Keeping it together when life hands you lemons

Hi friends! Happy Thursday πŸ™‚

It’s been an interesting week here. First off we were blessed with some summer like temperatures in NH, which I personally dig. In other news, I’m out on the running bandwagon for a bit as a I try to manage an injury. After seeing the doc I’ll be taking some time from running and going back to PT for a bit mainly for maintenance. What started as pain in my right arch and ball of foot has (after several painful runs later… never said I was the brightest bulb) turned into a sprained left ankle/peroneal tendon and ATFL inflammation in addition to the right foot. Oddly, the left ankle is worse. While my arch is rather sore while running (read: I find myself trying to run in a supinated position), the ankle hurts to walk/ I’m limping down flights of stairs/ it’s cracking and popping like rice crispies throughout the day. Needless to say, I’m a ball of sunshine at the moment (insert all of the possible sarcasm).

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It was more like 80 degrees but our outdoor thermometer is in the sunshine! Clearly excited.

 

It’s weird though. I’m not thrilled – who would be? Running and hiking are the two things which take me away, help me find a sense of hope, remind me of who I really am, and allow me to gather/accept/understand my thoughts. They are two things which will always be such a huge component of my life. I’m bummed that I can’t run at the moment, I mean I could, and like I mentioned above there have been several painful ones, but healing > running. Last week I decided to run a few miles on the treadmill (mainly to make sure I avoided frost heaves/pot holes) and the entire thing, 100% of it, was done in pain). Why you ask? This is the leftover of my past struggles with exercise addiction and compulsive needs for working out. The difference now is that it’s 90% because I love it and am so insanely batshit passionate, whereas before it was 90% part of my eating disorder. Now it’s the glue which holds my brain together. I didn’t enjoy that run at all (I usually LOVE my running time), but rather I knew I would feel better from a mental clarity perspective after. This left me feeling 1. proud of running, 2. guilty for running in pain, 3.questioning my motives and wanting to take a closer look at my current training/mental health/goals.

In 2007 I stress fractured by sacrum from running (because I have hip dyaplasia this is actually rather “easy” for me to pull off).

In 2010 that same injury happened again.

2012 I ran multiple hours of a race with a KNOWN tibial stress fracture… post race I also had one developed another stress fracture in my talus likely due to improper mechanics.

These are just prime examples of some solid overuse injuries to date. While I can look back now and joke about “breaking my butt”, it also is something I take and try to keep learning from, especially as I delve back into the running field. After the last week of finding myself dealing with undoubtedly overuse/under-recovery nags I wanted to really feel my feels around all of this to both understand where I’m at and what my ultimate goals are/what actions will get me there.

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I still have the compulsive need for fitness but it feels different. I no longer completely ignore pain and push through. I’ll ignore it, immediately want to process it, and work with it. Progress is a process my friends. I think for me, being able to recognize that I need to accept taking some time to change things up, re-evaluate what I was doing which led to some under-recovery (not sleeping enough, mainly), and just accepting is HUGE.

I have things outside of running and hiking which I enjoy, like weightlifting, which allows me flexibility to change my routine up on a whim when needed and still allows me to feel like I’m progressing forward towards my athletic related goals. Sure, lifting doesn’t = running/hiking, but IT IS SOMETHING. I love it and to be completely honest taking some time to focus on strength, muscle gain, and healing nagging little pesky injuries for a bit is likely not a bad thing. While I’m in so much better shape both physically and mentally now than even before in my life I still deep down know there is progress to be made and that there are still some major concerns and risk at play as I continue to look at getting back into racing competitively. I mean, outside of theΒ givenΒ concerns – injury, ect. Like I said I have hip dyaplasia. It is 100% recommended that I don’t run much. I also have low bone density still after having my period back for three years, getting adequate food and calcium/D/Mg+/K, and partaking in weight bearing activities. My goals areΒ risky and not recommended.

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The other… safer love. Really though, sleeping during cleans works wonders πŸ˜‰

It’s a risk I am willing to take but it’s a risk I want to feel very in control of. By this I mean, I want to ensure that I keep as healthy as possible throughout this journey. I know I’ll have hiccups, bad days, nags, possible injury, and times where I question WHY. I’m actual extremely grateful for having a minor little injury pop up now so early into training because 1. it’s humbling, and mainly 2. it’s forcing me to deeply evaluate and re-evaluate my shit (training, sleep, stretching, food, risks/benefits, goals, ect.).

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Well, I haven’t run since Thursday. This is progress from a mental health perspective. During this period of “shit, I can’t run!”, I’m extremely thankful for the fact that I can lift. For the most part lifting has been unaffected by the unfortunate twist of fate upon my lower body. I’ve even made up some “cardio” workouts via strength movements along with hopping back on my bike!

Monday conditioning workout:

  • FIVE ROUNDS: 6 power cleans, 15 air squats
  • FOUR ROUNDS: 10 tire flip, 20 sit ups
  • Toes to bar practice
  • 100 kettlebell swings
  • GHD 4×10 superset of sit ups and back extension

Thursday conditioning workout:

  • FOUR ROUNDS: 5 pull ups, 10 KB swings, 15 parallel bar dips, 20 cal on ski erg
  • 50-40-30-20-10 reps of: ball slams, sit ups
  • FOUR ROUNDS of “abs of H.E double hockey sticks”: 10 v ups, 10 tucks, 10 supermans, 60 second plank… seems simple… gets real spicy real quick
  • 15 min on the spin bike at a very moderate casual pace (I watched a vlog…)

I didn’t decide to take/pass the exam for the NASM trainer cert. for nothing…. I can program around injuries/hiccups/annoying nags as needed. I’m not saying I always do that, but I’m capable to do so. In a conversation with a good friend this morning I mentioned how thankful I am to 1. be so passionate about lifting, 2. understand how to program for myself, and 3. know when to call it and evaluate. I’ve learned A LOT about my body in the past few years and it’s nice to understand how it works optimally and know when I can push limits and when I absolutely need to just dial it back. I believe there are times when we can push our limits and it leads to growth and further progress. Actually, I think it’s essential to push limits to grow. On the other hand, there are times when limit pushing isn’t going to lead to growth but rather the opposite. Knowing the difference between these takes time and a lot of patience.

My body is sending me messages lately and it’s time for me to get back to 100% by giving myself the time I need to work the nags out. I want to provide myself the opportunity to reach my true potential and not miss what I’m really capable of because I just keep pushing. I am telling myself on repeat right now that I am young and have so much ahead of me and really there is no way to know what is possible. I’m trying to keep expectations out of the mix and just see where training and being in love with what I’m doing takes me. I don’t want to put limits or a ceiling on myself by not listening to the needs of my body. Time for prehab and rehab for lack of better terms.

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What prehab/rehab looks like: foam-roller, lax ball, mobility stick, and a wee bit of pinotΒ 

β€œDon’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs

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3 thoughts on “Keeping it together when life hands you lemons

  1. Urgh I hate when injuries come about, they really do suck. But it is our bodies natural a way of telling us to slow down and relax for a bit! I’m going through the same at the moment so I feel you!! Climbing and running are my two ways of just working through things and I’m not able to do either, but the time off from them just makes me realise even more how much I do love them which is important!

    Hope the recovery goes well!
    X

  2. If I had wine when I was foam rolling, I think that would make it much more enjoyable. I hope your injuries heal quickly and good call for going to PT asap! PTs are always so helpful. Glad you can still lift and do some workouts though- I was out for 6 weeks earlier this year but cross training helped me big time. Don’t get me wrong, all I wanted to do was run of course… but I stayed sane and fit in other ways and it’s paying off now.

  3. Pingback: Life lately + a workout + molasses smoothies?! | The Pursuit of an Outlier

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