If there's one thing runners LOVE to do, it's run (and most of us like to run often).
If there's a second thing runners love to do, it's ignore injuries.
Here's my top 5:
*Treat it as a mini vacation
Give yourself a pedicure (and be thankful the nail polish will actually stay intact for more than a few days).
Try to enjoy some couch time (with a running magazine close by...to keep you entertained).
*Take time to languish in all of your accomplishments
You've probably had a lot of great races and training runs (some of which may be responsible for your current state of injury). Pat yourself on the back for having the commitment to train even when it didn't come easy. Be thankful for all of the finish lines you've crossed. I have said it more than once, "Running is a gift." I'm thankful and incredibly blessed to be a runner.
How's that for irony? Sometimes, the things we love not only bring us the most satisfaction, but also can lead to heartache. This is true not only in life and love, but especially true with running.
*This is a great opportunity to focus on cross-training (which your body needs anyways)
If you're forced to stay off your feet, there are plenty of other things to do that will help maintain your fitness. My favorite happens to be strength-training. I do not consider myself a body-builder (nor do I aspire to be one), but I have come to appreciate being "overall fit" and not "just a runner." Some other favorite options are planking (core work), yoga (balance, strength, flexibility) and cycling (legs and cardio).
This may be a good time to consult with a personal trainer, sports medicine doctor, or a physical therapist. An objective professional will be able to access your situation, and recommend a regimen either for rehabilitation or future training. And, for crying out loud, please do as they tell you.
Is it a recurring injury? (If so, when was the last time it happened?)
Were you in the midst of a challenging training cycle, or is it a random "bad luck" incident (twisted/sprained ankle, for example)?
Is it a result of over-training?
Or, conversely, were you under-trained for a particularly challenging endurance event?
And guess what? After almost two weeks of minimal mileage (before, during, and after back-to-back half marathons), the wonky heel is feeling great. It's still a little stiff, but my gimpy walk is MIA. And, on Wednesday, I did a 2-miler on an especially hot and humid summer evening, and all went well.
So, onward!! I'm going to ease back into my mileage plan (did you know I have an Ultra happening in four weeks?). It's a 12-hour endurance run, and it's in my best interest to adjust my goals for the event. I wasn't planning on running fast anyways, but there will definitely be a lot more walking involved. This event also has a 6-hour option (which I did last year...recap HERE), depending on how well my heel (as well as my entire foot) holds up, I may consider that as a last resort. I have options aplenty, and quite a bit of time remaining for continued recovery. Stay tuned, this ain't over yet.
How do you respond when an injury hits you? Do you hit the couch, or press onward?
I'm linking up with the ladies from the DC Trifecta for the Friday Five. A big Thank You to Mar from Mar on the Run, Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC, and Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?!