Injury is more than physical

By Susan Kalish

Your body gets stronger. Your mind becomes clearer. Your self-esteem improves. It's amazing how the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other (at a faster-than-usual clip) has such far-reaching impact on our lives. That's when the running is good.

But at least half of all runners get injured -- at least once. And that's when you become painfully aware of how entrenched your running has become in your

life. An injury doesn't just force you to deal with a pain in your heel. You also have to deal with the emotional baggage of not running well, or worse, not running at all.

Why We Get So Bummed
It's obvious that getting a running injury hurts, and pain is no fun; consequently, an injury is a bummer. But there's more to that sequence of events than meets the eye.

"One of the first signs that you are overtraining is a

drop in your mood," says Donald McKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., of the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Center at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. A later consequence of overtraining is the onset of an injury. So actually, your mood is already on the downswing when you get hurt. The pain of the injury is just another insult to your mood.

Another reason runners have such a hard time deal

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