Have you ever experienced an injury that forced you to lay off from running for a while? What did you do to come back healthy and strong, and in a place where your injury didn’t bother you anymore?
If you had to refrain from running for an extended period of time, what did you do to cope? How did you keep up your fitness in the meantime? How long did it take you to come back, and what sort of shape were you in when you did?
I’d love to know, as I’m dealing with my own injury right now, and my foot and ankle doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It’s frustrating. I know I’ll be okay, but like Tom Petty sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.”
What did you do to get through it? — Terrell
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I had PF last Aug while training for AF half. I bought some Dr Scholl’s PF inserts. They helped tremendously. I am so glad I tried them. I still wear them today in my running shoes & work shoes. So I really do not know if they cured it or not. But it is great to be pain free!
I had a recurring calf muscle problem for many years that I could not solve…pretty much off-and-on all my adult life. I would be fine for weeks and months at a time and then the next step felt like someone struck me in the calf with a 2 X 4 framing stud and my calf would literally lock up (one calf…then the other). The chiropractor I saw said I needed orthotics. As it turned out, recovery was more from the rest, many massages, and electrical stimulation treatments to my calves. Then the problem would return as before. After running the 2019 Vermont Mad Half Marathon—beautiful…but killer hills—I literally could not walk. I ran the entire race with one calf muscle hurting...limping to the finish. My conclusion was: “Suck it up; learn to live with the pain and press on.” (Bad conclusion.) I stumbled across the book CAN’T HURT ME by David Goggins thinking this would help me master the pain…and still run. (Another bad conclusion.) Here is the great part: in the final chapter Goggins mentioned Joe Hippensteel who began working with the Navy SEALS at Coronado (San Diego) to help them recover from tight and twisted muscles through extensive stretching to reach certain ranges of motion. Well, I found Joe by way of the Internet, flew to San Diego, and had three sessions with him over a long weekend. Good enough for David Goggins…good enough for me! Joe taught me how to stretch. To my surprise, four days later I began running again…and six weeks later I ran a HM in Rehoboth Beach, DE. No pain…until my first run following the HM. I had to “slow down to speed up” and learn to incorporate foam rolling in addition to stretching. Whether I run or not, I stretch and roll 8-9 out of 10 days. Thankful to still be running…and without pain or calf injury. Here’s a John Maxwell quote to the best of my memory: “Never underestimate the compounding value of consistency over time.” BIGGEST CHALLENGE: learning to slow down…in order to speed up.
I love reading everyone’s stories and share the frustration of not being able to run. I’ve had a hip/back issue for months and decided to have it checked out. I was told to stop running for six weeks. Realized after five weeks of PT that the stretches were making it worse. I stopped and am going to a spine doctor in two weeks. Meanwhile, I’m riding my bike and enjoy it but it’s not the same, as a few people mentioned. I miss running, my routine, the community surrounding running, races … all of it. Once I get back to it, I’m going to try and take rest and recovery days more seriously.
Last year I pinched a nerve in my lower back and it affected the thigh on my left leg. It was too painful to run on it but I still wanted to exercise and keep to a regular schedule of activity. In days that I would have normally run I started to take long walks in my neighborhood, I started to bike more frequently and for longer distances and I also got back in the pool and started swimming laps again. If it were not for that injury I may not have gotten to enjoy some of these activities that I had not done as much of in the recent past. I am continuing to ride my bike as a weekly cross-training activity and I just completed my longest bike race of 46 miles last weekend. Thanks to a wonderful Physical Therapist team they were able to sort out the issues in my lower back and I've run 3 half marathons since my back issue began. I look forward to continuing to train for more races!
Last year I pulled a hamstring in my right leg from (according to my sports chiropractor) running too many hills. I've had injuries throughout my almost 30 years of running, but it usually takes 2-3 weeks of recovery and I'm good to go. Not this time though! A month went by and I still felt pain when I tried to run. I could walk with no problem. Just when I tried to push the pace, my leg told me this is not happening. Eventually, I decided to by a Trek bike and ride around the neighborhood and try some trail biking. It didn't bother my leg to pump the peddles. It felt good to actually move a bit faster again. I do enjoy riding, but I don't think it gave me the same "after-glow" as I get from running. And it definitely did not offer the same calorie burn that I get when running. But, it was much better than doing nothing! My hamstring has healed and I'm running again. Just not as many miles per week and not as many hills. Everything heals in time - it's just having the patience to wait it out!
Since 2014 I have battling with various forms of cancer. During my battle with mantle cell lymphoma (2014-2017) I was able to continue my running and completed numerous half marathons and shorter races. In 2021 I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (A consequence of the chemo drugs used previously). I have been treated at the M D Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX from April 2021 through this week. I am being released after having a stem cell transplant in mid-February. I have been walking almost every day and hope to begin adding running back in in the next 2 months.
I broke my humerus bone at the shoulder last week. sidelined for awhile. i do have a half in July that I'll walk. it's a pain, but I can walk and do lower body workouts at gym. u will come back from ankle/foot injury. it's all about being patient. which i'm not.
I’m sorry to hear about your injury. Telling a runner not to run is so hard on us…more than most non-runners realize. I injured myself somewhere at the beginning of the 56 mile race that I DNFed a couple weeks ago. I ended up stopping at mile 21. I couldn’t take the pain any longer and it crushed me. I felt so ready before.
Fast forward to last weekend’s half marathon at Martha’s Vineyard, and I walked the entire thing. If I didn’t have my best friend walking it with me, since she doesn’t run at all and I really wanted to stay the whole race with her, it kept me focused whereas I know I would have wanted to run if she was not with me….possibly injuring myself more.
At this time, my foot feels fine. I’m certain my foot landed flat on a root or rock, not sure since everywhere was out on the trail, but it felt like it broke in half, which I’m sure really didn’t happen. I had been walking a lot to help with healing and stay active. Now I have run 2 miles, very slowly, and feel like it never happened. We’ll see….I’ll increase miles and pace and adjust accordingly.
Terrell, I hate to bring up a book at a time like this, but I will. I know you have the ChiRunning Book. You've mentioned it before. I've read it several times, however, there is one section on Troubleshooting: Injury Prevention and Recovery that has been dogeared, has spiills on it and has been read a million times. It starts on page 217. Each part of your body is documented from upper to lower body. If, what you have done to your foot and ankle is PF, I would go to page 237.
See if it is any help. The descriptions and care work. . . as well as all the others ways to take care of running injuries. I think I've done most injuries that are described and come back from them by just improving technique.
Had Plantars when I played basketball as a guard when I was about 16. Took me years to get rid of it and it was annoying. . I suspect it was from landing on my forefoot hard during games. That's all gone now, as are all the injuries I've treated myself to--like IT Band Syndrome, Tendonitis, Shin Splints. . . you name it, I've done it! Once I get rid of these stupid cataracts on my eyes this summer, I should be like a kid again! :)
( Just a suggestion. . . See if there is anything there and on other pages that may help!) Take care!!
Over the past 9 years, I’ve had two meniscus surgeries on the right knee and one on the left. I also dealt with plantar fasciitis until I got custom orthotics. Although my downtime was minimal compared to some injuries, I mostly filled my time by reading. My main goal was not to push the recovery; I learned to relax so I didn’t have a setback.
last august i had an achilles injury and stopped running for nearly 6 months. i've been doing twice weekly runs and felt ok. the other day i went for a run and today my achilles totally hurts again. i cannot believe it. totally frustrating as it had to have been entirely healed. i mean, 6 months i stopped running! i don't know what to do. i stretch and do exercises and this is totally deflating.
Unfortunately for me, this is a very timely question. I fell down the stairs in my home in February and broke three bones in my ankle in four places. Surgery a week later inserted a plate and many pins. As I was being taken into surgery, I spoke to my surgeon for the first time, told him I was a runner and asked him to make sure I could run again.
Seven weeks sitting on the couch completely non weight bearing, and two months of PT later I have slowly progressed from two crutches to one, then a cane and can now walk slowly with no devices.
For the last two years I have kept spreadsheets of all my races deferred during Covid, maintained the various deferral requirements and fees, and am now sitting and watching them all take place one after the other with no chance of participation. I am not in a good place with all of this.
I have twice now walked a 5K distance, it took me an hour and 30 minutes to complete. Recovery is painfully slow and week to week its hard to see progress.
Question for anyone who might have suffered a similar injury, what was timeline to normal walking pace, and being able to run again? Were you able to return to running as before? Did you have the hardware removed? I can feel the plates and pins with every step and they definitely limit my range of motion.
Any positive responses to the above would be extremely helpful to how I am dealing with all of this from a positive thinking place!
"I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever." Shane Falco in movie, The Replacements.
, Now that I started off about myself for the entire time, how are you doing with the injury? What’s your timeframe before you can actually get out and start to go again? I hope you’re well for you are one to help inspire the rest of us by both your written and physical deeds.
Terrell, can I start with WOW.
In terms of injury, I've had a "wonderful" year. From December, 2021 through the end of February, 2022, I "battled" patella tendinitis. I was actually able to run again, with hopes of running a half-marathon in July, 2022, March 2022. Was actually training well and was just cruising along when, come early May, 2022, I was in a car accident [was hit severely actually, beat me up pretty good!] and it has now, again, placed me in a holding pattern, simply dying to be able to run and train again - which likely will not happen until, the earliest, July 2022. A recent conversation I had with my Wife about running was interesting as it made me realize that I now am a "runner", not just one who is running - there is a difference -as I miss it acutely. While I heal, all I do are things to actually get me ready to run again. I walk daily, oftentimes on multiple occasions throughout the day. I'm working on a better diet as well. Nothing special, just more healthy and natural, minimizing processed sugars as well. I've already looked up a race, the end of September 2022 [15k] as a goal for me to pursue and obtain.
While I love, as maybe some of you reading also do, the running and competition, I think at times that there might be something wrong with me as I look forward to being healed in order to again push myself to running extremes! I am also lucky, I have a Wife who is a former athlete as well and, though she is not able to do things physically anymore, she fully and completely supports my insane ideas for running. This page also does that for me, though I have been hesitant to reply for the want of being able to "do". The reading of this blog has kept me going as much as my "desires" to compete so thank you for it.
I was at the top of my game in October 2020...........ran my first Half Marathon in a respectable time for a 71 year old "newbie"...........then Nov.1 , I had a run in with a hot cup of coffee that took recovery from severe burns thru the first of the year........every time I think I am back I push just a little harder ......at 72 and now 73 I have learned that the body needs time to heal.........slow and steady.........no trying to make up for lost time...........yes I still have a competitive spirit (God gave me that but now I am focusing that on encouraging others in a healthy way).........I am still recovering from a torn meniscus repaired by surgery...........I still want to run another Half........I want to do a Marathon but slow and steady, keep your eye on the finish............I read about runners in their 80's so I am just a "kid"............Whatever you are recovering or rehabbing take the time to heal.........lucky for us we run for the love of the race.........for the "good".......for the peace of mind on a run........for our happiness.........I encourage you to relax, get strong, and be Blessed with the abilities you have!!!! Happy and Safe Memorial Day Week end............I will spend mine doing a "Murph"..........probably not in the best time but I will do it to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for you and me to run Free.
I was four weeks away from my first half and wanted to mix things up so went for a trail run in December 2020. The ground was carpeted with fall's leaves and I tripped over a covered root, taking a fast face plant and an achilles injury that laid me up for four and a half months. June 2021 I registered for an August 21 half marathon (in the mountains??) and came back stronger and faster than my best time pre-injury. You've got this. . . .
In the midst of training for a fall half marathon, I decided to compress my training schedule from one week into 4 days the week before Easter (this year) with no rest or recovery days. I know, it sounds like, "well, what did you think would happen??" It honestly seemed like a good idea at the time, LOL. I developed severe IT Band Syndrome which actually knocked me off my feet for almost a week and completely out of running for 6 weeks. I am now 2 weeks into light running trying to ease back into the place where I was pre-injury. The first thing I did when I injured myself was to do some research on the injury and some re-hab ideas. I really, really should have ICED the injury consistently. Once I did apply the ice, it started going in the right direction. Once I was able to walk, I went to the gym every day and stretched what I could, but also increased my upper body and core weight training; not to get big, but to build lean muscle mass and increase metabolism. I had never really seriously trained with weights, but it has helped me a great deal. It gave me some goal-oriented work outs and it doesn't take a ton of time. So now, 6 -7 weeks out, I will be running 5k this weekend and will go back on schedule. I chose a different fall half marathon, by the way, so my schedule will be right on track, as long as I don't try any more revolutionary training ideas.
When I was training for my first (and only) marathon, I set out for my one scheduled 20 mile training run. It was maybe a month or so before the marathon. About 12 miles in, my IT band started to hurt really bad. I somehow made it through the last 8 miles, very slowly with a lot of walking. I was working with a chiropractor through the whole training process, and she gave me some stretches and foam rolling suggestions to help. I faithfully followed her directions. By the time I started the marathon race, it had worked itself out and didn't bother me at all. I definitely credit my chiropractor with getting me through a lot of injuries! If you don't have a good chiropractor who knows how to help runners, you should definitely get one!
How wonderful this is. I broke my toe last night and have been googling this morning to see what I can do!
That sounds like a tough one to deal with, I certainly wish you a speedy recovery!
Do you happen to work with a coach? I found the greatest success in my running journey when I started working with a coach. They really kept me injury free.
When I was running without a coach, I sprained my ankle on a trail run pretty bad. I had to do physio and that sort of thing and couldn't run for a while. That was tough. The physiotherapist really helped me though. I put my focus into the rehab. Rather than being sad I couldn't run, I'd take pride in how far I'd recovered. Even in the beginning "I'm getting this better so I can be stronger" instead of "I wish I was out there".
Easier said than done of course!