Thoughts About Running
Bucket List: 10 Iconic and Impressive Running Injuries
Like everyone else who has neglected to replace their running shoes in the past three years, your shins hurt and you know it’s time for some rest and a new pair. This bucket list, featuring familiar but more original injuries, ref lects the distinctive and dedicated runner you aspire to be. Develop these and you’ll be sure sure to earn extra sympathy from coaches, friends and colleagues.
Double Achilles’ Tendon Rupture
Though rare, it is possible to rupture the Achilles’ tendon in two places if you try hard enough. HOW TO GET IT: Start with a garden-variety rupture and nurse that in a medical boot for six-to-eight weeks. Just before it’s healed, locate a large sidewalk crack or children’s toy to trip on. Searing pain and surgery might follow, but at least you’ll have a great story to tell your grandchildren.
Chronic Plantar Fasciitis
You already wake up with plantar fasciitis most mornings and keep a tennis ball in your kitchen for days when he shows up. Why not define the relationship and ask plantar fasciitis for a long-term commitment? HOW TO GET IT: Walk or run on hard surfaces and wear f lip-f lops or f lats exclusively on your feet.
Stabbings occur during only the most miserable cross-country conditions, when ridiculous levels of mud or snow demand 55 mm spikes. HOW TO GET IT: These can be self-inf licted, occurring on the insides of ineff icient runners’ calves. Everyone else should strive to get stepped on during the start of a race. If that fails, try sunbathing where the javelin throwers practice.
Patella Tendinitis – In Both Knees
Regular old runner’s knee is nothing to write home about. Increase the pain factor by distressing both patellar tendons. HOW TO GET IT: Consult a physiotherapist for a list of hip- and glute-strengthening exercises. Do none of them and increase mileage by 50 per cent.
Lower leg pain can indicate shin splints or a stress fracture, but as anyone who has relentlessly Googled “shin pain” knows, there’s another calf killer out there: compartment syndrome. With this condition, the lack of blood supply to part of your muscle causes pain and swelling, especially during runs. HOW TO GET IT: Again, mega-mileage is the way to go here, ensuring you’re subjecting your calves to lots of repetitive stress.
It’s painful, but nothing compared to the psychological suffering you’d endure on the treadmill. HOW TO GET IT: Go for a long run on a -30 C day, sans running underwear under your thinnest tights, and leave the modesty shorts at home, too. If you live in Vancouver, you’ll need to purchase a plane ticket to Whitehorse first.
Once your spouse is used to your blackened toenails, it’s time to make your feet even uglier than you thought possible by contracting an infection. HOW TO GET IT: Use a safety pin (the rustier the better) from an old race bib in the drawer to gently pierce one or more of the blisters on your big toe. This procedure, followed by a brisk barefoot run in your local park, is sure to result in a painful infection.
Drowning is the fourth-leading cause of death during steeplechase races and more than 50 per cent of victims experience posttraumatic stress when they see hurdles, large puddles or pictures of Emma Coburn. HOW TO GET IT: Pool running (without a belt) in your local steeplechase water pit.
Traumatic Ego Injury
Forget the humble concussion: This is one of the worst types of head injuries that can occur. Symptoms include nausea, confusion, regret and vomiting. Pain first becomes apparent while racing, then intensif ies during post-race ref lection. HOW TO GET IT: Opt for a “fade from the front” race strategy or allow an elementary schoolaged child to beat you at a 5k. Madeleine Cummings is a journalist based in Edmonton. Read her column in each issue of Canadian Running.