Running while recovering from an injury (or several in my case) is a delicate dance! Don’t do enough and you lose all that you gained in training prior to the injury. Do too much and you end up on the sidelines again, waiting even longer to return at full-strength and ability to your sport! You have to find that happy medium — pushing yourself enough that you regain what you lost, but not so much that you do more damage.
I have a lot of inner dialog going on as I run these days. “The schedule calls for x pace, you gotta run faster!!” “Shhhhhhh!!!! (This is me calling on my inner Mom-self) “It’ll be ok. Relax and let things happen naturally. You’ll get better! Your speed will come back – but not right now. Take your time. Heal properly. Hang in there!” I’ve also been focusing on a phrase I heard someone use that I thought fit the bill for me right now — “Focus on the ODOMETER not the SPEEDOMETER!” That helps! Realizing that if I just go super easy, I will hit the mile requirements for the day, even if I cannot right now hit the pace ones without putting myself in some pain.
I thought of Les A. today and how focused he’s been on his heart rate training! That helped a lot! I know he’s watched himself get faster, without causing injury, by letting the heart rate monitor be his faithful coach and guide! 🙂 So, I switched my Garmin screens back to the heart rate screen about a mile and a half into my run today and let that be my only focus. That helped! Less pressure than the pace screen! I also realized I’d been pushing too hard for my “easy” run today and was forced to walk about half a mile to get my average heart rate low enough to fall into the right zone. Then, once it was time to run again, I had to just kind of shuffle to keep things at that level. It was a bit embarrassing, so again I had to call on my inner “Mom” “shhhhhhh!” to calm my inner, critical chatter. It helped. I relaxed and said “Hi” and smiled at the people I passed — a woman jogging with a baby stroller, and some men working on the fences in my neighborhood that I complimented with a “Looking good, guys!” That felt nice. 🙂
I’ll get there. I’ll recover. I’ll find my strength and speed again — but — only if I’m restrained enough and patient enough to let things happen in their own natural time. Competitive Christie needs a little bit longer in time-out my inner-self-Mom thinks. 😉
Average Heart Rate: 150 (easy zone) 3.18 miles. 12:19 average pace. 39:14: total time. Ran up and down Nemesis midway through run today. It felt tough. Streak Day 4!!!!