April Update: Temporarily Sidelined

from Run Happy, Run Fierce

To be honest, this blog is a reminder to myself. It is the rational side of my brain speaking rather than the crazy irrational side. It is a written reminder to myself that I am not invincible and injuries are a part of the process when you take new risks in training.

Last Monday morning I was running and something along my fibula started to hurt. It wasn’t getting any better but being the crazy person I am, I kept running…for 15 miles. Initially I thought that it was tendonitis in my perineal but after two days of no running, I gave it a 10 minute “test” run and it was BAD. I had very little to no pain walking but as soon as I tried to run (or walk down stairs), I had a horrible pain right above my ankle bone (not sure what the scientific term is). I had our athletic trainer look at it and he was pretty convinced that tendonitis was not the culprit of my pain but instead a stress reaction or fracture in my fibula. Now I am waiting (not so patiently) another week to get a MRI so that I know for sure what it is.

What I do know is:

  1. I can NOT run.
  2. I can not change my situation so I’ve got to make the most out of the next few weeks.
  3. There is always a silver lining in every life circumstance and I’ve outlined a few below.

New goals

There have been things that I’ve wanted to add to my training for some time now but instead I have stuck to my normal running and 10 minute core routine. I really hate the weight room- basically because I feel like I’m in a foreign country in it- but I know that I have weaknesses that can be addressed by spending some time in there every week. So now that I won’t be running 120 miles/week for some time, these next few weeks are going to be the perfect time to target my weaknesses and start strengthening them in the training room and weight room.

New sense of gratitude

About 5 weeks ago, I actually wished an injury upon myself because I felt stuck and was lacking the motivation to run. Obviously I didn’t actually want an injury but I thought that if I was forced to take a break, that would allow me to take an emotional break that I really needed. I was going through the motions of being a runner but really wasn’t grateful for the opportunities. Whether I have to take off another 2 weeks or 4 weeks, I am confident in saying that I will be eager and grateful to put my running shoes back on.

Focus on being a great coach and friend

April is a very busy month for me both as a coach and as a person. It’s prime racing season for outdoors but it is also the month that my best friend is getting married. Squeezing in a double between the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner would probably be frowned upon even though she is a runner. Traveling 14 hours in a weekend by bus, standing outside 20+ hours at a track meet and being on your A game coaching for 2 days straight is emotionally and physically draining. As much as I hate not being able to run, I am less tired (even though cross training is still hard) and I have more time to invest in my athletes, friends and family.

This past week has reminded me that I really really love coaching—running brings me a sense of joy and watching my athletes succeed in the sport brings a more fulfilling sense of joy than my own running accomplishments.

Injuries suck but they are not the end of the world. If your mind is in a good place, the comeback will be a lot easier when you’re finally back on your feet running.

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