Today’s post is from Katie at Catch Me if You Can. I love Katie’s story about getting starting with running and navigating injury. Her story reminds us that everyone comes at life and all it’s obstacles and triumphs from a different perspective.

Catch me if you can

My running career began innocently enough as a way to stay thin in college.  I began at one mile {ouch those were painful miles} then progressed to a consistent 3-4 miles, with maybe 6-7 on the weekends. I was so proud of myself– I had never worked out, played a sport or done anything remotely athletic one day in my life.

This is when tragedy struck.  As the rest of my life went into a downward spiral, so did my running.  My knee began to swell up.  I thought it was no big deal because hey I’m running a lot and everyone knows it shouldn’t be easy.  Famous last words!

It progressed to the point where hitting the accelerator on my car hurt.  I finally had to admit defeat and began to utilize the elliptical to maintain my weight loss.  Here’s the thing that I wish I had know: I never needed to lose weight to begin with.  I finally had to accept that disordered eating had once again reared its ugly head in my life.

I moved back home and had to take 4 months off to heal my knee.  I gained 15 pounds that I desperately needed to gain and began to take care of myself.  I kept saying on days I didn’t want to eat enough that if I didn’t then I couldn’t go run.  Running became my incentive for staying healthy. I finally finished that half marathon with back pain and knee pain.  I went to the family physical therapist where I was outfitted with orthotics and different shoes.  I was finally on the road to recovery.

I have since completed numerous half-marathons, and finished my first marathon!  I have even began to place at some of the local 5ks.  I have learned a lot from my injuries.  This knee injury was not the only injury.  My injuries all seemed to hit when I stopped eating or taking care of myself. While running is a great weight loss tool don’t forget you have to fuel up to run those miles!


So what advice do I have for beginning runners and the injured?

1) Get fitted for good shoes and/or orthotics. Those insoles in your running shoes are NOT supportive.  If you need a stability shoe {I wear the Brooks Adrenaline} then you probably need orthotics too.  A medicine supply store is a great place to get outfitted for them.

running store shoes

2) Get connected with the running community. I wish someone had told me I was adding miles on much too quickly for my body.  I wish someone had told me about good fitting shoes, clothing and to always listen to your body.

3) Listen to your body. When it hurts STOP and evaluate what exactly might be wrong.  I am still bad about this, but am working on listening to my body.

4) EAT. Yes, I am giving you a free pass to eat.  This doesn’t mean eat your weight in chocolate and peanut butter, but eat good clean foods.  This does not need to be a vegetarian diet by any means, but a diet rich in nutrients.  In order to best run, you need to fuel your body.

eat

My running has come a long way.  From a way to merely lose weight to a passion that is like a phantom limb when it is not there.  I have made more friends through running then I originally thought possible and have learned so much about my body.  It has helped me get my health back as well which my friends and family are forever grateful for.  So if you are thinking of starting running please do!  Just remember to do it for you and not weight loss.

Injuries are inevitable, but knowledge is power.  Know your body and what it needs so you will be back running in no time. You won’t love running at first {it is hard after all!}, but I hope you learn to love it!

Can you relate to Katie’s story? How has running or another activity influenced your life?