Back in April I ran the Los Angeles Angels Foundation 5K. It was the best day of my life because not only was I the second female to finish I was the first in my age group. I hd never been first at anything in my life, so at that moment I was proud of myself and the work I had put in running. Shortly after that I started feeling pain in my upper thigh when I was running. As time passed the pain increased and by June I could barely run longer than a mile. I realized, with help from my dad, that my sciatica was hurt and I needed to take a break. I figured this was brought on by my increased stress on my legs by increasing my mileage outside since I canceled my gym membership and was no longer running on the treadmill.
I took about two weeks off from all exercise. Then spent a month just riding my back. I was crushed, my goal to run more races and reach 1,500 miles ran this year was slipping away. I was feeling depressed and upset that the exercise I enjoyed most was no longer possible. I wasn’t caring about what I ate and was gaining weight because if I couldn’t exercise there was no point, I know that wasn’t a right way of thinking; but I was just down on myself.
As July was ending my pain was lessening and I could run further but not faster. Anything faster than 6.5 mph speed was too painful. My times were slower than when I started running 2 years ago. Hills were also too painful, which was the what my main routes consisted of. So I switched up my running and began running on tracks and grass to lessen the impact. By mid-August the pain seemed gone and I felt as if it had never happened; minus my slow pace. I began to increase my mileage then my speed. For a month I was feeling better. THEN, out of nowhere in mid-September the pain came right back. Once again I was crushed. My sister helped me work towards overcoming this once again. This time I took the next few weeks slow and easy in terms of cardio and running and focused on lifting weights and working on my core strength.
As of today the pain is almost nonexistent and I can run longer distances. my pace is still slower but in time I will get faster. I ran 10 miles today, uphill and slowly. If I felt pain I stopped and focused on breathing and stretching. Don’t be afraid to stop or rest when needed. There is the pain that needs to be worked through and pain that needs rest and ice.
Injury is a major setback for any athlete or competitor. When it comes to overcoming it the best approach is rest. If you push and keep trying it will worsen it and prolong recovery. When the time comes to get out there take your time and go slow. The harder you push the more likely the injury is to come back. Don’t let injury get you down but use it as an opportunity to focus on something else. Time heals all wounds and when the time is right you’ll be back better than ever. Listen to your body, you only have one; treat it right and it will treat you right.