Running Hurt: A Warning for Female Runners - Dallas News |

Running Hurt: A Warning for Female Runners

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Beverly Johnson hit 40, and found running thanks to a group called, "Black Girls Run." "And when I came out, I was hooked," said the North Carolina native.

That was a year and a half ago. Soon the Snellville High School business teacher had set her sights not on a 5K, or a10K or even a half marathon. She was going to run the real deal, a full marathon, all 26.2 miles. "I said,' I think I can do this!' I kind of set high expectations for myself " She ran her first marathon in the Bahamas, then set her sights on the Paris Marathon.

One day while training, during an 8 mile run at Stone Mountain, something happened. "I think it was at mile three and a half and I felt this tinge in my leg where it was tightening up. And I was like, I have 5 more miles to go!," said Johnson " But after I finished that run, I felt different. I knew something was wrong." So, Beverly came limping in to see Emory Sports Medicine orthopedist Dr Mathew Pombo, who'd treated her before for tendonitis."

"But when he came in this time, his whole demeanor was different," said Johnson Because there would be no Paris Marathon for Beverly.She had a stress fracture high up on her femur, or thigh bone. "Which is a dangerous area for a stress fracture, because if that stress fracture continues to occur, and we continue to run, to pound on that area, the ball can actually break off of the femur. And you end up with a hip fracture," said Dr. Matthew Pombo That's when Beverly realized what she was doing wrong-- she wasn't stretching before running.

Dr. Pombo says women 40 and over like Beverly, are at higher risk of stress fractures, because of the way their hips and knees are aligned, and because of fluctuations in hormones and changes in bone density."So when we do things too quickly, the body breaks down, and the bone is one of those areas that can't turn over quick enough. And when you don't get turnover in the bone, you get fractures that are known of as stress fractures," said Dr. Pombo. Pombo says to says stretching is key, and so is cross-training. "Cross train, by season.

You might bike a little more in one season, you might run a little more in one season, you might swim in the summer, when it's nice,"said Dr. Pomb. Beverly is now back to training, but this time, she says, she's running smarter. "I will do another marathon. But I will use these lessons learned to go forward and do it in the correct way."


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