When I got the news that I’d have to painfully (pun intended, lol) get through 6 weeks of no running, I made the decision that I was going to go all the way–I was going to listen to my doctor and do what I had to do to make sure I came back healthier and recovered. No cheating, no small runs to get the crazies out, none of that.
So, here are five ways I was able to make that happen:
1.) Surround Yourself With People Who Work Out
I know this sounds awful for someone who’s injured. Why would you want to see brag stories from people doing what you want to do? But let me tell you, for me, it was motivation. I wanted to do what they were doing and I wanted to do it well. Sure, I could bust out a 5 miler if I wanted to, but I knew I’d pay for it later in some way and the goal is to be able to do this for a long time, right? Eye on the prize.
I kept up with blogs as best as one can during the holidays and it was actually fun to see my friends’ successes on Instagram/Facebook/etc. I cheered them on, congratulated, lamented with the ones who didn’t do well, and I still felt connected to the running world.
I lived vicariously through my friends who continued working out and knew I had to make sure I could keep up when I did return to running.
2.) Do What You Can!
For us, running is everything. Nothing can really replace our one true love but when it’s on a hiatus (i.e taking a break), we have to resort to back-ups.
I threw myself in what I could do and at the beginning it wasn’t much. I didn’t even know how to do it!
The first two weeks of my injury, all my doctor wanted me to do was swim. He wanted zero impact on my legs. Well, I didn’t know how to swim but I have friends who do and luckily, they were patient enough to teach me how. I’m still learning, lol!
I swam when I could, and I focused on upper body strength and my core. All things that would help me when I returned to running (and really, things I should’ve been doing anyway).
After I was cleared, I took on spinning, something I’d always been curious about but never did because, well, running.
I took classes at my gym, again, something I would never do because I’d always choose running over anything else. But the core classes, the spinning classes, the stretching classes all were helping me stay in shape and helping me become a better runner–for when I was ready.
Keeping busy really helped make the time go by faster. I wrote down on my calendar the classes I’d take, what days I would elliptical/bike/swim, and before I knew it, my weeks were full of activities. I was pretty much working out 5 days a week!
Retail therapy. Best.
I definitely used some of my injury time to scour through running websites, lol! I found a really neat new (local!) running/clothing company on Instagram called Senita Athletics and fell in love with their stuff. I decided to splurge on myself with some new purple pants. I had them visible for me in my closet to remind myself the day would soon come when I could wear them 🙂
4.) Find A Way To Use Race Entries
At the end of the day, I was only out 1 race (of four). I was able to move down from the Hot Chocolate 15k to the 5k and walked it with friends, and I downgraded from Phoenix Marathon to the 1/2.
I transferred my Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon bib to a friend and she ended up using it to help pace Runner Jenny to a PR!
Rock and Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon was my only loss.
Walking the Hot Chocolate 5k ended up being so much fun as I had friends who were walking anyway (even if I hadn’t been injured) so I didn’t feel like I was slowing them down. We chatted the entire way and before I knew it, it was over–and I was sad! 🙂
Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon was supposed to be my goal 1/2 and I was a little sad to not be able to run it–BUT, I knew that I was not in PR shape and I probably would’ve been more devastated not meeting my goal.
It certainly helped that my husband snagged a PR and that my bib was used to help my BRF snag one as well 🙂
It’s tough for us to see expensive races go to waste so finding a way to still make it work for you–or for a friend–really helps alleviate the loss.
5.) Know That The Day WILL Come
I had it marked on my calendar with balloons and confetti.
It’s important to know that that day will happen IF you follow doctor’s orders. Do not do things to prolong that date.
Every time I went for check-ups I’d ask how everything was progressing and my doctor would say the magic words, “You’re right on track!”
And the day DID come! Exactly 6 weeks from when I was told no running.
Of course, now it’s crucial I respect the return process as much as I did the recovery. That’s #6 and I’ll report on how well that works out another time 😉
Hope these tips help! Happy, healthy recovery! ❤ , helly
–What tips would you give runners coping with injuries?