Friday, May 3, 2013

A Runner’s Five Stages of Injury Grief

two little runners ~Kristen

Step 1. Denial.
          I’ll just finish up the last 5 miles of this interval workout, even though my ankle feels weird. Ahh, it’s nothing. It’ll go away in a couple of minutes . . . maybe in the next mile it’ll loosen up . . . maybe it’ll feel fine when I start the cool down. Yeah, that’s right, the cool down. It’ll feel just right when I cool down.

Step 2. Anger.
          WTF?! Ojai* is in 6 weeks. And I have a f-ing sprained ankle. I am to be in peak training now. RIGHT NOW!

* Ojai "Mountains2Beach" Marathon I am scheduled to run on May 26!

Step 3. Depression.
          There is just no way I’ll be able to run this marathon, sigh. Sad face. And even if I can run it, it won’t be fast. I’ve put 400 miles into this marathon training cycle, all for nothing. I might as well stay out of the gym too. What’s the point of trying to maintain aerobic fitness? I hate cardio machines. I’m never going to be able to run this race. Never!

Step 4. Bargaining.
            Well, then again . . . maybe if I am extra good. And I do all the things I am supposed to do, maybe I can run this race. I’ll do all those stupid balancing and stability ankle exercises. I’ll ice and elevate. And even trampoline running, I’ll do it, okay? I’ll run on an f-ing trampoline. That’s fine. If I do all these things, I can run the race! Yah, and I’ll even do the stationary bike. And the stair climber – for like an hour – I’ll maintain my aerobic capacity. And then I can run the race!

Step 5. Acceptance.
          Ummmm . . . I am still in the bargaining stage, haha! I’ll let you know when I get here.

This week – week 2 off of running from the ankle sprain – I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got to the gym for some weights, rehab, and cardio. And trampoline. 

During a training cycle, there isn’t a lot of time (or energy) to devote to weight training. Normally, I am in for just one leg workout per week and some core here and there. And upper body every full moon. This week, I was able to hit the core nearly every day and the upper body got worked three times in one week.

The ankle rehab continues. For a sprain, or at least a minor on like mine, you are not supposed to baby the ankle all the time. I’m trying to heal the sprained ligaments through balancing and stability exercises. Lots of one leg balancing on various unstable surfaces. I’ve never had a sprained ankle before, so I didn’t really understand how these exercises could possibly be good for me. But I am seeing some improvements.

And I’m back to some cardio. Stationary bike and stair climber. Just kill me please!

And then there is the trampoline running. This is more ankle rehab than cardio. I take the trampoline to the most remote, dark, and dankest corner of the gym and then hope that no one sees me. It’s just embarrassing.

Hey Trampy, meet me in the dark corner at 6.
4 weeks out (0 miles)
I usually don’t post my weight workouts and yoga, but that’s all I got again this week!

Sat. 4/27
Core and upper body weights. 

Sun. 4/28
Ankle PT workout. Core. 10” trampoline.

Mon. 4/29
a.m. Core and leg weights. Ankle PT workout.
p.m. 40” stationary bike (11 miles); 15” trampoline.

Tue. 4/30
40” stationary bike (11.3 miles); 20” trampoline.

Wed. 5/1
a.m. Ankle PT workout. Full body weights.
p.m. 60” stair climber (375 flights, 7.8 miles).

Thu. 5/2
60" stair climber (331 flights, 6.9 miles).
Ankle PT workout.

Fri. 5/3
Full body weights. Ankle PT workout

two little runners ~Kristen


  1. Feel better soon! I have (knock on wood!) never experienced a sidelining injury during training for a big race. I can't imagine how frustrated I would be. Or I would be in denial for too long until I did something worse to it. Hang in there!

    1. Thanks! I've definitely been in denial for longer in the past. But a sprained ankle is pretty hard to ignore! :) It's impressive you don't get injured during your training cycles! That's very hard to do!! :) ~Kristen

  2. Ugh!! Injuries suck!! I hope that you can heal, rehab and still do your race!!