How I'm going to stay fit with an injury

What I originally thought was a torn meniscus is actually a torn ACL. Shit. That's a much longer recovery time.

When I found out, I was pissed. Sad. Upset. Annoyed. It was such a shock because I was expecting something a lot less severe.

I have 2 races planned for this Fall/Winter, and the first time I cried about this injury was when my doctor told me I wouldn't be able to run them. I straight up burst into tears. That silent sobbing, know what I mean? It was terrible and awkward for everybody.

So enough with the sad. Let's talk about recovery and how I'm not gonna get fat again even though I can't run for a while.

A long while.

I've still been in the gym with my torn ACL.
Like a crazy person boss.
I might be singing a different tune after surgery.
But we'll see.

Surgery is next week. Fun fact: They're using a tendon from a cadaver to repair me. (Science!) Then maybe one day when I'm gone, they'll use the same tendon to fix someone else. It's like inception. With body parts. (This took a weird turn.)

Right now I weigh 135, and I don't intend to weigh more when I'm done with recovery. Here's how I plan to maintain.

Decimals totally don't count on the scale.
I weigh 135 and I shan't hear another word about it.

Real talk: I'm not a doctor. This is my plan for staying at my size while I'm out with an injury.

ONE - Clean up your diet. It's not that I eat terrible food all the time, but I do sometimes and now I can't bank on my 10-milers to work off those calories.

Gonna be eating a lot more fruit instead of cheeseburgers. Gonna get my water intake up and chew gum when I have cravings. (All things I already do, I just need to be more strict about it.)

Red Solo fruit cup

Do you really want that cheeseburger, or is it just convenient? Do you really need that ice cream, or are you eating it because you're bored? Fitness is 70% what you eat and 30% working out.

TWO: Stay determined. I still have goals that don't involve running (or my legs in general, womp womp). I really want to be able to do a pull up. This is the perfect opportunity to build my arm and core strength.

There are LOTS of arm exercises you can do with a leg injury. As in, most of them. (I cannot confirm or deny whether my triceps are on fire as I type this.) Google it. Know your limits, though and don't do it if it's going to hurt you worse. Don't be dumb.

Abs are a little trickier, but there are still a ton of workouts you can do depending on your injury. My leg won't bend or straighten (it's at kind of a natural bend that makes me walk like an elderly pirate). I can rock some weighted V-crunches like nobody's business. I can't do burpees. It's about knowing your limits. (Would it help if I posted my actual workouts?)

THREE: Be a good patient. My friends joke that I'm the worst patient ever because I abandoned my crutches the day after I got them, but if I can walk, I'm gonna walk. That's just how it is. Crutches are a pain right in the ass and I'm over it.

That said, I'm gonna listen to my doctor post-op. I'm not gonna miss a single physical therapy appointment. What's more important, running one half marathon in November or making a full recovery so you don't have lifelong issues? Full recovery, please and thank you. You have to live with your body, you might as well take care of it.

FOUR: Stay positive. It's easy to get down about being injured. I was. I still am a little bit. Now I'm staying focused on this new challenge and how I'll be able to shred my arms and abs. 

Runtastic is the app I use for running.
I wanted to throw my phone into the wall when I got this notification yesterday.
That's a dick move, app.


  1. I too am struggling with this same problem. I partially tore my plantar plate while training for a marathon. I was heartbroken when I was told I'd need surgery to replace (due to the constant pain with every step). My doc said I can do arms and abs...I would love some ideas if you would post them. Good idea on the pullups too! I'd die to do one of those someday!

  2. Because of your constant inspiration and ability to make me laugh reading your posts, I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Details up in my post today!

  3. YOU ARE A FUCKING ROCK STAR. PS I would have totally cried, too. I love running and my biggest fear is injuring myself and not being able to run! Dammit I wanna be on the 130's sooooooooooooooooo fucking badddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd................

  4. Your cadaver fun fact made me think of my friend. When he had his knee surgery they did blah blah with his meniscus and used freaking rooster comb!?!? like the thing on the top of their heads...RANDOM. And a tad creepy. Feeling like I would prefer a dead person over a random chicken part ;)

  5. My mom has a cadaver's ACL in her knee, too.

    She now has the dreams of the dead person whose body part is inside her.

    *NerkyMeg Classic Small Font* (Not really. But it could happen. Be afraid.)

  6. Ask your DR to refer you to Sports Medicine specialists for your recovery. They don't mess around with easy shit, and it hurts like hell, but you'll recover faster and stronger than before. I lost 10 pounds during physical therapy when I tore my ACL. No effing joke. I didn't get a cadaver tendon though, they used part of my hamstring, so now my right hamstring is weaker than the left. Lame. The cadaver procedure is the coolest thing.

    You are a champion, and I totes believe in you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I tore the ligament in my ankle last summer while on a short fun run on vacation. Had to wear a walking boot for a month, I am a total crossfit junkie, drink the koolaid and thank me later:) but I was able to get my strict pull ups down because I couldn't run or do lifts. Start with the thickest band and do negatives down and up to build up your strength and try not to kip. You'll be doing multiple strict pull ups like a boss in a couple of months! Also inclined push up and dips and L-holds are great for getting your arm muscles up for pull ups and muscle ups

  8. When one door closes, another opens. Go for Jillian arms and a six pack stomach!

  9. You're going to do GREAT! :) I can't wait to follow you on this... best of luck on your surgery, I'll be keeping you in my prayers! :)

  10. I trained for a half marathon two summers ago and 3 weeks before I strained my fibularius longus ( long muscle on the outside of lower leg and ankle) stepping on a rock during a training run. Broke my heart. But recovery was so much more worth it, you will bounce back!

  11. The cadaver thing - kinda gross. Lol ;) Seriously though, I was in a roll over car accident in January so I haven't been allowed to run since then. 9 months. I find out tomorrow if I'm finally released to run. It's been a looooong 9 months! I totally feel for you. My injury wasn't quite as bad as yours but having that urge to run when you can't is killer...


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