How Do You Handle Running Setbacks, Specifically Injury?

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running setbacks

YOU GUYS!!! Remember all those exciting race plans and ambitious blogging goals we recently told you about?…
well, this happened:

running setbacksJesse Broke His Foot

No, he didn’t trip. No, he didn’t step on anything. He was just running along in the Super 5K on Superbowl Sunday when his foot started hurting. But, feet hurt sometimes so he did what any insanely-committed-to-finishing-the-race runner would do and kept running. What may have started as a stress fracture quickly turned into a full-on break in Jesse’s second metatarsal.

He’s bummed. REALLY bummed. And antsy (trust me here). Doctor’s orders have him completely off his foot for 5 weeks and restricted from running for 5 more weeks after that. No weight bearing of any kind, no standing, no walking, no running, and no driving. Needless to say, this changes all our running plans for the year. Jesse has received many warnings from fellow runners who have struggled through similar running setbacks – resume back to your running routine SLOWLY. Slowly eliminates all of the long, technical races Jesse was looking forward to on his race calendar this year.

Honestly, the races are such a small portion of this insanely inconvenient setback. And I’m having daily pity parties even though I’m not even the one who broke my foot. You see, Jesse is the motivator. He’s the get-us-out-the-door guy. He’s the drive-us-30-minutes-to-run-the-trails guy. He’s the you-can-do-this guy. And he says it as often and as many times as necessary to get me through a run. He’s my guy.

I Can’t Even Handle It!

You know all those people who tell you they’re too busy to run? And you know all those memes that tell you there’s someone busier than you running right now? I hate those.

Because I’m too busy. I spend a minimum of three hours a day in the car driving everyone to work, school, practices, games, meets. This is coming from a gal who works from home, who doesn’t commute, who is now driving round-trip in rush hour traffic twice a day. I thought I had overcome road rage, but it turns out that I just wasn’t driving all that often. And I feel sorry for myself because I don’t want to. I DON’T WANT TO!

How Can I Get My Head Right?

There’s a reason my running mantra is “run anyway”. The truth is, that unlike Jesse, I rarely WANT to run and my go-to meltdown is complete inactivity. Implementing a #RunAnyway mantra helps me overcome my excuses. But, now my number of excuses are outweighing my number of reasons, at least in my head. I know this isn’t true! I do!  All those excuses should be the fuel for my run. But, I can’t even. I need a new plan.

Sometimes I’m able to trick myself into accomplishing things by breaking down the steps into something that does’t really resemble a schedule or plan. In an attempt to keep moving forward Jesse and I came up with the following ideas to help us keep going and push us through this unexpected bump in the road.

  1. Let Go – I’m letting go of that big long list of races and training runs. It only causes me anxiety and disbelief. I personally set out this year to run 2 races, the North Country Trail Half Marathon in August and the Detroit International Full Marathon in October. So, I’m going to keep the main thing, the main thing and not stress over the other 10 races we had penned in our calendar.
  2. Stability Workouts – Core work is about all Jesse can do at this time. He’s been doing push-ups, Russian twists, bicycles, and a few other core workouts while he’s unable to put weight on his foot. He invites me to join him because this is a quick workout we can still do together.
  3. Potty Squats – Not to be confused with the #SquattyPotty, my friend shared this idea with me and I think it’s brilliant. Instead of adding another workout to my busy schedule, just alternate 10 squats and lunges every time I go to the bathroom. Before I know it, I’ve done 100 or so squats / lunges in a day.
  4. Run with Friends – I’ve been fortunate enough to have a large number of running friends who run with and encourage me. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be introduced to new groups that I can join to meet new running friends. I’ve found that having a running buddy is the best way to hold myself accountable.
  5. Accountability – Look for weekly updates on the blog about my training runs and workouts. I’ll be using this space as a running journal and posting a recap every week so that I can track my runs and progress.

Have you struggled with running setbacks or injury? What advice helped you through your recovery (or an extremely stressful time)? Please share it with us in the comments!

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