February 28, 2024

How Laura’s exiting her clumsy era

This is the year I stop falling over whilst running, and I’m exiting my clumsy girl era.

Well, almost.

If you’re across my socials, you would have seen that I did have one small fall on a run at the start of this year (so let’s not count that), but now I am committed to leave my clumsiness behind.

In the later half of 2023, I unfortunately experienced a trifecta of injuries in one week. At the time, I’d been pushing my work and social life to the limits and I suspect it was my body’s way of telling me to slow down. Unfortunately, I found that out the hard way.

I had a bulging disc in my back, which meant I couldn’t run for six weeks. I was devastated because I was on track to running a half marathon. Not only that, running is the number one tool I can count on for my mental health, so I felt pretty lost and overwhelmed without it.

Before I hurt my back, I could comfortably run 15km but then after my injury it was about 2 months before I could run 3km again. The first 6 weeks in coming back I found REALLY difficult, and then gradually I finally found the joy in running again and was slowly building back up my strength. Then I fell over AGAIN and hurt my knee.

It was only minor thankfully, but it was a reminder that I need to slow it back down and take a breather.

Coming back from an injury is tough. Giving it your all, and then you have to stop and start again. You spend months building back to where you have been before and it is is so easy to give up, to give in to self-doubt. We feel behind, sometimes so far that we don’t want to start again.

I want to remind you to not think of life as a race, because when we do, we deprive ourselves of the magic of the journey because we are so focused on the end goal. We end up focusing a lot on the distance we want to run, our old PB’s and other people’s pace in comparison to ours. We forget to actually enjoy the process of achieving our goals and building up our strength again! It’s the resilience and self-belief, the good stuff that only comes through those challenging moments.

So in order to keep building on these moments, I’m working on different ways I can move myself away from my clumsy girl era and find strength for my running again.

Seeing a physiotherapist regularly

Seeking professional advice for injuries is so crucial to help your recovery. For both my back and my running, I’ve been seeing my physio regularly to make sure I’m doing all the right things to keep moving in a safe and sustainable way. It has been a great way to also get advice on what strength exercises I need to be doing so I can make sure I’m strengthening all the right muscle groups I need. I shared some of these on my TikTok recently, and my goodness it has been hard getting back into the gym but I know it will be so worth it.

Actually sticking to my strength routine!

However, for those who have seen a physiotherapist before, they would know often the hardest part is actually sticking to the strengthening exercises they give you! We can all be a bit guilty of this, but I’ve been trying my best to keep to my strength routine for my running.

When I’m feeling a bit demotivated to do my exercises, I come back to my ‘why’ I love running. Running is my mental health tool, so if I can keep to my strength routine I can keep running safely and enjoy it.

Taking care of my mind and taking it slow!

This year, I’ve been making small changes to make sure my mental health is being looked after just as much as my body. My trifecta of injuries fell around a time when I was pushing my social and work life to the limits, so I’ve been trying to slow things down and introduce more balance into my week. I’ve been blocking out clearer times for my work schedule so I know exactly what I’m in for each week when setting up my weekly routine. I also make sure to meditate each morning when I first get up whilst I have my first glass of water for the day. I find this is a great way to get me off my phone first thing in the morning and start my morning in a mindful way. Plus, pairing it with my first glass of water for the day helps me set my day up with great habits.

I’ve also been limiting my casual alcohol intake to two nights a week, which I spoke about on the KICPOD recently. I love a glass of wine with dinner, but I’ve noticed that being more conscious about when I’m choosing to drink has helped me keep my mental clarity throughout the week and improved my sleep too!

By looking after my mind, I’m looking after my body because they’re so intertwined. So keeping my mind happy will help keep my body feeling energised and will hopefully keep any unexpected injuries at bay.

So whilst I may have the occasional clumsy moment from time to time (let’s be real, it can be inevitable) this is how I’m working on my strength to come back from injury this year. If you’re like me and at times you’re coming back from multiple injuries, or you’re simply trying to slow your lifestyle down, know that we’re in this together and we can do it.

Remember, don’t run before you can walk. It takes time to re-build strength and fitness, so set yourself small and realistic goals suited to your current abilities.

I believe in you! Here’s to our non-clumsy era.

Laura xox