Injury Update and Summer Recap

Well this update is a long time coming. Life has been really busy of late so here’s a little update. I think it helps that today our power on the street was turned off for some work to be done, so whilst I have a quiet work day, I have no internet to distract me or other things I can do that require power, so I can sit down and use good old fashioned Word to write my blog!

 

First of all the injury update:

I guess I can still call it an injury since I’m not fully back to “normal” yet. It’s been a solid 16 weeks (yes 4 months) since I last ran. I can’t believe it has been that long. I think I have forgotten how to run. Do I miss it? Yes, but have I found other ways to keep fit , get stronger and stay less stressed? Yes I have. Plus the fear I sometimes have for getting injured while running, especially following stress fracture is not there which is nice. I have still been cycling, on the elliptical which I now can manage to get quite a good workout on if I add in intervals. I am also doing weights at the gym again instead of just TRX and this has made a big difference to my overall strength. Hot yoga is awesome for strength, flexibility and stress release and a good sweat! I am swimming less, down to once a week. I don’t know if I want to return to triathlon, as swimming is really not enjoyable for me. I will continue to do a short swim once a week through fall and then decide in the winter if I want to return to tri’s next year. A friend of mine said something which really hit home. For both of us, it is really all we know in terms of which sport we have involved ourselves with. I have been training and racing 3 sports for 18 yrs . Two workouts a day for most days was the norm and racing a half dozen tri’s/ or run races has been the way I spent my spring and summer. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. After this injury though, I have to find the balance again and I think and fear that if I stay competitive in triathlon, I may go down that slippery slope again which I am not keen on. My personality is an all or nothing kind of person. I will make sure I get in 98% of my training sessions and do them to their fullest. If I use cycling and swimming as more of a cross training tool, then I will feel less like I NEED to complete everything. With that in mind, running would become my main sport and likely easier to keep the balance. I would like to try more trail running events and trail training, and stay in the gym/yoga studio and on the bike too. For this coming fall and winter its going to be all about balance again and rediscovering what it is I want and what I love to do for next year. I do know I want to get back to some racing, and after 3 seasons where I kept getting faster, the fire is there as long as I can keep it healthy. I may consider a running coach to help me do that as I have been self coaching (I do coach a few people, but it is much harder to be objective when it comes to yourself! I have proven that with physio too!)

I have an xray and follow up in a week from today and hope that the stress fractures healed to be able to begin a very conservative walk / run program.

 

NYC- Mother Daughter Trip

When your then 10 yr old says “Mom can either Daddy go away so we can be home together or you and I go away on our own? You can’t say no!!! I thought long and hard about what to do with her that would not cost a lot of $$ but would still be memorable and fun. I asked my husband what he thought about me emptying the VISA points account for a trip to NYC, hotel and flight included and he agreed it would be great to have a girls weekend away. We had a blast. We did it very inexpensively! Having an 11 yr old with  you who really doesn’t love to shop makes keeping the spending down much easier! We  had a list of stuff to do and to be honest got about 25% checked off! I forgot how time in NYC flies and it’s such a big place with so much to see and do. We also saw two shows (one was a gift and one was 50% off so that keeps costs down too!) which took up quite a bit of time for travel and needing to go back to hotel to change which was not close to Broadway, so that ate up time, but when in NYC do as NYCers do and that includes Broadway. We found some great little snacky things and candy stores and the BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten. Nothing can even come close to these. I can’t wait to go back!

FAO Sweets

FAO Sweets

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This was the BEST cookie. Levains Bakery.

This was the BEST cookie. Levains Bakery.

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One of the two shows we saw.

One of the two shows we saw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gotta love NYC pretzels

Gotta love NYC pretzel

Overall it was a great summer. As I stated back in May my goals for this summer were not athletically inclined but more lifestyle changes and personal accomplishments. I read about 6 books , I spent alone time with my husband, I sort of learned how to relax:)  I took up hot yoga, and I found other outlets for my lack of running.

Life got a bit more busy in the last weeks of August when my mom and mother in law both had surgery. All was expected but both had some little bumps along the recovery way. Thankfully both are doing well this week and we can all breathe some sighs of relief. 

Here’s to a new chapter now that September is here . Even though I don’t go back to school, I have always felt that the day after Labor Day is a time for new beginnings and new routines.

Not to mention, I really hope I get to start to run next week so I can make good use of these new kicks from Mizuno!

New Fall 2014 Wave Sayonara and Wave Hayate

New Fall 2014 Wave Sayonara and Wave Hayate

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.

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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!!).

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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.
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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.

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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!!

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