Running Injuries … and Repairs

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psoasI’m fortunate never to have had a serious running injury, but I’ve had some minor ones:

Pulling the psoas: I was trying to keep up with someone faster than me. The first time this happened, I thought it was some part of my back. It hurt to get up and down and to turn. The next time it happened, I asked a yoga and pilates teacher about it, she suggested the psoas, I googled it, and sure enough, it seemed to be that. This is not a muscle you hear much about, but it’s huge. The next time something hurts and you’re not sure what, google the psoas!

Psoas solution: Alternating heat and cold helped a little, and – for the part of the psoas I pulled – so did gently stretching my hip flexor and quad in some version of bow pose (one leg at a time, on both sides to keep even, but obviously really carefully on the side that hurts).
Plantar fascitis: My heel hurts all the time. It took a surprisingly long time to identify this one. It hurts most after I haven’t used it – sitting a long time or waking up – and least when I’m on my feet walking or running.

Plantar fascitis repair: The most common suggestion I’ve heard and tried a bit is rolling the foot on a tennis ball. A more creative suggestion was to freeze water in a small paper cup, then tear off the top inch or so of paper. Since the water freezes in a slightly rounded shape, you have a round piece of ice to combine cold and massage. Honestly, I don’t sit in one place long enough to use either of these, but I really like them both.

Red itchy dots on the stomach after running in the cold: Okay, this is not really an injury, but it is definitely a strange issue. I’ve met other people who have had this, or just the itching, but it does not seem like everyone does. I suspect it has to do with circulation. It’s not a big deal but it’s weird. Not hives.

Solution: Tucking in your shirt may help. I usually run with a lot of layers in the winter, so I don’t get very cold, but when I have remembered to tuck in the innermost layer, it does seem to help.

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