Ok, so I know I haven’t posted in a while. Usually my upbeat posts are centered around my runs, races, and nutrition on the geaux. For the past month, I’ve been sidelined due to a fractured pelvis.
I know what you’re thinking – “she ran too long, too often”. Oftentimes, women runners suffer pelvic fractures due to overuse. In my case my fracture was caused by low bone density. I was informed by my aunt that women in my family have weaker bones, and I also know that an eating disorder I dealt with prior to getting nutrition counsel at RevInMo may have been the culprit. Since then, I’ve been loading up on calcium and vitamin D. Over the past few weeks I’ve healed up enough to cross-train hardcore on the elliptical, in spin class, on the row machine, and so much more. I’ve been able to tone my upper body, strengthen my core, and achieve physiological balance.
While I will probably run again over the next few weeks, I was not able to run the Philadelphia Marathon, which I trained 7 months for. Needless to say I was devastated to miss out on the race. The most agonizing part of the injury process was when I first got injured and then tried to run anyway to finish marathon training. Due to health insurance issues in NYC, I had to fly all the way to Baton Rouge, my home town, to get MRIs and x-rays. The doctor explained that I sustained two stress fractures to my pubic bone, so I’d have to let it heal. I quickly realized that if I want to run multiple marathons in the future, I would have to sit Philly out. My dad, being the amazing man he is, flew to Philadelphia from Canada anyway to spend time with me and help me cheer on my friends in the race. While I enjoyed supporting my fellow Whippets and promoting RevInMo at the expo, I felt overwhelming sadness and anger all weekend. I wished desperately that I could have advice from someone who had been injured just weeks from a huge race. While I had no words of wisdom then, I have them now. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. Train smart and listen to your body
2. Before training for an endurance race, let it all out. On the doctor’s table. Make sure to get your tissues checked, nutrition levels, and bone density (Am I right, ladies?).
3. Heal smart – don’t push too much too soon or you will worsen the injury.
4. Don’t freak out and minimize devastation. There will always be more marathons and races, but you only have today and one body. Take care of yourself.
5. Make sure your shoes are the perfect fit for you. My old shoes had a wide heel, which, over time, messed with my running strike. This probably put unwarranted stress on my pelvis. Get experts, like the sales associates at JackRabbit Sports, to make sure the back of your foot is hitting the right place.
6. Cross-train enough. Develop a plan that works for you.
7. Focus on strengthening your lower body while your rehabilitating an injury. Thanks to Revolution in Motion, I know many exercises that strengthen my feet and knees in an organized motion that is highly effective.
8. If it is safe, maintain your aerobic capacity doing non-weight-baring workouts.
9. Be patient. Injuries take time to heal. I have been so frustrated and have officially gone stir-crazy. The key is to remember that this is just a small roadblock in a lifetime of road-running. Ensure improvement by letting your body recuperate. I’ve also had to remember that other athletes have suffered injuries far worse than mine and have faced greater disappointments. I am very fortunate that my injury was not worse.
10. Calcium, calcium, calcium.
Runners, be careful and love your bodies while training for races. You’ve got one life, so run smarter, live longer, and smile on the trails.