Friday, October 23, 2009

Stopped by an injury...

Staying active is important and in almost everything you read, there is some type of reference to the importance of exercise. It helps you stay healthy, it helps fight off colds, flu, and other illness, it keeps your heart happy, it helps you maintain your weight, it helps you lose weight, it keeps you positive, it relieves stress. But sometimes, the very exercise you do can lead to injury, and when that happens it can be hard to figure out what to do.

I have been on a running kick and recently managed to improve my performance to a level, that for me, is amazing. Breaking an hour in a 10km race was a major accomplishment, and running that same pace for an entire half marathon made me so proud!! However, after my stunning performance in the Okanagan Half Marathon (2:04:44), my heel pain caught up to me. My heel pain had been bothering me for about a month, but it was off and on and always seemed to go away. After the big race however, it was more constant, to the point where I went to the doctor, after some careful research on the internet. It turns out I have plantar fasciitis. It's a common running injury so I wasn't shocked, but I was quite surprised that there are not a lot of very effective ways to treat it. And I was truly dismayed when the doctor told me not to run for at least a month. Running is my outlet. It's what I do to stay in shape and whenever I'm stressed, running makes me feel better. I can sort through my issues on a run and nearly always come back with renewed focus and ideas. But what now that I'm not supposed to run?

There are lots of things you can do when you are sidelined from running. In this case, a high impact sport can be traded for a lower impact sport. I can include cycling classes now, and concentrate on improving my swimming. There are still lots of exercises I can do to increase strength, and stretches that can help with the injury. Rather than lose momentum because my favourite activity has been sidelined, I can embrace these new activities. Perhaps this is God's way of saying it's time to improve at other things. Life is busy and if you only do one thing, then you could be missing out. Because of this injury, I went to my first spinning class in several years. I also took my family swimming. So, when an injury tries to slow you down, work your way around it. I'm also looking for other treatment options like active release. I value my body and plan to use it in many more races, but for the time being, I must respect it, and realize that it's tired of running and needs a chance to heal itself. So I will try and do the best I can to keep active through other avenues...

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