Tag Archives: Running

What Not to Do When Returning to Running After an Injury

Follow these What NOT to Do When Returning To Running After an Injury rules so you can get back to running for good! | happyfitmama.com

By now, I’m sure you have all seen I’m back to running. OMG – it feels absolutely marvelous!

But I’m really not back to running.

Or at least not back to running like I had been before my injury.

My current state of running is oh so very different. But of course, it’s going to be. I mean – HELLO! – I couldn’t run a step 2 months ago without wincing in pain.

About a week and a half ago, I was discharged from physical therapy. I had been run/walking for approximately 3 weeks with no return of pain. At my last appointment my PT had me do a series of tests to check out my strength and flexibility. For the most part, my strength and flexibility has doubled since starting Iontophoresis. Yay! The biggest part that I need to work on is confidence in my foot. Jumping on my left foot makes me hesitant. I’m afraid it’s going to give out and crumble underneath me.

What NOT to do when returning to running after an injury.

When I had my first taste of running again after 6 months off, I got hungry. Really hungry.  And greedy. In my head I was looking at running all the miles and all the races.

Maybe I’ll be able to run a 5k at Halloween? Maybe I’ll do a Turkey Trot? Maybe I’ll be able to do a half marathon in early December? What marathon should I run in the Spring?

My crazy runner brain took over! I wanted it all.

Whoa Nelly! Just stop right there!

I need to STOP looking forward. I need to stay in the mile that I’m in. If it works in a race situation, it will work in returning to running after an injury, right?

The last thing I need to do is to re-injure myself, or worse yet, get a new injury, so I’m *trying* to following what not to do when returning to running after an injury.

Don’t go too fast, too long or too quickly. Instead, my mantra will be – Go slow, go short. Increase gradually. Patience will hopefully be my BFF. Don’t forget about cross training – it will only make you stronger.

Don’t stop physical therapy exercises! I’m pretty diligent about my PT exercises although not all of them as often as I should. With my long list of injuries from the past year, I’ve got a LOT of exercises. Just because I’m feeling good, they still need to be done like it’s my job. I need to remember that they are also preventive exercises!

Don’t compare pre-injury to post-injury. There was a time, not long ago, when I could run a 20 miler and have zero leg fatigue at the end. Now, I run 3 miles total (with a 1/4 mile walk break in between) and my legs are sore for two days. It saddens me to think of how much endurance and strength I’ve lost. I know eventually I’ll return to “old me” workouts and times. In the meantime, I need to only focus on how much I’ve progressed in this “training” cycle. Because injury recovery really is what I’m training for right now.

Don’t ignore injury symptoms. Last week, my left calf was feeling really tight which made my Posterior Tib Tendon feel tight. It made me nervous, so I backed off from running entirely for a few days. I foam rolled, used The Stick and stretched like crazy. Thankfully, everything is feeling back to normal now. I’ve learned that if I feel any of my old injury symptoms AT ALL, I need to address it. It may mean not running or even take going back to the distance/time that I was running two weeks ago. It’s not the END. Most likely, I’m avoiding anything serious by catching it early and avoiding any type of regression.

Bosu Single leg Balance | happyfitmama.com

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from being injured: Be grateful for every step that you can run. A 1/4 mile of running lifts my soul and brightens my day. It does more for me mentally and physically than any other activity. Nothing compares! Don’t get greedy and want more, more, more. More will come with time.

I look forward to all the runs that I can do. I know what it’s like not to run so I’m holding on to every stride I can take. And if you are wondering what it’s like, you can read all about it HERE.

I remind myself daily that this is temporary. I will be back to “my old self” one day. Hopefully, a much stronger, less injury prone, self.

What other What NOT to do’s am I missing?

High Five Friday

High 5 Friday with good pics and links from the week. | happyfitmama.com

Happy High Five Friday!

Not sure what I’m talking about? Find all the details HERE!

5 From Instagram – Are you following me? Please do!

1. I’m a master pumpkin carver. Actually that’s a lie. Ron is. I don’t have the patience for intricate details in pumpkin. Give me a few triangles and a square mouth and I’m good.

2. I’ll say it again – It feels so good to be back to running!

3. Mid afternoon chocolate craving crushed. And my bones are stronger for it with Adora Calcium. I like to take pack an organic Dark and Milk Chocolate disk in my lunchbag at work. That way I’ll have a sweet afternoon treat waiting for me. And I won’t have to think about raiding the vending machines. Adora Calcium is made from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa. And now it has even more vitamin D3 for enhanced absorption, two of the chocolate disks provide 100% of the daily recommended value of calcium. That’s a win in my book!

4. First time attempting side crow pose for the #RunnersLoveYogaBalance Instagram challenge. I kind of dig it. Although there’s no way my legs were going to straighten!

5. When your lunch matches the ground outside, you must share it on Instagram.

5 Things

1. The First Person to Run a Marathon Without Talking About It – I’m sure everyone has seen this, but it’s too funny not to share. “She had something I’ve never seen in a marathoner – modesty.” hahaha!

2. Positively Awesome – Motivational posters, quotes on social media like Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram – this is how it should be.

3. My Kid Can’t Eat This – The Ridiculousness of Toddlers – For all the parents out there. You will laugh. You will cry. You will know you are not alone. The struggle is real.

4. The Ultimate Starting Line – Love this honest post from professional runner, Steph Bruce. So much of it hit home with me. “We all have a little dust that needs to be brushed off whether coming back from an injury, pregnancy, or just a mental hiatus from running. How do we do it? We remain relentless in our pursuit of goals no matter the obstacles.”

5. Mile Markers: New Normal – Six months off from running is a long time. It’s like I’m a newbie runner all over again. How did running 3 miles become tiring? As usual, Kristin says the right thing, at just the right time.

High 5 Friday Banner  happyfitmama.com

The Emotions of a DNF Six Months Later

Emotions froma DNF 6 months later. | happyfitmama.com

“You can come back next year.”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“You’ll come back stronger.”

Those are just a handful of the words of advice I’ve heard over the past 6 months. Well meaning statements. Definitely statements that were meant to make me feel better. I’m not faulting anyone for saying them. I’d probably say the exact same thing. People are just trying to help. But really, it doesn’t. I’ve been carrying around an anger and sadness inside of me ever since I walked off the course in Boston and got my first DNF.

You’d think after 6 months, I’d be OK with everything. I am better than I was 5 months ago, 4 months ago, 2 months ago and even a month ago. Maybe it’s because I’ve had to retell the story quite a lot over the past few weeks, that it’s fresh in my mind right now. So consider this my Thinking Out Loud on Wednesday rather than Thursday. It’s not easy for me to share my feelings, so bear with me on this one.

A DNF is tough to take. Hopefully, it’s my one and only one and I’ll never have to go through this again. It’s hard to say to friends, family and strangers that my best just wasn’t enough. It’s hard to swallow the bitter pill after spending months training and talking nonstop about your goals for that one moment in time. It amplifies when it’s Boston and you have a running blog that’s attached to every social media outlet possible. Everyone knows that this was supposed to be THE race for me.

Boston Marathon Finish LIne | happyfitmama.com

When the plan doesn’t go the way you had envisioned, well, you get angry.

My emotions range from anger to sadness. Feeling like a quitter. Feeling like a failure. Feeling lost. Feeling so not like myself. I know it’s just running, but c’mon – this was big. It’s not like I had a bad race and didn’t make my time goal. I didn’t even have a race. I walked off the course at mile freakin’ 8!

If that wasn’t horrible enough, I had to endure the horrible bus ride of shame to the finish line and then aimlessly wander the streets of Boston all while being congratulated for my great race, while I searched for my family. I didn’t want to talk about it. I was embarrassed and really didn’t want anyone to know what happened. Because of social media, it’s hard to not have everyone know exactly what you’re doing and what your goals are. It felt like others were expecting something from me, but the reality is, that the only person’s expectations I disappointed were my own. I still carry that around with me.

Maybe I would have gotten over it sooner if I had been able to get back to running rather than being on the sidelines. If I could have found another race of any distance, to erase the heartbreak I felt miles before Heartbreak Hill. But I couldn’t and I haven’t. Yet. I’m trying to use those memories from that shitty day to fuel my comeback. I’ve been told to just forget about that day. Move on. I’m trying but it’s hard. It’s a memory that will always be etched in my mind. I want to say my DNF does not define me but right now, I feel like it does. It’s part of my running history. It can hold me back or it can be another chapter in my book of running. The choice is mine but where do I go from here?

Sunrise | happyfitmama.com

I know we aren’t meant to succeed all the time. Sometimes good is not good enough. Sometimes things just happen for no good explanation. Maybe I’ll know the reason one day. Until then, I’ll be waiting and trying my hardest to never have to go through a DNF again.