“It’s humbling to start fresh. It takes a lot of courage. But it can be reinvigorating. You just have to put your ego on a shelf & tell it to be quiet.” ― Jennifer Ritchie Payette, co-author, “Modular Career Design”
There are many times in life that we are forced to start-over. Often we do it begrudgingly, clinging to the ideas of what we once had. This is true in relationships and in running. While we may not like having to start-over, we can complain but ultimately we still have to do it, there is little choice. We runners whine. We moan about all the miles and the time commitment often, but we whine far worse when we can’t run. When we can’t run we whine about not being able to run – not usually about the injury itself.
I’m in the throes of starting over. Over two months of not running and I’m still participating in twice weekly physical therapy for the bruised tissue on my heel, but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. In fact this week, I plan to run a single mile and see how I feel. It is almost laughable to run only one mile after running multiple halfs but the slow and steady build is a key to success.
As I start back, I am constantly reminding myself of the following:
- Don’t do too much too quickly. The gradual increase in miles is paramount to preventing re-injury.
- Don’t discontinue any home physical therapy. Again in order to prevent future injuries it is important to work all the preventative care avenues I can.
- Don’t compare to my pre-injury self. Speed and endurance will certainly suffer after time-off, they will come back gradually and until they do don’t get frustrated. I repeat that to myself often, “Do not get frustrated!”
- My first few runs are going to most definitely going to kick my butt. Don’t let that stop me from getting out there. These first weeks back to running will be very humbling.
- Be positive. I’m looking forward to the runs that I’ve been desperately missing and I have to trust that the miles will come. Each mile is NOT a given but something to be grateful for as I return to running.
In the meantime as I begin my slow return to running, I’m upping my cross-training to help strengthen my core, flexibility, and overall strength to better support my running. My gym time in general was greatly reduced with this injury, as I was required to “rest” my foot as much as possible.
Tell me, as you start over, be it starting your fitness routine back after having a baby, returning to running after an injury, or picking up the pieces after a divorce, what are the mantras you remind yourself of? Any I should add to my list above? Let us all help each other start over. Remember that starting over is humbling, takes courage, and can absolutely be reinvigorating.