Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Injury Update - 7.5 Weeks

It's been so long since I've run.  51 days to be exact.  It feels like forever!  High hamstring tendinopathy is a real b*tch.  Thankfully, I've been able to keep up my fitness in other ways.  I've been going to the gym and riding the stationary bike just about every day for 45 minutes.  At first the seat aggravated my butt; however, as my hamstring improved a bit that did, as well.  I tried spinning class a couple of times but found that getting in and out of the saddle, as well as hovering over the seat, left me in pain the next day.  Back to solo rides.

I've also been learning to swim.  Today will be my last of 5 lessons.  When I first started I only knew how to doggy paddle and had never worn goggles or a swim cap.  Now I can swim one full-length of the pool in a somewhat respectable manner.  I have a lot of practice to do and I don't love it yet but I'm getting there.

What I've worked the most on during these past 51 days is strength.  I've been going to Detroit Tough for a Mechanics class.  Coach Terra helps me with balance, mobility, and strength.  I've made a lot of gains from my work with her - both mentally and physically!  (Detroit Tough post to follow shortly.)

Along with my work at Detroit Tough, I'm also finishing up another 4 weeks of physical therapy.  This time I'm going to to Advanced Physical Therapy in Dearborn.  It's been a good experience.  Previous PT was done at Henry Ford Fairlane (not a great experience) and ATI Ann Arbor (good experience).  I've been going 3 days a week for 1-1.5 hours and completing exercises/stretches at home most days that I'm not there.  The exercises all work to strengthen the hips, glutes, and hamstrings.  I'll finish on Friday but continue my home program until I see my orthopedic on January 14th.  He has an option he's considering to speed the healing process, but that would also have recovery time in and of itself.  I will keep you updated on that.

Here are a few of my exercises from physical therapy (all photos courtesy of Brian Wolski):

Straight leg lift 1 of 4 ways (holding 3 seconds): I use leg weights at PT

Straight leg lift 1 of 4 ways (holding 3 seconds): I use leg weights at PT

Clams (holding 3-5 seconds)

Ball Bridge: part 1 (hold 3 seconds)

Ball Bridge: part 2 (hold 3 seconds)

People are starting to ask when I'll run again.  The only answer to that question is that I'll run when I'm pain-free.  After running in pain for 7 months, I'm finally doing recovery right.  

Boston 2015 is probably not going to happen after all.  It would take a miracle.  But I've made my peace with it and set my sights on fall marathons - New York and Chicago.  New year, new races, new cities to see on foot.  And more time to heal.

Read previous injury posts here: 

Injury Update - Still a Pain in the Butt

Injury Update - On the Run Again!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Age Group Award - Detroit Free Press Marathon

It took over 2 months but age group awards were sent out last week for the Free Press races that took place on October 18th and 19th.  Considering that they are personalized and engraved, plus the number that had to go out, the wait makes sense.  The timing was good, coming during week 7 of my running hiatus.  Yes, because of my hamstring injury I haven't been running for SEVEN WEEKS!  So yes, the little reminder that I could once run was nice.

I've won my age group in races before - even in my first marathon - but I've never been as proud of winning as this.  This wasn't an easy race to run.  I was injured before the race even started, my pacing went to sh*t at mile 1, everything was hurting by mile 12 and I had to really push myself to keep going.  My time was 3:08:48.  I finished 15th woman, 118th overall. I qualified for Boston 2016.  But when I was done, all I could think of was that I wanted to have run it faster.  And the fact that I could barely walk.  Now all I can think is that I want to run again.  

It's interesting how a couple months can change things.  Looking back, I am thankful for the race I ran, for what it taught me, and for everything I learned leading up to it.  I love that I fought hard and earned this award, and for that I will cherish it.  However, I will also let it be my reminder to train smarter and pace better.  And to listen to my body so that I will be ready to run again.  

Photo credit: Brian Wolski