Life lately + a workout + molasses smoothies?!

Hi friends! It’s been a bit… Let’s chat.

I’ve been on the injured bandwagon since the beginning of April… the 5th to be specific. In my last post I told you guys it’s a sprain of my left ankle – ATFL and peroneal tendon inflammation . Shortly after this post I went back to the doctors again as things weren’t necessarily getting worse but there was also zero improvement… insert x-ray number 2 which came back normal, and an MRI which showed a stress fracture in the distal fibula (lateral malleolus). When the injury initially happened I kept saying it wasn’t a stress fracture, it didn’t feel right, it hurt “too much”, it felt like the peroneal tendon was ON TOP OF the distal fibula and I blamed the tendons/ligaments (so soft tissue) rather than bone. I mean after all I’ve had stress fractures before and I know what they feel like/how they present themselves. I also am MUCH healthier now and my body shouldn’t be in a position to develop one. However when it swelled a week after the initial injury and the bone hurt to palpitate I knew something was amiss.

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I know my hips are off kilter as I have hip dysplasia in my left hip. Yep it happens in humans and not just dogs. I swear 96.4% of the time people find out I have this they say “doesn’t that happen a lot to dogs?”… My biomechanics are off because of this, asymmetrical hamstring and hip flexor strength/movement patterns, compensations, ect. I have found a way to work with this in terms of lifting and hiking but running is an entirely different ballgame. Every single stress fracture I’ve dealt with is from running (e.g mechanical/use due to lack of shock absorption), or a combination of running and other activities (e.g volume/overuse).

My PT (whom I have seen for every single injury mind you) essentially told me that my foot/ankle mechanics are not designed for running. Especially road running, which I hate but the trails have been very snowy until now. My dorsiflexion is crap, things are tight, I have a bunch of scar tissue, my natural gait pattern is supination (aka I try to walk on the outside of my foot…placing stress on the lateral ankle), ect.

I’m accepting that this is going to be a work in progress. While I ultimately want to get back into distance racing, my current goal is to finish the NH 4000 footers in a year, so by July 20th. I’ve thought long and hard multiple times about this goal since this injury and if I have to push the date back it will NOT be the end of the world. To be honest, if I hadn’t already healed five stress fractures, have a good overall awareness of my body, and built a solid mental health base I’m not sure how I would be handling this. I’m still irritated, anxious, and annoyed, but I’m accepting the process better than I ever have with an injury before. It’s been a lot of letting go of my natural need for control, allowing myself the space to think things through, and not blaming myself too harshly.

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“Count your rainbows not your thunderstorms.” – Alyssa Knight

So… the workouts. How does one train with a lower extremity stress fracture that can’t take extra weight? Well, I went from 6 days a week 1-2 workouts a day to 4-5 days and one workout. I’m being smarter, taking more rest (something that will inevitably stay even upon fully healing this injury), and working with what I CAN do versus overthinking what I can’t do. It has been a mix of upper body, core strength and stabilization, mobility, lower body which is safe (e.g lateral band work, monster walks, hamstring curls, gentle biking/spin bike, GHD back extensions). I’m making it work. I’m sharing yesterday’s workout with you guys, and note this bench rep scheme is not my normal style of high weight/low rep. I’ve been enjoying changing things up here and there to create a different stimulus, have some fun, and see what my body can do. It’s kind of HE** at 110 total reps and something I may do once every other month… if you give it a whirl please let me know what you think!

1. Bench press: 20.18.16.14.12.10.8.6.4.2 reps. Start at a weight and increase by 5 lbs. each set. Plan it so that the 2 rep is a weight you could usually 4-5 rep because after 108 reps things feel a tad different…

2. Weighted dips 3×6

3a. Dips 3×12

     3b. Hanging leg raise 3×20

4a. Pull ups 4 sets max effort

     4b. L-sit on rings 4×15 seconds

5a. Push ups 4×15

     5b. V ups 4×15

6. Cable press 3×10

7. Tricep push-down 3×10

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In other news I created a new favorite post workout smoothie concoction! It’s like peanut butter banana meets a cookie full of cinnamon and molasses goodness. The flavor profile is broad and it’s classified (to me) as a strange but good combination for sure.

What you need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or almond/dairy, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup water (you could do less, I just like the volume!)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Pescience peanut butter cookie flavor)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. blackstrap molasses (can do more/less, depends how much you like molasses!)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
  • Hemp hearts
  • Ice

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Directions:

  1. Add everything except molasses, ice, and toppings to blender and blend until smooth
  2. Add molasses and QUICKLY blend as it will try to stick like cement all over the blender
  3. Add as much ice as desired for goal thickness
  4. Top it if you feel like it (I used hemp hearts!)
  5. Drink up, buttercup

Well, if this wasn’t the most all over the map post that I’ve ever put up on the blog than I’m not sure what is.

“Time will pass anyway, you can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want. The choice is yours.”

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Strengths & weaknesses

Hi there! This week is already moving fast, I think holiday weeks make everything seem so much faster. Everything is a blur. Can you even believe Thanksgiving is on Thursday?! because I can’t. Not one bit. Time really does fly, I never believed my parents and teachers who told me that growing up. When I was younger it felt like time was just crawling, because all I wanted was to be grown up. Now all I want is for it to slow down but that can’t happen unless someone invents a time machine (can someone please do that?). In the meantime it’s called enjoy each day and be grateful for all that I am, all that I have, and all that I’m able to do.

I received an email from UNH yesterday detailing the process of class registration for transfer students. Don’t worry I’ve already been looking at the course schedule and am excited to see where I end up!

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What do both strengths and weaknesses have in common? they both help us become better versions of ourselves if approached with the right perspective

One tool that I keep in my back-pocket at all times is the SWOT chart. What’s a SWOT chart you ask? Well, it’s an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

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Strengths: strengths are internal factors. These are what we are naturally drawn too. They are what we excel at. Perhaps they are what people know you for, perhaps a hobby or even your career. Strengths can even be a characteristic of your personality. It’s something that you are able to effortlessly excel at, and you’re aware of this.

Weaknesses: weaknesses are also internal factors. However unlike strengths, weaknesses are things which we are not naturally drawn too in most cases. They feel uncomfortable, and are usually outside of our comfort zone. They don’t feel right. I know I hate my weaknesses because they aren’t easy and they make me feel out of my groove. That said, I also love them because they challenge me to ultimately grow as a person and develop new skills. With enough time, effort, drive, and determination, weaknesses can develop into strengths. Easier said than done and will definitely challenge whether or not you truly deep down want to master a specific weakness.

Opportunities: opportunities are an external factor. These are things that are within your reach of grasping which will allow you to enhance your strengths and/or develop your weaknesses. Opportunities can be people, events, educational options, career options, conferences, ect. Opportunist are so many different things and just like the internal factors of strength and weaknesses they will be different for each person. What is a good move for one person could potentially be a bad move for another.

Threats: threats are also an external factor. These are things which could prevent us from pursing our goals. They are things which get in the way and create stress. Threats can be variables such as a risk of injury for an athlete, or the risk of being fired when going out on a limb. Threats can also be something mental, such as anxiety or lack of self-confidence that is required to reach your goals.

I’ve typed up my SWOT chart for you guys to see, while not complete, it does give a good idea of where I am currently at.

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Ultimately, it is necessary to create a view of all of these components in order to know what your goals are, where you stand, and the plan of attack in reaching them. For me many of my weaknesses also carry over as possible threats. However I don’t let this drift me away from my dreams, rather inspire me to overcome my weaknesses and develop them into strengths. I feel that the more I can overcome my weaknesses the stronger I will grow, the more skills I will have, and the more determined I will be to keep continuing to reach new goals.

Questions for you: ever seen a SWOT chart before? Thoughts/will you fill one out for yourself? What is a weakness you are currently determined to make a strength?

 

“Having a low opinion of yourself is not modesty. It’s self-destruction. “ — Bobby Sommer”

xo, S