Lessons from Week One on the Injured Reserve

Week one down, 13ish to go. Thinking of this high hamstring tendinosis mandated rehab period as “shorter than a marathon training cycle!” has vastly improved my outlook on sustainable recovery. Well that and all your kind words and promises that it will “just fly by!” Don’t even care if you’re bullshitting me, it helps.

Crowd sourced merciless optimism, for the win!

I’m still kind of getting into a groove on the whole thing – setting days for PT exercises (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri (opt), Sat/or/Sun), finding alternate methods of cardio to keep me from fat-blobbing instantly, and starting to toe that magical line Dr AJ talked about that works the body juuust enough without impeding healing. The soft-plan is 1 mile a day until there is no soreness or pain the following day, and slowly building with along same guide. Kind of like the 10% rule for weekly mileage building. I ran for 15 minutes (~1.5mi) on Thursday but had some tightness Friday AM, so I took the day off from running and reset on Saturday with one pain-free mile. It’s that touch-and-go, flirt with the line, listen to your body method that I think is the hardest for recovering runners. Stepping back when it hurts, not pushing too hard when it feels good, and smartly grinding along that Goldilocks “just right” line long enough to hit 100%.


100 Day Rehab Plan Goal: Follow the blue line.

In these last seven days I have learned(/relearned) a few things:

  • Eat Like a Normal Person. Even after decreasing my mileage, I still felt the same level of hunger (or thought I did) from my 45-50 mi/wk days. Whether it’s my body or brain finally realizing we aren’t working as much or as hard as we used to, it’s nice to feel a little more stabilized in the hunger department. Farewell, Runger!
  • Walking is Fun. Not like running fun, and the endorphins aren’t quite as strong, but getting out and moving just for the purpose of moving feels good. No agenda, no expectations, just a little heart pumping.
  • Head-Clearing Exercise. I hadn’t realized how long I’d been dealing with what I’m calling “chronic on-the-run worry syndrome” until I went for a night time walk and came back clear-headed and rejuvenated. Somewhere along the training/injury continuum I stopped being able to “clear the mechanism” (name that movie reference!) and spent the whole run worrying, assessing, calculating, and never really letting go and enjoying the movement. So, thanks, Walking!

photo 4

sad about my crows feet, not the walking

  • Little Things Matter. Has my butt really gotten tighter and shaplier after one week of my ham/glute rehab exercises? Probably not, but in my mind (/warped mirror?) it has! Knowing that they’re doing their part to get me back running, while also bubbling up my pancake ass is motivation enough for me to stick to them.

(yes, I will share the exercises! Once I am good enough at them to be photographed and my butt bubbles a little more)

So on all those notes, I’m heading out for my 15 minute run! Fingers crossed no follow up pain and I can break the 2mile barrier tomorrow!

Sarah OUaL


16 thoughts on “Lessons from Week One on the Injured Reserve

  1. That chart is PERFECT (and hilarious). I’m really trying hard to exercise patience with my injury as well but it’s sooo hard. Part of me wants to take the 3rd route and sit on my ass and watch breaking bad 24/7.


  2. Love it! I realized this week that my let it go runs are becoming few and far between so I plan on having one of those tomorrow. I realize that planning to have one might kill the point but what are ya gonna do? Im glad recovery is going well!


  3. I can totally relate to “recovering from runger” when you’re laid up! I learned the hard way how many pounds you can pack on if you continue to eat like you’re running while injured. :-(
    I feel your pain.


  4. Good for you! Enjoy your time with the bike, elliptical, whatever burns out the need to move itch. I’m in the final stages of recovery from a similar injury, and I have to admit, knowing and wanting to heed the body’s signals is a great thing. I’m glad to be out of my over analyzing, over critical of every goddamn run mode. It will be good for you too. Plus, who knows what will happen when you have superhuman hammies!


  5. Ooo Ooo, For the Love of the Game. Love that phrase! Good luck with your hammy, hope you heal swiftly and quickly like the bird you are!


  6. I may need this in two weeks when I finally get a diagnosis for some nagging quad and hammy pain. From one (mostly) sidelined runner to another – recovery will fly by!



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