Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sidelined - But Not Benched

I told you how I hurt my tailbone 2 weeks ago at Tough Mudder on the Slip 'N Slide.  (At least that's what I self-diagnosed the injury as.)  It didn't hurt to sit unless I leaned back on it but as long as I was careful, sitting was fine.  No, what mostly hurt was running or walking too fast.  It was the impact that really bothered me.  And taking big strides.  Ugh, it was killing me!  Not to be able to run, I mean.

Since I'm a runner, and slightly um, OCD if you will, that first week back I tried to ignore the pain and run on it anyway.  I went for short, slow runs but they were excruciatingly painful.  I tried taking Aleve and icing it but it made absolutely no difference.  By the end of the week I finally came to my senses and decided I would just have to give myself a break.  We were in Denver for the weekend so that was a good chance to rest.  No only was there no time but I was also not prepared to run in the high temps and altitude!  So, I rested.  Completely.  I didn't even use the hotel gym.  (It was not easy - trust me!)

I thought after a weekend of resting I would be ready to go so I tried running Monday morning.  Bad idea.  It was a very short run.  That was my last run for the week.  

But it was not my last workout.  That's where my gym membership comes in quite handy!  Most of my other workouts are non-impact so I was able to keep up with all of my cross-training.  I just increased my time in the gym a bit, which was okay since temps climbed into the upper 90's again this week and running outside didn't sound too pleasant anyway. 

These are the things that worked for my tailbone injury*:
  • Indoor cycle (being careful getting in/out of the saddle)
  • Stair Master
  • Elliptical
  • Yoga (standing poses were best)
  • Weight machines (no inner/outer leg press)
  • Boot Camp (avoiding running, squat jumps, high jacks, etc.)

Today I laced up my running shoes and decided to give it another go.  I've given my tailbone almost a week of rest so I thought why not?  Amazingly enough, it was not sore at all!  I ran 3.7 miles and felt great!  I wanted to run farther but also didn't want to push my luck.  I can do more tomorrow. 

Lesson learned?  When you are injured it isn't worth it to try and power through if it's only going to delay your recovery.  Or potentially make your injury worse.  Take the time you need to let your body rest and heal.  It might not be easy - TRUST ME - but in the end it's the best thing you can do.

But on the flip side, unless you need a total-body recovery, don't use an injury as an excuse to sit on your ass and do nothing!  Find exercises that you CAN do while your injured parts heal. 

*NOTE: Obviously, I do not have a degree in sports medicine and every injury is different so please consult your doctor and use your best judgement when deciding which exercises are best to engage in when you have an injury!

Have you been sidelined from an injury?  Were you still able to workout?

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