A Runner’s Reality — The Ever-Constant Annoying Aches and Pains

Fun fact: virtually anyone who’s been running for at least a few years is always in some kind of pain. Not the everyday grinding it out, ‘that was a tough run’ type of pain, I mean in the sense of they are dealing with something.

For some it’s their achilles, tendonitis here, tight hamstring there, annoying adductor you are forever the pain in my @$$. You see, once you accumulate a certain number of miles your body starts to send you its own little ‘thank you notes’ in the form of niggling annoyances. Thank you, I love you too body. If you’re getting these thank you’s…hello, and welcome to the club.
yodeler thank you note
I thought of posting this because of a conversation I was having yesterday with some of my best friends; one was asking about the ‘seriousness’ of feeling one such ‘thank you note’ and the conversation ended with, “The truth is, everyone has those things, I don’t get nervous until they start rating at least a 5 or 6 on the pain scale.” To sum it up: if you took time off for EVERY single nuisance for fear of it turning into something serious, you’d never get a run in.

Of course, this is a little ‘tough love’ saying, so let me put the obligatory disclaimer here: of COURSE you have to be smart enough to recognize the difference between the real pain of an injury (or onset of an actual injury) and just the dull sort of pain/ache that consistent training will cause. Back to our little pain scale, if you’re hovering below a 5 (say a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excruciating you’re about to cry every footfall) I don’t get too worried. Do a little self-treatment and go on your way.

Yes, this is coming from the person that probably errs too far on the, ‘I will get my workout in come h-e-double hockey-stick or high water,’ heck I was temped to pop back up and keep on trucking after being hit by a car until I looked down…oops, blast those bones sticking out I guess that may put a hamper on my stride! BUT, there is a common ground here.
runner finishing first
A few weeks back another friend said, “The weirdest thing happened to me on my run today, I felt really junky that first mile but then after that had a really great run.”

I replied, “What?! Is that the first time that’s happened to you?! Every first mile feels like a slap to the face…it takes a bit to warm into it, I look like a geriatric that first mile!”

You see, I love running. But she is a fickle little lover. She gets really testy and makes me work for that first mile, prove that I am in fact committed. She likes to send me these ‘thank you notes’ that I’m really not all that thankful for, but like I good partner I just roll my eyes and put up with her because I know in the end she makes me a better, happier, saner person.

1) What is your little ‘thank you note’?
The aforementioned adductor circa 2002.

2) When do you start actually worrying that it might be something serious?
In truth there is always a part of my brain that shouts, “What the heck, THAT is new, is it something?!” But I talk myself into rational mode and assess the situation. Usually it just goes away, and I don’t really get worry-worried unless it’s at least a 7-ish.

3) What are you looking forward to this weekend?

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14 thoughts on “A Runner’s Reality — The Ever-Constant Annoying Aches and Pains

  1. ugh, I always have something on my body hurting; even when I don’t work out! I always tell my husband he married a 20 something year old in a 90 something year old body! An balanced mix of cross-training, glucosamine, rest, icy hot, heating pads, and ice seem to keep me moving the best!

    • omg, i’m the SAME!! i am forever saying that i’m actually afraid to find out wat i look/walk/run like in 20 years from now. i say, “run now…i’ll be a geriatric by the time i hit 40!” 😛

  2. SO true…and I’m kinda like you, usually I will run through anything if I can! My hamstrings always get really sore, but I’ve never pulled or strained them or anything…they just take longer than the rest of me to get used to mileage haha. I think type of pain is how I notice problems – sharp pain on a run is a bad thing! And also pain when you’re NOT running…even if that pain’s a 3 or 4, it shouldn’t be there when you’re just sitting on your butt lol

    • ya, u kno u’re in trouble if ur hurting vegging out!! 😛 i think as runners/athletes we are also more in tune with our bodies and know which parts tend to ‘act up’ or misbehave more than the others…here’s to hoping those hammies aren’t too cranky!

  3. I’m always in pain! I haven’t gone for a run since my Urbanathlon (2 weeks)!! and my knees STILL HURT. It all started with Patella Femora Syndrome. Worst feeling ever. I always try to run through the pain but want to cut me legs off the next day. It’s all about weight lifting and cross training for the next little while!

    • ya, u sound like me….”i will run, so long as legs are physically in one piece, we will address the damage upon finishing the run”. lol, well sorta. 😛 but seriously, NOT happy about this knee pain of urs, i’m sorry…is it getting better since the xtraining?

  4. This is so true!! I feel like the more you run, the better idea you get of whether it’s really serious or not. I find that if it doesn’t go away with 2 – 3 days of not running, and I actually want to stop running because it hurts to bad (rare!) then it’s usually something that needs to be checked out. My “thank you note” moves all over the place, but I think this stress fracture I have right now is going to thanking me for a while!

    • i’m so sorry about the injury, and while it DOES feel like it will be FOREVER…trust me the time will eventually pass and u’ll bounce back quicker than u think. 🙂 just keep doing all the right things and taking it day by day, and eventually u’ll kiss that fracture goodbye. 😉

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