken with the oncoming cyclist. If you’re in the appropriate lane, I say don’t move. Unless they’re distracted or yell that they can’t stop, the cyclist has to get out of your lane. Now, if you’re in the bike lane…um, good luck. Jokes aside, there is real danger in a collision. Please stay alert.

5. Beware the random twigs. Running on concrete affords you the luxury of avoiding branches and brambles. Sometimes, though, you need some fresh air. That’s where a good nature run comes in handy. Running on a beaten path can help you avoid critters like snakes (but not always, so be careful). It won’t, however, help you avoid falling tree limbs. Be mindful of the surface you’re running on. Nature runs are rife with unsteady rocks, unearthed roots and branches waiting to scratch and trip you up.

I’ve experienced all of these mishaps. None of them have kept me from hitting the ground running, but they did add a layer of precaution to my journeys. What’s the most interesting injury you’ve encountered on your weight-loss journey?

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One Response to “Injuries Abound”

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  1. My Friend the Half Marathoner | I'm Skinny, Now What? - March 18, 2015

    […] me. So when I began pounding the pavement, she was one of the people I turned to for advice. When I scratched up my boobs by putting my cards in my bra, she got the first text (and responded that she couldn’t stop […]

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