Diary of an Injured Runner

As you may know, I've been battling some pretty painful Plantar Fasciitis.  It hit me 5 days before I left for my marathon. (Back story HERE)  I managed to get through my race, but thought I'd have recovered by now.  Well, long story short, I haven't. And the physical injury isn't the only thing I'm battling.

The first week or two after the race wasn't too bad. But as the days whisked by, I began to get upset.

An injured runner is like a dancer who can't dance.  I NEED to run.  Maybe it really IS an addiction. Maybe not.  But whatever the reason, all I know is I've spiraled through several emotional waves lately:

ANGER
   I would see runners out in groups or on solo runs, shooting passed me as I walked my dog.  And all I could think about is how badly I wanted to join them.  I wanted to scream back at them "I'm not running because I'm injured! Don't look at me!"   They're just throwing their athleticism in my face! 



TEMPER TANTRUM
After seeing posts from friends on social media about their latest runs or latest race... It would take everything I have not to throw myself on the floor screaming like a toddler in a toy store.




SHAME
Shame that I'm sitting on the couch, eating potato chips when I know I SHOULD be out running.  





DENIAL
I've iced my injury.  I've stretched. It doesn't hurt THAT bad.  I can power through, right?? 



DESPAIR
I know it sounds crazy.  But I've even spiraled into utter despair.  Like someone drowning and not know which way is up.



ACCEPTANCE
I've finally found my way to acceptance.  I've came to terms with the fact that I'll have to not only re-evaluate my goals.  But I'll also have to step down from some upcoming races.  It's not a happy feeling by any means.  At least I'm no longer wallowing in self-pity.



FORCED TO FOCUS 
This last one is where I've finally landed.  I'm no longer in denial and have been forced to focus my emotions into a more positive outlet.  I've made an appointment with a P.T.  Began devising a new workout routine to strengthen areas that will make me a better runner down the road.   I know that time will help me to heal, and that eventually I will make my running comeback... and when I come back.. I'll be a stronger runner mentally!  

For those of my fellow injured runners experiences the same massive waves of emotions, I leave you with this quote:





Comments

  1. I've been there. It sucks. I can relate to each and every word you wrote here. I gave up my spot in a Ragnar AND had to defer on my first marathon because of my injury. But you're taking the right course of action - go see a PT, get stronger, cross train, and you'll be an even better runner for it!! I came back stronger and faster after my injury and being off for almost 2 months. Biking saved me. They say water running is great too. This was my experience... http://fitsano.com/2014/04/why-an-injury-was-the-best-thing-that-happened-to-my-run/

    And in the mean time, all us runners get it - so feel free to vent! ;-)

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    1. Thanks Jami. I appreciate it. I've been cycling so that helps, but it's definitely not running. But the cross-training will be good. I'm just terrified that the PT will tell me I have to stop running for like 6 months or something! NOOOOOO

      LOL. Either way, thanks I appreciate the support!

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear that your injury is still bothering you Jeremy!!!
    I can relate as I’ve missed important races because of an injury. Both times I had to stop and listen to my body and rest it. I had to miss the Cross Country State Championships my junior year and sit on the couch and ice and elevate my foot. It was a humbling experience because when I returned to the team after several weeks of not running, a freshman had improved her pace and just beat me out of the qualifiers by a narrow margin. That was a huge ouch to my ego!!
    And this past January I missed the PF Changs Rock N Roll Half because I was in a boot for several days the week before and then when I finally got out of the boot I got a nasty sinus infection! The universe was definitely telling me not to run those races and I had to listen. I’m in this running thing for the long game. You could say I want my running career to be a marathon, not a sprint (haha pun intended)!
    I'm glad that you passed the worst stages of the grief process and that you will be working with a PT! I do believe that you when you are ready to come back to running that you will be much stronger - physically and mentally! And you are right - "Time heals all wounds"! Also, when I am down and out, I like to remember "this too shall pass."

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    1. Thanks Kristin, your support means a lot. I know we runners have all been in this spot. It's just a tough one to get out of for sure! I'll let you know what the PT says!

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  3. Right attitude J! Yes, it takes time ;)

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  4. Being injured is seriously The Worst. I realized the other day that it's been four months since I last ran (Pat's Run), and I miss it so so much. I'm convinced I may be going insane, considering how much thought I've put into a half Ironman (I just started swimming because of PT).
    But!!!!!!! I'm stronger now than I have been in ages, and I'm starting to see the green light at the end of the PT tunnel. I've been humbled, and now I'm planning to take better care of myself so I don't have to go through this again.
    Hope to meet you on the road or trail soon!
    Allison (@Dec_Philistines)

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  5. I so know what you are talking about. It is hard to be injured and do the right thing by listening to our bodies, taking time out, and allowing us to heal. It just goes against our nature. Be strong and keep telling yourself the more you allow yourself to rest and heal, the longer you will be able to call yourself a runner. :)

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  6. So glad you are going to a PT! My chiropractor is the only thing that helped me keep running while dealing with Plantar Fas. ART is amazing! Keep us posted!

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    1. PT gave me some exercises/stretches and we will do some ART next week. Hope to be back to running SOON!!!

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  7. Yes, yes, yes. You are totally right about that closing quote Jeremy. I was there too back in 2012-2013 I was out of running for 2.5 months. It was brutal. And everything you described above, I experienced too. Only, I would have added a visual and quote, "Who am I without running?" haha Because that was a question I kept asking myself. As runners, it is so ingrained in us to RUN that without it, we aren't sure what to do!! Now, speaking from long term experience with PF pain in my left heel, I've tried just about everything to strengthen, stretch and heal it! When we get together for coffee, remind me to tell you about things I've tried. :) I do know one thing for sure, when you come back from an injury, your running will never be the same -- in a GOOD way. <3

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    1. We will definitely talk all about ur PF over coffee this sat!

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  8. I almost felt like I was reading my own diary! I had a stress fracture in my foot last year and that had me off for 19 weeks....it just took forever to heal! I went through the same things you've gone through. Working with a PT SEVERAL times a week really helps you recover more quickly. I wish you the best!

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    1. Thanks Janelle. I guess we've ALL been here. Just comes with the territory. PT will hopefully get me over the fence and back on the road! Thanks again!

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  9. Another runner here who could have written this myself. I had the moment of my life finishing a full Mary in 4:38 shaving 10 minutes off my previous pr. Noticed my foot hurt but frankly my whole body hurt. Long story short it ended up being peroneal tendonitis that has kept me down for 4 entire months. I kept trying to return after some pt but ramped up the mileage to fast. I squeezed in 2 10ks and a half marathon in these 4 months but mostly no running. Just started back again and am only running 2-4 miles at a time. I'm 90 percent healed but feel like I will never be 100 percent. Trying to change my attitude and hopefully find what I need to do to heal that final 10 percent. Hang in there!! It's the feeling of hopelessness that is a hard pill to swallow. And yes our identity feels ambiguous when we can't run.

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  10. We'd love to help you out Jeremy. Check it out - a solution that worked for 88% of people in the study. http://www.medi-dyne.com/estore/2steps/essential-plantar-fasciitis-solution. Would love to let you test it!

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    1. sure! would love to test it out for you!

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