Thursday, October 15, 2015

What *Not* to do When Injured

July was the beginning of the build up of running mileage from my average of only 20 per month, previously. I ran 40 in July, 55 in August, and I was set to run nearly 70 miles in September when I realized my sore legs were more than just sore and tired. I was flirting with an injury if I didn't take time off.

So, I took a few weeks off and I learned a few things that I wanted to share with y'all! 

Don't-cry for too long....
 Yes, I might have shed a few tears. I was so disappointed after working so hard...too hard...that I was ready to just spend a few days in bed crying. But that can't happen when you have seven children. So, remember this is a season and no injury should last forever. Cry those tears of frustration then decide to move on. 

  Don't-wallow, gorge, binge eat B&J's, etc....
Emotional eating can go hand in hand with crying for days on end.... some of us cope with stress via filling our mouth. Identify your trigger (sadness/frustration at being sidelined by an injury) and seek to replace the negative habit of emotional eating with a positive habit. Call a friend, paint a picture, visit a nursing home, anything positive you can do instead of stuffing your face! 

Don't-give up....
Its really easy to just throw in the towel and walk...er hobble...away from this crazy thing called running but don't give up just yet. Find out exactly what is wrong, what you *can* do about it, and make a plan to move forward. 

Do-find the positive....
There are so many benefits to being a glass half-full type person. Will you suddenly have extra time to hang with the kiddos? Will you finally be able to sleep in past 5 a.m. on a Sat. morning? Will you get the opportunity to try a new activity while you rest your weary legs? 

Do-strengthen other areas....
Every runner can benefit from spending time strengthening areas of the body that are not injured. If your knee is hurting it can be helpful to work on the hammies or quads. If your ankle or shins are hurting it can be beneficial to spend time working on stretching and strengthening your calves. Be in tune with your body and consider having an assessment of your stride done to determine if a change in basic mechanics might solve the problem.

Do-cross train....
Picking another activity, one that is less stressful on the body or complements your goals for healing, can keep your endurance boosted and your mind active. For us runners, cycling and swimming are at the top of the list for continuing activity that is less stressful on the body but can preserve your current fitness level. 

Do-find a new love....
In the midst of finding new ways to stay active you just might find a new love! I've been flirting with the idea of a triathlon for about a year now and after my first Half Marathon I just might take up cycling and open water swimming to prep for my first Tri. Who knows, maybe I'll find a new activity to love! 

How do you handle the setback of an injury? 
 

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