Halfway to Healing: What I Learned From My Running Injury

I saw this quote while I was reading Scott Jurek’s book, “Eat & Run.” It had quite an effect on me. I stopped reading for a while and thought about how it related to me as in many ways.

As a beginner runner, I struggled with pace, distance, catching my breath and finding the confidence to get back out there each day. But I wanted to be a runner, so I had to keep going and build my strength.

As years passed and my joy for running skyrocketed beyond what I thought was imaginable, I began to plan my running around racing goals and was caught in a compulsive drive to run faster and further. I trained my heart out for countless races, from the 5k distance to the marathon. I was able to clock times on my Garmin that I did not think I was capable of. I had no idea my body was able to produce that type of strength (relative to how I used to run of course).

During the last three years running has become a part of who I am. I not only run to maintain my fitness and health, but I run because it brings me happiness and a sense of serenity that I cannot get doing any other activity. Usually, my mind is all over the place, all of the time. Whichever excessive emotion I am feeling, I run, and I am relaxed.

Unfortunately, right now, I am not running. I fractured my foot and have not run in four weeks (with fingers crossed two more to go) and I am freaking out. I do not want to be angry or sad, but I am. I do not want the constant negative (and beyond over exaggerated) thoughts flowing through my mind…

  • “See you later 6:xx/mi training.”
  • “You may as well kiss the NYC Marathon goodbye.”
  •  “You will never run again because your body sucks.” 

I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of being happy for other runners and being raging bitch envious of them at the same time. My mind is not a good place to be at the moment. Then I remember how I am about every other aspect of my life BESIDES running, SANE and RATIONAL. I remember, I do not have a choice. I am injured right now and I need to get over it. I am 26 years old (well 27 in two weeks) and I am just starting to grow as a runner. I was having the best running month of my life before I hurt my foot.  I have plenty of time left to run. I will not let this little hiccup control my mind the way it has my body.

Strength comes in all forms. Right now, in my current situation, I need to pull my shit together, and be strong emotional (and mentally)! This injury is an obstacle that I need to overcome and it is giving me a chance to learn something about myself as a person. So far I have done everything the doctor has told me to do. I wore my walking boot for over two weeks, I have done ample amounts of bike riding and I have even picked up my pace once to a jog. I ask myself every day, “Do I want to run today, or do I want to run forever?”

It is important that I believe in myself and dig deep for strength in all situations. I have seen it pay off in training, racing and now I am waiting for it to pay off during my “injury time out.” I will see you all out there in a few weeks with a good attitude, well-rested and ready to run, fast.

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17 thoughts on “Halfway to Healing: What I Learned From My Running Injury

  1. forgottenbeast

    It IS so hard to be injured! I had a bad Achilles tendon injury that kept me out of commission for a few months–it was over two years ago, and I STILL remember how frustrated and angry it made me, so I completely understand where you’re coming from! Just remember that you will heal and there’s no reason you can’t be back to where you were–and better!–before the injury.

    Reply
  2. Krsity

    oh no, oh no, oh no. I wish I lived in NYC still and I could come meet you for a long heavy hitting happy hour to chat with you. I totally understand where you are coming from. I have been there. In March and April I was there. But you can’t let this injury define you and your running. I know it’s beyond frustrating, but I promise promise promise you will make it through and you will be able to run NYC. Promise. I was out 6 weeks – weeks no running, and only ran 3 days a week the month of May before running Cleveland on May 20th. I ran 18 miles once. I crossed the finishline. Not at all in the time I would like, but sometimes that is not what’s important. It was important for me to still cover 26.2 because I knew I could. And not running it just becuase I knew I wasn’t going to run fast, is not what running is about. We run because we love the sport. Sometimes we get a little greedy with time and getting faster, and we need to get back to our center. NYC should be dedicated to your love of running and you should put any time goals to the side. Because you know you can cross that line, and I can’t wait to be there to see it!

    Reply
    1. Running Bun Post author

      I agree. I have a friend who repeats to herself “I run for rose who can’t!” I stole it from her and say it very frequent. It’s a nice reminder of how lucky we are that we can run! An injury is just a minor setback!

      Reply
  3. Marcy Rosenberg Benson

    I’m sorry about your injury. But way to go being smart about this! You’ll stay fit in other ways while your foot heals. I was out of commission for several weeks until barely 3 weeks before my first half marathon (Long Branch) in 2011, but I managed to run it anyway. If I could do that at 36, you can do it at 26, especially with your drive!

    Reply
  4. Yo Momma Runs

    Being injured just plain stinks. Big time. But I think the first time I realized how much I loved running was when I was injured and had to back off. Before that it was my daily check mark on the training chart. When I couldn’t have it, I realized how much I craved and loved it for the same reasons you listed above. It also taught me what mistakes I am prone to make in training. So I tried to change those things too. It’s nice to learn from and injury, but dang it, can’t they just go away!

    Reply
  5. Kacie Phillips (@kacie_phillips)

    I am right there with you. I have been training for my first half-marathon all summer (so excited, so ready), and BAM injury. I went to a podiatrist and we don’t know what is wrong. What I do know? I can’t run. I haven’t in 3 weeks, and I physically cannot. More than likely going to require surgery. I feel your pain. But you make such a great point! As much as I want to run NOW, I want to run forever. I’ll continue to “rest it” and figure out what is wrong before I make it worse. You go girl; stay strong! You’re empowering and inspiring!!!

    Reply
  6. fitnwellmommy

    I just found your blog through Healthylivingblogs.com and I am inspired by your story! I can’t wait to read more!

    Hang in there, having an injury and not being able to be active is SOOOO hard! You will be back at it in no time!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: The NYC Marathon (Might Be) Six Days Away – Here Are My Thoughts | Running Bun

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