A new perspective

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Table Rock 30K

There are thousands of reasons why I run. It’s my alone time. It’s my social time. It’s my chance to connect with nature. It exhausts me. It energizes me. It gives me confidence and it makes me doubt myself. It makes me feel alive. Heart beating in my throat, legs screaming, sweat stinging my eyes, gasping for breath to fill my lungs. There is no truer expression of celebrating my body than by pushing it to its limits.

But therein lies the problem: my body has limits. I’ve toed that fine line a few times over the past couple years but have avoided serious injury since February of 2013. I do all the right stuff. I strength train. I take rest days. I do yoga and eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods and sleep 8 hours a night. I try to listen to my body, even if it is telling me the exact opposite of what I want to hear. Recently my body has been talking loudly and I’ve had to make some tough decisions based on what it’s been telling me. It’s been a few months since my last blog, so let me bring you up to speed. Buckle up. Continue reading

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Surviving Injury

 

hike

This guy will hike with you ANY TIME.

Okay, so your doctor has put the final nail in your running coffin and has said those dreaded words, “stop running.” Great. Now what? Well, you have a couple options. You can sulk on the couch while binging on ice cream and Netflix, cursing the running gods for allowing this to happen, or you can make the best of your downtime and become a regular at the gym. Your body, and your friends, will appreciate the latter much more. I’ll lay out your best options below.

Cardio

Can you walk? Then go walk. Hike. Find some steep hills and power your butt up it. Get on the treadmill and crank the incline to 15%. This is especially useful if you have a trail race on the calendar.

Can’t walk? Then bike. Go outside if you aren’t too afraid of crazy-ass drivers and clip-in shoes (like me). Get on the spin bike if you are. Explore the cult of SoulCycle. We are just chasing that endorphin fix, after all. Continue reading

The 8 Phases of Injury

Running into Denial (not just a river in Egypt). Photo by Mark Kuroda

I’m injured and I can’t run. There. I said it. Cue emo music.
In a sport with an injury rate reported to be between 30 and 70 percent (kind of a massive range there, scientists), I bet you personally know at least one runner down for the count right now. I haven’t had a major injury since February of 2013. That’s three years of never being forced to take more than a few days off. I started to think I was invincible. Big mistake. 
A few weeks ago I strained my hip while doing weighted lunges with a trainer. That hip thing turned into a foot thing. And now it hurts to walk. Wahhh. Instead of crying alone under the covers (which I may or may not have done) I’ve channeled my energy into describing the various phases we runners go through when faced with a disastrous event like an injury. I know you’ve been there, and we will all be there again at some point. So take heart in knowing you aren’t alone. 

Denial. It barely hurts. I’ll just slap some KT Tape on there and it’ll be fine. I mean, I’m hardly limping at all! It’ll be fine if I foam roll a little bit. 

Anger. I’ve taken TWO whole days off and it’s not feeling better! WTF. Come on, body. You asshole. Get it together!

Blame Game. If only I had told him I couldn’t handle that weight. Why did I do that extra workout? I’m/coach/trainer is such an idiot. I could have avoided this whole thing if it weren’t for that one thing!

FOMO. I hate everyone and I will cry if I look at Strava. How dare they run without me! Why are you asking me about my race? Nobody understands the suffering I’m experiencing right now!

Acceptance. Okay, well, it’s been a week and this thing still hurts. I guess it’s real. But let me test it out one more time just to make sure… Yeah still hurts. Now even worse. FINE I’LL STOP RUNNING.

Pity Party. I’m never going to run again. I have to miss all these races I signed up for. But seriously what if I can’t run again? Will I have to take up cycling?! Kill me now. 

Motivation. I am going to get so fit by pool running and ellipticaling, my body won’t even know what’s happening. I’m going to work on my deadlifts and pullups. All the GAINZ.

Return to Running. OMG OMG I ran for 10 minutes my life has never been so good!!!! I will never take this for granted again!!!

Why Me?! Running Injury Guide: Shin Splints

This is the first post in a new series I’m writing, called the “Why Me?! Running Injury Guide.” Injury is a sad reality of competitive running, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your training. If you take a proactive approach by finding out the true cause of the pain, instead of just treating the symptoms and taking time off like the doc prescribes, you will come back stronger and less likely to get injured again. Throughout this series I will explore the most common running injuries, their potential causes, and how to rehab yourself. Now, if your foot falls off or if bone is poking through the skin, go see a doctor. But more often than not, a reduction in volume, some mobility and strength work, and a slow return to running will get you through recovery road. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions about specific injuries. I’m happy to help a fellow runner in need!

First up, the dreaded shin splints… 
Continue reading