Dear Non-Injured Me…

Hi everyone!  Injury update time:  although my weekly PT appointment isn’t until Thursday afternoon, I’m already feeling hopeful that I’ll be allowed to try running soon.  My constant hip/butt pain is now gone (it used to hang around all day long) and my daily PT exercises are getting slightly easier and less painful to do!  For a look at what I’ve been asked to do, check out my official injury post here.  Of course, I’m going to do only what my PT tells me I can do, and I’m not going to push it.  But I know he’s going to ask me to run on the treadmill at my upcoming appointment to assess my hip strength, and this week I’m totally ready for it.  And oh, what I wouldn’t give for 5 short blissful minutes of running right now, especially with the glorious snow and ice we’ve got all over the trails!


And that’s where I got the idea for today’s post.  I’ve been running for a little over 3 years now, and I’ve had a few small bumps in the road over that time.  Each time, I was able to ease back into running within a week or so, and never really had to deal with having to stop running for medical reasons.  And it’s pretty stressful not knowing when I can start again.  But I think the worst part is knowing that over the last few years there have been many times where I could have run, but for some reason didn’t really feel like it.  And I would give anything to be able to go back in time to talk to that bored, burned out, and tired person and remind myself how lucky I am to be a runner!  I know that someday soon I’ll be back to running, and I’ll have those same moments where I’ve lost all motivation to run.  And I’m hoping that when I do I’ll take a look back at this post and remember what it felt like to be injured.  So here’s my letter to my future self and any other non-injured runners who need a bit of motivation today:

Dear Non-Injured Me,

Today, you have strong hips.  Hips that can take you as many miles as you want at whatever pace you feel like doing today.  Maybe you’re running up the same hill over and over again, or pushing yourself on the track.  Or maybe you’re just on your favorite route enjoying the views of the mountains.  Or maybe you’re not feeling like you want to run at all.  Like running is the last thing you want to do when it’s cold out and you’re tired and the sun has set hours ago.  But here’s the thing:  you can run today.  Even if you don’t make that choice, just know that today no one is telling you that you can’t lace up your Asics and head out for a few miles.  You’ve got the freedom to choose to do whatever you want.  And I think you should run.

Why?  Because running is the best way to end a long, tough day.  You might feel tired now, but getting in a few miles will help relax your body and empty your mind of all the things that happened today.  You know that thing you’ve been trying to figure out at work but can’t get quite right?  After a few miles you might have a clearer view of what to do!  And anything that made you frustrated this week is going to magically melt away with every minute you spend outside.  It always happens!  Every foot strike, every deep breath, and every drop of sweat gets you closer to that runner’s high!

Think about all the things you can do on a run today!  You can try out a new trail and explore a new part of the city.  Or you can do another scavenger hunt with your fellow bloggers (remember this one?  And this one from last winter?).  You can even do my favorite running motivation cheat and go buy a new running item that you’ll be dying to try out ASAP!  Or you can call up your friends and head out for a post-sunset headlamp run together.  And maybe if you’re feeling like you need an extra challenge you can sign up for a fun race to train for.  Or you can even do a virtual race – it’s almost that time of year again for my Solstice Sprint Virtual 5k and there are so many other ones out there to choose from!

And if all else fails to get you out the door, remember this: you are healthy, strong, and injury free and just having the choice to be able to run is an amazing thing.  You don’t have a PT or a doctor giving you restrictions, and you don’t have constant pain.  You don’t wake up every morning with sore hips wondering how much pain you’ll be in if you go for a run.  You’re incredibly lucky to have fallen in love with the best sport in the world – now go out there and enjoy it!  But make sure to take it easy out there so that you don’t end up injured again  🙂

Sincerely, Injured Me

PS:  Remember to do lots of yoga and cross training, and use that foam roller every day!

IMG_4298I’m always going to remember how it felt to cross every single finish line!

If you could write a letter to your non-injured self, what would it say?  How do you motivate yourself when you don’t want to run?  What’s your least favorite part about not getting to run when you really really want to?

24 thoughts on “Dear Non-Injured Me…

  1. Oh, I hope you get cleared to ramp up soon! I think I would emphasize that P.S. and remind myself that just because I’m injury free doesn’t mean I can slack off on my exercises!

  2. This morning I got up at 5 as I couldn’t sleep anymore. I opened the door and thought, “nah… still too stormy to run…” So I cooked lunch instead, got breakfast ready just to change my mind, because I have to focus on my goal, the ultimate ultra run! So off I was and I felt great!

      1. This morning I had several thoughts about running back home, as it was so stormy, I could barely breath. But no, I did it. Surrender is not an option!!!

    1. What is up with that! Are you able to run? We’ll have to compare tips on what we did to get better quickly! I hope you feel better soon too!

  3. I’m sorry to hear you’re injured – hopefully after your treadmill test your PT will clear you soon! I haven’t been injured in years, but I think I actually wrote a note to myself to not push myself hard every day once I recovered. Since then, I’ve valued easy runs.
    Also, those mountains in the background are beautiful!

    1. Oh I love that you wrote yourself a note too! I just know that if I don’t blog about how miserable it is to be injured I’ll totally forget once I get cleared to run again. I really need to stay healthy long after I recover!

    1. I know! I got a little real with this post, but I know I’ll probably need this kind of letter in a few months and now I have all the motivation I need to get out there 🙂

  4. I have been injured too many times in the last 10 years! I would surely tell my non-injured self to listen to her body! When I tore my ACL last, I had been having knee issues the entire week but just ignored it. I had thigh and calf pain that day but just ignored it. I did a Spartan Race and played in 2 playoff football games….my body revolted! 😦

    I actually don;t need motivation to run…it is my only me time so that is motivation enough! No foam rolling ….yeah I will find every excuse in the book not to do that!

    Sending you continued healing thoughts and good luck on your treadmill run.

    1. Oh no! Yeah us runners have the worst time listening to our bodies. This is why I hate all those annoying fitspo memes – if something hurts me I’m not going to push through it because I’ll be injured! And I had to laugh at the foam rolling. I actually don’t mind it but it’s definitely not fun!

  5. Kristen I feel for you. Being injured and not able to run sucks. It does make you appreciate it so much more when you come back though. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    1. Thank you! I feel like only my fellow bloggers can understand how hard this is. All my coworkers are like “I wish someone would tell me not to run!” and then they laugh. Um, not funny. I love running!

  6. I really love this idea! Smart to write this out at a time you feel so passionate about running, but find you can’t. I feel when we capture those emotions and moments when we are most motivated and driven and process them into something undying like this blog post it helps us remember them when they are most needed! I am saving this for the days I complain and don’t want to hit the road, trail, or track. Because truly having the ability and freedom to run should be something we are grateful and take advantage of more than not!

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