Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about something else going wrong with me. Quite the opposite. This is a post about how I am finally feeling like myself again. I am regaining confidence. I’m working hard to regain any lost momentum and strength and fitness that I have lost over the past year of being unable to run.
This week started off with me still dealing with the aches and pains in my left quad (aka: the leg that doesn’t have the torn hip labrum) which just got me all worked up all over again. I contacted Katie (my physical therapist) on Tuesday prior to running some hill repeats to get her thoughts on it. I didn’t hear back from her before I went running, but she managed to work me in on Thursday afternoon to take a look at the quad. We discussed cutting back on my mileage…just in case.
That being said, as I mentioned in a previous blog…it seems to just be a muscle strain, and it doesn’t bother me while I’m running. Sometimes when I am warming up…and cooling down…but not during the actual act of running. I purchased a (pink) lacrosse ball this weekend to help give some trigger point therapy to the spot and so far so good.
Despite all of that, I had a horrible treadmill run on Wednesday…rain. LOTS of rain. So, after that, I made it a point to get outside on Thursday for my 4 miles that morning. It wasn’t easy…but it was SO much better than the treadmill. And I don’t hurt like I do after running on a treadmill…so there is some helpful insight.
And so…with a bit of stress at work…a couple of good and bad running days…and lots of good food (that I cooked)…it was a pretty good week. And with that being said…here are three things I’m loving this week:
1. Running With the Gang
So, there is this amazing group of fantastic runners that I used to go out and pound out some miles with…every Saturday. They were my training group. They pushed me, they made me better, they accepted me. I trained with them through cold winters and hot summers. They helped me through injuries and helped me with each comeback. Well, with a year of being mostly unable to run, I wasn’t up to running with them. My speed is lacking and I just don’t feel fit enough to keep up. BUT…that being said, on Tuesday, I ran 6 miles of hill repeats with Matthew (who trained hard with me the summer I was working toward my first marathon)…and on Saturday, I ran 10 amazing miles with most of the group. It felt awesome to be out there again, clicking off the miles. At one point, we even joined up with the Anthem 5K, relatively close to the leaders of the race. And as we ran through Mile 2 with them, we all commented on how this is what it felt like to be up front. We left the course shortly after that to round off the mileage. I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt to be out there with all of them again. I had really missed it and them. And Matthew has told me a few times that he and everyone else are so happy that I am back. Over 10 very strong miles later…I feel like my comeback is officially a comeback. Add on the 2 fantastic miles I added in this afternoon (it was SO windy, but it was too pretty not to go out and run…so I kept it short and easy)…and my confidence might slowly be building too. I owe a lot of that to all the people who have continued to tell me to be careful, to do what is best for me, to not rush anything…and who have been waiting for me to come back to them. Arms open. I’m back!
2. THIS BOOK!
I am a bookworm. And I love it when I’m walking through a bookstore or a library and a title or subject catches my eye. That actually happened on Friday. The book is Fit Not Healthy by Vanessa Alford, a true and personal account of the author’s downward spiral in an attempt to improve her performance in running, pushing her body harder and further, determined to be the best runner she can be. Even though she was a physiotherapist, she soon becomes trapped in a spiral of extreme dieting and exercise in order to improve her performance and maintain her ‘fit and healthy’ look. She ignored the growing concerns of friends and family, denying that there was anything unhealthy about her fitness training, until her body begins to rebel against her. She was offered a commercial sponsorship and attracted the attentions of elite coaches, but striving to become faster and fitter, she fell into the trap of overexercising and calorie deprivation. I have known and still know so many runners (and athletes) who do not fuel their body right…who take stupid risks with their helps because they are trying to fit into their idea of the “perfect” body, the “perfect” weight, the “perfect” athlete. Denial is a demon that is hard to defeat. This book has had me turning page after page. The disordered thinking, eating, and exercising that Alford did is not only scary…but an eye opener. My dearest friends…we are all beautiful works in progress. DO NOT try to better yourself by taking risks with your body. It will and does catch up to you! Take care of your body…it’s the only place you have to live.
There really is something so therapeutic about shopping. Retail therapy is real and it is life-changing. This weekend, along with getting some upcoming birthday shopping done, my roommate and I both invested a little bit…in ourselves. I purchased some reflective gear (capris and a matching top) for running, as well as a pair of Adidas Grete Shorts. I usually am a running skirt girl, but I LOVE these shorts. And I got them for $10 at the Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass. I picked up shampoo bar and body wash from LUSH (LOVE LUSH!), and I picked up good eats at Annie May’s Sweet Café, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe, Rice, Cellar Door Chocolates, and of course, the food of my own making…including getting some batch cooking done for this week. All my meals are prepped and ready. And it didn’t take long at all. NICE! AND…I also have indulged in some delicious berries and peaches this weekend too. LOVE my fruit for a snack. And some of my favorites are close to being back in season!!
All-in-all…what a fantastic weekend. And now…I’m working on some upcoming goals and plans…and feeling good. I haven’t been able to say that in a long time.
How did you spend your weekend? Do anything fun? Eat anything delicious? Read anything amazing? Tell me all about it!