This past week has been a big one for me. It's been filled with change-both positive and negative change. if you know me, you know that I love change; in fact, I crave it.
The most notable change is that I've moved 1000 miles south to the beautiful coastal town of Santa Barbara where I finished college a little over a year ago. I'm now surrounded by different people, establishing new routines, and looking for work. I love living here again. I can go to the beach daily, the weather is consistently perfect, and the people I'm in community with are very encouraging.
Even with all of these positive things happening to me I find myself dwelling on the negative: I'm unemployed and injured. I want to share some thoughts on the latter.
Last week's post was a fun one for me. The night that I wrote it I went out "sprinkler-dodging" for twelve miles in the dark-probably a bad idea, but it was fun. The last few miles of the run found my legs getting tired, but I kept going because I had to get home. I wasn't pushing the pace too hard-I was just cruising and enjoying the warm evening.
The Next morning I woke up with a sore left leg. Through some self-diagnosis and the power of Google, I've decided that I have a minor Achilles strain. I knew I was in a bit of trouble. Since then, I've been doing different strength exercises, icing, and resting.
Resting is what's killing me. I want to get out and pound the pavement. I know my fitness is good, but my leg can't handle it. This morning I went out for three miles, and that was a big victory. I've done a total of about eight miles since my twelve mile run ten days ago. My training schedule had me doing 34 miles last week, concluding with a twelve mile time trial.
This morning's run was spent experimenting with my stride and foot strike. I was trying to modify what I was used to to make running bearable. I have a background as a sprinter, so as I've made this gradual change to distance running I've kept my forefoot striking habits. I'm a big fan of the forefoot strike, and I'm very glad I developed the habit early, but it's putting a lot of pressure on this Achilles.
Earlier this summer I was getting up as early as 4:30 to squeeze my run into the day, and now that I have all day to train, I'm unable to get out there. When I do get out there, I'm training in heavy shoes with a large heel, working to strike with my mid foot, and I feel slow. I'm used to minimalist style shoes with little to no heel drop, forefoot striking, and being one of the faster people on the road. This is disappointing.
Now, in the grand scheme of things I know that my problems are minimal. I get that. But taking running away from a this runner hurts. I know that I want to do it. And I know if I push it too much it will push back my recovery time. I get that too.
I always try to find the good in bad situations. The good that I can potentially see here is that I'll have experience with this type of injury and I may be able to help somebody else out later on with what I'm learning. I imagine that more good will come out of it, but right now it's no fun.
I plan on having a post next week. Stay tuned.
How have you coped with running injuries? Did they leave you depressed? Or were you relieved in that you didn't have to run anymore?