I’m injured and I’ve been having a really hard time dealing with this fact.
According to the physical therapist my extremely tight calves and limited mobility in my right ankle have caused stress on a tendon in my ankle. This is causing pain when I run, walk, and sometimes even when I am just resting. Luckily, my stubborn self didn’t sit in denial too long and I got treatment early enough that the injury is acute and should heal in 4-6 weeks.
Unfortunately, my ability to run currently is very limited. My physical therapist told me that he “wants me to stay as active as I have been as long as it doesn’t hurt.” At first, I thought this was great news. I told myself that is doesn’t hurt all the time while I run, so I can maintain my training schedule and just walk as needed. I even met up with my running group for our 5 mile long run on Saturday morning.
I didn’t even make it a mile before I had to drop down to a walk. By mile 3.5 I couldn’t even walk on it anymore. I had to call a ride. It wasn’t so incredibly painful that I couldn’t walk on it, but I could tell with every step I was making it worse. I was really upset. I hated that I couldn’t finish my run.
I’m a perfectionist and I don’t like to quit, or not finish, or do less than 100%. On top of that, I grew up dancing. In dance almost everything hurts. You are moving your body in ways it isn’t supposed to move, but you keep moving through the pain. To stop a workout because my ankle hurt went against years of dance training. I know listening to my body is the most important thing I can do right now. And I know that stopping was the right thing to do, but it felt wrong.
I sat in my depression yesterday, angry that I can’t run. Today was better. Today I decided I am going to have to adjust my training plan and my race day goals due to this injury and that that is okay.
Now, my goal for this race is not to PR. My goal is to heal from this injury and then complete training and the race injury free. I also plan to become a stronger runner. I am going to include cross training, stretch more, and practice listening to my body. I’m not going to let this injury get me down. Instead, I am going to use it as a lesson that being a runner takes more than just running.
So, as I said, I am going to adjust my training plan. Each week I will look at what the regular plan is and then listen to my body to see how it is feeling and adjust as necessary. This means that the plan below is what I hope my body can do, but if any of it starts to hurt my ankle I need to allow myself to do less.
Monday: 30 minutes cross train cardio, 2 strength training circuits, PT exercises
Tuesday: 3 miles walking or 45 minutes elliptical, PT exercises
Wednesday: 45 minutes cross train cardio, PT exercises
Thursday: 3 miles walking or 45 minutes elliptical, PT exercises
Friday: 10 minutes warm-up cardio, 2 strength training circuits, PT exercises
Saturday: 4 miles walking, PT exercises