Over the past few weeks, I've been spending a lot of time on my yoga mat and absolutely no time in my running shoes. There are two reasons for this.
ONE: In a way, I am training for my upcoming 200 hour power yoga teacher training. A good friend introduced me to YogaGlo a while back, and so I am experimenting with more on-the-mat time at home, in addition to my usual studio classes. With all the online classes, I feel like a kid in a candy store each time I log on. I want to do all of them because let's face it, yoga is (or can be) a lot of sweaty fun. Yesterday it was Vinyasa flow with Jo, this morning was made brighter practicing Ashtanga with Jodi.
TWO: I know it's already national ice cream month (because we all need more encouragement to eat ice cream, clearly). However, I'm also calling July my own "respect your injuries" month. As such, I am not running all month. It's my non-running streak, which, I might add, is a lot harder than a month-long running streak would be. No test runs, as those have backfired so many times (and for every proverbial step forward I've been taking one or two steps back).
I'm hiding my shoes in the closet.
I'm signed up for the Santa Rosa Marathon on August 25. Whether this is going to happen or not is unclear and will be decided once I put my shoes back on August 1st... And then I'll start tapering. (Not!)
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Stating the obvious: over the past few months, I've had to cut back on running miles almost entirely, which is not fun and pretty frustrating. But not to worry, I would still describe myself as clinically sane, thanks to a few races here and there.
|Nerd moment. Yess. -Credit-|
I chose 3) stay a little frustrated but have a lot of fun building new strength to run safer and better in the future.
My diagnosis: It has been called an IT band issue, a popliteal strain and I was given plenty to be confused about. My MRI finally showed the beginnings of a stress fracture (likely the result of impact from a lacrosse ball back in January and my failure to stop running earlier to let that heal) as well as some cartilage damage and swelling in multiple places. I've gone to a great ortho/sports medicine doctor, physical therapy and got multiple types of shots (with scary needles). It still hurts when I try to run. I was told to ice, then I was told that since it is not muscle, but joint/structure related, icing is counterproductive and I should use heat therapy. Marvelously simple, right?
Discovery (or "duh moment"): running long distances does not, in itself, make you strong or provide you with core stability. However, without balanced strength and a stable core, running long distances safely, injury-free and efficiently becomes very difficult. Marathon running (and training for them) places great demand on the body, breaking down muscles and straining joints and bones too. So, while it would be intuitive to think that training to run 26.2 (or more) miles requires a lot of running, in reality it requires much more than just running.
Work in Progress
As per my original post in April, but more specifically.
Naturally, food has been my first focus. I have added more omega-3s and shifted to a diet with more anti-inflammatory/antioxidant components, also incorporating supplements like Glucosamine and Wobenzym N. Can't expect healing to happen without using quality fuel (nutrition).
|Studio MDR -Credit-|
For some months leading up to my issues, I traded my yoga time for more running. Apparently, not so smart. Training for the ultras sort of forced me to, given there are only 24 hours in a day. I've now committed to re-focus my practice. Heated yoga (hot power yoga more specifically) is the most amazing form of active heat therapy. Strength + Flexibility + Meditation = sunshine in my mind and body. Needless to say, it has helped a lot and I've also signed up for a hot power yoga teacher training starting September! I love you, Hot8Yoga.
Oddly, swimming has been tough on my knees. Strange, right? Regardless of the lack of impact, the cold water and types of movement seem to make it a little worse. It took my a while to conclude this since swimming is *supposed* to be the best cross training, especially when you're injured...
(More on cross training from an earlier post here).
Why am I posted all of this? Other than my love for talking/writing about running-related issues, I hope you can learn from (or smile at) my silly mistakes. Of course, if you have discovered the miracle cure for running injuries, feel free to share ;)