I will never again ignore what my body is telling me and I will be a better athlete for it.
As women we are taught how important it is to know our bodies. We learn how to inspect our skin for irregularities, conduct self-breast exams, and regularly count out days on the calendar. We know our bodies better than anyone. So how is it that we ignore the warning signs of injury? Are we too tough? Too determined? Or too stubborn to let a little pain get in our way?
I felt like I could push through anything, until I couldn’t.
In 2019, I was training for a 12-hour endurance run. I thought I was doing everything right. I took regular rest days and didn’t increase mileage by more than 10% each week. But something wasn’t right. My legs weren’t recovering as fast and my pace was getting slower and slower on my long runs, I was just uncomfortable.
The first big warning was on a 20-mile run. I had to stop and walk a lot due to severe lower back pain. But it went away after a day, so I ignored it.
The back pain returned during a half marathon that I raced. But again, it went away, so I ignored it.
Do you see the pattern of my errors? I ignored pain.
This lower back pain then manifested in my left groin/hip area. I tried relieving pain through stretching and yoga. But it didn’t help. I couldn’t use stairs without discomfort. I didn’t want to admit I had an injury because I had worked too hard for these races, but it was time to get help.
I was diagnosed with a femoral neck stress fracture. Yep, I fractured my hip before I even turned 30. I guess it's not just a risk for older people…
I spent the following 6 months on crutches. Followed by about a year of rehab, weight training, and walk/jog programming. It has been a long journey. I had a great Physical Therapist and orthopedic monitoring my return to training. Their advice and guidance were paramount.
I am learning to pay attention to how my body is responding to a workout. Change in my resting heart rate is a great indicator if I am doing too much and should take an extra rest day. Additionally, I am writing down aches and pains on a calendar with my workouts. This is incredibly helpful to see positive and negative trends in my training. I am now swimming, biking, and running regularly. I’m feeling more like the athlete I was before.
I can’t say that I’m glad for this injury, but I am grateful for the lesson. I have never been more in tune with what my body is feeling. I will never again ignore what my body is telling me and I will be a better athlete for it.
Now it's your turn. Next time you are out on a run and something doesn't feel right, assess what might be going on. Take that rest if you need it, see a doctor if it is required, but do not ignore it. I hope you maintain an injury free season, but if something does happen, listen to your body talk.
Written By: Brittany Maley-Acosta, Tri Sirena Siren Luminary
Follow Brittany on Instagram @swimbikemeow
Have something you would like to contribute? Let us know in the comments below!
This blog was created for informational purposes only. It's content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or online.