The Fun of Injuries

This is an ultrasound of my hip. Can’t you tell? Because I certainly can’t.

I haven’t posted much over the past few weeks, mainly because I’ve been injured and not able to do much in the way of training and I’ve been fairly frustrated about the whole situation. After steadily training for years, with short periods of time off for vacations or brief illnesses, having to step back for weeks and then months is really frustrating.

But I’m doing my best to be smart about it. I’m not running through pain. In fact, right now, I’m not running at all, as anyone who follows me on Strava has figured out. I’m biking and swimming, but skipping workouts when I’m more achy than I would like.

More importantly, I’m seeing some professionals about it. I’ve been to Physical Therapy. I saw a orthopedic doctor, who did an MRI (which didn’t tell us anything) and sent me to get x-rays and an MRI. I’m seeing a different orthopedic doctor this week (mainly because I wasn’t pleased by the first guy’s bedside manner, plus he can’t see me again to discuss the x-rays and MRI until the second week of February). The first step is to figure out what’s going on, then go from there.

Until I have a diagnosis, I’m not going to discuss grand details of my symptoms here. Based on what the doctor, my PT, and my massage therapist have said, I am pretty sure it’s one of two things. Neither of them is all that bad (I’m not dying or anything), and neither should require surgery. And I should be totally healed by the 2019 racing season. But that’s a year away.  I just don’t want the entire internet diagnosing me.  (Because let’s be honest, if you ask the internet, you have cancer or Lupus.  And this is neither of those things.)

This year, well I’m just not sure yet. I’m holding out hope. If nothing else, a lot of local races offer Aquabike options, so if I can’t run, I can still race. My 70.3? Who knows. I did buy the insurance, so I’m eligible for a refund. And I have so many friends racing that it’s likely I will still head down to cheer and volunteer. I’m trying to not focus on any of that just yet though. May is still pretty far away, and it’s possible I’ll be back in racing shape again – maybe not the fastest I’ve ever been, but able to complete the race.

The one thing I’m going to try to do is to not let this get me down.  It’s a huge bummer and I’m so incredibly disappointed.  But I’m not the first to be injured, I won’t be the last, and this is likely to not be the only injury I deal with.  So here’s to trying to stay positive.

WDW Cigna Blogger Meetup Recap

This past weekend, I was down at Walt Disney World to cheer on friends and strangers running the various races over WDW Marathon weekend.  In previous years, I had run at least one race that weekend.  Last year, I took the year off and stayed home, and I was filled with so much jealousy at all the fun everyone was having that I insisted on attending this year.  Still didn’t run, which was a good thing, given my lingering hip issues, but I was so, so glad I decided to go.  If you’ve got friends who go and run and you want to go along and cheer them on, DO IT.  (Or if the idea of screaming at strangers on the side of the road and then going to eat a Mickey Bar sounds like fun, this is your chance.)

One fun thing I got to do while I was there was attend the Cigna Blogger Meetup.  I really love all of the information that Cigna puts out surrounding WDW Marathon Weekend.  They’re great about promoting healthy lifestyles, tips for running, and they highlight a number of “every day” runners who are participating in the races.

I particularly enjoy this infographic, because it’s not all “sunshine and light.”  Running a marathon is HARD, guys.

Click to enlarge

The afternoon started with a healthy lunch (including soup to keep all of us warm) and then we went into the games.  While the games were a lot of fun, behind each game were facts about health – knowing your numbers, knowing what a healthy diet looks like, and understanding how to improve your health by making simple changes.

I think in the world of social media, people often get discouraged by the “healthy” people they see online, people who seem to have perfect diets, perfect workout schedules, who never slip up.  I’m sure some of those people are real, but let’s be honest – for most of us, healthy living is a constant challenge.  It’s important to remember that no one’s perfect, and you definitely don’t have to be either.  Just do your best, make smart choices, and know the facts.

I’ve talked before about how important it is to know your numbers and truly understand your health.  So I was a huge fan of this concept.  Unfortunately, it also showed just how much I don’t know.  I’m solid on things like how much sodium I should have, how many alcoholic drinks I should (or shouldn’t) have, but when we get into various vitamins, I have no clue!  I definitely have a lot to learn.  We had one question about Vitamin B, and I couldn’t tell you what foods contain Vitamin B.  Or what Vitamin B does.  But I’m sure it’s important.

One important thing is to make sure that you know facts, not just tips from some random person on the internet.  Make sure that you’re sourcing your information from reputable sources.

The games were a lot of fun – we had to do things like “throw away the sugar” by tossing it into trash cans (oh sugar, how I will miss you).  Of course, you don’t have to throw away all the sugar, just consume it in moderation.  Let’s be honest, most of us consume way too much added sugar in our diets.

Another game involved playing jacks (I was very impressed with some of our team’s jacks skills).  The lesson here was about jumping jacks, or rather, staying active.  Staying active and eating healthy can help lower your cholesterol levels, something I am all too familiar with.  I’m good at the active part, but the healthy eating… well, I can always use help.

We had to make apple towers to… remind us to eat towers of apples?  No, this one was about healthy diet and balance.  Also, balancing apples is really hard.  My team won, of course, because we are geniuses and good at balancing things.

This was a good lesson though, because I know I struggle with balance.  It tends to be all or nothing with me.  I’m either having a healthy period where I eat well, workout, stretch, and generally do good things for myself, or I’m skipping workouts and eating wine and cheese for dinner.  This was a good reminder that I can be healthy but still have balance in my life.

The Cigna team was incredible, and we had so much fun learning and getting to meet Drs. Minnie and Mickey.  Who knew they had time to go to med school!

Thanks for a great event, Cigna!

 

2018 Goals

It’s 2018.  I know, I can’t believe it myself.  But it’s time to set some goals for 2018.

Fitness wise, 2017 was a banner year.  I had a number of amazing races.  It wasn’t something I planned for, but because I focused so much on my training, I ended up with some amazing results.

Finish my 70.3

In 2018, I’ve registered for my second 70.3.  Clearly, finishing that race is going to be a huge goal for me.  I haven’t set any specific goal times for the race as of yet, but I would love to PR.  I definitely think it’s possible, but we’ll save those goals for later.  For now, it’s just about training.

Get Healthy

I’m starting the year with some hamstring issues (I think).  Basically, something is hurty in my left leg.  So goal number one is to get this figured out and fixed.  It’s going to mean more time not running, but getting myself healthy is the most important thing.  It may even mean missing some of my early season races, but again sometimes things happen.  I’m being smart, seeing professionals, not asking Dr. Google, and stepping back from activities that are painful.  (Don’t run through injuries.  It’s a bad idea.)

Diet

In 2018, I also need to clean up my diet.  I’ve gone back to calorie tracking, less for the calories and more to make sure I’m getting enough protein.  I love carbs.  I love carbs so much.  Carbs are life.  And I can keep eating carbs – but I need to be eating way more protein.  Again, I’m not setting a specific goal (eat this much protein, this many carbs) but rather just trying to be more mindful about what I’m doing.

Budget

This year, I need to fix my budget.  While I’m not spending myself into debt, my spending has definitely gotten out of control.  One goal I’m working on is spending less money eating out.  This will also help me clean up my diet.  I’m just spending way too much money getting lunches out once or twice a week.

Giving Back

I spent some time volunteering at races last year and I loved it, so I’m going to do it again this year, and I’m even trying to step it up.  As I was already on the injured list when it came time to register for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler lottery, I just wasn’t feeling it so I decided that I would volunteer at the race instead of running (even though I fully expect to be healed by April).

Giving back is an area that I really want to focus on this year, because I have gotten so much out of the running and triathlon community, and I want to be able to share that with others.

So that’s where I am this year.  It’s a good start, and we’ll see how things go.  I have high hopes for 2018.

2017 Mileage Totals

ImageParty / Pixabay

Well, the year has come and gone, and I managed to track all of my mileage.  I’m really in love with Strava – I love all the stats that come with it.  Years ago, I used DailyMile, and I appreciated the social aspects, but I don’t need a purely social tracker.  However, with Strava, I get all sorts of great data and tracking PLUS the social aspects.  Let’s be honest – social pressure does help keep some of us motivated.

The bigger thing Strava showed me was the amount of time I spent working out this year – 279 hours – over 11 and a half days!

December Totals
Swim: 3.2 miles
Bike: 191 miles
Run: 3.2 miles

Yeah, that run mileage is low.  I didn’t talk about it much, but I’ve been battling something in my left hip/glute/hamstring/quad since before Space Coast.  I had issues with my 6 mile run before the race, then the race went fine til I screwed up my right soleus.  So I had to give that time to heal – and then when I tried to get back to running, my left leg started giving me trouble again.  It’s been incredibly frustrating, and a whirlwind of emotions.  I started to worry that maybe I had a stress fracture in my hip.  Given how things are going, I’m thinking it’s probably hamstring, but I’m not taking this mildly.  I’ve been going to physical therapy, and I’m also going to see an orthopedist, just to be sure this isn’t something more.  But things are looking up.  (At least today – I’ll probably have another meltdown that I’m broken in the next week or so.)

2017 Totals
Swim: 46.8 miles
Bike: 2059 miles
Run: 478.2 miles

So I didn’t make my run goal this year – and I admit, it kills me to be less than 25 miles short.  But stepping back was the smart move.  It’s better to be healthy than to make some arbitrary goal.

 

2017 Year In Review

skeeze / Pixabay

Another year has come and gone.  2017 has been an interesting year in the world, that’s for sure.  Definitely one for the record books.  But personally, it’s been a pretty decent year.  I’m ending it nursing an injury, so sports-wise I’m a little frustrated, so it’s been good to look back at all that I accomplished over the year.

At the beginning of the year, I set some goals.

  1. Continue with Swim Bike Fuel Nutrition Plan
  2. Increase my FTP
  3. Volunteer More
  4. Spend an Hour a Week Crafting
  5. Try to Keep My House Clean

I’d say I hit about 50%.  Sometime mid-year, my diet fell off the rails, but I didn’t start gaining weight back til November.  It’s the holiday eating, I’m sure, and I’m hoping to get those few pounds back off by the end of January. Getting back to basics will surely help.

I did manage to increase my cycling FTP by leaps and bounds.  I’ve still got plenty of room for improvement, but this was an awesome year for biking.

I got in some race volunteering, though not as much as I would like.  Planning to continue to step that up this year.  Race day volunteering is so much fun.  It’s also exhausting.

Crafting… yeah, that didn’t last.  Maybe I should go for one hour a month.  And my house, well it’s a total disaster, especially since I was so busy through December.  I think that getting the house clean is probably a more important goal, but it’s way less exciting.

Race wise, it was an excellent year.  I broke my five year old half marathon PR and had some amazing triathlons.  I PRed a couple of races and I even jumped off of a ferry to start a race.  I got to hang out with friends and Coeur teammates all through the race season.  It was an incredibly fun year.  I definitely missed doing a big long race, but I had a blast with the shorter races (and when I’m out doing 60 mile rides, I’ll probably regret the decision to race long in 2018).

Still figuring out what 2018 has in store, but I’m sure it’s going to be a great year!