When things go a little bit wonky – injury and REDS

Updated: Mar 31

It has been a journey! The highs of good races, national lockdowns, a femoral stress fracture and a whole lot of reflection and learning. This read will take two angles, my experience with injury and how it was the catalyst to delve into a whole new world of things that many runners, particularly females, have to navigate. Often, for many people like myself, experience with this happens when it’s much too late. I want to share some of the things that I have learnt.

After a good race, you have a few days off and can’t wait to get back running, right. I ran the Robin Hood 100 in September, it was a great race for me and I couldn’t wait to get back to it. For 10 days I was limping, I couldn’t put a finger on why, it wasn’t particularly painful, I just couldn’t run. Frustrating. I went to see physiotherapist Scott Newton, who was absolutely great. He sent me for an MRI, which revealed what I feared most – a bloody femoral stress fracture!

There were so many emotions involved but one which particularly stood out was disappointment. Running was something which was always there, I could rely on it wherever and whenever, I had every trust in it. Not only did I feel like running had let me down for the first time ever, but I also felt that I, my body, had let running as a sport down. I always shared with others how good running was for you, how much you gain from it, and it felt disheartening losing faith in my own words. I felt guilty. Anyway, enough of that!

In total I had three months off from running. After an initial week or so of just letting myself be sad about it (this was important – fully encourage everyone to let emotions be, feel every one of them, cry it out!), I managed to flip my outlook around. I spent my time doing a hell of a lot of journaling, learnt to swim and a whole lot of reading.