Friday Five: 5 Ways To Cope With Injuries

 

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.

Which meant…

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!

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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!

3.) Shop!

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 🙂

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purple pants ❤

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! 🙂

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I think we had fun.

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 🙂

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My champ.

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.

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November 28th to Jan 11th=6 weeks.

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?

Thanks for hosting the Friday Five Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney!! ❤ (P.S you guys, I get to meet Mar this weekend!!!!!)

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12 Days of Fitmas-Day 12!

12 Days of Fitmas-Day 12! Yay, we made it!

On the 12th Day of Fitmas….

DON’T FORGET WHY YOU STARTED

What made you decide to get fit? Sometimes it’s important to go back to that answer when the going gets rough. We all start so motivated in the beginning and then when the excitement wears off, we start to lose steam.

Or in my case, injuries happen. It seems as if since I got the results of my MRI my leg has been worse. I had been able to run on it up to and had been doing really well as you’ve seen in my updates, but in the last week the pain has increased.

It hurts when I walk up and down my stairs, it hurts when I stand for too long, it hurts when I nick it against something. It doesn’t feel right.

My doctor had told me that I would know when I would need to stop. He wanted me to stop running a long time ago but of course stubborn me said I felt fine. And at the time I did.

But not now.

I have a few things on my mind. I have my ½ marathon mid January and I’m debating laying off running and doing other types of cardio and strength training and then seeing how I feel when the race comes if I’m up for 13.1. Or, I could skip that race altogether and just focus on my first full in March.

Right now, I’m leaning towards the former. Of course I want to run.

But I also want to be able to do for a long time. This is something I keep reminding myself. Races there will be aplenty. I need to make sure I stay healthy so that I can continue to work towards the goals I’ve set. The why I started getting serious about running in the first place—to meet those goals.

Sometimes you just need to go back to the beginning.

–What helped you get started on your fitness journey?

–What helps keep you focused on your fitness goals?

A Whole Lotta Jitters

It’s 5k Turkey Trot Eve and I’m having trouble getting myself to go to sleep. A lot of things have happened the last few days that have my mind going as fast as I’d like to run tomorrow.

On Tuesday I went to a sports medicine doctor to get my shins looked at. The pain in my left leg has increased so that when I walk up and down my stairs at home I can feel the deep ache with each step. It made me worry enough to set up an appointment.

I got a quick x-ray done and then waited to discuss the results with the doctor. He asked me a few questions then began to discuss the x-ray with me. He said that from what he could see and from what I had told him, it didn’t look like shin splints but more like a stress fracture. He suggested getting an MRI done and no running for 6-8 weeks so I can work with a physical therapist to recover. I did not take this news very well at all.

My first initial thought and question was what would happen if I still ran? He told me that I’d likely end up in a boot or crutches.

I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s that bad. I can still run and really want to keep training. My leg hurts when I start the run but then subsides to a tolerable ache the rest of the way. My husband asked, after I told him of my incredulity, what then was the purpose of the appointment if what I was going to do anyway was continue to run? Sometimes I hate when he’s so rational.

I discussed my feelings with my running buddies and with their knowledge and advice I’ve decided to get the MRI done and a second opinion. I think I’ll have more peace of mind then.

In the meantime, I guess because I don’t know how much time I have left to run, I plan on going along with the Runner’s World Running Streak of running at least 1 mile starting Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I love challenges like this. I love challenges period! Lol!

Tomorrow’s race starts my racing season. After the Turkey Trot, I have 2 races in December—a 15k and a 5k, a ½ marathon in January, a (virtual) ½ in February, and my first full marathon in March. It makes me incredibly sad to think I won’t be able to do any of this. This is what keeps going, keeps me motivated.

I’m hoping tomorrow’s race goes well. I’m hoping the MRI disproves the stress fracture diagnosis. I’m hoping my legs heal soon. I’m hoping I can continue to run.

I’ll fill you in with the Turkey Trot run tomorrow—Happy Thanksgiving!

–Are you running on Thanksgiving?