Starting From Scratch, Again

It’s been a while.

Let’s just say 2015 hasn’t been the greatest year for running.

I missed most of the winter running due to family issues. My dad got sick and life got busy.  And I got lazy, let’s be perfectly honest. After the 1/2 marathon, one year ago today actually, I felt like I was in the best shape of my life. But that race really tired me out and physically my body needed a break even if my mind wouldn’t listen.  I got shin splints again and benched myself over Christmas. With my dad’s illness, it was hard to get motivated to run and when you don’t run regularly, the -17C temperatures certainly don’t invite you out.  So, I sat on my couch. I cross-stitched and ate what I wanted and gained back a few pounds.

Finally, I got some motivation and started running again in February or March, at this point it’s all a blur.  It was literally like starting from scratch.  Suddenly I was slow again and dealing with stupid aches and pains.  I had stopped the weight training as well and everything seemed harder.

Race-wise, I made the decision earlier in the year not to repeat any race I had done in 2015.  I planned all new races.  I did the Ride for Heart 5K, the Waterfront 10K, the  Womens’ 10K, the Beaches Jazz Run 5k and the Toronto 10-miler (16K).  None of these races were personal bests, or personal records for that matter.  I just went out and had fun. My training has sucked on and off all year.  Shin splints, groin aches, work-life, you name it there was a reason why I didn’t run regularly.

My weight has creeped up a bit this last month or so as I had to bench myself, yet again, due to wickedly painful posterior shin splints. It’s such a constant battle.  I took two weeks off before my last race, the Scotiabank 5k.  My shins felt okay and since I had started cross training on the stationary bike, I hadn’t lost any ground on my fitness.  Looking at the race photos, the weight gain is super obvious to me and it really bugs me. No one else would probably notice it but we are our own worst critics.

I decided today, on this 1 year anniversary of my first 1/2 marathon, that I will run that race again next year.  Come hell or high water.  I am going to do my utmost to keep up with cross-training and weights. Wish me luck!

 

A Pain in the ….

About a week before the 5K race I started noticing a subtle ache in my lower back.  It’s been there on and off in the past, mostly related to the pregnancies but this time it wasn’t going away.  I felt great during the race and after but in the week that followed the ache turned into something more.  Then I chalked it up to the monthly cycle low back pain but it didn’t go away when the monthly cycle left.  It started wrapping around to the front, near my hip bone.

Uh oh.

Injured.

Again?!?!?????

I thought I had been doing so well.  Apparently not.

I saw a massage therapist who suggested I see a chiropractor.  I had been thinking about getting into some ART therapy. I had heard about this from the FB running group I follow and heard it was pretty good for soft tissue injuries.  Now, the last time I saw a chiropractor was probably close to 20 years ago and it involved a lot of back and neck cracking.  I wasn’t too keen on going down that route.

I was pleasantly surprised by my experience with this new chiropractor.  He assessed me quickly as having very tight hips which were due to weak glutes.  Pretty much exactly as I had suspected and he went on to do some active release therapy on my hips.  I have incredibly tight hip flexors.

And this pretty much sums my situation up.

After 15 minutes of active release therapy, all I can say is “owie” and “wow”.  At the end of the session my lower back and hips, while still aching, felt 100% looser than when I went in.  Sadly that didn’t last but I have been working hard all week on stretching and opening up the hip joints.  I have a lot of work to do.  I am going to scale back on the distance and stick with no more than 5 km runs for a few weeks until this settles down.

Injuries Can Suck It!

Last week, I ran almost 10km in two runs.  The first was just over 4km, the second was a run home from the office via a different route that took me to 6km.  That was on Thursday.  My legs ached a bit – that damn shin splint or soleus muscle strain or posterior tibialis stress syndrome – whatever it is, I don’t know for sure, but it ached the entire run.  I stretched and iced when I got home. Friday if felt okay, Saturday the same.  So, being the stubborn pain in the ass that I am, after I did 5km on the stationary bike, I decided to go out for a run.

I was forced to shut it down at 1.5km. Sharp, searing pain in the left calf/shin/whatever the fuck hurts.

Sorry for the curse words.

I am so, so frustrated with myself.  I have continued to run despite being injured.  I thought I was gaining some headway, taking rest days and icing even on days I didn’t run.

But no.  I have truly screwed myself this time.

It hurts now just to walk.  I carried the baby to the park in the Baby Bjorn and my lower legs are on fire now.  I don’t think I will be running again for quite some time.

I am the proverbial doctor who is a bad patient.

I am pretty sure I need either an x-ray to rule out bilateral stress fractures in the tibia, or an ultrasound to rule out tears in the soleus muscle. Or both. With my luck, both.

Is this what I get for running too soon after having a baby?  Are my ligaments and joints still in pregnancy mode?

What is going on????

I’m so defeated by this.  If I can’t run, I don’t know what I’ll do.  Sure, I can bike to and from work. I can get on the stationary bike at home and do my pilates and floor exercises to stay in shape. But that’s not the same as running. It’s just not.

Sorry for the debby downer post.  I am trying to look on the bright side here – but I’m not sure there is one.

Yesterday my husband, who is a fair-weather runner and hasn’t run in months, went out and ran 6km like it was nothing. Really?  I guess I just need to remember this: