The dread word. Injury. The diagnosis? No running. How is this possible? It’s devastating for a runner. It’s not just the run. It’s the companionship, the socialization, the decompression, the release we get from running. I was having pain in the ball of my foot. A lot of pain. Some X-rays and an MRI later, it’s a stress fracture and strained tendon. What that means is Physical Therapy and bitching. A LOT of bitching.
My podiatrist is a marathon runner who has succumbed to his own stress fracture in the past, so he is very empathetic. I heard him in a nearby room tell his assistant, “Wow. I don’t want to walk in that room and have this conversation with her. She is not going to be happy.” Well, no shit I won’t be happy. 8 weeks of PT and NO running, NO biking, NO squats, deadlifts or ANYTHING that creates pressure on the bottom of my foot. What can I do? Swim. Great. Other than being pissed off, swearing profusely and wanting to throw the temper tantrum of the century, what can you do when you’re sidelined from running?
- It doesn’t matter if it’s illness, injury or a tsunami. Being sidelined from your True Love (aka running) sucks. Embrace your anger.
- Get over yourself. It’s temporary and this is pretty much a first world problem. Stop your bitching and look at the options. Swimming. Contact the swim coach you know and get in two months of bad ass training. It will help you stay in shape (or lose the 8 pounds you accumulated when you had to stop running), stay sane and work on the weakness in your triathlon.
- Listen to your doctor and PT. LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR AND PT! (I said it twice and got shouty because I know you’re like me)
- Remind yourself that this too shall pass. It’s temporary. You didn’t LOSE your foot, you damaged it. Also, when you’re getting back into the run, remember #1. Anger. It’ll come back when you’re trying to rebuild mileage and speed. You should ask yourself which is worse – anger that you can’t run or anger that you can. Then see #2. Yes, get over yourself. Again. And sign up for a race. Because you can.