When I first started my fitness journey, it started with a pair of running shoes and some pavement. I was slow… REALLY slow. So slow in fact that my now husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, could walk next to me while I ran. But I kept at it because it was at my pace– it didn’t matter how fast I went or how many times I stopped to walk. I got better a little bit each time I went out.
Running was my first love when it comes to exercise. I loved the “high” it gave me after I was finished with a run, the feeling of accomplishment. Other runners always make you feel part of a community too. 🙂
So I ran and then started lifting weights. Then I got hurt. I will never forget that. I was running one day, got 5 minutes into my run and had this shooting pain down the side of my left leg. I stopped, stretched and restarted, pain came back. I rested a day or two, pain came back. Needless to say I was frustrated. It was an IT band overuse injury. I went through PT, chiropractic care, massage…. and in the end the only cure was adequate rest from running. Which in turn, made me feel terribly mentally.
One day I was walking in the gym annoyed that I couldn’t run. I tried spin class, I tried the elliptical…nothing was the same for me. Then I walked into a Turbokick class and fell in LOVE. I am pretty sure if I hadn’t discovered Turbo that I would have sunk into a depression…so SO SO thankful I found that workout.
It’s now been 10 years and I love all sorts of different fitness options thanks to Beachbody and live group classes– I enjoy trying new things– I love boot camp style and kickboxing classes. I love strength training. I love going hiking, biking, swimming. I have still loved running but it seems like everytime I do more of it, I get hurt…so I step back.
This year my husband registered early for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, then he got the flu and couldn’t finish training. The fitness studio closed, and I had more time for my body to be able to properly prepare to run the race and decided to go do it since we had a bib number. I reached out to my friend and running coach Jonathan Powers (www.thesmilingmarathoner.com) to help me run smarter and not overtrain. I used my beloved Beachbody programs for cross training and smart nutrition. I finished the race on Sunday in 1:59 and guess what — I AM NOT INJURED! As in — my IT BAND DOES NOT HURT! 🙂 🙂
Things I have learned…
-Stop being stubborn about listening to your body. If you are suffering from an injury–rest that area. It needs to heal so you can keep going!
-TRAIN SMART. Do not just do ONE thing. If you are a runner, you NEED cross training including strength training and flexibility. PLEASE DO THIS. If you don’t, your body will be off balance and you WILL get hurt — I guarantee it. You need to make sure you are doing exercises that strengthen your core, glutes, hamstrings — since runners are generally very strong in their quads (front of your legs). If you are unsure on where to start with cross-training — I CAN HELP!
-Eat smart. Fuel your body properly. If you don’t, injuries are right around the corner.
-Get enough sleep. Enough said.
I am positive that the reason I can run again at high mileage without injury is because I have shifted a lot of my plan. I no longer run 5 days a week. I cross train. I eat well. I rest when I need to (still could use more rest….)
I hope this post just helps you realize that just because you might be feeling frustrated over setbacks, you can overcome them. If you really enjoy doing something, don’t give up!