Tag Archives: injury

Off the Rails

17 Apr

As you might have guessed, my spring marathon plans have taken quite the detour. Detour is putting it nicely. This train is completely off the rails. 

I wouldn’t say training had been going well but I was remaining positive that I’d be able to string together some solid weeks of training and see where that got me on May 3rd. 

Then winter stepped in. 

For anyone living in the Northeast in particular, you know how brutal this winter was. I’m not really going to complain too much about that because there was never any day where I decided not to run or didn’t complete a planned run due to temperatures. I had no problem using the treadmill if need be. My first 20 miler was scheduled on a day where I knew the temperatures were supposed to drop dramatically; I still decided to head outside for it and prepared by packing extra layers in my car in case I needed them later. 

What I didn’t expect was the precipitation. Which started coming down in the form of ice. Do we all see where this is headed?

  

At first I thought it was just a bad bruise – I actually thought I would be able to salvage my 20 miler the next day. Well, here I am 4 weeks later and I still cannot run completely pain free.  Every time I would try to run, I’d end up with intense aching in my shin which would freak me out and lead me to cross train for a few days. At this point now, that pain has disappeared and I mostly just feel very tight (and very out of shape).

So that’s that. I probably should’ve rested completely and maybe I’d be in better shape today – hindsight is always 20/20. It took me about 10 days to realize that the marathon was probably not going to happen, and a few more to mentally come to terms with it. At the end of the day, there was nothing I could do – sometimes, shit happens. 

I was able to struggle bus it through a 5K last weekend with my girls (<– I really hate that phrase but I can’t think of a single other way to say it, someone get me coffee) and ended up not doing too terribly. 

  

21:50, which is not where I wanted to be right now, but it is a time I would’ve killed for just a few years ago. So the only thing I can do at this point is try to safely build my base back up and start making plans for a fun summer racing and training season. 

My only closing sentiment is to deliver a hearty fuck you! to Winter 2014-2015. You sucked, and nobody liked you. The end. 

Staying Motivated Through Injury

29 Jan

As promised, I’ve been laying low since CIM.  This probably makes me look bad to admit, but it’s really hard to pay attention to my own blog/other running-fitness-etc blogs when I’m not running at all … or running very little.  It’s hard to read about everyone crushing their workouts and long runs when you’re not able to do the same.

It’s even harder to stay motivated while side-lined with an injury, at least for me.  My motivation to run is intrinsic – but to cross-train?  Not so much.  If I loved cross-training, I’d be doing that instead of running so much, right?

It didn’t help that my recovery aligned with the holidays.  It was all too easy to talk myself into extra treats, extra booze, extra time on my butt.

I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked over the past month or so, but I didn’t become a total couch potato as I’ve done in years past.  And for that, I have to thank a couple of “fitness gadgets” (ugh, yes, I just used that term and I hate myself the appropriate amount for it).

I have previously raved about my Fitbit Flex, but I have to say – here I am, almost a year later, still going strong.  That’s as good a testament as I can think of; typically I tire of new gadgets after a month or so.  When I was running regularly, it was no problem at all to meet my 10,000 step/day goal but during the past month, I’ve had to get creative.  It has encouraged me to take my dog for longer walks (which I should be doing anyway, I’m a terrible person and again, I hate myself the appropriate amount for it), park further away from the store/work/etc, and get my butt to the gym.  Although it’s probably not exactly accurate, if you use this type of elliptical, you will register steps on your Fitbit:

precor-elliptical-trainer

What has really helped me stay consistent with my daily step goal is the integration of Fitbit with the Pact (formerly GymPact) app.  I’ve been an on-again/off-again user of GymPact since it first launched – the premise is that you make a pact for number of days per week you will workout, and if you meet the pact, you earn a certain amount of money.  If you miss a day, you pay up.  I loved the concept and the story behind the company, but at first it only worked by “checking in” at an actual gym.  I only actually go to my gym once or twice a week – during the summer it’s even less.  I almost always run outdoors, and very rarely do I actually go to the gym to do so.

As the app grew, however, they offered more and more ways to meet your pact.  They integrated with RunKeeper which I tested out for a while … but I don’t always run with my phone.  Once they announced the Fitbit integration though?  I’ve been using it ever since.

gympact-pact-app-screenshot

 

It’s not going to make me a millionaire, but it has been a great way to get my butt in gear when I haven’t been able to run much or at all.

The Pact app also integrates with MyFitnessPal so I’m giving that a test spin.  I really detest logging what I eat but I also can’t deny that it works.  I also don’t hate the little motivator at the end of each day:

myfitnesspal-app-screenshot

 

I don’t know if I really believe that I could be down to my high school weight in 5 weeks just by eating reasonably and not housing beer and chicken wings for dinner, but it is a nice reminder that my extra lbs are absolutely a result of the fact that my diet is shit.

All that being said, the combination of these three apps has honestly helped me over the past 6 weeks.  I definitely gained a little weight over the holiday season and I’ve certainly lost running specific fitness, but I’m not in terrible shape.  I feel good, and that’s what matters most.

(P.S. I’m not affiliated with or being paid in any way to promote any of these companies.  It’s just a thing that has been working for me, thus I am sharing with you.)

Overcoming a Crappy Training Week

6 Aug

There comes a point in every marathon training cycle where everything falls apart for me and I start feeling mentally defeated.  In the past, this has happened as early as like … the third week of training. I guess the glass-half-full point of view would be to look at this as a positive sign that it didn’t happen until the ninth week of training this time around.

Here’s how it went down:

week9_training

Total of 35 miles on the week.

I have been really nervous about my hamstring.  I’ve been compressing and icing, and it hadn’t been bothering me on slower runs – but I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a speed workout.  I decided to skip group on Tuesday and go out on my own to give it a little test run.  I wanted to do a warm up mile, then do a mile or two at 7:15-7:30 pace – just to see how my hamstring held up at a quicker pace, but not a hard enough effort that it would trash my legs.  My hamstring did not hold up.  I held on to a 7:30ish pace for about a mile and a half, then hobbled home.  I was so upset, and frustrated that I didn’t slow it down the second I felt a twinge of pain.  I guess I thought maybe it would loosen up if I pressed on.  I came home and immediately hopped into my compression shorts and iced my hamstring.

By Thursday, it was still kind of bothering me so I took an unplanned rest day.  My mom and I were flying down to Oklahoma to visit family, so it was a convenient excuse to give myself some extra rest.  On Friday morning, I was feeling a bit better so I just did a slow 5 around my cousin’s neighborhood.

I had planned this to be a cutback week, but I knew that my friends in my running group were going out for their first 3 hour run on Saturday.  I was so mentally defeated from the hamstring crap that I decided I would also go for 3 hours, and that might help my confidence.  Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

This was the WORST long run I have had in quite a while.  I was dehydrated, got a blister on my toe, chafed under my arm, had to use the outdoor restrooms twice (gross), my hip flexors and quads were inexplicably sore and cranky, and then I got caught in a thunderstorm.  It was so miserable, I basically walked the last 5 miles home.  Perfect.

So that’s that.  A crappy training week.  In the past, I’ve let them just absolutely destroy my confidence.  I know that I need to just forget about last week and concentrate on the week ahead.  And focus on getting my hamstring back to 100%.  I am just so frustrated that this always seems to happen to me … I know that’s a bad attitude to have, but in the past, I’ve been able to point to inconsistent training as a reason for injury.  This time around I can honestly say that I’ve felt I’ve been training well, had a good base, and have been doing things right for once.  So to be suffering from the same injury as last summer … well, I’m just not in the best mental place right now.

So help me out.  How do you mentally get over a bad training week?

 

I’m Losing My Mind

5 Apr

I finally broke my running-ban streak today, and I’m not really ready to talk about it yet (read: everything isn’t as fluffy and sparkly and unicorns-pooping-cotton-candy beautiful as I had hoped) but what I can share is all the inane stuff I’ve been doing over the past week.

I’ve been spending a lot of time bonding with the elliptical.  I’m sorry, PreCor, it’s you – not me.  You just don’t satisfy the way my first real love does.  I’m glad you have low enough self-esteem to make yourself available when I call on you randomly at 5:30am on a Sunday morning though.  So thanks for being there, but don’t plan on this continuing to be a thing.

I’ve been lifting weights.  And I … actually enjoy it?  I really need to keep on keeping on with this.

I’ve been trying to ignore the internet.  This has been assisted by the fact that I’ve been putting in 12 hour days this week due to some crazy stuff going on at work.  But when I can’t/shouldn’t run, I really can’t handle reading about everyone else’s awesome training and racing and general amazingness.  I should be more mature than this.  I am working on it.

And most shocking of all – I’ve been spending time in the kitchen.  I whipped up these amazing Pumpkin Protein-Packed Clean Organic Kale Cookies!  Only 13.7 calories in each!

LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES!

LOOK AT THESE COOKIES!  JUST LOOK AT THEM!

JK JK who do you think I am?  These have brown sugar and regular sugar and real whole eggs and butter and even shortening!  Also I’m not even entirely sure what a kale is … but these are delicious.  Really delicious.  Life is short and sometimes you need a real friggin’ cookie or 12.

I’ve also come to grips with the fact that my beloved Google Reader is going away.  I’m hopping on that Bloglovin’ train for now and we’ll see how it goes.  If you’d like, follow me here!

Next Steps

31 Mar

In a perfect world, I would have recovered from Shamrock in no time and jumped right back into training.

Sayings like “capitalize on the fitness you have” and “it’s just a 26.2 mile long run” were in my head.

Unfortunately, the body isn’t really playing along with my plans.  My hip bothered me early on in the marathon, and I think at that point I knew that my plans for Buffalo were in danger.

You are a cute shirt, but you are also kind of a lie.

You are a cute shirt, but you are also kind of a lie.

I went to PT to get my hip looked at – I was convinced it was bursitis, and that maybe a cortisone injection would have me back on my feet ASAP.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any type of medical degree, and apparently diagnosing your symptoms via WebMD or Runner’s World is not equivalent to seeing an educated, licensed professional.  Huh, imagine that.

Diagnosis: it’s my good ol’ IT band that is acting up again (I had full blown ITBS prior to my first marathon, my hips/glutes/IT are always problematic for me) and my PT gave me a pretty good verbal beat down.  No, I haven’t been doing the strengthening exercises I should be doing.  No, I haven’t been doing the stretches I should be doing.  No, I am not surprised I’m suffering from some sort of IT band related injury.

I tried to run through it last week, putting in 4-5 miles a day and religiously stretching/icing/etc, but I don’t see any real improvement.  So, I’m putting myself on a 1-week running ban and I’ll reevaluate next Monday.  I feel pretty confident I can clear this issue up myself, but if not, I’ll put my poor hip in the hands of my extremely capable PT and see what happens from there.

My new best friends.

My new best friends.

The next 7 days will be spent diligently rolling, sticking, icing, strengthening, stretching, and cross-training.  With a side of romantic power-ballads, in hopes that my hip can forgive me.

And after all that we’ve been through
I will make it up to you
I promise you

And after all that’s been said and done
You’re just a part of me I can’t let go

Ahem.  So where does that leave me with Buffalo?  Well, it’s very likely I’ll step down to the half.  I can feel spring in the air, and I don’t want to be injured and unable to run once the weather starts turning.  And honestly?  It’s kind of refreshing to think about just going out to run – whatever distance, whatever pace, no pressure to put in a certain amount of miles.  I think it will put me in a better spot both physically and mentally to just do my own thing for a couple of months, and then focus on a fall marathon.

So, with that said: suggestions for fall marathons, anyone?  I’m thinking about Wineglass, Steamtown, or Mohawk-Hudson.  Any other great races in the Northeast worthy of consideration?