Headsweats Ambassador Stephanie Franklin (@running_the_425) has had a good week. She ran the Phoenix Marathon last weekend – the first 26.2 miles she’s raced since an injury threatened to take her out of the game two years ago – and Wednesday she learned she’s been included in the March issue of Women’s Running!
We connected with Stephanie to learn more about the two years of difficulty and hard work that led to these joyful moments:
Tell us about your experience with injury.
So, it’s been a really difficult two years, as far as my running story goes. It all started after I ran the full at Revel Rockies in Denver. I had a great race and never felt injured until I recovered for a few weeks and began running again. The story is the same again and again. It would start as tight calves, which eventually would lead to knots, which would lead to very, sharp pain in my shins and inner ankles. I tried, literally, everything: rest, deep tissue massage, supplements, foam rolling, dry needling, yoga, KT-tape, changes in shoes, acupuncture, stemming and ice, calf sleeves… you name it, I guarantee you I have tried it. I’ve spent two years in physical therapy, sometimes going four days a week, and countless hours strength training and working on my running form. Honestly, I’m still not 100 % recovered. But my pain is now on a much smaller scale.
Of all the products and therapies you tried, what finally helped your condition to improve?
I really owe everything to my physical therapists. They believed in me and knew how important it was that I get back to running at the level I was before. It was important to me, so it was important to them. It took a team of PT’s backing me up, keeping me accountable, and encouraging me along the way, but I can finally say I’m slowly getting back to my old running self. I feel so, so blessed to have crossed the finish line in Phoenix. I cried… a lot, but happy tears this time!
Any words of advice to other runners that may be dealing with chronic pain?
I think the mental aspect of chronic injury is hardest to overcome, but I’m getting better at overcoming that negativity. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my inner dialogue and I’m learning the impact positive thinking can have on the body. I’m proud of myself for not throwing in the towel. One thing I can take away from it all is that I will never, ever take for granted what a gift it is to be able to put on my trainers and run.
Keep up the hard work, Stephanie! Next up: Boston BQ!!