I’ve been injured…. a lot. I would train for months and pour everything to prepare for the Cross Country season or the Track Season. Even when I didn’t feel like going for a run on a particular run, I would get myself out there and run even if it meant doing a long run during a blizzard in the Winter. I would pour so much time and basically make running my life… just to end up getting injured right when the season starts or when the season is getting to the more important races.
I’ll go through some of these injuries that I’ve had and when they occured relative to the track or cross country season. My freshman year, I broke my wrist. This, unlike all my other injuries, was from my own stupidity when I was playing manhunt in a church. It was the week or 2 before PACs and I was having an amazing first season of Cross Country. I ended up missing PACs, and my doctor told me I wasn’t allowed to run at districts either. I did it anyway cause why not and it didn’t go so well. About 200 meters into the race I was pushed because of the large amount of people running and fell which was what my doctor was worried about and is why he didn’t want me running. Luckily, some random person helped me up and I kept going. At some point during the race, I went from wanting to do well during the race to just wanting to finish and be done with it. I cut parts of the course in JV fashion, and I ended up running a time about 30 seconds slower than my PR that season. People around me had the best race of their life. People on the team that I had never even seen be anywhere near me in a race ended up beating me, and by a lot too. It was frustrating. I was heartbroken. My season went from being this incredible season to ending in the worst way possible.
Rather than being depressed about it, I got angry and got to work. I trained really hard over the winter, with something to prove to myself. I ran a sub 5 mile that track season, and then that next Cross Country season I broke out and managed to run a sub 17 5K. I felt like I was on top of the world.
After an amazing Cross Country season, Winter Training started up once again. I trained and I felt like I was in really good shape which was shown when we went to some winter track meets. During one run, I ended up injuring my knee somehow from overdoing it and going way too fast on what was supposed to be an easy run. I’m not sure what exactly happened but all of a sudden it just started hurting a lot as I was going maybe sub 6 on my last mile which was so so so stupid of me. I recovered and ended up making a comeback, but then the season got canceled. This was rough. What was supposed to be only 2 weeks of Quarantine turned into what felt like forever. The only thing to do was to keep running, and it felt like I was running without really a reason. Despite this, I kept training anyways during these hard times and eventually after felt like forever, Cross Country rolled around.
Cross Country was weird. We had to wear masks before runs and after runs. We weren’t sure if we were even going to have a season. We trained anyways with the hope that there would be a season and luckily, there was. There wasn’t an official season, but a season like no other. Winters created this meets for just us to run in and it was amazing. Of course, me being just the best runner ever (no big deal), I dominated and felt like I was on top of the world. This was until, you guessed it, I got injured. During a run where I randomly felt like pushing the pace really fast, I pulled my hip flexor or something and messed that up really badly. It messed with me and caused me to have a terrible race. I again felt like training was for nothing and things weren’t going my way. I ended up bouncing back and having a couple amazing seasons, but after wearing the ghost 13’s (That’s what I choose to blame for this) my foot started to hurt really badly. It hurt to run on it. During the last 2 races, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to make it through the races. I didn’t know if I was racing until I managed to convince Winters to let me try a mile in the first 5k. At the end of it I could barely walk and same for the last 5k I did that year.
Track that next year ended up being a nightmare. It started out really good. I was in the best shape of my life, and then during a 150 I messed up my hip flexor again. This led to other problems as well and I ended up not racing for a month. Yash broke out, and when I came back he kicked my ass… every meet. I ended up hitting my goal for the mile by the end of the season, and even though I missed half of the season that one race at the end made it all worth it.
I ended up getting injured during summer training for my last year of Cross Country and missing a month because I sprained my ankle really badly while I was at the beach. I think you get the gist of what I’m saying though. Joey would call this the “bryan cycle”. I would train, get into amazing shape, maybe have a few really good races, then I would get injured and be really bad and miss some races and then I would bounce back to have 1 or 2 great races.
Getting injured all these times, it would have been really easy to just quit or give up on running entirely. And I’ll be honest, running wasn’t fun for me at times and I did want to just be done with it. However, I stuck with it and here I am now, making it to States when in the summer I wasn’t even sure if I would be nearly as good as what I needed to be to do so after spraining my ankle. What I’m trying to say here is that at some point during your running career, you will most definitely hit a wall. All your training will feel like a waste, and it’s discouraging. It’s easy to just quit and be done with running entirely when this happens, but I don’t think that’s what anyone on this team is about. You have to stick with it when times are rough, and in the end, it will be all worth it when you hit that amazing time and smash your goals. I would know, I’ve been through the ups and downs of running and in the end, it’s all worth it.
And I’ll end this off with some tips for not getting injured that I’ve picked up.
1. Make sure you stretch and roll and all that stuff
2. Take the easy runs easy
3. Don’t be dumb and play manhunt or anything like that before races, it’s not worth it.