Yesterday I attempted a speed workouts (3 x 3 mi @ marathon pace – not an easy one, but the type I usually LOVE). I had some trepidations about my knee which was doing some weird locking and painful things BUT figured I would know within a few steps if I should stop.
I made it through half the workout, running through mild pain in my leg and significant pain still in my back (torn muscle there has not made much progress) and then I tripped on a sidewalk crack and flew through the air at marathon pace, landing hard on my right hand and then my right side. I also had some impact on my knee. (Side note: I don’t know if I would still have fallen if I were injury-free, but I believe I probably would have been able to stop myself or prevent the kind of impact on a ‘normal’ day).
I cursed, got up slowly, and realized I still had to run home. I sent a text to my running group ladies and miraculously one of them got in her car, FOUND me because she knows where I like to do faster workouts, and drove me home (!). I was only ~1.5 mi from home but the ride was VERY much appreciated in that context.
(Running friends are really awesome.)
I then realized my hand was really hurting from where it stopped my fall. I was (luckily) able to curbside one of our peds orthos and he X-rayed it right there in his office (right near mine – I was at work by that time). No fracture which is awesome~ I’ve certainly given my bone density a good test this past week!
BUT it does still hurt quite a bit so now I have:
- wrist/hand brace with limited use of R hand (I’m left-handed but man – we use both hands a lot!)
- healing wound on hip (getting better but still open in parts; still getting Josh to do daily professional dressing changes)
- bruised thigh/leg (my PCP was pretty shocked at the appearance 8 days out from the injury)
- weird knee pain that seems like it might be more than just the bruising (but hard to know. My PCP ordered an MRI to rule out torn medial meniscus. Hopefully not but if it is, I will still be able to recover one way or another.)
- back pain that makes any twisting or bending over very painful
AND SO, I am waving my white flag. I am going to be okay, I know it. But I am not currently okay. I need to rest and investigate these injuries and move on from caring about any fixed recovery timeline. I was REALLY mopey yesterday (and in pain). I sat around and hurt and felt bad for myself.
But truthfully, it could have been so much worse. And in the long run, things will be okay. That is the most important part. My race does not matter — it really doesn’t. Even if I were a pro runner, it still wouldn’t matter because it’s just one race, and guess what? I am FARRRR from a pro runner. I love running as a hobby, fitness tool, mental health therapy — but I’m not ready to move my body in that way (or really any significant exercise-type way) right now. THAT IS OKAY.
So, I have decided that instead of obsessively focusing on running and ‘normal’, I will use some of that intensity to embrace rest. I can lean into hobbies I CAN do, like reading and journaling. I can care for my body in the ways it needs right now – heating pads and gentle stretching and PT once I’m ready for that. Healthy food. Protein to promote healing of muscle tissue! Good sleep.
The book I am reading had a whole section this morning about choosing your reaction to your circumstances and the timing was just perfect. Yesterday my reaction was panic, anger, self-pity, helplessness. Today I can honestly say I am feeling much less defeated and more grateful.
Grateful that the kids are okay.
Grateful that my livelihood does NOT depend on marathon finishing times!
Grateful that I did not injure my head (and that I smashed into my RIGHT hand yesterday and not LEFT – would be sad not to be able to handwrite!!)
Grateful that I have insurance and resources to seek out medical care when needed
So, there you have it. I tried to rush my recovery but I guess it was a lesson I needed to learn.