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 Runnerâ€™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 (Hereâ€™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, Iâ€™ve learned that an injury is NOT the end of the world â€“ as long as you approach it with the right mindset.
Beyond my knees, Iâ€™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 youâ€™re injured. So I finally thought Iâ€™d write a post about it, considering that Iâ€™m kind of dealing with a minor injury now!
After the Spinx Marathon on October 30, I tweaked my IT Band/irritated my Runnerâ€™s Knee. My right knee has been cranky, especially if I go past 4.5 miles (I havenâ€™t run more than 5.0 miles since the race).
Instead of getting upset over my limitations, Iâ€™ve settled into a nice routine of shorter runs + lots of hot yoga. Iâ€™ve also been having tons of fun trying to achieve non-mileage goals.
I think itâ€™s important for runners to also set non-mileage goals because â€“ trust me â€“ you canâ€™t always be increasing mileage and speed. Even if youâ€™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 itâ€™s important that the goal is somehow quantifiable (or, if its not tied to a specific number, you decide in advance how youâ€™ll know youâ€™ve achieved it). I also think itâ€™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 Iâ€™m currently working towards myself:
- Train yourself to do a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups (like the Arm and Abs Challenge <â€”Iâ€™ve been sticking with it, have you? Iâ€™ve had to repeat a few weeks, though. Itâ€™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 youâ€™re going to go to yoga for 30 straight days, say youâ€™ll do 25 yoga workouts over 30 days.
- Learn how to do indoor rock climbing
- Take dance lessons
- Learn to do a headstand or crowâ€™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 youâ€™re injured and thatâ€™s why you canâ€™t run, make sure your doctor clears other activities first.)
What non-mileage fitness goals are your currently working towards?