This week, my “on this day app” showed me seven years ago, I had my official diagnosis of a tibia stress fracture. The injury taught me running isn’t everything and you need to have hobbies outside of the sport. It was my first real running injury. The diagnosis came a month after the actual break. I think the original diagnosis (with a clean X-Ray) was tendinitis.
Stress fractures rarely show up on X-Rays. In fact, I’ve never had a stress fracture that did show up within the first weeks of the break.. I tell people that X-rays are the gateway to MRI’s.
I know exactly what caused my tibia to break. At the time, I was running all of my easy runs too fast. I ran between 7-7:10 pace every day. I was “all in with running”, which is drastically different than my running isn’t everything mindset now.
You can read about my running history on my running about page, so I’ll spare you all of those details.
In summary, at the time my PRS were much slower. I was always tired, and my training was dumb. I was a new runner (I had been running off and on for about a year), so I didn’t know the importance of easy runs. I didn’t know that running isn’t everything and as a young kid I thought you needed to be all in.
Most runners go through the phase of running in cheap shoes, running all their runs to fast, and then getting injured. The first injury usually teaches you to have outside hobbies and that running isn’t everything. Heck running isn’t everything for most professional runners and you’ll see many with outside hobbies.
On that day 9 years ago, I sat in the doctor’s office, crying my eyes out as they read the results. My dad (an accomplished runner himself) was sitting there, probably rolling his eyes.
He looked me square in my 21-year-old face and said: “Hollie, it’s just running, get ahold of yourself. Running isn’t everything”
I’ll never forget that statement of running isn’t everything because at the end of the day it is…just running. Races, events, and running will always be there. I don’t regret the injury, and I don’t regret any of my injuries because they have all taught me something. You can read my full injury history here.
In 2011, my tibial stress fracture taught me not to train like a moron.
In 2014, my second metatarsal fracture taught me I can’t outrun injury. Nipping things in the bud is essential. If I rested a week, I wouldn’t have sat out 2+ months. You will never outrun a stress reaction, and they turn into a fracture.
In 2016, my ankle fracture taught me I have a lot more hobbies than running. I like to run, and I blog about running but I like a lot of other things including hiking and just being active. I mean one of my first “real” hiking adventures and I was doing yoga. JK…yoga is not my thing.
That being said, of course, there were hard times and tears shed but running isn’t everything.
I’ve had multiple doctors visits to make sure my body is healthy, and it is. I have the right amount of calcium, vitamin D, and I get my period every month. My injuries have been either overuse or form. I stress my metatarsals with how I run, so I need to be overly cautious in changing shoes as well as running too much. It took me a long time to realize that but better late than never.
So that leads me to where the post is actually going…
I don’t rely a lot on paces and for the most part train for time versus pace. I’ll never be a runner who cares about an 8:30 mile versus 8:33.
I don’t see the point to log pace and lose sleep over an easy run.
(Since my tibia break, I’ve never had the issue of going to fast for recovery and easy). I want to know that data for races or workouts, but I just listen to my body on easy run or recovery runs.
I’m not lazy, and I do work hard. I don’t feel like I have to prove that to anyone because I know it for myself. If you cut corners in your training, you are only hurting yourself. I’m not hurting “X the Instagrammer” because I’m lying about workouts, runs, or races…I’m just hurting me.
So where am I with Running Now?
This summer I have been running easy and doing workouts when I can.
I am a high mileage runner and I thrive on high mileage and racing all of the time but I absolutely can’t do that year-round. I’ll injure myself or burn myself out. I’ve learned that lesson too many times. This summer I put the brakes on and while I’m running 45-60 minutes and longer runs a couple of days a week I’m not hitting double digits every day. I will do that again, hopefully in the fall, but I won’t that mistake of doing that year round and hurting myself. Sure it’s boring because I’m not racing every weekend, and I could put more effort into my training logs.
That being said, I am in shape but I’m not in peak shape, and your body can’t be year round. If you asked me to race a half marathon right now, I think I could run somewhere around 1:30 but my PR is 1:22. To get to 1:22, I do have to up training and mileage. I have to run hard, fine-tune fitness, and train for a goal.
Right now I’m running the Under Armour 25k trail race in Killington, this weekend. A completely different goal than a PRing half marathon or having any road goal. My goal is literally to finish healthy. I do plan to train for a goal (road) race in the fall, but the other component is I’m often at the mercy of my husband’s schedule. We have a few more things to sort out, but I do plan to train for a fall goal race. Once I have a decision and bib for a race, the blogging world will be the first to know (well maybe my parents).
This is one of my longest posts about life, running, and everything in between so thank you for staying with me if you did. I never really anticipated posting it but the timing just seemed right.
Thanks for posting this, Hollie. I’ve been struggling with injuries off and on for years and actually am battling a toe injury right now. Haven’t been “diagnosed” with anything yet, but I’ve wised up a bit over time and have just been walking and doing all low impact since the pain. I am to the point where I just want to move my body in whatever way I feel is right at the time. Whether that is running, walking, biking, lifting…ANYTHING. I am simply thankful to be able to do SOMETHING..no matter what that something is. 🙂
I agree LeAnne, and I completely understand. Sometimes I just appreciate the ability to do something…whatever that something is.
hollie i love reading your posts and I never comment so I thought I’d say hello! you inspire me, keep writing and being YOU!
Thank you Sharon and I appreciate you taking the time to comment! I hope you have a great week of running:-)
I love this perspective! Great post
Thank you! I fall into the trap of always comparing myself to others…and I can’t be at peak all the time. Running is my hobby and a passion but you are so right – there is so much more out there in life. Great reading!
I think we all fall guilty of the trap at least once or twice. There is so much more out there and I try to remember that as well.
I wish I could get myself to comment more because I read every post you write. 🙂 I like that you are realistic, honest, funny, and true to yourself. You inspire me a lot. 😀
Oh my gosh, Jessica, you never have to feel like you need to comment. I appreciate you reading and stopping by. Are you training for anything now?
I’m actually slowly rebuilding my base after being out with a femoral stress reaction. I’ve been dealing with it since last November because it was misdiagnosed as a quad strain for months :X I’m running 3 miles at a time now at a slower pace and SO GRATEFUL for every step, rain or shine, dark or light, hot or cold. Working hard and forcing myself to not pick things up too quickly. I love running. <3
Best blog you have written….I have been injured all summer long with not one, but two separate metatarsal breaks. Both from probably overdoing it.
By the way – I did not know you ran Phoenix/Mesa this year but I did as well.
That stinks about the metatarsals Roy and I hope you are able to heal quickly. Did you run the half or full for Phoenix? I ran the full a few years ago and this year I ran the half.
Hi from Seattle! I’ve been reading your blog for a while but this is my first time to comment, and this seemed like a perfect post to comment on! I keep coming back to your blog because you are such a real and honest blogger. Posts like this one and seeing your weekly logs and knowing that you keep easy runs easy helps me keep my own running in perspective. Thanks for keeping it real! And I’m totally jealous of all the diners that are around you.
I appreciate you commenting Marie. My brother lives out in Seattle and it’s beautiful out that way, there is so much hiking and good restaurants. Not too many diners, but I feel like I did find one. Are you training for anything?
Loved this post and thanks for the perspective, it is so true. I sometimes get caught up in the little details (being upset about skipping a run or being slower than I expected) but you are so right, who cares!
Thank you for stopping by Eveline and I appreciate it. I always try and remember…will I actually remember this in a week or two. The answer is probably not.
We do read your stuff! 😁 x
Ha, thank you Berenice! I appreciate you taking the time to comment 🙂
You are awesome, that is all.
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