Yesterday, I completed my first in-person race since 2019. I realize that there have been races here and there since then, but I didn’t feel comfortable racing in-person until I was fully vaccinated. I was also freaking sick of virtual racing (does anyone else feel this way?).
So, I chose the Run Y-town 5-miler as my welcome back to racing in-person. This event is always organized, and the weather is almost always wonderful. Even with the course changes due to a sinkhole on the original course, it was a really fun day.
Here’s the best part: I didn’t run. I ran about two tenths of a mile total throughout the five mile course. And you know what?
I’ve been running for a decent amount of time now: almost six years! Through those six years, I have suffered multiple injuries, ran a 5k at 39 weeks pregnant, finished a marathon, and cried a lot of happy and sad tears.
Oh! And I became an RRCA Certified Running Coach. So, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about running. Ten things. I know at least ten things about running. And you know what? It’s time to permanently bust those ten running myths.
When I found out I was suffering from a stress fracture on the top of my left foot AND something with my ligament in my left ankle, my heart sunk. I was told that I was not permitted to do any weight-bearing exercise, and that left me with riding a bike (in the freezing cold) and sitting in a chair to do strength work.
If you know me, you know I do not like cycling. It has never been my thing. I enjoy spinning, but I don’t go right now because #pandemic. I don’t want to spend the money on a Pelaton as much as I’d love one. And…sitting in a chair to “exercise” would make me cry.
So, I stopped. I did nothing for four weeks. Nothing! No walking, no strength training, no cycling — I did nothing.
And you know what? It was the best decision I could have made. Here’s what I learned during my workout hiatus.
As most of you know, I am sitting here with an air-cast on my foot. I have to wear this thing for four weeks to heal a stress fracture on the top of my foot. My doctor said the pain in my ankle is ligament pain, and that “isolated” or “normal” ligament pain should stop right there — in the ankle. He became concerned when I said the pain radiated to the middle of my inner-left foot. That’s when he pressed on the area where I said it typically hurts, and it killed after he did that.
After I got an X-ray, he told me that he could see some kind of build-up where the pain is, and that means I likely got this stress fracture in this past and that it did not go away yet.
So, here I am — me and my air cast. And while I imagined I would be sitting here counting down the days to running again, I’m really not. If I am honest, I’m not even sure if I want to continue running in the future (which is probably not a surprise to anyone).
I see a lot of people starting their running journeys, and it makes my heart so happy. Running is a great way to maintain level and strong mental health, keep yourself healthy and in-shape (notice I didn’t say “skinny”), and get outdoors while maintaining good ol’ social distancing.
So, how do you get started safely, and what should you focus on during your first week as a member of the running community? What should you avoid? How much should you run? Keep reading — Coach Court has all the tips!