The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race. -Unknown
In my last post I talked about the injury I was dealing with in my calf. A few weeks have passed and I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write for a while, so I guess it’s time to do some catching up!
I did go to see the orthopedic surgeon / sports medicine specialist that my doctor referred me to. In fact, I was seen by a team of young doctors. An intern, a resident and the surgeon all came in to see me and discussed their thoughts with me. The resident said he was also a runner, so I liked knowing that he understood where I was coming from.
They were able to rule out any serious injury. It didn’t appear there were any torn ligaments or pulled muscles or anything serious. The diagnosis was basically overuse / overexertion. Pretty much what I thought, but I was glad to have anything more serious officially ruled out by medical professionals. I’ve reached the age of being practical enough to not want to take unnecessary risks.
Basically what happened was that I pushed too much, too quickly in my training. And my body was patient and willing to work with me up to a point. Once I crossed that “red line” my body clearly let me know I had gone too far, that I needed to take a step back, and that it wasn’t negotiable.
Even as I sat in the surgeon’s office, with my legs all swollen and sore, my first question was “how soon can I get back to my training?” The team of doctors all agreed I needed to take a little time off from running or walking (for exercise that is, normal every day walking around work or at home was fine), they told me to rest until the swelling was gone and there was no sign of pain anymore.
Moving forward, the doctor’s recommendation was to take things very slowly (he was actually impressed when I described the plan I was originally following and how careful I had been, prior to the race training, to taking things slow!) He said I need to focus more on stretching, both before and after my workouts. And he thought it may be a good idea for me to run with compression socks. I have looked around a bit and good running compression socks are pretty expensive, so while I think that may be a good idea for me since I seem to have this tendency toward swelling, I think that purchase will be put off for a while until I am back into running more. Doc was in favor of me continuing my pursuit of cross training like the swimming I’ve been doing, and the strength training, he thought that was perfect.
So here is the thing. I am a pretty determined person (read: stubborn). So there is no way that I plan to allow my self to be side tracked too much from my fitness goals. But I will take the smart approach and do everything I can to avoid further injuries.
As I mentioned in my previous post , I decided to spend some time working on my upper body and core strength. I have begun the 30 Day Arms Challenge and am currently on Day 19. If you’d told me a year ago to do 38 push ups, 85 bicep curls, 70 dips and 90 seconds of punches, in one day, I’d have said there is NO way I could do it. But not only am I doing it now, but this challenge only gets tougher as I progress through the 30 days! My arms have been so sore! But, I am starting to see some real definition in my arm muscles which is pretty exciting, can’t wait to see the results at the end of the 30 days. I will probably work a few sets of these exercises into my ongoing rotation when this is done, just to make sure I keep what I’ve worked so hard for.
In case you’re interested in trying this 30 Day Arms Challenge, and some of my friends have asked me about it and I have told them they could find it on my blog – so I’m reposting it here for easy reference:
I also had mentioned earlier that I found a decent core training plan on Runner’s World that I wanted to try. I have worked that in a couple of times so far this month when I had nothing else on my calendar but the Arms Challenge. It’s a pretty short workout and while I’m sure it is effective, I’m not getting a warm fuzzy feeling about it, so I’m probably going to keep looking for some other core strengthening plans that I can keep in my normal rotation.
What I also found on Runner’s World is a 7-week walking plan that I decided to follow. This plan is designed for absolute beginners, like someone who just started to exercise. Since I don’t know exactly at what point in my transitioning from walking to running I hit that “red line”, I’ve decided it will be a good idea to just begin at the beginning. There’s no harm in taking a step back to try to do this a better way.
The 7 week walking plan includes 4 walks per week. A really short, easy walk on Monday, a little bit longer walk on Tuesday and Thursday and a long walk on Saturday. You get Wednesday, Friday and Sunday off. I like that because on 2 of those off days I can combine my Arms Challenge with core strength training to still burn some calories, work on my strength and fitness, but let my legs rest. And the third rest day I take a break from just about everything and really rest. There’s no specific speed or mileage requirement, so I’m picking back up with where I left off on my speed progression before I went all crazy prepping for the Kona Run. The duration of the walks slowly increases each week, very slowly, which I like. By the end of the 7 weeks I’ll be back up to my 55 minute walks. This week I started “week one” and the long walk on Saturday was only 35 minutes, and the short walk on Monday was only 15 minutes so this felt like a nice easy way to get back into the swing of things after taking 2 weeks off.
At this point, all the swelling is gone from my legs and I feel so much better. It felt good to rest for a bit but it also is feeling good to get going again. Part of me just likes to keep doing something so I can keep eating, lol! I had just decided to increase my daily calories from 1350 to 1500 right before the injury, so during my rest time my weight has creeped up a pound or two, but nothing too serious that won’t be taken care of easily as I get going again.
If you’re interested in finding out more about these walk-to-run plans, visit The Starting Line from Runner’s World.
Runner’s World also has other plans to follow and I think I will go right through their progression from basic walking, to walking with some running, to adding more running, to all running.
My husband and I are planning on running another 5K race for Halloween, so I’ve got 4 months to get back to a place where I can safely run the race. We are going to do the Wicked Halloween Run in Plymouth, MI.
Not only is my birthday just a few days before Halloween, but also our wedding anniversary is in October and so is the anniversary of 2 other couples we are close friends with. One of them, Brian and Stacy, we actually ran into (no pun intended) at the Kona Run – Stacy was running the 5K and her mom was running the 10K. Stacy had mentioned this 5K race in October and we thought it would be cool to all do it as a celebration of our wedding anniversaries. So when Chad and Dawn heard about this, now they want to do it too, they are the other couple with the October anniversary. I am really excited to see all our friends getting fit and healthy, it is a really wonderful thing! 🙂