Coming Off of Injured Reserve

Honestly I am not sure which is more difficult the actuality of being injured or finally being cleared to get back to normal but at a slow building rate (slow and building doesn’t really seem to be my style).

For the past 10 weeks I have been struggling to get some deep irritation of both my adductor and hamstring on the left leg under control.  Those are big thick muscles so when they are irritated everything is irritated  On top of that they are often slow to heal because you can’t totally rest them.

Well I got myself through my marathon at the end of May and here I writing to you now at the end of June and just about to start another marathon training journey.  So what have I been doing these last couple weeks, well not running or so to speak.

pt

I was told no running, biking, or leg days at the gym for three weeks; and since I could barely walk I was ok with that.  For those couple weeks I focused on my lifting (trying to grow my shoulders for the Night of Champions in October) and walked the dog a lot!

shoulders

backflex

Brandon and I took the time last weekend to upgrade the curb appeal at the front of our house.  With the wedding coming up he was feeling as though it was time to make the curb match the rest of the immaculate landscaping we have.  Talk about a project 🙂

yard

After five hours of removing weeds, dirt, concrete, rocks, twigs, and then laying down bark I will have to admit it looks a lot better.
yardworkBut back to being on injured reserve. While not running was a bit tough, as I would look outside and think man I wish I was running right now I knew that for me to continue pushing in the long run I needed to take a break.  Little did I know was that the not running part was actually going to be the easiest part.

So lets fast forward a little bit to where we are now, the end of June and the Portland Marathon looming in the distance (October).  I was cleared to run two weeks ago and since then I believe I have gotten in four solid real runs; and when I say real I mean did not have to stop and walk because I thought my sartorius was going to explode.
running6running7When I was cleared to run I was all excited and the weight of not running was lifted off my shoulders.  Little did I know that coming back from an injury is a lot harder than merely being injured.  Don’t get me wrong being injured blew balls and not being able to run at all was anything but fun however now that I am cleared to run and having a lot of difficulty my frustration level has sky rocketed.

All I can think about is how I am supposed to be starting marathon training, that I need to be running 35 miles by next week, 40 after that and up to 50 by the end of the month to be on the track I want to be on.  Yet here I am running maybe twice a week because I have to at least, and sometimes two, one day off between each run or my leg wants to die.

running5So why am I more frustrated now when I am able to run than two weeks ago when I wasn’t allowed to run at all? Well here are my reasons:

Being a minute slower:  Prior to injury, and even during the injury, I was running an easy 7:30 during my every day running.  Now it is a struggle to get myself close to the 8:00 minute mark and when I do it feels as though I am pushing through the last 3 miles of a marathon.

Stride is a bit off: Due to the location of the injury and the residual discomfort I still have from the irritation my stride is a little shorter than normal which makes my running awkward feeling.

Not being able to run back to back days: This is probably the most frustrating part because running is something I love to do so the fact that I am unable to right now just plain old frustrates me.

Nagging discomfort: Yes I am usually always sore, that is second nature when you push your body, but this is right over that edge of being sore.

Just wanting to be back to normal: Selfish and a little petty of me but I am ready to be back to normal, back to running everyday, running hard, fast, and being able to push myself. I miss long runs where I go out and get lost in the world, my music, or just the pounding of my feet on the pavement.

Alright I know that list seems a little bit negative and I apologize for that but one of the points of this journey is for you to be a part of all of it, the good and the bad. So despite my slight negativity I am more than thrilled that I am going to be running again and reminding myself that sometimes it takes a little bit of time.  The goal is always to be able to push myself but the bigger picture is that I want to be competing for a long time and running for the rest of my life and to do that I have to make sure I am healthy.

So what is next? Well on Monday the fiance and I both started prep for the Night of Champions, he is competing in Men’s physique and I am competing in women’s open bikini, and next Monday I introduce marathon training on top of that for the Portland Marathon.  It will be a slower build than I am used to when it comes to marathon training but that is training, you have to be flexible and adaptable.

Roughly marathon training will look as follows this time around:

July: 25 miles a week and building to 35.  Working on getting my strength and stride back.
August: 35-50 miles a week, base building focusing on building endurance.
September: 40-55 miles a week with speed workouts thrown in there on a weekly basis.
October: RACE MONTH! Race is the first weekend in October.

It is a journey of a million steps and one that takes a lifetime so I am thankful that I am able to work through it and be a part of the journey.

Have you been injured recently? How did you deal with the recovery time? What parts did you find frustrating and how did you bounce back from those?

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