For the last four weeks I have been acting like a 4 year old and throwing all my toys out of my pram. Why? Because I got injured. My first running injury and I haven’t coped too well.
This post is a bit about what I did but also talks about what I should have done. If you are a first time sufferer, learn from my mistakes.
1. Denial. I’m not injured.
It hurts a bit, well it hurts a lot. But i’m not injured. It is just a niggle and it will go away in the morning. So what did I do? I went out and ran. The result? more pain. I tried the ‘mind over matter’ tactic. It is all in my head, it doesn’t hurt, i’m just being a big wet blanket. Sometimes this tactic works. Sometimes you just need to grit your teeth and dig deep. Sometimes that mental push can help you through. Not this time. If you are injured, just ignore that voice.
2. Ice Ice Baby.
My running parter eventually highlighted that I was a massive (and silly) grumpy pants and that I needed to stop running and get some ice on. I eventually gave in, sat on the sofa and iced my calf/ankle.
Actually, this part wasn’t so bad. If you are injured it is best to get some ice on it straight away. Not wait a week like I did.
The hardest bit. Stop aggravating the pain! At one point I thought my running partner might hide all my running gear. I listened (although silly very grumpy) and just did a little bit of walking to stop from crawling the walls.
At first, I thought it was never going to get any better but after a few weeks I started to feel it recovering.
I have a couple of odd looking items in my house. Running torture instruments. If you have never tried a foam roller and you are a runner, then you are missing out. I have a couple – one for those days where you are feeling like a ‘delicate flower’ and the other one for those days where you ‘want to feel it hard’. Im sure you can tell by the photo which is which.
I probably over did it slightly by over-rolling, but genuinely these are good objects to use. I also used it to try the muscles that were getting affected by my funny running, like my hamstrings.
5. Sports massage.
I booked in a session with my sports massage lady. As soon as I got in, I explained what hurt and like a therapy ninja she located the exact area. The session was painful but the next day I started to feel the benefits. If you can’t get a sports massage, it doesn’t matter – just make sure you rest and roller.
6. Small steps.
By this point, I had learnt to listen to others and give my body a chance to heal itself. My first few runs were very short – just a couple of miles and a few days apart. My calf was feeling better and I didn’t want to overdo it and be back to the start (grumpy 4 year old). It is still a little sore but I am trying to listen to my body a little more and rest when I should.
In conclusion, being injured is horrible. When you are enthusiastic about running and you cannot run, it is difficult to deal with. As hard as it is, try and listen to those around you that know what they are talking about. Rest really is a good thing and giving it time will help it heal. If the pain isn’t going away make sure you get it checked out professional.