Christina is a guest writer for The Running World According to Dean. This is the eighth in a series of articles on her experiences with surgery and recovery. I hope her insights and candidness will ring true for many of you as well as keep your hopes high for any recoveries or comebacks you may be enduring. As you see, she’s back running and making good progress!
This will be my last blog about my recovery from my plantar’s wart. The wound is about a size of a dime now and has a scab on it. It is still tender but no longer hurts and more importantly, I can run now and don’t feel like I’m favoring it anymore. Last week I ran 22 miles with a long run of 7 miles. I have lost speed and endurance compared to where I was but considering that a little more than a month ago I was on crutches, I’m doing fantastic. This week I plan on running 25 miles with my long run at 10 miles.
If I were to give words of advice for someone with an injury that is taking longer than planned it would be TRY not to get too wrapped up into the emotion of it. TRY not to think about what you’re not doing. I say TRY because I wasn’t able to do so. Even now that I’m back running I still have my challenges, my fears and my doubts. But at least I’m running, I’m healthy and I’m living.
I want to thank Coach Dean for bearing with me, giving me advice and helping keep my spirits up. I want to thank him for scolding me for running three miles instead of one mile. I want to thank my boyfriend [ED: who is also a runner] for putting up with me complaining that I wasn’t running, for not getting mad (or at least too mad) when I ditched the crutches and for caring when I started running too soon and too much.
What is interesting is that though all journeys through recovery are unique. they have their own patterns; ups and downs; I had a strong feeling about the course this would take. There are lessons here for all of us. Christina is right about NOT thinking about certain things. It is difficult to do that because it is like telling someone not to think of a pink elephant. You have to think first of the pink elephant and then find a way to block it out. So, the mental game you must play is one of focusing on the right things (as opposed to only not focusing on things). Look to the future. Write goals. Visualize daily your recovery. Follow rehab exercises. Gain support from loved ones and team members. Distract yourself constructively. Catch up on chores or hobbies that are neglected when you are in full training. Again, the key is to focus on things you control. Well done in hanging in there Christina. Thank you for sharing all you went through. Upward and onward!