Coming to terms with a running injury

The running Gods haven’t been too kind to me lately. Although I had a great race last weekend, got a new 5K PR and ran my first half marathon a few weeks ago, I can’t seem to shake these aches and pains from running. If you’ve been reading my blog somewhat consistently over the past eight months you know I’ve been plagued with my fair share of running-related injuries- runner’s knee back in the spring, IT Band Syndrome this summer and now self-diagnosed peroneal tendonitis.

I can be extremely thankful that none of these bumps and bruises have seriously sidelined me for any extended amount of time (knock on wood!) they have been extremely frustrating. This latest mishap has me more frustrated than usual. While it doesn’t hurt as bad as the IT band flare-up did, it’s more of a nagging pain. I can run with it, it even seems to go away after the first few miles, but I just want to run injury-free. Is that so much to ask for?

After seeking advice from some friends and going on a Google frenzy in search for stretches and exercises to ease peroneal tendonitis, I came to the conclusion that it might not be a bad idea to take a few days off. I haven’t done that in the past eight months so maybe that will help? Hopefully. I know I sound like I’m complaining but it pains me to “rest” especially when I see my friends and the close-knit virtual running community logging their weekly miles. I want to go running, why can’t I log 30 miles, 40, even 50 miles a week?

Oh, that’s right, I only started running eight months ago. I think my ambition and sheer love of the sport is the real cause for these injuries that keep sprouting up. I love running so much and am always itching to get out on the road or to hit a trail that sometimes I forget to really listen to what my body is trying to tell me- I need rest.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad a few months ago. My dad is a 16-time marathon veteran (he ran Boston eight times and boasts a 3:09 PR) and although he hasn’t been a consistent runner for awhile now, he can relate to my recent frustrations. He said to me, “Hannah, running is like a roller coaster. One day you can be high up and feel amazing and the next you come crashing down.” He explained to me that a lot of the time things happen for no apparent reason and you just have to take it easy to prevent further injury.

Old photo of my dad running Boston.

If this means resting a few days for me, so be it. I forget that there are so many people out there who can’t run. I get so down on myself when I get an injury and find myself getting jealous of those runners who say they’ve never been injured, but the truth is, every runner is different. I also need to be more patient with my running. I get overly excited by new PRs and longer distances that I forget I really haven’t been running that long. Moral of the story? I need to be more patient, listen to my body and be thankful for all of the progress I have made in the last eight months. The rest will fall into place over time!

Have you had any running-related injuries? What’s your advice on staying positive through injury? Share you stories in the comment section below!

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11 thoughts on “Coming to terms with a running injury

  1. My injury wasn’t from running, but it has lead me to the sport of running. I played college basketball and hurt my back during this past season. It lead to me having spine surgery in March. I no longer play on the basketball team, but I have began running instead. I’m running my first half marathon on Sunday. I’d suggest just listening to your doctor and make sure you are comfortable with him or her. Don’t push yourself too hard. And stay positive! That’s what helped me the most- finding positives throughout the months of complete negatives. Stay mentally tough. It will not only help you with your current injury, but any obstacles that you may face later on in life. I write more about it in my blog if you’d like to check it out! Take it easy and I hope you recover soon!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I’m sorry to hear about your injury but happy it led you to running. I’m staying positive and hoping this will all blow over soon. I’ll definitely check out your blog too!

  2. Definitely had my share of injuries, it’s tough taking a break but in the long run its best so that you can still run 30+ yrs from now. Remember it’s only temporary…try some spin or barre classes in the meantime to switch it up! :) good luck!

    • Exactly! Thank you! I’m hoping to get back on the road this weekend at least. I’ve been doing some yoga and that’s helped a bit too!

  3. I hear ya, Hannah! I dealt with a random knee strain for months and am now stuck in a boot & crutches for the next month with a stress fracture in my foot. I also dealt with peroneal tendonitis years ago. My biggest advice with that one is to foam roll the hell out of your calves, especially the outside, take a little time off, and maybe take a closer look at your shoes. You’ll be back before you know it. I find that focusing my mind on other things helps me through times when I can’t do what I love – running. If you take care of injuries now, you’ll be thankful later on when you aren’t sidelined from not resting enough.

    • Thanks Sarah! Also thanks for the advice about the peroneal tendonitis. I’ve been foam rolling like crazy!! It feels pretty good but I think it’s still going to take time unfortunately. How is your foot doing? I hope you get that boot off soon!!

  4. How blessed you are to have such a wise and experienced dad! I am in this boat as I type, with a marathon a mere 9 days away but I haven’t done a long run of any kind in 5 weeks due to injury. It sucks. It’s frustrating. I may well be crazy for even attempting to run on such spotty training. But I’ll run until I can’t and then I’ll walk. I had peroneal tendinitis BTW and pool running did wonders for it. You’re right, injury teaches us patience and how to work around frustrating obstacles. Ultimately they make us stronger. As long as we don’t give up. Hang in there–focus on what you CAN do!

    • Thank you for sharing your story Marcia! It’s definitely all about patients when dealing with an injury. I know you’ll rock your marathon though! Best of luck with your recovery!!

  5. Running is a fun sport – seriously. Each day, people all over the world partake in the sport. Some run on the track. Others run in their neighborhood. People run in trails and even on the treadmill. No matter where you run or how often you do it, chances are you are either at risk for injury or you have at some point dealt with an injury.Injuries can be frustrating. For most people, this means that some time needs to be spent away from the sport. For someone who loves it, this is not an easy task. But it is important to note that the easiest and quickest way to heal a running injury is to stop running.*

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