Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Things I Have Learned from a Hamstring Injury

We are slowly approaching 3 weeks since my last run. That is such a short time and such a long time that it's hard to believe that that much time has passed (I'm guessing this sentence makes sense to only me). However, I've been dealing with this injury since the beginning of March (before I finally sucked it up and went to the doctor), and I have learned a lot about myself, my body, and the healing process in such a short amount of time. In case you're interested, here are some of the things I have learned:

1. Running through it won't help and it will prolong the healing process. Resting is okay if something hurts.

---I took a week off of running after Princess to let my legs recover from training and it was the end of the following week where I felt incredibly tight. I kept pushing through it and clocked some pretty quick runs (for me) before it became difficult for me to run anything longer than a mile or use the elliptical longer than 30 minutes. And here I am, 3 weeks after the doctor, and I still don't see a run in the new future.

2. It's amazing how interconnected the core/lower body is.

---For the first few weeks before the doctor and these last few weeks since the doctor, everything hurt.  Running, ellipticalling, walking, sleeping, and ab workouts. Oh my gosh, ab workouts HURT. Not necessarily crunches, but planks, bridges, leg lifts, superman, everything that engages the hamstring AT ALL. I was taking a few abs classes because I couldn't do the warm ups for my usual strength class (too much running/ sprinting up the stairs), and she knew I had a hamstring injury, but it still hurt me.

3. It will be hard to take time off of running and you will want to cry whenever you see a runner, and that's okay.

---Sometimes, instead of wanting to cry, you'll simply creepily stare at runners on the street, the treadmill, and you might even drool a little. But as Sara reminded me on Monday, it may be hard now, but I'm getting healthy so I can join these runners again for years and years.

4. Some days you will feel good, most days you will have some sort of tightness/pain and it's discouraging, but you'll be okay.

---Monday morning, I woke up and I felt GREAT! My leg did not feel as tight as it had been. Then, I went to physical therapy, and after he massaged/iced my hammy, I was tighter than I had been all weekend. I was discouraged, but yesterday morning, I woke up and felt slightly better.

5. Even though it feels like it will be forever, it won't be. Some day, the hamstring will stop hurting, it will be stronger, and you can return to running.

---This is especially true if your doctor says the words "Look for a September race. You'll be ready by then." For now, it seems like it will be forever, but I know that I'm healing.. albeit slowly .. but one day, I will be back out on that pavement.

What are some things that you have learned from injury? What are the emotional stages you felt through recovery?