STILL PUTTING IN THE WORK
Even though the "work" has shifted from running miles to walking miles and now includes a 30 minute time cap.
Which, to be fair, isn't a whole lot of time to rehab...and is really a self-imposed time cap. Because, let's be honest, who wants to be outside just walking for that long when a. you'd much rather be running and b. you'd eventually end up seeing a shit ton of people you know instead of just a handful. On the flip side, I have been able to sort of put a running twist on this whole walking/rehab/whatever you want to call it thing.
You never really notice the difference between walking for fun and walking with a purpose until you're put on running restriction and walking is your only option.
At first, it feels like a punishment of sorts. Like, what on earth did I do/say to deserve to have running taken away from me. You get pissed. The thought of treating this mere 30 minute walk like a typical 6-9 mile run sounds ludacris. Why? What's the point of even trying at all or paying any attention to from. I AM TOO UPSET FOR THAT SHIT. Well, guess what? It's up to you (and me!) to make the most of your rehab/time away from running. You can complain and drag ass all you want, but it won't get you any closer to running again.
When you're walking for fun, or just for the sake of getting in some extra time outdoors...going fast or paying any mind to form feels optional. Yeah it'd be nice if I made the effort, but if I don't it's not the end of the world. Now, having already gone through a 3 day stint with little results...it feels like it is the end of the world if I don't show up and actually put the work in on these walks. Push the pace, even when walking up hills and across uneven roads/sidewalks. Walk like you would run. Head up. Shoulders back. Slight lean forward. Don't forget to use your arms.
Heck, I've even taken things as far as coming up with a new mantra.
This is your time. This is your rehab. PUT IN THE WORK. Which, as evidenced by my times this go around, is clearly happening. I have been able to get in nearly 2 miles during the course of my 30 minute walking sessions outside. I've become a bit of a power walker. Always glancing at my watch, making sure I'm on pace to hit that 1.98-1.99 mile mark in the time allowed. This is especially true during those last 3-5 minutes. I'm involving my whole upper and lower body, bouncing down the sidewalk...striving to do better than the day before.
I have also been following my walks with an hour of incline walking. Which, is way harder mentally than it is physically. Especially when you consider the fact that I was typically incline walking between 10-20 minutes most days post long run. That hour seems to go on and on. And every time I have to up the incline...eventually getting to the max of 15%, I again have to remind myself that this is just another part of the journey to getting back to running. Getting stronger.
You can't expect an injury to fix itself.
It sounds obvious, but it's something that often times enters you're mind, when you're on the sidelines or when you're pushing yourself to avoid the sidelines at all costs. My body will eventually figure stuff out, pop things back into place, and everything will be all unicorns and rainbow again. Well, my friends, that is simply not the case. You will have to stretch and ice and use an obscene amount of biofreeze. You will make multiple trips to the chiropractor and have to take the advice of an expert...even if it's not the advice you want to hear.
Even more importantly, you will have to be your own coach. You will have to say no...even when your mind is dead set on pushing beyond what is safe. You will have to trust that your body will respond to the rehab, the time off, and the lack of a huge caloric deficit. Oh, and that your muscles/tendons/ligaments/whatever will go back to normal at some point in the journey toward running pain free. You have to believe that the time off will make you stronger, not weaker.
Besides, who said half marathon training would be easy?!