Running Injury Update: How am I REALLY doing?

I haven’t talked much about my running injury in the past few weeks other than to mention if my leg has been sore on a run or not. I figured it was time to give you an update on my progress and how I’m doing and where my running is right now.

First, a quick recap: After a glorious 8 mile run training for half marathon #5 waaaaay back in August, I literally got up from the couch and was greeted with instant pain. So much so that I thought for sure I’d torn something. Turns out nothing was torn (thank goodness) but I was diagnosed with Popliteal tendonitis. It was no joke. I couldn’t believe the pain for the first week. I was not happy but stayed very hopeful that I would recover in time for race day. After the first few weeks I felt much better but just couldn’t shake the ache. After a couple of months of physiotherapy, I was at about 80%. Though I made the tough decision not to run my half, I still participated in two 10k’s and a 5k race, but not for time, more for fun. My progress stalled and I was very frustrated. More with the fact that I had no pain while running, but only after and for a few days following. This tendon was being stubborn. I decided to ditch physio and headed the route toward Graston instead. Through that, I discovered that the problem wasn’t actually routed in my tendon but rather a bunch of stuff going on in my quad and calf. My tendon was suffering because of this. Slowly but surely, I’ve been getting Graston in hopes of breaking down all the scar tissue that has been building up in my leg over the years.

Tape and Ice. Ice and Tape.
Tape and Ice. Ice and Tape.

And that brings us to now. Nearly 7 months later, I have yet to run more than 1/3 of a mile at a time. That’s a bloody long time to be away from something you love. Right now, I’m running 1-2 days a week on the treadmill. 30 minutes of 5 min running at a very easy pace and 5 min walking. It’s not much and it’s frustrating that all this time off, coupled with a lot of time being unable to do anything but everything aggravated my leg and my cardio has suffered. It’s hard for me to run 5 minutes. I’m huffing and puffing by the end. It’s very humbling. The upside is that I’m running those 15 total minutes without pain and with minimal post-run tightness. It’s not much and I never thought I’d see the day where I was running less than 20km every month (at my peak last year, I was clocking over 100km per month) but it’s progress.

Weekly "long" run.
Weekly “long” run.


Right now, I can only hope and pray that I can start building back what’s been lost and that this tendonitis will be a thing of the past.

I’ve also learned that I need to do more cross training. As much as I wish I were one of those people who can run and run and run some more, my body is not built that way. I need to balance the imbalances and keep my body strong with cross training.

Part of doing this will be to start looking for a new gym to go to outside of my work gym. I canceled my membership to my other gym because it wasn’t meeting my needs in terms of when it offered classes, it had only one small rack of free weights and no dedicated weight training area and had no child care. I loved that it was close and the classes were good but with my work/day care schedule, it was near impossible to get there in time to attend. And with no child care, I could never go during the day when I was home with the kids.

So I’m on the hunt again. I’m also considering getting certified to teach group classes. I think that might be a bit insane (especially if you’ve seen what I loosely refer to as my coordinated movement) but I’d love to teach fitness classes. Any tips on how to get certified in Canada?

Here’s to (hopefully) moving past injury and into new levels of awesomeness!

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Stephanie is a Canadian Mom of 3, Runner, Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), Christ-follower and all around reeker of awesomeness. When she's not chasing after her kids, you can find her dreaming big dreams and bringing them to life.

7 Responses to Running Injury Update: How am I REALLY doing?

  1. Love to see that you’re making progress! Patience is the name of the game but I know it sucks :( In terms of getting certified for teaching group fitness classes, Canfitpro has a group fitness instructor cert that’s widely recognized across Canada. You can also look for a provincial certification program (they’re usually a bit cheaper than canfitpro). I only know of the Saskatchewan one but I’m sure Manitoba has one too!

  2. Big hugs! You could become a certified LES MILLS BodyPump instructor – there isn’t a lot of dance-like coordination needed for that. In Canada, you can become a certified group fitness instructor through Canfit Pro. I believe the YMCA also offers a program. Keep us posted on your progress!

  3. I hope you are able to get past all this! Have you read Running Hutch’s road back to recovery on her blog? She did it right unlike many bloggers I read that keep running thru the injuries & keep getting re-injured.. it is tough to not be able to do what you love for s long time but better than for a life time. I hope you can get back to it! HUGS!

  4. Oh, I’m sorry to hear about your injury.
    I hate when these kinds of things happen and it’s suddenly like boom – all your efforts, all the time, energy and enthusiasm you have invested decides do bid you farewell. It’s an awful lot intimidating and for me it can even get kind of discouraging. I try to be more careful because injuries really make me consider quitting. :

    I’m glad too see that you are doing better and hope you get fully recovered soon! Take care of yourself!

  5. Injuries can be a right bummer! I think what’s worse than the actual pain of the injury itself is the NOT being able to train or compete. I hope you’re fully recovered now and able to get back in to it.

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