Friday, March 31, 2017

5 Things I Miss About Running

I feel like I've done a pretty good job of not whining too much about not being able to run. But last Friday I was supposed to have my MRI and a followup to discuss results the following Monday. Instead, my insurance company decided they needed more time to review the doctor's notes so I had to cancel both appointments.

After calling my insurance company on Wednesday, I learned that they won't authorize the MRI until I have a compartment test done. But the doctor wanted me to get the MRI first to rule out a tear because 1) it would make a compartment test - which can be a little painful - unnecessary, and 2) if I have a tear, the compartment test could exacerbate it because it involves running.

I am moving forward on getting this decision reversed, but in the meantime, I'm pissed and annoyed and sad.
So. This week I am really missing running. I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness to share the five things I miss most.

1. The heart rate. I miss having the kind of workout that really jacks up my heart rate and leaves me dripping with sweat. The Bowflex I'm borrowing from a friend is okay, but not a perfect substitute.

2. Being outside. I am missing the last few days of spring in Florida. Right now, mornings are still in the 60s; soon, we won't see a low below 79. I hate missing the last of our good weather!
The other day it crept into the 90s! Cool weather is slipping through my fingers!
3. The data. I am not an over-analytical runner at all, but I miss being able to track my workouts with some quantifiable data. Miles are concrete; 30 minutes of a circuit or cross-training is a little more nebulous. I really miss having real, solid numbers to look at to help me measure my accomplishments for the week.
Just LOOK at all these blank days!!!

I've been doing so well with keeping consistent, and now it feels like all that progress and steady training is ruined.

4. The duration. We all know that strength training and targeted workouts don't take as long as running. Sometimes it's nice to do a workout in under 30 minutes, but some days I really want a good, long, steady workout.
I miss this exhilaration; I'd even settle for a good 60 minutes these days.
5. The mental benefit. I just miss how buoyant and strong running makes me feel mentally. No other workout has ever compared; when I need to lift my mood, running is it for me. It's the one exercise I truly enjoy. It sucks to put it aside. And what's worse...the longer I don't run, the more I need it mentally. I have been really down this week, and it feels like only a run could fix it.
I am so worried that starting from square one (once I'm back) will make me hate running. I'm going to come back to it in the heat of early summer. I'm going to be weak and out of practice. My runner's muscles will have forgotten how to move. It's going to take work to get back to where I was. I was making such progress and now...

Pardon my pity party. But this week, I am just bummed. I wish I had answers and I wish I could be on my way to recovery instead of in limbo. I don't want to run while I wait on the MRI in case I'm doing some good healing right now; but I also don't know how much longer I'll have to rest!

I hate not knowing. I hate waiting.

Commiserate with me? 
Have something to share that will brighten my day?

ABK

24 comments:

  1. It's so hard to be injured, especially in the spring when everyone is gearing up for races. I feel you. All I can say is this will pass and you will be back!

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  2. So sorry to hear that the insurance company is giving you a hard time. Being injured is hard enough and it would be nice if the insurance company would make things easier instead of harder!

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    1. Right?! I pay for the insurance...that means it should listen to my doctors and just cover what it's supposed to! I hate that they weasel out of providing coverage.

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  3. When I started back at square one I LOVED running again. It's like it gave me a new lease on life because I hadn't ran injury free in so long that I had forgotten what it felt like, and when I could finally run, it felt amazing! You'll get there again!

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    1. I love hearing this!!! I hope that is the case with me! Maybe this time off will be really good for motivating me once I'm back!

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  4. I had a stress fracture a few years back and it just killed me to see all the running photos everyday. I did a lot of spinning and swimming which really kept my aerobic capacity up. Are you allowed to do those?

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    1. I can do either of those, but I don't have access as I don't belong to a gym and am not in a place to get a membership right now. I am hoping lots of burpees and the Bowflex I've been borrowing help keep my cardio strong!

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  5. Ugh so sorry your insurance company is being such a big pain in the rear. Fingers crossed you get that all sorted out sooner rather than later.

    Yes, coming back to running and not having all your old fitness and experiencing things that used to be easy feel hard does suck. I won't bother sugar coating it. It's frustrating and humbling. But the cross training you're doing now is going to REALLY help for when you're back. It's no substitute but trust me, it beats the heck out of nothing. I remember a couple years ago when elite runner Emily Infeld came back after a a 6 month injury hiatus...and won a bronze at the world championships! She said she cross trained her butt off during injury and it really helped her get back to her old level more quickly. So just think of it that way!

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    1. You know, you're right...I used to take time off and do NOTHING, but at least I'm staying active and doing something. Hopefully it'll make me less injury-prone in the future.

      I know it'll be frustrating...I hope I can keep myself positive enough to fight through the frustration to get to the good stuff again!

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  6. Hang in there, Ali. I fell off a ladder a while back and couldn't run for about 4 months - and even then I had to start back really slowly. Cracked ribs are painful for a very long time! What I learned when I started back up was that it was easier than I expected. A little like riding a bike. Your body says - "Wait a minute - I've done this before. I can handle this!" Starting back up will likely go better than you expect. And even though you have to start back up slowly, the mental boost of being able to run again will definitely buoy your spirits. I'm an old man, and it was easier than I expected. I trust that it'll go quite well for you. In this effort, patience is a sometimes difficult to accomplish virtue. P.S. Health insurance companies are some of life's biggest pains in the butt.

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    1. I hope you're right and starting back up is easier than I expect. I know my overly-anxious brain is probably causing me more worry than is necessary at this point.

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  7. Ali, I completely understand the waiting game and the uknown. In my opinion, that's the worst part about being injured, besides not being able to run, of course. I really hope your insurance comes through soon and you can get some answers. When I can't run, I miss bring outside and of course that special high that always comes with running! Hand in there my friend. And you can always come to me for a pity party.

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    1. Yes, the waiting is the WORST! Like, I don't even want to call myself "injured" yet because I don't even have a diagnosis and it all seems so dramatic. As far as I know, I had a minor strain and it's better by now! But I have no way of knowing...

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  8. Hey Ali, being injured is AWFUL! I've been dealing with the plantar fasciitis for months and I am slowly losing my mind. I am so sorry the insurance company is not cooperating. I am getting an MRI this morning and I wish I could just sneak you in for a two-for-one kind of deal. I really do like this post and I might steal the idea for my blog.

    What are you allowed to do for cross training? The biking and rowing have been great for me. You can get a good sweat and it doesn't hurt my foot. Of course, this might be different for you, but it's worth trying stuff until you find something. I tried a lot before I settled on what I am doing now.

    As for data - if you can find something reliable for cross training, start charting it. I keep track of swimming and biking miles. It's nowhere near as good as running, but it helps to have something to count.

    In terms of duration - again, find something you can do for longer. I've had quite a few 65 min bike sessions and one 96 minute one. It's weird, but it's also very very good. Find a longer spin class or just commit to the time.

    I thought I would offer those tips because they have really helped me but mostly, yes, it just plain sucks. I am so sorry you are injured and I hope we are both back to running very soon.

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    1. I know people have mentioned biking and swimming for me, but they are just two sports I truly dislike. My asthma and water-phobia has made swimming really hard for me to get into (although I can maybe try water-jogging! I should look into getting a belt for that) and biking bores me to tears.

      There is an at-home rowing machine my parents just got and it has made me really want one. I may look into that!

      Thank you for your tips and ideas! I know you're in the same boat and being injured completely sucks. I appreciate your insights since you've been dealing with this longer than I have at this point. I hope your MRI comes back with some useful information!

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  9. Hi Ali--I can commiserate with you! Last fall I started with ankle tendonitis and long story short I have done PT, taken time off from running had times when my foot felt great and times when it is not so great. A few weeks ago, I went to yet another doctor who taped it for PF and it felt so much better! I wish I would have just stayed with that because 2 weeks later he put me into some soft inserts and now my foot is freaked out! It really hurts and I fear that maybe I caused a stress fracture running in them. So now I am preparing myself for an extended break. For me, I can actually handle the break but then I think about the comeback and ugh...the pain, the frustration. But I decided that I will use this break (don't know how long since I see the dr. on Monday) to work on my other sports (I am a triathlete) and maybe even work on some things I slack on (I do weights but I might go back to a 6 day split since I have more time on my hands!!) and when I think of my comeback I am trying to think of it as "remember how excited you were when you first started running?". I just decided I will take that approach and be happy with "I ran a mile today"...all the way back to where I want to be :) I hope that makes sense and I hope you are doing OK. I know this has been a long break for you -- hang in there girl and I pray you can get your MRI and get some answers soon!

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    1. Ugh, it is SO frustrating when the doctor tries something out with you and it makes things WORSE! It's nice that you have biking and swimming to fall back on. I like the idea of trying to think of coming back to running as an excitement similar to when I first started! It's hard not to look backwards and know I've come so far and then be sad to start over, but maybe I just need to focus more on the excitement of "newness" instead of where I feel I *should* be.

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  10. I hate when insurance dictate the care:( Ive been through that as well.
    I know missing the good weather sucks! I always seem to be out and come back in heat as well...ugh. Just use short intervals, it will help!
    I totally get being down, it would be hard not to get down, but tough ladies hang in there and you are one!

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    1. I am looking forward to coming back and using intervals...I do think that'll be helpful and keep me from getting too depressed about how much fitness I've lost!

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  11. I was noticing your post the other day on Instagram about workouts and I thought to myself how dedicated you are to get all of that strength training in, if only I were half as dedicated in that department! I know this sucks right now but it sounds like eventually you will get some answers and I believe that you will be out running your miles without growing to hate running. A friend of mine had compartment syndrome and she had a surgery two years ago but she's back to running now and she seems very happy that she went ahead with the procedure.

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  12. Ali, I'm really sorry you are going through this. I cannot even imagine! I hope all this rest is leading to lots of good healing ! Sending you all positive vibes!

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