by Shane Hutton. Injured La Sportiva Ambassador
So injury sucks but mostly you can learn a lot from it.
I have recently been sidelined from running for the best part of 6 months. All bar a small trip to NZ in Jan & clocking up 100km I have done no running.
It started as Patella tendinitis I guess 2 years ago while training for running around Port Philip bay. I continued to train & just run through it in the hope it would go away. After resting a little after the bay run I trained up & ran the length of Tasmania 672km.
Throughout that training the pain returned to the extent I was getting bone swelling but hey she`ll be right keep running. Got through the Tassie run & with some careful management trained up nice & solid for my A race.
The Alpine Challenge Miler. Probably the first time I had a real race goal other than to just finish. I was feeling good except the knee & was definitely running my fastest & strongest ever. The knee persisted & persisted until on my last long hard run it blew up.
I couldn`t even finish my run or run the last 3km home. It was done. 2 weeks out & I had to drop from the race. I was devastated. I had worked so hard for it how could this be.
So after an initial rest period & all the usual ice blah blah blah it was time for a scan. Turns out I have worn a hole in my Patella. Didn`t even think that was possible but hey nothings impossible right??
The diagnosis- Simple get a PRP injection ( Plasma Rich Platelet ) into the hole & that will hopefully generate scar tissue to strengthen the surrounding area. Easy fixed. The problem was I needed to have at least 4 weeks off afterwards.
Trying to fit that in a schedule around Christmas & The Ultra Life trips was proving to be tough. Looks like the first available time would be in April...hmmm...
After the initial depression wore off & I realized I could still ride my bike things started to improve. Not only did I re discover my love for mountain biking I realized that I could ride a long way in a day & it didn`t hurt like running.
I could still go camping at Buller & still have just as much fun on the bike. I was also discovering that there was more to life than running. Don`t get me wrong I love running & it has been a difficult time not doing it everyday but there IS more to life.
I rode my road bike 400km over in WA with no training at all. Carried all my own sleeping gear & food. It was AMAZING. to cover 224km in 1 day & feel reasonably good... Fantastic. ( I did it once running & it took 34hours & near broke me )
In the mean time I have discovered Bikepacking. It is similar to Fastpacking in a sense that you pack very light & go to nice remote places. This is something I can do with R. We are now on a trip to America to cycle from Banff to Mexico & beyond should our budget allow it.
This is something that probably would not of happened if it weren`t for the injury. I would of just bounced from 1 race to the next & continued to set myself ridiculous running challenges. Don`t panic I have a few up my sleeve.
I have had the injection & it seems to be going well. I am about to start running again but I am happy to take the next 12 months to get back to where I was, but this time I will be smarter because hey it`s just running after all.
I`m not sure what I am trying to say here, perhaps just remember that everything happens for a reason, sometimes it`s not clear at the start but you will find it & who knows you might discover things outside of running :D
Shane's an ultra runner and La Sportiva Ambassador, with a taste for adventure, always up for a new and different challenge.