Category Archives: fitness

I’m alive!

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Sorry for the radio silence the last couple weeks — stuff has been BUSY! But now I’m on vacation up in Michigan and it’s glorious!

View of Lake Michigan from our deck

View of Lake Michigan from our deck

In just a day, I feel so unwound. I have the space and time to sleep in, breathe, do all the exercise and eating I want to, enjoy a beer, read, study for biochemistry, answer some work emails, write a blog post or two and really spend time with A, my brother and my brother’s girlfriend.

I’m really happy to have this downtime because this past week was a pretty tough one for me. In addition to a really busy work week for both myself and A, a biochemistry exam to study for (on which, I received a 63%, which I was pretty upset about until I found out that the average was a 60%, so I guess I didn’t do *too* badly), and just a lot of other general nuttiness, dealing with my running injury has been taking up a lot of time, too. Two hour+ long physical therapy appointments a week, plus a couple chiropractic appointments, plus physical therapy homework, plus actual workout time = a lot of freakin’ time! I’m happy to put in all this time to get me where I want to be, but this week I was really bumming about the lack of ability to run.

Running is my escape from all the stress of life, it’s my outlet, my time to reconnect to myself, both body and mind. Additionally, it’s a big social outlet for me as well, so when I’m not running I find myself feeling lonely and depressive pretty quickly. This past week that all hit me really hard and I found myself on the verge of tears on more than one occasion over stuff that I would normally just let slide or laugh off.¬† I even almost burst into tears in front of my PT when I asked if he thought I’d be able to run a 7 mile run next weekend (The One Run; I signed up for the Newton to the finish line leg) and he said he thought it wasn’t very realistic. I sort of knew the answer before I asked it, so I should have been prepared, but hearing that out loud still felt like a punch in the gut. I think he sensed that a little bit, because he followed that up with telling me he thought I’d be able to make it up to three miles this week.

I was skeptical and actually a little scared to push it, but you know what? I made it to three miles yesterday with no pain at all and then, this morning, I made it to four — four WHOLE (slow) miles — with only a little bit of pain right at the end. And they were hilly! I have been so excited all day! Shouting it from the rooftops!

Slow, sure. But it's longer than 2 miles!

Slow, sure. But it’s longer than 2 miles!

Both yesterday and today were the kind of runs that made me remember why I fell in love with running in the first place. I’m alone with my breath and my heartbeat and my footfalls on a dirt trail through the woods. I can feel all of the sinews in my body pulling and pushing to propel me forward, I can feel the electricity of my nerve impulses, the rushing of my blood through the tiniest of capillaries. Everything working in tandem to make each footfall happen, to keep me upright, to keep me in motion. It’s in that trance-like connection to my physical self that I feel completely whole, connected to the sun and the earth and all of the other complex souls that make up this life.

Thank you, Universe, for granting me this respite today. I promise to continue working hard to earn these moments!

 

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No Running.

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This past week was a whirlwind of busy! Work has been kind of ridiculous for both myself and A, I’m in the middle of a six-week intensive Biochemistry class, I’m going to physical therapy twice a week, and still trying to maintain a somewhat normal schedule with respect to exercise, cooking, sleeping and spending time with friends and family.

Despite such a busy week, I did manage to get in some decent workouts. A couple spin class podcasts, a couple walks, some weight lifting, nightly ab work, a hot yoga class, and one attempt at a run kept me active throughout the week, but had me missing running more than ever. I definitely logged onto Facebook and Dailymile more than once last week and jealously sifted through all of the great runs my teammates and friends were posting, and the gorgeous running temperatures every morning certainly didn’t help the yearning. I’m also really missing all my running friends who I was used to seeing 2 or 3 times per week and now haven’t seen in almost a month.

So sad :( Please heal quickly, Rachel!

So sad ūüė¶ Please heal quickly, Rachel!

But, I’m staying positive and looking forward to another week of physical therapy and ancillary work to continue building up my fortifications against further and future injuries. I hope that a really awesome ART sports massage will be in my near future as well. So what’s on tap for this week?

Monday — Physical Therapy + nightly abs

Tuesday — walk/run + abs + PT homework

Wednesday — Harvard Stadium with November Project + PT homework + weight lifting + abs

Thursday — bike ride + Physical Therapy + abs

Friday –run/walk + walk

Saturday — yoga + abs + PT homework

Sunday — run/bike ride + abs + PT homework

Not ideal, but something! What are you doing to keep moving this week?

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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After my undoing at the Vermont City Marathon a little over a week ago, I jumped immediately into “fix it” mode.¬† I confirmed with my regular doctor that nothing was torn, broken or ruptured and got a prescription for physical therapy.¬† Great!¬† So I headed to the physical therapist two days later for an initial consult. Verdict? Too flexible of a lumbar with hips that are “inappropriately” tight and weak for the kinds of activities I like to engage in (ie: running marathons).¬† I also got the okay to do any and everything that doesn’t hurt, including running up to five miles at a time.

Feeling positive, but not ready to jump into anything just yet, I gave myself the rest of Thursday and all of Friday to rest and heal more.¬† By Saturday, I was desperate to sweat, so I downloaded a podcast from a spin class and jumped on my bike that’s hooked up to an indoor trainer in the basement (so I could easily abort mission if all the figurative wheels fell off), and, had a great, sweaty, pain-free ride.

The next morning, despite the climbing temperature, I made my way outside donning my running sneakers. Nervous, I breathed in deep, and took off at a VERY slow pace down my street. Knee felt tight, I noted, but not painful.  Hopeful, I kept going. I made it a little over a mile before the pain set in again and I had to shut it down. I turned around to walk home and it only took about a minute of walking before the pain and tightness subsided. I had a tiny bit of residual soreness for the rest of the day, but woke up Monday no worse for the wear.

So what’s on the schedule for workouts this week?

Hello, old friends. Source

Hello, old friends.
Source

Monday — first real physical therapy appointment.

Tuesday — another spin podcast; arms + abs + PT homework

Wednesday — going to give the Harvard Stadium stairs a shot and see how I feel! Yoga and more PT homework in the evening.

Thursday — outdoor bike ride; second PT appointment

Friday — test run again (worse comes to worse, I get a good walk in); PT homework, abs and arms

Saturday — hot yoga class + PT homework

Sunday — short run if Friday went okay OR a long bike ride

 

Although I am still disappointed about how my race went down and I, of course, dislike not being able to run, I’m counting this injury as a blessing in disguise. Even though I’m fairly decent about warming up and cooling down from runs and doing some strength training, I know I haven’t been as good about as I *should* be and this is forcing me to really get back to basics, to really think about training in order to run instead of running in order to train.¬† A couple years ago when I was seeing a personal trainer once a week and working on strength and balance stuff really regularly, I was a much better athlete overall (not to mention, more toned and with less extra fluff).¬† I’ve needed to reconnect with that version of Rachel for awhile now, and, while I wouldn’t necessarily have selected injury as the path to get there, at least I’m working down that path. In the space I have without running my life at the moment, I have the time to retrain my body properly, to build the strength I so clearly lack, and to make all these PT and strength routines that will help me stay in a less-injured state later on a daily habit.¬† Bring it on.