For me, running has definitely changed after injury. Just over a year ago, laying in bed and facing surgery, I really didn’t know that I would ever run again. Of course, I hoped I would, but there are no guarantees in life.
So now, I’m back in the game, and things have definitely changed. Some changes are positive, while some are less so, but things are certainly different.
I actually have a little more stamina
Even before my accident, I made use of the Galloway Run-Walk-Run technique. For a variety of reasons, this was the smartest way for me to run, so I stuck with it once I returned to running, and got through Couch to 5K. Funny thing, though: I used to run intervals of 1:30/1:00, and now I’m fairly comfortably handling 3:00/1:00. Am I significantly faster? I don’t think so, but it’s still early in my “comeback,” so we shall see. I’m just happy for the improved stamina.
My daily recovery takes a little longer
I will lay it out there: after physical activity, I limp. Usually, I’m not in actual pain, but my ankle will stiffen and get tired. It’s all relative: when I run long or run on back-to-back days, the “consequences” are more pronounced. I confess to being embarrassed by this, and spend a lot of time working on trying to regain as much of my former strength and flexibility as I can.
My confidence wavers
Before my injury, I was pretty confident. I was really up for just about anything, anytime, and I loved that feeling. Now, caution, sometimes extreme, has crept back into my life. I’m hesitant to run in the dark because of the risk of tripping or rolling an ankle. Slick surfaces terrify my because I don’t want to lose my footing. Before, I hoped to try for another trail race or triathlon, but I’m just not that sure of my ability right now.
I’m a little more self-conscious at races
Yes, this is ridiculous, but with races limiting their fields, I am super self-conscious about my abilities. This is an old anxiety that has resurfaced with some of my self-doubts, and I can only hope that time will decrease my nerves. The few races I’ve done have been fine, so I don’t know why I’m so concerned, but it’s messing with my head a little.
I am so much more grateful
I loved running before, but now, every time I lace up, I just feel so fortunate. It seems a little cheesy, but even on the hard days, it’s just so darn fabulous. I don’t take a single moment for granted, and I don’t think I ever will again.
Have you experienced major changes to your running after injury or other disruptive event?