I recently suffered a serious ankle sprain which has left me on the coach and yoga mat instead of on the pavement for almost two months. I just was cleared for running again. For those of us working through injuries, this seems like a day that will never come. I somehow made it through with my sanity relatively intact. Here are some things I learned along the way:
- Listen to your doctors. I promised myself, and my mother, that I would listen to the doctors and not push myself. I have been doing everything my doctor and physical therapist say. Including foregoing my beloved high heel shoes for nearly two months now. They really know what they are talking about. You will be happy you listened to them. And your mother will be happy too.
- Explore other activities. I know this is going to sound very shocking, perhaps even unbelievable to some of my running friends but –believe it or not—there is more to life than running. Use this time that are recovering from your injury to think about some other activities you may want to try. Yoga is my favorite “other activity” because you still get to do something physical. Think about taking up photography, learning the cello, cooking, reading, biking…the possibilities are endless. There is a whole world full of things to do that aren’t running. It’s radical, I know, but think about it.
- Focus on Your Nutrition. For me, running is my primary weight management tool. Having that taking away really forced me to look at what I eat and make better food choices. I initially planned to go vegetarian but have ended up going full-blown vegan (well most days) during this running hiatus. I even tried the 30 day body cleanse. I feel better than ever and have lost 8 pounds! Thank you very much!
- Do some Goal Setting. What better time to reassess your goals—your realistic goals that is—than now when you aren’t out training for something every day. This has given me some time to really assess what my goals are going to be once I return to running. Since I’ll be starting over basically, maybe I will build up some distances in my super cute vibrams. With this well-earned break maybe I will be able to do a full marathon this year. Maybe I want to move into the triathlon world. Maybe I want to hang up my running shoes, pick up a bow and play the cello. You don’t hear of many cello related injuries.
5. Shop! When all else fails shop! Clean out your old gear and make a list of what new gear you need. Donate your old shoes and get some new ones. Order an extra of your favorite sports bra. Replace the tights that got ruined by your fall. Get some new socks. Download some new tunes. Stock up so that you will be ready to hit the pavement when you can and you will be thrilled at the assortment of cute injury prevention gear including pink ankle braces, cow print compression tape and ice bags covered in martini glasses (www.gal-pal.com)!
Everything happens for a reason. So embrace your time on the couch, yoga mat or wherever you choose and enjoy your martini ice pack!