Maybe you are in a running funk, maybe you are coming back from an injury, or maybe you are bored with running and ready to throw in the shoes. Maybe it’s time for a do-over!
Two “do-over” stories:
Do-over after an injury:
Meet Eli who has been through a do-over after an injury.
Tell us about your injury: The week before the City Chase USA National Championships in Orlando, FL, my teammate Nicki and I raced the Austin Oyster Urban Adventure Race where I injured my calf and was forced to limp through the finish line. Although the calf was still tight when we arrived in Florida, it didn’t seem to give me too much trouble during warm-ups so I thought I was good to go. Not 2 hours into the 36 hour race, we found ourselves being put through boot camp exercises by a Marine Corps platoon in the Citrus Bowl. By this time, my legs were absolutely trashed from running 2 miles with an ammo box, but I squatted down for a frog jump, leapt forward, and landed flat on my face.
My calf had given out, I physically could not continue, and we were forced to take a DNF. Upon returning to Austin, I had an MRI whereupon I found out that I had a medial gastroc tear. While I didn’t need surgery, the prognosis was that I’d have to spend 10 weeks doing physical and ultrasound therapy. Since I couldn’t run or cycle during those 10 weeks I focused on strengthening my core and upper body, but I awoke one morning and could barely lift my left arm. I went in for another MRI only to learn that I had torn my supraspinatus. As such, by the time my calf healed, I couldn’t support myself while riding in the aero position on my tri bike nor could I tolerate the arm swing during sprints. I couldn’t swim either. So, I entered 2011 with another 8 weeks of physical therapy ahead of me.
What motivated you on the tough days when you were starting back?
I was physically capable of training again, I quickly realized that it’d take me considerable time to regain muscle memory and build endurance. The biggest hurdle was that I had to focus on improving my mental attitude towards base building no matter how frustrating. I wanted desperately to be able to compete at the level I know I’m capable of, but that would require work. Improvements in overall fitness and endurance came slowly and I had to convince myself that even the smallest milestones should not be taken for granted. The greatest motivation for me came in the form of support from my friends and teammates. My cycling instructor and BFF, Erin Truslow, motivated me by constantly reminding me that I wasn’t working out anymore. I was in training; training for my next event – whatever that is. As such, my attitude changed from wanting to get back to race weight to preparing myself both physically and mentally for any adversity I chose to stare in the eye. And in the moments when I wanted to quit, that I didn’t think I could push myself any further, my cycling instructor and friend, David Garza, would stare me in the eye and say “You have worked hard up to this point in class… in your life. Now don’t get me wrong, but I don’t care about that now. I care, you care… about this moment in time. This is where it counts, when you’re tired, it hurts, and you want to stop. That time is when you find your true character, your true you. So what are you going to do now… in this moment? It’s time to be great!”
What advice would you give someone who needs a do-over?
It’s easy to want to throw in the towel and consider yourself retired like I did, but it’s an even better feeling to aspire for greatness and make that return from the endurance athlete’s underworld. You’re excited, you feel energized, and you regain confidence. The road back is a challenge, but challenges must be met with courage and a desire to continually improve oneself. Like the Foo Fighters song “Walk,” I had to learn to walk again before I could run, but that song’s a constant reminder of the strides I’ve made thus far and how far I’ve come (from injury). And just like the Young The Giant song “My Body,” my body may tell me “no,” but the truth is that I want more! The very best advice I can give is to surround yourself by those who believe in you, because that love, support, and encouragement is absolutely priceless!
A self inflicted do-over
Amy (who is very camera shy) was tired of running – plain and simple. Since she was surrounded by husband and friends who are avid runners didn’t help. “I started to think ‘I must be missing something’. ” She got an idea to completely start over as if she had never been a runner. How did she do it?
- She went to her local running store and got a gait analysis and got the right shoes for her.
- A video run analysis was next. She started from scratch working on her form using the drills she was given. *Want to learn more about video run analysis? Stay tuned to our blog!
- She decided to follow the “couch to 5K” training plan. “The hardest part was the beginning – starting out with walking was not easy for me, but I was determined to stick with it”. Today, Amy is running again and the results have been worth the effort!
Do you have a do-over story?