Monday, August 17, 2015

You know I'm all about that bass...

Typically I have trouble titling my blogs.  This one came to me and I thought, "PERFECT!"  I love this song, and for the past few weeks, I really HAVE been all about that bass.  MY bass.  After being diagnosed with (literally) a weak butt, I've been devoting 30+ minutes per day to the development of my glutes by doing PT exercises out the wazoo!  

Let me backpedal a bit, though.  The last time I blogged, I had just finished a 1-mile swimming race.  I had biked 30 miles the previous day, and I felt strong. I decided to go out for a trial run the next day (it had been over a week since I'd last ran)... and was incredibly dismayed when, after about five minutes, my calf started to get tight.  I had only planned on 10 minutes of running, and when I stopped at the ten minute mark, my calf felt tight and sore.  I couldn't believe it... after a month, my calf still hated me.  

I wasn't sure what to do at this point, but two very smart friends pointed something out to me: I hadn't really ever rested after my injury at the end of June.  After a couple of days, I was in the water and on the bike.  Yes, I had ran only a few times, but the one thing that I hadn't tried was complete rest.  So, that was what I decided to do.  My plan (which my friend Erin--one of those two smarties--helped me concoct) was to do one week of NOTHING.   No PT, no cross training, nothing at all.  Man, was this ever hard!  But I did it.  

In the second week, I added in strength training--light weights and core work.  I also added back in my PT exercises. During the third week, I allowed myself to go to boot camp (with modifications) as well as swim, and I went to a spinning class. The plan was to take a full 21 days off of running. On day 18 (August 13th), though, my PT wanted to do an analysis to see if my calf issues were something called compartment syndrome.  This wouldn't have been a good thing, but she wanted to do the test on the treadmill where she could be right there and actually see what was going on if/when my calf got tight.  The test involved her taking my dorsalis pedis pulse (my pulse in my foot) prior to running, and again after, looking for a lowering in the pulse.  I agreed to this, and after a warm-up I started out on a 10-minute run that was at 6.8 mph (8:45/mile pace).  Jenny--she's my totally awesome PT--wanted me to do a pace that was comfortable yet not too easy.  This speed felt good so I stuck with it.

The wonderfully amazing news: I didn't have any pain or tightness!  I was practically holding my breath for the final five minutes, expecting it to happen as it had been doing prior to my resting.  But it didn't!  My pulse didn't change at all either, so compartment syndrome was thankfully ruled out.  In addition, Jenny noticed that my gait actually had improved in just a few weeks--my knee drive looked better, and hip wasn't dropping as much. So exciting!  All of the work on my booty is paying off!  Jenny agreed that I could start running again, no more than two miles every other day.

That was on Thursday morning. The old Marcie would have gone out Saturday and ran two miles at the MRTT group run without a second thought.  The new, smarter Marcie (we'll call her Marcie 2.0) realized that I hadn't taken a full rest day in a week, and chose instead to wait until Sunday.   I also kept the run to 15 minutes, and did it solo so that I could focus on my form and not chatting with my friends.  See--so smart!  The run went super--I actually choked up at the end, I was so happy.  I'm planning on doing the same thing tomorrow.  A few friends invited me to run with them, but I turned them down and am running a solo 20 minutes in my 'hood.  I'm not even tracking my runs on my Garmin watch; I wear it to see how many minutes I'm running, but that's it.  Marcie 2.0 is concentrating on making sure that these stupid calf injuries go away and never come back.  

So, what's next?  That's always the question.  I'm going back to school next week, so my focus will have to swing from being on myself to being on my job.  I plan on running three times a week, and cross training a few times a week as well. I started boot camp classes at a studio that is literally less than a mile from my house, and they're lots of fun--and hard work!  I hope to VERY SLOWLY increase my running mileage.  I have the Market-to-Market relay that is in just under three weeks; I have the lowest mileage: a 2.4 and a 4.6 mile leg... but my teammates are aware that there's a good chance I'll just be running the 2.4 mile leg and one of them will take the other one.   I'm supposed to do a 4-mile race on Labor Day (two days later) with my son, but it will likely be a run/walk as this is his first race... or I may just spectate.  It was only $5 to enter anyway.  I'm scheduled to do a 4-mile race again with him in late October, but again, I'm not planning on actually racing, at least not at my personal race-pace.  Nothing is planned racing-wise in 2015... which I was calling "The Year of Injury" but have now decided to name "The Year of Strength". I am working on being stronger physically and mentally, and I know that this will pay dividends in 2016.

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