Staying Sane While Injured

I figured this topic at one time or another is something all of us runners, or athletes in general for that matter, face. How to stay sane while not being able to do the activities you are normally used to. I thought I would share based on this injury and recovery how I’m managing through the extra time, less exercise, and feelings that go along with it all.

First off, it sucks. Plain and simple. That said, I actually took the news from my doctor about shutting down all activity better than I expected. Probably because this isn’t my first time with this injury or treatment. I know I will likely get back to a normal routine in 2-3 weeks. In the scale of potential injuries it’s not like I’m dealing with something major. The doctor is optimistic that I will be able to heal and will be able to get my fitness back to train for the Chicago Marathon.

The difference with the assessment this time around was upon examination they noticed my psoas was inflamed which resulted in taking a strong anti-inflamatory, which means no alcohol while on medication. With no running for a while, no alcohol helps keep calories down, but I do miss a glass of wine. I’ve been a bit grouchy about this from time to time.

I’m three graston treatments in with four scheduled depending now how responsive my hamstring, piriformis area responds. Things are improving with each session so that keeps me sane as well. I would definitely have more of a hopeless feeling if I wasn’t getting that sense of progress.

When it comes to all of this free time and lack of exercise options, I’ve spent time at the gym and home doing upper body strengthening, which I needed anyways. It’s funny how just a little workout helps. It makes it seem like I’m getting ready for my next training cycle and it’s right around the corner. After a couple of days I introduced some gentle yoga with DVDs at home. Coco got into it as well. She took any chance for a spot on my mat when I was in a pose that allowed her to bring her bone and settle in.

After a couple of days of gentle yoga I’ve kicked it up a notch and have moved to my more advanced yoga DVD sessions, keeping in mind to modify or avoid anything that affects my injury. I have a good collection of yoga DVDs going and have taken a few types of classes, so I may need to do a post just around yoga soon.

After a week and half of recovery I’ve ventured out for a couple of times for some light running. I did 2 miles each time slowly. My range of motion is improving, but I’m definitely still injured so I’m not pushing the pace or distance. Really these runs were just to test the waters and report back to my physical therapist.

As far a filling all of the free time, I’ve been able to stay busy thanks to our house projects. We are working on power washing our fence and staining it. And then there is finishing the basement. While Rob has to do all of the major tasks, it’s been a good distraction to help him and shop for finishes.

To keep my spirits up I’ve also signed us up for future races, which are listed in the race plans section of the blog. Knowing the degree of my injury and projected recovery, I feel comfortable getting things on the books for the future. It’s nice to look forward to our next race adventures.

Another part keeping my sanity while I recover is to not read a lot of running materials or blogs. It may sound funny, but that just makes me more antsy to run. I have to take time off from hearing about races, ways to improve, so I go off the running grid for awhile. I have to stay focused on what I can do (yoga, house projects, etc.) and less on what I’m missing out on. It’s an approach that works for me.

The real test of keeping it all in perspective? Watching the race that I was training for and had to give up. More on that in my next post…..

You ever been injured and it affected your routine? How did you cope through the down time?

Any tips to share about how you keep/kept focus on the bigger picture?

4 thoughts on “Staying Sane While Injured

  1. I’ve recently been diagnosed with a herniated disc in my neck (thankfully not my back, though). I had been having issues on my right side for a few months now, progressively getting worse, so I finally had an MRI. Now I have to decide whether or not to have surgery and when since I have a lot coming up including a trip to Alaska next week which we’re supposed to be hiking, bicycling and running – all low key, fortunately 😦 Maybe I’ll have it done after the Pumpkin Classic 10K…LOL


    1. Oh wow! That’s a lot to manage, but it’s best to get it addressed and healed. I’ve ran races injured and it’s not a pleasant experience, really not worth it because not only do you suffer through, but you risk making things worse. Take care and if it means you need to hold off on a race it will always be there next year! I hope you have a great time in Alaska! We haven’t been yet, your trip sounds amazing!


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