I alternately thought of naming this post “Don’t Start a Running-Titled Blog While Nursing Nagging Injuries” but opted with the above to better capture what this post is actually about!
Well, the nagging injuries turned into shutting down completely for over 2 months, with only a handful of runs in the previous 3 weeks. It sucked. So how do you cope with the inactivity (and the alarming number of evenings you need to spend with your leg elevated)?
In my case, not being active didn’t translate into having time to do other things. I’m at a point in my career where work needs the extra time, so that’s primarily how I filled the hours. My bigger concern was losing my outlet while putting so many hours into work. I felt the added stress acutely so I needed to focus on two things: Resist the urge to come back from the injury too soon and find another release for that stress. The first was oddly easy, but only because I had enough people in my ear telling me to rest. The second, on the other hand…
My gut reaction (pun intended) is to comfort eat. This, however, does not help if you want your pants to fit (or to avoid a heart attack). Instead, I tried to pay attention to the little things that help reduce my stressors. Most nights, I tried to stop working by 8 pm, so I had time to turn my brain off before going to sleep. I’m self aware enough to know everything goes off the rails if I don’t get enough sleep, so I made it a priority.
I also made a point to take time with my closest family and friends. This group keeps me grounded and re-centers me when I get off-kilter. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in work and feel like there’s no time for anything else, when really these are the people who are the priority in my life. I always feel lighter after time with them and even though we’re all busy, it’s vital to make that time.
These little things helped with this time off and I’m sure I’ll fall back on them when the next nagging injury (unfortunately) hits. I’d also LOVE to hear other people’s advice on staying grounded through injury. It’s such an imperfect science!