Monday, April 14, 2008

What a difference 3 weeks make --

Three weeks ago I injured my ankle by pushing my body a bit too much. I have had a lot of time to reflect on my little setback and realize it could have been a lot worse -- stress fracture, permanent damage, etc. Once I get an idea in my head it is pretty hard to hold me back. I wanted to run more this year, so I did. I didn't have a plan, I just wanted to keep pushing myself. It was so addictive -- I would push past something I thought I couldn't do, and this fueled my desire even more. The consequences of pushing myself regardless of my body's signals were serious. You'd think I would have learned this lesson a couple of years ago when I kept catching colds and then not taking time off to get better. I kept getting sick all year long and missed weeks of training because of it.

So here I am three weeks later, a little bit more grounded (but just as exuberant) and ready to train. Yesterday the IG schedule called for a 90 minute, but as it was my second day of running, I thought 45 minutes will be OK. (I ran 30 minutes on Friday and my ankle had only protested a little). I switched back to my older-style running shoes (still brand new, just a heavier trainer) because they have a lot more support than the ones I ran in on Friday. Once my ankle is back to normal I can ease back to my other sneakers.

Well, Sunday was absolutely gorgeous -- the sun was almost blistering hot almost as soon as it came up. OK -- a slight exaggeration, but it was beautiful. Everything was lined up for a perfect day except my mood. I have been struggling with some personal life-changing stuff and when I awoke Sunday, the weight of these thoughts were oppressive. I felt weighted, dark, almost numb. It was terrible. It was one of the very few times I wasn't excited about going out for my run. I wasn't dreading it, rather I was dreading the continued feeling of dread -- and felt suffocated by it. I didn't want these terrible feelings to follow me on my run -- a run that is always so uplifting and liberating.

I waited until the afternoon so I could get as much of the heat as possible and doggedly headed out. It was so beautiful, the weather was gorgeous, the wind wasn't even bothering me, but my black mood had settled comfortably in my heart. I ran on the gravel and the dirt to soften the impact on my ankle, and continually gaged how my ankle was doing. It was feeling great -- no twinges, no protestations. Still I just felt dead inside.

As I kept running, I realized that I could probably go longer than 45 min, but I thought to myself, "Just play it cool, Julie." I was running along and I was enjoying the physical aspect of running, and decided to just run how I felt. Pretty soon,I decided that it was entirely possible for me to run the 90 minutes. My ankle was fine. By this time, the path had ended and I was heading out through town and onto the side of the highway.

I saw this punk chick walking toward me on the shoulder of the highway. She had black spiky hair, a baggy sweatshirt and jeans on. When oncoming motorcycles passed,she would give them that rocker hand sign -- you know, holding your hand up with your thumb, middle finger and ring finger tucked in, so only your forefinger and pinky are raised? I was coming up to her and suddenly something wonderful happened ...

She broke into a smile and came jogging up to me and said, "Here, give me a high five!" I laughed and smiled and happily obliged. Instantly all the blackness that was inside of dissolved. A weight truly lifted from me!! I couldn't believe it. It was like a light switch turned on inside of me and I was there -- full on! Awake and enjoying the sun, the run, and even the traffic!! I ended running the entire 90 minutes -- 9.58 miles!! Not too bad for coming back after my hiatus!! :) :) :) I learned a powerful lesson on Sunday -- not only do we have the power to poison ourselves, we also have the power to uplift and motivate others. :) :) :) :)

Onto today's workout -- I didn't get IG's schedule in time, so I did an Olympic-style workout. I swam really fast, tried kicking butterfly (although I am more like a bucking bronco!! LOL!!), and then walked a number of laps twirling my arms madly away. It's funny, when I reverse the arm-twirling, I just keep splashing myself in the face. Charmaine was in the pool again today and I asked her if it was true -- was she in the Olympics? Like all great athletes, she was very humble and bashful about it - "Yes, but it was a long time ago." Long time ago my butt, girl!! She still rocks it out in the pool!! She is actually going to be doing Wasa as a relay so I'm excited as that is another buddy I'll have there on race day!! :) :)

Core work: 3 minute plank -- sorry Susi and Chuck but I just don't have any interest in pushing past that 3 minute line!! In other plank news... I reached another milestone today for the side planks. I've wanted to do this move since I started but just was not strong enough. Today I could do it -- and kept doing it!! Here it is: you're in side plank and then you raise and lower your top leg, like leg lifts. Yee-haw!!!

Later on, I did 90 minutes on a rolling course -- I scrolled through the Computrainer's list and found a rolling course. And it WAS rolling. Up and down, up and down, up and down. Great workout and something different. :) :)

My ankle is healed and will remain that way!!!:) :) :)


Shannon Keith Wicks said...


Susi said...

Isn't it just the best feeling when you break through a black fog?! I love the fact that a punker got you smiling too (I was a punker when I was a kid and people tend to think they are icky, haha.)

Awesome training!!

PS I can only get motivated to do a long plank like that once every two weeks!! LOL.

Jenna said...

great run Julie!