Hey Spatula Buds!
It’s Monday and everyone knows I always do my “long” runs on Sundays so I most likely just tackled some awesome trail run along the French River with Rex tagging along For anyone new to RwS – A few months ago I had to deal with my first real running injury and I faced a lot of struggles both during and currently (I’ve lost speed & endurance). So when the cutest Fiona offered to do an awesome post on injuries and tips to stay motivated I was SO EXCITED!
I hope you love her and this post as much as I do! Enjoy
Hey I’m Fiona and I blog over at Scallywag. I’m 23 and live in Glasgow, the biggest city in Scotland, studying for a masters (in Brain Imaging- sounds dead swanky) and I’m about to start a PhD mainly so one day everyone has to call me Dr. F., like some kinda supervillainess. I started running about 3 years ago and was talked into joining the university team by my now S.O. I was never the sporty kid in high school but I fell in love fast and hard- It’s a life connection! Since then it’s been three years of trying to commit to my health and my PBs every day.
When the lovely Ali said she’d need some guest bloggers I jumped at the chance and we decided to do a post on injuries. Because if there’s one thing I know about, its injuries. I’ve had the minor classics- shin splints from the inevitable zomg-I-must-run-everyday rookie keenness, Achilles tightness from hill training, ITBS from being shaped like a lady, with hips and all. And then I’ve also had the really big guns. Big guns that aren’t really fit for viewing (you can see the full photo here if you dare, probs NSFW:
Adding insult to injury (oh the puns) I did this on a training weekend for a British University competition. I was training a couple of miles off on trails with a few friends then I tripped. I felt nothing, and didn’t think anything was wrong until I glanced at the gaping maw that used to be my knee. In the most dramatic series of events that’s ever happened to me I was airlifted to hospital, drugged up to my eyeballs and treated to some extremely artful tweezers work from medical staff. I actually got really lucky and 2.5 hours of cleaning, poking and x-rays revealed that the bone and tendons and ligaments were all intact. The diagnosis was massive laceration and tissue damage.
No running for 2 months at first. Now everyone knows the classic rest, ice, elevate etc. but form this experience I have some other advice…
Do Not Live In Denial
After about a month and a half I started running again. My skin had only just knitted and I had already torn it once moving things into my new flat (as gross as it sounds). But still, I started a little bit of running, then some more running, then some 5 milers, then a fast 6 miler. I felt great but I wasn’t ready. My BF and his bloomin national standard pal had told me exactly this. But noooo I did not listen. I was superlady. Then, half way into a planned 8 miler a couple of days later that knee felt sore and… unattached, totally loose is the only way I can describe it. So I headed home. The next day everything hurt, especially up and downstairs. 3 more weeks of it not healing and I was pretty sure it was my illiotibial band from the sensation. And I did a properly mature thing, I went to…
See A Specialist
Now dudes, we know we love our running. But we also know a kabillion things can go wrong in a runner’s body, especially the legs. I knew ITBS was hard to treat, and that I needed to know the actual cause and if it was related to my fall so I manned up, spent some pennies and saw an amazing Physio/cool runner called Andy. Andy revealed many things to me- most notably that this was due to my left leg being significantly longer than my right. Further physio showed that this was because my pelvis was further up and forward on that side. That loopy stride was causing iTBS, made EVEN WORSE by the fact that my mangled left knee couldn’t stabilise it. I was given a thousand (dramatic licence ha ha) squats a day, balancing exercises and rolling orders as pertinence for my crime.
Roll, roll, and roll till you’re sick of it, way past the pain line. Roll even though everyone in the gym is looking at you like you’re crazy, roll even though you’re aware you look like a fish trying to surf, roll anything that hurts even your belly button if it’s needed. I roll a lot now and for ITBS its prevention and recovery all in one handy cylinder of pain. I have to roll in the strength room of our gym which is full of biceps and roaring and deadlifts. If you are worried about the stares here’s a tip- think of running as a secret language and how other gym goers aren’t in on it, then look for the person who isn’t reacting to your rolls. That guy is the secret runner and even if he won’t reveal it to his hulking, muscle bound, confused pals, he knows the secret.
Get Your Sweat On Somehow
As soon as I could swim, I swam. I tried to concentrate on core work because a stronger core when I returned> less injury and more stabilisation. My core is still pretty doughy but I TRIED ALRIGHT? I did some Pilates and some yoga and even some Bikram. I sweated in any way I could. Some of these were useless (there was one particular Pilates video that I was entirely unconvinced by. I exercised my sarcastic eyebrow lift more than any other muscle). This sorta thing also helps with the mental game. For a while I was utterly convinced I’d turn into a minor species of beached whale. Never happened. I lost some muscle yeah, but I’m hardly Free Willy proportions due to 3 months of not running.
Be Prepared For the Mental Game
Even if you do other sports and yoga and stretch and do abs work… Most people reading this are runners at heart. Which means you have to be prepared for none of this replacing your love. I got cabin fever, especially when I had essays and I felt like pacing the room. I just really, really, really wanted to run. So much more than a rainy Sunday when I wasn’t injured! Especially for us ladies you feel like you’ll be monstrously fat- I don’t know about you but a whole ton of my confidence comes from running so that’s gone too. There’s no real deal factor for this point apart from just reinforcing that you will run again and this off period is SO you can run again. Want to still be running when you’re 40? I know I do. Then take your recovery seriously.
Lastly, When You Return
You won’t be as fast as you remember. You’ll go out the door so keen to bust out your reformed running and the first couple of very low milers will be fine. Then you’ll try to do 6 or something and everything will suck. You’ll be slow and stiff and your lungs will hate you. It can take a really long time to get your mojo back. I still struggle to get my mojo back! But you know what? One day I won’t be the same runner I was before this fiasco. One day I’ll be a better runner than I was before this fiasco.
If you loved Fiona be sure to check her out:
1. have you ever been injured?? can you relate to this post??
I can most definitely relate – except I never had my knee TORN off! ….now I feel bad complaining but I do know that even though I was still working out a lot that not running was hard and made me sad and that when I came back, even still I have a hard time being so slow….but I’ll get there.
2. any tips and tricks you’d like to add?? what helped you get through your injury?
3. anyone else from Scotland?? secret readers reveal yourself