Being injured is not fun. Especially when it takes you away from the thing you most love doing. For me, that isn’t just running, but it’s general fitness.
I’m not going to lie. Not being able to exercise made me feel depressed, stressed, and moody.
Exercising is my outlet. It was my “me time”.
Getting my heart rate up not only made me feel physically good, but it also keeps me mentally sharp and fueled my creative juices.
Injury can happen to anyone at any time, and they always seem to happen when you least expect it.
Injury time line
- 22nd October: Super slow trail run with Kayleen. Ended the day with a fever and ended up sick with a cold.
- 31st October: Easy 6km run. It was slow but was happy to be back out running. Back into the training plan.
- 7th November: Easy 7km run. While getting ready for work, had a coughing fit and heard something pop in my back.
- 9th November: Hill Repeats 8km. My slowest to date. My back still a little sore.
- 10th November: Pain in my back, and in my glute. The pain seems to be getting worse. Made the decision that if it wasn’t better by the morning to see a physio.
- 11th November: Shooting pain not only in my back, but glute, and pins and needles all down my right leg. Booked into the physio immediately.
- 21st November: Slow easy 5km run, approved by the physio. Knew that I would not be able to run the 21km at Afterglow
- 26th November: Ran/Walked the 12km at Afterglow.
- 29th November: No more pins & needles.
- 30th November: Physio happy with my improvements.
So while I have only been injured for about 6 weeks, I have learned a lot about myself in that time frame.
Four Things Injury Have Taught Me
Knowing the difference between general tightness/soreness to actual pain
Always listen to your body. It has this amazing capability to know the difference between tightness/soreness to actual pain.
When you reach the peak of your training plan it’s normal to feel or have general tightness and soreness. It’s when that tightness develops into pain that you have an issue.
Listen to your body, if you are starting to feel pain, and the pain is not improving seek a professional opinion. Don’t hope that it will get better.
Seek professional advice
Whether it is a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, are whoever you choose, tell them EVERYTHING, even if you think it’s nothing, the more information they have, the better recovery plan they can give you.
While I had pain in my back and glute, I also had pins and needles radiating down my leg, with numbness in my foot (but no pain there).
If you look at my injury timeline I knew by the end of the week I was not improving.
Seek early intervention. The earlier the better, or you could cause more damage and be out for longer.
Do EXACTLY what your therapist tells you to do
Even if you hate doing it. If you want to recover faster, do exactly what they tell you to do.
On my rehab plan, I have clams. I hate clams, but I do them because she tells me to do them, and well they are working.
Without sticking to the plan, there is no way I would be back out there running.
I’m back running because of my rehab plan.
Focus on what you can do
While injury sucks, it definitely has given me a new perspective.
Rather than focus on what I couldn’t do, I focused on what I could do.
They were my rehab exercises and stretches. While it wasn’t much at least it was something.
My injury is improving, and that’s simply because I am doing the exercises my physio tells me to do every day.
I no longer have the pain in my back, but my glute is still tight (but not as bad as before). The pins and needles have gone, as has the numbness.
So while my running kilometres will be low for the rest of the year, I’m ok with that.
Sometimes you have to accept that things are the way they are.
Have you been injured?
If so, how long did it take you to recover?