Being injured sucks, obviously.

Last year, when I was diagnosed with a tibial stress fracture and told that I would need to use crutches for a month, which meant I  couldn't run, spin, row, elliptical- nada- I cried. Ugly, angry, frustrated tears on the car ride home while my dad tried to comfort me. But he couldn't. Nobody could, because in my mind, nobody else "got it." Nobody else understood how I was feeling. 

(Being a cripple commuting to Manhattan was no fun!)

But now that I've joined November Project, I've found a whole bunch of people who I know "get it." A whole bunch of awesome athletes who, like me,  have bodies that just don't feel like cooperating with quite their level of fitness fanaticism. Like me, they probably pushed the limits a little too far, and now they're being forced to face the inevitable, "No. You really need to stop for a bit." Whether it's a stress fracture, IT Band syndrome, or like myself, a killer case of shin splints. Tis the season to be injured. Fall marathons have been run and if there's ever a time that we running addicts can be convinced to take a chill pill, it's now. 

I've been trying my hardest to cut back on the running- focusing on other types of exercise whenever possible, because my shins have really been bothering me. Instead of running 5 or 6 days a week, I'm aiming for 2 or 3, max. 

That's why I've been opting to take part in the #InjuryDeck at Wednesday's November Project. #InjuryDeck is a fabulous group put together by Emma and led by Leanne where all of the hobbly NPers who can't run do something else instead. 

The first week of #InjuryDeck was a killer Deck of Cards workout that Leanne put together. Side lunges, bridges, sit-ups, dips, burpees, push-ups (SO many push ups)- this workout left us all sore the next day. 

This week, Leanne asked us to bring any recovery tools we had so she could show us a routine that can help PREVENT injuries in the future, and help us recover from our current issues faster. I dutifully showed up with my foam roller, stick and golf ball ready to learn.

(This is how I roll)

Because I have to admit. I suck at recovery. No matter how many times I'm told by people far more intelligent than myself that rolling and stretching are IMPORTANT I am usually too lazy to actually do it. I wish I had a better excuse than that, I really do. Inevitably I end up hurt- my shins end up killing me, my calves end up tight and I curse myself and I promise that from that day forward I will stretch and foam roll after every workout. I usually don't even last a week. 

It's pathetic, really. I have all the tools. I have space in my apartment. And thanks to people like Leanne, I have the knowledge. 

On Wednesday, Leanne showed me some things I had never known before- different muscles to roll that hit so many of my problem areas. I felt a little click in my brain- "Oh, THAT'S the spot that's causing that pain!" Maybe this little light bulb that went off in my head will lead to more consistent attention to rolling. 

Because it really is so important. 

Leanne led us through a routine that looked a little something like this: 

elf Myofasical Release/Stretch

Activation Circuit

You can read all about it on her blog, where she does a much better job of explaining the technicalities of these corrective exercises. 

I thought I would wrap this post up by showing some of the many different options out there for recovery- it can be a little overwhelming. But it's all about finding the right tool for you and your unique set of weaknesses/problem areas. In the future, I may go into more detail on each of these tools and what they're used for but for now- just take a look at some of the things out there and do your own research.

1) The foam roller

3) Trigger point massage ball (can also use a tennis ball, golf ball, soft ball, lacrosse ball, etc.)