Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Not Going to Panic

For the past 2 months I've been dealing with a running injury. I'll save the whining and just say: it sucks and I'm crabby about it. I credit this injury to not taking the proper time to rest after my marathon, ahem, running a PR 10k six days later, and getting lazy with my before and after stretching. Cross training might have been a good idea, too. The reason I didn't rest was because I felt so strong and I didn't want to lose all of my hard-earned fitness. Well, now I have lost it, lesson learned.
Three weeks ago my orthopedic surgeon sent me for 4 weeks of physical therapy twice per week. I'm making gains in strength and flexibility but here I am 3 weeks in and I can't get past a slow mile on the treadmill without experiencing pain the following day. Take note: when you tell your physical therapist that what you have done so far hasn't helped, she will push you 10x harder and maybe even try to kill you in a single hour session. I learned this today as her dagger fingers dug into my hip area to "release" my iliopsoas muscle. Repeat on the other side. Thanks to my pride, I held back a full-out cry. I could have wept. She knew the pain she was causing because she kept remarking on how tight the muscle was and dealt with my facial cues by breaking eye contact and asking me about my weekend. Smooth woman. The stubborn side finally released about 2 minutes in. When the iliopsoas released the sensation was that of the PT letting up on the muscle, even though she really hadn't. Then she made me do a half hour of the hardest exercises she could come up with. You know, wall sits while squeezing a ball for forever minus a day, standing on a balance board while balancing on one foot and crouching to reach for a stick that was nearly out of reach, that kind of thing.

So, I'll do everything she tells me to do. I'll do all of my homework exercises. I'll push my races back or cut down on their length. I will run again, eventually.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why I Preach of Running

Back in the summer of 2007 I was quite pregnant with my second child and stepping onto the scale during one of my bi-weekly doctor visits. The woman weighing me looked up sympathetically and announced that I needed to go back to the waiting room to wait for a different chair. The fat chair. This was a defining moment because I could no longer ignore the issue of my weight.

Fast forward several months, past the birth of my son and the crazy days and sleepless nights that followed adjusting to life with two children 17 months apart. At some point I found the energy to start using our elliptical machine a few times per week. I lost weight. Eventually my progress plateaued and the dread of heading into the basement to stare at the cement wall while working out on that horrid machine became too much. I'd heard of a 5k training program and I had just enough confidence to give it a shot. Thankfully there were a number of friends who accepted the challenge along with me. We met early in the morning, or later in the evening to get our runs in; whatever it took. In September of 2009 I ran my first 5k. In January 2010 I joined a local running group to train for a 25k. It turns out that particular race experience was awful despite my hard training, so there was only one thing to do after that...sign up for a marathon, of course! I completed my first 26.2 in October 2010 and was ready to run another before I'd even finished.

Running put me outside of my comfort zone. It lead me to meet new people who challenged and inspired me. Running taught me that I was selling myself short in at least one area of life; and taking a risk wasn't only scary but often times rewarding. I started off running to lose weight and now I'm here looking back 65 pounds lighter and realizing how many things it has taught me along the way. It has truly changed my life. Forgive me, but I owe so much to running that I often can't shut-up about it.