One more mile!

Hey there! What are you up to this morning? Me? Oh, nothing much…I just ran 1 mile! With no pain! *fingers crossed* And it felt am-az-ing!!!

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Sorry for being a cheesball, I’m just so excited to start running again. It makes me feel like I’m finally on the road to recovery! I was like a kid on Christmas morning…waking up at 3:30am…a full hour and a half before my alarm clock.  I laid in bed and tried to get my last 90 minutes of sleep (I’m a girl who loves her sleep) but no such luck. Then when my alarm went off at 5…I had butterflies and laid in bed for 15 more minutes reading blogs and checking fb statuses (aka procrastinating!!) before dragging myself out of bed. I did 20 minutes on stair mill to warm up, then hopped on the treadmill. I started off really, super, snail pace slow and stuck at that pace for about .25 miles before realizing my foot felt just fine, and I was babying my foot a little more than necessary….So I speed up to regular snail pace slow! 😉 It took me almost 11 minutes to run 1 mile, if I don’t have any pain tomorrow I’ll speed it up a bit when I run a mile wed. I finished off my workout with 20 mins on the elliptical and some stretching.

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I don’t usually try to bore people with daily workout blogs but super excited about my first post injury run…as short and slow as it may have been! At least I’m running again and I’m going to be patient and show discipline in sticking to my recovery plan and training smarter. Just in time for the new year!!

Have you ever had a running injury?  How did your first post-injury run feel?  were you excited? Nervous?  How did you find balance between not babying an injury too much and not pushing to hard/avoiding reinjury?

Working Out With a Stress Fracture

While recovering from my stress fracture, finding the motivation to work-out was a challenge.  I’m not a gym-rat, not one bit! One of the things I love so much about running is getting to be outside! I spend long days sitting at a desk or standing inside of cold, windowless server rooms….So I look forward to burning off pent up physical energy and clearing my head by being surrounded by nature on my runs.  Working out inside on cardio machines and lifting heavy weights just doesn’t have the same rejuvenating effect on me!  I had to get pretty creative with my work-outs to prevent boredom and keep myself moving!

nobar

While in my air cast (6 weeks post-injury), I was not supposed to put any weight on my injured foot.  These first 6 weeks were really tricky and required the most creativity!  Lucky for me, my boyfriend has a full gym at his house. I did 20 minute Windsor Pilates work-outs, punched “Bob” (stand-up punching bag), did battle ropes, and did arm exercises with dumb-bells.  I downloaded a free interval timer on my phone and would choose 6 random exercises and would do 3-4 circuits, 45-60 seconds per exercise with 15 seconds to rest/transition.

Here is an example of one of my circuit work-outs:

  • Punch “Bob”
  • Lat Pull Down
  • Dumb-Bell Bench Press
  • Battle-Ropes
  • Russian Twists with Kettle-Bell
  • Over head shoulder press
I love battle ropes! Such a great burn!

I love battle ropes! Such a great burn!

Another Circuit Work-out (I actually ended up really loving this one!!):

  • Boxing (Arms only): 12×3 Minute Rounds (With 1 min rest between each round)

Boxing

Of course, I also spent a lot of time on the elliptical trainer, an injured runners best friend! Made slightly more bearable by watching episodes of “Myth Busters” and “Cupcake Wars” on TV!

Getting my elliptical on!

Getting my elliptical on!

I also swam laps (no flip turns) a couple of times, but realized that the planning/scheduling/preparation/travel time required to go to the pool on a regular basis is not realistic with my work schedule/other obligations.  And as for aqua-jogging…I read online that it is good exercise for recovering runners but it just wasn’t for me.  Maybe I was doing it wrong, but I just felt 1) Silly, 2) Bored, and 3) Grumpy about the fact that I wasn’t running outside! Lol

Working out has been a little easier the last couple of weeks since getting my air cast off.  I’ve pretty much been doing normal workouts again, minus running.  I’ve discovered my new favorite cardio machine is the “stair-mill”…it literally kicks my butt and leaves me drenched in sweat! Working out inside can still be pretty boring, so I’ve been “machine hopping”, doing 3 different cardio machines for 15-20 minutes each (Stair-mill, rower, spinner, and elliptical trainer). I even got to take a work-out outside yesterday, hiking some of the trails near my boy-friends house wearing a weighted vest. It was a beautiful day to be outside and the positive effects of that stair-mill when tackling some big hills! 🙂

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Do you have any creative work-outs to share for injured runners? What is your favorite cardio machine? Do you ever do HIIT interval work-outs? 

self doubt


A Reclusive Recovery

It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve posted a blog, my last one being when I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right foot.  I’ve dealt with some minor running injuries in the past; plantar fasciitis, tight IT band, runners knee…but this is the first injury that 100% side lined me from running.  I spent  6 weeks in an air cast + 2 additional weeks of restricted activity.  Tomorrow will be my first post injury run of 1 mile! I never imagined it was possible to be SO excited about getting to run 1 mile!  I have my recovery/mileage build up plan mapped out for the next few months, but I’m definitely going to take it easy, listen to my body, and play it smart to prevent reinjuring myself!

Looking forward to 5 am!!

Looking forward to 5 am!!

I had great plans and intentions of sharing my recovery triumphs and words of wisdom along the way, but every time I started to write I found myself lost for words.  I realized I am NOT an expert in recovery and don’t handle injuries graciously!  I realized that I had rooted my identity in being “a runner”, and not only did I feel a little blue not being able to run, I felt like I had lost part of my identity.  I wondered…Is a runner who doesn’t run still a runner?  I’m mean, yeah…sure, I was/am a recovering runner but still, I found I just wanted and needed to focus on other things to stay positive during my recovery.


 

So, how did I stay busy over last 2 months??

  • Spent more time with family and friends
  • Extra guitar practice!
  • Enjoyed preparing for and celebrating the holidays
Ilana with our "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree"

Ilana with our “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree”

  • An unplanned, random road trip down south with the boyfriend!
Walking the beach in FL

Walking the beach in FL

  • Helped Ilana practice her swimming at the YMCA
  • Organizing and minimizing my house
  • Drank good, yummy, red wine
Wine Corks!

Wine Corks!

  • Cross training work-outs (I’ll share my “stress fracture friendly” workouts soon!)

What my injury/recovery has taught me (so far….)?

  • I’m not immune to injuries! Overuse injuries, like stress fractures, sneak up on you after weeks/months of abuse.  I went from feeling unstoppable to a dead stop in an instant.
  • NEVER, ever, ever, EVER ignore an injury! As hard as it was to take 2 months off running, it was the only way for my body to fully recover.  Running on a stress fracture is bad news and can lead to more serious/permanent injuries if ignored!
  • The importance of proper rest and recovery and not over doing it when not injured.  While I never ran 7 days in a row, I was racing almost every weekend for almost 3 straight years.  My body finally had enough!
  • The importance of cross training and stretching, to reduce risk of muscle imbalances/tightness that can lead to injuries.
  • The importance of proper diet/nutrition.  I am NOT a “naturally skinny” girl! I counted on 30+ miles a week to off set my love for not so healthy foods! My pants have gotten a wee bit snug during my hiatus and I’ve had to cut back on my munching! Also, started taking vitamins, something I’ve always neglected in the past, to help my body heal.
  • Running does NOT define me.  It is something I enjoy to do, but it is not the only thing I like to do and it is NOT who I am.
  • To stop being so hard on myself.  I can be annoyingly Type A and even drive myself nuts at times with my attempts to be “good at everything” Sometimes it is o.k. not to be working towards my next “big goal”.
  • How to relax and be content doing absolutely nothing!
Amen!

Amen!


Have you ever been sidelined from running due to an injury? What did being injured teach you?

~Betty