Thursday, February 7, 2013

Injured Runner’s Creed

No, I am not injured right now. Yes, many of you are. And, it sucks. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I get it. I’ve been there several times. I’d like to say I won’t be there again, but I probably will (how’s that for optimism?).

An injured runner is like a Smurf on the rag – blue, moody and mean. I know I was. So, I put together a guideline for the injured runner – just a gentle reminder of how to survive and cope without losing all of your friends and/or your sanity.

Injured Runner’s Creed

1. I will not punch, hit, slap, or otherwise injure people I see running because I am jealous of them.

2. I will do all of the stupid mind numbing exercises my physical therapist tells me to do.

3. I will not substitute whole grains, veggies and healthy proteins with Cheetos and Coors Light just because I cannot run right now.

4. I will find something – anything- that I can do that makes me feel athletic (swimming, water running, walking), so that I will not turn into a complete bitch.

5. I will not become so consumed by the fact that I cannot run that I lose all perspective. I will remember the things that are going right in my life, like that my heart is beating and my husband cleaned up the dog’s poop and my kids are not arguing for five minutes, and I will focus on those things.

6. I will not hole up in my house (with Cheetos and Coors Light) and isolate myself. I will reach out to people who care about me and let them support me. I will try not to be a snotty a-hole.

7. I will try as hard as I can to laugh at myself and to keep my sense of humor. Maybe I will watch Family Guy, or fart in the bathtub, put someone’s hand in warm water while they are sleeping, or read this story. Whatever it takes.

8. I will remain optimistic because I know that this condition is temporary and I will run again.

9. I will stop reading blogs where all of the healthy, invincible 25 year olds are running 10 marathons a month and complaining only about a single blister on their pinkie toe. It’s not that I don’t admire them or thing they’re amazing, it’s just that right now they make me feel like crap.

10. I will do one thing every day that I love to do. This will show me that  I love things other than running.

Are you injured right now? How are you coping?

Anything you’d add to “The Creed?”

SUAR

55 comments:

  1. Very, very timely. I just got my x-ray write-up...severe osteoarthritis in the right hip. Can I really tell myself it's just temporary? I am heading down into #5 fast! Quick...pull me out! Going dowwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn......

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    1. It's not temporary but instead a change. Now that you know exactly what is causing your pain you can make smart and informed decisions. Osteoarthritis benefits from moving, it does not have to mean an end to running, just a different approach. Maybe it's shorter distances, maybe it's biathlons or triathlons, maybe it's taking your experience and love of the sport and becoming a race host!! A 5K or 10K or half marathon to raise money and awareness for a great cause. Although there is not 100% proof, start taking glucosamine, chondroitan, and MSM together along with an anti-inflammatory diet. Improve your chances of as much physical comfort as possible. You are still a runner, its just changing direction and it will be powerful to see where your choices take you!

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    2. I had a total hip replacement 31 days ago and the experience has been horrific so far. Eventually, I know I will feel better, but recovery has been far more difficult and challenging than I thought it would be. Not having the surgery was not an option, as I have had periodic painful flare-ups since being diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis three years ago. Since last July, the pain has been constant and unrelenting, making it difficult for me to even walk on my bad days. I'm 65 years old and, although I have not run in nearly 20 years, I trained for and ran more than two dozen marathons when I was younger. When cumulative overuse injuries forced me off the roads, track and trails, I got my aerobic fix where I could find it. For me, that meant 45 minutes on a stationary bike, usually seven days a week. I hope to be back on that bike in another month or two. I survived a horrible bike crash back in 1973 (before my obsession with long distance running), which is why I will only ride a bike that is nailed to the floor. Wear and tear on your joints is a reality that is inevitable when you age. I think the advice given in the reply above is spot-on. Your condition is almost certainly not temporary, but that does not mean the end of your life of fitness. Good luck! Feel better! Never give up!

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  2. This is hilarious! I can relate to ALL of them! This past summer was horrible! I was holed up in my house feeling extremely sorry for myself! DEPRESSING! I'm hopefully on the mend after a year!

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  3. Substitute Cheetos and Coors Light with wine and chocolate and that would be where I am.

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  4. I just got hit with a diagnosis of my THIRD stress metatarsal stress fracture in 18 months, and I am trying very hard to find something active I can do and not feel abandoned by all the healthy people that I'm surrounded with. It's tough. And I'm eating a lot of pie.

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    1. I used the Elliptical to keep me in "active" mode! Luck to you! :-)

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    2. I also used the elliptical to keep me "running" Good Luck!

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    3. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm waiting on word from my doc about being cleared for weight-bearing activity. Until then I'm trying to summon the energy to go to the pool (not my favorite!).

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    4. Yes, elliptical and bike trainer are both good to get a decent sweat. Water running is an option too b/c it is the best way to keep you in running shape. Good luck and SORRY!!

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  5. Great list! I'd add: I will be proactive and learn more about my injury (beyond what any doctor says). I will get a second opinion if I'm told I cannot keep running. I will stop running for the amount of time that's truly necessary for proper healing.

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  6. Amazing! I love number 5... it is crazy how when I am injured I forget about everything else amazing that is going on in life. Definitely bookmarking this for my next injury!

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  7. So true! I had to come to terms with maybe Its not my time to run a marathon. I will accept that I can do the half and I should still feel a huge accomplishment with that. I also started doing different things at the gym and just focus on being healthy.

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  8. I'm recovering from an injury (still feel twinges every now and then) and I totally agree with all of these statements. I stopped blogging and reading other blogs when I got injured because thinking about running, or really about how I couldn't run, was just too depressing. #2 is extremely important, and important to keep up with even after you stop seeing your PT unless you want to get reinjured.

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  9. I need this creed so much right now. I was the healthy, 25 something year old (maybe not running marathons but working out without a care in the world) and than BAM got injured. Got a blood clot in my lung which then spiraled into this condition called POTS which makes working out tough. Going into 5 months of this and still not out of my funk yet. Slowly pulling myself out, doing what my body can do, but it's tough. Real tough. Number 10 is what I need the most. I have to remind myself that I can still do things. I may not be working out 5 days a week but I am moving forward, and that's what matters.

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  10. Totally get it. Back on my feet after a whole year being injured. I was that bitter, a-hole bitch for a while then I just checked out from all of it. Needed the break, and so glad I took it. Being back has never felt so good!

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  11. You're preaching to me. Just found out I need surgery for a torn labrum in my hip, and after attempting 2 slow, sore geriatric miles this morning I am realizing I can't run on it til it's fixed. Am seriously bummed right now...will be referring to this list frequently for the next couple months.

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    Replies
    1. I have had torn and repaired both of my hip labrums. Compared to the femoral stress fracture after I recovered from those, my recovery from the hip surgeries was a BREEZE! Throughout all 3 of my injuries, I was at the gym at 5 am every day -- lifting upper body, eventually bike or elliptical -- just what I could. MY ADVICE: get to a physical therapist pronto for a running/gait analysis!!!!! You are most likely doing SOMETHING while you run to tear your labrum. Best wishes!!!!!

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  12. yes yes yes! I needed this three years ago. Now, somehow, it is easier for me to roll with injury (please don't let that get injured...knocking on wood). However, I can't promise that I don't overdo it on the : chocolate, cheetos, punching people, griping, moaning, bitching, whining, glaring, etc. etc.

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  13. Coors light and Cheerios? Sounds like the breakfast of champions to me!

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  14. Newly accepting the need for better planned recovery time to avoid injury!

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  15. If I Google my condition, I will only read the results of reputable sources (and only for 15-20 minutes per day, or something). I will close the browser window at the merest hint of becoming mired in worst-case-scenarios and ridiculous treatments.

    *I'm all about being an informed patient. But it's far too easy to get lost, misguided, and depressed on the interwebs. Don't do it!!!!

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  16. My obturator has finally healed by about 90% !!! I have been taking it easy so far only running about a 5k. Next week i will increase it by a mile and so on. Weight training and stretching have really helped me heal, too. That's right,- I'M BACK BITCHEZ!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I'm a Jen also! Love your online name. :) Good luck with your running.

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  17. Damn, where was that creed when I was laid off with my foot injury from hell? I think I lived on Cheetos and Coors Light (and chocolate cake!).

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  18. I definitely needed this right now!! Especially #5 (but not the bit about the husband and kids...won't have those for a few...millennia...) Thanks for the list!

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  19. Luckily in my 11 years of running I've never been injured. Knock on wood. But if I were I would probably find some other way to keep myself moving. Swimming or aqua jogging probably.

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  20. Love your posts. Finding your blog finally inspired me to exercise again which was the very last step I needed after 6 years of severe depression. Your ability to laugh at yourself and others is wonderful and I never fail to smile when reading your posts. My IT bands are so tight from sitting at a computer and being curled up in a ball in bed that even walking hurts, but I got me a foam roller and a good massage therapist and I'll be running again soon. Running's where my joy is!

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  21. I'm just about 3-4 weeks back into running after an injury and being cranky was my biggest problem!!!
    I did find that reading running (and other fitness blogs) was just making it worse - doesn't mean I didn't do it!!! (Just made me even crankier!!!)

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  22. I will NOT convince myself that I am better when I am not just so I can get back out there.
    I WILL respect the process, however long it takes, to recover.

    I am just coming off some horrible IT Band/Quad/Knee issues and building my miles back up. I keep reminding myself to go slow, don't add too many miles at a time or I will end up right back where I started.

    The Kidless Kronicles

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  23. I will tell you what pisses me off. The certain runner who runs all the marathons who did a blog post after she was sick basically mocking a 9 minute mile pace, saying she might as well become a professional walker. That's a bullsh*t comment in my opinion and better left to one's self. She has alot of beginner runners that read her blog and there's no reason to say demoralizing things. I run 9 min pace and I am darn proud of it.

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  25. The first one on that list made me chuckle. I'm not injured but I need to knock on some wood cause I have a half marathon tomorrow!

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  26. Really? No one is commenting on the HILARIOUS story you posted?! OMG! I laughed (at my desk, AT WORK) so hard tears ran down my face!!!

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    1. I was just thinking the same thing! My students think I'm a nut cake right now, but that was so freaking funny!

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  27. How on God's green earth did you come across that farting story? You are ever so resourceful in this area. Thanks for the laugh!

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  28. Your timing couldnt be better. My Husband had back surgery last week and he is hating it that he cant run. I cant wait to show this to him. ~Amy

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  29. Thanks for posting. Almost week 5 with no running. I'm having a MRI Monday. Wish me luck.

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  30. Yes, I am injured right now. Something funky is going on with my right hip. It actually feels like it's out of its socket or something. So thanks for the tips. I too can become a blue smurf on the rag when I can't run.

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  31. Recovering from week 3 post surgery... THANK YOU FOR THIS !!! I did get very excited 2 days ago just walking... breeze in my face and BPM music in my ears... my arms pretended that my legs were going faster but in the end... we rejoiced in the MOVEMENT!
    Strider Revival ! Keep the Patience ! Your next run will be worth it !

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  32. I referred to my injury time off last year as being in 'machine hell'. I believe in cross training but going to the gym everyday and working out on machines was the worst. Don't like being indoors and having to use machines to stay in shape on top of that added to the frustration. But I thought I was the only one that couldn't read running blogs and was bitter that others were out running but apparently that is a 'normal' reaction!

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  33. I can so relate to this! Last year i had a very bad femoral neck stress fracture. Took me 7 months to get through. the first 3 months i was a lunatic. nasty and depressed. All i heard from my surgeon and drs was never to run again. Unacceptable!!

    I also have 7 senior and special needs dogs to care for. There was no way i could sit around feeling sorry for myself when they needed me. I learned a lot in that time and if it happens again i promised myself i know i can get through it!

    Thank you for making me laugh!!

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  34. My addition:

    I will love myself. Because whether or not I am able to run right now, I am a valuable person.

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  35. Your point about finding something else that makes you feel like an athlete is so right on!
    I was injured last year while training for my first marathon. I had to DNF in the race. During my 4 months off (!) I fell in love with Bikram Hot Yoga. I went 4-6 times a week and when I was able to start running again I hadn't lost any cardio, endurance, or strength.
    I didn't acheive my goal to run a marathon last year. But I will acheive it this year!

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  36. I start physio therapy on Tuesday. My first half marathon is March 3rd. Keeping my fingers crossed. Ha.

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  37. I too am injured. Happened about 10 days ago and thought it was just soreness but hasn't faded (left knee). So, going to the PT Wednesday and worried.

    Thanks for #5, running is just "part" of my life.

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  38. I'm injured and I just stopped reading blogs! LOL.........

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  39. Literally just woke my family on a Saturday morning snorting with laughter over that story!!

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  40. I have a really bad cold/flu thing and I am SOOOOOOO frustrated that I don't even have the energy to leave the house let alone go for a run. It is nice to read something like this - even though I'm not injured, it's great to know I'm not alone in not being able to run. And it makes me feel less alone! Thanks Beth :)

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  41. Thank you so much for sharing this! I've got ITBand Syndrome and Hamstring Tendonitis and won't be able to see a PT for another few weeks (military health care) so I'm beyond frustrated - really needed to read this tonight!

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  42. Best post ever! Just ran my longest run, 4 miles, after coming off an injury. Hard to believebi was running 13 in October and then nothing. Getting back to it, feeling great, life is good!

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  44. Great post! and funny too! As a ChiRunning Instructor thankfully I have to admit I'm rarely injured...I highly recommend it!

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