The past 13 months have been challenging. Spend 10 minutes talking to me about running and I immediately delve into how amazing it is; my exciting half marathon in 2013 and then inevitably conversation turns to “the injury.” A tibial stress fracture meant going from 13-mile runs to 2-mile runs. Running two minutes, walking two minutes, etc.
The definition of frustration.
But over time I was running again. It was maybe just three and four miles on a good day. But it was a run.
Until my grand accomplishment two Sundays ago––when Andy got me out on the esplanade and we ran a comfortable, fun, enjoyable five miles.
My longest run in 13 months.
I was enthralled.
And then I woke up to a sore leg that Monday.
And then I ran on TWO painful shins Wednesday.
How could I have re-triggered the stress fracture so quickly? And how in the world could I now have symptoms of another one in my right leg?
To say that the end of last week I felt defeated was to paint a pretty accurate picture.
Turned out that my reporting assignment this past weekend would be both torture and exactly what I needed: I was covering the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half-Marathon and Festival.
That meant a day of interviews with Runner’s World editors. An interview with elite runner Shalane Flanagan. Seminars. Shoe workshops. And of course, watching thousands of runners conquer one of the most iconic running landmarks in the running community.
I got some of the best feelings of:
– Companionship. These people know how I feel.
– Encouragement. (This was the best consolation ever on an injured runner having to rest.)
– Reassurance. I’m not a total dummy for hurting myself. It’s part of the package.
One of the takeaways I sadly but also comfortingly took away from the seminars I visited was that injuries are a part of the package. You just have to know how to best try to prevent and then also best try to treat.
My current plan is a full week of rest. That week is up tomorrow. In the meantime I’ve retreated to my November Project Deck workouts since they’re less weight-bearing and still a good strengthening workout.
From here out, I’m going to do better about writing about running. When I’m intentional with running and recovery, I think that’s when I’m healthier and safer about it as well.
Grad school, you’ve been great for so many things! But you’ve been terrible for schedule and routine.
How do you keep consistent with your recovery plan? Any tips for coming back from an injury the right way? Have you been to the doctor multiple times about your running injury?
I’m seriously considering a visit back to the specialist–but I think I’m going to try to rehab it myself (the right way) first.