This is your brain on injury

rehab 005 224x300 This is your brain on injury

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. 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. 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

    • 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. You’ll be fine. Trust yourself and your doctors. Injury sucks. Once you’re out there you will forget all about your worries.
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted..My Tropical Escape – The SpinMy Profile

  4. 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

  5. Yay! Good luck and most importantly enjoy every single minute. I know I’ve been taking this injury comeback really, really slow. The umbilical cord may still be attached but hanging on my a thread!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..High Five FridayMy Profile

  6. So true! That fear is so hard to shake! Good luck.
    Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted..Align Your Beliefs With Your ActionsMy Profile

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. i swear we have gone through the exact same cycle. it get’s better.. or easier, mentally
    lindsay recently posted..Resourceful Recipes: Pasta and Pancakes (Gluten Free)My Profile

  10. Glad to hear you are back on the roads, look out world ;-). You will have fun, but don’t be like me and just go, be patient – I know you are a runner.
    Harold recently posted..Sunny and Nice Equals the Treadmill – RunLog 2-20-14My Profile

  11. Oh definitely! Coming back is SO hard, and I’ve definitely had the fear of coming back too quickly (partly because I’ve learned the hard way in the past). But I think you’re being very cautious and smart. Enjoy the extra running, yay!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..How to use cycles of training to run your bestMy Profile

  12. Great news, Amanda! When you breathe in that fresh air on Sunday, just get out of your head and enjoy being outside.
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..4 Real Benefits of Massage TherapyMy Profile

  13. I know how the first run after an injury feels! It’s a little scary and also your brain is over-analyzing, you forget how it used to feel before the injury. Good luck running outside!
    Christine recently posted..Baby Bump Update – Week 34My Profile

  14. OMG yes! sometimes our brains really get in the way LOL. So glad you’ve been cleared. I know you’re a very smart runner and will take things easy and bounce back fast!

  15. Great news!! Good luck and enjoy Sunday’s run!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Friday 5 – This and ThatMy Profile

  16. I’m the reverse, always chomping to get back at it. Be conservative and have fun!
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Covet List: Indoor TrainingMy Profile

  17. 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

  18. DO enjoy it! Go with the day at a time :)
    Kierston recently posted..#RECIPEFRIDAY: 3 Ingredient Chocolate Protein Pudding.My Profile

  19. 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

  20. Oh, this sounds SO familiar! I recall the days where I had to talk myself down and remind myself that nothing bad was going to happen for a few weeks last Fall. In truth-or at least research findings- is that our brain really does do some rewiring and goes through changes in and out of injury. Fascinating!
    Adrienne recently posted..‘Sport, Social Media, and Body Image’- Part II of IIMy Profile

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. Good luck. Everything will probably be fine.
    bob recently posted..Wounds healing, still runningMy Profile

  25. Yes, of course, I wish you awesome good luck and really hope it all goes well for you.

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. true, true, true…I remember constantly looking for a twinge when I first came back. A book by Dr John Sarno helped me get past that, as it talks about our brain causing sensations of pain that aren’t really there.
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..Vegan Broccaulikale Masher Recipe – Crazy name, great tasteMy Profile

  29. First – congrats on getting the go ahead to go outside!
    Second – I would love to tell you about “brain” injury, but I am actually working on that post. So…sorry!
    Jamoosh recently posted..Four Things WednesdayMy Profile

  30. I think my boss has that. He got a stress fracture a few years ago, and now, he says he still feels little phantom pains in that shin, and he’s never sure if it’s real or not!
    Cheri @ Overactive Blogger recently posted..Happy Friday! Here’s what! What three things are you obsessed with?My Profile

  31. 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

  32. I recall the first couple months back after my foot from hell fiasco I was so incredibly nervous. But a few runs under your belt pain-free and the head will follow suit. Glad ot hear things are progressing forward!
    Jill recently posted..What’s Cookin’, 2014My Profile

  33. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for you!! I know you will do this right because you have learned thru the injury that doing it right for your bod is the best thing!!! HUGS!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..The Beauty of ImperfectionMy Profile

  34. 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

  35. I’m cheering for you. That’s such good news.
    Char recently posted..Meet Loo-LooMy Profile

  36. That’s awesome! Hoping those miles will be glorious ones for you.
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted..My Running Story In 250 WordsMy Profile

  37. Good luck and you will be ready for an awesome, cleansing spring!
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..Who needs sleep?My Profile

  38. Good luck! I have my fingers crossed that you will be updating us with good news about your trail run soon!
    Raquelita recently posted..SLC Half Marathon Training: Week 1My Profile

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    when Lynn was ten years old. Couponsare present to satisfy our need and provide quality product at reduced price.
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  40. Wow you are lucky – I wish I could run on an AlterG. They are hard to find around my area.
    Sara recently posted..How Flexibility in Your Training Plan Can Make You a Better RunnerMy Profile


  1. […] I have been exhausted this week from this little bit of running. Then there’s that whole injury brain thing, which really started eating at me on […]

  2. […] Each run without pain that is followed by 24 hours without pain is a victory. Not having “injury brain” is […]

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