A Different Kind of Patience

This is a fairly self-therapy post in which I do some whining. Sorry in advance!

Many runners use words with “P” as part of their personal mantras: practice!, persevere, persist, patience, “it’s okay to perspire,” “keep the pace…” “move through the pain.” A lot of time, we think of patience in running as having the strength to wait for the right moment to sprint, or taking the “ability to hold out” meaning of patience as it’s definition. However, many runners who have been injured know  that patience is not so much what we have during the run, but what we need during recovery to stop ourselves from running too soon.
“But I just ran a PR, I can do fast, why do I have to wait?”

Clearly, there’s knowing one should be patient, and being able to practice it. I think I was too impatient following my half-marathon mid-December, getting back to walking a lot within a day, and running by the fourth day after the race. I should have waited, and my feet told me so after my almost 6-miler just five days after my race. I had done some damage, made it worse by running again so soon, and now I’m afraid to start again for fear of having given myself an injury.

Clearly, I should go to the doctor to get the foot that’s causing me trouble diagnosed. I am just worried that I already know that the doctor will tell me to stop running, and I’m afraid it’s for a period longer than I’m willing to stop. Instead, I’m considering that I have the worst (stress fracture), and taking the necessary steps from there. [disclaimer: in all likelihood, what I have is “just” a reaction and compounded soreness. If I were in serious pain, I would go see a doctor]

Rest: obviously, I need to take a break from running, or spending a lot of time on my feet. Not running is easier controlled than walking, since I need to be able to get places. I haven’t run for two weeks now, and I figure if I take one more week off, I should be able to gingerly move back into it. It’s been three weeks since a hard run, or daily running, but I know I should probably stick to my plan of three weeks completely off. That’s where having patience comes in. I need to remember that even if the foot feels fine walking, or a few minutes into the run, I don’t want to know what happens when it starts hurting again, or how long I have to wait to start again… so I wait.

Waiting: I am using the time I would usually run to take care of my feet. I used a callous remover and got my heels back down to their normal texture and size. I soak my feet in warm water and rub them in with creme. I try to ice them. I have been taping my arches when I walk for longer periods of time. I try to keep my feet walking normally, and ignore the pain that makes it tempting to do a weird foot twist. I roll my feet over a ridged roller and a small, hard ball. For the rest of my legs and body, I still foam roll, try to do calisthenics, and get a lot of biking in. It’s weird going from 50 miles a week of running to 0, but I can use the extra time right now anyway to work for school.

what about playing soccer?: Am I stupid? Admittedly, yes, a little. I am thinking about it. Should I though? Probably not. I’m going to wait at least as long as I will wait before I start running again.

Wish me luck! Realistically, I know I can take off three more weeks and still have moderate preparation for the marathon at the end of April. If I want that even to be an option, I need to be patient now. That’s my mantra.

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5 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Patience

  1. I just posted about my stress fracture today, and I agree! You gotta take the time to let that heal. Please rest now or regret it later. Because trust me, you could be prolonging your own injury and you don’t want that! Let it heal now, and you will still be ready by April, I promise!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey there! Take more time than you think you need to heal, trust me. I’ve been out for six months with a stress fracture in my Pelvis. The whole experience will do your running some good, if you want to really commit to the sport and run that 100miler then you are almost guaranteed time out with injury at some point. Learning how to deal with it in a smart way both mentally and physically is what will make you tough, and help you to hit that amazing goal. Good luck :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. :-) I appreciate your advice, especially since you’ve considered one of my ultimate running goals in giving it.
      A stress fracture in the pelvis is rough! I can’t believe you’re sane after six months of recovery (but swimming must have helped and damn, your back looks good!).
      Thankfully, I have only have something like a minor stress reaction in the foot, and taking four weeks off seems like it will be enough. I’m already walking pain free, and I still plan to wait another week and a half. And you’re right. recovering from my last injury (ITBS) helped prepare me to be more patient in recovering from this one. I am also learning that not being able to run is okay… it frees up a lot of time and energy for other things, and I’ve been able to put running more suitably in my list of priorities.
      Good luck in your recovery! That walk/run plan looks good, and have fun rediscovering the joys of first beginning to run.

      Liked by 1 person

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