Combating Running Injuries and Sickness - the Flexible Triathlete

Posted by | November 18, 2014 | Balanced Runner, Training | 4 Comments

As a runner, injuries are bound to happen.  They say that fifty percent of runners are injured at any given time.  Thankfully I have been a very resilient runner over the years and have experienced very few running injuries.  Unfortunately, my time has come.

Injuries do not come out of nowhere, and I had my first warning sign four weeks ago. A day after a workout I feel a small poking in my heel; I ignore it.  There must be something strange going on with my shoe.

Week number two, I feel it again after speed work. I take more notice and add more stretching and icing to my routine.

Week three – I reduce the amount of speed work to let things heal.

Week four – back to my old routine, but pain is still there and intensifying – time to do something about it. It’s getting annoying. I go to the chiropractor.

The prognosis was not what I wanted to hear: planter fasciitis in my right heel.  It is a notoriously tricky injury to overcome.  The chiropractor declared that ideally I should take 10 days off of running.  I really don’t want to hear that! One small consolation: I am not just a runner, but also a triathlete, so no worries.  I will miss running, but I can swim in the meantime.  In fact, I say to myself, I’ll have a great week of swimming.

And I do… to start. I had a great two hour swim workout on Saturday; swam again the next day.  Two days in a row of swimming! This won’t be so bad!… and suddenly the next day, an ear ache materializes out of nowhere!  Doctor at the clinic prescribes antibiotic ear drops and 5 days of NO SWIMMING.

Am I in the twilight zone? Is there some giant government conspiracy? This all feels a little odd.

Two sports down – but there’s still one to go! Thankfully I have a friend with a spin bike and we can do a workout in her basement tomorrow, before I go crazy with no activity!  I just hope I can safely get to her home…

Part of the reason I love Triathlons is that there is always something else to work on.  Take away one sport, there is another to focus on.

We can be creative and flexible.  I can pool run – no land running, no swimming, but I can still combine water and running, as long as I keep my ears out of the water and don’t pound my feet on the bottom of the pool.

This experience is only making me more determined and eager to take on more triathlons in the future.  Take away a sport for a time, and I come to appreciate and love it more.  Injuries (as terrible as they are) are good for making us appreciate the gift that our training is to us.  It is a gift to be able to run and swim and bike.  May I never take for granted this body that I have that can do so many enjoyable activities.

I am dreaming of all the races that I will do in spring and summer of 2015….this is not going to stop me!  I am only more determined now…

Janine Moffett

About Janine Moffett

I am a mother of three incredible children, work full time as an instructor therapist, and love to run. I have run 11 marathons, with a personal best of 2:57. This past April I ran my third Boston Marathon. I love challenges and began exploring the world of triathlons in 2014. I completed my first half Ironman at Muskoka in fall 2014 and came first in my age group. Now I am taking on the challenge of a Full Ironman, which I am planning for September, 2015. I believe we need to keep trying new things and embrace life to the fullest. I hope I can provide inspiration and insights to others.


  • Pj says:

    Hi Janine,

    As I was reading this I was thinking, oh oh . . . . sounds like planter fasciitis. So glad you didn’t ignore it, I did and it became worse, much worse. I ended up taking almost an entire year off of running, resorting to the step machine in the gym, weights and spin bike. Hard to heal a heel if you are on your feet most of the day, don’t get too anxious ~ it will only take longer.


  • Karen Karen says:

    Injuries are tough but november is a great month to have one… In comparison to others…

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