Recognizing Your Limits When Injured

So I have to start off with an apology for missing yesterday’s post. I’m right in the middle of one of the biggest launches of my career at work, so while I have every intention of posting every day this week, it just may not be realistic. After getting home late last night, I decided to push this post out a day and spend time with Bart instead of spending my only 2 free hours of the day glued to my computer screen. Good call on my part because now I have a little more time to gather my thoughts instead of just throwing this post together, so hopefully you all understand! šŸ™‚

As I alluded to in Monday’s post, these past few days I’ve been battling some pain in my left ankle and calf which has made my training this week less than admirable. My Coach had called out a few weeks ago that I over-pronate when I run and had me go see a specialist who was able to fit meĀ for custom orthotics (yes–I’ve become that high maintenance runner that needs special shoes, socks, & orthotics to run like a normal person). Apparently I over-pronate a lot on my left leg, which as been slowly causing me more and more pain with each workout. I’m glad I was able to catch this earlier rather than later, but unfortunately I still have run into a bit of an injury.

I was SO excited to dive into my hill work on Monday, but after spending all day Saturday and Sunday hobbling around, I decided a 4-mile hill run wasn’t worth 3 weeks of no running. So I subbed out my run for a 45-minute elliptical workout, hoping to get in some incline training while taking it easy on my ankle.

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Taking it easy in my training hasn’t ever been easy for me. I’m definitely a go-getter and love the feeling of putting my whole self into trainingĀ and having the sweaty satisfaction of a good workout under my belt well before the sun rises. This injury is definitely no exception. I’ve been going stir-crazy the past few days because I know I’m limited in how much running I’ll be able to do throughout the next week or two. But I feel like I’ve made progress as an athlete because I’ve learned to respect my body and it’s limits.

Instead of pushing myself through the pain of a run which I would have done in years past, I’ve been researching different exercises I can do to strengthen my ankles to prevent this from happening again. I’ve been icing religiously and bought over-the-counter orthotics to walk around and train in until my custom pair arrive in 4 weeks. I’ve been avoiding my mid-day walks at work and focusing on just resting my body until it’s recovered. And slowly but surely, I can see that my hard work (or lack thereof) is working.

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As athletes, rest and recovery days aren’t always our favorite. We’re programmed to keep pushing through the pain to become better, faster, and stronger performers, so when we spend days or weeks on the couch resting our bodies, part of us feels like we’re letting ourselves down.Ā But as someone who is going through this frustrating part of athletics now, I can honestly say that recognizing your body’s limits and respecting them enough to know when to slow down is so incredibly important. Our bodies are amazing for being able to handle the stress working out puts them through, so the least we can do is listen to them when they need a break.

So my plan for the next week? Take it easy until I feel decent enough to attempt a run again. My fingers are crossed that I can run by Saturday, but I’m definitely not holding my breath. If nothing else, this rest time is just making me more excited to get back work once I’m feeling better!

Now back to icing and relaxing šŸ™‚ Have a fabulous Wednesday!

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