When runners are injured they often go one of two ways: 1) They can’t run, so therefore they try to put running totally out of their mind. They do other stuff, see some non-running friends, and generally just try to pretend they aren’t totally devastated by not being able to participate in their favorite sport. Or 2) Despite their best efforts, their brains can only seem to think about running. So they read everything they can about running, they plot their return-to-running schedule out with military precision, they live vicariously through others who are racing their fall marathons, and they may or may not purchase a few (okay, more than a few) pieces of running attire to cheer themselves up and ensure they are properly outfitted when they FINALLY get back on the roads.
I’ve been both of those injured runners before, but I’ll give you one guess as to which camp I fell into this time. While I am SLOWLY, SLOWLY returning to running, I can’t seem to stop the urge to remain immersed in the running culture while I’m forced to take a break. From watching the live broadcast of the Chicago marathon to stalking some of my favorite bloggers for training updates and race recaps (Shout out to RunnerUnderPressure, MsFitRunner, KrisLawrence, and JenChosesJoy!), I’ve definitely found myself with running on the brain.
This week I’m in the run/walk phase of my comeback - and I’m only running a total of 30-35 minutes at a time. It’s slow going and while my heart, legs and lungs are burning with the desire to just RUN already, I’m trying hard to be smart and ease back into it safely. Here’s what the last week looked like:
Monday: 30 minutes of 3 min run, 1 min walk + Core class
Tuesday: Body Pump + Spin class – I was in charge of teaching the little spin “class” with my parents this week. It was so fun!
Wednesday: 30 minutes of 5 min run, 1 min walk + Core class
Thursday: Body Pump
Friday: 30 minutes of 7 min run, 1 min walk + Spin class
Saturday: 35 minutes of 7 min run, 1 min walk + elliptical
Sunday: Body Pump
The leg is feeling…okay. A day after I posted about my awesome bone stimulator it started malfunctioning – so now it’s just me and my hopes and prayers that the leg is healed. I was hoping to have the bone stimulator as insurance – I’d planned to use it once a day or so for a few more weeks for an extra boost of healing power. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I’m hoping that it’s a sign from above that this thing is healed and that I won’t need a bone stimulator again. Let’s just go with that theory, shall we?
The running has been GREAT, but also a bit anxiety-filled. With each step I’m hyper-aware of the leg and every little twinge has me wondering, “Is it okay? Is that just the soft tissue adjusting? Should I stop? Keep running?” I know that with stress fractures you can have phantom pains as the soft tissue and area around the fracture adjusts, but MAN, it is tough not to panic at each twinge. Other than that, I’m feeling good, but SLOW. I know it’ll take me a while to build back my pace and endurance. With all of the marathons this weekend I’m been chomping at the bit to get back out there. I’ve seen some super fast times thrown down by some speedy ladies and I’m so anxious to get back into training so that I can put in the work towards a goal of my own. It’s been so inspiring to see everyone run so well, but as an injured runner I can feel a bit disheartened at times when I think about how far I have to go to claw my way back to where I was. But I am just so happy to be back on the comeback road! I know it will take quite a while to rebuild my fitness, but I’m grateful to be able to get back to something I love. I know I’ll get there. I just have to be patient and trust in the journey.
For now I’ll just focus on enjoying the beautiful fall weather and be thankful for each pain-free step that I’m able to run!
How was your week? Which camp of injured runner do you fall into?
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