The first time I attempted couch to 5k back in 2011 was a total disaster. I insisted I had to follow the plan and not miss a day, despite a horrible pain in my knee. I kept at it and after a visit to multiple doctors, I was diagnosed with arthritis and told never to run. Obviously, I ignored that advice three and a half years later when I decided to get out and run a 5k. I always told myself that I would listen to my body and not force myself through anything and I could swing this running thing.
My first experience with unwanted time off from running was last December when I had my gall bladder removed. When I had the second attack and went to the ER, the ER staff told me I could keep up my normal activities. I was training for a 10k, so normal activities would be running up to five miles. I did that, but it was a terrible run, the morning I met the surgeon who would remove my gall bladder. He told me not to run prior to surgery and it was honestly all downhill for my energy after that run. I listened to my post-op instructions to not do anything other than light walking for four weeks and I was able to easily get right back into running, although it was killing me to not be out there getting miles in during December and missing my December race. I walked a lot to keep my legs as ready as I could which paid off when I PR’ed the Hot Chocolate 5k in January.
I’ve been lucky on actual injuries until last week, after the Big Peach Sizzler 10k when I started to have pain in the top of my foot. I did Pump and yoga the next day that didn’t involve impact to the foot. I did Combat on Wednesday night taking some of the lower impact options (but did my jump kicks, because I love the jump kicks) and decided against a two mile run on Thursday. After two days of rest, my foot pain was non-existent at times and other times, it still hurt. I had already signed up for the Rise Up and Run 5k and convinced myself this wasn’t a stress fracture thanks to Dr. Google and the fact I was feeling much better. I ran a great race, but my foot has spent more time hating me than not, especially after the mile hike one way from parking to the Dome yesterday for the Bucs/Falcons game. (Sidenote – totally worth it to see my Bucs win!) I was able to get an appointment for tomorrow to officially diagnose this thing because I do not want to mess up this running thing in the long run.
Of course, I over think this thing and I’m hoping it’s not a stress fracture as Dr. Google says that’s a longer rest/healing time. My next race is October 15, not quite five weeks away. But I am definitely planning some rest from high impact stuff and doing more yoga (modifying anything that could put stress on the foot) and getting more pump done (skipping those lunges I hate, haha) as I expect to be told to rest this foot for a bit. At least I have more options available than post gall bladder removal. I’m sad because I have been looking forward to cooler mornings and bettering my pace, but know it’s for the best in the long run. How have you stayed motivated while injured?