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Archive for September, 2010

Injuries = F

Haha, ok this picture has nothing to do with this post.

But, seriously, injuries do make me grimace. So what does F injuries stand for? (Ok that too, but I’m putting a more positive spin on this. Trying to keep it g-rated y’all) F= A Fantastic time to re-evaluate my training ang goals.

 

For the past two months, I’ve been merrily training my way towards the San Francisco Marathon (ahem, tiffany necklace is your finisher’s medal..sold!) which I’ve been really excited about (did I mention it was handed to you by a firefighter in a suit?) lol. Then, about three weeks ago while visting my parents I ran in the Cardinals Run Home for the Kids 6k Charity Race. I ran this race because my Dad, who lives in St. Louis due to work, wanted to see me run a race so he signed me up for it, and it was also the first race I’ve ever raised money for. The good news? I placed second in my division! The bad news? I could barely walk the next day due to what was diagnosed as an injured sciatica. (read: painful, painful feeling of being stabbed constantly in my lower back and booty) It has been HARD, humbling and heart wrenching for me to say the least to go from easily running 8-9 miles, to barley being able to run 1 without pain. The last couple of weeks of only being able to cross-train and some very bad runs  has caused me to reflect on a couple things, namely, what I did wrong and what I have learned:

What I did wrong and what I’ve learned:

  • No real rest days. I talked myself into the belief that walking on the treadmill at incline for an hour, totally counted as a rest day. After all, we were originally cavemen! We weren’t meant to be sedentary! -Reality Check: No we weren’t meant to sit on our bootay’s but yes, high mileage runners do need a day of doing NOTHING other than LIGHT, LIGHT exercise. Go on a twenty minute walk or walk slowly with no incline on the treadmill for 30-60 minutes? Fine. But doing a walking hill workout does not equal rest for the leggies.
  • Did not replace my woooorn shoes. This was bad and I think this was the number one factor to my injury. You are supposed to replace your shoes every 300-500 miles. I run 150 miles a month on average and i’ve had my shoes for about six-seven months. Yeah, bad.
  • Strength Train! I need to be doing more strength training a minimum of two-three times a week. It gets hard to keep up with strength training as the miles increase during training but it’s a fabulous way to prevent injuries. By strengthening my core and legs, I take the pressure off my joints a little.
  • Yoga at least once a week. I’m a firm believer in the healing and restorative power of yoga. Between school, work, social life and training, I need to find a way to fit it in once a week by making a no excuses appointment.
  • Cross-training can give you just as good a workout as running, if not better. Go figure. I have not been sitting on my pain causing booty the last two weeks. Instead I’ve been following doctor’s orders and trying to stay as active as possible to keep the muscle from compressing. This means I’ve been doing the elliptical, stairmaster, incline walking and a teensy bit of running. Due to wearing a heart rate moniter, I’ve notice that I’m getting just as hard as a workout and I’m also prolly working more areas of my body.
  • Oh, and did I mention I also got four hours of sleep due to staying out late two nights in a row before the race? Yeah, that couldn’t have helped. Note to self- do not run races on vacation.

The hardest part of this injury? Well, only in the last few days have I began to be able to run without pain. I feel veeerrry lucky it wasn’t worse, but the marathon is exactly in one month from today- October 17th. And I’ve missed three weeks of training, in the most critical part of the training plan. There’s a very stubborn part of me that wants to try to run the whole thing anyway, but I’ve decided (or rather i’m making myself decide) I’d rather be a runner for life, than run this one marathon and risk seriously re-injuring myself. That means dropping to the half marathon, which luckily Nike says I can do. Still an accomplishment! But it’s a hard thing to swallow, especially with various people asking me how training for the marathon is going. It’s silly, cuz I know that finishing the half marathon will be an accomplishment to be proud of, especially since I’m just now building my running base again, but I still feel sort of like I failed even though I know that’s not the case.

My advice to you (and myself)? Train SMART, take rest days, cross-train, strength-train, REPLACE YOUR SHOES, and have fun.

Oh, don’t worry, there’s always a silver lining in every cloud. Half Marathoners get the tiffany necklace too. 🙂

Have you had to deal with injuries from running or any other exercise? How did you cope and what did you learn?

What

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