Double Trouble

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I am really enjoying my double workouts for sprint triathlon training.  In fact, I think I’d rather do a double run/bike than one long run.  If anything, being injured and fighting for a comeback for the umpteenth time has really solidified the fact that my body NEEDS cross training.

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The Husband joined me for a 5K run. Now, if you recall, I took 2 months off of running because of a trouble knee/leg injury.  Before that, I had recently completed my second marathon and was training for my fourth half marathon.  Coming back after running such high mileage and then running zero mileage is a curious thing.  You have to be very forgiving with yourself – I simply cannot run as far or as fast as I used to. 


Since I’ve crafted a zero to hero recovery before, I know I’ll get back to my old pace eventually.  I just have to go really slow and be okay with walking breaks.  Which I definitely am!  Walking rules.  It’s honestly the fastest and safest way to get your mileage and pace back up.  


I don’t really take regular walking breaks, but we try to time it around hills.  We’ll walk up the hill and then run down.  We wrapped up the 5K in 35 minutes or so, which seems to be my current 5K average! 


After the run, I switched to the bike (on the indoor trainer) for 20 minutes.  It’s a nice way to recover after a very hard and hot run.


Lunch was courtesy of the Husband:


He made a yummy grilled tempeh and mushroom sandwich that was smothered in BBQ sauce, plus an orange:


So – I’m in the process of writing a post called Injuries are a Blessing about the brightside of having to take a little time off from workouts.  Being injured has taught me SO much, and I’d love to hear your positive experiences with being injured. 


How has being injured helped you?  I’ll include some of your stories in the post, too!



  • Leslie @ The running Chasqui May 30, 2011, 12:35 pm

    Previous injuries have helped me understand when to stop. My first sports related injury was at 18, I strained my back and I kept running and training, making it way worse. I went to physical therapy for a year and had to stop running for many months, because of that injury I discovered yoga and Pilates. 🙂 so it wasn’t so bad after all. Now I know when to stop, I was diagnosed with tursal tunnel syndrome last week and I am trying to my best to heal the injury before hitting the pavement. I have been cross training, walking and I plan to swim until the pinching and numbness dissipate.

    Congrats on your recovery and by the way that Tempeh sandwich looks soooooo good!

  • Megan May 30, 2011, 12:47 pm

    I recently found out that I have a hairline fracture in my left foot and went from working out 3-4x a week to doing nothing at all. At first it was really frustrating, but it has really shown me that my eating habits need a big time makeover! This has been a blessing because I have long gotten away with eating less than stellar foods without realizing it due to my activity level. I am still injured, but working on types of exercise I can do (elliptical!) and focusing more on consuming foods that will fuel my body properly!

  • TanyaS May 30, 2011, 12:56 pm

    My first season of running I developed a nasty case of shin splints. Pretty minor as far as injuries go, but the break from running taught me that biking can be pretty fun too! My personality gets me focused on one thing to the end of all others so being “forced” to find something new was key.

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun May 30, 2011, 12:58 pm

    I haven’t had to deal with injury, but I know when pregnant I really learned that taking it easier with workouts won’t mean I will lose ALL my fitness and that my body is really very smart. We need to trust our bodies!

    I love cross training. It really makes such a huge difference!

  • Brandy May 30, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I just wanted to pop in and say that in general I find you so inspiring. I always enjoy reading your posts 🙂
    As a fellow triathlete it makes me happy to see you training for a sprint tri tpp! (I got into multisport after burning out from running all the time.)

    To answer your question, I think injuries have taught me to do what I need to do. There’s always someone out there going faster or longer, or someone who seems stronger or fitter, and no matter what you have to honor your body and do what it needs.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) May 30, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Being injured reminds me of the importance of knowing my limits and what it takes to run how I would like.

    I know I need more strength and core work after having back surgery and many other injuries.

    I know I need to slowly build up to a marathon instead of the typical 16 week plan. I will probably take me a year to train but I’m learning to be okay with that.

    And most importantly it reminded me I am me. I’m not another blogger with their amazing race times or abilities to train for multiple races…I’m not a person who can get up and run…I’m not a cyclist. I’m me and how I workout to be healthy needs to be focused on me to avoid more injuries.

  • Laura @ Starting Out Fit May 30, 2011, 1:12 pm

    Having injured myself in the beginning weeks of half-marathon training this past winter, I learned to listen to my body all while learning that stopping was ok. I made the tough decision to stop the training at the point of injury and rest. Since getting back into running again, I’ve started incorporated walking breaks into my runs (something I never used to do either) and I’m actually starting to notice that my pace is overall faster than it used to be. I am benefiting from the walk breaks and totally intend on using them to my advantage in my runs from now on. 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 30, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Yummy looking lunch! I’m on a bit of a tempeh craze at the moment and right now I’ve got one that is a Soy-Kasha blend and it’s awesome!! I’m lucky enough that I’ve never had to deal with a serious injury, but I’m thankful for having to take time off from running when I suffered from IT band soreness because it made me discover spin, which I now teach and LOVE!

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life May 30, 2011, 1:13 pm

    I am a runner, but had to take some time off this winter to focus on PT for my knee (that I injured around mile 21 of my 2nd marathon.) I usually feel quite guilty when I don’t keep up with my training plans. This break in running actually taught me that I shouldn’t feel guilt if I don’t want to run! Taking breaks is necessary. If I’m starting to feel burnt out, I take time off (sometimes I do something else, sometimes a complete rest). Not only does my body need it, but my mind does, too. I don’t want to end up hating running because I force myself to do it when I am no longer enjoying it!

  • Tess May 30, 2011, 1:17 pm

    I messed up hamstring something fierce during my marathon training last fall and ended up running the full marathon with the injury (I do not suggest this stubborn approach 😉 ). After taking months off running to let my body heal, every run now is a gift and the fact I can run again without pain makes me appreciate every mile so much more than before. It also taught me to listen to my body’s warning signals and giving it the fuel and rest it needs.

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans May 30, 2011, 1:19 pm

    I enjoy breaking up my workouts too because I get bored faster then I get tired. Once I buy a bike I may do brick workouts even if Im not training for a duathlon.

  • Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa May 30, 2011, 1:21 pm

    I had to take 3+ weeks off a few months ago (right smack dab in the middle of my marathon training) due to knee pain and was just about ready to throw in the towel. I am a running. Not a biker or a swimmer. I am a runner. I quickly reevaluated my stance and said if I can’t run, I will bike/swim/elliptical to give me knee a break yet still maintain my fitness level. Luckily for me my knee healed up rather quickly and I was back to running in no time. However, I am happy that I was forced to try some new things and evaluate the training that I was doing and pin-point what caused my injury so I could prevent doing that again in the future.

    And you know what? Once I got back to running and training for my marathon I took a much more relaxed stance as to not re-injure myself, and then went on to run my best marathon time yet, beating my previous PR by about 24 minutes.

    If I hadn’t been injured, I don’t think I would have seen such a great result.

  • Wendy May 30, 2011, 1:22 pm

    I really enjoy running, but, at a muscular 5’10”, I’m not really built for it. After suffering through a multitude of overuse injuries, such as shin splints and ITB syndrome, I finally figured out that minimal running and lots of cross training is the key to MY fitness. I also discovered CrossFit – it’s crazy intense, but it’s made me so much more confident in my abilities, and has really improved my self image. After all, how can I feel bad about myself when I know I can do real pushups and pullups, and lift 235 lbs off the floor? I <3 my muscles!

  • Jamie@everydaydolce May 30, 2011, 1:25 pm

    I think it is so inspiring to see how you power through mentally despite your injury. I have never been seriously injured but I’ve had nagging pains that I’ve had to let heal over time. I truly think being injured requires as much mental endurance as training for a marathon. You’re required to be still more often which isn’t always easy especially for runners. You have to push through the rest days even though all you want is to be able to run a mile. The hardest thing for me is not comparing myself. I hurt my foot a few months ago and couldn’t run hard for a while. I had a hard time not comparing myself to others who could run far and long and feeling that it just wasn’t fair.

    It’s all a matter of perspective. When you are 80 years old, I bet you will look back on this time of your life and remember all of the awesome races, the marathons, and training you did, and not even give thought to the injuries you sustained even though they feel debilitating now.

    Keep pushing through, you’re a rockstar!

  • Freya May 30, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I really admire how you’ve coped with your injury 🙂
    Mine has definitely helped me- I think after 3 half marathons and a marathon in one year, I was feeling invincible, and was not being fair to my body anymore. I pushed too hard and got injured – but now I know my limit, and know that things like rest, stretching and the like are worth it in the end! Plus, I appreciate just being able to run 10 x more! 6milers are no longer ‘just 6milers’ but actual proper runs, which you need to eat right for and stretch properly for etc.
    Injury has made me a better runner 😀
    (Oh, and the mental 5month break did me good too! I’m back, with a vengeance!)

  • Katherine May 30, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Being injured made me stronger, emotionally.

  • Amy May 30, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I alllllways take walk breaks, even during races. I follow 10:1 intervals and it works like a charm!

    Power to the walk breaks!

  • Michelle May 30, 2011, 1:34 pm

    Last July I hurt my back by simply picking up my 30lbs dog. I bent down the wrong way and as soon as I picked him up I knew I was hurt. However, being the stubborn person that I am, I decided to go for a run the next day.


    It was painful. Every step hurt and I called it quits after a mile or so and hobbled home, feeling defeated. I swore that I would take a week off and I did. I spent the week resting and doing some walking (which actually helped). I was told to go to a chiropractor but decided to wait it out to see if it got better and it did. I went from running 150miles a month to 26miles in August.

    Above all else, being injured taught me patience. It taught me to not take my body for granted and that rest is NOT a bad thing. I used to cringe at the thought of a “rest day” and really believed that more is better. While I still struggle with that mentality from time to time, I think back to being injured and I get a reality check fast.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 30, 2011, 1:35 pm

    First, lunch looks delicious! BBQ, mushrooms and tempeh..YUM! Second, I’m not what I would call injured, but I have limitations due to having a tumor removed from my abdomen and having mesh instead of muscle. For someone that grew up physically active, this was a hard mental blow. While I can’t do the things I used to be able to do physically, I am finally happy with how I feel. I work hard to stay in shape even though I know I will never run a race or lift heavier weights. I had to take baby steps and that was the hardest thing to do. Only being able to walk at first was so mentally damaging for me. I had to get to the point where I changed my view of working out. I am happy to say that I now feel stronger than ever before and I know better how to work with my body instead of against it. I’ve also found some fun new workouts that I probably would have never explored if I didn’t have to think outside the box. I’m glad you are finding some fun stuff to do Caitlin!

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life May 30, 2011, 1:38 pm

    Being forced to take a break from running gave my feet time to get pretty again. I had forgotten how nice it is to not have mangled toenails! 🙂

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) May 30, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I think being injured gives you an opportunity to find other things outside of whatever sport/activity that you’re good at. I also think being injured gives you an opportunity to get to know your body better… ex. next time you might take precautions so you don’t injure yourself!


  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 30, 2011, 1:46 pm

    Being injured with a sprained ankle for a month definitely taught me about cross training. I discovered my love for spinning and Body Pump, and I can honestly say that my injury made me an even fitter person. I realized that I don’t have to rely on running to stay active and in shape, and because I kept up my cardio and strength during my running hiatus, getting back into running was so much easier than I thought.

    I’m sure you’ll be up to your peak speed/mileage before you know it 🙂

  • Molly @ RDexposed May 30, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Being injured made me realize that I need to be more in-tune with my body. I realized that I need to look at the big picture of running which includes more than hitting the pavement. I have turned to doing my yoga and stretching to prepare for my return to running.

  • Carol May 30, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I found my limitations when I was injured. I found myself saying things like “OK I know I can only do__________ without hurting myself.”
    I also discovered other forms of cardio that I love:)

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 30, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Coming back from an injury and going back into training and competition in your sport makes you mentally and physically stronger than before. The tenacity to stick with rehabilitation exercises, which are often painful, grows stronger and gets applied to your training when you return, making you mentally stronger. The alternative training you do in the meantime will strengthen you in new ways, and that remains when you return to full training and competition.

    In four years of swimming in college, I had shoulder impingement flare ups no fewer than five times. Two of those times, it was bad enough that I could do nothing but kick with my arms at my sides for two days, then kick with my arms overhead for another day, and finally I could swim with fins only for 2-3 days. This was during 2 2-2.5 hour training sessions per day – it got boring fast – and in the meantime, I had to do rehabilitation stretching and strengthening outside of practice. When I was back to full training, my kick, which is a weak point for me, was exceptionally better, and my shoulders were more stable, which helped me catch the water better.

    You are strong. You are beautiful. You can do this.

  • Clare May 30, 2011, 2:23 pm

    When I’m injured I just do whatever I can to train around the problem. Last year I couldn’t do much lower-body work because of a lower back injury, so I decided I’d concentrate on my upper body strength — pullups, specifically. Now I can do 12! Right now I can’t bench or do any direct chest work (due to costochondritis) so I’ve been focusing on getting my squat back up over 200#. There’s always something you can do!

  • cathy May 30, 2011, 2:27 pm

    glad you’re on the comeback trail, caitlin – woo hoo!
    man,i’ve had a lot of experience with injuries over the past 22 years of running…unfortunately!
    but i always come back. what i’ve learned that’s positive 1) you appreciate your workouts/runs so much more when you’ve been off for a while 2) you realize that muscles remember: it takes time, but you CAN regain your fitness/distance running 3) you realize what a miracle our bodies are, and what amazing feats we can accomplish. i’ll stop there!
    enjoy the rest of your day!

  • Jennifer@ knackfornutrition May 30, 2011, 2:34 pm

    I was taken out of the running game before I even had a real chance to get into it when I was diagnosed with an IT band injury. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because it taught me to not take exercise for granted and to know my own limitations.
    More than anything though, coming back from an injury solidified just how important it is to take care of yourself after the exercise is complete. That means proper nutrition, stretching, icing, and foam rolling. Those components are equally as important as actually training for a race.

  • Kerry May 30, 2011, 2:34 pm

    Being injured allowed me to realize my true passion – sports physical therapy! Knowing full well that I loved science growing up and being pre-med in college, I never fully got on board with medical school and took 3 years off to teach Anatomy and Physiology with Teach for America. When I tore a calf muscle a year ago, moving through the recovery process and being in touch with so many PTs ignited what had been in me all along – a career in helping athletes recovery from injuries 🙂 A blessing in disguise although at the time it was not fun!

    I believe you live in a hilly neighborhood, but all my PTs advised me to avoid the ups and downs of hills since it aggravates your knees. Perhaps driving to a flat area and investing in a gymboss to time your walk/run intervals could help? Just a suggestion.

    Glad to see you out there again with your head held high! I know the mental difficulties of transitioning back.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 30, 2011, 2:47 pm

    When I was injured last year during marathon training, I took two weeks off, started taking spin classes, and my first run back was a 5k where I PRed! I am just now getting back into running after taking the past month off, and I am starting to incorporate walking breaks, which I never used to do. It’s pretty helpful though!

  • Carly May 30, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I broke my hip when I was 16 dancing. I was a competitive dancer and had never taken part in any other form of exercise, I was even excused from high school p.e. as my dance instructors were worried I would get injured!
    When I broke my hip I was unable to do any exercise, and have never been able to dance competitively again. The time off taught my little 16 year old self that there is so much to life, not just dance! I had built myself a world that was centered upon dance and I was missing out on so many other wonderful aspects of life. I miss dancing, however I wonder if I would be as happy as I am today if I hadn’t gotten injured!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen May 30, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Love the phrase “zero to hero” :)Since I started running I’ve luckily had no real injuries that have sidelined me too much. Super thankful for that as cross training would be hard for me without a gym membership or a bike.

  • Lisa May 30, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I’m not very good about sitting out when I’m injured although I definitely reduce my running. That’s when I start upping my visits to my accupuncturist. Although it does depend on what’s twanging at the moment.
    If I were you coming back to running, and with knee problems, I would be running (however slowly) up the hills, and walking down them. Better way to build up cardio, and much less impact on the knees. Glad to read that you’re on the road to recovery!

  • Brenda May 30, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I’m looking forward to your post. I’m injured right now and totally depressed about it. Maybe you have some advice about stopping the negative thoughts. It’s so hard to get your mind off of it when you can constantly feel it.

    • CaitlinHTP June 3, 2011, 1:40 pm

      I will definitely address this!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 30, 2011, 3:18 pm

    I’ve never had a true injury — although I have had knee pain from time to time. Being injured (even though only slightly) has helped me get in tune with how my body is feeling and it helps make me feel ok with taking additional rest days if necessary.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss May 30, 2011, 3:22 pm

    Being injured has taught mt it’s ok to rest, our bodies need it. Before..I’d work out every single day, really hard and not give my body breaks even when I felt worn down..but after being injured, having to lay off exercise, and realizing nothing happened as a result..I started allowing myself breaks all the time! I’m much happier and healthier. 🙂

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska May 30, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Being injured (or at least having shin splints for 7 months straight) helps me to remember to take it easy on my body and be grateful for every single awesome thing that it accomplishes.

  • Shannon May 30, 2011, 3:50 pm

    I’m about to start doing a whole lot of double workouts for my triathlon on June 25th! Hoping that I’ll be ready after coming back today from a vacation.

  • Kelly May 30, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Like you, I’m kind of the queen of injuries. I wish I could avoid them, but they HAVE taught me about all the other great exercises out there. Once, while I was injured, I took a trampoline class (called Urban Rebounding) and a Hula Hoop class! I also got more into spinning and yoga during a very long break from running!

  • Lee May 30, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Fortunately, I have never injured myself but I have taken breaks from running. It is frustrating to know that you used to be able to run X amount of miles and now you can’t, but you’re right, it does and will come back to you.

  • Kristina May 30, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Like others have said, being injured has taught me to appreciate a greater variety of exercise. I couldn’t run for just over 2 months, but I began to really enjoy swimming, cycling and spinning.
    The other major bonus for me is that I really appreciate what my body can do. I’m rapidly approaching 40, and I do worry about how often I will be able to push myself, and so rather than trying to constantly run faster and harder, I’m focusing on the experiences that I can have doing different activities, whether it’s a kick-ass spin class, a weekend hike through wildflowers or just a low-key walk with our dogs, I do try to appreciate each experience.
    One final thing – I spent 9 months of last year in rehab after ACL surgery – there is a huge difference, I’ve found, between having to rehab post-surgery and between dealing with a nagging injury. The latter is actually more challenging emotionally, but I think that the ACL recovery also helped me with the foot injury which was much more minor but also more annoying for me and actually harder to deal with.

  • Natalia - a side of simple May 30, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Honestly, Caitlin, I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciated just reading this post today. The past two weeks I’ve been struggling with lower back, hip, and knee pain after working up my mileage, so its definitely encouraging to know I’m not the only one. Sometimes even just reading a post like this and the comments that go with it can help way a recovery move along way faster than anything else, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Thanks:)

  • Baking 'n' Books May 30, 2011, 4:22 pm

    To start the process of finding out me…who I am really am. Without all the other stuff.

  • Sana May 30, 2011, 4:28 pm

    Injuries are a blessing, they remind us that out body is something that needs to be taken care of!

  • D May 30, 2011, 5:12 pm

    I’ve learned to invest in my fitness and health rather than chasing the instant gratification. Having an awesome run is instantly rewarding – you feel exhausted and happy and, especially if you’re on the brink of returning from an injury, you get an immediate runners high. Foam rolling, icing, etc. – not gratifying in the least. But, I’ve learned that it’s important to invest in my fitness by doing those things, and reaping the rewards LATER rather than NOW. And when I’m bouncing back from injury and can run a few miles without pain, I have finallyyyy learned that it is SO much better to step OFF the treadmill before the pain happens. That short run is an investment in future, pain-free runs, and banging out a 10-miler just because I feel “healed” on that one particular day is the fastest way to delay recovery and prolong the injury.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) May 30, 2011, 5:23 pm

    I am really blessed to have never really been injured 🙂

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) May 30, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Zero to hero…love that! I might have to steal that sometime. 🙂

    Being injured for 2 months taught me that it is never a good idea for me to run 6 days a week! It forced me to find my ‘happy place’ with running- no more than 4 days a week max. I feel my best running about 2-3 days a week. I also agree that x-training is key.

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 30, 2011, 6:13 pm

    being injured (pifimoris/hip flexor) taught me (like you) to go slow and appreciate the ability to move when you can! also it made me realize (like you) how important cross training is for you body….especially an aging one like mine! 🙂 i also learned the benefits of accupunture-seriously a god send when it comes to recovery!

  • Jen May 30, 2011, 6:36 pm

    I would have never have found yoga if it weren’t for running injuries!

  • Maura May 30, 2011, 6:40 pm

    I sprained my ankle badly in January playing tennis, and was on crutches for a good 5-6 weeks. I learned huge lessons in fitness – the joys of spinning for instance, since I still can’t run comfortably. But the biggest lesson I learned was how we take our mobility for granted. Getting ready for work in the morning on crutches was the biggest challange – it would take 10 minutes alone just to launch myself into the shower. I’d be sweating profusely by the time I got downstairs to hop into my ride for work – because of course I busted my right foot, and couldn’t drive. My independence and ability to take care of myself was completely gone, and I had to learn how to depend on the kindness of others. Sometimes we hate asking for help, but in this case I had no other choice, and I was overwhelmed by friends and family and how they came to the rescue. Case and point: I had a cup of coffee sitting on my desk every morning when I came to work, because my co-workers knew I couldn’t carry the dang thing on my own.

    While I’ve learned that running isn’t the only sport, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to appreciate the simple things, like the walk I was able to take today in sunshine. Me – and my armpits – are now forever appreciateve of being able to take a simple walk sans crutches.

  • Christine May 30, 2011, 7:08 pm

    After injuring my groin in a car accident I really learned the importance of stretching, icing and resting. You have to learn to practice what you preach.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now May 30, 2011, 7:21 pm

    I’ve never learned more about my body than when I have been injured. It’s showed me that we’re supposed to cut ourselves some slack sometimes because our bodies weren’t created to be beat up over and over again without breaking down eventually. After realizing this I started crafting a step back running week into my workouts about every four to five weeks.

  • Katie @ cooklaughmove May 30, 2011, 7:22 pm

    I’m still on the recovery from a stress fracture in my left tibia. I was able to complete the 25k I was training for but in a very a walk heavy fashion. Even though my time was my personal worst, the satisfaction and triumph I felt at the finish line was the most of any race!

    I also re-learned the benefits of icing and stretching. I get sloppy about post-run icing and stretching when I feel okay, but I really need it after EVER run!

  • Hillary May 30, 2011, 7:48 pm

    I trained for and ran my first half marathon this past fall without any major troubles. Then, a few months later, I started to feel some serious pain in my left hip—I’m talking serious, it hurts to walk, sit, stand, or move kind of pain. Admittedly, I still haven’t gone to the doctor to figure out what the real deal is, but after doing some research, I’ve self diagnosed myself with bursitis (I usually don’t like self-diagnosing, but this time it was pretty clear).

    During my training for the half marathon, I gained a new appreciation for my body and what it can do. I NEVER thought I would run a half marathon, and once I did, I realized that I am capable of far more than I ever thought possible. Then I got injured and, strangely, gained a new appreciation for my body—this time, I realized that my body can do incredible things, but that I need to be kind to it, as well. I need to listen to it, be gentle with it, and respect its limits.

    Additionally, I was smart enough to finally get professionally fitted for running shoes. Turns out, I am a serious “heel-striker” and have arches that collapse on impact. The helpful people at the running store pointed out that I have been wearing shoes that are probably making my injury WORSE, and they showed me what I SHOULD be wearing. Had I not felt this pain, I probably would have never realized that my running form needs improvement, and that my feet need a lot more support!

  • Anna May 30, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Injuries have taught me that any exercise and any form of movement that I can do with my body is a gift and a blessing, and that I should never take it for granted. For no matter how bad you think your injury may be, there is likely someone in worse condition. Can’t run? Be thankful you can walk. Can’t walk? Be thankful you have any use of your legs at all. And so on.

  • BroccoliHut May 30, 2011, 8:30 pm

    I just recently returned to running after four months of recovery from a double stress fracture. I learned a lot of patience and how to appreciate cross training over the past few months! I did a hot and hilly run this morning, and believe me–I took plenty of walking breaks!

  • Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger May 30, 2011, 9:27 pm

    My injury last spring was a bad case of ITBS. I fortunately had a bad enough case that it caused stabbing pain, and barely allowed me to walk, let alone run. I say fortunately because the recovery time taught me a lot about myself and the athlete I want to be. I learned to listen to my body at the FIRST signs of an injury, not the second, third and fourth screaming warnings. It also taught me that I know best for my body and that I should incorporate my yoga mindset of not comparing myself to others and apply it to my running.

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 30, 2011, 9:29 pm

    I have only been running since Winter 2010, so no injuries yet. But the fact that I used to be an overweight smoker kinda gives me a perspective on my health and fitness. I’m constantly surprised at what my body can do. And grateful.

  • Raina May 30, 2011, 10:11 pm

    Being injured literally saved my life.
    Last July I was deeply struggling with my eating disorder and had reached my lowest weight ever. My body was starting to shut down on me: I became anemic, my heartrate slowed, and I actually developed a lump on my thryoid (it turned out to be benign) due to all of the abuse. I had become so obsessed with exercising that I was doing at least 2 1/2 hours a day, sometimes more, every single day without fail and wasn’t eating enough to support those energy demands. This ensued for a full year. Then very gradually over those months I started noticing some peculiar changes. Suddenly, my knees would give out on me when I walked. They became stiff and sometimes locked up and forced me to walk slower. At first I thought that I was just tired but the more and more I noticed how much trouble I was having with walking, the more concerned I became.
    But still I continued to overexercise.
    Eventually the pain grew to be so unbearable that I could barely complete just a lap around my block. My knees would get extremely stiff and throb with this pulsing arthritic pain. Many nights I would just lie in agony, dreading the thought of having to be on my legs again the next day.

    I know that God allowed me to experience this pain because it forced me to cut back on my exercise. It also forced me into the recovery that I was avoiding.

    Without a doubt, if I did not have that pain to motivate me to decrease my exercise, I would not be alive today.

    This year I am in a much better place, both physically and mentally. I have reached my healthy weight and have found a healthy exercise routine. Unfortunately I still live with the knee pain today. It is always there and serves as a constant reminder of the abuse that I put my body through and just how fragile I have become. Although it can be very debillatating at times and makes me very depressed, in a way I am grateful for the pain because it reminds me that I need to treat my body with respect.
    Now I no longer wish to ever put my body through that abuse again. When I exercise I listen to what my body is telling me and stop when I know that I am hurting it. In fact just recently I have completely cut out an unneccessary chunk of cardio time and replaced it with strength and weight training. The freedom I feel is liberating.
    I cannot stress how important it is to never take our bodies for granted. We need to love them, and nurture them, and treat them with the utmost of respect. The damage I have done to my body is most likely irreversible. I will probably never be able to walk or run without some kind of pain ever again. It makes me cry but it was necessary in order for me to overcome my eating disorder.
    “This is your life, treat yourself right.”

    • CaitlinHTP June 3, 2011, 1:42 pm

      <3 lots of love, girl!

  • Rachel May 30, 2011, 10:15 pm

    I would recommend running up the hill and walking down. I know it’s more harder to do this option, but it is much better for your knees. If you’ve had previous knee injuries, I would recommend not running downhill. It puts more pressure on your knee and does not work your muscles as well as running uphill.

    • Rachel May 30, 2011, 10:17 pm

      Ugh, I can’t seem to edit my post, I intended to write “more difficult,” not “more harder”!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) May 30, 2011, 10:36 pm

    Injuries are rough and I had to work myself back up from taking 6 weeks off due to a shin splint. I wrote a guest post for Matt (The Athlete’s Plate) a few weeks ago about coming back from an injury. In my post, I wrote that I learned a few valuable things: build up mileage gradually (I didn’t adhere to the 10% rule), it’s ok to take a little time off from running, if you are coming back from an injury… be patient! Embrace other forms of exercise!, if it hurts. STOP!, and finally Figure out WHY or HOW you got injured in the first place.

  • Clare - Never Niche May 30, 2011, 10:40 pm

    Dealing with a bad case of runner’s knee sidelined me for my favorite race of the year, the Bolder Boulder 10K (happened today!) but I had never been a spectator for it and seeing the community, all ages/sizes/fitness levels, was really inspiring.

  • Susan May 30, 2011, 10:47 pm

    I’m trying to deal with pain right now. I’ve had on/off pain in my right knee for 2+ years. Sometimes bad – sometimes not so much. Right now I am in a bad period. I am planning on getting a PT appt this week, and find out what I need to do. I want to see if I can get beyond this.

  • khushboo May 30, 2011, 11:38 pm

    Fortunately I haven’t suffered any injuries but I do agree that they are a blessing in disguise! I would assume if I got injured, it would be an eye opener to respect my body and not overuse it! If a schedule calls for a rest day, rest! Even thouGh it sometimes seems hard to believe, rest days will enhance performance!

  • Caitln May 30, 2011, 11:58 pm

    I was injured while training for my first marathon, and while I do wish it hadn’t happened when it happened, I was able to go to an amazing physical therapist who taught me so much about taking care of my body – so much more than just treating my injury. I walked away with so much knowledge about running, cross training, injury prevention and treatment that I would not otherwise have gotten.

  • lindsay r. May 31, 2011, 12:25 am

    I hurt my shoulder in August and finally had surgery to repair a torn labrum in March. I still have a ways to go in my recovery. Being injured has really humbled me. For many months I wallowed in “I used to be able to do xyz…” You dont realize how much you use certain body parts until you cant amymore! I felt sorry for myself. But then I started to focus on what I could do. I could lunge, and jump, and run! Sure, it will still be many months before I’m back doing 20 real pushups, and I am the one humbly using those silly pink 1lb dumbbells, but I’m not wallowing anymore. I’m grateful for my body, even when its injured.

  • Morgan @Endorphaholic May 31, 2011, 3:01 am

    After twelve weeks of serious marathon training, I started having hip pain and ended up being told that I need to stay away from impact activities while I am in physical therapy.

    Because of this, I joined a triathlon team. After two years of “thinking about it”, but being too intimidated, I finally did it! And even better, I found out that I can bike and swim much farther than I ever thought.

    While sometimes it is still frustrating that I can’t run, it has taught me to be more patient and respectful of my body. And it gave me the push to go for a dream!

  • Lucy @ Fluroescent May 31, 2011, 4:32 am

    I only started running seriously after I strained my back a year or so ago. That was what taught me to train properly, look after myself, STRETCH and wear the proper shoes. When the same injury brought my movement level to zero for the second time a couple of months ago, I realised just how mindful of your body you need to be!

    Injury has taught me a lot. Ironically, I wouldn’t be trying half as hard to take care of my body if I didn’t know how fragile a thing it is (And how crazy I get when I actually CAN’T move.

    Good luck with the recovery and training, Caitlin!

  • Tay May 31, 2011, 10:30 am

    Oh being injured – often times so bittersweet because it DOES teach you so much! Before my knee injury a couple years ago, I was wayyy over-exerting my body, running 6-10 milers day after day with no rest. I felt that I NEEDED to exercise/run every single day, and runs less than 5 or 6 miles did not suffice or burn enough calories. Throughout my resting time, I learned that LIFE GOES ON if you don’t get a workout in for 1…2…6 days (surprise!!). It showed me how much I was underfueling when I was running so much more since I was eating the same amount while resting, and pretty much maintaining. It taught me that sometimes having a social life and having a few drinks is way more important than that run the next morning 😉 (sometimes!). And it also taught me how little things are just as important as actual running. It’s hard for me to take 20-30 minutes to foam roll, stretch, and do hip/ankle exercises since they aren’t cardio and show no “results” (like muscle tone). Who wants to spend 15 minutes doing hip exercises when you could be bulking up those biceps? 😉 But they are VERY important to running!

    Obviously, injuries have shown me to appreciate running and appreciate everything your body can do. Coming back from my knee injury I was ECSTATIC over 6, 7, and 10 milers (normal everyday runs for me in the past). I teared up at the end of my half-marathon (even though I had already ran a full and a half in the past).

    Not that that’s said, I’m still sick of injuries!! haha

  • Susan May 31, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Just curious…do you do more traditional bricks during your tri training? Usually when I double up on exercises, I mimic what I’ll be doing on race day, so it will be swim/bike or bike/run.

    • Caitlin May 31, 2011, 12:06 pm

      I definitely need to and want to, I just haven’t been able to coordinate traditional bricks 🙂 Hopefully soon though!

  • Marie May 31, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I would love a post on the upside of injuries! I often think of you (not in the scary stalker way) when I’m injured and training for an event because you manage to keep such a positive attitude. I got hit by a car while on my bike two weeks before a sprint tri I was competing in. Somehow I was still able to compete and while I didn’t hit the pace I wanted to, I was just proud of how much stronger my body is than I thought it was!

    • CaitlinHTP May 31, 2011, 4:15 pm

      I cannot believe you were clipped by a car and still raced. You are amazing. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Hannah (Hannah Lives) May 31, 2011, 8:16 pm

    I love that your socks don’t match in those pictures! It’s almost like in US weekly when they do the, “They’re Just Like Us!” feature! haha!

    And good for you getting your mileage and pace back up safely!

    And… that sandwich looks so good! I really want to try tempeh but I can’t find it in my regular grocery store. And I always seem to forget it whenever I go to Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods.

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