As I mentioned in my last post, I won’t be able to run for a while. Abruptly getting sidelined in the middle of marathon training is less than ideal, which has really played around with my emotions. In general, I like to think of myself as a happy person. But since this injury has occurred, smiling is an anomaly. There’s days I’m on the verge of tears from the time I wake up to the time I fall asleep. If I’m really being honest, the first few days of this injury were mostly spent on the couch, pouring a bag of chocolate chips in my mouth, feeling absolutely pathetic.
But then there’s been days where I’ve perfected a yoga pose I haven’t been able to maneuver since my last yoga kick three years ago. Or other days where I opt for 10 needles in my leg and realized I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. Some mornings I’ve shot right out of bed at 5 a.m. to hit the pool for several hours and was reminded how lucky I am that I’m still in good health overall and have have many other reasons to be grateful.
Six Emotions Experienced During The Last Three Weeks
Impatient: I was never given an estimated period of time how long it would take to heal–which makes it really challenging because I’ve become so impatient wondering when I’ll be able to run again. I keep thinking and hoping every morning I get out of bed that the pain will magically go away and so far it hasn’t.
Determined: I want to come back to running stronger than I was before this injury. While I may lose all of my endurance and speed that I built up to before the injury, I’m working on becoming stronger in my arms, core and other areas of my body that I know will help me down the road.
Useless: I can’t help but feel useless when I hobble to the grocery store in pain or discover I can’t take Raven on walks because she pulls me too hard. Relying on others to help out isn’t something I do willingly so that’s been extra challenging.
Courageous: I’m not sure what’s more bad ass–when I originally said yes to dry needling and didn’t know what to expect or when I said yes again to dry needling two days later after I knew how painful putting 10 needles in my leg actually was.
Regretful: I only have myself to blame when it comes to this injury. If I could go back in time two months ago, there’s so much I would do so much different. I just can’t help but feel regret when it comes to the entire situation.
Optimistic: Despite all the negative emotions I’ve experienced during these last three weeks, I’m optimistic that I’ll still be able to run Chicago and even if I can’t, I know I’ll be able to run a marathon sometime in the near future. And I may even be faster and stronger because of this experience.
Six Ways to Combat the Sad Emotions
Be Social: My instructor in a yoga class the other day had us introduce ourselves to the person next to us. As it turned out, the person next to me was also dealing with similar injury. After class we chatted some more about ways we’ve been dealing with it and shared advice to one another. Interacting with others who are going through a similar challenge is a reminder that you don’t have to go through an injury alone.
Embrace the Happy Emotions: I can’t think of a better time to embrace the small victories. Even if has nothing to do with fitness, allow yourself to be happy as much as you can during this difficult time.
Be Kind to Yourself and Others: It’s okay to be angry but there’s no good that comes out of beating yourself up over the injury. Be nice to yourself and channel that negative energy into positive ideas on what you’ll do differently next time. It’s much more productive and more beneficial to your well being. I’ve also noticed that going out of my way to help others has made me in a better mood, which has helped combat the angry and sad emotions I’ve felt.
Don’t Eat Away the Pain: I mentioned earlier that I spent the first few days of my injury throwing down a bag of chocolate chips in my mouth. And then when I got a stomach ache from all the terrible food I ate, I felt even worse! Eating healthier during this difficult time will actually make you feel better. You’ll have more energy and it won’t be so easy to feel sorry for yourself.
#ChallengeYoSelf: Remember this mantra a few months ago? There are so many ways to challengeyoself outside of running and taking on new challenges has helped take my mind off of the fact that I can’t run. And speaking of challenging myself, that leads me to my next point and a very big announcement…
Set New Goals: All the biking and swimming I’ve done during these past few weeks reminded me how much I enjoyed training for a triathlon four years ago. And with all the excitement from last week’s Nation’s Tri, I couldn’t help set my sight on a new goal. One that I’ve had my eyes on since college but put it off because I caught the marathon bug.
That’s right, the biking and swimming instagram updates aren’t going away even when my IT Band gets better. In 2016, I’m going to complete an Ironman: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2-mile run in less than 17 hours (the official time limit for an Ironman to actually count).
Why not 2015? I’ve got lots of money to save to afford a new bike that’s capable of riding 112 miles (My road bike was stolen back in June) and I still want to qualify for Boston this year or next. But in the meantime, I’m happy to have finally found the silver lining in this ordeal.