How to avoid Marathon Training: Pull a neck muscle.

It isn’t uncommon to incur an injury when training for a marathon, that much I know.  Usually it’s related to your legs, you know, because they’re kind of used a bit during running.  Now anyone that knows me will know that I’m not monogamous when it comes to physical activity.  I totally dig running, but I’m also a bit of a gym whore, and regularly go to weights/spin/yoga/aerobics classes.  Most runners call this ‘cross-training’ and die-hard runners seem to hate it, because it isn’t running.  I like a bit of variety in my sweating.

It was during one of these cross-training sessions on Friday that I threw an over-enthusiastic punch, twisting my upper body with mad style, but also pulling a muscle in my neck.  I didn’t notice at the time, but when after the class in the changing room I noticed my neck felt a bit stiff when I was putting my rucksack on, and by the time I got home about an hour later, it was pretty sore and swollen, and it hurt to look up, down, and to the side, so after consulting Dr. Google and ruling out various horrific ailments, figured I had a neck strain.  Aware that Tough Mudder was just over a week away, I tried to keep my head as still as possible, and hoped I’d feel better Saturday morning.

I did not.  If anything, I felt worse.  I’m not normally a pill-popping Penelope (I don’t know either), but I was in so much pain that I cracked out the ibuprofen.  Drugs, my friends, are amazing.  If it weren’t for my weirdness with chucking chemicals into my body, I’d take drugs frequently, because I felt great.  For about 2 hours.  Then the pain crept in again, but at lest I had some distraction.  It was my friend Grant’s birthday night out, and he had come over with his brother in the early afternoon.

In between laughing at my predicament, we played board games, baked cake, ate some take-away Nando’s and generally just hung out.  This was easy enough to do because I could maintain my weird, upright, looking-straight-ahead position in comfort.  But then the time came to venture beer-ward.  I managed a shower, then, with some discomfort, managed to get into an appropriate drinking outfit and slap on some make-up.  Unfortunately the pain was creeping back, so I opted not to drink in case I felt the need to chow down on more ibuprofen (I’m aware some of you are A-OK with over the counter drugs and a few beers, but I’ve just got a no-mixing policy, mainly due to my own paranoia that I’ll react in a strange way and go blind, which would suck).

I was really looking forward to beers on Saturday, so I was a bit pissed off at my mean right hook, but at least I scrubbed up well:

So here we are on Monday afternoon.  I’ve missed a mid-distance and a long run over the weekend, and I suspect it will be at least another couple of days before I’m back pounding the pavement.  I have better range of movement, and I had a sports massage scheduled for tonight anyway, so hopefully I’ll be feeling better tomorrow.  As long as I’m able to take part in Tough Mudder, I’ll be able to refrain from an all-CAPS, rage-induced post.  Until then, back to discovering daytime TV.