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Good morning runners,
I on week 2 (well week 3 if you count the first injury) of my rest time to heal my hamstring. Went for a walk today (5 miles) and it certainly let me know that although much improved, its still healing. So now the frustration kicks in. I'm watching my training time go down the tubes and know that I most likely will not be ready to make the 1/2 marathon in October. The level of disappointment in myself, my body and my mind is incredible. Yes, I'm crosstraining (biking between 12 and 15 miles a day or walking 5 miles depending on the day and the weather) so know realistically I'm not losing to much fitness but with every day that passes, I feel more and more removed from running and it's depressing. Some of you who have been athletes for years and have suffered setbacks over time I'm sure think I'm over reacting. I probably am. For me, this is a new endeavor...I've never been an athlete. I feel like I finally woke up a year ago from a disassociation from my body and connected to my whole self....one that I'm now not connected to again and it really stinks. I'm committed to making my way back, to rehabilitating this injury and running smart in my future but the now, the today, really is hard to deal with. I'm on vacation next week in beautiful Lake Placid, NY. I've been waiting all year to go there and was looking forward to running around the lake for the first time (it's a very athletic place and I've gone many times and watched the Ironman Triathalong...the last time (2 years ago) deciding to add finishing a competative race as part of my bucket list) connecting to the committment I made to myself before I started this running jouney...almost like coming full circle and here I am sitting here not being able to run.....I know this too shall pass.
So this is my rant today....you all offer so many encouraging words.....how do you or did you deal with these feelings as I know I can not be alone in them.
TRUST THE TRAINING!
Cyndi, I feel your pain. I've been out with an injury during training. We probably all have. But I also feel your pain because I am an average, everyday runner like you who just wants to achieve a goal we never thought we would reach. We aren't "athletes" with trainers and sports doctors and racing seasons and all that. We are just folks who maybe want to accomplish a marathon in our lifetime for so many reasons - physical, mental, spiritual. We aren't looking to set the world on its ear, we just want the personal fulfillment of pushing ourselves to the limits and finding out what we can do. It is as much about the mental aspect of overcoming the doubts ,"Oh I could never do that" as it is about actually training our bodies to do it. And if you are like me, you always have this lingering doubt that if you stop running you will lose your momentum and maybe never get back to where you were.
I also feel your pain because I am facing a different kind of setback but it has me down as well. Its not just that I did badly in my 10K the other day (and I mean BADLY) but it is because I can't stop gaining weight. I looked at my race pictures and I was literally sick. I'm like "who is that cow?" I can see exactly why I raced so badly. What is frustrating is that I run 20 mpw and I strength train twice a week. For a middle aged woman, that is a lot of activity, I don't just sit around the house. I don't eat junk food either - no chips, sodas, ice cream, etc. (and no, I don't drink sugary sports drinks). I eat healthy foods, but I guess I just eat too much of it. I run and lift weights - and I get hungry! As I've run more and more in the last year, I've put on more and more weight (probably 15 lbs in the past year! Its not exactly an injury like you have, but it is bringing me down just the same. I started to do my workout routine last night and I just couldn't do it. I had no motivation whatsoever. Honestly, without the motivation of seeing RESULTS, why do we do it? If I run and work out, and the result is that I get fatter and slower......well I am at an impasse and just have no reason to continue.
Sorry, enough about my problem! I just want you to know that I feel discouragement too. I love to run, like you do, but I'll never be great at it. I am just trying to find balance in my life this way and it sounds like it is the same for you. I want to encourage you to NOT GIVE UP! Keep up your cross training. Try to give yourself a mental picture of how it is strengthening you in other ways that running doesn't do. And honestly, maybe shaking up your routine with different activities is a good thing. (I wonder if that is my problem, I do the same 20 miles every week and it doesn't "work" any more!) I hope you heal quickly and keep your energy and drive up in the meantime. You won't lose all your fitness if you cycle, do the elliptical, walk, strength train, etc. Maybe, just maybe, you will even find some benefits to your running when you come back with fresh legs and a new enthusiasm to run. Let us know how you're doing!
The feeling of losing touch is very real. That doesn't mean you really are though. What you have against it is your committment to yourself and to running, and to knowing that you will get out there again when the hamstring is healed. Of course you can always visit here to keep the faith alive. Or pick up a copy of Runner's World and read about all the great things you'll be doing in a few weeks. A couple years ago I was out for two months (knee), with a marathon planned for the end of October. I went back to running mid-June and made the race. So don't give up hope for your half yet, though healing is still number one.
Mary and Len,
I've been around this site for a year now and the 2 of you always offer sound, inspirational advice. I thank you from the sincerest part of my heart on your replies.
Mary, you're post brought tears to my eyes. How about we make a committment to get through our challenges together....neither of us will give up.....I plan to print this post and keep it with me and use your words as my inspiration....becuase if someone I admire (you) has challenges too then it's ok for me to. We seem to be very similar and yes, I never in my life (and honestly no one who ever knew me) thought I coudl do what I'm doing and that power is huge in my life. I know I'll get back but I almost am embarrassed because I feel that others are looking at me with the "i told you you couldn't do it" eyes....its very sad for me because I'm starting to think that maybe I can't do it. I've bought bracelets to encourage myself through this, stickers for my car windows, all kinds of inspirational words so I remember thtat this is temporary. . Every ride I do and every walk will be started with a thought that somewhere (not sure where u are) that you're doing the same and I'm sending you a good thoughts of encouragement.....
I know this is short term but it feels like forever. I did decide that come October 18th, if I can't run the race officially, I'm going to run 13.1 miles in my neighbohood so on that day I still will run my half marathon......for me! Maybe we can have a bunch of people call Octobe 18th neighborhood Half Marathon Day and we'll all send good thoughts to each other on that day! Doesn't matter how long it takes, and to quote Miley Cyrus....
"its all about the CLIMB"
TRUST THE TRAINING!
Cindi and Mary,
Who has told you that your not athletes, just because you dont have a big fancy contract with tons of money playing infront of a huge crowd, and people telling you how great you are, doesnt justify you as a athlete. Heck I have a heck of a lot more respect for people on here then anywhere in the so called sports world, we do it for the love. An athlete to me is someone who goes out and does there own thing no matter what it is in fitness, as long as they can enjoy most espect of it. A people who wants the place of them selves most of the time while doing it and and most of all a athlete is some who can crash and burn due to whatever comes there way and lift themselves from the ashes with help from there friend and family, but most of all from inside themselves.
I have been in your shoes many times over the many years i have trained whether its been weight training, running or mountain biking. WIth this I have alway posted myself on high on the expectation mountain and on 99 percent of the time im only human I feel ive never reached my fuel potentail. Why, because things happen in life and body that I cant control for whatever reason. It would seem at the begining I would start off like gang busters tearing up the world making the gains I was happy with, but in the back of my mind the feeling of oh my god what if would come up. What if I get sick how will i train, What if I got injuried and I cant train, most of all what if i dont train today, will the world end for my training.
Now I still come up on bad days now but what i realize is I wasnt focused on my happiness away from the training, I was taking it personal that I could have fun when i was sick (not that its fun to be sick) or have fun while i was injuried (not that its fun to be injured either) I couldnt even enjoy vacation without training.
We all need time away from our sports whether its injury, sick, or just time. I have come to realize that my training has become a become part of my life but the goal shouldn't be my whole life so i try not to take it personal when i dont do it..
So with all this rambling and making no sense at all, your time will come when you will be back ready to go and if your goal has to move all so be it, but try not to take it personal that your taking time away from it and having a good time your not cheating on yourself........
We all here for you and anyone else that needs us........
It's not only about finishing, its about finishing healthy!
Two years into running always push myself to far and not step back. Cause always injure myself somehow. It is frustrating. Though if it is something your goal is to complete that race you have to stay focus. Keep doing what your doing being active and resting. Be out there in no time. Best of luck.
The very good news is that most people would consider 5 miles walking or 15 miles on a bike to be quite a work-out! As Len has said, it always could be worse. I've all but given up weight lifting (my preferred exercise) due to arthritis in my shoulder (I'm only 43! Who the heck gets arthritis at 43? You ought to see how bad my x-rays look!!!!!). I starting running to help with back pain. So far so good, but I'm just waiting to discover the arthritis in my knee, Haha. Take it easy, enjoy your x-training and you'll be back to running before you know it.
Dennis, you're not rambling at all, you make perfect sense. There was another thread a while ago that talked about a runners personality (Mary I think you replied to that one too). I believe at least for me that the drive or more important the consistency to be an runnner is something that few have or keep long term (if you consider the amount of people who run regularly). Running is not an easy sport and endurance running is absolutely not an easy sport. The thing I like most is the long runs too....zoning out and losing myself in my body, my breathing, the pace. I miss the feeling of pushing myself and feeling wonderful when I'm done I miss that terribly and am very afraid that I won't get the groove back.
I'm only hoping that after a year running has become entrenched enough in my personality that I can hit these bumps in the road and resume my activity even if it takes 4 weeks or more to heal. I have not had a good track record for maintaining anything long term (way to many half finished art projects laying around or exercise DVD's purchased and gathering dust) but this running thing by far has gotten a hold of me good. It has made me feel part of unique club and I enjoy being in the club....every aspect of it....I walk prouder, I feel better and look better than I have ever. I am not a fast runner, I will never win, I will post times that only I will be proud of but I don't really care (well maybe a little if I'm honest). I'm doing something that I never could before and that is why this is so hard....I don't want to stop forever and am very afraid that I will. I'm hoping that I will read this post a few months from now and feel so empowered because I made it through the other side of this injury smarter, stronger and more able to encourage those in this place I am now through it as you all are doing for me.
PedDoc, I'm 45 and expecting my knees to go any day now too......maybe that's next (lol). First it was my butt, then it was my hamstring. seems to be sliding down my legs slowly (gravity is taking everything else so why not this too). Good thing is that this break is helping all my areas heal....I should feel 18 again when I start back....
TRUST THE TRAINING!
I just joined this website. I feel your pain b/c I just started running myself and after just two months I decided to stop slogging and pick up the pace and distance. I got shin splints. I didn't know you should not run on them and decided to keep going one more time which was the last time I could run for two weeks now (now I know better). I think I am finally ok although I feel just a bit tender now and then. I wonder if I am just nervous, lazy, or really need to take some more time off, or plain just get going. I have an elliptical machine and after one full week of complete rest I have done that this week. I'd love to build up distance and speed. I am finally shedding some pounds after years of weight put on over ten years of marriage and two kiddos. I love running, but it doesn't seem to love me right now. Your post helped me feel motivated that you can be injured and still have goals and rehabilitate. Good luck to you!!!!
You indeed have an issue that I find intriging. I'm a little hesitant to post as this may be a sensitive subject for you, but I think you know the general support this group has for each other and I'm not trying to be critical or second guess thoughts you've already had or pursued. I have read other posters who indicate that they had trouble keeping their weight down until they got into that 40 mpw range which I find amazing. I agree that 20+ mpw, 2 weight sessions a week and a clean diet should be helping. I would be most curious what your training program looks like. Do you have any "interval" training? Do you do any "fartliks?" I have read many places that temporary increases in intensity stimulate the resting metabolism. Another way to do this is to "circuit train" your weight training by allowing yourself very little rest between sets. You can hit multiple body parts in rapid succession, or you can hit the same body part with only 30 second breaks in between sets.
Are you "over-training?" Is your resting heart rate slowly getting slower?
Do you have medical issues (depression, thyroid dz)? Do you have a strong family history of being over-weight? Diabetes in the family? (By the way, genetics sucks!!!! We look like our parents for better or worse.)
Are you truly over-weight, or are you just gaining weight that you don't like?
Is it possible that you are "starving" yourself, hence saving too many calories and that is affecting your running (remember that PW?)? Could it be possible that you're taking in few enough calories that your body is hanging on to everything it can at the expense of your ability to improve your running?
Is it possible that the weight you're gaining is muscle while you shed fat, in essence, gaining lean body mass and decreasing body fat percentage? These are just a few of the things that come to mind after reading your story.
Injuries, especially when caused by over enthusiasm, I understand. Getting over them is hard and requires a patience level that I don't have. Your comments about weight, however, make me scratch my head and say, "what's going on?"
Cindy & mary, I feel your pain too.
I'm around that same age (45) where it seems things are breaking down left and right. On Memorial Day I tore my achilles tendon playing a game of basketball (ironically, I may have weakened it a bit with the excessive running I was doing beforehand). This was a royal pain as I was feeling really great with all the races I had participated in during the year (including duals, half marathon, 10k's and 5k's). The prognosis was recuperation and recovery for the next few months. Initially i was a bit down, but then I told myself:
1 - This happened right when summer was starting and it is INCREDIBLY hot here in Florida.
2- The running season here is for the most part over until Mid October- 1st of November
3 - I was getting a little run down and could use a little break to recharge
4 - The injury was temporary and I would soon get back to running
5 - When I start running again, I will appreciate it even more!
As long as these thoughts are in my head, I know things will be okay. It helps me through every minute of therapy and every ache I feel when I am walking. You have to stay positive to get though it all.
Remember what it was like when you first started running: You probably looked at everyone else doing it and doubted that you could even come CLOSE to running. Next you took the challenge and started running a little bit in the neighborhood or on a local track. Then you incresed your daily,weekly, monthly totals and became a better runner in the process. Finally, you got the confidence to enter races and become one of the few, the proud ...the runner. That doesn't stop with an injury....you've got that title for life now.
So the both of you take a deep breath, look in the mirror and tell yourself THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Visualize a few months later running your favorite route or a new race. It will happen as long as you keep the belief alive.
Good luck to both of you and I look forward to hearing about the positive steps in your recoveries!
Mary, I too don't want to be presumptuous, but I wonder if something as simple as tracking your input/output would help reverse the weight gain. I personally do and like Weight Watchers Points plan because it's independent of exercise; however, you get extra points for exercise and those points are (should be) tracked empirically. I use a HR monitor to track actual calories burned or for running, count each miles as burning 100 calories. Each 100 calories burned = 1 point I get to eat over my alloted daily points. This might help with reconciling your post-exercise hunger/extra caloric intake. I think most people get into a mentality that they have worked hard and can have that extra bit of food, but without tracking, one invariably eats more than they burned.
I have a few pounds to lose but am not really that overweight; however, I like the plan because it helps provide perspective and control over eating. Everytime I say "OK, I know what I need to eat now," I invariably start the weight gain creep.
"I'd rather wear out than rust out."
- Harlan Sanders (Col. Sanders)
Good morning all.
First of all, thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support. As a quick update, the hammy is actually feeling pretty good. I'm being patient and haven't run but have been biking my 12 miles or walking 5 1/2 (alternating between the 2 each day). The walking doesn't really make me feel worked out enough but I don't want to now injure another body part by overdoing the biking (boy have I learned my lesson on overtraining). I'm also using the foam roller every night for about 20 minutes and that has really helped too. I'm on vacation next week and think that I'll continue with the rehabilitation by using the gym at the hotel (bike, eliptical) and also walk the lake daily as well (once around the lake is 3 miles) and swim too. Since the hammy is on the mend, i think its best to let it go one more week before I hit the road when I'm back on the 19th. I'm hoping to get a run in on that day and plan to start slow. It has been very hard to keep positive through this but I know that I plan to be a runner for a very long time and will inevitably deal with injuries along the way. I know now that I need to deal with them earlier because I certainly made my situation worse. If I would have listened to my body the day I ran the 10K on Memorial Day (which is the day I know this started as a strain) and rested then, I could have avoided this entirely. So I will start back, slowly although with great enthusiasm and a newfound respect for my body and the sport, and build myself back to be a healthy long distance runner. I've got nothing but time.....October 18th will be a pivital day for me with or without the official 1/2 marathon....there is always the Cyndi's Neighborhood Challenge and one way or another I'll run 13.1 that day but I'll run it healthy and be satisfied with it no matter what.
Mary, how are you doing? One thing is have had to do during this past 2 weeks is modify my eating....I've been extra careful about portion sizes and food choices because having lost so much weight in this past year due to the amount of physical activity I've bee doing, I know that without that activity, if I kept eating as I have become accustomed to (healthy but allowing myself cheats when I wanted them) I would gain which would have made my mental situation worse.
Thanks to you all...you are a wonderful group of people.
TRUST THE TRAINING!