Pittsburgh is a great, beautiful but .. icy city! And while it has many advantages for runners (such as training in terrain with various elevation profiles), it can also add some potential hazards. I’ve recently learned it the hard way: on a 8 miles run, I have fallen at mile 7.3. And what seemed like a minor injury turned out to be a fracture with a muscle contusion that calls several weeks without any physical activity. Everything was great during the training: we’ve climbed steep hills, run on ice without problem. We were at the end of our run and needed to take a small loop to come back in the parking lot. And when taking one of the last turn, the fall was brutal.
When something bad happens, there are two ways to look at it: either discussing and thinking about it forever or move on and learn from it. After this fall, the decision was to follow the latter option.
This injury is an opportunity to step back, look at the coming events and learn. My best buddy is probably asking for some rest, that he was not treated appropriately and needs care. With the coming season, one objective was to lose 5 pounds, which was done within a month but probably at some expense. Also, the legs experienced pain on some intense training runs. So, after all, this break could be for the best? And instead of worrying about not training for a few weeks, this might be the best opportunity to look around, focus on other things, contact or help friends and work on new projects.
While doctors are calling for more than 2 months without training, there is a feeling that the recovery will be less than expected. The same doctors predicted that it would not be possible to stand for a couple of days after the injury but this is already possible to (barely) walk. Since the damage is minor, the best approach is probably to use common sense and listen to the body: rest as much as possible, start exercising when it sounds feasible with a focus and priority on low-impact activities (swimming, elliptical and some core training movements). For sure, this approach is probably not so popular nor the one that would fit everybody, but long distance runners might also have additional recovery ability that could speed up the process (but could also be confusing and lead to over-confidence as well). This might be interesting to see how long it will take to fully recover.
The most important? We are all human, and by design, make mistakes: let’s celebrate our failures and learn from them. Try not to fight the unexpected or try to change the future. Just embrace them, improve ourselves, give our best to what we do and who we love.
Hope to see you soon, on the road, on the trail, with a handled bottle full of water or a pint full of (good) beer.