Over the last 13 weeks I’ve trained for the Little Rock Marathon in Little Rock, AR. I made a training plan, I reworked my strength and cross training plans, and I finally started going to yoga. It took a couple weeks to get into my training schedule, but I stuck to it. I was excited for my race and my body felt great! Then during my last long long run, with only 3 weeks to go, my left knee blew up.
I had searing pain with each step.
I stopped running and started walking. It calmed down and I thought I could run again. I tried a few more steps, but it kept hurting. This last long run just wasn’t going to happen the way I’d planned. I was so frustrated!
My brain went to the deepest, darkest place.
“It’s all over, there goes all that money I spent on registration, shoes, and travel with my friends.” “I’m going to miss out on that super awesome weekend getaway.” “Why do I even sign up for races when I can’t even do them.” “I’m so weak, I’m out of shape, I’m damaging my body with all my running.”
Big fat self-talk lies.
During my last miles of walking, I used all of my positive thinking skills to turn it around. I already got in 13 weeks of training – that’s plenty! I stopped when it was hurting instead of battling through and hurting something else. And I reminded myself that I still had 3 whole weeks until my race. Loads of time to rehab and recover.
Cross training for the win!
In the days following I rested, I iced, I stretched, and I didn’t run. I used my cross training exercises to keep moving with less impact. I modified my strength training program to address the areas contributing to my pain. And I kept my lovely physical therapist coworkers on deck in case things didn’t get better.
I practiced my very best positive thinking.
I reminded myself of all the miles I already ran, encouraged myself that with rest and decreased pain, I’ll be stronger for my race. Then I told myself I will heal and I will run my race. And if not? There will be many more races OR other non-running challenges to tackle.
It’s all about perspective.
Rest, positive self-talk, time to recover, and patience are all the things I need to make this injury a small hurdle instead of a big roadblock.