I hurt my toe (most likely fractured it), and it was really annoying. I was just getting started to ramp up my training for a half marathon PB attempt, and kablam… I dropped a plate on my toe. The pain was indescribable and yes, I had two natural births, I can do pain, but this still bloody hurt. To be honest, now that it is about 85% better, I’m tired of talking about it (can you hear the collective sigh from my nearest and dearest). But I have come up with a little list to keep you sane if you happen to go through a totally inane self-inflicted injury that prevents you from running or being active.
Tip 1: Take the time you need
I had one day of moping, and then I tried to get back to normal life. With my toe in such a delicate state, this was a bad move. I probably re-injured it multiple times the first week (I swear it turned into a magnet), and I did not ice, and elevate it nearly enough, while I was trying to do everything (whilst hobbling around). Rest and don’t make it worse by not taking the time you need to recover, especially initially.
Tip 2: Try not to go on about it
By the end of the first week, I could see their eyes glaze over when I talked about my toe, a slight cock of the head to their phone/tv/book, anything not to have to listen to me lament about my predicament. By the second week, I was downright annoying, and everyone was done, but my toe wasn’t done hurting. It’s tough, but luckily twitter was there to hear me lament, and I was never short on advice and comments from a huge running community!
Tip 3: Curb your treats
I run a lot, so I can eat a lot. I mean I eat healthy, but I do enjoy life’s little treats. And I don’t really think twice about enjoying a chocolate bar, or an ice cream. But with the running, and walking totally halted, I knew I shouldn’t eat as much as I had been. But knowing and actually doing are different, and although I knew, I kept on munching away, which resulted in a 2-4 lbs weight gain. In the end I know it doesn’t matter, as I will run it off later, when I can, it is just a little depressing to see the scale numbers increase.
Tip 4: Distractions
During the first week and a half, my activity levels were next to nothing, as my mobility was so impaired. So, where I rarely get a chance to read a book, I actually read two, actual books. And it was great, they were perfect summer reads (especially after Love Island finished) and I was able to distract myself away from not running. I read the Holiday and 9 Perfect Strangers and I highly recommend both, as easy captivating reads.
Tip 5: Find other activities
Once I was able to be a bit more active, I embraced other activities, mainly my bicycle. As you might know I often commute to work on my bike, but I never take it too seriously, just pootling along. But as running was off the cards, I made sure I maximised my bicycle commute, choosing hilly route and pushing myself to get my heart rate up. I figure I can’t run yet, but I don’t have to loose all my fitness.
So, those are m 5 tips to dealing with a ridiculous injury which might halt your active lifestyle. At the end of the day, time feels long, but in the end, you’ll hopefully feel better and be recovered before you know it. You’ll look back on your injury, once it is done and dusted, and it will be just a blip. You will get your fitness back, and maybe come back faster and stronger.
For me, the toe is recovering, and I have started running again. I’m not as fast as I was, and now my half marathon PB attempt is a non-starter. I’m just taking it slowly and building back up again.
Have you been injured and how did you handle it? Have you ever broken a toe? Any thoughts on my tips or new ones to add to the list, please share.