I've hit a bit of a bump on my running journey, and I'm not terribly happy about it.
My journey has been a literal two steps forward, one step back. I never thought I'd be a runner. You see, when you are asked to complete a mile in elementary school for the Physical Fitness Assessments and you do so in 32 minutes, one might start to believe they don't have a strong future in running.
But over the years I've worked at it. This Fall, after training for several months, I started doing 5k's. I was excited and happy and started dreaming of running a few races every month.
Then I promptly fell down the steps with Bug and twisted my knee.
This set me back for a few weeks.
So as to not injure myself, when I gently eased myself back into running. I'll admit, it took a while to get back "on track," so to speak. But after Christmas, I was running regularly and increasing my distance (I even added a long run once a week! Go me!). So excited by my progress, I gained the courage to throw my name in for the Broad Street Run lottery.
And won a place for the race.
Then I promptly injured myself.
This time, my injury was not due to a fall down the steps. Rather, I ran one run (ONE RUN) in old, unsupportive shoes.
(Yes, all you runners out there can scold me now).
I'm not sure what I was thinking. But I did it. And the next day, I had a pain in my left foot that I knew was no bueno. It was bad enough that 2 days of the pain led me to call my primary care physician, who sent me for x-rays (then didn't call me for several days). I was starting to worry that there was a serious sprain, fracture or tear. Not what a runner wants. A few days more and the pain was the same, so my gut told me to call a specialist. At the encouragement of a friend, I called a local orthopedist who saw me later in the week.
An x-ray and MRI later, I learned a few things about my injury:
1) I had no tear, sprain or fracture (this is good).
2) The tendons on the outside of my foot were inflamed (not great, but not the worst news).
3) I needed to refrain from running for another 3 weeks to let the injury heel.
I knew in my heart this advice was coming. I had already stopped running for 2 weeks, and it felt like an eternity. Although the injury was feeling better, it still flared up from time to time. I knew it, yet it still disappointed me to get the news.
5 weeks with no running.
5 weeks of setbacks on all the progress I'd made.
5 weeks of ruining the training program for the Broad Street RUn.
I've been thinking about this a lot. And here's the thing: injuries happen. You try to be wise and do all the right things so they don't. But even the best of runners face injuries. Some people run through them. But as hard as it is for me to sit out these few weeks, I'd rather lay low and let my injuries heal properly then to hurt myself worse and potentially lose hope of ever running again.
I know that if I can heal these tendons, I'll be able to ease back into running. Will I be ready for Broad Street. Maybe. Maybe not. Will I compromise my body to get there? Nope. I want to have a nice long life of running. And a big part of that lifestyle is listening to my body and treating it right. It might mean not running while my body heals. But if it means I'll be able to continue to run in the future?
It's so worth it.
I'd love to hear from you:
What running injuries have you endured?
How did you work to heal?
How did you ease back into running?
Leave a comment and share your stories!
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