I’m a runner. I run to feel happy, confident, strong, ALIVE. Being a
runner comes with ups and downs, and undoubtably — injuries. I know
this all too well, especially in the last year.

Growing up, I have always been an athlete. From soccer to track, to
downhill ski racing, being active was always on my agenda. It was not
until college however, that I fell in love with running. Looking for a
way to feel connected, to feel human, and to just find a way to
navigate becoming an “adult” — I took up distance running.

Always a sprinter, I never thought distance was my game. Turns out,
distance should have always been my game. A good friend of mine, that
even ran cross country for the college I attended, suggested I run the
LA marathon with her. Through training I quickly became addicted to
the feeling of going long, and honestly I’ve never looked back.

That was 7 years ago now. With 12 Marathons under my belt, 9 BQ and
and even a first female half marathon win, one might say I love to
run.

Over the last year I decided to kick up my training to a new level,
and threw triathlon into the mix. When taking on new sports (swimming
and cycling) I made one big mistake — nutrition.

As athletes we get so “in the zone” we forget the little (big) things
at times. One of those being what goes out, must be replaced with what
goes IN. I upped my mileage, speed, endurance, and cross training, but
didn’t up my calorie and nutrition intake. So what happened? Stress
fractures. Two of them.

We train on the razor edge of too much and too hard, but it feels so
good – so why stop? Well, don’t stop, but balance with the right
nutrition, strength training and rest days.

When you come down with an injury, whether it be a stress fracture or
pulled muscle, the first piece of advice – don’t give up. Second piece
of advice? Take the time to recover.

Recovery is key. See a doctor (Seriously) get the MRI (I know its
pricey) but knowing what you’re dealing with, means you know how long
you have until you can bounce back. Each stress fracture I’ve had took
a full 8 weeks. No running. Don’t cheat, listen to the doc, take the
time your body needs. We want to do this support as long as possible,
rushing it now will only hurt you later. (I know that sucks to hear)

Ways to get through the pain, stress, and quite honestly — depression.

  • Find something else you love (ALMOST) as much as running. For me
    this was swimming, but I get it, nothing feels like running, and it
    feels like no one understands.
  • Find someone that DOES understand, join a running community, find
    others that are injured, don’t suffer in silence.
  • Take some time for you, identify your goals, what do you want to
    achieve when you DO come back? Because you WILL. I came back from a
    stress fracture, ran the Boston Marathon, and won a half marathon. You
    are only as strong as you let yourself be!!
  • Make a schedule. Put a big star 8 weeks out on your calendar (or
    whenever the doc clears you to get back in action) and count
    backwards. Plan cool stuff to do between now and then, help the time
    pass by making plans. Try swimming! (seriously its great!)

Lastly, don’t feel like a failure. Injuries are par for the course. If
you love this sport, give it all you have. In injury and in health,
you got this. Check out my next post on nutrition for tips on how to
get healthy and STAY healthy, bones, body and all!

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