Runners: When you’re injured, doesn’t it feel like everyone and their mother is suddenly running? Like every where you look you see someone running? Like every tweet, Instagram, and blog post you see is about running? You begin to feel jealous and even mad at other people because if you can’t run, no one else should be able to either. Please tell me you know what I mean. Or just nod along as I continue to Think Out Loud….
I’m not injured (yet) but I’m feeling all the typical denial/jealousy emotions that go along with injury. I even said to someone “I’m not a runner now,” like not running for a few days qualifies that kind of crazy response. In my mind, it seems as if everyone is running ALL THE MILES and I oddly feel left out. If some people can run marathons or long distances back-to-back-to-back with minimal rest, than so should I, right? If recovery to someone means two days off, why is it that not the case for me? If all of those Pinterest quotes say “push through, because giving up is worse,” shouldn’t I keeping going at full speed? The truth is, I want to be one of the those physically resilient people, but I’m not.
Recovery is different for everyone. Even though someone recovered fast, it doesn’t always mean that they are in better shape than someone who needed more time. On the flip slide, the person who needed more time to recover didn’t necessarily work harder than someone who bounced back quickly. Like training, nutrition, and most things in life, recovery is personal.
As much as I wish I was fully recovered and could crank out a double-digit run on any day, that is not the case. My legs are tight, my knee has started hurting, my feet hurt after 20 minute runs and I’m tired. I’ve been beating myself up for the fact that I’m not in “marathon shape” anymore. I’ve felt guilty for sleeping in and skipping workouts, especially at this time of year when everyone else in the world seems to be “killing it” in the gym and on the pavement. I see people who ran the same marathon as me who seem to have seamlessly transitioned back into training (keep in mind these assumptions are based off blog posts and social media). I’m worried that not running consistently or hard will lead to a severe decline in fitness. I think about the races on the horizon (still 2 months away) and already feel unprepared.
Lots of UNNECESSARY worries, right? Although I “preach” rest and recovery, it’s hard to accept. It’s hard to accept that my recovery period might mean no running, when someone else’s might mean only 20 miles/week. It’s hard to accept that I might lose some fitness.
It’s hard to accept that people are still allowed to workout when I’m not. But a slow recovery is only for my benefit. I may not see it now, but my body will thank me later for not rushing this process. If I feel strong tomorrow and run, great. If not, I shouldn’t push it. I need to do what feels right, despite what everyone on social media is posting.
If I’m teetering on the edge of injury, there’s no point in testing my body’s limits for the sake of one workout. For lack of a better phrase, it’s a marathon not a sprint. One workout (or any for that matter) isn’t worth an injury. I may not be at the “acceptance” stage of recovery, but I’m heading in the right direction.
How do you deal with recovery?
What is your social media pet peeve? Mine is that everyone’s life looks and sounds so perfect, healthy and happy. There’s always more to the story though.