Common Sense for Runners

Last Friday, I had one of those moments that just reminded me how much I really love running.  If your a runner, this will probably be something you can relate to.
Friday I went out and the only goal was to walk/run 3 miles.  I started out walking to make sure my tendon flare up was as under control as I hoped.  When things seemed to be okay I started running, I didn't have any plans on how far just wanted to see how things felt.

After a mile of running, I probably should have stopped.  Everything felt good in the tendon area I hadn't had any pain.  As I was about to slow to stop, my body had a mind of it's own and I was feeling too good, and loving to be out running again.  So instead of stopping I picked up the pace, about a minute per mile faster than I was before.  Not a crazy fast pace, but just enough to be much faster than I have been running the past few months.  It felt incredible!

For those moments in that short .25 of a mile every single reason I have fought back, and spent countless PT hours and countless dollars on medical bills all seemed worth it.
I could have kept on going, but .25 of a mile was just enough to remind me what I wanted and what my ultimate goals are.  My sensible side kicked in and I slowed to a walk to finish my workout for that day. With a smile on my face and a definite spring in my step that carried me through the rest of the weekend and even through today's run this morning!

I mentioned a few weeks ago I had a flare up, and it was a bad one.  Brought me to tears at how bad it was. But after some reflection and looking back I know exactly what caused it.
Remember the "said" job that I was injured at in the first place?
Well, my tendon area is pretty much always swollen, I haven't been able to get rid of the swelling in about 20 months now.  But I keep it maintained from getting worse and the Dr's weren't worried about it.
However, for some reason on the day it happened it was a little more swollen than usual.  Then I went and worked 4 hours on my feet at the job that injured me, followed by another 4 hours of alternating hour sit and standing.
Big mistake, I know that now.
I just cannot stand for long periods, and I need to remember that!  I will not pick up 8 hour shifts again that will keep me on my feet!  It's not worth it!

Thankfully, I have what I like to call "Runner Common Sense" now.  It's not an easy thing to come by, but fortunately it's been forced onto me over the past 20 months.
Not many runners can do this, but as I learned from my PT that is also the reason some runners are always injured or can't heal from things they would have likely in a week or two if they did have this "common sense."  (I am not putting anyone down, this is just a fact and probably pre-work injury I may have at times fallen right into that little to no common sense category, and I would have pushed through to hit my running goals and races.  I guess I just have to be thankful that previously I was a pretty good injury free girl!
Anyhow, what is that common sense?  Stop everything immediately.  Anything and everything that causes any pain or aggravation in the area.  Immediately start icing and elevating, and in my case I put the boot back on.  That means even if in training, you have to stop running if it causes even the slightest pain.

So many people will run through a little bit of pain, because they think "oh this isn't that bad".  Only to find themselves limping by afternoon.  They may heal up a little in the night and then they repeat it the next day.  The thing is, even the slightest bit of pain is a warning, and the key to becoming a great runner is to be able to pay attention to your body, learn its warning signs, learn how to stay injury free.

My flare up could have been the beginning of another 6-12 months of issues.  This I knew quite well, as my mind teared up at any thought of what the flare up could do to me again.
However, because of quick attention to it, and a little common sense that I have learned.  I was easily able to get rid of the flare up, and get back to running again with only a 2 week layoff.

Which is why, if any runner can take anything from me it is this.  If you become injured (even if it's like me and it's not even a running injury), the absolutely worst thing you can do to yourself is keep running/walking on the problem.  The best thing you can do, is start letting it heal asap, take a few days or a few weeks off instead of if not treated being forced to take months or more off.  If it hasn't healed in 2 weeks, and it's getting a little worse, see a Dr. don't just hope it will go away with your own methods of rest.  Because usually an injury that progresses or gets worse after 2 weeks isn't one that is going to go away soon.

In fact, when you are injured what you do in those 24-72 hours following the initial injury I have learned can be the difference between something that will go away quick, or something that will linger or get worse.
If I had payed attention to the warning signs 20 months ago,and quit my job that I was injured at instead of keeping at it, I honestly know I would not have been off this long, it might have only been a year off, or who knows even slightly less???

Okay, sorry I totally don't mean this post to sound like I am preaching.  I just figure if I had to go through what I did and what I still am, if even one person takes it to heart and their injury can be stopped early on and not cause them a few years or life off running then it's probably a good thing I share:)

I hope everyone else has been having a great end to their summer!
We actually had snow in Utah over the weekend, at the higher elevations.  But yes I saw snow on the tops of the peaks from my house Saturday morning.  Even though I love all 4 seasons, I am not ready to let go of summer just yet.  Snow in August even in our mountains is a bit unusual!  I am okay if it stays away for another month maybe two:)


Also I want to mention the next Giveaway Hop, the sign up is open now.
I want to thank Fairytales and Fitness for co-hosting and helping me get the word out over the next couple of weeks about the sign up.

If your a blogger and your looking for a fun way to grow your blog, you'll want to consider joining us.

Also, if your thinking of hosting a giveaway on your blog, you will definitely want to consider joining us. The feedback I receive from the blogs participating, and I notice it myself.  You can get somewhere between 3X-10X more entries than if you just host a giveaway on your own.

If your wondering why and how.  Well everyone who links up hosts their own individual giveaway, but each giveaway at the end of their post as the list of all the other blogs in the giveaway, which means a follower from one person's blog can easily go through and enter all the giveaways participating easily by just going down the list.  When you think about it, your taking each blog who participates and potentially each of those blogs followers have the opportunity to see and visit your blog, and enter your giveaway.  Hence, why each blogger will receive more entries than if they host alone!

So what are you waiting for, we'd love to have you join us!  You can click HERE for the official rules.  After you read them and can agree to them.  Go ahead and link up with us!

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