alsoran runners My Injured Quad!

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This was a real bad luck injury which happened 3 weeks before Comrades in 2008.  I wasn’t even running (as in training) when this happened.  I was running to my car which was parked outside, it was dark and it was raining.  Not wanting to get wet I ran at full speed, unfortunately for me there was a short wooden pole (about 80cm in height) directly in my path which I did not see.  I hit the pole ‘head-on’, that is, my left quad and the top of the pole connected at full speed.  It was a miracle that I did not snap my femur!

At the time it happened it was really sore (the initial impact) and I was able to walk back inside.  Honestly I didn’t think that it was too serious.  As the evening wore on, my leg started to feel quite “lame” as the muscle cooled down (and seized up!)  When I got home I applied some ice and hoped for the best.  By the next morning I was unable to walk on the leg.  I was reduced to a hobble (which is not a good thing to do). 

After a panicky call to my physio, I had an appointment later that morning.  After examination it was confirmed that I had well and truly buggered (for want of a better word) my left quad muscle.  It was going nowhere.  I was strapped up and put onto crutches.  What followed was 10 days of RICE* (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and more gentle physio with some ultrasound.  It was only after 10 days that I was able to walk normally.  This left only 11 days until Comrades.  I realised that I would be no more running in preparation for Comrades.  My focus was to get the quad muscle back into working order.  With the help of a carefully designed rehabilitation plan from my biokinetist (thanks Keryn!), I was able to get the quad working properly and in doing so, saw me lining up at the start of the Comrades Marathon.  In truth, I didn’t know if my quad would hold up on the day but I was backing myself regardless.  My run wasn’t pretty (it doesn’t have to be), but I was able to finish, albeit in a slower time.  But hey, a medal’s a medal!

* the RICE I followed on this occasion was:
  • REST – I didn’t run again until Comrades. 
  • ICE – I iced my quad daily
  • COMPRESSION – My quad was initially strapped, thereafter I kept my whole upper leg covered with tubi-grip.  I even slept with it on.
  • ELEVATION – initially I was put onto crutches so that I didn’t hobble.  When stationary, I kept my leg elevated as much as I could.

Key words: injury, quad,
Internal links: physio, back yourself,
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2010