My first blog post is probably about one of the most prevalent things in my life at the minute. Not being able to run. In other words, being injured. Yes, this happens to all runners, and no most of the time we don't deserve it.
So, what have I done? I have a grade 4 stress fracture in my left tibia along with a grade 3 stress reaction in my right tibia. If you're going to do it, why not do it properly? Might as well do both legs so you have a valid reason not to run?! Currently I have been on crutches for 7 weeks and have not done a proper run for 106 days. Long time isn't it?
Had you asked me over a year ago what I would have done in this situation, I genuinely wouldn't have been able to tell you. It would have been a disaster! Of course I'm not enjoying it, and I would much rather be out there training and competing, but the sitaution can't be changed, so I can only make the most of it. As they say, 'every cloud has a silver lining', therefore I believe I can use this setback to my advantage. There are multiple things I have learnt from my time off so far and I think all of these have strengthened me as an individual and as a runner. Here is just a few:
One, if you have to take a few days out to let a niggle settle, do it! A few days is better than hundreds of days not running.
Two, don't try to downplay pain. If you are feeling pain, you are feeling pain. Most runners have a high pain threshold as we are used to pushing through it, but learn what is good pain and what is bad. Trust your body, if it is telling you something is sore, listen to it.
Three, use your frustration to your advantage. Keep working hard, and use the time off to work on your weaknesses and build your motivation. Having time off has made me so much more hungry for it, and determined to achieve as much as I can in the future. It has also allowed me to pay more attention to strengthening areas I may neglect when in full run training.
Four, appreciate what you have. Yes it may be raining and you don't want to go for a run, but now, whatever the weather, I will be smiling the entire way, knowing that I love doing what I do. I have also learnt to enjoy everything else around me, enjoy doing things I don't usually have enough time to do.
And Five, do as you are told. Most of the time, the physio's and doctors know what they are talking about. So, if they tell you to sit on the sofa and do as little as possible for a month, the chances are that is what you need to. And yes, this is what I had to do.
I could go on forever telling you about things I have learnt from being injured so far, but I will save the rest for later. Just remember to enjoy what you do, listen to your body and stop when you need to. It will be worth it in the long run. I have begun to realise that injury is all part of the process, it only makes you love running even more. I guess it is just a lesson in life.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!