Stress fracture recovery week 13

It’s been a while since I updated on this, and I can’t believe it’s been 13 + weeks since my last run. The first 6 weeks crawled and I thought I would never see the time that I would be walking without a limp let alone running. I am happy to report that I have not really felt any pain for about 3 weeks now. It’s been really good for about a month and I have only felt minor ache when coming out of a set of single leg squats, so if that’s the only time I had pain I won’t even really count that:). My next doctor follow up is on Monday. I am crossing all digits that I can put my Mizuno’s back on and start a very progressive walk run program. For anyone reading this who has gone through big injuries or is currently in the acute stages, it will get better and you will get back to what you love to do. I really had a hard time seeing this way back in May/June. Following this period of time, I really have learned so much about myself, and have made some changes for the better. Here are a few:

1. I am okay to take time off . Whether it be a day, two days, or a month. Not that I want to repeat the month+ thing again, but leading up to this injury, I was afraid to take a day off. Literally. I got so wrapped up in my training and how my body reacted that I got cocky. This was the biggest lesson I learned. Rest is so important. I only have one body and I had better respect it.

2. Sometimes it’s nice not to have a schedule. This is my 18th year of running and 16th year doing triathlon. This is the first summer I have not raced other than the year I had my daughter in 2003. This is the first time I have not followed a training plan. I do what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it. I don’t have to feel guilty or pressured to do any amount of swim/bike etc. If I want to do hot yoga (my new found passion!!!) I do it. If I don’t feel like doing something active, I don’t. This is how it should be for me right now. When I get back into racing, I have to remember this flexibility as I do it for fun and competition, not for my income!

3. I do miss racing. This past weekend I spectated at Irongirl triathlon. Last year I did this race and won my age group. Before this weekend, I felt okay not racing and wondered whether I would feel like I wanted to put that pressure on myself again next year. Well after being at the race, I realized that I miss racing. I miss that accomplished feeling of crossing any finish line, the camaraderie of other athletes and the buzz that goes on in an event.

cathy irongirlWell that’s all from me for today. I can’t wait for this weekend when my little girl and I are spending a weekend in NYC! It’s going to be so special for both of us. I will write a blog on what we did and saw for anyone else taking their tween!

 

From adversity brings opportunity

I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. An example is my recent stress fractures and my recovery process. I have always said I would never do hot yoga. I don’t like being hot in a room, I don’t like being around sweaty people in closed spaces:), I am not a big fan of yoga, but do a little bit of online stuff at home as I know it helps to keep my other hip and hamstring happy. I don’t do classes of any sort. How’s that for a lot of negative statements about something I had no idea I would even possibly like let alone become addicted to! Two weeks ago I did my first Moksha yoga class. I loved it! I think I have gone 5 times in the two weeks. I love the big sweat (I am not usually a bit sweater, but oh my….I am dripping!). I love the workout it provides and the challenges of holding the poses. I love tapping into my inner thoughts that the instructors facilitate. I am not one who relaxes well, or gets very introspective about my life. Yoga in this way is a great thing for me. It makes me relax and notice what my body is feeling and telling me. But I do set my limits at chanting. 🙂 . It’s just not me.

moksha-logo

Once I get back into running (and I hope it’s soon!)  I will definitely continue at least once a week if I can (things are a bit harrier come September but I will find the time!). I just stay within my acceptable levels of flexibility without pushing too far or doing crazy poses I know I can’t handle or don’t want to risk injury trying. The yoga for me is not about becoming super flexible or putting my body into those awkward positions. For me it’s about tapping into something that is so un-natural for me but at the same time so imperative for me to connect to. It’s the first time I have done a workout that is more than a workout. I get so excited to go and come home feeling like a million bucks. Well,  that is until I start to notice the mess on the floor, things undone in the house, and hear complaints about what’s for dinner!

Who else does hot yoga? How often do you go? What got you into it?

Recovery Week 10 + Update on Summer

10 weeks ago tomorrow I sustained my pelvic/hip stress fractures. Wow it’s been a long go but as I have said in previous posts, a refreshing change in routine and enlightening process of self discovery. I am now at the stage physically where I don’t have any pain really and can do anything but run. Running is at a month+ away, but to be able to be active is a great thing regardless of what I can do. Not to mention to be fully functional and off walking aids and not having to think about how I am placing or using my leg. I have also been giving quite a bit of thought as to how I want to continue as an athlete. Do I want to focus more on running ? Do I want to stay in triathlon? I think I do, but will have to find that balance between training and the rest of my life so the stress meter stays down. I have said before that short course racing will be the plan at least for a while. Plus, given that my foot is not an ideal specimen and is going to be like this for good I need to do what it can handle. Interestingly enough, because it is a mechanical and structural issue vs an injury, it’s no better without running. So at least when I go back to running, I can run without knowing I am doing it more damage. Damage is done just from living!! I had transitioned out of my orthotics after 20 years of wearing after I had my bilateral bunion surgery in 2010. I loved running without them. BUT because my issues are structural, I think that may not have been the best of plans and had I not ditched them I may not be where I am today. But hindsight is 20/20. Long story short I have an appt to have them reinstated in two weeks…..boo hoo. Orthotics are for those people who have structural issues. Basically the foot can not sit properly without them. I can try to strengthen various muscles around my leg and foot but with the degree of instability I have there I don’t think I have a hope in hell of that being the sole solution. I want to keep running, so will do what needs to be done.

My almost 11 yr old!

My almost 11 yr old!

My daughter comes home from camp tomorrow. She’s been gone a month. I miss her a lot. However there are a few things that have been positive about being childless for the month:

– when I wake up and go to bed the house looks as it did when I left it. Anything left around is mine and I don’t spend my day saying “could you please pick up……..” .

-I can make plans at whatever time of day I want to.

-I don’t have to negotiate bedtimes with anyone.

-When I sit in the yard as I am doing now, I don’t have basketballs hitting the back of my chair, my head, my computer

-My husband and I actually talk to each other …. and listen!

-My grocery bill is smaller and I don’t think about the extras I need to buy to satisfy the palate of an almost 11 yr. old.

These are all small and insignificant (well maybe except for the talking to the spouse thing!!), and having her back will be great, but it is a healthy break for all. Camp is such a great place for kids to come into their own and mature in many ways.

This was “try new things for me” week. Here is what I did. Breaking out of my generally rigid routine is another benefit of this injury.

1. I went to Moksha yoga. I have always said I don’t like yoga or don’t have time to go to a class (but I have been doing it once or twice a week with yogaglo.com at home.) I said I don’t like to be hot in a room. BUT I never gave it a go. I walked into the room and people were lying down. Hmm, this is something out of my ordinary. Relaxing??? Where is the clock in the room to tell me what time it is and how much time is left?? In the end I really enjoyed it. I felt so invigorated afterwards. Like I had gone running. I felt happy, and positive and proud (mostly cuz I did not pass out!!).

IMG_0039

2. I returned to some weight training vs.TRX . I have been almost exclusively doing TRX for strength once a week (more when injured) at home. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for core and strength. That functional fatigue is great. Weight training though particularly as I know my left leg is weak is a good thing right now. I will ease back in gradually, but try to work with slightly heavier weights using functional and multijoint exercise. I too enjoyed this.

3. I cooked new recipes. The other night we went to dinner to a Greek restaurant that has been in our area for 40 years. Yah we have never been there! We tend eat at home mostly and when we do go out we go to our tried and true Italian places . I ordered a veggie burger (usually I am VERY picky about these and most restaurants do not do a great job)  It was awesome. So now I need to replicate. Making my own, and experimenting with new recipes (Pinterest is an awesome source!)  is going to continue to be my goal this year especially when life gets busy again in September. I also made some great all natural energy bites to take the place of some crappy bars I tend to eat when training or before early a.m. workouts .

energy balls. Great for biking food!!!

energy balls. Great for biking food!!!

veggie burgers I will attempt to make

veggie burgers I will attempt to make

 

I think this is getting a little bit long so I will tie it up now. I have ended most posts since my time off for injury by lamenting all things happen for a reason. As much as I want to run, I realize my last 6-8 months before the injury took it’s toll on me. Each day now before I workout, I ask myself : How do I feel? Am I tired? Do I WANT to be doing this ? Is there something else I need to do in place? I will continue to use a checklist of sorts and talk to myself on a regular basis to make sure I don’t fall back into the overtraining spiral. I need to reconnect with why I love to be active, why I love to compete and what it means to do well for me. I do want to return to that level but in a healthy and balanced way.

Summer Progress

It seems like summer is flying by, yet according to the calendar it really just began over 2 weeks ago. My daughter is already coming home next weekend so I generally measure the speed of summer by how quickly this month of her gone will go. We went up to see her last weekend and she is having a great time, but did say “as much as camp feels like home, there is no place like home”.

Jada showing off her wake boarding skills

Jada showing off her wake boarding skills

A few weeks ago I did a post about what my new summer goals would be now that there was no racing involved. So far I am doing pretty well.
1.My husband and I have been going out on “date night” once a week at least and actually spending more time together. We spent a little too much time last week with 16 hours in the car over 3 days. Car trips for me are torture. I can’t sit still!
2. I am rehabbing, not training. At least trying to let go of that “goal” for each workout. And not overdoing it. That I am not doing. I am resting when I need to and exercising with no intensity at all and much less duration than I have in past. Workouts consist of pool running, swimming (yeah, now I can use legs!), TRX, cycling both on my trainer and finally outside.
IMG_0191
3.I am reading a lot. Onto book #3 so far. Right now I am reading “The Girl Who Was Saturday Night”. It’s by the same author as Lullabies for Little Criminals which was also a fantastic book.
Girl Who Was SAturday

4. Spectating at Races. My plan this weekend is to go down to the Toronto Triathlon Festival to watch my closest childhood friend (who has not lived in the same city as I since we were in university ) race as well as many other friends and clients. However….they are forecasting rain and I am sorry, but I am a fair-weather spectator!
5.Just Be-ing. This one I am still having a harder time with, but in some ways I am still forced to do so. My inner desire to always be moving or doing something has been curtailed and I am talking to myself often to make sure I am okay with it. Self talk can be a wonderful thing.

5. Here’s an extra one: I am attempting to cook just a bit more. Our lives are so busy during the school year that dinner is usually something quickly put together albeit still healthy like omelettes, salads, pasta, chicken/salmon with veggies (for the non vegetarians!). So I have made a few good things so far, well really just this past week!

Kale, Roasted Cauliflower and Parmesan Salad

Kale, Roasted Cauliflower and Parmesan Salad

 

Warm Lentils with Spinach and Feta and Herbs

Warm Lentils with Spinach and Feta and Herbs

 

So there is my goal recap to date. I think I am doing okay. I saw my hip doctor for a follow up on Tuesday and his words were…..”it’s healing, it has a good callus, come see me in 2 months and don’t run until then”. My words were “are you kidding me“….only because in my mind I thought 12 weeks was a good amount of time to heal this thing and I did not want to run until after I come back from a trip to NYC with my daughter and that would have been 13 weeks. I was actually thinking how good I was that I was going to wait longer than the 12 weeks! A word to the wise, never go to a doctor appt with a goal in mind. Each time I do and expect him to say something I want, vs what may be real, I leave disappointed and frustrated and down for the day. Inferior Pubic Ramus stress fractures take a longer time to heal than lower leg or foot because they are non weight bearing bones. They don’t get the weight bearing stimulus to grow new bone the way the others do. Less blood supply too. As much as I had heard from some that it could be 4 months, I sort of had my hopes it would be sooner. That being said, 2 more months is not so bad, and maybe I will still be running in shorts by then:) When I do return to running I plan on using a very conservative program I have used in past both for myself and my clients. It’s a great program that combines frequency with low loading and periodization.

I won’t lie and say it’s been easy to watch so many people talk about racing and training on social media. Plus every runner/triathlete knows it is so hard to watch people run when you are not able to! On my way down to my follow up appt this week I must have passed 10 runners out at 7:30 am. I so badly wanted to be one of them, but I know I will again.

On wards and upwards to week 9 (not that I am counting at all)!!!!

The Day Before My “29th” Birthday

Well first off it looks like WordPress has done a little updating. My page that I type on looks much different. I kind of like it! I hope it works the same.

Now onto the post. Tomorrow I turn “29” again. Why do people pick 29 as the number they want to stay at? I really liked my 30’s. So much happened in my 30’s. I had my daughter, I did my first Ironman, I got a job at a great clinic where I spent 6 yrs building a client base and learning a ton from colleagues, I moved to Florida with my husband for 18 months. I don’t know, but the 30’s was when a lot of my life happened. Except for getting married (I was 24….yup a baby:)) and graduating from Physiotherapy most of my life’s most exciting changes happened in the 30’s. So I will pick oh, maybe 35 as the age I will repeat. Actually I am pretty happy with the 40’s. Tomorrow I will be 46. I am now on the other side towards 50 (well I will be if I wake up tomorrow….tee hee just kidding, I will!!). My husband always comments when we go to the races and I rack my bike that I look so much younger than my age group. I feel like that too. Which is a good thing. Sadly my body knows it’s 46, and now I just need to get the brain to realize that too. It’s coming. I have always been happy to turn the next age. I hope to always feel this way. As they say, age is just a number. I know some 80+ year olds who act like they are 60 and vice versa.

I don’t like my birthday though, for other reasons. I can’t really explain why, but I always enjoy the build up to it. The weeks before. And the day after. But the actual day? Not really. I think it’s because I expect it to be something different and special and it really never is. Other than the fact that I always take it off work. I usually like to do a big workout in the morning, to make myself feel like I am still good at the next age. Tomorrow will be the first time in 18 years since I started to run that I won’t run on my birthday. As small and meaningless as that may seem, it is making me just a bit sad. I always look so forwards to a birthday run. This year I will ride my bike instead on the trainer outside then my husband and I are going to go to Niagara on the Lake. We are bringing our bikes. Let it be known he has not been on a bike other than to toddle with our daughter in about oh 2 yrs! So basically I will be sitting on a bike seat and gently pedalling vs. really riding, hence why I want to do a little bike workout when I get up. It will be fun though. We’ll go for lunch, hang out a bit, walk around and then head home. My parents are picking me up some yummy chocolate brownies as my cake. So that will be the day. It will be fun and I am happy that Michael decided to take the day off with me. I wish my daughter was home to celebrate with me but she has been up at camp the last three years. She always makes me something when I come up on Visiting day.

Michael .. so photogenic! IMG_2635

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Happy 4th of July to those in the US of A . Good luck to anyone racing this weekend around the globe (if I have any “around the globe” followers!).
And Happy Birthday “29” , I mean 46 to me :).

Stress Fracture Recovery Week 7

 

Today I got an email from a woman in South Africa who had found my blog and sustained the same injury I did last weekend in a race. I was so happy (well not happy for her of course!!) but happy that I can now pay it forward and help out someone else. When I first injured myself 7 weeks ago I searched the internet (unfortunately too much Google) and came up with a few people whom I contacted to get their first hand experiences with pubic ramus stress fractures. It was so helpful to me, to read their positive stories and to get emails with timelines (although everyone’s healing time is different, it can be used as an estimate), comebacks and what they did to maintain a positive attitude during their healing.

I am now 7 weeks into my healing. I am at that middle ground point. No longer acute (I really don’t feel it unless I do the odd thing that I know makes it sore, like kicking in the pool and squatting on that leg straight up, oh and I imagine running!! ….. ) but at the point where the brain says “go, you’ve been good and patient” and the body and medical science say “it ain’t time yet”. I go through phases of being okay with not running, and then phases of I just want to go out and run. When you have a stress fracture, you have no choice but to not go out and run. It’s so different from a soft tissue injury. With soft tissue injuries, oftentimes in the acute or sub acute phases you may know you should be resting it better, but if you went out you aren’t going to break it again! I am still trying to focus on the positive and what I can do athletically. Although for that too I need to alter my thought process into “rehab vs training”. I can water run and wrote an article recently for Mizuno Run Club. I have recently tried the elliptical for two short stints and it feels okay. I am still just pulling in the pool. I can kick, but it just does not feel right. The physio in me says my glut (aka “ass”) muscles are still quite weak so the kick requiring that muscle and high hamstring don’t have all cylinders firing so it is pulling on the area. My infinite wisdom knows it’s likely okay but I am just going to lay low on that for another week or two or until it does not feel as wonky. Strengthening the glut muscles is also a priority.

My Aquajogger ready for action!

My Aquajogger ready for action!

I have also started to cycle on my bike trainer. My tri bike actually feels pretty comfortable. Must be my newish ISM saddle. I love it! I am planning on going outside tomorrow on the roads (I ride my trainer outside in the summer and spring when it is nice and light out at 6 am.) I am nervous to go outside, but I know it will be fine. Really the only thing that can truly flare me or set me back is if I were to jump/run and I have no intention of doing that until I am told I can. Or until after August 17th when I go to NYC with my daughter. Nothing is going to jeopardize my ability to walk that city and go on that trip! So I will wait until then anyways and hopefully it will be good and ready to start a very progressive walk run program.

IMG_0191

My daughter is having a great time at camp or so I can tell from the photos I see. I miss her a ton.

Clearly having an awful time so far.

Clearly having an awful time so far.

I have lots of free time which is nice, but as I have said before I don’t do well with too much “me time”. Maybe this is a fault and maybe it’s just who I am. A friend said to me today “as long as whatever is your nature or what you are doing is not harming you in any way whether it be physical, mental, time , etc is alright”. I will remember that. I sometimes fault myself or think it is not “good” to be a certain way. It is who I am though.

Finally, I am keeping tabs on the race scene out there in Ontario. I always looked up results of races I did not do to see how I may have placed in my category. C’mon, lots of us do this!! It makes me frustrated sometimes though because I think to myself, why can’t I be out there too. Why am I the one on the sidelines when it just seems so easy to get out and race and run. Not easy in an effort sense, but easy in a sense of getting out there and participating. I know I can’t think that way. I am responsible for what happened. I wore myself down. I was not smart in my comeback. I did not listen to the signs of fatigue and stress. I may have been compensating for my foot although it was not pain, it was something I had thought about as I was running at least for the first week or two back.

Things are so much better than they were even 2 weeks ago and I am so thankful to have found a wonderful online support group of elite and not so elite runners and triathletes. It always helps to have someone else who you sort of “know” vs. Mr. Google to guide you along and lend support . I am so happy to be able to do the same and I hope that whomever is Googling “pubic ramus stress fractures” can come across my blog and get some solid info. Being a Physiotherapist too, allows me to be able to be realistic in the healing times and the do’s and don’ts although I will admit to having someone else along to guide me!! “Physio do not treat thyself”.

Enjoy your tri’s , runs, weekends, etc this summer. This weekend is a long weekend here in Canada, so I am going to enjoy the nice weather, sort of quieter city and hanging with my husband and some friends. Happy Canada Day!!

canada-flag

Rehabbing in the Water

Here is a blog I just wrote for Mizuno Run Club newsletter. http://www.mizuno.cda

Using the Pool for Cross Training and Rehab

 

Spring and summer are my favourite times for outdoor running. I love the heat. I look so forwards to wearing sunglasses at 6 a.m, putting on a tank (Mizuno of course!) or if hot enough just a sports bra and short shorts and heading out for a good sweat. Unfortunately, this summer will not running until at least the middle of August as I am recovering from a stress fracture. So, if you too are sidelined from running or want to expand on your cross training regimen read on for some fantastic ways to keep fit in the water!

 

Water…..it often gets a bad rap from runners. Unlike running, it’s inconvenient, requires a lot more coordination and often requires a membership or a time limited schedule at a community pool. As a triathlete it is a normal part of my training. Many runners I know avoid the pool like the plague. Unless……they get injured!! I will admit I would much rather be out on my bike or hitting the roads running but the post swim euphoria I get is almost like no other (well other than runningJ). It makes me feel ‘whole body’ tired. It improves your upper body strength, which we need for running and gives nice arm definition as an added bonus. Once I get in the pool and get warmed up (which as I am getting on in years takes close to 20-25 mins!) I feel great. Swimming is not my strongest of the three sports so I get a real feeling of accomplishment when I have completed a workout I have set out for myself.

 

The benefits of exercise in water are many. Here are a few:

 

Non impact even exercising in shallow water the impact load on the body is 90% less than on land. That’s pretty much space like J.

Resistance level is high. Resistance in water is between 4 and 42 times that of air. Move harder and the resistance is greater. Resistance to water also works the body in all planes of movement at the same time. This is not the same as land based movement.

Lower heart rate levels due to the buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure of water. This allows for good cardiovascular recovery on those easy training days . Our hearts are muscles. They also need recovery time. Your heart rate will be 10-15 beats lower for the same effort as on land.

Injury rehab is ideal in the water. You only need to support 10% of your body weight. For injuries needing unloading such as stress fractures and post-surgical recovery, water exercise is a great way to build and maintain your fitness without stress to your injury.

 

Here are a few ways to use the pool (or lake if you are lucky enough to have access) over this summer. One thing I will recommend is to use the water now for cross training. Even if you are not injured it will seem less like a second fiddle and more like something that is keeping you fit.

pull buoy

 

  1. Swimming– well this one is most obvious! However if you are not a ‘swimmer’ it can be intimidating. Start small. The worst thing you could do is swim across the lake or too much in the pool and you then have to rehab a shoulder injury! ( Authors note : been there done that!!) . Depending on your injury, kicking may not be an option. In this case use a pull buoy between your legs. These can be purchased at many sports retailers and swim specific stores or online. If you are limited to arms only start even more gradually. Pulling alone is harder on the upper body than full body swimming. Swimming is 90% technique based so don’t get frustrated if you are not moving through the water like Michael Phelps. Enjoy the different muscle use and cardio benefits. It will become easier in time.
  2. Pool running / Aqua jogging– these terms are interchangeable. It is a fantastic way to stay in running shape. It is done in deep water using a belt. I recall an article I read way back about Joan Benoit Samuelson ( first female winner of Olympic marathon). She had knee surgery a few months before the Olympics in LA. She had trained almost exclusively in the pool running and won! That’s enough to make me do it. Water running technique is very specific in order to achieve the most benefit from both aerobic and neuromuscular systems. The neuromuscular training is what translates water run fitness to land fitness and muscle memory. See this great video for form tips and sample workouts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsamCiwQ9Ww

 

It’s really key to invest in a water run belt. It requires a lot more effort to try to keep yourself buoyant without one. Your form will be much better with a belt. Aqua jogger makes a belt for running but you can also use a narrower waist belt like those used for water aerobics. Many community and gym pools have these narrower belts for you to use.

aqua-jogging

The other benefit of water running is that you can train for speed work and tempo as you would on land. Tempo efforts and track intervals can be done for time vs distance. The added resistance of water also means your run time can be less than what you would do on land. There are various ways to incorporate it into your training schedule. Use water running for additional run workouts without impact, injury recovery, or easy days. Music using an IPOD docking station (if you are in a home pool) or waterproof mp3 makes it go faster (I use the FINIS Neptune). Pool run with a friend, and do your best to find someone with an outdoor pool! Time flies outside and with company. My neighbour is also rehabbing a fracture so we have been spending time running in her pool. I have suggested we try to lap each other. Once competitive always competitive even in rehab! You will definitely feel the work on the legs, core, and upper body and improve your run fitness at the same time.

 

  1. Running Drills– also known as A’s B’s and C’s. These drills are another way to incorporate non- impact neuromuscular firing into your cross training and injury recovery routine. See this link for proper drill form. Do these in shallow water. If you are not able to jump due to rehab restrictions do them without jumping. You will still get the benefit. This will also keep you feeling like you are moving forwards with your training, rehab and gives that feeling of “being a runner”.

Here is a little link to run form drills.

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/drills-to-improve-running-form

 

There you have a few ways to stay fit this summer or explore alternate cross training methods to running. Think of it as a way to work on your weaknesses, improve your running form, and/or rehab your injury safely. I will be doing it along with you and plan to be back stronger. Oh and I really hope it is still tank top weather when I am back on the roads!!

Revised Summer Goals

Well this is copy # 2 of this blog post. I finished a full post a few days ago. I thought it was quite introspective. Then I inadvertently deleted it off my iPad app! So after taking some time to rethink it here is version #2. The online version has draft save so I think from now on it is a safer bet!!

Since my race season was over the day it started I have had to come up with new goals for this summer. This will be the first year since I started running in 1996 and triathlon in 1998 that I have not raced. Even the years I was trying to get pregnant and the year I had my daughter I managed a race or two. So I have decided to use the time to fulfill other activities and goals . My daughter is off to sleep away camp for a month and so I have plenty of time (although it flies by!) to work on them. Here they are: 

1. Reconnect with my husband . This is the most important one. Life gets very busy for most of us. Full time jobs for both, an almost 11 year old daughter ( I can’t even imagine 2-3 kids!) who is involved in a few activities and requires a lot of brain power from us makes connecting daily difficult. By connecting, I mean even just talking about something other than our child. It means sitting down to talk about our days, current events (what are those??!), planning outings (what are those??!) etc. We have decided to have date night at least twice a week and the other days just hang out at home. 

2. Rehab not training. This one is big for me. The reason I am in this injury state right now is because I had not been smart in my training over the winter. Now that I am absolutely forced to stop running and to take it very slowly in the activity I can do following my month of almost total rest , I need to think in terms of rehab not “training”. There are no races on the horizon for 2014. So I need to do what is required to come back stronger. That involves a lot of that “P” word……….. yes patience. Taking it gradually now will only help me for the future. 

3. Read as many books as I can. Many people suggested I start to watch some good TV series while I am laid up or on a sabbatical from real training. I am not one who likes much TV. I find it boring, and I can’t concentrate enough on it to get into it. Too many distractions. But I do love to read. I can read outside in the summer which is what I love to do. I equate outdoors with reading and indoors with the internet. My favourite thing in summer especially at night is to read until the sun goes down. I also love to sit in the sun (yes, I know it’s bad)…and reading goes along well with that too. I have about 92 books on my to read list!! I don’t read quickly, so I better get started! Right now I am into The Goldfinch. It is quite good. 

4. Spectate at races I can’t be at to race. My original big summer goal was to race this weekend at Syracuse 70.3. I was trying to qualify for Mt. Tremblant Worlds 70.3 as it was a close proximity race. The Worlds now is rotating locations. Next year it is in Europe. Not as easy to get to by car:). Because I had to take time off in February for a foot skin issue, (hence the too fast comeback in April) I realized by early May I would not be ready and I had then decided to step back my race distances. The following weekend I raced Sporting Life and sustained my stress fractures. Too little too late. Anyway, spectating is always fun. It’s usually more fun when you are able to race but knowing I absolutely can’t I look forwards to cheering on some friends at their own races. I love seeing others accomplish their goals and the race energy is great. 

5. Learning to just Be. I am the sort of person who normally does not sit still. I feel guilty sitting still. I can really only sit for about 45 mins at a time then I need to do something. Anything that requires me to get up and move. I am really not much fun in a movie theatre anymore! But……this needs to change. Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I sit still? I am not sure. I will take this time to search into myself and find out why I always need to be busy or thinking about what I can do next to occupy my mind and my energy. One of my clients said to me recently, it is so important to just BE. A hard thing for me to learn, but one that is absolutely necessary. 

So these are my big goals for summer 2014. Heal up, get smart about training, plan for 2015. Come back stronger in my athletics and calmer in my mind. Learn from my mistakes. Enjoy this extra downtime with my family, my friends and myself. Be nice to me and empathetic for myself instead of needing to be all or nothing. 

I hope everyone has a great summer and if you are racing, let me know where you will be. I may just be spectating along the way! 

Progress Week 4 plus more…….

Well it’s been 4 weeks since my Pelvic Stress Fractures. Things are healing obviously, although never at a rate fast enough for me:). Yes Patient Polly is not so patient. But as time is going on and I am feeling less pain with the everyday stuff I am feeling more optimistic. It also helped to see a good physiotherapist who can help with “the plan” and guide towards functional exercise. I become a very dumb physio when I have to treat myself. It’s weird, but I do become a layperson. Tomorrow I am seeing a hip orthopaedic surgeon whom I saw last year for a degenerative labral tear in my other hip. He then told me I had small hip joint sockets and would always have to manage my hip issues. He wasn’t kidding! So I am not in need of surgery, but it was recommended by my GP that I see him for better follow up. I hope he will also give me insight into “the plan”. I am a plan kind of girl . Sometimes this can be a detriment, but being goal focused is a hard thing to give up.

I have managed a few times in the pool, using a pull buoy and doing some walking and a few mins of pool running here and there. Today and yesterday I got on the recumbent bike and that felt totally fine. I feel like my own bike at least on the trainer will be doable in a week or two. I may also venture into hot yoga. I always said I would NEVER do it, I like my yogaglo online classes, as they are short and easy to do at home. I am not a class person, I prefer solo workouts in my own convenience. But I may give it a go and see how I like it. I miss that sweat too!

This past weekend my daughter did Nicola’s triathlon. It’s a great local event with a lot of kids from her school and other surrounding schools. It’s a fundraiser for MFM research. The organizer’s daughter passed away at a young age from this disease and she attended my daughter’s school before my daughter was there. My daughter did well for not doing any training really. She has been doing some running as I lead the Girls on the Run program at school. She also bikes quite a bit. Swimming pretty much non existent of late. Only so much time in the week. It’s all fun for her though. It was fun for us too!

 

Riding the 5km bike route.

Riding the 5km bike route.

I started a great book this week. It’s called The Goldfinch. I highly recommend it. It’s always great to get into a book in the first 30 pages. It’s been a while since I really got into a good one.  Reading as many books as I can is a new summer goal of mine since there won’t be any real “training” to take up my time. I have 91 books on my “to read” Goodreads list so I better get at it.

Elise

All the Positive

I figure the more I write about how positive I can be during injury recovery, the more it will sink it. So today I wrote this: 

  • Patience is key
  • All things happen for a reason
  • You will come back stronger
  • Focus on the positive
  • All athletes go through this 
  • Negative thoughts are toxic
  • I am more than just an athlete
  • I am strong and can get through anything I put my mind to
  • This is a short blip in the road of my life
  • There is light at the end of the tunnel
  • My new goal is to read as many books as I can
  • My body is craving the rest and I will give it what it needs 

I have printed out three copies and will post them where I can see them . My daughter also came up with one. “It’s like climbing a mountain, it takes perseverance, patience and a lot of strength”. Geez she’s good! 

I also have a few medical follow ups which hopefully will shed some light on timelines. I am a timeline kind of gal. It helps to give me a sense of control over what is happening and what I can do. This new normal is getting more familiar (I am getting good at doing very little other than work and house stuff). I have gone to the pool twice to pull and am limited to my shoulder ability so I get in about 800 m tops. Enough to feel like I am moving a bit but not enough to give me another injury!!! Been there done that before. So I stop when my shoulder has had enough. I have never been a good user of the pull buoy. Some people are all arms and good at it, I get lapped (or I used to get lapped when I was in a Masters group….now I pretty much swim alone so no one can lap me:). I am a kicker. All leg. But right now can’t use those. 

Stay tuned, I will stay positive and think onwards and upwards from here.