Recovery & Mental Injuries

Thanks so much to everyone who joined my March Madness bracket pool. Your support is much appreciated (even if you didn’t pick KU to win)…good luck!

I am enjoying, in my eyes, a well deserved rest day today. Not only because I need to gear up for a 3 hour outdoor ride tomorrow, but because I’ve had a super busy workout week. (Future Kara will probably look back at this week and think of it as super easy and make fun of current Kara, but that’s neither here nor there. Future Kara is so rude.)

This isn't even from today, but my morning basically looks like this. Minus the orange juice and plus an english muffin.

This isn’t even from today, but my morning basically looks like this. Just subtract the orange juice and add an english muffin.

I suspect that the reason for my tiredness isn’t so much the volume of exercise this week (5.5 hours in 4 days) but the busy-ness of my week and the times I’ve been working out. For example…this is big news…on Wednesday, I MADE IT TO A 6AM SPINNING CLASS. I can’t lie…pretty amazed with myself. When my alarm rings, I’m typically very successful at talking myself out of waking up.

I just really love sleeping.

I just really love sleeping.

I have about a 93% success rate of going back to sleep and working out some other time. On this particular day, I wanted to go to a spinning class that was only offered in the morning; I didn’t feel like cycling on my own and wanted someone else to drum up some motivation for me – I wasn’t totally on board with finding it internally. I was also planning on attending a FitMapped event at As One that night, but sadly ended up not being able to go because I learned that the exercises were pretty much all weight-bearing and included jumping and burpees…which, normally, I would LOVE. But my poor little stress-fractured navicular bone says “No, no, no”.



(My first blog GIF! I’m just becoming so tech savvy these days.)

However, yesterday was an exciting/exhausting day. I went to the doctor and…

…wait for it…

HE CLEARED ME TO START “LIGHT JOGGING”!!! (!!!!) Naturally I’m terrified to begin and had 17,001 questions. What exactly is “light jogging”?  What does it mean to “start slowly”? Should I start walking more for a few days? Should I jog for 10 minutes every other day, or 5 minutes a day? What pace should I run? Can I run outside or should I stick to a treadmill? What shoes do I wear? TELL ME EVERYTHING.

I constantly need very specific answers and numbers and statistics. This is exhausting.

He elaborated on the fact that confidence usually takes the biggest hit in athletes coming back to their sport after injury (am I an athlete?!). My foot passed some basic physical tests and eventually I will regain my foot strength and be 100% recovered, but still “mentally injured”.

Over the past 1.5 years it’s been my IT Band, my hamstring, my foot, and now my brain?! Sheesh. Something tells me I need to fix something with my running…

I already know that regaining confidence will be tough for me. I can imagine, as it’s been in the past, that every run will be fairly nervewracking. I’ll be analyzing every little ache and my thoughts will be consumed with “listening to my body” and worrying whether I’m taking it easy enough. SOUNDS FUN.

This, my friends, is fun. (Did you think I would write a post during March Madness without mentioning KUs National Championship? Yes, I'm stuck in 2008.

NOT. This, my friends, is fun. (Did you think I would write a post during March Madness without mentioning KUs National Championship? Yes, I AM stuck in 2008!)

My foot is super weak so I have some strengthening exercises to work on with a resistance band. He also said I can try a 15 minute-ish jog today. If it feels okay, I can try again tomorrow. Similar to when I started wearing tennis shoes, I need to be wary of how it progresses – if it slowly feels worse and worse, well, DUH. Stop running.




To celebrate, after work I went to a 45 minute FlyWheel spinning class, and chased it with about an hour of “Deep Water Running“. (More to come on this – it was AMAZING!)

I plan to enjoy my rest day and let my legs prepare for 3 hours of cycling tomorrow…and perhaps soon introducing running back into my routine.

Have you ever physically recovered from an injury but not mentally? How hard is it to come back? (Does it just take time?) Have any fun plans this weekend that do or don’t involve sweat? Tell me!

Cheers to the weekend and a hopeful Jayhawk win tonight!


I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


    • March 22, 2013 / 8:01 pm

      YES! Thank you :)

  1. March 22, 2013 / 7:44 pm

    YAY! So glad you’ve been cleared for “jogging”!!!

    • March 22, 2013 / 8:02 pm

      Yay jogging!

  2. March 22, 2013 / 11:15 pm

    I had a soft tissue injury at the end of last year. I came back very slowly. First on the treadmill then on the pavement. Lots and lots of exercises to stretch and strengthen(that I am still doing!!) I was definitely nervous to come back. All of those questions you have…I had too! But you will slowly get your confidence back!!

    Good Luck on your ride tomorrow. Enjoy it!! Especially while they are “short”!! I will also be out there for a 3 hr ride also…that includes a shit-ton of climbing! :)