Anyone else feel like 2016 has been such a whirlwind already?? I mean, how is it that May is already here?
Gosh, I've done so much already-in an effort to escape what was happening in life and allow myself to heal, I traveled and ran races that I may or may not haven been fully ready to run. I flew to Dallas, road tripped to Baton Rouge & New Orleans with Lacy, went to New York with Lacy, got really sick, went to Atlanta with Team nuun, planned my goals, and tried out some new gear. But let’s get serious here and talk about what really matters: I’m running again! I mean like a normal person!
Recovering from an injury is the strangest thing ever. Part of me still feels like that scared gal lying on the table at PT hearing that I tore a tendon in my ankle and that my hips needed strengthening. The other part of me still feels like that strong gal is still inside of me- you know, the gal where I was flying at the fastest pace per mile I’ve ever done with a huge smile on my face!
I want to get back to that happy, confident runner that I was, but I want to do it the right way. So, I’m still seeing my trainer twice a week, working on my core, cross training, keeping up with the PT home exercises and easing back into running slowly. And by slowly I mean I've already run a bunch of races... but more as a means to push me to train, I havent run any with a focus on time yet but that's coming. It’s definitely not as easy as I thought it would be. I’ve always known that running was a huge mental game, and it’s never been more true than when you’re recovering from an injury and even more so recovering from life. I thought I’d bounce out of my PT’s office, take off running, and never look back. But it’s definitely not that easy or fast of a process. If you’ve ever been injured before, you might recognize the signs of these common recovery side effects, also known as recovering runner problems:.......
* Before every run, you worry that this will be the run where you re-injure yourself and you are almost afraid to begin… but the desire to run and your belief in yourself always wins out.
* During every run you are basically holding your breath half the time just praying that nothing starts hurting. The other half of the time you are in shock that you’re actually running with almost no pain and can’t stop smiling!
* There’s a point in every run where part of you wants to run your usual pace/distance, and you have to learn how to hold back and trust the process.
* After every run, you overanalyze every.single.feeling that is going on around the injury site even though nothing is actually wrong.
* You foam roll religiously.
* Sometimes you are laying in bed and wake up in horror because you realize you forgot to do your PT exercises today.
* You literally schedule your PT exercises in your calendar as to not forget them anymore.
* You pay meticulous attention to your form because you are afraid of aggravating your injury by doing something wrong.
* You feel like it’s a personal win for you when you feel your previously weak core & ankle muscles activating during running/in class and wish your PT could see you now!
* You want to sign up for all the races, but you’re not sure what your body will be capable of doing more than a few weeks out.
* You have to find running buddies that are willing to slow things down until you’re back up to regular speed.
* You appreciate every pain-free mile more than you ever did before!
It’s hard to be confident and anxiety-free about running when I’m coming back from something so painful that was caused by my own mistakes. As I make it through this recovery process I’m hoping to learn more about what my body is capable of and how to get it stronger than before – and I plan on continuing to enjoy every second that I get to run during that process!
Dream Big. Work Hard.