Friday, September 1, 2017

Setbacks; Comebacks

I’ve been nursing an injury since last fall.  Yikes, it’s almost been a year.  In October I ran a marathon, followed by a half marathon that I coached two weeks later, followed by a weekend of a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday.  Yeah, I guess that’s a lot of running.  Makes sense why my body was hating me, didn’t want to cooperate and was screaming NO while my mind said YES.  I did really well at my races and was really happy with my finishing times – and my medals.  But my right hamstring was telling me that I did too much. 
I then opened the doors of my indoor running studio the following week and began coaching 12-15 sessions a week.  All of that pounding really took a toll on my body.  Once I started running outdoors with clients in the spring, I was still running about 15 times a week, plus running on my own.  My hamstring communicated with my sciatic nerve, which then spoke with my shin and calf.  They all were telling me to shut up and slow down. 
In my world, rest isn’t really an option.  This is the part where I say, “Listen to what I say.  Not what I do.”.  Oh yeah, so I signed up for another marathon, which I ran in June.  I don’t even want to know what my stride looked like during that race.  But, I was elated with my run and I finished in good time.
Then I stepped back …. Ok, just a little.
I seriously feared that I wouldn’t be able to run for myself any longer.  That I wouldn’t be able to coach any longer.  I don’t know which I feared more.  It was a scary feeling.  I was feeling lost.  I crave the run and the feeling it gives me.  I also love the feeling of helping others achieve their goals and watching them blossom as runners.  I was worried that all of that would be taken away from me.

I’ve used this summer to get really in tune with my body.  Running has taught me to appreciate my body.  Not just pound the pavement (or the treadmill for that matter).  But this injury (err, injuries) have taught me to REALLY appreciate it.  Appreciate what it does for me.  What it allows me to do.  It’s a privilege.  I’ve rolled out my muscles, iced when needed and tried to embrace some rest – and lots of walking.  I’ve also done lots of reading up on this sport that I love so much and researching injury prevention. 
I focused on tightening up my diet and embracing my accountability groups.  This allowed me to hit my goal weight earlier this summer.  It made me lighter and leaner and even more appreciative of my body and what women are physically capable of.  We are beautiful, amazing, strong creatures.
I’m really good at taking care of myself and exercising.  But I’m not very good at self-care.  So, I finally booked a massage and she worked her magic.  She focused on all of my problem areas and really got to the core of it.  It has seriously - changed … my … world. 
Right now, my coaching schedule is still really intense.  But I’ve made a conscious decision to scale back and focus on my clients’ goals – but also focus on myself and my well-being – and my family.
And the injuries?? …. My body is feeling so strong and healthy right now.  I’m ready to tackle my upcoming marathons in October.  My injuries are pretty much nonexistent.  And my long runs have felt really great.  I’m a different runner right now.
Being injured is no joke.  It changes you as a runner.  As an athlete.  As a person.  And it has changed me as a coach, too.  

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