Monday, May 9, 2011

Rebounding from Injury

I’m not sure if you all knew I had an injury and made a comeback. I never write about it. {insert sarcasm}. This is a picture-less post. Sorry. I had to get down to business. No time for meaningless self timer shots of me on the toilet or in the tub.

Okay, maybe just this one picture so we can play a quick round of “which body part is this?” Guess right and I’ll give you a sticker or a Jolly Rancher. Your choice.

P1090787

That was fun, but now we must be serious.

Jeff from Running Through Phoenix asked me to post a bit on rebounding from my hip stress fracture injury and what my pace/mileage has been like. I do whatever Jeff tells me because I like him, and I feel badly because his ass is chaffed. So, here goes.

Returning to running post injury scared the crap out of me. With Boston looming, I tried not to rush my rebound just because I had a marathon to do in a few weeks. I did a swell job of not letting the pressure of the marathon put me in the danger zone of either reinjuring or delaying my recovery. If I hurt, I backed off. As much as it made me shit bricks, I was prepared to drop out of the race if my body wasn’t ready. One of the biggest hurdles was and is getting my confidence back in my body.

After a successful run in Boston with no pain, I knew I was completely healed from what my doctor calls the “mother of all stress fractures.” I was then free to return to running without too much fear. So, naturally I started putting in 70 mile weeks running twice a day everyday. You guys are so gullible.

What really happened was I chose the half ironman as my next goal because it would give me a marathon-like challenge, but would force me to cross train my ass off. I couldn’t fall into my old habits of running + running + more running = injury.

It is so different doing multi-sport training.  That means I am running much lower mileage than I typically do. I am doing 3 runs a week with only one of them being longer. Last week was six miles and I did that at an 8:30 pace. I told myself to hold back, take it easy and continue to let myself return to running in a smart and civilized way.

You know, self, you don’t have to go balls to the wall with every run. Which is good because I don’t have balls. Even with holding back I found that my pace was pretty much where I left off when I got injured. A regular non-tempo/speed/long run used to average about 8:30. I would venture to say I am fully back to where I was.

It’s true that when you get injured you return stronger. Stronger physically, because you have spent quality time with the pussy posse and run in the pool every f*cking day. Stronger physically because you have cross- trained the hell out of your body and are probably more fit head to toe than you have ever been when you are just a runner. Stronger physically because theoretically your broken bone heals stronger than it was before the injury.

Stronger mentally because you have had to battle through a serious tough patch and then you ran marathon in Boston with very little training. Stronger overall because you are more confident, smarter, more determined than ever to meet your goals.

Here’s the thing. Just because I got injured and learned a lot does not mean I won’t get injured again. I am fully aware that my competitive spirit and type-A behavior pushes me to an edge that can be dangerous.

I will always have to work on the “less is more” approach. I will always have to pull myself back and not overdo it. The only way that I will be successful at this is by holding myself accountable. One of the most valuable things I have learned is that I need recovery weeks every 3-4 weeks. You cannot ramp up over and over again, week by week, until race day and expect to reach the start line not over trained. You have got to pull back and rest to become stronger. I now know this. I now respect this. It might seem counterintuitive, but when you study the physiology of the body you realize it is truly the only way to go. Hell, those pros sleep like 95 hours a day and they are still pros.

But, when the day is done, I try to remember a few things.

  • Don’t take yourself so seriously. Training is not your life. Miss a workout? It’s okay. Tunnel vision is stupid. Your life is full of things non-running/biking/swimming related and you need to give those things attention too.
  • Do what you love. If training loses it’s appeal, change it up, take a break or re-assess your goals. No one is holding a gun to your head saying you have to complete an event.
  • Your value is more than how fast far you run/bike/swim/pole dance.
  • It’s just a race. Get over yourself.

Awesome review/giveaway coming tomorrow, so check back.

 SUAR

45 comments:

  1. "get over yourself" - some of the best and most difficult advice to swallow. thanks for sharing this post.

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  2. If that were me, it would be the excess skin left after the birth of my twins. So I'm going with "baby skin".

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  3. This is awesome. You are awesome.

    That is the skin when you bend your elbow....c'mon now!!!!

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  4. Elbow pit, pulled weird.

    I had tendon issues in my ankle after a triathlon that side lined me for a few months. It was all kinds of awful, and it was one of the more benign running injuries I could have had.

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  5. Um, I don't think you even understand how much I needed this post TODAY!!!! WOW!! I am scared to death to ever start running again because I do not want to do it to early! I will come back STRONGER physically and mentally just like you said! Loved the GET OVER YOU part...um, yeah:)

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  6. Oh wait, I've seen you in a bathing suit. Make that "somebody else's abdomen."

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  7. That so totally looks like the picture in MY post today of my underarm vagina thing…but it looks a little more like elbow vag.
    I remember those same things :)

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  8. Do you have psychic powers? I so needed to read this after going to the doctor today. Feeling pretty crappy about being told I need to do 2 more weeks on crutches, no-weight bearing. It's also the week of the marathon I was training for. I am dreaming about all the things I am going to do once I get the go ahead, and I figured that if I'm going to be swimming and biking so much, maybe a triathlon should be in my future. This feels like the end of the world right now - even though I know it isn't - and I love hearing how well things turned out for you on the other side of the injury.

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  9. Love it. Especially the last four bullet points. I agree it is the elbow bend..although I like XLMIC's description of elbow vag better.

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  10. That is clearly your wrist. I will accept your Jolly Rancher offer.

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  11. so true, we shouldn't kill ourselves training for things when we are stuck in a rut and not feeling motivated! if i don't switch things up then i get burnt out big time. i guess that is why winter is good for me so i have to find something else besides running. so i become a spinning freak. then when spring comes i am dying to run!

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  12. The skin between your thumb and index finger?

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  13. Looks like a neck crease???

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  14. you rock! really! I love your attitude and outlook on this. Half ironman will be the perfect crossing training. But you might have to really swim instead wearing your belt this time around. haha.

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  15. Hummmm Neck / side of face crease.

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  16. Skin between the thumb and the forefinger when you make a fist is my guess...

    About 8-10 years ago I had a stress fractures in both hips and my femur within the course of a pretty short time span. It was AWFUL. But I haven't had single stress fracture since then. I have changed my diet (more calories), train with less intensity (though still a lot of volume by most peoples standards), and do a lot more biking and swimming. I love to run and would rather be slower than injured any day. Great post!

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  17. 8:30 pace already? I'm impressed - way to go girl!!

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  18. another great post--I really dig the way you can infuse something serious with humor.

    neckgina? elbow vag? oh too good!

    im going with armpit vajayjay

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  19. totally need this advice. I'm already considering adding swimmming to my routine again this summer!

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  20. Ok that is the skin sort of on the back of a shoulder where the upper arm meets the pit.

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  21. On second thought maybe it's your thumb crotch.

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  22. Your four bullets at the end are SOOO exactly what I needed to hear today! Thank you!
    Oh and the body part guess- looks kinda like where your arm folds at your arm pit. But not quite so I am kind of stumped...

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  23. definitely needed this! I run "scared" on a daily basis. Then I get through with the run and am like "who am I???" and am mad that I obsessed over every little thing in my body. DUMB. Get over myself...I am gonna try that. And realize that I have other things going besides running (at least I still think so? haha!).

    I think it is a neck!

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  24. I'm going with the foot... specifically, the skin over the achilles tendon...that's my guess and I am sticking to it.

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  25. I really love your second bullet at the bottom. An easy one to forget! Great post.

    I don't know what the hell that picture is of! I like XLMIC and the elbow vag! I'm going with that one!

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  26. Recovering from injury and appreciate this post. LMAO @ fast pole dancing...You are a funny lady!

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  27. Okay… after close self-examination, I no longer think this pic is elbow vag…it is something bonier. Someone said wrist… I think I agree. Are you going to tell us? Lol

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  28. I love your random wrinkle pic! My guess is same as Teamarcia...thumb crotch!!!
    Also love your BTDT advice for those of us who struggle with overtraining and injuries!!!

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  29. that flabby area in front of the armpit? :) now i'm so curious!

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  30. I think the pic is of the area at the base between your thumb and index finger when you make a fist.

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  31. I'm glad you posted this. I'm painfully running my way through shin splints that are just not getting better in anticipation of two races this month. I keep going back and forth deciding what to do. But you're right. It's just a damn race.

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  32. Ankle? It would have to be a pretty flexible one, or super zoomed, but it's my guess.

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  33. Looks like in between the thumb and the index finger.

    I love this "It's just a race. Get over yourself."
    I need that.

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  34. Wrist!! :) No?... Yes, wrist!! Uhm, okay, yeah :)

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  35. When I read "elbow bend" i had to take off my sweatshirt and try to replicate that. I can't.

    I'm going to say it's the neck/chin region when your head is leaning to one side or armpit.

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  36. I have no idea what body part that is, but I loved this post! Everything you've shared about your injury has been so helpful and encouraging.

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  37. Thanks SUAR. My guess is a photo from the back of a shoulder blade and a bit of the back of an arm of a fat old lady.

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  38. Thank you so much for this commentary today!

    I am currently training for my first 15k. And I often find it very difficult to get over myself. I have spent the last 4 months going from clinically obese (BMI >30) to overweight (I think BMI about 27) over the last 4 months. This has been one of the hardest journeys I have faced in my life. While I understand I still have a very far way to go, your blog has made my life so much better.

    Sometimes I feel I must spend my life training. I have dedicated my new life to losing weight and training. Today I took a day off and it was the best thing I could do.
    And to hear that it's ok made me feel a little better.

    Please keep doing what you're doing SUAR. You encourage me to keep doing what I'm doing on a regular basis. You let me realize that I am still a human who must feed my soul from time to time.

    Tomorrow, it's back to the grind (truly a grind I love and can't believe I have ignored for so many years) But to know there is time to grow beyond yourself is inspiring. Thank you so much for just being you!

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  39. I like the way you think. I like it even better that you put it out there for us to read -- thanks. :o)

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  40. Your timing is perfect! I just an hour and a half ago was cleared to run again after my hip stress fracture! I am scared shitless but will be on the treadmill today. It has been exactly 17 weeks since I last ran. THanks again for all the support, sister!! You are a real inspiration and you and your blog have gotten me through this mother of all injuries! (I call it the mother fucker of all injuries, LOL)

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  41. I wish I could've read this post six months ago. I really needed it! But I guess I learned it on my own. Wise words!! Thank you.

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  42. I just got over a basketball knee injury, just wanted to mention about my site called skin whitening as well as other skin bleaching products.

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