in the face of injury

Training for a Half Marathon
When faced with an injury halfway through training for her first race, Robson Store educator, Cayley, made the  decision to listen to her body and be a stand for the 7500 other runners who would need her support that day.

sign me up!

When I first heard about the SeaWheeze, I just knew it was something I had to be a part of. I’d never been a runner before but if there was one race out there to inspire me to lace up my shoes and hit the trails, it was this one. I signed up without really thinking about what I was committing myself to (21.1 is about 16 more kilometers than I’d ever run before) but I had caught a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and there seemed to be only one cure.

Of course, after hitting that “register” button, I had all the reasons not to run, catch up to me – I’d never been in a race before (read: I’d never run regularly before at all) and I had no idea how to train for a half marathon. Lucky for me, I was invited to be a part of a special training group with Mike Porter, one of our amazing ambassadors at the Robson store. For three months, each of the five runners in the group would be receiving a weekly training program tailored to their run experience and their goals, as well as coaching, advice and support from Mike.

from 0 to 21.1 12k

I hit my training hard and fast; within just a few weeks I was running distances that I had never thought were possible for me. When I finished my first ever 12km run, I had such a sense of pride and accomplishment. After that moment, heading out for my runs was no longer a chore. So when I started to get a sharp pain in my left knee on one of my runs I started to get a little worried – running was something I had just started to enjoy and I wasn’t ready to give it up yet.

Training for the lululemon Half Marathon

bottom line: listen to your body

When I told Mike about what I was feeling, the support I got from him was incredible. He sent me videos of exercises to try, kept me accountable to spinning as my cross-training so I didn’t lose fitness and recommended several different clinics for me to visit. Over the month of June, I saw a physiotherapist and a registered massage therapist more regularly than I saw some of my friends but the progress I was making was pretty slow. After a month off of running, I had a tough decision to make – I desperately wanted to run the SeaWheeze (especially after I’d convinced my sister and one of my best friends to run it with me) but I was still feeling that sharp pain in my leg and time to properly train was running out. I held off until the last possible minute but eventually recognized that I needed to give my body the time it needed to heal (which I’m still working on) without the pressure of a deadline.

this is my SeaWheeze

SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2012
Once I made the decision to not run the SeaWheeze, my FOMO started to flare up again – I didn’t want to miss out on a weekend that I’d been looking forward to since I’d signed up in January. I stayed involved with the race through the Robson store and I was beyond excited to be at the Vancouver Convention Center on August 11th to cheer on the start and finish of the race. Once I had made my tough decision, I channeled my training efforts from running a half marathon to prepping for 7500 enthusiastic high fives.

i’ll runcouver again

I may not have been able to run in the main event this year but I certainly didn’t miss out. I learned a lot from my SeaWheeze experience – what I’m capable of and how to listen to and take care of my body. I know that I accomplished a huge goal by just learning to enjoy heading out for a jog, which is something that I’ll have forever. At the moment I’m focused on getting my knee in a good spot so that I can runcouver my favorite trails again soon. SeaWheeze 2013, here I come!

 It takes a lot to recognize when your body needs a break – and even more to overcome your own ego when faced with a setback. We think those who can’t run should cheer (or get involved in the race in some other way). How have you reacted in the past in the face of injury?

read more related posts:


Great post! Thanks for sharing your story. Love the new word for me : FOMO. Totally get FOMO sometimes and it’s a challenge to overcome it.
I was faced with injury last week. I’ve had a bad back for years but it started flaring up last week, just in time for when I was joining a new gym. I pushed myself to go to the gym and run but paid my dues afterwards. I surrendered and listened to my body and what it was trying to tell me. I wasn’t dealing with built up stress so it was transpiring into back pain. After a couple yoga sessions and deep meditation… all better! I tried the gym again last night and came out feeling amazing! Woohoo for relaxation and self healing.
-Michelle {LiveLoudly}

Comment by Michelle {LiveLoudly} — September 21, 2012 @ 9:15 am

I was diagnosed with hip bursitis a week before my first half marathon. After all the hours and miles of training I put in, I refused to give up the experience. I followed my PT’s and MD’s instructions religiously, ran pain-free, and rehabbed fully after the race. Call it ego if you like.

Comment by LZ — September 21, 2012 @ 9:53 am

I felt the exact same way!! I actually fractured my leg a week and a half before I was supposed to run the Seawheeze and I was more upset about not being able to run the race then I was about my broken leg. I still made the long trek to Vancouver on crutches because I didn’t want to miss out on the weekend. I’m so glad I still was able to go, I had the best time ever!

Comment by Laura — September 21, 2012 @ 9:59 am

What a timely entry for me… I was literally in the midst of completing the long run that marked the half way point of my training for my first marathon when I started to feel a nagging pain in my foot.

Turns out, I broke my foot during that run. Words can’t even describe how devastated I was.

That was 3 weeks ago… it’s hard to go from running 30 miles a week to being on crutches and hardly able to get around.

At first, I thought I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the marathon that I now can’t run, but I made a decision that instead of moping around during marathon weekend I would volunteer. I signed up to hand out medals at the finish line.

It’s going to be hard for me emotionally, but I also think it will be extremely rewarding to put medals around the necks of my friends and the thousands of others who are running the 26.2. And it will help remind me that once I’m healed, a medal will still be waiting for me too.

Kudos to you for turning your injury into a positive growing experience. I hope I can do the same.

Comment by Kathryn — September 21, 2012 @ 10:32 am

Very inspiring message! I am currently struggling with knowing when to give myself a break. I often feel like I am giving up and not pushing myself hard enough when I take a break. I am completing a 30 Day challenge with my Yoga studio, I am almost at the finish line but I am feeling tired and a bit of a cold/flu coming on. My plan for the weekend was to practice at my local studio in the morning and then head to a charity yoga event for another hour and a half practice.

However after reading this blog I think I will attend the event but just watch the 108 sun salutations! Giving my body a rest, not giving up!

Comment by Jessica — September 21, 2012 @ 10:55 am

Knee pain is very common in heel strike runners. When I first started running I got up to a 10k before I had major knee pain that kept me from running. I later read the book Born to Run and realized that my knee pain was likely due to poor running form. Soon after I bought a pair of FiveFingers and learned how to run from some experts. I now have no knee pain and at all and I have been able to run a 50k. I later started the Born to Run stores to train people on correct running form and provide shoes that allow the foot to move more naturally. Our stores are in the Seattle area, but we have a great website at If you can’t make it to one of our stores for a running clinic, I recommend finding a good running form coach in your area, such as chi-running or the POSE method. I also recommend a pair of transition shoes such as the Altra Intuition 1.5.

Comment by Dan Fairbanks — September 21, 2012 @ 11:44 am

I am going through the same thing and the same knee! I hate that feeling of FOMO and start PT this week. I’m hoping I will be able to find some other form of exercise to hold me over!

Comment by melanie — September 21, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

Inspiring message!
I’m going through the same thing but instead of knee pain it is in the inside of my hip. Listening to my body, I stopped running because it would just get worst every time I tried again. For my healing process (because I was just too stubborn to stop training), I started hot yoga. It helps to stretch my hip – in a proper way – and I do what I can without hurting myself. It’s been a month and I can say my pain is gone at 95% which is pretty incredible! Can’t wait to start running/jogging again :)

Comment by Tanya — September 21, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

Last November 2011 i suffered a stress fracture in my femoral neck/hip while training for Bay to Breakers. The pain was so intense i couldn’t walk. I had to stop running for several months but am now currently back up to a comfortable 6.5 miles.

Not running was so depressing but so was the thought of having it surgically repaired with pins. Its hard to listen to your body but i found a great Physical Therapist who helped me through the process. Bay to Breakers is back on my to do list for 2013!

Comment by heidi — September 24, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment