I'm Back (long posting) ***UPDATES***

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

So, I'm back again.

I haven't been kind to myself and my body got mad at me. I am currently recovering from lower back, both knees, and right ankle injuries. The only thing really bothering me still are my knees. In order to keep my back happy, I started using the foam roller. Sadly, I don't use it nearly as much as I should. :( After everything, I still don't stretch very often.

Allow me to reiterate what I have always known, but don't always do==> STRETCHING IS IMPORTANT.

Well, I almost always stretched after every run, but when running as much as I was, the amount of stretching has to match. See, I got the original injury --the back injury-- because (1) I didn't increase my mileage incrementally and (2) because I wasn't stretching accordingly. I would like to believe increasing from running 20 miles/week to running 40 miles/week in one week (preparing for a marathon) wouldn't have been such a bad idea if I'd increased from stretching abt 1.5 hours a week to at least 3 or 4. Unfortunately, I will never know. While it was a lot of fun to run 40 miles/week, I know I have to build back up to it like a responsible adult. lol

So, on top of being injured and still not stretching, I was urged by a doctor to not run the upcoming marathon. Did I listen? lol Of course not. By mile 10, I wanted to cry and wished an infirm van was following me so I could quit. Did I quit? Yes. I had to-- I started feeling pain in places I didn't know pain could come from and I recognized the lower back (that I was ignoring) was sending pain to other places I couldn't ignore. After running 13.1, I finally listened. The doctor had given me great medicines the week before and I considered medicating before or even halfway through the run. But, I don't like taking meds unless I have to and I incorrectly believed my lower back wasn't THAT angry with me. Clearly, I was wrong about my lower back. lol

So, that marathon was on Dec 18th and here it is, Feb 8th and I still cannot run. The doctor told me, after another visit, that I cannot run another marathon for one to two years until my knees have healed. I almost cried. He told me the 2nd marathon I had scheduled for Feb 11th absolutely wasn't going to happen. In order to keep me honest, he told me he'd had to tell runners who ignored his advice and subsequently injured themselves again, that they would never again be able to run. He had to refer them to the pool. *gasp* I like the pool, but not when its my only option. Still tho, I ALMOST ignored him until the physical therapist --3 weeks after seeing the doctor-- almost failed at not laughing at me when I asked about running my Feb marathon. This happened during my initial appt 3 weeks ago.

Sooooo, I haven't been able to run since November (except for that one day in December when I ignored the doc's advice), but I continued to eat like I was running. I've gained pounds (but not in any of the places I could've used Since I discovered the love of running, it took over my life and there's pretty much nothing else I love to do. That makes it hard to workout.

I started a kickboxing class when I moved to California and fell in love with it. I did the class 5 days/week and ran 5 days/week. When I got up to 20 miles/week, I stopped the class. So, once my knees and lower back started cooperating, I went into the gym and started up again with the heavy bag. I would foam roll after every session so my back wouldn't hate me the next day. After 2x b/c pain started kicking in, I realized you do need your knees in order to kickbox. lol I backed off of the heavy bag and became good friends with the speed bag.

When I first started with the speed bag, I was TERRIBLE. I mean horribly terrible. lol It took about 3 sessions to really get it together. I'm still not as fast as the men that use the speed bag, but I have reason to suspect they've been using it more than just a couple of weeks. lol I try to go every Tues & Thurs (to the gym near me, not to the one where I was doing the kickboxing) to hit the speed bag and do a few kicks. I'm proud that my speed bag sessions are easily b/t 1-1.5 hours. Last time I went (didn't go yesterday), I even jumped rope (on a heavily padded mat & with running shoes on) for about 12 minutes. I think it was 15 minutes with the breaks. You'll be happy to know my knees didn't hate me after that. :-)

I started lifting weights again. Okay, I thought about starting weight lifting again. I tried to start a few months ago, but the men in the gym kinda looked at me like I was alien. I don't know why, but it made me feel uncomfortable and I stopped. Two nights ago, I pulled out my dumbbells and did one exercise for my triceps. I was HORRIFIED at how low I had to set the weight. All of my progress, gone. To be fair, most of my progress was made in 2009. I haven't really lifted seriously since then. I did P90X and Insanity several times since then and I suspect that's the only reason why my arms didn't turn to complete mush.

I said all of that to say, because I was stupid and caused my own injuries, I am now trying to get back into working out while doing something other than running. Unfortunately, the pool here is not open, or I would've been ALL over it. So, weight lifting again on MWF. Yes! Speed/heavy bag on T/Th. Yes! Stretching & foam roller every day. Yes! Biking (that I dislike) on T/Th. Yes!

(Can you believe the physical therapist told me to bike for 10 minutes a day to see how my knees feel and if they feel normal, to increase in 5 minute increments??? Doing so little is killing me!)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What an encouraging blog you've written. I was just trying to get myself back in the game, and have used your blog and Sydney's comments as a way of motivating me to get back in the gym. Thank you all for your encouragement. Tessa
    3164 days ago
    So remember that song? "your leg bone is connected to your hip bone..."

    So your back and your abs/core are connected, in your original post you talk about wanting to be rid of your belly-just like women who are preggers and suffer back injuries so goes women with weak abs or belly weight.

    I blew one knee at 27 and that was long enough ago that they said, no running. Almost 20 years later as I only took up running two years ago the doctors are, "hey, if you can do it, do it and we'll give you this cortisone shot to take the edge off" All of my previous knee injuries have resulted in big time arthritis of my left knee and at 46 I don't think it's funny to be a human barometer(my knee hurts, it's going to rain)

    You can train to run without I'm not drunk. There is a whole book and philosophy about running faster and running less. I did my one and only half last October, it was too hard on my knees to train and a miserable run. I stick to 10K's now and collect the cool t-shirts and still have fun. I do all my training on a treadmill at the gym, on an incline(easier for my knees) because it's bouncy. I replace my sneakers every 500 miles and I go for cushion and stability over cute or style, check out the lime green ones I sport on my spark page. Beats the heck out of the Brooks I used for my half training.

    I don't run more than 3 miles except for a race but as soon as I finish 3 miles running I pop onto an elliptical and do my other 3 miles(low incline, easier for knees) the one with the moving arms at the same pace I run. Ergo when I do a 10K I can go all 6 miles even though I haven't run 6 miles. Like you I carry my weight well and really fit with 10% body fat before kids I weighed 170 and the boys at the fair, always guessed 140-150. Currently I'm at 186, I have a triathlon(Sprint Distance) in June. When I originally hurt my knee my ortho doc explained that all knees are designed to carry 150 pounds whether you are 4 foot 1 or 7 feet. For every ten pounds OVER that you exponentially increase the pressure on your knees, which wears them down faster.

    You can combat the pressure to your knees by weighing 150 pounds, probably not going to happen for this girl! Or you can build up all your muscles supporting your knee, a muscle cast for lack of a better word. Your friend needs to be the weight rack at the gym. You need to learn how to do MODIFIED Squats, lunges etc to build leg strength, core strength and back strength...while you're at it-may as well take your arms along for the ride!?

    You sound like you have enough sass to stare down the dudes at the gym BUT if you don' need to hire a GREAT TRAINER who's worked with injured athletes to learn HOW TO WORK OUT CORRECTLY. Then you can swagger into the gym and start building some strength. Running 26.2 miles makes you an athlete so treat yourself like one! Also, 80% of being an athlete is DIET so eat like you are training...protein after a work out, a few carbs before. Don't give up, just change it up! Sydney
    3188 days ago
  • no profile photo WAYAMINA
    Welcome Back!

    Thanks for sharing your story and keep on progressing and thanks for the motivation.

    I'm getting back at again myself and each day is a new day to move forward.

    Good Luck!

    3247 days ago
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