Saturday, April 16, 2011

An Injured Runners Thoughts During Long Run Weekends

Being a runner it is normal that you are going to have friends that are runners too. Being an injured runner there are times that these said friends will be out training and you can’t be there. It is a natural thing to sit home and worry about how far behind you are going to be, to compare. To want to be out there so you can be ‘ready’. It comes with the territory of when you are told that you shouldn’t runl. If anyone says they don’t compare, I’m thinking they are not being 100% honest. I do find myself comparing at times but I work hard on not competing with others. I have learned (the hard way) to only compete with myself.

When I decided I wanted to try a marathon, I made a quiet promise to myself to do it, to make the marathon a goal. I made it my goal and then talked to a few friends during a run about having it become one of their goals to. Its always more fun to share these goals with people you enjoy so much. They took the challenge and reciprocated by challenging me with the duathlons and triathlons that I have been training for. This is all what I would call “healthy” pressure…positive pressure. I would have never tried any of these things if it weren’t for those friends.

Now what does that have to do with anything? (lets remember I'm having a bit of a rant here because not only can't I run, I'm home sick in bed lol)What I’ve been thinking is that although we decided on a goal together and I would love to train with them, my body is telling me that I can not do all the same workouts, all the same hilly routes. I’ve been coming to grips that if I want to do this marathon I may have to do a run/walk method. This doesn’t mean that I’m giving up before I started, it means that I am trying to learn how to train smarter. My goal is to finish the marathon-not to kill it or myself.

So what’s so hard about that? What’s hard is that I may have to take my own unique path to training for this marathon and that would mean not always running with my groupies. Its fun to run with your friends, its fun to plan together…especially the long runs, its exciting to talk about what you just did and how you felt. So,I feel some pressure, from myself only, to do everything exactly the same because I want to do everything the same. I copied out all the programs already for god sake! But at the same time I’m feeling sad because I think reality is telling me I’m not going to be able to do the same things at the same rate.

So here’s where I’m at: (after about 20 minutes of blog rant)
I want to try and figure out how I can train in a way that I will avoid future injuries, while also spending time with some of the people I enjoy most. May(the month training officially starts) is creeping up and I haven’t run in almost 3 weeks. I get nervous just saying that or shall I say typing it. I’m doing exactly what PT is telling me and I haven’t cheated with the NO running rule! I’m reading up as much as I can on different methods of training and on injury prevention. All I keep reading over and over is “listen to your body”….so that is what I am going to continue to do. No matter what, we will all be waiting for each other at the finish line…cheering each other on.

Training for a marathon is so not just a physical goal but it challenges you in so many other ways. It really simulates real life with some of the decisions you have to make….and realizing in the end that you have to be strong enough to do what’s best for you. I’m thankful that I have friends and family that I know will support me on this crazy journey I’m about to embark on…

Have you ever felt this way? Did you ever change your approach to training for a marathong? If you've been injured before what approach have you taken?


  1. I'm finding Jeff Galloway's "finish" marathon plan to be really awesome. (Even though I'm taking a week off to make sure I'm not injured again -- obviously, I wasn't following it to a T. Read: running too much during the week.) It's a very long plan, so it helps you build slowly and then it backs you off. The problem with a lot of plans out there is that they assume you've got a 20-mile-per week base built up already. If you don't, you're sure to get injured.

    The run-walk was hard for me to accept, too. I felt like it's not running. Until I started talking to other marathoners. Most of them have told me they walk here and there throughout training and/or a race (they just don't mention it in their recaps). It may not be as structured as JG's method. They may walk after every five miles or after every 10 minutes. But they do.

    You may ask your friends if they are interested in doing the run-walk with you. The long run is supposed to be slower so you are out there longer -- gets your body used to long periods of stress. Zoe hadn't planned on doing the run-walk, but I told her about it and she was game. So you may just ask them. If they don't want to at first, well, you may have to do long runs by yourself for a bit. GREAT mental training, which people sometimes tend to forget about. I bet by 18 miles, they'll want to try the run-walk, though. Hehehe.

  2. Being injured is the toughest thing for a runner, isn't it! I know a lot of very successful runners who use a run/walk combo, so if that works for you more power to you.

    I was plagued with running-related injuries until I found the book Chi Running six years ago. That completely changed the way I ran, and I have run injury-free since then, including training for marathon and Ironman distances. I highly recommend it!

  3. I am so glad you wrote this post. I have not read the link you posted above yet (but will next!) but I could SO relate to this. I have been so frustrated by injuries lately because I want to be out there doing what my friends are doing but also what I USED to be doing. I am still trying to figure out if this is going to mean that I need a different route of training or what is best for my body but hoping I can also figure something out that allows me to keep spending time with the ones I share the love of running with.

    I have been wanting to read the Chi Running book that Robin mentioned above...maybe I will look into that :)

    hang in there! thinking of you during this tough time!

  4. OH! and here is the link to the push up challenge :)
    they also have one for squats, sit ups and dips!

  5. Training for a marathon IS a physical goal.

    The definition of training is the education and instruction of a person as they develop their habits, behaviors and thoughts.

    Training for a marathon doesn't mean going out and doing a 20 mile jog to see if you can handle the distance. Training isn't a series of tests before the final test. Training is about the homework and the reading you have to do every night in order to stay ahead of the calculus assignments in high school. Training is about a process of assignments which will pay off when you go take the big test (the marathon race).

    So, if you're finding yourself getting injured, ask yourself, "am I doing what I need to develop the actions and behaviors necessary for optimal marathon performance? Or, am I just giving myself a bunch of small tests that I am routinely failing?"

    Once you figure those questions out, you'll soon start having fun running AND making huge leaps in your marathon goal. Its not easy though, it took me many years (but few injuries) to get to this point for myself.

    Good luck!

  6. I saw your comment on my blog and popped over to read about your injury.

    Danny is right on. I had to learn that the hard way, too. Since I did, I haven't really had any injuries. I really liked the book Run Faster from 5K to the Marathon by Brad Hudson because it talks a lot about adapting your training to your abilities -- physical, mental -- your age and the time you can commit.

  7. Dan...I think we agree..but not sure because in the beginning your wording says that it IS a physical goal...but the rest of the post was kind of what I was saying..that it takes more than the physical.

  8. Not being a runner or marathoner, I can't comment on that aspect of this. But as your husband, I will tell you that you will be fully supported in your Marathon training process, no matter which method you decide to follow.

  9.'re very funny and cute with your comments!they make me chuckle!

  10. Hey Friend:0)
    As a part of that group of friends,that doesnt really train "with" the group( for what ever reasons, slower, older,Knees hurt, not as athletic and not quit as driven lol) It all works out. Train at your own pace(I do), listen to YOUR body. (I do). Your/our/their body is different than anybody elses. I really feel like that is the way to stay on top of ones own injuries. I know Bri talks about the community of running, the social aspect of doing it together so everybody benefits etc. That is such a wonderful concept but it cant alway bee done to the fullest extent. Life and other things get in the way. I train a lot by myself, it just works better for me. But than I also get the joy of going to and from races with my buds and now hanging out socially with all those same people. And dont forget the Summer Run series is coming! Thats all about fun with a little bit of training in there too.
    I hope you feel better very soon. You are such a wonderful and inspirational person and I am so glad that we have become friends.Keep on running in the right direction. You're doing just fine :0)
    Jo Anne
    PS if it makes u feel any better I havent done anything since the duathalon. LIFE has just gotten in the way. Back to business on Tuesday. I've got a half marathon to train for ;0)

  11. Thanks JoAnne!!! Yes, I agree..I think this was more of a post of me accepting all of that out loud and in writing! Thanks for the positive words...I'm glad we met too you crack me up and I can't wait to run that race in September! Be at that finish line waiting with crutches!

  12. LOL! Make sure u have a second pair for moi!
    Jo Anne


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