This week my attention was drawn to an article on Twitter which was tweeted by Balance Physio:
So I had a little read of the article and thought I’d try and apply the main points to my injury experiences over the last year (or more!).
I’m grateful that right now I’m starting to run a bit more. Yesterday I managed to run continuously for 30 minutes with no screaming from the left achilles or the right calf. Today I am grateful that things don’t seem to have been flared up. I am so grateful for this that today will be a rest day or a cross training day.
I am grateful that my injury has not needed any investigations or surgery. I am grateful that I am relatively young *cough* and my body still seems to heal if it is allowed to. I am grateful that I have been able to do other forms of exercise to help me keep my fitness levels up.
I am grateful that right now pulling on my trainers for a short run is a realistic prospect. Embracing all the positive aspects have helped my mind set no end during this period of not being able to run all the time.
Be mindful of what is making you feel rushed.
Races were making me feel rushed. I rushed through rehabilitation to run the London Marathon and really it was detrimental. I haven’t been able to run since then and I managed to make my Achilles tendinopathy much worse.
When I was still considering running Berlin yet again I felt the feeling of being rushed and wanting to force my body to be ready. But injuries cannot always be rushed and so I decided to pull out of Berlin and other races that I had planned this year. Races were panicking me and making me feel pressured. Making the decision not to do any races this year means I have been able to concentrate on rehabilitating my injuries.
Make yourself wait.
As a Physio I often come across people who want instant results for their injury. One session is all they believe they will need to get back into their training. Most of the time I end up disappointing them. But as a runner this is something I have also had to learn and very much the hard way.
The body heals when it heals. We can nourish the body, make the conditions of the body as optimal as possible but realistically an injury will settle if we make ourselves wait. It is frustrating and it makes you angry but I found that addressing the point above helped me to get on board with the waiting. I had time again and I wasn’t rushing for anything. I have been able to give my injuries the time they need.
Embrace the uncomfortable.
I see this one in terms of ‘acceptance’. My injury has taken me so far out of my comfort zone, more than anything else mentally. My comfortable state would be to try and continue running and feel normal. But that definitely won’t work so instead I have embraced the uncomfortable fact that I have been injured and that my body isn’t capable of what I want it to do right now. It feels so unnatural to do this at first but at some point you have to come to terms with it. And when I did I was able to follow my plan of rehabilitation an awful lot better.
Do a little deep breathing.
I would never have thought that Mindfulness and meditation could help me with my injuries but they have. The meditations, deep breathing and emptying my head of my worries linked to injuries and races have gone a long way to helping me with rehab and trying to get back into training. I have found far more patience with my run/walk sessions and I have been sticking to my rehab plans far more than I ever have before. My sleep patterns are also better and I think good sleep is key when getting over a long term injury.
I’ve accepted that it is unlikely that I will run any races again this year. I have adjusted my goal to be back running properly to the end of the year, possibly into the start of the next. A few months ago I would have been distraught by this prospect and I would have tried to run over the top of my niggles. But I’ve discovered with a little patience I have been able to run again and patience might just get me back running sooner than I thought.