Returning to running after car accident

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n_fraser
Tom Longboat
Posts: 429
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 6:36 am

Returning to running after car accident

Postby n_fraser » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:53 pm

Hi RM buddies,

Thoughts/advice appreciated. I was in a car accident the first week of September (rear-ended on the highway on the way to Nova Scotia for my wedding)! I had a mild concussion, whiplash and I'm seeing a physio 2x week for muscle tightness and damage in my back.

I've gotten the greenlight from my physio and doctor to start exercising again. Since then I've done a couple treadmill runs and a few outdoor runs (30 mins), but my interest in running has greatly dwindled. Usually after work I'm exhausted - I know running would help, but I am exhausted and don't feel terribly interested! I did a bunch of running this year - two halfs and a full, so perhaps that plays a role. I signed up for the Ottawa Half for May 2015, which means by mid-January, early February, I have a need to be back at it.

Anyway - thoughts from anyone that has been in my shoes appreciated! I would like to get my running mojo back and not lose everything I gained this year (plus I'd like to smash a PB in 2015).

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Avis
Jerome Drayton
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Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:32 pm
Location: Sherbrooke, QC

Re: Returning to running after car accident

Postby Avis » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:39 pm

I'm so sorry to read about your accident--and on the way to your wedding, of all the rotten luck! I haven't been exactly in your shoes, but it sounds like you're still getting over the physical and mental aftereffects of that trauma. If you are exhausted when you come home from work, then you may have limited energy left for running. Be kind to yourself at this time!
"We are made of dreams and bones."
--The Garden Song

"By perseverance, the snail reached the ark."
--Charles H. Spurgeon

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
--Pablo Picasso

Dstew
Bill Crothers
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Re: Returning to running after car accident

Postby Dstew » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:13 pm

Although not in a car accident, in 2011 after years of racing and as you stated, not wanting to lose what I had and having to start over, my body finally just shut down all running and even jogging. If I was tired or sore before or during a run, I might "punish" myself by going further and/or faster. So one day in 2011, I literally could not run. I suspect it was a combination of physical and psychological issues but eventually just became a psychological one as my mind and body clearly teamed up to stop me from causing any more harm and to allow my body to finally heal.

It sounds like your body has suffered a very major trauma and so I would caution you to really listen to your body and when in doubt, take an extra day off whereas previously you might go the other way. I also had a stress fracture in 2005 and so another option is some low impact "cross training" expect that would be a substitute for running. Bike, elliptical and swimming because the pounding of running may be triggering your body to believe that it has suffered another trauma and if one really thinks about it, that is what run training is. We injury/ traumatize our bodies in a controlled manner and so that when the repairs are done we can run faster and further. Your body might be saying to you that it is still working on other more crucial repairs so limit or even stop your running for a short period of time.

The thing is you might be pleasantly surprised by how well your body responds to at this time a forced break. I have been fighting a ton of chronic and on going injuries and issues with running caused fatigue and exhaustion, especially at this time of year after a long race season. I went back to when I was doing well and I was doing very little running during the winter. It was more just to get outside and some fresh air then anything remotely like training. When I came back to running in 2012, I have continued to run through the winter. And I can see the same sort of damage I am doing that lead to 2011 and so this year it is a home gym with a focus on weights and snowshoes for fresh air, etc. It is hard for me, ran three times with week to take advantage of the great weather here but also in part because I do dread the thought of starting a square one again. I suppose it is like the running metaphor I believe Higdon said about sprinting v marathons - being burnt alive over an open flame or slowly roasted to death over hot coals. I am going to take some time off with the knowledge when I start up again, the flame and then I get to move to the coals.

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Kelodie
Kevin Sullivan
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Re: Returning to running after car accident

Postby Kelodie » Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:29 am

I'm just reading this. I got a concussion while whitewater rafting in July 2014. I was off work for about 3 weeks, then I pushed through it for about a month before my brain completely shut down one day and I crashed hard. I haven't worked since September 25th and won't until at least January. My advice would be to take your symptoms seriously. If you're able to work, them try to get the rest you need outside of work. You dot want it getting worse, trust me....

I went on my first post-concussion run last Friday, almost 4 months after my accident. It brought on some symptoms but it was generally alright.

Concussions are a great way to learn to be patient. I hate, hate, hate being patient and having to temporarily give up so many activities but I'm not in charge here. The brain is the boss!

Hang in there. PM if you want to chat!
"Keep Going. Never Give Up" - Spencer
"Have a little faith in yourself and watch the magic begin" - Ironboy

Plans for 2014:
Run for Women 5K, May 11
Ottawa Race Weekend 10K, May 24

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Kelodie
Kevin Sullivan
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: Hull, Qc
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Re: Returning to running after car accident

Postby Kelodie » Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:33 am

I guess what I was trying to say (stupid brain fog...) is to respect your body and the speed at which your brain heals. Do things that feel right and don't cause symptoms to get worse. Celebrate the little victories. And know that you will get better and that you'll be able to run (and enjoy it) as much as you want. Maybe you just need a little rest right now before you can pick up where you left.
"Keep Going. Never Give Up" - Spencer
"Have a little faith in yourself and watch the magic begin" - Ironboy

Plans for 2014:
Run for Women 5K, May 11
Ottawa Race Weekend 10K, May 24

n_fraser
Tom Longboat
Posts: 429
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 6:36 am

Re: Returning to running after car accident

Postby n_fraser » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:01 am

Thanks everyone. This has certainly been more of a slog than what I ever imagined. Lots of good days and lots of bad days.

I appreciate all the love and thoughts. Right now my overall approach is rest when I need it and if I have a day where I want to exercise, do it. Otherwise, it is okay to sit on the sofa for the night.

This has been a process in slowing down and resting. The house is often a mess and supper is often soup or something we pick up, but that is okay. On the bright side, things are getting better, but slowly. Some weeks I feel pretty good and seem weeks I don't, so lots of focus on the weeks where I feel good.


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