This weekend marks a third anniversary since my last Birmingham half marathon run. I remember that run so vividly like it was just yesterday. It started out just like any other run, full of excitements and hopes of getting to the finish line. For me the highlight of this event will always be the social aspect of it. My last half marathon run did not go quite as smoothly but I still crossed the finish line. I even beat my previous time, where I finished at 2:7, but I also incurred an injury that would haunt me for years.
I recently found out that I have a torn meniscus, which in my case was a totally self inflicted injury. As I am not a medical expert, I’ll let you do your own research into it. I’m merely sharing my story for the sake of raising awareness and help others to avoid this injury. But in a nutshell, I have lost the shock absorber on my knee, which is not very pleasant.
My knee joint tends to roll inwards more than it should. To get around this problem, experts have designed running shoes which take this issue into account. I had a beginners luck from day one. I never knew that I had this problem. My first pair of running shoes just happened to support my over pronation.
As I said, in my case this injury was totally self inflicted. On the day of the run, I stupidly decided to wear my second pair of trainers that I use for the gym. Little did I know that my backup pair did not have any support for my pronation problem. I knew that something major had happened during the run but I tried to ignore it. I’m super stubborn so I soldered on till the end.
Lost in translation
Moving countries did not help to speed up the treatment process. I kept going from therapist to therapist. Everybody kept giving me their own French version of events about what is wrong and what I should do. The pain persisted each time I went running. It’s not until recently that I found out that I have cartilage disease and a torn meniscus.
Run Forest run …
Running is addictive. It’s a bit of a drug to me. I can still run but I take extra precautions.
- I only run if I have the correct pair of running shoes
- I use insoles which are moulded to accommodate my problem
- I only run on soft surface – for example the treadmill
- I use an incline. It is more gentle on the knees
- No more sprinting. No more high jumps. The harder you hit the ground, the worse the pain
If you are considering running or taking part in any high impact sport, you might want to:
- Be well informed. Get a book or a specialist magazine. For example, my old running magazine shown on picture here is full of tips and techniques from experts in the field
- Wear the right gear. As you’ve read, I crippled myself for no reason
- Listen to your body. I knew during the run that something was wrong but I kept on going
- Stretching go hand in hand with running. I used to sacrifice stretching in order to squeeze in more running time. Not a good idea at all
I’m so old school when it comes to taking medication. I usually let the body fight its way out of it but in this situation, I’m still trying out alternative sports and maximising my precautions. So far so good. I’m soldering on.
Stay safe and enjoy your sport ;-/