Last year I fractured my fibula, it was the first time I had to recover from an injury. In this post I recapped my runs with stats, before and after injury, and kept a journal of how I felt during each run and how long it took to get back to where I was before getting injured.
I picked 6 runs to recap my year, including a run before getting injured. Runkeeper is the App I use, and after finishing a run it shows 3 faces: Sad, content, happy… with question being how it made me feel. I am going to use this my own way, combining how satisfied I was with my pace/time and how hard I had to push… ideally I want really good time and not really pushing for it.
Lets start August 14, 2015 – This is was ideal run, and it's a benchmark for me really in terms of time-pace. Short of making myself nauseous, I am pushing to get a good time, so I would give this a content face :| .
Crack! – fractured fibula on Oct 23, 2015, which happened during soccer thanks to a vicious kick from behind – Luckily it wasn’t displaced and not near the ankle. It was mid-shaft so the timeline for bone to heal was 4-6 weeks. First 2 weeks I couldn’t walk on it, 3rd week I started walking with a boot, and by 4th week I could bike. The walking boot came off 6th week and I could start walking normally. I figured by 7th week I can go for a run.
Yes something was different – I didn’t push too hard but I was tired, so given the crappy time and the effort I would give it a sad face :( . Obviously the site of injury would hurt with every step, every stride felt harder to make – I wasn’t gliding like I was before, in fact I could feel my balance was off, and I probably didn’t look graceful and smooth as I should.
This is when it hit me, my bone is healed by I have not recovered from my injury. Thanks to couple of physio visits, I found some exercises that helped with me trying to build back strength also reduce the pain in injury site. This also helped with my balance as I was training myself not to protect the injured leg subconsciously and try to have same moment in both legs. Several weeks of biking, walking and jogs took me to February.
Ok that was better, and this was around the time I could go back to playing soccer. Recovery was speeding up but still not there…the stats don’t lie, still not happy :| .
In mid-march I went away for work – to 2.5 weeks of intense snow showing north of Saskatchewan. I would say this was a really good recovery program for my injury. The deep snow helped with muscle build up, while not really hurting the site of injury. Immediately after work I went for a visit to Hamilton, I went for a vacation run.
Stats don’t lie indeed – I am getting there, longer distance with decent pace. After coming back I went full mode intense soccer, biking, and swimming sessions, and it wasn’t until end of April that I I felt like I have fully recovered. So I thought its finally time I can go back to the old days and push it a bit..
That was good enough for me. This is where I want to be and what I was capable of before my injury.
Soccer gets in the way of running – as when I am at home I have 2-3 sometimes 4 days of soccer, which doesn’t allow me to go for runs. However in July and August I went on another work trip to Nunavut. I had the perfect running set up there, asandy airstrip which I could loop around. I did run 2-3 times a week there, I would say this was the most frequent period of just pure running for me. When I came back to Vancouver I thought I see what that sandy airstrip has done for me. Turns out running regulary does improve my time! At the age of 32 I was able to make a personal record 10 km in 46 minutes.
Looking back at this now I remind myself to keep running. Push it till you peak, and glide on after. I am curious to learn about how different factors such as diet, injuries, age, recovery etc effect runners and athletes in general... so feel free to share your stories.