Finally off the injury couch

I am so happy to report that I am finally pain-free from my hamstring/glute injury.

A few days ago, after doing weeks of run/walk intervals, I completely ran 3.50 miles. I took a few breaks to stretch out my back and hamstrings. It was more of a jog than an run but I wasn’t walking. Other than feeling tired, I had no residual pain and it gave me a great feeling of accomplishment.

It is probably the first time in my life that I actually followed medical advice. The pain specialist told me to take 6 months off and rest and concentrate on re-educating those muscles with stretching exercises. I did and I also began doing restorative yoga.

The most important lesson I came away with was the importance of stretching before and after a run. Prior to injury, I was very complacent when it came to this, but no more. With that being said, I’ve been using resistance bands, stability balls, etc. to do stretching and strengthen the glutes. I also recognized the need to do more core work and my trainer and I have been doing more of that in our sessions.

I now look forward to running my first 5k, since fall, in Gettysburg in a few weeks.

Back in the running shoes, again

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted. Since October, I’ve been dealing with an injury that started out as a muscle pull and turned into tendinosis in my hamstring and glute, where the two meet.

If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is go see the doctor right away. Don’t depend on Dr. Google or Dr. WebMD. In other words, leave it up to the professional and don’t self-diagnose. The actual injury happened in September and I thought I could cure it myself. That was my first mistake.

So, I went through 4 weeks of physical therapy because I wanted to be able to run my first 10k, which was in November. This race was on my bucket list for over a year and I had signed up for it a few months prior to injuring myself. I got myself well enough to walk the race. I was disappointed because I had trained to run this and had my time down to a 14 minute mile. My walking time was just under 2 hours.

After this, I ended up going back to not doing anything but doing the exercises that I brought home from PT. Around Christmas, I had so much pain that I could hardly walk. I went back to the sports doctor and had an MRI which showed tendinosis in the glute and hamstring. He referred me to the pain specialist and two weeks later I had my first and so far, only cortisone shot. I’ve been trying to hold off on a second shot.

Last summer, 10 of us signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k in Philadelphia, which had I been able to run, I could have trained well for it. I put a lot of money into it (race fee, hotel, train ticket). This was on April 1 and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to run this thing. However, I did cross the start line but at 4.5 miles I had to drop out because of too much pain plus some intestinal stuff going on. I walked over to the finish line to wait for my friends and I did get a finisher’s medal to bring home.

While I wasn’t able to run, I did keep up with the personal trainer to work on upper body strength. I am now at the point where a run/walk is bearable. I know I have a few more months until I can expect to feel completely well, and I know that I will be dealing with this the rest of my life. I always thought that my first injury would either be foot or knee related.

The second thing this injury has taught me is to not be complacent about stretching before and after working out or running.

I am also training with the trainer once a week for an hour of full body training. I really love legwork and need to rebuild the muscles up in my legs…LOOK OUT LEG PRESS!

My goal is to get my running time back up to at least do a 17 minute mile for a 5k in June. I feel like a beginner but at least I may be down but I’m not out.

Since My 60-day Run Challenge I’ve Developed a PITA

It’s been about 6 weeks since I posted about my 60-Day Run Challenge. I was happy to raise over $700 for our local sexual assault counseling center.

Since then, I have been on and off (more on) the injury couch. After nursing myself, I decided to make an appointment with a sports doctor. I went 2 weeks ago and the verdict is/was tendonitis in my hamstring and glute and some minor hip issues. That being said, I began some short-term physical therapy. The exercises that I have been diligently doing twice a day at home have benefited me greatly.

I have had 3 consecutive pain-free days and am keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way. A few weeks ago, I had so much pain that it nauseated me. Thank God that is gone.

Through this, I have realized that my trainer and I need to do more core work (which I hate), so along with the PT, they are working together on a program for me.

Hopefully, I will be allowed to begin a walk/run program next week. It has been killing me not to be out on the trail, especially now…this is my favorite season.  Also, I have the “Across the Bay 10k” coming up on Nov. 6th. I know I’m going to probably have to walk it, but if I don’t do it, I’ll just have an expensive tee shirt. Nah…I’m gonna walk it.

So, that’s where I am at.

 

What a 60-day Run Streak Taught Me

This past Saturday, my #60dayrunchallenge” aka #MilesForSARCC  came to an end. My initial goal was to run 2 miles a day, but it got a little more real and out of control and 211 miles and 60 days later, I learned and discovered:

1. I’m capable of much more than I give myself credit for.
2. I have an over abundance of friends and family, who, without their love and support, I couldn’t have done this. (“It takes a village.” Hilary Clinton) Thanks, everyone!
3. I can go the distance, and it hasn’t killed me…no more 3 mile limits.
4. I love trail running more than pavement pounding.
5. I got my first pair of trail shoes.
6. I want to do more than a 5k or 10k race
7. I learned how to use the video function on my phone.
8. I learned how to do a Facebook Live video. (Keep watching this spot. 😀👍)
9. I learned the importance of keeping hydrated during this hot and humid days and now I don’t do runs without my hydration pack.
10. I discovered new trails and running routes.
11. I’m learning to like hills…not ready for the “L” word yet.
12. Running can be a solo activity or teamwork and sometimes both at the same time.
13. Joining a great running group (Lebanon County PA, Moms/She Runs This Town) is everything. Peer support at it’s finest. Thank you ladies!
14. My pace per mile has improved by about 1 minute. I can now do a 17-18 minute mile.

There are probably more things that I will realize after I post this, but my future plans is to a week to regroup and then begin preparing for my 10k Across the Chesapeake Bay, in November, and also start training for a half-marathon (my goal for 2017.)

I know that anything I do is because of God’s will and my determination.

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60 Day Challenge Update

I’m into day 27 of a 60 Day Challenge that was given to my running group by a fellow group member. So far I have run 87 miles. My goal is 120 miles, and I am way ahead of my proposed plan of 2 miles per day.

I love this challenge and have been using it as a training tool…intervals, hill work, learning how to pace myself. I’ve been running longer distances and have a new found love of trail running.

I’ve once again left my comfort zone by signing up for my first 10k in November…the 10k Across the Bay in Annapolis.

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Again, taking on a new challenge–fear of heights and bridges…double-whammy. However, I am looking forward to it and I’m also thinking that I might take this 60 Day Challenge past 60 days because I am thriving on it.

I’m also thinking that I want to train for a HM as a 2017 goal. I’d welcome any comments or recommendations on training programs.

First Milestone in My Running Life

I began running in May of 2013, when I received my SilverSneakers card. I decided that I wanted to start running and began on the treadmill at Anytime Fitness. It was months before I had the nerve to go out on the streets, and then it was before the sun came up, so no one would see me. I wasn’t serious about record keeping of my miles until 2014, and even then it was because I still wasn’t convinced that I was a runner.

I did my first 5k in March of that year in Baltimore with my family cheering me on and my brother-in-law, who also ran that race. It was that race that really got me hooked on running. I knew I would never be a fast runner and I wasn’t in it to get the bling that comes along with winning races. I just loved the feeling of being out there and feeling the fresh air hitting me in the face. I wasn’t running for time or distance.

It was the summer of 2014 that I found a group on the internet, based in the UK, of runners, like myself, who were new to the sport. We gave each other, and still do, a lot of peer support. I began to follow the UK version of the C25k coaching program. The app had a coach named Laura, who gave you encouragement, while you used the program. It was well into the 9-week program when she told me that I was a runner, and I believed it.

Skip ahead to 2015…I began to begin to take running seriously. I began running on a more consistent schedule, decided that time wasn’t the factor, but distance was and gradually increased my distance. I also got my first Garmin. What a difference from 2014, when I was a ‘beginner’, to the end of 2015, where I passed my goal of 500 miles to 553.

Presently, I have gone outside of my comfort zone and joined a group of local women, Lebanon County PA Moms Run This Town. It was one of the best things I have done for myself and my running. My distances are increasing, I’ve made some new friends, and the peer support is fantastic. They convinced me that I can do a 10k (OMG…6.2 miles at one shot!) and we all signed up for the 10K Across the Bay in November.Not only will this be a challenge mile-wise, but I will also be facing my fear of heights and suspension bridges.

I’ve also been doing a 60-day run challenge, again inspired by one of our group. I’ve made mine into a fundraiser for one of my favorite human service agencies, the Sexual Assault Counseling Center of Lebanon County (SARCC). For every mile I run during the challenge, I am donating $1.00 to SARCC. I’ve also put up a challenge to my Facebook friends to match me with 50 cents per mile and I have about 5 friends who committed to me.

Today was Day 21 of the 60-day challenge and I have a total of 65.24 miles. My goal is 120 miles in the 60 days and I’m more that half-way there.

Today, I ran my 1000th lifetime mile and I hit that mark in front of my childhood playground. IMG_1905

Below you can see how my mileage has progressed over the years. It took a lot of determination, sweat, and love of the sport to get to where I am today, and a strong body and legs  that God blessed me with to get to this point.

  • 2014 – 85.73 miles
  • 2015 – 553.74 miles
  • 2016 YTD – 361.06

So here I am, 3 years and two Garmins later: July 26, 2016 – 1000.53 LIFETIME MILES

No turning back…only forward!

 

I Love a Challenge

About a week ago, one of the women in my Moms Run This Town (MRTT) group put out a challenge for us to do a 60 Day Run Challenge to help her finish out her current runstreak.

I’m always up for a challenge and decided to take it one step further. I decided to donate $1.00 for each mile I do in the next 60 days to our local sexual assault counseling center, where I volunteer. To sweeten the pot, for the agency, I challenged my local FB friends to match my miles by donating 50 cents a mile. I’ve had about 5 friends go for it. The agency thinks it’s a great idea and have put the challenge out to their supporters, too. This agency has played an important part in my life and recovery from my own abuse issues.

Today is day 7 and I’ve racked up 20 miles. My average weekly mileage is between 9 and 15 miles. I’m loving this challenge because it also challenges me to up my running game in the areas of stamina and speed. I’m averaging 2.85 miles a day. My original goal was to do 2 miles a day for 60 days and I’m already past that goal.

The way I see it, it’s a win-win game for everyone. The agency gets some donations that they wouldn’t regularly get and I can make people aware of what this agency does for the victim/survivor of sexual assault.

Stay tuned for more on this topic.