Back to the grind

  
Not going the lie that the storm really set me back. Yesterday was my first time really back in the pool since last week. It felt amazing but I was a little weak and I could feel it. This one session reminded me how important my whole process is. I plan today to go back to the basics and work on them deligently. Today I will do my hip and back stability and strengthening. I will also do chest and arms. Back to grinding out a solid routine. 

Work has become increasingly stressful, and it is reflecting all throughout my life. I refuse to go another week with this mentality. I need a goal a solid amazing goal. I think once I have something tangible it will change my game face, my attitude, and my life. The hard part is setting a reasonable goal. Here is what I came up with:

March 25th run a mile.

I had to take this week to remind myself that the ultimate end game is to run again. I need to be that rekkrrunner. I need to find my inner warrior runner and get lost on a trail or beach. Well all this being said I need to get everything in order to get over to the gym and fit this all in. 

Til next time. 

Steel 

All day workout!

Okay I’m sure many of you guys shoveled out your car today in order to get to work right? So just do that 40 plus times in a row. I totally have to skip the gym tonight…13 straight hours I’ve been working out! I work for a rental car agency and our lot just isn’t the best for plowing. So I spent my entire work day shoveling out 40 cars.  

 I hope that my bad day with my pain doesn’t turn into a bad week! I took a Epsom salt bath trying to elevate the pain of my sore back and leg. Tomorrow will be another long day. I hope that I still feel like my body can handle the gym after work. I at least want to get a swim in, I miss the pool so much!

Anyone else have particularly hard Monday’s?

Pain 

I used to like pain. It made me feel powerful, in control, and proud. To play an entire soccer game as the goalie with a broken wrist, or playing half a lacrosse season with a stress facture in my hip, those experiences made me feel like I could handle anything. That my mind could overcome physical pain and still perform. 

I’ve always felt that all that I accomplished was because of my will. Not nesseccarily my skills, but my unfaltering will. I believed it’s what propelled me to the top of my officer class in the army. Along with my will power I’ve always used manifestation to complete tasks in my life. I would envision the outcome how I wanted it to be and replay it over and over again in my mind. The end result would be pretty much identical to my version of what I thought it would be. 

What happens though when will is tested for a severely long length of time? What happens when no matter how much you think and dream of an outcome it never comes? That’s what happened to me 3 years ago…

Some days are good. The pain is limited and I feel like I could do everything I enjoyed before the incident. I feel like I could run that 50 miler trail run. Play an entire lacrosse game, sprinting the whole two hours. I have found out that those feelings are an illusion and that physical activity sends that dull constant pain right back to my hamstring. 

It’s not unbearable. It’s just constant. Hindering my will. Ruining anything I try to manifest in my mind. Over the course of my first week and a half of training I’ve had good days with the pain and bad. Today is a bad day. I often over look how much this pain effects me, how much it is a part of me. Then on the bad days I am all to aware. 

I am not discouraged from my journey. I believe our bodies are amazing, that they have healing remedies for a lot that can hurt us. This bad day has given me even more motivation to keep pushing. To keep up with my training. I can’t wait to get back in the pool. Bring it on leg day!  

 

Blizzzarddddd

I have committed wholeheartedly to my recovery on my own terms. I have been so happy with my energy and positivity this past week. I have been watching training videos on swimming and I feel like I am getting better and better. My sore shoulder has pretty much healed. 

I am a little upset today because my gym closed early because of this damn blizzard and I had to work late so I missed going today. I don’t want this to slow me down so I know I have to come up with a home work out to keep up my intensity. So I was thinking yoga and strengthening drills. 

What do you guys do for home workouts? Remember I definitely still need modification!  

 

Reflections 

 “We most always set forth time to be truly introspective. Often times we will find fault, create dreams, resolve conflicts, institute change, secure direction, and ultimately learn truths faster then if someone else were to instruct us.”

 

  
Well week one is over. The verdict is… I feel freaking amazing!!! My leg pain has decreased to a dull throbbing, much less constant than when I started Monday. My back is still tight and flexibility is still terrible. I plan to focus on both those areas more this upcoming week. So overall I am re-energized and thrilled to have these results. 

I am already dreaming of ultra-runs, I know I shouldn’t get ahead of myself buttttt I can’t help it! I am sticking to my promise to myself though and going as slow as my body needs me to go. After week one of swimming nearly every day I have also come to the conclusion that I love it! Who knew? I am literally obsessed with getting better at flip turns and perfecting my strokes. I have also been thinking about something else, ya know down the line, can you guess? Yup! A triathlon! I love swimming so much that I really hope I can compete in a triathlon if my training continues to go well of course. I am quite a dreamer for Virgo, I have to often reel myself back in, but I am really thinking that being a tri athlete is something I would love to do. Ok, ok, a lot to think about over just one week. 

Another update from this past week is the soreness in my arm. I believe that the muscle is sore from swimming freestyle. I went really hard during my power 10 minutes that could have contributed, also the fact that I have never used this muscle before in my life!

I want to add time on the bike soon but I think that I should hold off. The seated position of the bike always hurt my back/leg in PT, I might wait til week 3 to incorporate it into training… Any thoughts on this guys? 

For this week my main focal points will be:

1.Strength exercises for hips, back, and core.

2. Same weight, more reps.

3. Keep positive vibe going.

Release 

From Scott Dunlap and Dean Karnazes and all the way back to Yiannis Kouros runners have been describing that uphoric release, most commonly know as a “runner’s high.” I feel like Yiannis my favorite ultra-runner perfectly explains this phenomenon in the opening to his documentary Forever Running. For him the “high” he gets from running is an outer body experience, in which he is watching himself from above and he is able to control his movements from there. Like so many others his “high” lasts for a few minutes but does not happen every run.
I experienced my first runner’s high when I was 12, and I remember ever moment of it. We had been playing soccer continuously all day long, it was fall and the leaves were still green but the air had that bitter chill to it. I remember the smell of the grass as I breathed deeply my chest and throat stinging from exhaustion. We were on our fourth game that day, I was a midfielder and I had run multiple miles during the course of the day. The sky had turned gray menacing to let a cold rain fall down on us. Before the icy rain fell we would manage to fit in our last game. The coaches wanted us to stay loose in between games so we had been running laps around the complex since our last game had ended.
We were making our way back around our last lap when it happened. My legs they were moving effortlessly they, they felt almost numb in a way. The sensation caught me off guard and I looked down to make sure I still had them. I felt a wave of energy come up from my feet and the next thing I knew I was starring down at myself. Above the complex, hovering and feeling only air. It didn’t feel like I would imagine flying to feel like, it was more stable like floating in water almost. I watched myself run but unlike Yiannis I had no control, I was just starting down over everyone. I remember never wanting the feeling to end, to stay above the ground and float forever. Then on the next step as my clear made contact with the dirt I was julted and launched downward. The next moment I was starring at my legs just as I had been before the experience.

I’ve experienced this feeling, this outer body sensation multiple times since then while running. There are many who have tried to explain it Kolata and Dietrich took their shots at it. So many convincing arguments have been raised with research to back them up. Frankly I don’t care what makes this happen or how the body or the mind does it. I am content with knowing that I can at any moment during a run I can have the ultimate release.

The topic of this blog was brought about because recently I have been having minor releases while swimming. I don’t know if it’s because I’m doing a new sport I’ve never done and my body hasn’t moved this way before or if it’s the long period of time that I have done no activity whatsoever. Whatever the reason I am not complaining. For 40 seconds during my swim workout I had a brilliant release where my entire body felt numb, as if it was controlling the movement itself. I felt happy, blissful even, and the best part was absolutely no pain. Breathing came easy and it felt as if I could swim forever, on and on.

Have you guys ever experienced “runner’s high”? And was it during running or another activity?

Workout/Life Balance 

I usually suck at time management unless I have specific short term goals. I wanted to throw my goals down on paper so they are a little more legit:

1. Stick to my workout routine -but listen to my body-

2. Month 2 add elliptical training
3. Month 4 add the bike 

4. Be able to touch my toes before 6 months- come on yoga-

5. Month 8 run a mile

6. Run a 5K in a year

7. Document this entire journey in this blog

Those are the goals I am working towards for 2016. Those are the big milestone goals. For this first week of recovery I wanted to go slow but make it count. I feel like I have accomplished that. The first four days I had pain, it was tolerable, and I stuck to a workout routine. Yesterday I caped of my first four days of training with a power swim. Consecutively swimming for ten minutes. I also improved my one lap time to 30″ 

Today my body felt tight. I had to do a lot of physical stuff for work and I could feel my back knotting up. Instead of pushing through a leg day routine I decided to play it safe and do some modified yoga. 

I have been able to keep my workout life balance up by doing my workouts really early or really late. The only thing I feel needs improvement is my blog life balance. I need to really commit to blogging this journey and set aside way more time to effectively and accurately post timely entries. As I move forward and things become more intense I will be working to stay on top of this important aspect. 

Have you guys struggled with a workout/life balance? How have you overcome it? 

Just getting one in 

Pain was pretty intense yesterday but I was in a better mood than on Tuesday. I ended my work day super late 7:00pm, and after a 12 hour day the last thing I wanted to do was hit the gym. Consistency is key though and I would not let myself fall out. I decided I would rip through the workout, high intensity short bursts. I did some heavier weight with some chest machines first. Then went straight to the pool. I did a non-stop 10 minute freestyle workout. I had to really focus on my breathing to stay in decent form. I knocked out the whole ten minutes. At one point I felt the flow, that feeling of complete release where your body just falls into rthymn. There is nothing like that freedom. I haven’t had that feeling since the marathon. I am feeling totally invested in this recovery and my outlook right now is amazingly bright and cheery. Hardest thing for me is always going to be that need to run. I know I will get there but first things first let’s build some muscles!

Dreaded leg day

 

image

Day 2: Legs

I must confess my miserable attitude remained with me throughout the work day. I woke with my arm being achy sore, my back tight, and my hamstring throbbing. Looking back I think that my mind couldn’t cope with the pain, it was like a sensory overload. The end of the work day could not come soon enough. I dreaded going to the gym for my workout the entire day. The snow was lightly falling when I finally got the will power to head over to the inevitable. Once at the gym, I practiced a little introspection. I reminded myself that this road was going to be uphill. That this time I can’t just keep pushing through disregarding pain. Yup. This time my pride has to be checked at the door, right there with my excuses. After this moment of thought I felt reguvinted. I did a light leg workout, which to me felt like a rigorous one.

Leg extensions
45lbs
10 reps
2 sets

Seated leg press
70lbs
110lbs
One set of 10 reps each

Standing calf raise
50lbs
12 reps
2 sets

Prone leg curl
30lbs
10 reps
2 sets

after lifting I headed straight over to the pool: 25 minute session

My lungs feel a lot better today. I think thi will only improve the more days I go without smoking. My breathing and form feel more natural. Although both suffer if I am tired.

Overall workout went well. Back is tight, but the real problem continues to be my hamstring. I just got to keep all the doctors  responses in the front of my mind. All the doctors that ran tests on my hamstring agreed there was no injury showing. This blows my mind. The dull constant pain that plagues me every day supposedly shouldn’t exist. I keep telling myself that I must stay positive and try to block the pain out of my mind. It’s safe to say the most frustrating painful part of my first two workouts is my phantom pain!

Initial thoughts

It’s my first morning after my first workout. I used to love waking up with sore muscles after a nice session at the gym. I don’t know if it’s just been to long, maybe I should have gone lighter, or maybe my mind is just so overwhelmed with the pain it can’t process correctly. Whatever the reason I am slowly making my way to my car, wishing I could be doing anything other than going to work. I took some Motrin and slabbed on some icyhot on my back. As mentally and physically exhilarated I was yesterday I am the complete opposite today. I knew it would be a hard road though. So I’m accepting this phase as the break in phase. It’s weird when your used to being an athlete your whole life no matter how long your sidelined, you think that you can hop right back in and dominate. I still have that in me. That sliver of unfaltering hope to run again. I will definitely incorporate some of the pt (physically therapy) stretches that I got from my two long years of being treated. I am still moving forward on day two as planned despite the pain from my first workout. Today I will be doing a lot of stretching and doing legs. My initial thoughts: I’m scared as all hell!

ill keep you posted!