Tag Archives: injury

I’m giving it a “Tri”

26 Apr

swim bike run

Last year I conquered the Smuttynose Half Marathon.  Training for that 13.1 mile race was one of the best experiences of my life.  It taught me so much about myself, my strength (both physical and mental), my body & my ability to persevere.  I sacrificed a lot in order to complete my training, I sustained and overcame injury & just kept putting one foot in front of the other every day of my training program.  The big day came and I ate that race for LUNCH!!! I am proud to say that I KILLED IT.

As I do every year in early January, this year I planned out my goals for 2012.  I was torn between running a full marathon and doing a triathlon.  After a LOT of back and forth, I ultimately decided to change it up a bit.  I registered for the Lobsterman Triathlon in Maine on September 15, 2012.  This is an Olympic distance triathlon [Swim 1.5K (.93 miles), Bike 40K (24.7 Miles), Run 10K (6.2 miles)] and is like NOTHING else I’ve ever done!  People have been asking me WHY in the world I’d register myself for an Olympic distance triathlon without ever having done one before, and these have been my reasons:

1) I know I can run a marathon…I am a runner, running comes easy to me and I enjoy running.  I know that I could do 26.2 with the proper training.  I also know that I would probably exacerbate the injuries I sustained while training for my half marathon by the sheer volume of running required for the race.

2) I grew up around a pool [and can do a MEAN cannonball] but have no proper swimming technique or form.  I want the challenge of learning a new sport and skill while incorporating it into my training program.

3) The cross-training will be much more beneficial in the long run for my body [I have tendonitis in my left ankle and a partially torn meniscus in my right knee].  A training program that includes biking and swimming in addition to running is a well-rounded approach that will help my body.

4) Though I’m registered individually, I am doing my training with a group of friends and it makes us a “team” of sorts.  I miss being part of a team, and my Tri Team motivates me, holds me accountable, and makes it SO much more fun.

5) I like challenges.  Even more, I like BIG challenges.  And an Olympic distance triathlon is just that!!!

There you have it.  I’m registered for the September event and have already registered for 3 sprint triathlons over the summer to help prep! Sprint triathlon training has just started and I am looking forward to a fun summer with my team!  I will be blogging along the way- sharing stories, successes, setbacks, silliness, photos, frustrations, accomplishments, etc.  I would love to hear stories or tips from anyone who has done a triathlon, or anyone who is currently in training!

Please leave questions and comments below!!

the moral of this MONSTER Monday mishap

16 Nov

Yesterday’s MONSTER Monday workout started off much like any other.  My lifting pal and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and do our workout in the park.  We did a bit of TRX, some body weight training, tossed a football and included some hill sprints; it was all so far, so good.  Next, my lifting pal suggested, we would run up the stairs and at the landing do a lateral shuffle and chest pass back and forth with a soccer ball, then continue running up the stairs to the top.  Same story on the way down.  Going to the top was just grand, however on the way back down I managed to step into a deep sinkhole as I caught the ball on the last chest pass.  As is the case with most falls/injuries, I could see it happening all in slow motion and the thought going through my head was “Oh S***!!! I am going to smash my face into these stairs!!!”  Without even thinking about what to do, my body automatically reacted; I let the ball go and somehow managed to put my arms out to catch my fall, my face landing a mere 3 inches away from the cold concrete steps.  It was SCARY.

monster monday mishap

Ok Here’s a glimpse at the damage.  [I opted to include a link to another post, rather than just put a big ol’ picture of my bloody leg up here, just in case anyone gets queasy easily! 🙂 ]

After checking to make sure I was okay, my lifting pal (and I) burst into a roar of laughter.  Together we sat on the stairs for well over a few minutes laughing like a couple of hyenas.  She gave me her best reenactment of what she saw in slow motion, and I recounted mine.  We both could not believe that in the split second of my misstep, I managed to catch myself from totally falling and getting VERY hurt.

Here’s where the moral of MONSTER Monday comes in….We decided that it was thanks to lots of functional training that I was able to do so.

[Functional Training, in one description, is “Multi-joint, multi-planar, proprioceptively-enriched activity that involves deceleration (force reduction), acceleration (force production) and stabilization; controlled amounts of instability; and management of gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum.”  

In plain English, “Functional training involves movements that are specific — in terms of mechanics, coordination and/or energetics — to one’s activities of daily living (ADLs).]  **source**

I have read myriad articles outlining and explaining in detail the many benefits of functional training.  I have heard well-known and respected fitness professionals advocate for this modality of training over others because of its benefits in everyday life.  I, myself, have explained to clients how and why functional training is superior to many other modalities.  Training in planes of motion & training the body to work in a cohesive manner through movement patterns simulates real life actions.  In other words, training the upper body, lower body, and core to work in unison while IN the gym will automatically improve mobility outside the gym, doing everyday things.  In addition, working in this fashion is more efficient and effective in terms of reaching fitness goals.  Conversely, training a single muscle in isolation while the rest of the body is immobilized is not realistic in nature [think using a bicep curl or leg extension machine].  It is also a much less efficient way of working out, given the goals of most individuals.  Some people buy my explanation, and others don’t.  Bottom line, without functional training, I probably would’ve ended up with a broken nose, some missing teeth, or worse.  I was quite happy to walk away from the “scene of the crime” on my own two feet with a few cuts and scrapes.

I now have a new (and favorite, #1) reason in support of functional training: IT LITERALLY SAVES FACE!

Half Marathon Training: final week & RACE DAY recap!

4 Oct

I DID IT! I successfully completed my half marathon, and boy am I thrilled!  Before I gush about how amazing the finish felt, I’ll back up and quickly recap my ninth (and final) week of training.

The final week of training messed with my head.  The physical requirements were minimal: I did my Monster Monday lift, ran 4 miles Tues, did 1hr of Spin on Wed, and ran a simple 2 miles on Thursday. And then that was it!! I felt so STRANGE doing nothing Fri/Sat, but there was only one word on my training sheet for those two days: Rest.  So I did!  I tried to rest my mind as well, which proved to be a lot more difficult than resting my body.  I was excited, I was nervous, I was anxious, and I was scared.  I tried my best to sleep on Saturday night, and ended up dreaming of the race. 

Sunday morning came around and the weather was RAINY and WINDY on Hampton Beach.  My umbrella turned inside out, and so did my belly.  I had not anticipated the possibility of inclement weather.  However, as the runners gathered at the start, the rain slowed to a mist and my fear turned into excitement.  With the sound of the gun we were off!  I had prepared a very carefully planned playlist that got me through.  I checked my watch at every mile, and at every mile it was the same- I averaged between 7:30 and 8 min pace.  I stopped to take an energy gel between miles 6-7 and took a few cups of Gatorade along the way as well. 

Miles 10, 11, and 12 were the toughest.  There were next to no supporters, as everyone wanted to be at the finish.  Thank goodness for the 2 little kids sticking their hands out for high fives- they saved me!!!  It was a true mental test for those last few miles.  I kept thinking about all my training: my early morning runs, my speed workouts, my lifting sessions, my determination to overcome injury, and my promise that I’d finish the race.  Before I knew it, the FINISH line was in sight.  I spotted my friends and family, cut over and gave some high five’s and crossed the finish line with pride and joy.  1:40:44!!!!

 

After reflecting and letting it all sink in for a day or so, I am able to realize the incredible accomplishment that I achieved.  It was no miracle, no feat of extraordinary measure.  No, it was all possible because of one thing: persistence.  I trained for 9 long weeks to get my body ready; I put one foot in front of the other [pun intended] and kept at it.  If I had attempted this race without training, or even with only 4 or 5 weeks training, I would’ve been setting myself up for failure.  By following through on a well thought out plan, I best prepared my body and mind to take on this challenge.  I realized that I will always be able to accomplish anything I put my mind to.  BUT, I must do it with 100% of what I have; persistence and consistency are the keys with which my dreams will turn into reality.  In the face of road blocks [like my ankle injury], I must always keep my eyes on my goal and persevere.

Completing this half marathon 4 days before my 30th birthday fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution and huge goal for me.  I am proud and excited to have it under my belt.  I look forward to training for and completing the FULL 26.2 next October!!!

What a difference a day makes!

30 Sep

Yesterday I had my long-awaited appointment with a foot specialist who examined my ankle/leg/gait, etc.  He confirmed that I have tendonitis in my left ankle [peroneus longus] and that i “toe in” when I strike the ground with my forefoot. He also confirmed what I suspected for many years: my left leg is 3/8 in. shorter than my right.  He fitted me for inserts to correct the issues and wants to see me back in two weeks, after my races.

I should have been happy, right?  Well, for some reason I wasn’t.  I arrived at work in a VERY cranky state and just felt like complaining and pouting all day.  Every little thing made me more upset, and things that normally wouldn’t even bother me caused me to be furious.  I let myself get into a big funk and I hated it.  But the more I was in it, the more I allowed myself a pity party for being in it.  “I’m allowed to be in a bad mood” I thought to myself, “everyone is in a bad mood once in a while!”   Several things were contributing to my miserable mood and I was getting worse as the day went on.  I tried to talk myself out of it and was okay for a few hours, but then something else would happen to send me into a craze.  It was just one of those days.

bad day

At the end of a very long day, I got into bed so THANKFUL for the day to be over.  I wanted to throw in the towel on the day and have it be DONE.  I woke up this morning and felt like a million bucks.  It was as if I slept off my bad mood.  I am much more relaxed and reasonable to talk to today; the tiny things aren’t getting me upset beyond belief.  I am happy that the sun is shining and that I have a very exciting weekend ahead.  I am also very thankful that I was able to snap out of my funk so that I can be focused on my race which is in a few short days!  Today and tomorrow are “rest” so no working out, just seeing clients, writing programs, and cooking- all things I love!

What a difference ONE day (a night’s sleep, actually) made for my mood and outlook.  HAPPY FRIDAY!

Have you ever been in a funk?  How long did it last? What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?

Half Marathon Training: week 8 recap

26 Sep

This was my second-to-last week of half marathon training!  If you read last week’s post, you know that I hit quite the training “hiccup” with some pretty significant swelling in my ankle and left calf.  Wear heels for two nights and pay the price tenfold! At the end of last week, I was still unsure as to whether or not I’d be able to run the race; it was touch and go for a few days.  I prayed more during that week than I have in a long time.  Someone must be listening to me “Upstairs” because my ankle has been responding very well to massage on a frequent basis.  I have been thanking my lucky stars that I have a friend who is a fantastic massage therapist; she’s been a lifesaver throughout this process.  This week I was more vigilant with my pre/post workout stuff than ever.  I made absolutely certain to ice and elevate my ankle after EVERY run/cross training workout, as well as before going to sleep.  I took ibuprofen when needed and spent every waking moment in sneakers.  I cared not one bit when I was the only girl in sneakers at Ned Devine’s on Saturday night.  I took every single precaution I could to keep the “egg” of inflammation far, far away!

 

half marathon

My training schedule this week was amended to give my ankle some extra rest: subbed out one run for 1hr 45 mins of Spinning, and subbed out another for 1hr on the ARC trainer.  I did my last long run yesterday (Sunday) and it was a very tolerable 8 miles.  The nerves started kicking in once I realized that it would be the longest run I’d do until the race.  I know that I’ll be able to complete 13.1 miles but I want to do it to the BEST of my ability.   I am trying to balance out the desire to run like the wind with the reality that I have an injury that requires me to be wise about my pace.  I know that this upcoming week will be a taper week for my body but that I’ll ramp up the intensity of training my “mental muscle”.  I plan on taking time to make a motivating playlist and surround myself with positive thoughts/quotes/images.

Half Marathon Training: week 7 recap

19 Sep

Week 7…ohhhhh, week 7. What a test of mental strength this was.  Isn’t 7 supposed to be a LUCKY number?! What happened, you ask?  Well I had to face the thing which I dread the most; the word that causes me to hang my head, shudder, and cringe all at the same time.  Yes: injury.  As you may know from my previous posts I’ve been nursing tendonitis in my left ankle for the duration of my half marathon training.  It had been so far, so good until I made a less-than-wise decision to wear high heels for two nights in a row last weekend while at my friend’s wedding. I knew heels were bad for me, but I decided there wasn’t much else I could do- can’t wear Nike’s with a dress, right?!  So, I wore the shoes and cut a rug at the wedding (had SO much fun dancing) but certainly paid the price on Monday morning 😦

 

 

WEAR THESE…..

 


AND END UP WITH THIS…

 

Ok so that’s a bit of an exaggeration… I am definitely NOT in a cast…

I met with my friend/massage therapist/personal trainer/savior who was in shock and awe at how inflamed it was.  The look on her face said it all- this was bad, real bad.  She advised me NOT to run at all for the week except for my long run which was on Saturday.  I couldn’t believe it was that bad. I was heart-broken.  She suggested that I spin and do the ARC trainer for my cardio during the week, and thankfully I was also scheduled for massage on Thursday.  I followed her advice, and saw her Thurs for my treatment.  She is a miracle worker, and when I was done with the massage I got up, looked at my left ankle and exclaimed “I’M SKINNY AGAIN!”  The “egg” of inflammation in my leg was gone and I felt SO much better.  I shortened my long run from 11 miles to 8 miles on Saturday and ran it with a friend who kept me at a slower-than-usual, steady pace.  I was cautioned that I wasn’t totally out of the woods yet, and that it is still very touch and go.  I am making sure to ice, ice, ice and do everything I can to keep my ankle elevated.  This is easier said than done when your job requires you to be on your feet moving around 12+ hours per day.

Right now I am trying to get used to the idea that IF I am healthy enough to run this race, I’ll be doing it to finish instead of for time, as I originally planned.

I will admit, this got me pretty down but I am taking it one day at a time and trying to remember that everything happens for a reason… Have you ever had an injury that put a big wrench in your training plans?? What did you do to cope? I could use some suggestions!

Half Marathon Training: week 6 recap

12 Sep

Week 6 is under my belt!! My Half Marathon is getting closer by the day and I realized this week that I have become so attached to my training schedule, I truly will miss it when it’s over!  I have written previous posts about making alterations to my training program due to travel, work, and life but for the most part I have become quite accustomed to waking up each day and looking at that trusty piece of paper to find what my task is for the day.  When I’m done with the day’s training, I take a lot of joy in putting a HUGE check mark on the day.

  It gives me that extra sense of accomplishment to see those check marks add up over the days and weeks.  Looking at that sheet of paper has also given me a palpable reminder that I have been putting in the hard work necessary to complete a half marathon.  When I start to doubt my abilities and start questioning my skills, all I have to do is whip out my tattered sheet of paper and I see the proof there in black and white.  I have been putting in the work, I will reap the rewards.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other (both literally and figuratively) I will make it to the finish!