This is your brain on injury

It's been real, AlterG!

It’s been real, AlterG!

In follow up to my last post, I saw my PT on Wednesday and talked everything over about my little jaunt outside and the ensuing pain in my Achilles. After discussing it, we decided that I probably hit the road a bit cold that day after sitting on a plane for hours and that right now in injury recovery mode, my body needs some real warming up before I start running. Yeah, remember those drills I talked about?

So that’s what I did on Wednesday before getting on the AlterG for another four miles. And you know what? It felt pretty good. Know what else? That was two runs, two days in a row, albeit on the AlterG. So my PT decided that it was probably time to cut me loose.

For the next two weeks I am cleared to run four times a week, with a max mileage of five. One to two of those runs each week will still be on the AlterG, but the rest will be outdoors (did you hear that angel choir singing?) So today it was five on the AlterG, and Sunday I am going to test out the pavement, well trail actually, with an easy four.

Here’s the thing, though, about injury recovery: it does a number on your brain. I am elated at the thought of running on Sunday. Elated. But part of me is also afraid. Afraid that I’m not really ready for this, that I still need more time. That running will only set me back again. I hate that messed up head part of an injury the most.

But it’s time to cut the umbilical cord to the AlterG and give it a go, so I will do so, cautiously. Wish me luck.

Anyone else have injury brain? 

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  1. says

    That’s great news – and good luck!
    I’ve had injury brain. My ITB would start tingling when I merely thought about going for a run, but was fine when I actually did – mysterious!
    And I swear by a 5 min warm up especially at our age, as the few times it did flare up was when I didn’t warm up. I’m not the best at sticking to that rule though!
    Sherry recently posted..Highlight of My WeekendMy Profile

  2. says

    One day at a time and before you know it you will be running your next marathon…

    Now, I must ask: what is it like running on the AlterG? I mean I can’t even run on a treadmill when I can watch as I put my feeet down, so how do you manage without being able to see your feet?
    Coach Dion recently posted..PERMANENT NUMBERMy Profile

    • MissZippy says

      It doesn’t feel terribly different. When you are at the lower weights (70%) you can tell you are being lifted up a bit. Once you get more weight involved (I am at 85%) it’s only a bit different. It’s still a treadmill though–ugh!

  3. says

    I know what you mean, I haven’t struggled with significant injury, but a few years ago when my hamstring was giving me trouble, every time I thought I was better, I would go out too fast or too far on a run and set myself back two more weeks. You’ve done things right though and I know you’ll be okay. Just trust the process.
    Jim recently posted..Jackie Gonna Be A Football StarMy Profile

  4. says

    I can relate to injury brain. After a bad injury a few years ago it took me almost a year to get the fear of re-injury out of my head every time I ran. It still crosses my mind too often. I feel like it has given me an excuse to go a little easier on speed work, but in a sense maybe that fear has helped keep other injuries at bay because I don’t push quite as much.
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..2014 Race ScheduleMy Profile

  5. says

    I do wish you luck, and I do know just what you’re feeling. When I had my initial stress fracture last year, I was so conditioned to feel pain upon footstrike that I just kept hesitating when I finally had permission to run. I walked for half a mile before finally starting to jog!
    Gracie (Complicated Day) recently posted..The FairgroundsMy Profile

  6. says

    For sure I can see how this would happen. I’ve never had a really serious injury but have some minor ones that I’m always afraid will come back or fear of getting a serious injury. Glad you are back though. Listen to your body and I’m sure you’ll be fine. I think the most important thing we can all do is listen to our bodies and not ignore anything or take anything for granted.
    Robin recently posted..9 Weeks TodayMy Profile

  7. says

    I have injury brain, BIG time right now. I am scheduled to run the Boston Marathon in April, and was told 3 weeks ago that I need to take 6 weeks off from running! I have plantar fasciitis and a ‘stress reaction’ in my foot… I have been biking, swimming and pool running… but nothing is like REAL running. I am not ruling the marathon out, but I am also crunched for time and really nervous about running after taking time off! It is also doing a number on my brain.. I hate not being able to run. Best of luck to you with your recovery.
    Kristin recently posted..Staying active & healthy while on vacation! + Photo Recap IIMy Profile

  8. says

    Ahhhh I could not agree more with you about this! In fact I think I may have said that to you a few weeks ago, that soon it would be moving too fast and you want it to slow down! I have been there so many times, but you just need to trust yourself. You are wise enough to know when to back down, and when to listen to that voice. You will have doubts, you will be obsessing over every step these next few weeks, but I know you will make it out the other side….just as you have made it through the challenges up to this point! You are doing so well, keep it up :)

    This is the time we really show that runners are crazy :) Especially when you dedicate your life to it! I am here if you need to vent!
    Tina Muir recently posted..Sweet Potato Stir FryMy Profile

  9. says

    Yay for being able to run outside~ I have definitely had that fear coming back from an injury before. We take it seriously because we want to get better and don’t want to have to stop running again. I think a little bit of fear is a good thing, it will remind you to take it easy and ease back into things to help you get stronger and healthier.
    Laura @losingrace recently posted..Weekend Prep: Friends, Fun and B2B RacesMy Profile

  10. says

    You are super smart and very in tune with your body – enjoy being able to run and trust your PT and your body. Yay!! I am so glad you are doing with the Alter G and able to run!!!! :)
    Erin recently posted..My True SelfMy Profile

  11. says

    I totally get the fear – I have been there before. I think that one nice thing about a little fear, it helps us to err on the side of caution in those first few runs back.
    I’m so glad that you posted the picture at the top because I truly had no idea what an AlterG looked like!
    Kim recently posted..In Case You Were Wondering….My Profile

  12. says

    I have complete empathy with how you feel–so torn (no pun intended) I am sending you a big bubble of healing thoughts, courage and strength as you re-enter the world of concrete. xoxo

  13. says

    Oh man. The number that injury does on your brain is no fun! There’s so much fear tied up in going back to running/swimming/yoga or whatever you were doing. I know that it’s taken me a long time not to be freaked out at every twinge in my knee. Actually, that’s a lie. I still get freaked out :-) I’m so excited for you!!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Own itMy Profile

  14. says

    Warming up? Sounds like really good advice…helps loosen up those tight muscles and ligaments. My podiatrist recommended that I put my feet on a heating pad in the morning, to help loosen them up before I run. And you know what…it really helps. My PF has been really quiet (altho it does remind me to roll and stuff).

    Yay that you can run again!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..#throwbackthursday ramblingsMy Profile