Friday, November 25, 2011

What I've Learned... Being Injured

My luck has officially worn out. After running for nearly a year and a half, running distances ranging from 5ks to half marathons it has finally happened. It has been plaguing me for over a week, forcing me to sit out over a week thus far. What exactly is it? Injury.

Let it be said, I've tested my luck before and never been injured. So why me? Why now? I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with the amount of cross country driving the husband and I have been doing, mixed with half-assing my workouts, and focusing on upper-body strength mixed a little with the lack of stretching pre and post runs. I've gotten away with most of those before, but the perfect mix of those at the current moment led to the perfect disaster.

So... how did it happen? Last Thursday I went out for an easy 3 miler after giving my legs rest a couple of days to stretch after the husband and I drove back to California from seeing family in Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The run started off shaky. No problem, haven't really ran in over a week, so just keep running. Mile one, a little pain in the knees. C'mon Andie, walk it off. By mile 2.5 my knees almost felt like they were having muscle spasms. Oh, no. This is definitely not normal. I left the gym feeling defeated. In all honesty, I'm surprised I didn't leave in tears. As frustrating as that night had been, recovery has been worse. Just when I think my IT Band is back to normal, it throws me a loop and a new pain.

What I've learned While Being Injured:

  1. My BFFs: Ibuprofen, compression and ice. Over the course of my running adventure I've learned to truly love all three of these, but now they go with me everywhere. I almost always have an ice pack with me when I leave the house, sneak compression tights on underneath my jeans and have a bottle of ibuprofen in my car, in the house, and in my purse. Never can be too prepared.
  2. The love I have for running. I can't even tell you the number of times I've welled up with tears at the thought or mention of running and races. Before injury I treated running a hobby, but now that I'm laid up I realize how much it really means to me and to my sanity.
  3. I HATE sleeping on my back. Absolutely hate it. You don't realize how accustomed you become to things, until you can't do it. I'm a side sleeper. I'm a cuddler. This whole sleeping on my back so I don't put pressure on my IT band thing? Not my idea of a good nights sleep. 
  4. My husband rocks. The night before we left for the Marine Corps Ball, he stayed up until 3 in the morning to clean the kitchen and living room for me, because I could barely walk or get off the couch to clean. Sure, as women we all ask our husbands all the time to help us out. But for them to do it without asking? Priceless.
  5. The Twitter community My twitter following is incredible. They have had nothing but advice, well wishes and support. It's truly amazing, and I'm so grateful to have them all in my life. <3

Have you injured your IT Band before? Any other friendly advice? Also, how did you cope with being injured and not being able to have your stress release?