Monthly Archives: April 2016

What I learned from my injury and taking a break from running…

My biggest fear in life is not being able to exercise…so I guess you could say I am most of afraid of getting injured…  A few weeks ago I was experiencing pain in my hip/glute while running. I made appointments with my chiro and physio right away and they both told me that I needed to rest and take a break from running for 1-2 weeks.  I was very upset. Especially since I was 6 weeks out from my half marathon race.

In the past this would have sent me into a horrible state, I would’ve eaten my emotions, thought that my life was over and been in a really bad mood, every single day.  BUT this time I was sad for a day and then I accepted that my body needed a rest and time to heal.  No emotional eating, no feeling bad for myself and no irrational thoughts.  In fact I even thought that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I can’t run the Half Marathon race I have been training for since November.  Then I started thinking “why am I reacting so differently than I used to?” And this is what I came up with…

  1. In the past I was so obsessed with losing weight/my physique and my obsession with food and exercise controlled my life.  I did not have a healthy work/life balance.  When the scale tipped way to one side (injury due to over training that meant I couldn’t train etc) I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.  But NOW I have an amazing husband, a rewarding career and business (I’ve always had that but I feel I am better at managing my time=less stressed/tired), I have incredible family and friends whom I look forward to seeing on a regular basis and most importantly I am happy and healthy-mentally, physically and emotionally.
  2. When I exercise less I am less hungry.  So this helps prevent me from going crazy with food and encourages me to focus on eating lean protein and veggies.  This really helps me to feel less crappy while I am not exercising.
  3. It helps me put things in perspective.  I had a goal of running a 1:45 half marathon.  This meant more running. increasing my speed etc and by doing that, my body was starting to tell me, “take it easy or you will be sorry later” and it led to me getting injured.   This injury has really calmed me down and instead of being so competitive with myself and trying to run this race with a crazy time goal it has encouraged me to shift my focus.  I need to remember this- I run because it makes me feel good, it is like a moving meditation for me.  The moment it doesn’t feel good  and I start hating it I need to take a step back, slow down and run for the enjoyment, not for the competition. I’m not an elite runner, I don’t get paid for it so why try and train like one?
  4. I have been missing my regular massage treatments and not doing enough yoga.  And what happens when you skip those? You get super tight and your risk for injury is high.  So this has forced me to chill and it’s amazing how good I feel not exercising lol.  Even though I have been focusing on getting more sleep doing proper warmups, mobility work, strength training AND stretching after my workouts and runs, it wasn’t enough.
  5. I love running but I have accepted that a half marathon is not the best distance/race for me.  As much as I love the challenge, the training and the day of the race I think I will stick to doing 5 and 10km races.  Who knows, maybe I’ll love doing the triathlon? Regardless I am 185 lbs, have a strong lower body, probably not ideal running form, and not the BEST body type for running long distance and that’s ok! I’ve done so many races over the last 8 years that I can say I’ve been there, done that and help others train for their first half or full marathon.

Long story short, taking the last week and a half off from exercise has been a great mental exercise.  I’ve had more time for myself (and my husband and friends and family), I’ve had a chance to rest my body, my mind and my soul.  Do I miss it? YES! Am I looking forward to running again? YES! Will I take it easy and slowly build my runs up again? YES!  Will I run the half marathon at the end of May? Not sure yet but I will listen to my body (and my health professionals) and decide closer to the date.  Will I do my best to prevent this injury or other injuries from happening again? YES! That’s what I appreciate about injuries, you learn so much about yourself and come back even stronger and smarter when you have recovered.

Have you ever been injured and freaked out that you wouldn’t be able to exercise for a few weeks and think you’ll gain a ton of weight? That’s totally normal.  But take a deep breath and tell yourself you’ll be ok. But, if I can take time off so can you, as long as you learn from your mistakes and realize that being able to move for the rest of your life is more important than having crazy goals that require crazy training that could potentially injury you for an extended period of time. Take care of yourself, and your body will thank you for it!  Remember the exercise will get you fit but too much of anything is a bad thing.  Also keep in mind that you exercise won’t help you to lose weight but eating right consistently will.  The more you exercise the hungrier you become.  So move often but smart and eat foods (and the amount) that make you feel good, not gross.

I am a huge fan of being able to exercise and train my clients until the day I die so if I want to be able to do that I must exercise, eat healthy, sleep, take more time for myself and stay injury free.  Here’s to another 100 years of healthy living….

 

 

Les 🙂

 

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My thoughts while running….

The best (and worst) part about training for a half  marathon is the importance of a weekly long run.  I tend to do my long runs on Sundays.  As much as I would LOVE to join the many run clubs around Ottawa for their 8:30 am Sunday runs it doesn’t work with my schedule 😦

All that being said I normally look forward to doing my long run on every Sunday and lately I have been doing mt run at the end of the day.  This isn’t ideal and to be honest the afternoon is not when I have the most energy and usually it is when i least want to go for a run but it has been when I have the time to do it.  BUT somehow I manage to get my gear on, tie up my shoes, and head out the door.  This afternoon was ESPECIALLY difficult to get going as the weather sucked….it was cold and super windy..not my favourite weather for running and I wanted to do was chill on the couch with my husband.  But I went!

Today I ran without music (which I prefer most times) and I also decided to bring my fuel belt with me (filled with water) and ran straight to the Running Room on Slater St to pick up some gels/beans to fuel my run just before they closed.

Now, the moment I stepped outside and ran down my street I was hit hard by the cold and strong wind.  My face was freezing, my ears were stinging and my motivation was dropping fast.  I literally kept telling myself “ok so just run to the Running Room get your gels and run home…you can do this run tomorrow..today is not the best day to do it…I wish I would’ve worn a warmer hat….”  I felt slow and not in the mood At ALL to run…but after chatting with the woman who sold me my energy beans I got a little extra boost.  She said “you can do it!” and suggested I try running along the canal as it was less windy.

I headed down Bank Street and ran all the way to the Bank Street Bridge by Lansdowne and then hopped on the pathway next to the canal and passed infront of some big beautiful homes…I was looking at my watch and it said I had ran only 3 km…’oh great’ I said to myself ‘only 13 to go and I still feel like my legs are moving in slow motion’.

i ran all the way to the Bronson Street Bridge then headed up the stairs and walked across the bridge to hop on the east side of the canal and was heading towards Hog’s Back.  There was a section of the canal when I literally felt like I was going to be blown over sideways and this is when I was asking myself ‘why did I choose to run today?? This is the worst day ever and I am the only person out here. I must be crazy.’  But after a few minutes of crazy side winds blowing me over, the wind stopped all of a sudden and it was smooth sailing to the next bridge (I think it was Riverside Drive?) and I started thinking ‘wow I feel like I could run forever, I am so glad I kept running and didn’t let the wind get the best of me!’ I looked down at my watch and it said 45 minutes, ‘perfect I am halfway!’  I started running along Riverside Drive along the bike path and started reminiscing about my days of training at LC Fitness just up the hill on Bank Street, then saw a few groundhogs darting into their holes and thought ‘I wonder if there is an entire world of tunnels and groundhog homes underground?’  I also ran past quite a few geese (which I’m a tad scared of for some reason) and ducks.  The run along this river is beautiful and I totally soaked up every ounce of nature as I passed by. Once I passed Bank Street the path felt like it just kept going, I came up to the 60 minute mark and my legs felt lighter and I felt like I was running with ease.  My pace picked up and I felt like I could keep running forever.  I kept telling myself ‘man I really love to run, I love this route, i have to do this path again’.  I was running a route I had never run before and I was literally the only person on the path, I wasn’t worried but as the time kept passing I kept thinking ‘I hope this path ends up close to my home?’  I had a feeling it did but I wasn’t 100% sure and I also had no idea how much farther I had to go but I planned a 90 minute run and was 70  minutes in, only 20 minutes to go.  I caught myself smiling to myself and saying ‘I am so happy I decided to keep running, this has got to be the best run I have had in a long time’.  And eventually I came to a  path I recognized, the path that leads me home, so I finished my run through Strathacona Park and as I soon as I reached the huge hill up Range Road I stopped running and looked down at my watch….90 minutes and 16 km! I did it and it felt like the time flew by!  I was filled with a huge sense of accomplishment and pure joy.  It was hard to believe that 90 minutes ago I had such a hard time getting myself going and how I had to keep talking myself into continuing to run and not giving up.

So if you’ve made it to the end of this long winded post, thank you for reading. To all you runners out there I encourage you to go for your next run solo, without music, enjoy the sounds of nature, enjoy being with your thoughts and enjoy the journey.  And during the first 5-10 minutes when your body is resisting you and your mind is saying ‘what the heck are you running for’, IGNORE IT and tell yourself you’re just getting started.  Once you’re warmed up you’ll (hopefully) get the feeling I get when I feel as if I could run forever and get lost in just how amazing it feels to sweat while I run. I feel so blessed to be able to run so this motivates me to keep running while I can!

Les 🙂