“Where have I been lately?” you may be wondering since I haven’t posted in a while (probably not, but I can humor myself). Well, I’ve been hitting reset and starting new. The first half of 2012 I’ve been plagued with a couple of large stresses in my life:
2) Running injury (ugly ugly word)
By the end of May I felt like I partially felt like I was falling apart and needed to start new, so I did! How did I do this you may ask?
1) Found a new job!
2) Focused on finding my strong
I won’t go into much about work on my blog, but I was severely stressed out by my job, so I found one that would offer less stress (yey!). I quit my old job on June 9th and started my new job on June 25th — the second I said goodbye to my previous job, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder.
I also dedicated June to “finding my strong.” I’ve had a nasty IT Band injury since late January . I stupidly thought my injury was gone after I got a cortisone shot and the pain went away. Boy was I wrong — right around the Brooklyn Half Marathon the shot wore off and so did my pain free running. As the doctor put it, I have a stubborn case of IT Band Syndrom and I knew the only way I was going to overcome this for good would be to focus on fixing the problem: getting strong. ITBS can happen to runners for many reasons, but for me I knew it was due to a weak butt and hips. Even though I did go to PT back in February/April and dedicated some extra time to strength training, I never got serious about it. In June, I finally got serious. Here’s how I did it:
Step #1: It’s no new news that I’m not great with commitment, so to make sure I focused on strength training I signed up for Refine Method ReGroup. ReGroup is a commitment to attend 8 outdoor Refine classes in the month. I’m happy to report that I successfully completed my 8 ReGroup classes AND attended an additional 2 indoor ReGroup classes in June, as well as 2 Core Fusion Barre classes at Exhale Spa. Twelve strength training classes in 4.5 weeks, I’d say it’s a success!
I loved ReGroup. First off, I hate being cooped up inside when it’s nice out, so it was nice to be able to take my workout outside. Second, I enjoyed the camaraderie of it. I feel like the small group setting and shared exhaustion fostered more conversation and interaction among the class. ReGroup also taught me about commitment and having no boundaries. In the sweltering heat of summer (90 degrees and humid), ReGroup was not canceled and I was out there sweating. Most classes I spent dripping in sweat and left with dirt on my knees — I treasured every piece of sweat and dirt because it was making me stronger both mentally and physically.
I don’t think I realized just how weak I was until I started to get stronger. I also didn’t know how fantastic it feels to feel strong until now. A lot of the exercises in Refine focus on building strong glutes and hips, it’s the perfect workout for a runner! A month later, I can honestly and whole-heartedly say I feel stronger. Muscles I didn’t even know existed feel sore and I love it!
Step #2: In addition to my strength training classes, I bit the financial bullet and went back to physical therapy. I took it more seriously this time around, though and I think my PT did too. She gave me more intense exercises and I kept up with them on my own.
Step #3: I stumbled upon an fantastic yoga studio near my apartment, Sangha House, and I re-joined the yoga world. I committed myself to at least 1 yoga class a week; I completed my challenge and my body is thanking me for it. The exceptional teachers at Sangha House have taught me a new love for yoga and have helped me improve my practice through paying close attention on alignment and doing every pose properly. Yoga has taken away my back pain, increased my strength and re-enforced my natural flexibility. I tried a handstand purely because I didn’t think I could and being upside down scares me. I endured a few bruises on missed tries, but the point is I tried…oh and I succeeded (added bonus).
Step #4: Lastly…and I’m smiling as I write this…I got back into running :-). I took a two week break off from ANY running at the middle of June to give the old IT band a break. With new found strength on my side, I’ve slowly started to run again. I’m happy to report that my runs in the past 2 weeks have caused my ITB no pain and I’m up to 6 miles. Sure my first run back from 2 weeks off wasn’t easy and my endurance definitely isn’t where it used to be, but I’m building back up and I will get there.
In case your curious, below is a summary of my workouts in June that helped me find my strong:
*Note: I went to PT and did PT exercises more than what is listed on my excel snap shot and I don’t remember why I noted those days haha…I also stopped writing down my run paces after my 2 week break, just running was all that mattered :-)
So where does this all leave me for July? Continuing to work towards my goal of getting back to my love for running. I will be committing to 2 strength training , 1 yoga class and 3 days of running (assuming no pain) per week. As a present to myself I got a ViewSport tank for an added reminder of why I run — because I love it. Run with Heart.
QUESTIONS: How have you found your strong? What are you goals for July? Anything stresses you out or holding you down? Tell me, how do you plan to change it!??