I’m Scared to Run

I’ve been virtually pain-free for almost a whole week.  I say virtually because there are still moments when I overextend myself and feel a small twinge of pain in my lower back/buttocks area due to Posterior Pelvic Pain.

The last 4+ weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions for me:

– During the first week, I just wanted to wake up and not be in pain.  I didn’t think it would be a long-term injury so I figured a few days off from running was probably not the worst thing for my body.

– By the second week, I was frustrated that the pain was still there – and still SO strong.  I no longer thought about running – I just wanted the pain to go away so I could walk normally and take care of my son.

– The third week came and I started to see/feel major improvement.  I was limping less and able to do most things again!  My spirits were higher than they had been in a while because I was hopeful that running was just around the corner.

– The fourth week was a letdown.  Although I felt better, there were still periods of pain and so running was still out of question.  I passed a major milestone:  This was the longest I had EVER gone without a single run (since starting long distance running in 2002).

Now I’m in Week 5 of not a single run.  Most days I don’t feel a single bit of pain.

You’d probably assume that I’d already gone for a run.  I’m itching to go for a run.  But I find myself in uncharted territory.

I’m too scared to run.

I am SO thankful to no longer be in excruciating pain.  To be able to pick my son up.  To walk around the block or take him to the park.  To function normally again.

I want to run more than anything these days.  I miss that “me” time more than I can ever put into words.

But something matters more – being a functioning mom for my son.  I don’t EVER want to be as immobile and useless as I was a few weeks ago.

And THAT has made me scared to give running a try – even for just a mile.  I keep asking myself Is it worth it?   And so far the answer has been No.

I’m sure I’m going to have a morning where that voice of doubt goes away, where I wake up and get dressed and just go.  (Because realistically I  can’t imagine going another 5-7 weeks + recovery from L&D to run.)  But right now, the What If’s are winning out in my head.

Have you recovered from an injury anxious to run only to find that you were too scared to run?  

How did you overcome your fear? 

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    25 thoughts on “I’m Scared to Run

    1. Did you do any crosstraining when you were waiting for SIJ pain to subside? I’m currently on day 11 of not being able to run because of this horrible pain. I keep going back and forth of whether to take a complete break from cardio or try and bike to maintain my fitness. I’m praying that it magically goes away like yours does.

      • Hey Michaela – I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with this too. I remember how painful it was – and how uncertain I was about how long it would last.
        I didn’t do much cross training initially – but once I realized it wasn’t immediately going away, I started doing the bike (down our basement). After a couple of weeks, I decided to try to give the elliptical a try at a gym – and it felt fine. And then I made the decision to try running! And it was fine!! It took about 3-4 weeks!
        A big thing for me was going to a better chiro – within a few visits, I started feeling more like myself!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..The Treadmill Incline DebateMy Profile

    2. Michele, I have not run since February and am in physical therapy and have been pain free for the last three weeks after 18 months of continuous piriformus pain. I am in the same situation…afraid to run. I want to really badly and will just take it slowly to build back up. I just tell myself “you ran a marathon 2 years ago, you can run again!” Now that I am ready to run, I have shifted my fear to needles! :)

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    4. OH GIRL!! I truly am so sorry that you are going through this right now, it breaks my heart. I know how hard it is to go without running but it is probably even way harder when you have a child and need some ‘me’ time… throw in pregnancy hormones and I can’t even imagine. After I recovered from my femoral stress fractures I was TERRIFIED to start running. I thought that they would crack the first step I took. I learned a lot during that time but I know that you will come back stronger and faster after baby #2:) You are amazing.

    5. I’m currently in the same situation. I’ve got pattellor tendinitis where I don ‘t have any pain except after running 3 miles. I feel great and so want to run but I don’t want to be disheartened again if the pain is still there. I hope you regain your confidence and do what’s right for you and your family. Sending good vibes your way!
      Angela@ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..My Race Ragz Review and #Giveaway!My Profile

    6. Michelle, I really admire your restrain and ability to listen to your body. You ability to do what is best for you and your son shows says so much about you:-) I hope that when you do decide to test out your body that it responds well and that the PPP is totally gone.

      This past fall I had a flare up of plantar fasciitis days before my fall marathon that i’d been training so hard for. I took several unplanned days off, rested, iced, saw the massage therapist twice. She recommended doing a test run of 1-2 miles the Friday before the Sunday marathon. I felt so scared to do it. I didn’t have any pain walking and was so afraid that once I started to run that it would flare up and then I’d have to pull out of the marathon. It ended up feeling OK. No pain. Just and “awareness.” I had the same apprehension on race morning and gave myself permission to drop out when I started to feel pain (I hate quitting and have never dropped out of a race). I honestly didn’t think I’d make it past mile 16, but I did and went on to PR. I think because I let go of my expectations it took the pressure off and I did better. Anyway…long story. But bottom line is that maybe you’ll have to test it out in an easy 1-2 miles (and not allow yourself to go farther even if you feel good) and then go from there and try to let go of expectations:-)
      Sarah recently posted..Mental Cues and Changing StrideMy Profile

    7. Soooo been there. I didn’t run from August to February because of an injury and was absolutely terrified to start running again. (I think you and I have talked about this on another post, actually.) I know 1 mile feels like nothing, but I had to build up to that first mile. I started by running for 1-2 minutes, then walking. If I didn’t feel pain, I went a bit longer on my next ‘run’. I built up in increments, and after a few weeks I *was* able to run that mile. Then built up from there. It took a while for the twinges to subside, and every run was very cautious for the first month or two. As long as you build up slowly, you should be able to tell if you can go further based on how you feel that night/the next day. At least, that’s what worked for me.
      TriGirl recently posted..Some Michiganders and a Californian-My Rock ‘n’ Roll WeekendMy Profile

    8. I would be just as afraid as you! But I think you will know when you feel ready and can trust your body to work and not work to the point of another injury. And if you don’t end up running until after you have the baby, that’s ok too :-) You’ll be back at it in no time. xO
      jobo recently posted..Run-imations: run-mesiaMy Profile

    9. I have totally had that scared-to-run/gunshy feeling before…it was after a bout with ITBS and a long bout of PT. I was afraid that the second I started running again, all the injuries and pain would come flooding back and I’d be sidelined all over again. It took trusting my body, trusting the recovery process I’d been in to get out of my head and back on the road. I know you can do this…just trust your body, it’ll tell you when it’s time to go. Truly.
      Jess recently posted..Virtual sherpa’s for 16 milesMy Profile

    10. Earlier this year, I fractured my toe and had to take a month off. When my foot mostly stopped hurting, I was scared on two fronts: On the one hand, I had a half-marathon fast approaching and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish training. On the other hand, I didn’t want to risk re-injuring myself and spend another month painfully hobbling around (I also lived in a 5th floor walk-up, which was daunting).
      Michelle recently posted..tips for running in the windMy Profile

    11. I actually just stopped running because of an IT band issue and I can promise you, I will def be scared to run again!! I don’t want to re-injury myself and/or go back out too soon.
      I think when you are ready, you will know and all the what if’s will disappear!
      Liz @ Southern Charm recently posted..FlatsMy Profile

    12. Lots of experience here! I just recovered from back pain with numbness and pain down the leg recently, and I’m a Physical Therapist so I help others return to sport all the time. Have you been evaluated by a Health Care Provider? If you have any questions just shoot me an e-mail…..
      Ali recently posted..Strengthening Breakdown: The LungeMy Profile

      • Hey Ali!! Thank you for your comment! I have been seeing a chiropractor a few times a week. The last time I spoke to him he gave me the go ahead to try a run if I felt up to it. With all the positive and supportive feedback I have received, I am all of a sudden itching to test it out!! May try one tomorrow morning. Going to check out your website now =)

    13. I totally hear you on this. I’m terrified to run. I ran 3 min on the treadmill at PT the other day at some ridiculously slightly-faster-than-walking pace and my head totally started playing games with me with phantom pain. It’s made me realize that it’s as much about physical healing as mental. But, like you, I want to be a functional and active mom and I don’t want to risk it. All that to say, I’m with you on this and whatever you decide to do will be right for you.
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Get Your Good GoingMy Profile

      • Thanks, Christine. I’ve never experienced this before. Usually I’m out the door the day the pain goes away. I think I’m just so scared that the pain is going to come back – which would mean me having to possibly go until after the baby is born to run…3 min is a start though – that’s awesome….esp since you haven’t run for months!!!!

      • I know…my husband keeps suggesting I just head out for a walk and if I feel good, jog a min, then walk, then jog, etc. I don’t know why I’m being such a scaredy cat. I think part of it is that I don’t want to feel pain b/c that will be just such a huge disappointment b/c it may mean that I have to wait until pregnancy is over, you know?