If you’re my friend or have read my blog or have passed me on the street once, you probably know I’ve struggled with about one running injury every year for the past five years. You’ve probably had to deal with the “registration announcement” and then the “dropping out” of multiple races. Philly, NYC, Wineglass…registrations that have all been moved to the receipts folder of my Gmail, never to be seen again.
Speaking of which, I’m really not sure why I’ve always felt the need to “announce” my next race here. Like I’m Shalane Flanagan, training for the Olympics. I’m officially embarrassed.
Still, for whatever reason, you’re still here reading (THANK YOU) and I finally have good news for you. I started physical therapy a few weeks ago and it appears my body finally got the memo that ain’t nobody got time for that. (Knock on wood.) “That” being injury.
The bad news is that I no longer have unlimited amounts of time to binge watch full seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Naturally I’ve already been considering which marathons and triathlons to sign up for because I like to make questionable decisions. I’m trying really hard to be smart and patient. So far it has worked and I haven’t signed up for anything, but we’ll see how long that restraint lasts.
Disregarding the arthritis thing for now, my PT thinks the IT Band/knee issues lie in my glutes (which my iPhone keeps auto-correcting to “flutes”, just FYI). I believe his exact words were “we need to exhaust your glutes every day.” EVERY DAY.
Well, my glutes are exhausted every day. I can barely sit. SUCCESS. He gave me a band and some exercises in which I hold a position for a minute (instead of doing reps). Things like leg raises, clamshells, squat holds, bridges. I’ve been doing the exercises every day like the diligent little student I am.
But those squat holds. Good lord.
The first time he had me do them with the band at the clinic, I was like, “Dude, I could hang out here forever. Try me.” The second time I was shaking and dripping sweat and trying to cover up the fact that I was dripping sweat.
I’ve been 3 times now and he keeps adding more exercises. (I’ll share them in another post soon because I think it could be helpful for some people!)
I’ve slowly increased my mileage and although I feel slow and out of shape, there’s not much pain. Besides some normal tightness and the I feel like an elephant pain from having to get my body used to consistent running again.
ANYWHO. All the running blogs I read have one thing in common, and that’s the fact that they actually write about running. AND NOW I CAN TOO. Sort of. Here’s what I’ve been doing:
Running: About 4-4.5 easy miles at a time, 2-3 times a week. 3x a week is a good week right now. On Monday I bumped it up to five whole miles. Cue the confetti. It even (accidentally) turned into a progression run. As soon as I turned off my Mindy Kaling audiobook (so good, BTW) around mile 3, my pace picked up by about 30 seconds per mile. Sometimes I just really want to listen to people talk while I’m running (AKA a book or podcast) so I don’t have to think, but music intrinsically motivates me and I can always tell a difference in pace when a good song comes on.
Cross Training: Strength and conditioning classes, including my favorite Barry’s Bootcamp (okay, ONCE), plus swimming and cycling. I’m surprised at how excited I’ve been to swim. I’m back up to a mile! I think because it’s an outdoor pool, which is SO much better than an indoor pool. Especially when you’re pale like me and need extra time in the sun so you don’t look like an albino deer. I use a little sunscreen of course, do you think I’m a monster?! Anyway, it’s on my way home from PT so I have no excuse. I’ve come to love that post-swim tiredness. It’s like I ran a marathon or something. I can barely stay awake long enough to finish my three servings of whatever carb-y dinner I inevitably have before I pass out.
In other breaking news, I finally got my poor bike fixed. It was collecting dust in our living room because we have zero storage, basically falling apart and rusting right there next to our couch. I took it for a tune up, got some new wheels, spent way too much money, and now we’re back in in action.
When I AM ready to sign up for a race…what should I run? I’m counting on you, people of the internet, to persuade me and tell me it’s okay. Just sayin’. For now I’m daydreaming about maybe going for a 5K PR. Mine is terrible.