Research your own conditions and treatment alternatives, ask questions, and seek second opinions with impunity. Leverage the expertise of trained pros, but don’t allow it to eclipse your own informed instincts about what’s best for you.
About 5 years ago, hubby came home with this ridiculously outrageous idea. He asked me if I would like to train with a him and some co-workers with a professional company to prepare for a 17 mile trail race over a mountaion pass in Colorado. I thought for a split second…why not? So it began, my love-hate relationship with RUNNING!
I hadn’t run or worked out in any capacity for years. Although I wasn’t overweight, I was far from fit. For an entire month before our training began, we started walking after dinner. We leashed up the dog, put the toddler in the stroller and off we went! We never took water, even though it was still over 100 degrees at dusk (yes, we lived on the surface of the sun, or so it felt)! We never stretched. We never really prepared for our walks, we just did them.
Quickly our first training run approached. I was fearful that I wouldn’t be strong enough to do it, or that I would hate it the entire time, or that it just wouldn’t be right for me. I remembered conditioning for track and cross country when I was younger…ugh, I hated it! Remember, when I was younger I chose a lot of my activities because they were basically chosen for me!
We discussed our goals with our coaches, and our first training run, was a long run on a Sunday. The goal wasn’t mileage, so much as time spent jogging. I think we went for 20-30 minutes that morning. Then it was over! We literally had not been awake on Sunday this early in so long, we had no idea what to do with this new amount of time we magically had!
The next training run, was not so fun… We met our coaches and fellow runners at a track. There was of course the warm up run, then group stretches and other warm up drills. The challenge came next. Our training that day was to run a portion of the track, then up and down bleachers and back on to the track. From the moment we started, I was tired, gasping for air and soaked with sweat. I found out that day, I did NOT bring enough water! It was hard work, but I was motivated. Most of all, I didn’t hate it.
Training went on for a few months. Two days at the track and long runs on Sunday with the group. The rest we did on our own time. During my solo runs, I stumbled upon trail running. The Arizona heat made for some tough runs, but the AZ trails definitely made up for it. One of our training runs was an actual half marathon in Flagstaff. I wasn’t really looking forward to it because I knew the course would be difficult and the altitude would add an obstacle. The race started out on a road, but soon we were in the forest, up and down small hills, sun peaking through the tree branches and the air was crisp and cool. It took me 2 hours and 43 minutes to complete my 13 miles that day.
Then the following week, the pain set in. Pain that threatened my participation in the Colorado challenge. Unwittingly, I would soon become my
own healthcare practioner! During a track workout following the half marathon, both of my ankles began aching. It was effecting the way I ran, the way I walked. The more I was on my feet, the worse the pain was. Under the instruction of one of the coaches, I went to a physical therapist. I was crushed to find out my training needed to be limited to an elliptical trainer. We only had a month left before the trail race and after how long 13 miles took me in Flagstaff, I was increasingly fearful of the mammoth run that would crest at 13,000 feet in Colorado!
During PT – I learned more about balance, stretching, different points of stress on the body, the almighty IT band and under/overpronation. What the what? I changed shoes, worked on my core, did some crazy body contorting stretches, and wouldn’t you know, my ankles were feeling better within three weeks.
Yes, this is somewhat of a boring post…but it will get better, I promise! Check back tomorrow for the conclusion and of course how it relates to…
#8 of 101 days of blogging –