Injury Rocks!

by tinareale on May 15, 2013

This fall, I will be participating in the Women’s Running Series Nashville half marathon through FitFluential. As part of that partnership, each month I will share a running related post. This post is sponsored by Women’s Running Series. Let’s #beamazing and run stronger!

Injury rocks! And I’m not even saying that sarcastically. After spending most of last year dealing with injury off and on, then finally getting smart in recovery the beginning of this year, I have now reached a happy point in my running and training. I want to keep it that way. Which is why looking back I can now say “Injury rocks!” because I can see all the ways it has benefitted me and made my training better now.

Injury rocks because you rediscover the challenge. Running had become “just a run” to me for awhile. Then, when taking a solid month off and starting over slowly with Couch To 5K, I quickly learned that running is still a challenge. It was HARD. Especially those hills…

conquer hills

I had been taking it for granted. Which brings me to…

Injury rocks because it makes you train smarter. Back then, when my runs were feeling “easy” all the time I tried to add too much on top of it to feel as though I was doing “enough”. Stupid. Now, I’m determined to have a good balance with a few runs per week, a couple strength sessions, a yoga session, and a cardio cross training session if I can fit it in. In short? YOU HAVE TO HAVE BALANCE IN YOUR ROUTINE.

Injury rocks because you open up to new things. When injured, I did lots of yoga. I also tried some new workout DVDs and brought back out old favorites I had previously forgotten about. I found that not only runs left me with the workout high I love. Makes it much easier going forward to keep that balanced routine, when you find there are many ways of training out there to enjoy. And for those runners who are self-proclaimed strength haters – I have to jump in and say Best Body Bootcamp might work for you. Lots of previous strength hating runners in there who now love the workouts and have benefitted with PRs, less injury reports, etc. Had to throw that out there.

Injury rocks because it makes you stronger mentally. Let’s face it. You need some mental strength to get through tough runs and the last push of races. Injury forced me to realize I’m stronger than I think. I picked up loads of positive mantras, Bible verses, etc. to repeat in my head when struggling. I still use them during workouts today!

Injury rocks because everything becomes new and exciting again. My first five mile run. Each new distance feels like a new PDR. My first double digit run. My first race.

It feels like the first time all over again. And that’s pretty sweet.

Injury rocks because you learn to listen to your body. The obvious one – you learn to listen. The body is very adept at giving us warning signals if it isn’t happy with what we’re doing. For at least two weeks before I was knocked out with sharp pain, I knew something was off. I kept on trucking, though. I had a marathon to train for, right?!

I sooooooo wish I had listened at the first sign and given myself a break, instead of spending the next 9 months frustrated and not loving running. I finally came around and played it smart. I don’t want to mess that up again. In fact, I’ve had to recently get smart and listen just recently.

I had signed up to train with Heather (the most awesome online running coach) again, but am having to “cry uncle”. My body just isn’t having following a training plan right now. I hate to admit it because it is such a release for me, but I have to if I don’t want to end up on the sidelines this year too.

I know I’m not getting near enough sleep and not eating well enough. I know I have stress hormones coursing through my body. I know I currently exert myself a lot with the physical work going into our house projects. So, I’m listening. I took a little visit to my sports chiropractor yesterday to nip some stiffness and aches in the bud. Then, I’m going to forget about a training plan and do what I can the next month or so until things hopefully calm down for us. I have to honor my body and listen. I know I wouldn’t do that if it weren’t for my previous injury experience, so injuries do, I guess, rock.

I have to do this now because I’m keeping in mind my goal for this fall – to run strong again.

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136 days will go fast. Do you have race plans yet for this fall? If you’re still up in the air, I would love to have you join me in Nashville or  check out one of the other Women’s Running Series races.

If you decide to come to Nashville, you get $10 OFF with code FITTNTINA. For more info, tips, inspiration, and discounts for other races:

Let’s train smart, run strong, stay injury free…and #beamazing! Happy training!

Have you ever been injured and later felt like it was a positive thing? What have you learned from injury before?

{ 27 comments }

1 Kim May 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

I’ve been injured (or had to take running breaks for various reasons) – I always feel like I”m “coming home” when I start back into running!!! In fact, in about an hour I’m making my return to running after over 3 weeks – I’m a little nervous but excited!!
Awesome that you are listening to your body through this training program!!!

2 Miz May 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

YES YES YES
Ive learned more from my back inexplicable OWIE than I have from practically anything else Ive struggled with in life.

3 Maureen May 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

I confess to being a former strength hating runner. If I felt like I needed more rest, I always sacrificed my strength days before my running days. At the beginning of the year, I committed to doing at least one strength workout a week and it has definitely helped a lot. (And I second the BBC recommendation for runners – been great for me so far!)

4 Heather @fitncookies May 15, 2013 at 9:16 am

It’s so hard to look at positives in a negative situation, but this post did it right! The biggest one for me is that an injury makes me realize why I do what I do. Sometimes I lift or workout and just do it, but when an injury happens, I realize what I love about it all and how much I look forward to getting back out there!

5 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian May 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

Injuries definitely put everything into perspective. I spent last fall and this winter in some form of injured/recovery and it was an eye-opening experience. I tried yoga for the first time and realized how beneficial it can be! I also swallowed my pride and am now going to physical therapy to work on my muscle imbalances and I LOVE it!

6 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast May 15, 2013 at 9:43 am

I love your reflections on running/injuries… I’ve learned many of the same things. Wish I could join you!

7 Melissa May 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

Injury really teaches you so much. I’m looking forward to coming back stronger than ever – it’ll take time, but eventually you end up in a better place than you were before the injury.

8 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! May 15, 2013 at 10:20 am

I’m hoping that I’ll feel this way about my injury VERY soon. I know it will make me train smarter. I know that once I eventually get out of “the boot” and back to running (and even walking normally!) again, every run will feel novel. I know that now I’m even more determined to complete my long-time goal of running a half marathon, but I’m going to do it as safely as possible.

In the meantime, being injured has definitely opened up new possibilties when it comes to fitness. Unfortunately I couldn’t do much yoga (nothing on my toes) or a ton of strength training, but I learned to modify exercises to avoid using my foot. I was even enrolled in a dance class this semester, and did my final choreography project dancing in a chair. There are a world of possibilities, and although it feels like the end of everything when the injury first happens, it opens your eyes to things you may have never discovered about yourself.

9 tinareale May 16, 2013 at 7:16 am

It’s okay to feel down right now! I know I did. ;) But yes it will get better and you will appreciate all those lessons soon. Hoping it all continues healing well…and fast!

10 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions May 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid any major, long-term injuries thus far in my running career, but I completely agree with all of this from the times I have been injured. I injured my back really early in my running career and was told the only thing I could do was swim — so I swam. I never, ever had swum laps before, and even though I’m absolutely terrible at swimming, it became something I enjoyed incorporating into my routine as a good way of getting my heart rate up without putting my body through a ton of stress. It was great, and I never would’ve learned that without my injury. I also recently had a bout of nasty shin splints from overtraining, and while it wasn’t fun to deal with them in the moment, it made me a lot smarter about upping my mileage slowly while building my base for marathon training. I’m running a lot of much shorter runs than I’ve run in over a year, but I know ultimately that’s the best decision for me and will help me be my healthiest when real marathon training begins. Another thing that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t get injured! Now, if only I could learn to be smart BEFORE dealing with pain… ;)

11 Marilyn May 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

I’m coming back from injury now, and I can really relate to all but one of the benefits you listed. I’m not sure whether I’m mentally stronger, but I’m sure hoping to see that benefit soon. :-)

12 tinareale May 16, 2013 at 7:14 am

Well mine I noticed more now when facing other times of stress. I remember how frustrated and down I felt when injury kept hitting me but seeing how it all worked out. That helps me mentally with the stress I have going on right now because I can trust that even though it’s a completely different challenge and to a whole new level I can still believe it will end up okay and be mentally stronger in that. Roundabout way I’m mentally stronger beyond just having better feeling runs and feeling mentally stronger that way.

13 LaShaune May 15, 2013 at 10:36 am

Thanks for this. I finally had to admit to my injury and it sucks not being able to run, jump and play. It really sucks having a hard time walking. So as I was lamenting to the fact that I can’t run or even walk far, I read this.

Yes, I’m still moaning but now I have a brighter outlook once my injury heals.

Thank you.

14 tinareale May 16, 2013 at 7:11 am

It’s definitely normal to have that down feeling. I know I for sure did! And I think it’s important to allow ourselves those emotions too. But do trust that there is a lot of learning and growth that can lead to a better place through it all. I’m here if you ever need to injury vent!

15 jobo May 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I TOTALLY agree with you!! Injuries DO rock for what they result in – the learnings galore! the perspective on why we love what we do, when we can’t have it (running!). The rediscovered and renewed love for it! And the listening to your body more than ever. So excited for your training plan and your races coming up!

16 [email protected] May 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm

It’s definitely hard at the time but I totally agree that it makes you stronger. I guess in a sense it’s the same as having suffered from eating disorders…what doesn’t kill you opens up your mind, makes you more in tune to your body, and much more rounded. You really appreciate your body and look after it when it’s been through so much and managed to fight through it all!

17 [email protected] May 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

SUCH positivity about something that can be so rough. Great points!!

18 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance May 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

You can learn a lot about yourself when you have to deal with an injury! But you’re right about all the positives that can come from it. I think I learned a great deal about being patient and trusting myself as a result of injuries.

19 tinareale May 16, 2013 at 7:08 am

Those are definitely things as well I learned. When we open our perspectives a bit we can see the blessing in everything…even crappy injuries. ;)

20 Lisa May 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I like the positive spin on this! I needed it!

Currently dealing with runner’s knee (and have been since October). I’ve been depressed, sad, frustrated, angry…and trying to think positive thoughts! It definitely revealed an imbalance in my body.

21 tinareale May 16, 2013 at 7:09 am

I was definitely in that phase for a long time, so it’s natural and allow yourself to feel that way. But do trust that it will all work out in a positive way and probably even have you running stronger later. But definitely go with feeling angry. Gotta feel what you feel.

22 Lisa May 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I’m trying NOT to get stuck in the “sad, depressed, angry” stage. Some days are harder than others!

23 STUFT Mama May 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I’m nixing some things too and it feels pretty darn good. :) Injuries are definitely part of the game plan in life. :) Love ya!

24 Eri May 16, 2013 at 5:17 am

WOW

25 Coco May 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Wow, talk about looking on the bright side! But I know you are right. I’ve given up on race training plans too, although I’m not sure I’m any less hard on myself. At least I don’t feel like I’ve broken the rules when I listen to my body and do something else (or nothing).

26 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf May 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

This is such a great post Tina and I can completely relate to all these points. I never thought that I would be grateful for injury but I have learned so much through the process. It’s hard when you can’t do something that you love but you’re absolutely right – it opens you up to so many other opportunities.

27 Cecilia @MommiesRun May 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I had a metatarsal stress fracture and it definitely taught be to listen to my body. I knew something was wrong but kept on running until I just couldn’t.

I really want to come run Nashville! It’s only a few hours from me!

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