It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve posted a blog, my last one being when I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right foot. I’ve dealt with some minor running injuries in the past; plantar fasciitis, tight IT band, runners knee…but this is the first injury that 100% side lined me from running. I spent 6 weeks in an air cast + 2 additional weeks of restricted activity. Tomorrow will be my first post injury run of 1 mile! I never imagined it was possible to be SO excited about getting to run 1 mile! I have my recovery/mileage build up plan mapped out for the next few months, but I’m definitely going to take it easy, listen to my body, and play it smart to prevent reinjuring myself!
I had great plans and intentions of sharing my recovery triumphs and words of wisdom along the way, but every time I started to write I found myself lost for words. I realized I am NOT an expert in recovery and don’t handle injuries graciously! I realized that I had rooted my identity in being “a runner”, and not only did I feel a little blue not being able to run, I felt like I had lost part of my identity. I wondered…Is a runner who doesn’t run still a runner? I’m mean, yeah…sure, I was/am a recovering runner but still, I found I just wanted and needed to focus on other things to stay positive during my recovery.
So, how did I stay busy over last 2 months??
- Spent more time with family and friends
- Extra guitar practice!
- Enjoyed preparing for and celebrating the holidays
- An unplanned, random road trip down south with the boyfriend!
- Helped Ilana practice her swimming at the YMCA
- Organizing and minimizing my house
- Drank good, yummy, red wine
- Cross training work-outs (I’ll share my “stress fracture friendly” workouts soon!)
What my injury/recovery has taught me (so far….)?
- I’m not immune to injuries! Overuse injuries, like stress fractures, sneak up on you after weeks/months of abuse. I went from feeling unstoppable to a dead stop in an instant.
- NEVER, ever, ever, EVER ignore an injury! As hard as it was to take 2 months off running, it was the only way for my body to fully recover. Running on a stress fracture is bad news and can lead to more serious/permanent injuries if ignored!
- The importance of proper rest and recovery and not over doing it when not injured. While I never ran 7 days in a row, I was racing almost every weekend for almost 3 straight years. My body finally had enough!
- The importance of cross training and stretching, to reduce risk of muscle imbalances/tightness that can lead to injuries.
- The importance of proper diet/nutrition. I am NOT a “naturally skinny” girl! I counted on 30+ miles a week to off set my love for not so healthy foods! My pants have gotten a wee bit snug during my hiatus and I’ve had to cut back on my munching! Also, started taking vitamins, something I’ve always neglected in the past, to help my body heal.
- Running does NOT define me. It is something I enjoy to do, but it is not the only thing I like to do and it is NOT who I am.
- To stop being so hard on myself. I can be annoyingly Type A and even drive myself nuts at times with my attempts to be “good at everything” Sometimes it is o.k. not to be working towards my next “big goal”.
- How to relax and be content doing absolutely nothing!
Have you ever been sidelined from running due to an injury? What did being injured teach you?