Discussion | What are Tips You Have to Cope With Injury?

This week’s newsletter is about dealing with the emotional side of injury. It’s also been the most shared newsletter, so thank you!

Share some tips you have to cope with an injury.


This week on the blog, I’m talking about the differences between the Asics Nimbus 23 and Nimbus Lite 2. I’m sure most people know how Des broke 3 hours in the 50k and set the world record.

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LOLZLetter 117 | Why is the Emotional Side of a Running Injury SO HARD?

Welcome,

A year ago, I was injured with a calcaneus stress fracture. I keep having those "on this day app memories" pop up. All of these memories inspired me for this newsletter.

Injury is tough.

Coming back from injury is tough.

The emotional component of injury is tough.

I would argue the emotional side of injury can be tougher than the physical part.

It's no secret I've been injured several times throughout my 11-year journey with running. I've had stress fractures, pulled muscles take me out of a marathon the week before, and minor injuries that I squashed in a week or two.

You know the one issue I haven’t had? Knock on wood, is knee issues. Anyway,

No matter the injury, they all stink. 

Outside of physical pain, running injuries also have emotional pain. When you suddenly have to stop running, you become aware of how big of a role running plays in your life.  It might be your outlet. Without it, you might feel unhappy, frustrated, or anxious. It's ok to feel that. We all have at some point! 

One thing running injuries have taught me is that you should have more than one outlet or hobby. If a hobby is suddenly taken away from you, of course, you'll become sad! By having a few hobbies and things that bring you joy, you can lean on another one. Just don’t forget, you don’t (and shouldn’t be) all in on everything all of the time.

How to Get Through the Emotional Pain of a Running Injury:

First, Try Not to Adopt a Woe is Me Attitude:

Staying positive is hard (for anyone). I didn't say it would be easy. Feeling sorry for yourself won't get you anywhere. Yes, you should feel your emotions, but you shouldn't let them control you or allow them to trickle into your relationships with others. All of this is easier said than done.

If you find your injury is affecting other parts of your life and relationships, it might be time to seek help from a therapist or professional. Our family and friends are great, but they shouldn't be your sounding board, and anyone can benefit from the help of a licensed therapist. Yes, even you.

Find Something You Can Do:

Some injuries, you can't do much of anything (activity-wise). Last year when I had a calcaneus stress fracture, the gyms were closed. I needed to stay off my foot to allow it to heal. Normally I probably would have swum, but I didn't have that option. Some injuries I go nuts with cross-training. Other injuries I enjoy the complete break from activity.

I've written about various cross-training activities, including non-running workout ideas as well as swimming for runners. The key is finding something you enjoy that isn't causing you to injure yourself further. Be smart, listen to your doctor, and don’t forget there is a reason you got injured. 

That being said, you don't need to find an activity that is working out. During the first few months of the pandemic, I painted...a lot. I bought a dozen canvas and painted random things. I'm not an artist, but I found it enjoyable to get off the computer and away from the internet.  Do something that you find enjoyable. In time usually spend running, I painted. Painting at 7 am? Sure, why not. It gave me something to fill my running time with. 

When I was able to add strength training, I did. Then followed by walking, and finally running.

Keep Your Routine:

Even if you can't work out or run, keep your routine. Feeling "normal" is one of the keys to staying emotionally healthy when you're injured. Wake up at your regular time. Do your regular life things except for running. This is why I painted during my regular running time.

I promise this will make you feel better.

Stay Patient:

Okay, I don't even know why I include this because patience is not a virtue I have. Without a doubt, every single injury I’ve asked myself: will I ever heal? (Usually in a more dramatic sense).

Staying patient is one of the best ways you can feel better. Sometimes it feels like a running injury will "never heal," but remember, it will, and things do get better. As cliche as it is, things do get better.

Unfollow and Mute People or Things on Social Media:

Not everything is right for you at all times. If following certain people makes you unhappy, take a break. It's ok to take a break from social media or mute people that aren't bringing you joy. At the end of the day, you must do what's best for your emotional health. 

Running injuries eventually get better. While staying positive is not always easy, it can help you get through the pain of an injury.


What is Interesting Me This Week?

Shoe reviews: Asics Nimbus 23  and ASICS Nimbus Lite 2

Ways to Keep Running When You Want to Stop

With anti-Asian violence rising, it’s past time for Lululemon to change its name. This is something I had no idea about. 

Meet the 62-Year-Old Japanese Woman Who Ran a 2:52 Marathon

So-Called 'Complete’ Running Book Doesn’t Mention Strava Even Once

Who is pumped for Des Lindens World Record 50k attempt?

As always, stay healthy and safe. Thank you to everyone who reads, shares, and subscribes.

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⌚ LOLZLetter 116 | Why You Don't Need to Be Married to Your GPS Watch⌚

Welcome!

Ask most runners what their favorite piece of gear is, and they will typically say their GPS watch. GPS watches are great, and I like my Coros Watch, but you don't need to wear them for every run.  Runs still count even when there is no data, and they aren't uploaded to Strava. Yes, I said it!

Learning to Run:

One of my strongest traits as a runner (at least I think so) is not caring about pace for easy runs. I could run a mile in 8 minutes, 10 minutes, or 12; it doesn't matter. Every week depending on terrain and workouts, I run between 6-21 minutes (yes, really).

I almost always run by feel. The problem with GPS watches is that it's easy to get lost on how you "feel" when staring at a watch.

An 8-minute mile feels different when running in perfect weather versus running in the heat and humidity. You might put the same effort in it, but run a minute or two slower with worse weather, and that's ok.

Instead of relying on a watch, rely on how your feel. Ask yourself: How did I feel? Am I pushing way too hard, easy, or just right? Only you can answer that.

With the GPS boom, we rely on watches that cost hundreds of dollars to tell us how to feel. It boils down to, “Do I feel like I'm pushing too hard or not?”

When I first started running in 2010, GPS watches were still new. For every 100 runners, you might see 5 who owned any sort of GPS watch. Now for every 100 runners, you might see 5 that don't.

GPS Watches aren't Always Accurate:

Certified courses are just that, certified. Just because you ran 26.5 miles at the New York City Marathon doesn't mean the course is long or that your watch is accurate. This study shows why your GPS watch might not be accurate and the factors that can affect it. It's fascinating! 

The track is always accurate. If your watch tells you that you finished a 400-meter track interval 50 feet short, guess which is wrong?

In short, GPS watches take a series of data points to calculate where you are. When running on the track (or anywhere), it might not take your exact route.

When You Rely on Your Watch, You Can Lose Confidence: 

This happens especially when you're running in bad weather. Most of us have been there: We’ve trained for a race, felt like everything has gone smoothly, only to get to the race starting line with bad weather. Heat? Humidity? Torrential downpour? Wind? Whatever the case is, the weather is bad.

I won't lie to you; it stinks to put in the training, feel great, only to be foiled by the weather! 

Then you start your race, only for your watch to beep 30 seconds slower than your goal pace. How could this be? You worked so hard. But remember, there are outside factors that affect racing. Part of running is being adaptable to the uncontrollable factors you might face while out. 

Just because your watch beeps one pace doesn't mean that is your fitness.

It's easier said than done, but don't let the watch affect your confidence or dictate your ability as a runner.

Watches Ruin Easy Runs: Who cares about easy runs? Seriously.

When I ran the NYCM in 2018 and was in the sub-elite corral, I got to watch the elites and winners of the warm-up. I watched Des Linden run somewhere around 9 minute pace for her warm-up. I watched the winner, Lelisa Desisa, walk-run to warm up! Yes, walk-run! The winner of the New York City Marathon was walk-running! 

Elite runners don't care about their easy run pace and go by feel. If the professional runners aren't worrying about their easy run pace, neither should amateur runners. If there was a positive reason to push your easy run, those who make money in the sport would be taking advantage of it. 

Remember this: You don't get an award for running your easy runs too fast. In fact, you actually tire yourself out more and can't work as hard on harder days.

So how can you run without a watch?

  • Duh, leave your watch at home.

  • If you must have the data, you can tape over your watch, put your watch in your pocket, or purchase something like a Coros Pod that tells you data after uploading your run. You can also use the Strava app, but I've found it wildly inaccurate, and it once told me I ran half a mile longer than I did.

The Moral of this Newsletter:

Don't become too reliant on your watch. Like anything, there are plenty of factors that can and will affect it. Watches are great tools, but they are just that, tools. Only you can tell how your body feels. 

What is Interesting Me: 

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Shoe Review

The Benefits of Walking for Runners

Running the Mount Diablo Four Peaks Loop One of my proudest running accomplishments! 

Visiting a Run Specialty Store What to expect and why it's probably not what you are thinking. 

Topo Athletic Phantom 2 Performance Review My first review with the Believe in the Run crew, and I'm really excited to be part of it. 

What makes a pro runner valuable to a brand? This is sad. I have many thoughts about social media and running, but it's sad to me that companies will often choose an influencer to promote their product over their own sponsored runners. Brands spend thousands to pay models when they could use that money for their own athletes to model the products. I think it would be relatable to us, the fans! 

Ruth Chepngetich leaps across the finish as she breaks the half marathon world record. 

What All Runners Need to Know About the Current State of Transgender Rights

As always, stay healthy and safe. Thank you to everyone who reads, shares, and subscribes.

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⛰️ Discussion| Where is your favorite trail? ⛰️

This week’s newsletter is all about trail shoes.

Share where your favorite trail is and what makes it so great!


I also wrote a guide about the new North Face trail shoes out (including the carbon plated VECTIV Flight).

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