Sunday, December 9, 2012

Still going!

Now that the dust has settled from the race, I am relatively caught up on sleep, my overzealous appetite has calmed down a bit, and my leg is feeling much better, I am officially ready to start running again.  

My leg feels great. It occasionally gets fatigued when I am on my feet a lot (especially in heels), but it's a tiny bit of soreness instead of a debilitating pain.  I had both an xray and an ultrasound, and there were no signs of fracture of muscle damage. There was only inflammation along the tibia bone, which I already knew, so I was told to continue resting, icing, etc.  It has been a month since the race and I feel like I have sufficiently taken enough time off from running and am ready to get back in the game.  I keep seeing runners everywhere and I am so jealous of them when I drive by.  It's such a great stress release and a wonderful way to clear my mind.  Plus, the weather is amazing right now - I want to take advantage of this!  The positive side of this is that if my leg is sore, I can afford to take the time off, as opposed to being stuck in the middle of a strict training schedule that did not allow for such things.  

I haven't been taking time off completely.   I took about a week off after the race, and then have been going to the gym to work on my cardio/endurance and overall strength.  I'm up to 4-5 days/week.  It feels amazing to see the changes in my body over the past 6 months, and I am inspired by it and excited to see how much change can occur in the next year prior to the next training cycle. By next year, I should have a lot more muscle and therefore be less likely to injure myself.

What I've learned:
  • If I don't think about it, I don't succeed at it.  This means I need to plan my workouts for the week, and my food.  
  • Motivation is key. I've "liked" a bunch of fitness groups on Facebook so that their motivational pictures and quotes are there in my news feeds.  This is a great thing to see over and over, especially right before I pass the cookie tray at work.
  • Only you are responsible for yourself.  I was so lucky to have such an amazing and reliable training partner getting ready for the Half Marathon.  Since the race, we've both gone back to our normal lives since everything pretty much went on hold for 16 weeks.  With the holidays and cold/flu season, our schedules haven't been the same on a weekly basis.  Only I can be responsible for myself, my health, and the end result.  Just because my training partner takes a day off doesn't mean that I automatically get to.  This train of thought has really helped me, even when I'm tired and would rather lounge on the couch.  
  • Recovery.  Massages, ice/heat packs, hot tubs, and epson salt baths are not just for pampering.  These are equally as important as hydrating and eating before/after the workout, and make a huge difference on my overall health during strict workout weeks.  I HAVE to cut to down on my dependency on ibuprofen - I fear that this was part of the reason my stomach was so flared up on the days leading up to the Half Marathon.  I also need to get back to taking a multi-vitamin, as these nutrients will also aid in recovery as well.  
  • Races!  Getting dates on the calendar already are helping me keep motivated and helping me get geared up for 2013.
So! Going to start with 1-2 runs/week to get back into the swing of things, just to make sure my leg is ready.  We are going to schedule one longer run (maybe 5-6 miles) before Christmas so we are getting in at least one long run per month.  I think this is perfectly reasonable and will help keep us going.  We're also running the BJALCF Your Next Step is the Cure: Santa Hustle 5k on the 15th! Should be fun and we get Santa hats :)

We're also doing the Resolution Run 5k in January and I'm super excited! It's the race that began it all, and I am hoping to get some other people to join us:

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