One Goal

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For me there wasn’t much running in 2014. Getting injured early in the year can put a damper on any plans for running. And getting a really fun injury does more than put a damper on running it puts a cloud like the one that hangs over Eeyore on your running plans.

 

Last year my friends participated in a wide variety of races. And it looked amazing. There was the Ragnar, Marine Corps Marathon, Newport 10 Miler, tons of races in VA Beach and Florida. As I looked at the pics on social media I was a little envious because everyone was having so much fun.

 

So now that we are onto a new year I decided I need to find a realistic goal. My race calendar is currently very wide open and I plan to keep it that way for quite some time. And while I would love to have some grand goal of getting a PR in a 10k or running another half marathon my goal is much milder.

 

This year I have one very simple goal, I want to run a 5k. I want to be able to run all 3.1 miles. And I want to do it without really hurting myself.

 

To my friends who are onto big races, good luck. I will see you at the finish line.

Danielle’s Perspective

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My friend Danielle is training for the big race, 26.2 miles. Over the past few years she has run a few 10 milers and half marathons. Before we met she never considered herself a distance runner but now she has embraced the runner lifestyle.

 

After one of her training runs Danielle made a post on Facebook saying that she dedicated the run to me. Reading her words really moved me; she said that I had helped to encourage her to do her first half marathon. It never occurred to me that I helped to inspire anyone to run.

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As I read her post I was moved to the point of wanting to go out for a run. And that is when I had my other epiphany, running is hurting me.

 

One of the things an athlete has to learn is the difference between good pain and bad pain. Good pain is when muscles get sore and ache, the burn. Bad pain is when you risk agitating and re-injuring yourself.

 

When I read Danielle’s post it clicked, I would be running right now if my body would let me. I’ve battled with and overcome the mental issues associated with returning from an injury but now it is the physical issues that I need to deal with. My peroneal tendon gets aggravated every time I run and sometimes when I walk.

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With 2014 closing and a new year a few days away I realize it is time to rethink my relationship with running. I can’t say that I will never be able to run again, but I have to be realistic, running right now does more harm than good. It is time to focus on the things I can do and not the things I can’t do. So that means more yoga and surfing. Maybe one day I will be able to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, but today is not that day.

 

Thank you Danielle for your kind words. Even though I can’t be out there with you, I will gladly cheer you on and help you celebrate your running accomplishments.

RnR PVD

Shhhh………

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When Jim changed his diet and started logging his food I jumped on board. I find that when both people in a couple do something together both people are more successful. About a month ago I started logging my food.

 

Writing down everything I eat made me very aware both the good and bad things I eat. It was pretty eye opening.

 

One of the side affects of logging your food is losing weight. Over the past month I’ve dropped 2 pounds.

 

This is something that I should celebrate. There are television shows dedicated to people celebrating their weight loss. But instead of celebrating I’ve been rather quiet about it.

 

I am a pretty fit person. I surf and do yoga. I have run marathons and half marathons (something I can’t wait to do again.) Sharing these things is safe; people are okay with hearing about it.

 

But people are less receptive (and sometimes critical) when they hear about a thin person losing weight. My goal wasn’t to lose weight, it just happened. Shedding some extra pounds is good for my knees, back, and ankles. It also is a sign that I am making better choices with my food.

 

Unfortunately sharing this may come across as bragging, vanity, or showing off. So this is something that I’ve quietly done. (Yes I know the irony of sharing this now.) But it makes you wonder why some people are offended by seeing someone become healthier.

 

Shame on people involved in skinny shaming, what’s next healthy hating, thin threatening, fitness frowning?

 

Let’s celebrate each other’s accomplishments and encourage one another.

 

Stop tearing other’s down, instead let’s build each other up. Then we’ll all be better.

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Dangerous calm

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Most people when they think of yoga picture meditation, breathing, and chanting “OM”. It is the picture of peacefulness and calm. Nothing dangerous or risky about it.

 

And it can be.

 

But yoga can be risky, dangerous, and make face your fears.

 

How you might ask?

 

There is a risk of falling on your face, literally. (And by the use of the word literally I mean it. If you fall on your face in yoga the rest of your body lands on your face. If it gets recorded you not only risk physical injury but emotional injury because you could be on an episode of MTVs Ridiculousness.)

 

For years I avoided the more challenging yoga poses. But one day I picked up a book that explains the anatomy of the body in a yoga pose. Of course I haven’t read the whole book but I looked at a lot of the pictures and found inspiration, I wanted to do a headstand and some of those poses where you support your body on your arms.

 

Those poses not only look cool but they are also a little dangerous. In order to do these poses you have to be able to focus all of your energy and attention on the task at hand. You have to be willing to face the fear of falling and go for it anyway.

 

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Connected to pain

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My ankle pain connected to my knee pain

 

My knee pain connected to my hip pain

 

My hip pain connected to back pain

 

With all that pain I still somehow manage to walk, sort of run, and surf.

 

Until you get the creeping pain you don’t always realize just how connected your whole body really is. Injuries are a great reminder of the connection because once you get one boo boo it manages to knock everything else out of what.

 

It is pretty impressive how your body will compensate and use other parts as you heal. Unfortunately this compensation can mean problems down the line. The worst part is you don’t even know you are compensating. It just feels normal to you. You find out later when the pain in your ankle turns into pain into your knee which turns into something in your hip and finally it lands in your lower back.

 

In the end you have to answer a few questions. What is the price of playing? Is it just a little bit of pain or something more?

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It is all in a name

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For some reason when I find out the name of my injury it makes the injury less scary.

 

This week my knee pain got a name, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. After countless MRIs, poking, prodding, and x-rays we finally have a diagnosis. It makes the pain less scary because now it is not just something in my head, with a diagnosis it makes it real. (Not that the pain wasn’t real before it’s just frustrating when your tests come back normal, people begin to wonder if you might be a little loopy.)

 

So now that we have a diagnosis that means we can move forward to treatment. Unfortunately I found out there really isn’t much we can do except strengthen and stretch. Which I’m good with, I also have to make sure I use solid form when I run and no deep knee bends for me.

 

The other unfortunate piece of information is this injury can be pretty debilitating. The doctor told me there are a number of Marines who get medically separated because of this type of knee pain.

 

So while I am super stoked with a diagnosis I have to be mindful and respect this type of pain. It sounds like it can impact my favorite things to do list. At least with a name, now we know what we are fixing.

 

 

I can start a plan for pain management and therapy. But I also have to be mindful that this type of injury has the potential to wreak havoc on the activities I love. But now that we have a name for the pain, we can stop diagnosing and start fixing.

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Write it down

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It is really easy to claim you eat healthy but until you really keep track of the food you eat you can’t be too sure.

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Jim had a recent trip to the doctor where he discovered yet again he has high cholesterol. He’s actually known this for years but to the doctor who looks at the blood work it is quite a discovery. So Jim gets advice to change his diet and start exercising. After this visit Jim did something different, he downloaded My Fitness Pal to start a food diary. He said that once he started writing down what he was eating it became a little harder to have junk food because now he is accountable. Since he’s started logging his food Jim’s lost 8 pounds, pretty impressive because he hasn’t increased his exercise.

 

Once Jim told me about it I decided to give it a try. While writing down what I eat didn’t steer me away from the Fruity Pebbles I did manage to stay away from the chocolate treats. So far I’ve learned I consume too much sodium and I need to increase my protein. And I have to agree with Jim I do feel more accountable now that I’m logging what I eat.

 

Now we both get to see if this helps us both stay mindful of what we eat during the holidays.

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