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• running injuries: where time stops, calories add up & i am at peace

I seriously thought about buying stock in Flav R Pac with all the peas & corn I was strapping to my body!

I decided that for fun and because the approaching summer season (read swimsuit weather) to start counting calories while I am injured. What? Injured? Oh yeah, there’s that. Let’s back up….

Once up on a time, in a land far far away (and by this I mean my brain, it was so far far away), I thought it would be a good idea to have a weekly mileage goal. It was modest. 40 miles a week. This would go up as I trained for the Forest Park 50K set for May 29th. I’ve never had a weekly goal, I just ran what felt good then glommed onto to a training plan when preparing for a race. If things got too hairy with my schedule or something body-wise got out of whack, I took it easy.

Then I decided to stop thinking about thinking less and start thinking more. As we all know, thinking leads to over-thinking. Before I knew it, I was thinking about my new mileage goal All. The. Time. How do I squeeze in 3 more? If I ran an extra 5 today, I only have to do 14 tomorrow. If I skip my run today, good lord, I’ll have to double-up on Saturday. Even though I was thinking about it all the time, I was becoming dumber by the day. Pretty soon I was doing weekend 15-20 milers with a few 10 milers mid-week. Sometimes I would sacrifice sleep, get up at 4:30 and do 15 before the kids got up. This isn’t that bad. Lots of folks have this kind of schedule and many folks run many more miles a week. The dumb part is that I didn’t really use the “bump up mileage by 10% per week” rule, I was doing my shorter runs faster and didn’t work in any cross-training. Voila! The poster child for “how to get injured in 30 days or less” was born.

But wait folks, she gets dumber…. Stoked about meeting the mileage goal, she ignores the tight hamstring, the achy achilles, and the sore calf. As we know, if your body speaks softly and you don’t listen, it will scream until you do.

Stepping off the curb 10 days ago leaving my favorite coffee house, I heard the scream. My calf let out a rip and I let out a holler. Oh, but wait, there’s more! I was grabbing coffee on my way to a run. Yes, I ran ANYWAY. 5 miles later I knew my calf was going to be toast for a while. I immediately decided to take a week off of running. Normally, being injured means I’m an emotional wreck.

But something saved me.

Swimming.

In the middle of the last crazy-mileage-tempo-running-up-before-dawn week, I made a 50K training plan that included swimming. I wasn’t sure how I was going to work that into the mileage goal schedule, but what the hell. My running partner has been trying for 345 years to get me in the pool, so I carved out Mondays. Little did I know that I would go 4 times that first week and LOVE swimming. I threw in a few days of pilates (thank you Netflix instant-watch) and was actually have a nice go of it despite the fact I couldn’t run.

I turned off the over-thinking. I was at peace.

Because I didn’t have the Garmin, miles, splits, pace to keep my number-brain happy, I started counting calories (something I never do) on MyFitnessPal.com (very nice, free website with sweet iPhone app, BTW).

Time feels like it’s going very slowly. Unfortunately, it’s not going slow enough. I probably don’t have enough time to continue to heal, then work up mileage, then taper to do the 50K I had planned. I’m sad about that, but I’m ok. I’ve been running and racing long enough to know there will be other days for that. In the meantime, I’m enjoying a little less thinking.

One thought on “• running injuries: where time stops, calories add up & i am at peace

  1. This one must’ve been a tough one to write. I so admire the grace and wisdom you’ve exhibited when dealing with this injury. I regularly send positive thoughts & healing beams of light to that calf of yours that’s carried you through so many miles, races and journeys. I think this post will be a friendly reminder to others who might find themselves on the same boat. Love ya partner! <3

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