What Happens When You Can’t Run?

runner woman rest on the leaves in park

It was traumatic. It was uncomfortable, painful, and frightening, and Matt loves to bring it up.

Alright fine, maybe — now that’s it’s over — it’s also a little funny.

Of course I’m talking about the groin story we’ve vaguely teased over the past month. Matt has finally convinced me is worth sharing on this podcast.

But while the story might start with the groin (or actually a 50K ultramarathon) it’s about much more than that. The real story is about mindfulness, letting go of pain and discomfort, and how to handle an injury that leaves you unable to run.

That’s the part of this dreadful, embarrassing story we want to share with you today.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The truth about Doug’s groin
  • What we can learn from a terrible case of poison ivy
  • Can mindfulness help with running?
  • Where to put your pain
  • Untangling your happiness from your goals

Click the button below to listen now:


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  1. Great episode Matt- thanks!
    You hit the nail on the head with mindfulness and remaining focused on the positive. I recently suffered a groin strain a week before my marathon. I didn’t let the injury get me down, but instead focused on everything I could do to heal leading up to the race. This included taking 8 days off from running. I reset my goal for the marathon to getting through the first half pain free, and if I managed that, seeing how far I could get without causing further damage. I ended up finishing the marathon without pain. My time was 20 minutes off of my goal time, but it didn’t matter at that point. Had this been 10 years ago, I would have beaten myself up mentally and probably trained through the injury, thus making it worse and needing more recovery time. Mindfulness is everything. As athletes it’s vital to listen to our bodies and to allow ourselves the rest we need. Thanks for driving this home!

    Thanks again for the great episode.

    From one runner to another,
    Boston, MA

  2. Hi doug! I am extremely happy when I see this blog. Actually I am vegetration and I always wants to know that how can I make my diet balance so that I can be healthy and fit while taking gym. As I take part in some athletic games also. Your blog motivates me a lot in this regard. Thanks for sharing some different and important subject through your blog.

  3. The longest break I’ve taken from running was about a year ago when I came down with double plantar fasciitis a.k.a. burning spiky foot torture oh dear god please kill me now-itis. For two weeks I could barely walk, let a lone run, and I had to run at a severely reduced pace and mileage for around 10 weeks after that. While aggressively rehabbing the injury and trying not to cry at all times I did a lot of the things Doug did to keep my enthusiasm up. Read running books, watched running movies, thought about the mere act of running as its own reward rather than thinking about the lost races and training miles. One more thing that really helped was searching online for stories of other people who successfully healed from the same injury and eventually got back to normal. It really helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, that last thing isn’t really something you can do for severe poison ivy of the crotch (or is it?), but I’m sure it would help for more common ailments like ITBS, runner’s knee, etc.

  4. It sounds great! I am super excited to try this yummy recipe. Thanks for making things easy and delicious!

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