Coping With Injury

5:55 PM

Coping with an injury as an athlete is VERY difficult...I know the last time I blogged, I had run my second race and was preparing for my third, which was to be next Saturday. I joined a running club and was soooo pumped about getting the opportunity to train with other women & run a race. My goal was to run a faster 5k by the end of our 10 week clinic.

I was off to a wonderful start, I was motivated & I was pushing myself to get up at least 4 times a week to go run. As a beginning runner, I was doing a combination of walking & running.  And I felt great! The high point for me during my first month was when I stepped on the scale and saw that I had lost a total of 25 lbs!!!!!! I was ecstatic. I just couldn't believe that in a few short months of trying to get healthier, God had worked a miracle in my mindset & my body. I was enjoying my running...and I was getting better! I was ready for race day!

Then, in the 4th week of clinic, I was running with Gaia, my faithful running partner, and I suppose I stepped wrong or pushed myself too hard...I'm not sure what was happening. I just remember a pain shooting up my left leg. I stopped & stretched and decided to walk the rest of the way. When I walked, it felt better. I came home &decided to rest. A few days later, I tried to run again and the pain came back. I spoke with my running coach, and she suggested rest & ice it as well. So, I waited another few days and tried again...the same thing happened.

To make a super long, depressing story short, I had strained a tendon in my left leg. And since I kept trying to get back out & run, I kept re-injuring it. I've never been an athlete, so I didn't really understand what "rest" meant. My leg hurt so bad that I could barely walk at a leisurely pace for longer than a mile. I went from running, losing 25 lbs, & feeling great...to not even being able to power walk. I missed 4 weeks of clinic while trying to get my leg to heal...so I ended up having to drop out because I was so behind. And instead of preparing for my third race, I'm slowly but surely starting to run again. I was so down & hurt when it happened though...I just felt like I had failed myself because of this injury. I was disappointed...and honestly, angry. But, one of the best things I heard during this time was from my running coach's husband. He sent me an encouraging email with a lot of running advice. The best thing he told me was, "The real value is to be able to walk/run forever, not the distance." It meant so much to me when he said that. That is my goal...I want to run forever...I want to enjoy it forever. This pain was only temporary...it almost seems like it happened ages ago today. I'm already getting back out there, I'm just having to encourage myself to try again. 

So, that's my injury story...if you have any encouraging words, they're always appreciated. Thanks for reading :-)

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