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    We interrupt your regularly-scheduled training program…


    Did you know that you can’t talk yourself out of an injury? I have been gradually coming to this realization over the last few weeks. I’ve had a dull pain in my lower right leg for the last six weeks or so. I took 10 full days off in November in the hopes of short-circuiting the trouble but it’s back. I think the biggest red flag for me is that I’ve been feeling pain while walking, never a good sign. I’ve also got some pain in my right knee, so I’m not sure whether I’ve got two separate problems or just one problem that’s slowly taking over my whole leg.

    So what’s plan B? Well, I haven’t run since last weekend and I’m not going to run until I get back from Mexico. I bought new shoes last week in case that was the issue. I’m also going to change up my strength training and stretching to put more focus on the calves. I’ll start running again slowly after I get back, see how it goes and then decide where to go from there.

    I’m feeling pretty annoyed, especially because I don’t really know what brought this on and I don’t feel like I “deserve” it. But that’s not how injuries work. They don’t pipe up in charming, Disneyfied voices and tell you that you really shouldn’t have run that set of 6x800m intervals so fast or stepped off the curb in that funny way. You have to play detective, use your little grey cells and make your best guess as to what you think the problem might be. You can be the most perfect runner ever, not increase your mileage too quickly, stretch, cross-train, etc. and still get injured. Injuries don’t care about your running karma.

    I’m also not too happy because of how this injury process neatly parallels my internship application process. (I know you’re probably sick of hearing about them. I’m sick of them too!) Out of 12 applications, I ended up with three interviews, not the hit rate I was hoping for. In case you were wondering, I’ll be interviewing at London, ON, the University of Ottawa and St. John’s, Newfoundland (also, do I have any fans in London with a spare couch?).

    But I guess injuries and internship applications are life experiences where you need to play the hand you’re dealt. There’s no sense shaking your fist at the sky and yelling, “This is not the outcome I wanted.” You’re on a new plan now and you can’t spend too much time lamenting the loss of plan A.

    In summary, screw you 2011. Screw you and the horse you rode in on.

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    Dana’s first attempts at running started at age 15, prompted by the desire to impress a boy. “Thankfully, the boy in question appreciated her other charms and running was quickly abandoned,” she says of her younger self. The habit finally stuck about two years ago, however, and she has since co-founded a two-person running team called “The Fighting Mongooses.” Dana offers great advice in her blogs, such as to think twice about the Toronto Zoo 10k. “A strong whiff of elephant dung is not the reward you’re looking for when you’ve just crested yet another f-ing hill in the freezing cold,” she advises. She also entertains with stories of, um, interesting people she met during races. “There was that guy in the short robe two years ago who invited us back to his house for pancakes after the race…we decided to keep running.” Funny and smart is a winning combo in our books!


    1. Walking on those beaches in Mexico will be a good workout. Hope you come back feeling stronger and recharged. Are interviews after Mexico?

    2. Two are but I’ve got one on Monday morning! Busy weekend: packing, marking and preparing. Thanks for the good wishes.

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