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Strangely at Peace

I am oddly at peace with my injury.  I don’t know how to explain it but I’m not devastated.  It’s a strange feeling honestly because I’ve never sat with such a serious injury and been in a good place in my life.  That being said I’m doing everything I can to recover.   I want to recovery quickly, appropriately and in a healthy manor.  If everything heals appropriately, I may be able to return to running next month.  When  I do return to running I’m not going to rush anything nor am I going to stress about returning. I’m not going to immediately sign up for multiple races and demand a comeback for the crappy running I had for 6 months.  Using that method, I’ll just be demanding my return to being injured.

When I first got injured in June, I was devastated.  I was upset that I was having some sort of arch pain.  While it wasn’t as serious of an injury I was more upset than I am now.  After I recovered in mid July, I still wasn’t confident in my training.  It almost felt as if I was going through the motions and while nothing felt bad…nothing felt extremely good either.  I haven’t had a race I can say I’m happy with since April.  Broad Street in May wasn’t bad but it was the last race I can say I was happy with the result.  In running, we cycle through good months and bad months, even good years and bad years.  It’s the name of the game.

Two weeks ago when I woke up and seemed to be in a lot of pain, I was fairly confident of what that pain was.  It felt bone related, despite having completely injury free runs.  So when the doctor told me”you have a minor stress fracture”, I wasn’t surprised.  I was upset but not devastated.

I know that this injury will pass.  When a bone breaks, it heals.  It takes 1-2 months depending on the break, but for a small bone break or fracture, it does heal.  It means waiting the appropriate amount of time and knowing that your running is lifelong not dependent on a single day, week, month or year.  I haven’t always had this attitude but it has come with getting older and running more. 

A lot of people have noted that they are surprised I am not more upset with everything going on in my life and I honestly cannot tell you why I’m not.  I truly do believe it has to do with a lot of friends and family reaching out to me.  Keeping busy and keeping focused on other aspects of life (family, friends, other hobbies) keeps me occupied and not focused on wishing I was more healed.  I don’t sit there and dwell on the fact I’m injured, I look forward to the point I’m not.  I haven’t found myself whining on the internet feeling hopeless and asking for pity for others because quite frankly I don’t feel pity for myself.  I used to feel like I needed sympathy from others when I was injured but then I realized having other hobbies, interests and activities to do keeps me more happy than the sorrys, and awe’s I would get by complaining on the internet (or outside of the internet).

 Do I wish I didn’t have a stress fracture?  Of course.  

Is it the end of the world?  No, there are much more serious issues.  

I cannot really explain why I’m at peace with this injury.  I honestly think it’s because I had had such a crappy training cycle that it seemed like taking even more time off from running was truly what I need.  While I wasn’t running with any injuries, I wasn’t running happy.  I was running with a mental injury, I suppose.  Hindsight is always 20/20 though.

Looking back there isn’t much I really would change about my training.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to pinpoint what caused my injury but I never felt that break or pain.  I never felt an injury coming on so I don’t know what I would change.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been surprisingly at peace during major life changes?

Do you have a story about a friend being there for you?  Do share.

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23 responses

  1. Yes, I think that because you weren’t feeling great about your training that the injury somehow seems to make sense, or even provides some relief that you can forget about running for a little bit and recharge. By the time you heal you’ll be mentally ready to start training again and with a better outlook.

  2. I think many people feel it’s the end of the world if they get an injury because they have nothing else. You have others hobbies which is important and obviously healthy. To only focus on one thing is recipe for disaster. Also, you have great family and friends who love you too much to help not let you get in a funk just because you cannot run right now. 🙂

  3. I used to get very upset at anything that sidelined me from running, but now that I’ve been running a few years, I realize that running is a long term thing and I’ll be right back at it as soon as I’m better. Love your perspective!

  4. I agree with the other commenters that you have a great perspective. It’s funny because I’m currently just getting over an injury (shin splints) and while I was injured I was grumpy and annoyed. I started cycling and was a grumpy cyclist until I realised I actually quite enjoyed it. My husband and me went out for a 41 mile cycle on Sunday and it rocked my world! If I hadn’t have got injured I would never have found that I enjoyed cycling so much! I think it’s all about just taking what life throws at you and working it in a way that makes life not suck so much 😉

  5. First off–sorry you are hurt. It does suck, no matter what. But you are taking SUCH a fantastic attitude with it. That will help it heal faster, too, I swear (zen runner words!). And can I say that the BEST thing I have ever done is come back super slowly this time, with no races on the horizon? I’m just running, not training, and I think I am the happiest I’ve ever been with my running. I’ll get back to racing eventually, but this has been a fantastic way to go about it. I highly recommend it!

  6. I too have been strangely at peace with my stress reaction. Sure it’s frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world. I don’t think I could have said this two years ago, but it’s where I’m at now. I’m doing my stretches and strengthening and that’s all I can do while I heal. I find it’s the little things friends do for you. One of my very good friends and running buddies asked if my dog needed to be taken for a run while I can’t. I almost teared up at that. I shouldn’t be surprised as I know she’d do anything for me, but it still meant a lot. Keep up the positive attitude. I think it’s great.

  7. You have so much going on in your life right now! Having a break from running, even if from an injury, is really kind of needed at times I think. I think runners or any competitive type of athlete gets set on such a schedule with their fitness goals that it tends to be SUCH a huge priority and it’s always on your mind. You get time now to just enjoy wedding planning and working and seeing family/friends without having another goal at the end of it all. Besides, I feel like when you log so many miles, even though you’re out while a bone heals, it’s probably a good reset for the rest of your body too. I think getting a full rest is important (even though it’s KIND OF long, but hey, whatever!). All of this clearly comes from the girl who has no fitness goals anymore, haha. But I still think it’s true!

  8. I had a similar reaction to my stress fracture overall, but I can’t say the first couple of weeks were so zen-like. It was about 80% LOL I DID TWO RACES ON A BROKEN FOOT AND I HEART POOL RUNNING, and 20% laying in bed with the curtains drawn at 3 pm and eating M&Ms. Coming to terms with not doing some races I’d wanted to do helped, and recognizing that duh, there are a zillion marathons I can do a couple months later than originally panned, also helped. That probably is helping you quite a bit – it’s not like Wineglass is the only chance you’ll have to run 26.2 miles. You can heal up, cross train, set yourself up for a baller training cycle, and smash 42.2k another day.

  9. I love this post. I really appreciate you blogging, because I know I felt like it was the end of the world when I had my stress fracture and I wish I could have had your perspective back then. It sucks, there’s no doubt about that, but I kind of understand at the same time, the part about you feeling somewhat relief. Last year when I was stressed out about work and wedding planning, I was also trying to keep up with training for a big PR in the Fall (we got married Sept 20). Eventually, I got really sick for a few weeks and it forced me to stop running. I remember feeling relieved that I had an excuse to not train and just sleep. That’s when I realized that a Fall half was a bad idea and decided not to do one at all.

    • Oh gosh, I cannot even imagine that stress. Congrats on your anniversary early! I think it’s important to realize eventually this time will pass. I just hope sooner versus later 🙂

  10. There was a couple of points in these surgeries where I wasn’t devastated with bad news. A few times it was worse than others and I think the times (for me) were when I kind of knew in the back of my mind a break would be a good thing. Sometimes we just kind of let our egos get the best of us, so we’re afraid to take the breaks we need until something… well, breaks. haha. And for me, the times I knew I was just kind of going through the motions just to work out were the times I was less devastated when I found out I needed another surgery. Plus, after being injured so many times you learn the rest will be hard but once it is over, you can ALWAYS build back up. I think when you get your first couple of injuries as a runner you just think the world is over and your ability to function or build up mileage is DONE FOREVER (overdramatic). Haha! ❤ ❤ ❤ I'm happy you have a good support system!

  11. Being “OK” with the injury will hopefully help the recovery period pass quickly. You’re so young, so it’s not this was *the only* opportunity to run a marathon. Yes, it stinks the injury happened (and happened *now*), but like you said, there will be plenty of opportunities. The most important thing to do now is heal properly–and heal 100 percent.

  12. Your attitude is so admirable!! Keep it up girl.
    Like you, having my friends really there for me the past 4 months and the next 4 as well has been cruicial on how well I’m handling all the ‘chaos’ in my personal life. =)

  13. Yes I have, a few times, but for different reasons. The first time, it was because I was numbed by the S#*t storm raining down around me. The next time, it was because I knew that I was strong enough, and happy enough, to get through it. That I had people around me that supported me regardless. And that I believed in myself enough to know that things would be ok, even if they weren’t ok. You do your best, and what happens will be.

  14. I am at peace with my fracture now, it feels so much better to be positive and look forwards at recovery and new possibilities rather than look back at what I am missing out on.

    My partner, friends, workmates, and strangers have been there for me. When I was crossing the street on my crutches, trying to get over before the red light, two elderly women slowed down and walked with me and said ‘Don’t worry love, we won’t leave you behind’. Members at the gym have bought me flowers, offered to teach me to swim, and shouted me coffee.

    The masters women in my running club have been networking with friends and getting people who have had the same injury as me to email me or meet up for coffee to help me through it and offer advice on recovery.

    It is a very humbling experience to have to rely on people and ask for help, and it has made me feel incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such a caring bunch of people.

  15. Sorry to hear about your injury just now. You have a lot going on in your life, wedding planning, recent engagement, etc,etc. There will be a time in your life always for running, but now you have other great things to focus on…like planning the best wedding ever! I hope you heal quickly for sure.

  16. wow I just stumbled onto your blog and LOVE this post so much I had to comment. this is amazing, i love this positive attitude! it’s really inspiring to read someone who is very fit and experienced share that it’s ok to let yourself heal. i’m totally taking this on as some advice – i have been ignoring pains in my leg for too long, i know better. and for what? if it hurts then why do it, right? thank you for the great insight and reminder 🙂

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