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Safety Sucks

Safety has been a real buzz kill this week.

It all started on Tuesday night when someone called “safety dance” on our weekly run. As a newbie to the group I had no idea what the heck this meant, so I frantically texted one of the veterans to fill me in. He described it as a “prom theme” for the run and pointed me to the part of the email where it very clearly stated we were to show up in as much illuminated gear and neon attire as we could find. Because you know, safety.

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Fast forward five miles and a very muddy, very debris covered trail and one of our crew members tripped, slipped, skidded, and sliced an alarmingly huge chunk of his hand off on an unruly log. One urgent care visit and five stitches later and he was back in the basement drinking beer with us. But before that pint was poured, plenty of panic went down as we silently marched the two miles back to our home base with Jason’s wounded hand wrapped in a sweaty, muddy bandana. The safest run of the year ended up being the bloodiest run of the year. Major #buzzkill


You’re welcome for sparing you the graphic versions. (SOURCE)

Beyond that mild disaster, trying to do the safe thing has been the name of the game this week.

You know that expression better safe than sorry? It’s owning me right now.

As someone who has been injured TOO MANY TIMES, I’m super duper not interested in getting injured again. This means I have to be careful, take care of myself and listen to my body.


I don’t know why I’m smiling here. Crutches/boots/broken bones are NOT FUN.

The hard thing about listening to your body, is that sometimes it doesn’t really talk loudly enough for you to understand what it wants. In the past, I’ve usually exercised very selective hearing that doesn’t really let me process my body’s needs until it’s SCREAMING for attention. And by the time my body is screaming, it’s usually in need of 8-12 weeks off from running.

So I’m working on that.

Right now my body is definitely trying to tell me something, I’m just not sure exactly what it is. And I’m not sure how desperate it is for me to do something about it. It might be nothing, it might be something. But I’d rather not dick around if it’s something. Better safe than sorry, right?

Basically, my ass is real tight. And mostly just on my right side (RED FLAG). Since late last week, it’s been throwing my body off enough to make me cut back the intensity or duration of every run. I can tell my stride is off (RED FLAG) and while nothing hurts while I’m running, I’m starting to feel enough twinging (RED FLAG) after the run to know that continuing to run high mileage and high intensity is a no good, very bad plan.

So in the interest of not ending up on yet another sideline, I’m playing it safe.

Which means for the second month in a row, my suncation is getting scrapped. You may remember that I was supposed to be flying out to Arizona right now to run an ultra relay. Yeah. That’s not happening. As much as I was counting down the seconds until I got to hang out with 6 girlfriends and run around the desert in running shorts, the trip is not worth the risk. “Can I please run 38 miles in 24 hours and hang out, cramped up in a small van in between relay legs??” is definitely not what my body is saying.

As hard as this decision was to make, and as much as I’m still tempted to fly down to Arizona tomorrow, and as much as I feel like absolute shit for having to bail at the last minute, deep down, I know this was the right move. I’ve been crushed by relays before, and as much fun as they are, I can’t risk getting seriously injured for a weekend of fun running.

So instead I’m staying home and rolling the heck out of my hips and glutes, stretching like whoa, going to yoga, scheduling some body work, and easing off the heavy miles for at least a few days.

foam rolling


At which point I’ll reassess and see if it’s something that needs even more TLC than I can give it with my yoga mat and lacrosse ball. Every time I get depressed about not going on this relay adventure or training less than usual, I remind myself that a week of low mileage (or no mileage) and one missed “race” is way >>>>>>> months of no mileage and lots of DNS action.

If you need me, I’ll be on top of a foam roller chanting “better safe than sorry” over and over and over again.

26 Responses to Safety Sucks

  1. I know how hard it is to take a step back when all you want to do is run. I’ve been there so many times myself and also allowed a number of injuries to happen by being stupid. Really smart decision not to do the relay, it will be worth it!

  2. Safety does suck. But being injured and sidelined is worse. Glad you’re making the smart decision to listen to your body.

  3. Good for you… I know that’s a super tough decision and you’re being smart! Scared me for a sec seeing you on crutches (like I am right now)… but it sounds like you racked up quite the injuries before I started following you ;-) Happy healing!

  4. Great job listening to your body. That is the hardest part about running. Running 26.2 plus miles is nothing, listening to our body, that is just crazy!!! :)

  5. AH! At first I thought that picture of you on crutches was a recent picture and I got so sad for R2R2R. Bummer you have to miss this relay but way to go on making the smart, grown up decision to back off a bit. I know that crap isn’t easy.

  6. Where were you four weeks ago with this post?! Avoiding the dr and bad news currently after over exerting myself and playing on ice. Working my way back and hoping you avoid my position. Glad you are doing what is best for you in the long run!

  7. That hand injury sounds scary! I’m such a klutz that trail running is scary at times since I can totally imagine myself being that guy.

    I’m sorry to hear about your possible pending injury BUT you totally made the right choice by not doing an ultra relay!! It is definitely a recipe for injury disaster.

  8. Definitely better safe than sorry. You could still fly to AZ and be the driver. :-) Ah, who am I kidding? That would just be way too much temptation! Lol. Take care of yourself.

  9. ARGH. Not being stupid sucks, sometimes. Get better!

  10. Oh I’m so sorry to hear that! But it definitely sounds like a sensible idea – my sister has been out of action for a whole year now after a skiing injury and then not listening to her body enough and trying to do too much when in recovery. It’s not worth it!!! Hope it feels better soon.

    I need to get me some of those foam rollers :)

  11. Yes, better safe than sorry! My knee is trying to tell me something, but I don’t know what either. I’m supposed to be finishing up my first month of training for my first marathon, but my knee has other plans. It doesn’t exactly hurt to the point of limping, it just SOMETIMES feels really weird and bothersome and slightly painful. I wish it would just tell me what it wants already.

  12. I’ve learned that lesson, too. I felt soreness in my calves, and even though I KNEW it was from trying a new shoe style, you bet I dialed that next run way back! It’s just smarter than the potential alternative. Good for you.

  13. Smart move, Emily! But I’m sure that was a super hard decision! Seriously not worth it to really mess yourself up, though… I have to remind myself of that concept so much. By the way, after our track discussion on Sunday I actually did speed work at the track today instead of on the Green Lake path. 2000m repeats = mental & physical pain! The track is mentally so hard! Anyway, I hope your hip/glute tightness resolve quickly!!!

  14. Smart move, as hard as I’m sure it was to decide.

    Out of curiosity, did your tightness get worse after your drive up to Seattle? I know my hips/glutes/IT get super tight when I do long drives to visit my kids at college – all that sitting is just so bad, good that you got the standing desk too….I am now worrying since I am driving to VA to run a 1/2 marathon at my son’s college this Sunday, hope I don’t end up with any residual tight spots that might interfere with the rest of Boston training, eek!!!

  15. Safety is key! Smart move to listen to your body.

  16. Off topic- going to DC for the first time next week. Hook me up with best beer in town, where to run??

    • Did I miss out on this trip?? Sorry I’m so late responding! Beer: Churchkey, GBD (DONUTS AND BEER), Smoke and Barrel, Bluejacket, Bourbon, Black Squirrel! Running: the mall!

  17. You’re so brave! If it was me…I’ll push thru. Stupid move…as is usual for me. LOL!

  18. Good choice! I know it was a hard one to make, but it’s the best one in the end. You know your body and you know you should listen to it. Hope the butt gets better soon. So been there…

  19. sorry to hear this and your friend’s hand…

  20. Better safe than sorry, that’s for damn sure. Smart girl for knowing what you need to do!

  21. Ugh…your poor friend. Although obviously I want the gruesome photo. What is wrong with me?

    You made the right call about dropping out, even though it must be annoying and you must feel bad for leaving your friends in the lurch. I had to drop out of a trail half-marathon a few weeks ago, I twisted my ankle (again) badly at mile 4. I had a goal race coming up and knew I had to prioritise my BIG goal as opposed to the fun I wanted up Hazlenut trail. It was the right call – goal race was cracking and I don’t regret it for a second! So mend up quickly!

  22. Always better to rest in winter and be fresh for spring!

  23. Sorry to hear you couldn’t make it out to run Ragnar Del Sol with the girls — hope taking it easy this weekend helps with your twinges so you don’t really get injured! Glad your friend was OK on Tuesday’s run!

  24. That is one of the most ironic running stories I’ve heard! Thankfully everyone else made it to the bottom without injury.

    I’ve never really had a problem with not listening to my body when it comes to running injuries…because I’m pretty lazy. :) I know it’s hard taking a step back but in the end, you’ll only be stronger for it!