One Step at a Time

Since my last post things have been uneventful, yet productive.  It took me about a week or so to finally come to accept the fact that I wouldn’t be able to run any of my spring races this year, including the Salisbury Marathon.  Knowing this, I have been able to clear my head and focus on the road to recovery.

After running the 5K at the Tim Kennard River Run and waking to a re-aggravated achilles tendon the following day, I fessed up to my Physical Therapist and vowed to not run again period until she says I can.  Not one mile, not one minute, not one step!  Since then there have been a few times at work or at home where I’d be in a hurry to do something, making an attempt to get from one location to another as speedily as possible on foot.  Whether it would be from one exam room to another or from my car to a building in the rain, I would have to stop myself from running.  I was determined to keep my “no run” promise!

My physical therapy seems to be going well.  I am making progress every day.  I am being super-diligent about getting my prescribed exercises done each day, even if it means I have to get them done at 11:00 PM.  I had an assessment early last week and it was determined that I need to continue Physical Therapy.  I am making progress, yes, but as my achilles improves and heals, more problems are coming to light.  One of them being a problem I’ve been aware of for a few years now as it was pointed out by my previous Physical Therapist…my hips!  They are weak and lax on one side and super tight on the other which is throwing my form off and, likely, is why I keep having these nagging injuries.  Having me watch myself in a mirror while I performed some prescribed work at a recent session really brought it to light.  Now, when I do my exercises at home I do them in front of a mirror and it is making a difference.

Sunday, April 15, 2018 was the 7th annual Run for the Animals.  For those of you who have been following my pathetic blog, you know that this is my “heart” run!  I have participated in the event every year!  This year was the first year that I had to walk the entire thing.  I only did the 5K, but I am happy to report that C.J. and I completed it and I still feel great!  I haven’t had any problems with my achilles at all.

Today I had another Physical Therapy session.  I was able to run for 5 minutes on the treadmill.  I hate a treadmill, but for PT purposes I will do it!  It was a super-slow pace and I was extremely mindful and cautious throughout every millisecond of movement.  I am feeling good as of writing this post.  We will have to wait to see what tomorrow morning brings.

It’s a process, that’s for certain.  This time I’m going to do it the proper way and hope that I come out stronger (and maybe even faster!) than ever before!  I’m going to take it one step at a time, patiently yet persistently.

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Runners are Crazy; Injured Runners are Crazier

Have you ever had that feeling like you are out of control? A feeling like your life is just getting away from you? I feel that way lately and I know why. It’s because I am supposed to be training for a 10 miler in late March, a half marathon in mid-April and a marathon in late April. However, an achilles tendon injury has me sidelined, so all that planning and scheduling I did for February, March and April was all for naught. I’m trying to stay active and moving, modifying strength-training workouts and cardio workouts to keep my achilles happy, but I feel lost since I’m not running. Those workouts cannot replace the feeling you get after finishing a long run, or a fast 5K, or just an easy run.

I’m having a really difficult time with this. I know I am not the only person in the world to suffer an injury during training, and others have suffered much worse injuries than what I’m dealing with! My friend Jen was training for an ultramarathon last year and slipped during a training run and broke her ankle. She was sidelined for a very long time, but after her doctors gave her the okay to start again, she did. She trained safely, she trained intelligently, she listened to her body and she completed that ultra this year! I respect her and look up to her and hope that I can be as strong as she was with my puny little injury. She’s a hero in my book.

My appointment for Physical Therapy isn’t until March 13, 2018. It’s just a few days away thank goodness, but I’ve been waiting since mid-February. It’s the waiting and wondering, “am I going to be able to run any of my upcoming races?” that’s making me feel out-of-control and lost. Am I crazy? Of course…I’m a runner.

Impatiently Awaiting Physical Therapy!!!

Brief post:

I am still on IR, and not doing anything more than teaching my GF classes at the YMCA (modified for me due to my injury). I’m riding my bike, instead of running, to get in some cardio and lower-body work.

My Dr. Appt. went as expected/hoped on Monday. Yes, I have an injured achilles. How bad is it? It’s not ruptured! So preventing that is key! I have an URGENT prescription for PT, but the soonest I could get in is 3/13/18. I promise to refrain from any excessive activity until then. I will continue to teach classes (modified for me), I will train my upper body, and I will utilize the bike as much as possible in order to maintain my aerobic capacity. But, in order to run well you have to run.

My marathon isn’t until the end of April, so there is hope. For now, here’s to hoping PT brings me to a finish for my marathon! But, more importantly, here’s to hoping they can help me heal my injury (whatever it takes) so that I can continue to run in the future.

I’m in it for the long run…

Time to get back on track!

This recent bout of illness, whatever it was, has really thrown a wrench in my marathon training. I am a week off and my lung capacity is diminished some because they still contain crud. Also, my energy level and motivation level are both in need of help.

Today I did a slow, short bout of running followed by strength and balance training. I’m glad it was nice enough for me to run outdoors because once I got moving, the coughing started. I would hate to be in the gym hacking on everyone around me! I’m hoping that all the coughing got rid of a bunch of that lung crud so that I can go a little further tomorrow. Then further yet on Monday.

Part of my training has been to learn how to fuel my body most efficiently. I thought I had it figured out for my first marathon, but I obviously did not because I totally hit the wall at about mile 19! I know what I need to do, but want to be able to test it before race day. However, again with the illness, my diet got thrown way out of whack over the past week too. I am sure that has a lot to do with my energy level slump.

When you prepare your training for an endurance event, you prepare as though everything will be hunky-dory throughout the training period. When you are forced to halt your training for whatever reason, you have to spend time revamping your training schedule. I should probably go do that now!

I’ll let you all know how I fare in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have any recommendations or would like to share your experiences with training for an endurance event, please do so! How do you fuel your body in preparation of the event? What do you do to maintain your energy level during the event? Have you ever had a hiccup in your training plan; and, if so, what did you do to get back on track?

Off to edit my training schedule for the coming weeks…

Blogging for Accountability

Good evening everybody, and happy October!  The best month of the year in my book, and not just because it’s my birthday month.  I just wanted to write a quick note to put out there some goals that I hope to accomplish during the month of October.  I find that if I make such goals public I’m more likely to reach them due to the accountability factor.  

Goal #1:  Run/walk a total of 120 miles for the month.  I’m off to a decent start this first day having run 6.2 miles and walked 4 miles.  110 more miles to go!  Goal #2:  Grow my business!  The more proactive I am getting the word out about it, the greater my chances of adding new customers and, maybe, business partners too. Goal #3:  Get back to the grind and pick up where I left off on my quest to obtaining my AFAA certification.  I put it on the backburner several months ago because I just got so busy!  I’m still busy, but I am learning to budget my time a little better.  I have got to make sure I am carving out time in my schedule to work on this.  The sooner I get it completed, the sooner I can move on to the next step of this journey.There you have it.  It’s out there and my hope is that all of you reading this will help keep me accountable!  

Do you have any goals you’re aiming for, either in the short term or long term?  Feel free to share them with me and I will help you in whatever way I can. Buddy systems are the best!  Have a great October everyone…

Marathon Training

I had been planning on attempting my first marathon while I was 40. That didn’t happen due to 2 running injuries. The first was tendinitis in my left lower leg and the second was an ankle sprain in my left ankle. I spent many days, weeks and months cursing my body! But I did get in to see a Physical Therapist to learn what I was doing wrong in my running that was causing my injuries (the sprained ankle not being one in question…I stepped on a pinecone and wrenched my ankle due to my not paying close enough attention to what was in front of me).

My PT examined my gait as well as my hip flexibility. My hips were tight as could be! And my gait was all wrong because my hips didn’t move like they’re supposed to. My upper body would compensate for the balance required to remain in walking or running motion. After working through a few months of PT exercises I was ready to take on long distances again. Long distances for me being anything 5 miles or more. The farthest I’d ever run was a half marathon in April of 2015.

I started to plan my marathon options and training near the end of 2015. I really wanted to run the St. George Marathon, but that is one of those lottery runs so there would be no guarantee that I’d get in for 2016.  So I kept my eyes peeled, seeking out a run that I thought I would enjoy.

In November of 2015 I had met two new running mates, Becky and Sarah, through another runner friend of mine, Lisa.  Sarah was new to running and lived only 15 minutes from me.  I was so excited!  Finally!  A running buddy that lives nearby!  And to make it more fun, Sarah had signed up to run her first marathon, the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach.  Lisa and Becky were signed up for this run as well.  This was awesome because Sarah would need to run a lot for training which meant that it was that much more likely that we’d be able to run together frequently.  Additionally, I could get some marathon training tips by helping Sarah, and maybe get a better idea about when I want to give that milestone a shot.

After a couple of runs with all of these gals, they suggested that I sign up for the marathon as well.  We could ALL run it together!  I said, “no thanks.”  I thought that there was no possible way that I could be ready, mentally or physically, to run 26.2 miles by the coming spring.  I needed more time to prepare myself for that kind of a commitment.

So I signed up for the run a few days later.  They twisted my arm.  Though it didn’t take much.  I figured, why not?  If I sign up for it I will have to train diligently, and the bonus was that I’ll have a great support group to train with and on race day.

Training has been going quite well.  We were able to coordinate most of our long runs so that we could all train together.  I even met yet another running mate, Jen, who also had her arm twisted like mine and will be running Shamrock with us.  Sarah and I ran several of the shorter long runs together, and we were also able to meet up for a few other small runs here and there as our schedules would allow.  The long runs were definitely much easier and more enjoyable with the company of this crew than if I had to run them alone.  Especially during those times when conditions were much less than ideal.  We ran through rain, snow, wind and cold!

15 Mile Run in the snow and slush

15 Mile Run in the snow and slush

I did end up having to do the 20 mile training run solo.  Everything went okay up until about mile 17.  My hamstrings started cramping up on me and made it really difficult for me to push through those last 3 miles.  I managed to finish all 20, and then started to have thoughts like “how on earth am I going to be able to run 26.2 miles when I could barely finish 20?”  I was starting to worry, until the next day when I was still able to move and was without pain.  I’ll find a way to make it to the finish line, even if it takes me 6 hours!

On the shorter run days when my schedule wouldn’t cooperate with Sarah’s, I relied on CJ to keep me company.  He’s been quite the entertaining running partner!  I’d try to keep up with him on my speed training days.  On longer run days he’d wander off ahead and find surprises for me.

"Look what I brought for you!"

“Look what I brought for you!”

It’s hard to believe that this time next week I’ll be able to call myself (hopefully) a marathoner!  Whether or not I ever do another will be decided after I finish this one.  Stay tuned…