Sometimes It’s Ok to Rest

This week has been a very struggling week for me. It’s been a struggle for many reasons. One reason is I just changed meds for my anxiety & depression and getting used to them has been a major challenge. Of course there are always side effects when you get a new medication or up your dosage. Some of the side effects, well, the main side effect I’ve had is I get dizzy and the dizziness causes a migraine, which then causes as upset stomach. The symptons are lessening a little each day & I find that if I constantly snack or eat more often than I have been, that helps a little. It’s tough to eat when you feel like crap though.

Add on top of the anxiety & depression…shin splints! Gotta love ’em! Some might think it’s not THAT big of a deal, but tell me I can’t run and that just adds to my anxiety. Running is one of the things I’ve found that helps with my anxiety. So, the shin splints aren’t helping.

I hadn’t run since a week ago today (Wednesday). I’d walked on the treadmill & attempted to run but as soon as it started to hurt I stopped & walked. I’ve been icing down and foam rolling alot, so when Monday came, I was nervous about running, but I was going to head out on my 5 mile run and hope for the best.

My run was an out & back run. I was feeling pretty good until mile 1.3 and then my shins started to hurt! Dammit!!! I turned around and walked home. I called my dad and cried the entire way home. It’s MAJOR frustrating. I took an ice bath that night & then sent an email to my coach crying wolf saying I have NO clue what to do! NONE!!! Coach responded back & said he’d talk to me Tuesday morning at cycling class & we’d go from there.

Needless to say, I ended up needing new shoes. I LOVE my Nike shoes (hence my previous post about them). They were comfortable, they had bright colors, I just loved them! Thankfully Salt Lake Running Co has an awesome exchange policy. When you buy shoes at SLRC, within the first 30 days of purchase, if there is something wrong with the shoe, you don’t like, no matter how much you’ve already worn them, they will take them back. So, after work on Tuesday I went and exchanged my Nike for some Brooks Adrenaline and some new SuperFeet inserts (I found out my previous inserts were 9 months old).

New shoes & inserts
New shoes & inserts

In the meantime, my mind is telling me that I’m a failure because I ALWAYS get shin splints. My mind is telling me that I disappoint ALOT of people every time I get injured. My mind automatically thinks I’m not going to be able to do my 1/2 Marathon next month or the Boise 1/2 Ironman in June. With my anxiety, my mind automatically thinks worst case scenario.

Last night I was in a VERY dark place. My mind was not in a good place. I could only think negative. I was ready to be done with EVERYTHING. My poor dad was on the phone with me and every little thing was making me ANGRY. I was raging angry. It was a good night for a Xanax. Last night I needed someone to tell me it was all going to be ok. I needed someone to tell me that I was going to be able to do the 1/2 marathon next month. I needed someone to tell me that I’ll still be able to do the 1/2 Ironman in June. I was in such a dark place last night that one of the last things my dad said to me was “Go home, go to bed and just don’t do anything stupid…”

I’m quickly learning more and more every day that triathlon is just as much mental training as it is physical training, if not more! I finally cried out to my coach again last night and sent him this email:

“Hi B.J.,

Thanks for suggesting I return the Nike. I ended up getting the Brooks Adrenaline. I think this will definitely help with the shin splints. My question is though, even though shin splints isn’t the worst injury out there and the shin pain will probably only sideline me for another day or so…how do you keep from letting the lack of running mess with your mind? How do you not let an injury (no matter how big/small it is) get you down?

Whenever I get shin splints, which seems like every winter, I feel like I disappoint and let down alot of people. Not being able to run and having it interfere with the training schedule you have for me, really messes with my mind and makes for a rough/miserable day.

I’m learning more and more that this sport is just as much mental & emotional training as it is physical training. Are there any training tools out there, or do you have any suggestions to help with the mentalness of the sport?”

This morning I got a response from him and it has helped me with my mindset:

“You need not worry about Latin off running. Your fitness will not go away. I understand your feeling like things are falling apart.

Fact is it happens to everyone. Your shins will heal and you will be back without missing a step. It takes time but that is valuable lesson for racing and life.

Rest assured you are doing great. This kind of thing happens all the time. Keep your head up. You are a champ.

You have not or ever shall disappoint me. You are very dedicated and loyal. Some times we have to slow down but that is not a permant result”

Now if I can just convince myself to constantly believe this and not go to that “dark place” any longer. Alot of people tell me that I am too hard on myself, but that is all I’ve ever known. I don’t know how to NOT be hard on myself. Do you? I’m open to suggestions. Seriously.

I’ve decided to continue to lay off running the rest of this week until my 5k on Saturday. Hopefully by then my shins will be back to normal. I’m wearing compression socks almost 24/7 and I either ice down my shins or take an ice bath every night.

I hope I’ll be ok for the 5k on Saturday. I did notice tonight though when I foam rolled, it didn’t hurt as bad as it did the other day. Plus, my shin area is not nearly as tender as it has been. So, I’m crossing my fingers.

How do you deal with running/sports injuries so you don’t go crazy?


8 thoughts on “Sometimes It’s Ok to Rest”

  1. You are a champ Ara! You are dedicated and always willing toput forth your best effort. I agree with your coach. You will get back. Your fitness is not going to suddenly disappear. Think about recovery or taper weeks. During those times, your body has a chance to absorb the previous training and becomes stronger, able to withstand more and produce more power. Look at elite athletes who have been forced to rest because of injury and then win the first race post-injury. I myself had the strained quad 1.5 wks before LK Stevens 70.3. I had to readjust and back off on my training. Ended up not hurting me at all during the race and I pushed hard. Use this time to build your swim and bike. Put more miles in on the bike and in the pool instead of running and I bet you will see improvements all around. I know it’s hard. I have been there. I still don’t like forced rest but I know from experience now that I can get through it and come back strong. You will disappoint no one. This is all about you and what you want to accomplish . You cannot disappoint yourself if you are trying your best. Hang in there and I hope the new shoes help you.

    1. Thanks Jeannie! It just scares me too because of all of the $$$ I put in to it too. Like I said in the post though, I’ll hold off running until Saturday and we’ll see how the shins deal with a 5k.

      1. I get that too. I ended up forfeiting LK Stevens back in 2010 when I ruptured my ACL. It was hard for me last year to sign up early for fear of it happening again. But my injury wAs pretty black and white. Surgery so no training. Shin splints you have hope if you get to the root of the cause and able to come up with a solution. Keep learning and pushing for answers!

  2. Ara, you are awesome and an inspiration to many! But with that being said, those who are inspired by you will still be inspired by you when you are injured or tired or whatever and need to rest. Resting is often harder than working out! Take care of you, be you and the rest will take care of itself!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s