I think that any runner who has had an injury can relate to some of the common feelings associated with being injured. Often times we experience denial, anger, and eventually, acceptance. The past year (plus a few months) has been a roller coaster ride for me. In the beginning my injury was an annoyance. I thought it was minor and I caught it early and that a few weeks off was all I needed. I tried new shoes, improving nutrition, PT, dry needling, rolfing…
All of these things either helped for a little bit or were not the full answer. Here I am still dealing with this and trying once again to get back to running. So at this point I feel like some of my thoughts are a little different from what’s typical. Unfortunately this process has made me paranoid and anxious. Maybe by sharing some of my irrational thoughts it will help me to see just how ridiculous they are.
What if I can never run again?
After being stuck in this cycle for what feels like forever, it’s hard to not consider the possibility of just not being able to run anymore. Then I remind myself that people have come back from much worse than this.
I’m never going to be able to run as far/fast as I used to.
It’s so strange to think back on the mileage and paces I used to run. It will take a lot of work to get back to that. I keep reminding myself that those things are not important- I just want to be running. However, there is always that little voice in the back of my head that wants to get back to where I used to be.
Am I even still a “runner”?
I’ve wrestled with this question a whole lot lately. I can remember what it feels like to be a runner, but that part of me feels so far away.
Going along with this are things like self-blame and the comparison trap. Why can other people run x miles and not do any core work etc. and not get hurt? There is no point to thinking about this but still, these thoughts creep into my head from time to time.
What if I don’t even like running anymore?
This is a new one for me, and it feels REALLY weird to think about. During my time off from running, I would think about what it felt like to run the way I used to (~30-40 miles/week) and wonder if I will even like doing that anymore. I can remember how it felt to just run for hours and truly enjoy it. Now I wonder if I will be able to run a few miles without feeling anxious and worried. It may take a while to get back to being physically able to run longer distances, but the emotional/mental part of it is an entirely different challenge.
If you’ve been injured, did you ever question whether you would be able to run again?
Do you ever have irrational thoughts about running?