Happy 2015 to everyone and my fellow SDP teammates. I am thrilled to be a part of such an amazing and inspiring group of top female runners in Arizona.!
As we often do at the turn of a new year, I have set some personal goals for myself, both athletically and personally. After a long and tedious two years dealing with injury I am finally back to running form and closing in on my previous PR’s. Prior to this year the last time I crossed a finish line was in March 2012 at the LA Marathon. That was a great moment for me having just ran a personal best in the marathon and breaking 3:00 for the first time. !
The next two years I did not cross any finish lines or experience any jubilant running moments, but I did learn four simple lessons that helped me persevere, overcome my injury and come back stronger. If you are dealing with a set back or have the misfortune of dealing with one in the future I hope these simple lessons will help you in your recovery.
1. Be Patient!
It is necessary to allow yourself adequate time to heal properly. Trying to rush the healing process can prove to be foolish and cause further setbacks. Being patient can be emotionally tough, especially when you see your teammates or competitors training and racing without you. Rather than focus on how much work you have ahead of you, set small goals each week or month and check them off as benchmarks along your path to making a full comeback to running.
2. Rehab Like a Motherf**ker!!
After two years of being sidelined I have seen my fair share of therapists and doctors. I was able to take something from each and apply it to my particular problem. I made the most of this “unplanned” down time to focus on my weaknesses not just my injury. It is important to improve core, overall strength and maintain flexibility during this time. Not only will this make you feel productive despite not being able to run, but the commitment you make towards your rehab will be your new standard for core and strength training sessions when you are back and running at an optimal level.
3. Keep Perspective!
Injuries have a way of giving runners a bit of a “reality check.” Being sidelined for so long I was uncertain that I would even be able to run for recreation let alone competitively. When I was able to run without discomfort I had a much deeper appreciation and love of the sport. I looked forward to the runs and the miles as they came and did not forget that each mile is not a given, but a gift. As you are able to run more and return to full training mode remind yourself not to take it for granted. This will help you to remain patient as you pursue your goals and keep your eyes focused on the long term.3
4. Be Positive, Stay Positive!
As difficult as this will be try to keep as positive as humanly possible. I definitely had issues with this. I had nearly convinced myself that my running days were behind me and I would never heal. However, with constant encouragement from friends and especially my dear, sweet, supportive husband I eventually learned the power of being positive. (Btw, my husband is also my editor) Your attitude and outlook is absolutely everything when it pertains to the healing! When you are sincerely positive, your attitude can actually speed up the healing process and diminish the emotional pain. So keep calm and stay strong!