Monday, November 13, 2017

from runner to injured runner and back again - with Amanda

Manda and Hilary 3

You guys! I'm so excited to introduce Amanda as one of the very first, Reston Style contributors! She's been one of my best friends for years and can be found in mentions and pictures all over the blog (here). As we transition to a collaborative format, I'll be writing some intros for now, then... those may fade away! But I figured, why wait until it's perfect!? As they say in the temporal mechanics department - there's no time like the present! And now my nerd is showing full force - here's Amanda with her long road to recovery!

How recovering from injury is like training for a marathon - by Amanda Kertz, follow her on instagram at @manda_k_runs

I love the certainty of training for a marathon. You have your weekday runs, cross training, and weekend long runs planned out weeks or months in advance. I follow Jeff Galloway’s run/walk training plans and I love how his plans support runners of all abilities.

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Meg, Liz, and Amanda during the Reston 10 Miler in 2015

By following Jeff’s training plan and his tips for avoiding injuries [http://www.jeffgalloway.com/learn/injuries/], I have been lucky enough to avoid major injury during my 15 years or so of running for the most part. That is, until I started feeling pain in my ankle and foot.

It took nearly two years to fully recover from my foot injury. It was beyond frustrating to have to spend so much time not doing the sport I love. My source of stress relief and my social outlet was gone. I went from training for a marathon to barely being able to stand. I was miserable.

How did I get through it? Now I’m normally an all or nothing girl when it comes to exercising – my modes are either “couch potato” or “run all the miles.” But when you can barely stand, let alone run, you have to find another way. I started with finding alternative exercises to running - swimming and cycling. I found friends and family to go to the gym with me. This led to walking without the boot, which led to walking, and adding in some running gradually. After all this time off, I was still able to finish the Marine Corps 10K in October.

The path you take in recovery is the same you take in marathon training. You set a goal for yourself, and take slow, gradual steps to get there. Whether it’s building up mileage before a run or just building up the strength to walk without crutches, the approach is the same. Map out your path to recovery on the calendar and try to get excited about what you are able to do, rather than focusing on what you cannot do. Buy an “I’d Rather Be Running” tee shirt from Sarah Marie Design Studio and wear it proudly!

If you are currently battling an injury right now, I am so sorry! Injuries suck!! Just know that you are not alone. Somewhere between 65-80% of all runners get injured during the year according to active.com.

But runners are mentally tough, and if we can train and race long distances, we can get through our injuries, even really lengthy ones. There will be setbacks, changes in your plan, and times when you need to ask for help. But treating your recovery like you treat your training puts you back in control, and gives you both a goal to achieve and a path to get there.

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Amanda at the end of the 2014 Rock'n'Roll DC Half Marathon

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