Coming Back From Injury by Dennis Lebman

We’ve all heard it before, “Listen to your body” when you’re fighting through the pain while training for that upcoming race.  You don’t want to stop, you’ve invested all this time training. You’ve spend money on registration fees, you have nonrefundable flight reservations, hotel reservations, etc.

Your mind is telling you one thing and your body is telling you another.  Your friends will try and convince you to go see a doctor before it gets worse.  Sometimes we don’t want to admit that our bodies are telling us to stop for a while and just rest and recover.  We don’t want to lose the endurance and progress we’ve worked so hard for to have to start all over if out for too long.

I’ve been through this a couple times and am going through it again.  It’s just a part of the runner’s journey.

I finally decided to take everyone’s advice.  After experiencing some discomfort in my foot since the Los Angeles Marathon back on Valentine’s Day, I took the summer off to recover.  I just had a couple disappointing races, the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon in May and the Mammoth Half Marathon in June.  I had been training with tendonitis in my left foot surrounding my inner ankle that it was just something I had gotten used to.  However the soreness and discomfort was getting worse and my race performances suffered right along with it.

After the Mammoth race on Father’s Day, I stopped running and made an appointment to see a doctor.  After waiting a couple weeks for an appointment I had x-rays taken which were negative and then referred to a specialist (another couple weeks) who then put me in “the boot” for 5 weeks.

The hardest part is the urge to want to go run especially when you see all the activities your running friends are doing while you’re out of commission. What made it easier for me was a few things.  Racing season was over for me until Novembers Santa Clarita Marathon, it was the summer heat and with the fires we experienced, bad air quality. Of course the Olympics were on and week 2 (the week I finally get out of the boot) the Track and Field events were taking place, so I was anxious to get back to it.

So now I start the journey again. After almost 9 weeks of no running, I’m starting to train for November’s race.  Almost two weeks back and I’m taking it slowly and running slowly as I try and build up my endurance once again.  I’m signed up for the Santa Clarita Marathon, but will see how it goes over the next month and a half as I may need to downgrade to the Half.  I’ll be listening to my body to see how it reacts.

My goal is to be ready for the full as it would be my 19th, and hope to race the Los Angeles Marathon in March to make it my 20th full marathon.  LA was also my 1st marathon back in 2011, a few months after the 2010 Santa Clarita Half Marathon, also my 1st half.

Good luck with your training and see ya on the trails!

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