Roll with it baby

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In 1992 I was at Queens College, we were practicing volleyball. I went up for a hit or a block, I can’t remember that part. What I do remember is rolling my ankle and hobbling off the court. After, I lay down on the floor and propped my feet against the wall and thought it wasn’t so bad. After practice I walked across campus went to my dorm room and started to get ready for my weekend. Somewhere in the hours after rolling my ankle it got really bad. The end result a trip to the ER, X-Rays, no broken bones, but a pretty bad sprain.

 

(Looking back know I can’t believe I walked home on an injury but in the mind of an 18 year old……well we don’t always make good choices when we are 18.)

 

Fast forward to 2014.

 

My knee is stronger. I still have pain but nothing to stop me from working out. I’ve been doing yoga, strength training, cardio, and some light running.

The weather in New England has been rather temperamental this winter, so finding nice days to run has been challenging. Earlier this week we had a nice winter day, the temperature was in the 30s, there was almost no wind, and most of the snow had melted. What a great day for a run.

 

About two miles into the run, disaster. Out of nowhere I rolled my ankle. No ice, no snow, no rocks. I was on steady ground. Somehow I took a step and the next thing I knew I was on the ground.

 

Usually I run with my phone, but for some reason this time I left it in the office. I couldn’t call for help but I knew lying in the parking lot was probably not a very good idea, so I hobbled to the middle of the street to flag down a car. Thankfully someone pulled up and drove me back to work, where my co-workers quickly got me to the ER.

 

This sprain feels much worse then the one I got 20 years ago. It might be that I am older and can’t recover as quickly. It might be because I am smarter about the healing process.

 

Looking back on how 20 years ago I was walking and playing ball a few weeks after my injury really strains the spirit. But healing takes time. So I am trying to stay positive, at least moving around on crutches is a great workout.

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The funk is lifting

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Everyday my knee feels stronger, not completely pain free but definitely stronger. I realize I am at a point where I can either find a way to work with my pain or I sideline myself from the things I love to do.

 

To lift the funk and test the knee it is time to push my limits and try some new things.

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Since my injury I returned to yoga. My practice is solid and steady. But I wanted more. It started with picking up a book about Yoga and anatomy. Then it turned to me looking at pictures of poses thinking to myself, hey I can do that. With a little help from Youtube, I ventured into a new pose and my garage, literally. (Make sure the wall you use to support yourself when trying a headstand is not a door that opens to the garage.)

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For me Yoga is a very personal practice, I rarely do Yoga in a classroom setting, but this time I decided to do it in the mall. Athleta was offering a free Yoga class (free except for the running pants and new swimsuit bottom I picked up after the class) with Yogi Dawn Souza. I tried it and it was great breaking free from my normal routine and doing something different.

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My final funk lifting move was getting back out in the water. Not being in the water has been plaguing me for quite some time. In order to surf again I have to learn a new stance, which I am okay with. But because it is winter here in lovely Rhode Island the water is cold and learning something new means a lot of falling. Today was a mild winter day and the water was flat, so I took the SUP out for a short paddle. Yes I did fall in the water, yes I did have a tough time figuring out which foot would step back if I did catch a wave, and yes I did get a micro ride into shore.

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This isn’t big stuff, but it finally feels like I am moving forward and the funk is lifting.

Don’t quit the race- Dogged determination of the back of the pack

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Back in September I ran the relay of the Rock n Roll Providence. It was nice only running 8 miles of the half marathon course. After my partner Lisa snuck up on me at the relay transition (I expected I had about 15 more minutes of relaxing) I ran my leg and our combined race time was just over 2 hours. Finishing the race in 2 hours gave me time to put on fresh clothes, listen to a few songs from Atlas genius, and cheer for the people in the back of the pack.

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As the seconds and minutes on the race clock tick by and the time increases from 2 hours to 2 and a half to 3 hours the numbers of runners on the course becomes more sparse. Compared to earlier racers, these runners appear to be walking. Their goal is to finish, not to get a Personal Record.

The finish line in Providence looks down a hill. The space between runners gets wider. At times it appears that last runner crossed the finish line. Then from around the corner and up the hill, a few more runners appear. With dogged determination they ascend the last stretch. They made it. They will collect their medal and most important be counted among the finishers.

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As I restart my journey into running I reflect on why I love running and the running community. Seeing the last finishers, the back of the packers finish their race is a reminder of the importance of finishing. It is a testament to why I enjoy running. I am reminded it is not always about being the swiftest and most graceful runner; sometimes it is about being the person who has the persistence to not quit the race.

Best mile EVER

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The best mile ever

It was far from graceful. It was nice and slow.

But for me it was the best mile ever.

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After being laid up from running, ummm…..laid up from pretty much all physical activity, I finally got the all clear to start doing stuff again.

 

My last trip to the doctor we ruled out a torn meniscus and are leaning more to your knee is just a hot mess. Though it’s not a definitive diagnosis, we are trying to find out what makes the hot mess not a hurt mess. So we are trying steroids.

 

With a roided up knee and a few days of rest it was time to put my leg to the test.

Yoga- check.

Running- check.

Next up paddleboard.

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Yeah it hurts and I have to ice after, but just getting out there is amazing.

I think it is one of the best gifts I’ve gotten all year.

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The view from the front

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It’s December, Christmas is right around the corner with a New Year waiting right behind it. For me running is a distant memory. The last race I ran was several months ago, back when we were wearing shorts and t-shirts for running instead of dressing up like the brother from “A Christmas Story” before heading out.


As I sit in my current condition I get a chance to reflect on quite a few things. One being that last race. Instead of running the 13.1 my friend Lisa and I opted to do the relay of the Rock n Roll Marathon in Providence. The course was split between the 5-mile hilly portion and the 8-mile flat part of the course. Lisa chose the first leg.

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Looking back now I realize that was quite a special gift for me. As much as I love running I know I am a middle to back of the pack gal. I have no aspirations of trying to really increase my speed and with my knee the way it is my only aspiration right now is to be able to start running again.

 

My race pace relegates me to starting in one of the corrals that crosses the start line a few minutes after the gun goes off. I don’t get to see what things look like in the front; I don’t get to see how beautiful and graceful those runners are. This race was different.

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The relay runners waited at the transition, we were sipping coffee, checking our gear, and making last minute bathroom stops while we waited. The race started about five minutes late, and we looked at our watches and started doing calculations in our head figuring out the pace our partner would run and matching it to the new time so we would know when we needed to be ready to run.

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At almost 25 minutes after the start time, we saw the first runner go by. Yes, I have seen elite runners on television and it is spectacular. But seeing it in person is almost indescribable. This man came screaming by, holding a pace that would leave me breathless in a matter of minutes. His shoulders and face have a determined relaxation. It is as if he is both enjoying being out for a run and calculating just how fast he needs to go to finish the final 8 miles.

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A few minutes after he passed the lead woman darted past us. She had two male runners in front of her. She had a look of peace as she eyed the male runner a few hundred yards in front of her. There was such grace and beauty in her stride.

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Shortly after the lead runners came by, the rest of the racers passed the transition station. As the minutes on clock ticked by the runners began to look less like the lead runners and more like the runners I am familiar with. Runners with much less grace in their stride but with an unyielding determination to finish the race, runners like me.

 

As a participant I won’t be able to see the beauty of the lead runners. Instead I will see the beauty of the middle and back of the packers. The beauty of people who are not afraid to start a race and who aren’t afraid to finish. But it is a great gift getting a chance to see the view from the front.

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4-6 Weeks

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After some poking, prodding, and twisting, Doc says all the symptoms are consistent with a torn meniscus. Fun! That means 4-6 weeks of physical therapy along with 4-6 weeks of no running, jumping, or twisting my knee. Which translates to no running, no surfing, no SUPing, no volleyball……

DCIM101GOPRO    Amica

This injury strips me of my usual repertoire of healthy activities. Not only are these the things I do to stay physically fit but they also help me stay sane.

 

This means I need a new workout. So this week I tried something new.

 

For weeks I have been hearing tales of this amazing work out called crossfit. Rob and Chris from work share stories of bruises, bangs, and big lifts. For the past few weeks I’ve been considering checking it out. I just needed a catalyst to really motivate me. Who knew a knee injury would do the trick?

 

I know what your probably thinking, how can you do crossfit if you can’t do any impact or twisting? Easy, just modify exercises so it is low impact and you don’t twist.

 

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Force Newport Crossfit (http://www.forcenewportcrossfit.com/CrossFit/) let’s you try a workout before you commit. The night I went we did box jumps (modified of course), kettle bell swings, squats, and slam balls. It was a solid workout called “three minutes of fun”.

 

In addition to conditioning the body, the workout forced me to be present. And that is what I need for my mental conditioning.

 

I have yet to commit and become an official crossfitter. But it got me thinking about other workouts I can try, like getting the dust of my yoga mat.

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