Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Yo-Yo of Running Injuries

As a kid, I never quite got the yo-yo.  It would go up/down a handful of times, then get stuck at the bottom spinning around on the string.  I would wind it back up and try again.  Tricks like walking the dog were completely out of the question for someone whose yo-yo skills were already operating at a deficit.  Coming back from a running injury can definitely be like the damn yo-yo.  One day it's going great and the next day it's at the end of the string spinning around not doing anything but making you sick from all the spinning the mind is doing go over and over the problem.

Running was going great since my hamstring strain last month and then last night at track, BAM! it was back, but thank goodness not at the intensity when it first occurred during my race.  So now, I'm spinning at the bottom of the string wondering how to wind myself back up again and get back into a fluid motion.  Analyzing the situation this could have occurred because of
  • speed work
  • running 4 days in a row
  • wearing different shoes at track
  • running 42 miles last week
  • because it was a Tuesday or the sun/moon were aligned or weren't aligned
It could have been a combination of factors and while it's tough not to beat myself for wearing the different shoes or running 4 days in a row, it's in the past and dwelling will only hurt me (easier said than done).  

Attempting to wind the yo-yo back up, I knew I needed help with the mindset. I talked to John, my boyfriend.  He helped by pointing out that taking a couple days won't hurt (today is an off day anyway) and I could start my taper early.  I have one more 20 miler scheduled in 1.5 weeks so hopefully I can still get that in.  I'm still able to run Boston even if it's not at the time  I'd want to run it at.  He ran Boston 20 minutes slower than the time he qualified and still had a great time and fantastic memories. 

I also talked to Coach Dean .  No more speed work is the first thing he said.  At this point, it won't help my conditioning and can aggravate the area.  Next, time off won't hurt my conditioning.  I'm in great shape, had a great 20 miler and may not get a PR but that's ok.  The main focus is to rehab without  losing the conditioning.  

So my action plan is ice, vitamin I, continue my PT exercises to strengthen hips/glutes, and I'll consider running or using the elliptical on Friday.  I'm going to Charleston , SC on Saturday with my girlfriends for a week so I may just wait until Sunday to try running again. I am looking forward to running around the Charleston area checking out the sites. The bigger problem is not falling into the sea of worry, which I have a  tendency to do.  What do you do to combat worry?


The Path Traveled said...

Oh no..Hope your back to no pain soon...

misszippy said...

Yep, the coach is've got just about all the conditioning you need at this point. Now it's damage control.

I've learned that injuries are generally caused by a whole bunch of things..lots of puzzle pieces to put back together.

Black Knight said...

I think you have learned another lesson and now you know what you don't have to do.
I learned not to run anymore 3 days in a row and to take a day off after the long distance runs and the races.
Good luck.

LookingUpAgain said...

Sorry your not feeling your best :( All that PT I did for my ITB doesn't seem like it did anything. I hope you are able to put yourself back together again!

joyRuN said...

The bulk of your work is done - I don't think you're going to slip off drastically by taking care of yourself.

I can no longer run hard two days in a row, & need to be careful to adhere to easy days. Lessons learned.

Heal up!

Giorgio said...

I completely agree with your coach. I hope you'll feel your better soon, Christina! Take care!

Today is holiday here: we are celebrating 150 years of the unification of Italy.

Lesley said...

Phooey! Sorry about the injury! Take care of you! The upcoming trip to Charleston sounds like a great distraction from worrying. Enjoy!

lindsay said...

Hmm I'm having to enter my comment twice here on my phone... First it was an embedded box under the post and now I'm getting the separate page where it shows other comments down the left side. (just an FYI)

Anyway, great analogy. I never mastered the yo-yo either. Hope you have fun in charleston! It's one of my faves :) You'll still enjoy BOS, not every race has to/will be a PR. Enjoy the extended taper

Anonymous said...

I'm going to write a post right now about how I deal with worry. Mine is of course on a smaller scale than yours, but it always seems so big in my head. I think having a plan, like you do, is great! It helps to know what you are going to do next to cope with what is going on. You will do great! I know it!