Dealing with Injuries and Getting Back in the Game
After 3 weeks of hobbling about (and suffering from a terrible case of FOMO), my foot has finally healed enough for me to start running again! Woohoo
The December break was fun, but it also left me with an injured foot. I tried everything to speed up recovery – ice, rest, ibuprofen, more ice – but having the patience to allow the healing to happen is probably the toughest part.
In the interim, I changed up my workout and started swimming more frequently in preparation for the Bridge House Mile. My biggest fear has always been that I would lose a chunk of fitness during the time away from running, so the swimming helped ease my mind on the amount of cardio I was getting done.
Still, having to accept your place on the sidelines while everyone else is out getting lost in the mountains is a bitter pill to swallow. What’s even worse is when everyone is comparing notes about how well their Two Oceans prep is going while you just nod and smile. Yes, I know you can run far, how about you stop bragging now?!?
Well, the wait is finally over and I hit the pavement last Thursday. I made it through a 6km run without any discomfort in my foot which was AWESOME!!!
I like to believe that I am rational and that I genuinely didn’t expect to pick up where I left off – but I just couldn’t help analyzing my GPS unit…
I averaged a full minute slower per kilometer than my pre-injury pace. While I ran it was hard to ignore the thoughts of how heavy, slow, sweaty and fat I felt. That first post-injury run was a hard slog. Be prepared to hate on life a little bit while you’re out there
It was rough, but knowing that I can now get back to training brought a massive smile to my face. Plus, now I can take part in the subtle bragging when everyone else compares Oceans prep notes 🙂
I found this video from Strava after the run and it helped me remember why I need to keep going:
In a couple of weeks I’ll be back out there and on track. The plan now is to do a slow build up in distance and speed will eventually come.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when you’re training. Mental preparation for dealing with injuries is something that is necessary to develop. The weeks you need to recover can bring you down and (for some) even result in falling off the wagon completely.
What helped for me was:
- Being able to talk (complain) to someone – my wife had many an earful of my frustrations while I couldn’t run
- Shifting the focus elsewhere – I started a swim training plan and started working on improving other weak areas e.g. pull-ups
- Looking for some motivational videos on YouTube (like the one above) to get you over your short term funk helps a lot
If you have any recommendations / tips / experience on how you overcame those mental struggles while being injured please feel free to share in the comments section below.
P.S. I found this cool article about The Mental Side of Athletic Injuries which I recommend you check out
P.P.S. I’ve also recently joined the Strava community, so feel free to follow my profile here