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What I've Learned From Being Injured

What I've learned from being injured is that there are a lot of emotions that go along with being an injured runner. And honestly if you aren't a runner (or an athlete) chances are you really just won't get it. So the first thing I had to come to understand is that there will be people who just 'won't get it'. They won't understand the difficulties of trying to maneuver this boot while taking care of an (almost) 3 year old. They won't understand the frustration of how difficult it is to get up stairs when just last week you were RUNNING up them. They won't get it. And no, telling me how this is a great time of the year to take off running, or that I really just needed to slow down does not make me feel better. In fact, it just irritates me. 

And I've thought a lot about how I got myself in this situation. I think it goes back to my really great 20 miler. It was my best, to date, 20 miler so far. And I ran it way too hard, and way too fast. It wound up being a 'race' instead of a training run. And I didn't recover the way that I needed to. And I pushed through the rest of the runs. I ignored the twinges and how things just felt off and kept going. 

This brings me to my last 20 miler.. the one I shouldn't have done. (The one before the taper). Training plans are just that.. plans. They aren't written in stone and shouldn't be followed exactly (if things don't feel right or too many runs are missed). I knew this. This isn't my first time around the ole running plan. But I really wanted to get that 'one' last 20 miler in there. And I did, but I should have stopped at mile 10. When I felt pain, and I mean true pain, I should have stopped. But I continued on. 

And every run after that last 20, even the little 2 mile runs felt off. My legs were too heavy. Everything just felt off. Going into the marathon, I had never fully recovered properly from my training runs 

And the marathon... well if you've been following me, then you know how that went (I Gave Up During My 2nd Marathon). I can't say that I got injured during the marathon, because I really don't think that it happened then. I think it started long before, and it was a gradual process, with the marathon helping to push it over the edge. 

I also ran some much too hard runs after the marathon. Granted they were short, but pulling 8's pace for several runs I'm sure didn't help with the sore overly stretched muscles and fascia. 

So all of that leaves me here.... in a boot.... Some days are better than others. I'm not going to sit here and say, oh, well, it happens and I'm constant smiles cause it's no big deal. Because for me that isn't the truth. This stinks and it came at a really bad stressful time. So no, being injured isn't the best thing that has ever happened to me. 

But I have learned from it. I've learned who my friends are and who aren't. I've learned how to improvise when needed. I have learned that I am stronger than I think I am. I've learned that I am a runner, but I am also so much more. I'm learned that I can pout and rant and rave, but in the end it's me who has to decide whether to give up or get stronger. 




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Comments

  1. I'm so sorry about all this. I hope that you heal up quickly and are back out there soon! I have a toddler too and I can't even imagine trying to keep up with her in a boot. You sound like an amazing person and I love your optimism about what you are going to take away from this!

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    1. Thanks. I was in a boot when he was a baby. I had 3 stress fractures, but it was a short boot. This one is up to my knee, much heavier, and harder to maneuver. I'm definitely ready to come out of it! ha

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  2. A lot of people aren't capable of your level of self-examination. You'll benefit from the experience. I've been out for two months with a torn meniscus with surgery set for the first week of January. After I recover I'll have been set back a year in terms of lost conditioning. At the age of 57, I don't have a lot of running years left in me, but I know after all this time that it's all part of the game and that soon I'll be able to train and race up to the level of my capability. I can't ask for or expect anything more. I can live with that.

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    1. So sorry to hear about your injury. I hope your surgery goes well and that you'll be pounding the pavement (or trails) soon!

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  3. Reading your post, grabbed my heart because I can honestly say I know exactly how you are feeling, your emotions have been mine over the past year.
    In short I got an injury at work that has kept me from running pretty much since last January! I agree with you on only other runners can understand what it's like to be in this situation! I have been out for 11 months and counting and had to cancel over a dozen planned marathons this year.
    I had to wear the boot that went up to my knee for 10 weeks, and I just finished my transition out of it and began PT, when last Monday I find out that during the transition I tore a tendon that may put me back at square 1.. (I find out in a week for sure).
    Anyhow, I only mention my situation to let you know I totally feel where you are coming from and I completely understand your pain! It's tough, but the only thing good that has come out of all of this for me is, I think when I do get back into it I will train better and smarter, and just be smarter all around with my fitness and how I push myself even out of the running shoes:( Hope you heal quick and 2014 is a much much better year of running for you!!!

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    1. YIKES that's a long time! I sure hope you didn't tear the tendon!! Thank you so much for sharing. And yes, when we heal, I bet we both train smarter. I plan to incorporate more cross training and strength training into my routine for sure!

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  4. Take it slow and always be thankful. Coming from Fitness Friday,visit my blog too! thanks

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  5. I had one injury this year and while it totally sucked at the time looking back I finally realized what I was supposed to learn and I realized I am stronger than I think. Great read. Being injured and not running is such a roller coaster of emotions. I think there are often times when the mental side of running is so much harder than the physical.

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    1. True! I'm trying to look at this as a learning experience instead of getting depressed because I'm sitting on the couch while my friends are out running.

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  6. I was at a holiday party last night & was asked, "since you can't run, do you dream about it?"
    My response, "all the time" & smiled.
    Stay strong Amy & run in your dreams until you can safely run again.

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    1. Thank you.. and I'll be running in my dreams :)

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