Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Another run ticked off

I'm definitely on the road to recovery, which is such a fantastic feeling. This morning I ran 6.5 km with Krissi. After about 2 km my back started complaining, so we slowed it down a tad. That seemed to do the trick and I felt fine during the day. Fine enough to spend 15 mins in the garden, digging up weeds.

I'm off to the gym again tomorrow morning. Back to day 1 of my program, so it will be a warm up on the bike, followed by mainly arms work. The other cardio segments are rowing and boxing. On Thursday I am doing a day trip to Melbourne so there won't be time for the gym or a run. Friday morning I see Krissi. Friday evening it's back to the physio. By the way Andrew, you made your comment on the iPad, didn't you? It keeps correcting physio to physic. (Thanks for the comments by the way.)

One thing is for certain, it's such a relief to be out running again.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Real running

I'm feeling really pleased because I got out there and ran a slow 5 km. I was dreading it. Complete paranoia has set in. If running caused me pain the last time I ran, then it might cause pain again. I came incredibly close to calling Lola and cancelling. I even had a completely reasonable excuse prepared. I had to finish my uni assignment and I wasn't going to be able to do that if I was too crippled to sit at the computer.

Anyway, I managed to get myself dressed in my running gear without using my prepared excuse. Lola kindly put up with my paranoia, walking for a while before we ventured off to run. She was under strict instructions to crash-tackle me if I stupidly developed an "I'm indestructible" mindset after a few km of running, as the plan was to run for 5 km and no further. We stuck to plan, I went home, sat at the pc for a marathon "I wish I'd written my assignment up earlier" session, and I'm feeling amazingly good. A little stiff and sore, which makes perfectly good sense as I haven't done any real running for four weeks, but nothing to worry about.

Hopefully I'll feel just as good tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off at 5:30 am for the gym.

The plan is to run with Krissi on Tuesday and Friday, go to the gym Mon, Wed and Sat, and get completely back to normal. Fingers crossed.

PS I had no idea that going to the physio was so much like being hit by a truck! Sheesh! No wonder I've avoided it all these years. I don't know how the real runners (JoJo, Emma, Sara, Andrew and co) manage to keep going back to the physio.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Back to the gym

I made it back to the gym on Wednesday morning and again on Friday. It's the start of a new 12 week program at Flames Fitness, the gym at the end of the street. The way the gym works is that there is a team of gym staff who each look after a handful of clients. You book in for your session so that there are enough staff to go around. If you don't show up for your session and don't ring them, they ring you. You can avoid the phone call by not booking, but if you don't show up for a few days they call to book you back in.

When you start a program you get a little more face to face time as they take you through the exercises to be sure you know how to do them. Áfter that, they set you up, keep a general eye on you, and off you go. Graham and I have been going together, which is great for me. I'd be all too tempted to stay in bed and skip the gym if he wasn't going.

Mind you, he's in China at the moment (work trip for four weeks) so I'm having to dig up my own motivation. I'd been struggling with it for a few weeks before my back went into melt down. After my first session back I realised that maybe my lack of motivation was really a sign that I was overdoing it. Mind you, I'd been in denial about some of the early warning signs, so that would make sense. Anyway, I really enjoyed myself on Wednesday.

What I did find was that, rather than ensuring that I didn't work so hard that I ended up injured again, I had to work at not wrapping myself up in so much cotton wool that I may as well have stayed in bed. Fortunately I was pretty sure that day 1 would focus on arms. It did. As for any exercises that involved using my legs, I told myself that I'd managed my short run the night before without any adverse effect. The session finished with a boxing circuit, that involved 10 wall to walls with 5 body weight squats after each one. I thought about leaving the squats out completely, decided to give them a go and stop if they hurt and ended up doing all 50. I also really enjoyed the w2w's for the first time in months. (Light bulb moment: my body had been trying to tell me something but I hadn't been listening.)

That day I felt like I was my old self. I'd done my morning exercise and felt terrific, which made me all bright and cheery at work.

I had been booked in to the gym on Thursday. I woke up tired, decided to switch sessions to Friday, and was grateful for the decision when later in the day I suffered a sor back followed by a little hip pain. I didn't feel the squats in my legs at all, which I think means that my leg muscles are still so tight that the pain is being referred straight to my back and hips. I'll have to run that theory past the physio.

Speaking of the physio, I have to reschedule my appointment as she went home with a migraine. I'm keen to see what sort of difference the "lift" that she's organising for me will make. On her advice I've put the innersole of one runner into the other shoe, but it's too soon to tell if it's doing anything. I want the answer to be that simple, so I'm hoping that it does.

As for the Friday session, I enjoyed the program that Jonno had written for me. After my hips hurting the day before I exercised my patience during the 1.5 km treadmill "fast as you can" run. I wanted to run the whole distance, but I did the "chi running" body check, paying attention to how my legs were feeling during the warmup. I started off walking, built up to a run, realised after 2 mins that my left knee was hurting, went back to walking as another warm up, then went to a jog 1 min, walk 2 min pattern which got me through the distance.

Later in the session I had to do leg curls. My paranoia started to kick in, and I seriously considered asking the PT to let me skip them. Fortunately I noticed he had the weight on about half of my usual weight so I decided to give them a go. I was able to manage them safely. In between sets my program had me scheduled to use the vibration machine. I had that exercise changed to an iso-squat, which I managed better than I expected.

I seem to have pulled up ok from that session as well, which is comforting. I've booked myself in for three gym sessions next week. Krissi is off in WA, competing in a mountain bike event. I've two running sessions booked with her the following week. I'm planning to do some walking sessions next week, as preparation. The dog will love that. :-)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tiny run

I have been feeling so much better after my physio appt on Friday. For the last couple of days I tested out my back by pulling a few weeds in the garden. Today, I took Floyd for a short walk. It was only meant to be a walk, but I saw someone out running and had the urge to run home. Not very far - probably only 500 metres, but I ran. :-)

All I have to do now is see how it goes. I have discovered that small movements can cause huge pain when your back is complaining, so I am taking baby steps. Fingers crossed, I haven't done any harm.

Tomorrow morning I'm back in the gym for the first time in what seems like simply ages. I am so looking forward to it. Tomorrow evening I have a physio appointment, so if I do "overdo" things, at least I'm booked in for treatment.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Not running

Oh my goodness. I had no idea how much pain I was in for. As the back pain disappeared all these other pains appeared. Talk about one step forward and two steps backward. Last Friday I power walked instead of running with Krissi. Did my stretches. Did my physio stretches. Went to work. Lasted an hour, just, then went home to spend the rest of the day in bed. On Saturday less back pain, but incredible shin pain. On Sunday a pinched nerve. I nearly threw up from the pain. Trust me to have extreme pain on a long weekend and to have gone to a physio who was spending a week at the coast. After that my right hip started to hurt. I was thinking all sorts of disastrous thoughts.

Slowly things improved. I had a sore butt from the pinched nerve and my hip was still hurting, but my back was ok. I was able to stop taking pain killers at last, but I was super cautious about doing anything that might set it all off again. I cancelled all my running sessions with Krissi, paused my gym membership and basically went into my cave. Today I saw the physio again to have a look at the underlying cause. She had one look at my shoes, said "just as I thought", did a few checks, and told me that one of my legs is shorter than the other.

I'm feeling a little silly, as so much "starting to run" advice says "go see a podiatrist", who would probably have noticed this. Anyway, I now know so I'll be able to do something about it. Not only that, the physio says that once my short leg is working properly I'll probably run better. How cool is that?

A few more treatments, but I should be running again in a few weeks.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Still running

I started this blog to help me stay motivated to run. I always thought that not blogging would probably mean I wasn't running. Instead, running has become a habit and my blogging has fallen by the wayside.

Today, though, I'm inspired to blog. I'm not sure if it's because of my new iPad or because I'm "injured". I guess time will tell.

The new iPad is likely to make it easier for me to keep up to date with all my favorite blogs, but I'm not that keen on typing lots on it. (advantage: succinct blog entries!)

The "injury" is a very sore lower back, from tight hammies and glutes. Never having suffered from backpain like this before, I hadn't appreciated just how debilitating it is. I have developed a world of sympathy for sufferers over the past few weeks.

I'm on the mend. The physio has given me stretches to do, I'm booked in for another session and there's light at the end of the tunnel, thank goodness.

What I hadn't expected was how worried I would be about not running. At the moment I'm running 7 km three times a week. The other week I did a 10 km fun run and made my goal time easily. I ran my usual Tuesday and Friday runs, feeling a little more sore than usual, applied anti-inflammatory cream, had a hot bath or two, skipped my Sunday run because my back hurt, and then wasn't able to do my shoelaces up on Monday morning. What a horrible realization that was!

Fortunately, I was able to book into a physio that morning. A new experience for me, which had me feeling quite apprehensive. Fortunately, Gina gave me confidence that I would be able to manage the pain of the treatment. Even better, the treatment has helped, as have the anti-inflammatory tablets that one of my friends recommended. I'd like to heal faster, but I guess that I'm also being given a chance to work on my patience. (Who knew that back pain caused crankiness?)

I'm also discovering that improvements can end up feeling like backward steps. I suffer through the physio stretches after warming up, manage to do better, feel really pleased by my progress, then can't sit down at work because it hurts too much. I'm definitely going to be much more sympathetic to people who are recovering from injury in future! Oh, and more disciplined when it comes to stretching! Really I will.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Relay for Life 2010

I decided yesterday, while running around the AIS track at this year's Relay for Life, to update my blog for the first time in ages.

Running round and round the track, I realised some amazing things.

Number 1 - I've been running all year since last Relay for Life. While I might have only made it out once a week at times, I've been out there consistently. Funnily enough, I haven't been blogging about it. I think that's because, when I first started running, writing about it was one of my motivators. Now I don't need the writing to inspire me to run.

Number 2 - I'm definitely a runner. I was wondering was I a runner or a jogger recently. At Relay for Life I realised that it doesn't matter how slowly I go, I'm running not jogging.

Number 3 - I am running so much better now than I did in the past. Last year I did a "run a few, walk a few" combination, that had nothing to do with how fit I was and everything to do with the mental challenge of running round and round in circles. This weekend, I struggled with the first few laps, then relaxed into it and started to enjoy myself. I was scoping out the crowds, listening to conversations as I passed groups of spectators, enjoying the colour and movement and having a great time.

Number 4 - I achieved my goal, set a few years ago, of running the whole of my relay stint. Woohoo! I'm glad I realised it while I was achieving it, because I was able to enjoy it.

I totally stuffed up my plans for the day, by managing to double book myself. I was supposed to run for an hour, then walk with my injured running buddy, Lola. Fortunately, my hairdresser sends a text to remind you about the appointment you made weeks earlier. Yep, it was right when my relay shift ended. Because I run with an old work group, I have to rely on email to organise my times. Unfortunately, that's not as efficient as wandering down to the organiser's office. I ended up with a split shift - half an hour before my hair appt and half an hour immediately afterwards.

I decided I'd run for an hour beforehand, so I headed off early. Roadworks killed that idea. Who builds a bridge on a weekend? Oh, of course it's a good time, but why the one on my direct route to the AIS track? I ended up getting to the track late, so I only managed a 45 minute run before my hair appt.

A quick wash before heading off to the hairdressers (Emma didn't need to be inhaling eau de relay all morning), no product or fancy blow wave (why bother?) and a dash back to the arena (what were they thinking, blocking off all the parking areas near the track?) to do my second shift. I wasn't at all sure that I'd run the second one, because of cooling down. When I started, I told myself that all I had to do was get through the first two laps (they'd been hard the first time) and then I'd be ok. It worked.

The first shift passed in a happy blur of taking in everything that surrounded me. There was an awkward moment where two girls (well built ladies like me, only twenty years younger) from another team passed me ät a fast shuffle. I was a little embarrassed to be left standing by two semi-runners but I passed them a mere 100 m later as they had exhausted themselves. They were in a team that was relaying properly (one runner would do a lap, then the two of them, then the other runner, etc). I saw them a couple of times during my shift. When they were leaving the track, I was running past them. I tapped them both on the shoulder and told them that they'd done a great job. The smiles on their faces were fantastic. Mind you, a tall leggy runner had told me "you're doing a great job" as she powered past me earlier. I love that running camaraderie that you experience in events.

On my second shift, one of the people from the team the two ladies were from called out to me "great job, how many laps?" My reply "no idea". I was letting my team mates do the counting, with my Garmin as a trusty backup. Three laps later, as I was about to finish, the same lady offered to count my laps for me. Again, that sense of camaraderie was really special.

I'm already looking forward to next year's event.