Bouncing Back from Injury

I’ve kicked my boot to the curb.

Translation: While I no longer need to wear it, I’m not completely out of the woods.

Regardless, this was the best news ever.

I originally had a follow-up appointment with my sports medicine specialist last Thursday but bumped it up a day because I am impatient. My leg had been feeling better although I still had some twinges of pain (and still do) but after pounding on my shin and hopping on my right leg, I was cleared to resume activity. Being the good little patient I am, I have been abiding by the doctor’s orders – slow and steady. Do NOT increase mileage dramatically (run only 20-25% of what I was running before injury) and listen to my body. Rest is essential and if things don’t feel right, then stop. Easy enough.

After compressing, icing, and foam rolling religiously (my foam roller and I have a very special relationship lately) I had two short, wonderful runs this weekend that were relatively pain free. It’s amazing what runs like these do for the soul no matter whether they are 3 miles or 23. They’ve definitely restore my confidence and I know I can complete at least 2 of my Ragnar Relay legs which, by the way, is THIS FRIDAY.

Now, if my doctor didn’t think I could run Ragnar I wouldn’t be doing it. But, he gave me the green light to try it AND the thumbs up to run my half on 10/7. If I wasn’t already peeing rainbows and unicorns at that point, he went on to tell me to give Philly a try with a max long run of 16 miles. This was better than winning the lottery (although I’d be able to buy all of Lululemon if that happened).

So, this is all fine and good but what does it really mean?

Check egos at the door. There are no plans (or time) for shiny new PRs as hoped.  There will be no speedwork and no progression runs (okay, maybe one).

Just run. In the 2 weeks leading up to my initial appointment, I was burned out. I was sticking to my training plan so closely and was executing nearly every run so perfectly that it was almost too good to be true. I thought I was on track to making great racing progress but in reality, I was setting myself up for injury. So, instead of sticking religiously to a plan over the next 8 weeks I am going to just run according to how I feel on any given day. I’m going into Philly undertrained.

Pay careful attention to every single part of my body, but not be afraid of pain. I definitely don’t want to re-injure myself or have this stress fracture rear its ugly head again. I also don’t want to tread so lightly that I’m afraid to ache. We all know that running a marathon hurts so it’s important to distinguish between REAL debilitating pain and the normal aches and pains associated with a distance event.

How have you bounced back from injury? If you’ve been injured in the middle of a training plan did you pick up where you left off? Any running achievements from this weekend you want to share?


4 thoughts on “Bouncing Back from Injury

  1. I can completely relate. Three weeks into my Marine Corps Marathon training plan I hurt my knee on a mud run. Two weeks off, MRI, miscommunicated that I had a fractured patella, I though I was done. I got my bike tuned up, started physical therapy twice a week and eased my way back into running. My training plan is all screwed up, but I am doing 20 miles this weekend and, in some ways, am in better shape because of my PT.

    Good luck and continue to listen to your body. It won’t steer you wrong.

  2. Great to have you back. I was injured 6 weeks out from my first marathon. I took it 3 weeks off and then trained lightly until the pain started and then stopped. Because I had already run two 20 milers and only missed 1 really long run I thought I was still invincible for the marathon and never readjusted my goals. I just figured I would be the most well rested runner that day and would just run according to my original plan. Big mistake. Crashed and burned at mile 14 and suffered severe cramps the final 12. Glad to see you have the correct mindset – unlike I did. You keep to this new plan and you’ll be fine. See you in Philly.

Let's chat: