Happy, happy Friday!
I went out for a slow, easy 4 mile run today (8:24 pace) and felt great! No leg pain whatsoever! I stopped at four miles because I did not want to push myself and aggravate my leg. It felt glorious though. I iced my leg when I got back just to be cautious.
During my week off of running I had time to think about my running and try to learn from my injury.
1. I truly love running. Taking a week off was absolutely torture for my mental health. However, taking a week off allowed me to really appreciate why I enjoy running and go back into it with that new appreciation. I even enjoyed getting hissed at by the geese thing morning. It’s the little things.
2. Listen to your body. If your body hurts please listen to it and stop what you are doing (or the activity that is hurting it). There is a difference in pain though, and most likely you already know that. Running a marathon is painful, but that is a different pain than what I experienced last week. You just need to know what should feel normal, and what is abnormal (such as sharp pain or a dull pain).
3. Eat right. Ninety-nine percent of the time I eat extremely healthy so this was not something I really learned over my week off, but something I paid even more attention to. Eating a greasy fast food burger is not going to help you like a plate full of vegetables and lean meat. Eating healthy helps to optimize your athletic performance and aids in recovery.
4. Sleep. Your body does most of its healing while you are sleeping. When I’m training I try to get 8-9 hours of sleep each night in order to let my legs rest and repair. If you are not getting enough sleep it will start to have negative impacts on your running (or any exercise).
5. There are other ways to exercise. What?! Yes, it is true- there are so many different ways to exercise! I started riding my road bike more and pool ran. I am so conditioned into running that I completely overlook other forms of exercise. I am actually going to start incorporating bike riding into my training because I enjoy it.
6. Take is easy. I thought about my injury 90 percent of the day. No joke. I went over my training many times to try to see what went wrong. I truly think I tried tackling too much too soon. I did not allow myself a day off, did speed work twice a week, ran hills twice a week all on top of sticking to my normal runs. I am going to give myself a day off from running and replace that with either REST or an easy activity such as bike riding or a long walk.
7. You will be fine. I don’t know how many times I had to tell myself that I will be okay. It is so easy to throw yourself a pity party, and that is okay every once in a while, but in my situation it was daily. And guess what? It did no good, and I am now back to running and life went on.
8. Don’t let it affect other people. I’m going to be honest and just say that when I can’t run I get agitated, grumpy, and overall not pleasant. I tried really hard to not let that affect my mood. Morgan gets to deal with crazy Courtney the most. Poor guy. However, I tried really hard to remain positive. One of the best things about Charlie? I can complain to him and he doesn’t care!
9. R.I.C.E. It is so important to apply “RICE” as you are recovery. Rest, ice, compression and elevation.
I hope one of these (or maybe all!) help you get through your injury. If you need to complain or vent, leave me a comment because chances are I can relate! 🙂