After Crooms 2009, my knees hurt so badly that I could barely walk down my apartment stairs to let out Maggie and James without gasping and clutching onto the stair rail for support. It was miserable.
I had a serious case of Runner’s Knee. After plaguing me for nearly a year, the swelling and irritation came to a head, and I was forced to take two months off of running (Here’s how I knew it was serious: Is this Pain Normal?).
It was the first time in years that I had gone more than a week without a run. (To learn more about my knee issues, check out The Knee Pain Post; The Knee Post I [First Diagnosis]; and The Knee Post II [Second Diagnosis]).
I went through a range of emotions when dealing with my injury, but over time, I’ve learned that an injury is NOT the end of the world – as long as you approach it with the right mindset.
Beyond my knees, I’ve suffered my fair share of athletic-related injuries, despite my best efforts to fuel properly and train safely (The General Injury Post).
As I wrote before, the key from bouncing back from an injury is 1) acceptance; 2) rest; 3)effective treatment and 4) a good attitude. One of the more common questions that I receive on the blog is how to maintain a good attitude when you’re injured. So I finally thought I’d write a post about it, considering that I’m kind of dealing with a minor injury now!
After the Spinx Marathon on October 30, I tweaked my IT Band/irritated my Runner’s Knee. My right knee has been cranky, especially if I go past 4.5 miles (I haven’t run more than 5.0 miles since the race).
Instead of getting upset over my limitations, I’ve settled into a nice routine of shorter runs + lots of hot yoga. I’ve also been having tons of fun trying to achieve non-mileage goals.
I think it’s important for runners to also set non-mileage goals because – trust me – you can’t always be increasing mileage and speed. Even if you’re not prone to injuries like me, life gets in the way of doing lots of distance or you could experience mental burnout.
When it comes to setting non-mileage fitness goals, I think it’s important that the goal is somehow quantifiable (or, if its not tied to a specific number, you decide in advance how you’ll know you’ve achieved it). I also think it’s a great idea to set non-mileage, non-fitness goals during injury, such as reading a new book each week or learning a foreign language.
[My plank time from this morning! Finally got over an minute!]
Here is a list of non-mileage goals, some of which I’m currently working towards myself:
- Train yourself to do a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups (like the Arm and Abs Challenge <—I’ve been sticking with it, have you? I’ve had to repeat a few weeks, though. It’s hard!)
- Do a plank for a certain amount of time
- Take a 30 Day Yoga / Zumba / Whatever-Floats-Your-Boat Challenge: The key with long challenge like this is to build in room for error. Instead of saying you’re going to go to yoga for 30 straight days, say you’ll do 25 yoga workouts over 30 days.
- Learn how to do indoor rock climbing
- Take dance lessons
- Learn to do a headstand or crow’s pose
- Become more flexible (for example, touch your toes or go into a split)
- Increase arm strength to the point where you can do a chin-up (or two)
- Regularly meditate
- Learn how to swim
- Start cycling for distance
- Bench-press a new weight
- Go for a walk every night before dinner
- Last through an entire hot yoga class without having to take a break
- Do all your housework to music and dance to the beat.
- Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around your office.
(Of course, if you’re injured and that’s why you can’t run, make sure your doctor clears other activities first.)
What non-mileage fitness goals are your currently working towards?