Thoughts About Run­ning

Bucket List: 10 Iconic and Im­pres­sive Run­ning In­juries

Canadian Running - - CONTENTS - By Madeleine Cum­mings

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.

Stab Wound

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.

Com­part­ment Syn­drome

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.

Pe­nile Frost­bite

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.

Toe Infection

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.

(Non-fa­tal) Drown­ing

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.

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