My Return To Running!

Hi everyone!  Huge news on the blog today!  Since last Monday, I’ve actually made a ton of progress with my December goals – mainly, my goal to run 10 miles in December.  I’m currently at 4.2 miles!  Yes, the return to running is officially happening!  Here’s how it all went down this week:

After running last Friday for 10 minutes and not experiencing any pain during the run (which I wrote about last week), I tried another short run on the treadmill on Monday morning.  I once again felt no pain while running and was much less sore afterwards!  I didn’t even feel sore until much later in the day, and most of it was in my upper hips/lower back and not in the same area as my former pain.  I was optimistic enough that I made plans with a friend to do the Ugly Sweater Pub Run with the local running store on Tuesday night.  It was on my bucket list for the end of the year, so I knew I wanted to do it no matter if I had to walk it or not.  I was excited when I managed to run 20 (the max my PT told me to do) minutes pain-free!  I hadn’t run outside or with a friend since September, so I was so incredibly happy about getting to do it after such a long wait!  Sadly I didn’t win the ugly sweater contest, but I did have a blast catching up with my friend and spending time outdoors.

IMG_7483Busting out the studded shoes again!

After that run, I felt sore for a day or two.  I think my muscles are adjusting to running again, and I wouldn’t exactly call anything I’ve experienced so far “pain”.  But I do want to feel less sore, so I’m thinking that the 20 minute run was my max and that I need to work my way back up to that level slowly and not make it a regular thing.  I didn’t run again until Saturday, which was the day of the Jingle Bell Run For Arthritis 5k here in Anchorage.  I had signed up for it before my injury, so I decided to make the most of the situation and have as much fun as possible without running the whole thing.  I ran it with a pregnant coworker so we both had to walk a lot and take it slow, and we had a blast rocking our ugly sweaters!

IMG_7505Both of these are homemade, and yes this is the same shirt I wore last weekend.  Shout out to the Walmart Christmas aisle and hot glue guns!

It snowed for most of the race, and we had a fun Christmas playlist on my phone to keep us entertained.  We walked most of it, and only really ran for 5 minutes near the halfway point and then 5 minutes at the end.  I didn’t actually feel sore afterwards so i think that was the winning combo of running and walking!  I’ll have a race recap up on BibRave sometime soon, but overall it was one of my favorite race courses in Anchorage (it didn’t end on a hill!), it was walker, stroller, and dog friendly, and the shirts were really cute so I highly recommend it!

IMG_7514The race course was gorgeous with all the falling snow!  It was empty at this point because we were in between the runners and the walkers.

IMG_7517Rocking my jingle bells and basically all the red and green I could find

Probably the biggest news from this week is that I was discharged from PT on Thursday!  My physical therapist has been absolutely amazing in teaching me how my body works when I run and how to make it stronger.  If I hadn’t gotten injured now, I know it would have happened sometime soon and the results could have been a lot worse.  After my 45 minute workout with him, we discussed how much progress I’ve made and how to keep making it in the future.  He has given me about 15 to 20 exercises throughout our time together, and he asked that I mix and match them into workouts that I can do at home and ones that I can do using gym equipment to continue to get stronger.  He has me doing higher reps than most people because I’m running long distances, and he gave me modifications to some exercises in case I need to make them harder in the future.  He said that I can come back at any time for a checkup or if I have the same pain again, but I’m hoping that I won’t have to do that.

I’m beyond excited to be running again, but if I can be honest I’m also beyond terrified that I’m going to mess it up.  I’m still doing my PT exercises daily, and I’m still spending time doing spin class.  I’m totally pain free during all activity.  But I’m really worried that if I do too much running too soon it will put me right back where I was, and that’s not what I want at all.   And after talking to lots of people about it, and having many discussions with one person in particular, I’ve decided to hire a running coach to get me back to running in a responsible and safe way!  And you probably know her:  it’s Susie from SuzLyfe!  She offers online coaching services and has quite a bit of time to help other runners due to her own injury (not caused by doing stupid stuff like me, but because of a stress fracture – you can read all about it on her blog and send her some positive vibes) and I’m beyond excited to be working with her!  I mean, Kara Goucher tweeted her some recovery advice this week, so she’s totally famous and legit 🙂  Anyways, I’m looking forward to getting back to running and doing it with lots more support than when I first started 3 years ago!  Let’s hope that this means that 2016 will be filled with lots of races, PRs, and absolutely no hip pain!

Have you ever hired a running coach?  What tips do you have for someone who is coming back from a running injury?  And are you planning on doing an ugly sweater race this month?

36 thoughts on “My Return To Running!

  1. My number one tip from someone returning from an injury or a condition is that they take their time. Some people heal faster than others and it’s OK.
    Just trust the process and listen to your body.
    Welcome back to your running routine.
    Have a fabulous time!

    1. I love this! It’s so hard to compare myself to other recovering runners, but I know my body and what it can handle right now so I need to just focus on that. Thank you!

  2. SO EXCITED TO WORK WITH YOU! We are going to make a fantastic team, and we are going to get you up and running (pun intended) the right way. I ain’t got time for you to get injured again!

    1. Yaaaaaay! Also, you totally set me up for this, but ain’t NOBODY got time for that! 🙂 Also I was hoping that dropping that Kara Goucher fact would make you sound like the most legit coach ever so we’ll see if anyone notices!

  3. Look at you that’s amazing! So happy for you! I know that scaling back on your running schedule has been tough but hopefully it was worth the wait. I love your adorable snowy elf pictures and wish I was running an ugly sweater race with you! Also Suz is so cool, she’s going to be awesome to work with!

    1. Haha well we’ll see how much I can do and how much of a true “comeback” this actually is! And I totally had to take the opportunity to train with her when we started talking about it! I just feel so much more confident knowing she’s here to help.

  4. Glad to hear you’re doing so well!

    I think the most important thing is listening to your body and readjusting your schedule accordingly. Something I suck at, frankly, but I’m learning. Slowly.

    That and continue with the PT exercises, although no doubt your coach will help you there, too.

    Last year at this time I was only running a mere 2-3 miles at a time, having just come back from an injury. This year I ran more, and despite some IT issues, have basically remained injury free (knock on wood) and am running more consistently & longer.

    So it can be done!

    1. Thanks for the tips! I’m frustrated that it’s going to be such a long process, but I’m definitely willing to do everything I can to make this comeback happen!

    1. No way!!!! Of course we would have the same coach! I am so excited that we’re both getting the help we need to reach our goals 🙂

    1. Thanks! And yeah, that’s exactly why I’ve got Susie to help me out. I’m so afraid of overdoing it that I’m actually worried about every activity that I do! But for now, I think I’m okay so I’m just trying to focus on that fact.

    1. Thanks! I definitely feel pretty sore and tired still. I’m looking forward to gaining my strength back so that I can feel like normal. This is such a long process!

  5. That snowing run looks GORGEOUS. Glad you’re getting back to it! As someone who had a running injury this year, I totally know what you’re going through. You’ll get back to full force soon.

  6. Huzzah!! Congrats on graduating from PT and on your return to running! 😀 I love the outfits for those races – so festive and awesome. My advice on coming back from injury is the advice I should have followed myself – take it slow, and keep up with your PT exercises!!

    1. Thanks! And I’m hoping to follow that advice. I’ve read so many blog posts from injured runners who didn’t do their PT stuff and re-injured themselves, and I’m not going to let myself do that!

    1. Thank you! They haven’t been enjoyable yet – I’m so terrified of hurting myself and kind of wish for them to be over so that I can feel like I’m making progress. I’m looking forward to the day I can run without any worries! Hopefully I’ll be there sometime in the next month, but for now I’m taking it slow.

  7. Your Christmas running outfit is AWESOME! haha I actually really love it! You look like an elf! I’ve never had a running coach, but my old soccer coach was so obsessed with running sometimes I still picture him in my head pushing me! He’s like a phantom-coach, but it still helps! I’m excited to hear how your coach will help you 🙂 PS.. Think you’ll still do the run in Reading after Christmas? I forget the name of it, but I’m still hoping we can meet up :-DDD

    1. Haha thanks! I had way too much fun making it. And I’m thinking no on the Kris Kringle 5 Miler. It’s just too long of a race and not walker friendly 😦 Maybe next year though? And if you want to go for a slow and short run with me while I’m in Reading let me know! I’ll be there on and off the week after Christmas!

      1. oh it’s a 5 miler! That’s no good for an injured runner! I actually have a (rescheduled) 5 miler the day after Christmas so a slow short run sometime after that might be nice 🙂 We’ll have to see how it goes and how busy you are. I know you have a lot of family time to catch up on!

  8. Congratulations!
    I feel your pain when it comes to “getting back the old me”. I am always very impatient with results though I know I should take my time.
    I want to sign up for a 75 miles two days ultra which is in October and after I did my first marathon distance I will definitely treat myself with a running coach to see where I could improve

  9. Those sweaters totally ROCK!!!!!! I have knitted an ugly sweater (but, shockingly, I didn’t think it was ugly at the time…), but I have never thought of adorning a “regular” sweater and making it into an ugly sweater. Pure genius!!! Congrats on your progress….I hope you continue to run pain-free 😉

    1. Oh wow, I feel like knitting it would be so tough! All I needed for this was a hot glue gun, a 24 pack of bows, a 12 pack of ornaments, some mini ornament packs from Michaels, and some tinsel garland. Plus it was so much fun to make! And thanks for the positive vibes!

  10. I have a coach–not a running coach, but a CrossFit coach! I needed someone who could help make me stronger. She’s actually a Corrective Exercise Specialist and has coached me to 2 amazing marathons! Now we’re getting ready for Big Sur.

    Glad to see you back on the trail! Your pictures are amazing. As are your leggings…

    1. That’s awesome! I guess I never really thought of myself as the kind of person who needed a coach. I don’t see myself as an athlete at all. But I think that’s just because of my weird past experiences with sports and running back in high school, and how late in the game I became a runner. But I’m realizing that I need a coach to meet my goals and feel comfortable enough moving forward with running post-injury. I’m glad you have a coach to help you out! Also, both sets of leggings came from Walmart which is super surprising to me. But their ugly sweater legging selection is amazing!

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