Thoughts From an Injured Runner

Could it just be the Beatles 1 that’s put me in this good mood? Nope, it’s definitely me being almost okay with not being able to run, finally! Okay… that’s actually a lie, I did core work tonight and push-ups to exhaustion (weak 42) After 10 days of no exercise, talk about a mega endorphin rush and bringing the pain that my masochist mind has SO missed! I am still fretting about my knee, of course, but the pain is mostly gone and the swelling seems to be also. I can’t say that I’ve had a day where I noticed no stiffness or awkwardness yet, but I’m feeling confident that by the next professional look on Tuesday I will be given the go ahead to test it out. I hope the lesson here is just one on patience in rehabbing and getting proper rest and that I will learn not to hike on ice and move on; with only the two weeks off. For now, no more thinking about how bad it felt when I tried to run last week, banishing those thoughts!

On to more positive happenings! This past weekend was the Vermont City Marathon and I had so much fun spending it with a delightful family of Vermonters. (cliff notes: we only ate waffles once, and we did use a ton of real maple syrup) Burlington Vermont is beautiful, or would be anyway, if the area around it wasn’t so beautiful that it relegated Burlington to merely the ‘quite nice’ category. I tried out some cool eateries and had a surprisingly good time cheering on my friends, without being too insanely jealous. I did feel pretty morose about not running when the leaders went past, not that I’m a 2:20 guy, but it looked so fun to just cruise through the streets. It was nearly a complete consolation when I got to scream for my friends though, some of them first time marathoners! Grats to Mark, Kurt and Dick for completing that first one and doing it well! Makena and her family were fantastic hosts and real a pleasure to be around and Makena finished in a great time and then walked around like it was nothing afterwards! Impressive. Also, big ups to my club Greater Lowell Road Runners, we had 6 strong runners out there, proudly repping the Angry Chickens! Still awaiting official scoring results in the first year of the Club Competition, but I’m sure we’ll have placed well!

Lastly, time apart from anything is a perfect opportunity to evaluate that thing and this injury has been no different for my training. I’ve been so eager to get back to training that I know this injury is the only thing that could’ve convince me to actually take a break. That is one of the positives to take away from this. I planned on taking a two week rest after Boston, but ended up racing 16 miles through brutal mud and hills six days later (stupid) In trying to determine where my training is during this downtime I’ve lookes back to what I’ve done in the last 5 months. I put in more work between last December and Boston than I ever have in anything. Running 1600 miles in training for Boston and running 20 milers or more nearly every weekend, with hard workouts twice a week, not counting the long runs. I ran at paces I didn’t even dream of a year ago, because I decided to stop worrying and just believe I was that fitness level. Despite all that work and time invested, I don’t feel even a little burned out, just eager to get faster. I’m ready to re-commit to eating right, doing core work, training my mind and body as smart, and not just as hard, as I possibly can. I know that the key when returning from injury is to go slowly and carefully so you don’t end up sidelined again for even longer, but I so badly want to be back up to peak training and volume again. I’m ready for beast core/weight sessions and 100+ mile weeks with 2-a-days, whatever it takes to get there! The smart plan has a goal at the end of it, so I have to have a ‘there’ to work towards. Right now that goal is to be healthy and fit, so it is my primary concern. However, with the desire to get faster and stronger much more exciting, I’m going to set that goal too, I’m just not going to give it a delivery date of any sort until I start training again. I’m not going to share that goal, partly because it’s not clearly defined in my own mind yet and partly because I’m going to keep it private until I’ve actually put my training plan together and signed up for a race(s)

6 thoughts on “Thoughts From an Injured Runner

  1. Keep resting & I’m sure you’ll bounce back quickly. I have been surprised at how easy my runs have felt despite taking 6 weeks off (and having bronchitis for two of those). Of course, my goal race isn’t until October so I’m starting from scratch and only am doing 2 miles right now to work back up to 10!

      • I will be honest and say that my runs haven’t been as fast, but part of that is that I am really still working on healing my tendonitis so I am just letting my body pick the pace. I am only running 15-25 sec slower than my usual slow, conversational pace so I assume if I were to try and push myself I’d be right where I eventually hope to be.

      • I’ve certainly read lots of advice on starting slowly and carefully after injury or sickness setback so as to lower the risk of re-injury. Sounds like you are being very smart with it! Hopefully I can do the same when I start running and keep it comfortable. I know the temptation will be to push it right out of the gates!

  2. Think of this as refueling a totally different gas tank; the one that makes you hungry enough to do 20 milers when it’s -7 or 85 and humid, the one that pushes you through when you think you can’t take one more step. Glad you’re healing up and that you enjoyed Burlington.

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