Hi everyone – I’ve been a little quiet over here. The last few months I’ve been plodding along at my own pace and finding my legs again (don’t worry – they’re still attached.) I am happy to say I am back to running and have been slowly adding to the amount of time on my feet each week while still keeping up all that cross/strength training I’ve been preaching.
If the last few months have taught me anything (aside from my love of resistance bands) it’s patience.
In these days of immediate gratification -when my amazon orders show up the next day and a guy on a bike will deliver dinner to my door in 15 mins or less with a swipe of a thumb – I’ve learned that recovering from an injury is not something that can be rushed, and there is no correlation between recovery time and number of google searches for “fastest way to get rid of knee pain.”
Injured or not, running is an excellent lesson in patience. When first starting out, or coming back after some time off, we have to be so patient with our bodies and let them adapt and strengthen to be able to safely handle the mileage- even when our minds are telling us we feel great and to just GO.
It’s sticking to your training plan when you have a goal in mind. It means mapping out all the small steps you need to get there and not rushing the process. Sometimes this means sitting out those runs you’re dying to join you’re friends on so you don’t do to much too soon – this is a particularly hard one for me.
Patience is not beating yourself up when you miss one of your runs or workouts. Life happens, we each only have 24 hours in the day. It’s reminding ourselves that we’re only human.
When we’re not quite where we want to be in our training, it can be really easy to get caught up in the comparison that comes along with following Strava, Instagram, and Facebook posts and go down that terrible rabbit hole of self-pity. I had a heavy dose of this over the winter, and also a lot of doubt as to how long it would take me to get back to the level of fitness and running ability (read: I was dying for some long runs.)
I found what helped me was to look back over my previous training plans to not just poke holes and adjust, but also to remind myself how my hard work had paid off. This helped me silent those self-doubt demons about not being to get back to “it” – whatever “it” was on that particular day. I also found it really helped to talk to friends who had gone through the same thing and had come out the other side. It made me feel a lot better than looking up my prognosis on WebMD = not good, try cycling.
During my time off, I used the opportunity to get back to cross-training and I’ve come out a stronger and (fingers crossed) better runner for it. Depending on your injury, or if you just feel you need a break (totally OK) there are lots of other options to stay fit. So, if you find yourself in a place where you need a heavy dose of patience – embrace it. It is sure to pay off.