In the Face of Injury

How one runner pushed past her fear of missing out

CayleyWhen faced with an injury halfway through training for her first race, Robson Store educator, Cayley, made the decision to listen to her body and be a stand for the 7,500 other runners who would need her support that day.

Sign me up!

When I first heard about the SeaWheeze, I just knew it was something I had to be a part of. I’d never been a runner before but if there was one race out there to inspire me to lace up my shoes and hit the trails, it was this one. I signed up without really thinking about what I was committing myself to (21.1 is about 16 more kilometers than I’d ever run before) but I had caught a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and there seemed to be only one cure.

Of course, after hitting that “register” button, I had all the reasons not to run, catch up to me. I’d never been in a race before (read: I’d never run regularly before at all) and I had no idea how to train for a half marathon. Lucky for me, I was invited to be a part of a special training group with Mike Porter, one of our amazing ambassadors at the Robson store. For three months, each of the five runners in the group would receive a weekly training program tailored to their run experience and their goals, as well as coaching, advice and support from Mike.

From 0 to 21.1 12k

I hit my training hard and fast; within just a few weeks I was running distances that I had never thought were possible for me. When I finished my first ever 12km run, I had such a sense of pride and accomplishment. After that moment, heading out for my runs was no longer a chore. So when I started to get a sharp pain in my left knee on one of my runs I started to get a little worried–running was something I had just started to enjoy and I wasn’t ready to give it up yet.

Bottom line: listen to your body

When I told Mike about what I was feeling, the support I got from him was incredible. He sent me videos of exercises to try, kept me accountable to spinning as my cross-training so I didn’t lose fitness, and recommended several different clinics for me to visit. Over the month of June, I saw a physiotherapist and a registered massage therapist more regularly than I saw some of my friends but the progress I was making was pretty slow. After a month off of running, I had a tough decision to make – I desperately wanted to run the SeaWheeze (especially after I’d convinced my sister and one of my best friends to run it with me) but I was still feeling that sharp pain in my leg and time to properly train was running out. I held off until the last possible minute but eventually recognized that I needed to give my body the time it needed to heal (which I’m still working on) without the pressure of a deadline.

This is my SeaWheeze

Once I made the decision to not run the SeaWheeze, my FOMO started to flare up again – I didn’t want to miss out on a weekend that I’d been looking forward to since I’d signed up in January. I stayed involved with the race through the Robson store and I was beyond excited to be at the Vancouver Convention Center on August 11th to cheer on the start and finish of the race. Once I had made my tough decision, I channeled my training efforts from running a half marathon to prepping for 7,500 enthusiastic high fives.

I’ll runcouver again

I may not have been able to run in the main event this year but I certainly didn’t miss out. I learned a lot from my SeaWheeze experience – what I’m capable of and how to listen to and take care of my body. I know that I accomplished a huge goal by just learning to enjoy heading out for a jog, which is something that I’ll have forever. At the moment I’m focused on getting my knee in a good spot so that I can runcouver my favorite trails again soon. SeaWheeze 2013, here I come!

It takes a lot to recognize when your body needs a break – and even more to overcome your own ego when faced with a setback. We think those who can’t run should cheer (or get involved in the race in some other way). How have you reacted in the past in the face of injury?

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