An injury can be a real kick in the pants. Not only can they be painful but they can derail your training and racing plans as well as blow up your current fitness level. I’ve been struggling with an injury for nine months. I finally broke down and went to the doctor to find out that I, in fact, have hamstring tendonitis and a stress fracture in my hip. I have a prescribed 12-week journey with physical therapy. That means, hopefully, by August I’ll be running again… Pain-free… in the summer heat and humidity. I’ve never been more excited for sweaty, vomit inducing runs in all my life.
As I come to terms with this injury, I created a list of ways to help me maintain my sanity. Here are five ways to cope with a running injury.
Allow yourself a moment to grieve and be down in the dumps, but only for a specified period of time. Today I am actually participating in my own pity party and it’s going to be grand. I have fast food, ice cream, sweat pants, and tears on the agenda. Oh, it’s my party so I can most certainly cry if I want to. But here’s the caveat to the pity party. It does have a predetermined end time. I have allowed myself only one day to wallow in the despair of my unfortunate circumstances. Tomorrow I have to put on my big girl panties and get down to the business of making the best of this injury.
You may be on a workout restriction or you may have a reduced workout plan Whatever the reason allow yourself to get a bit more rest as your body recovers. I may have gone a little too far on this one and have turned off all of my alarms. I better look like Cindy Crawford with all the beauty rest I’ve been getting.
Netflix and Chill
Since there’s no need to wake up early, staying up late to binge watch Netflix is totally okay. I may not be running a marathon, but I sure am killing the Netflix marathon that has consisted of Girl Boss, Dave Chappelle, and re-watching The Office.
Find a Project
Throw yourself into a project. I hear many runners, myself included, say that they have a lot of pent up energy since they are injured and can’t run. Channel that extra energy into something that will bring you happiness and a sense of accomplishment. This could be painting, taking a class, playing an instrument, or home renovations. My project of choice has been home renovations. We have updated our laundry room and renovated a bathroom. My family is ready for me to start running again so that I’ll stop watching HGTV and our weekends can get back to normal. Here is the before picture of the laundry room. It has the 70s vibe and in a desperate need of a fresh coat of paint.
And here is the after.
Bring to your recovery the same dedication and planning you use with running. Make a recovery and return to running plan. Check off the days as you approach your goal. Do the work. Make sure your training plan is approved by your doctor, physical therapist, coach, or whoever you’re working with on your injury recovery. It’s important to get an expert’s input of your comeback plan so as to not further injure yourself. Starting next week I’ll begin work with my physical therapist to develop my recovery plan. That allows me plenty of time to fully enjoy my pity party and get in a better mood before tackling 12 weeks of PT.
Whatever your injury or reason for taking a break from running, I wish you the best and strong return to running.