Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Road to Recovery

So I've been concentrating on new, different and important things this week since I am trying not to run or bike at all in order to start a safe recovery.

1) I've started prioritizing resistance training, and I actually like it. I've been doing some glute and hip exercises with resistance bands and lifting upper body on my own this week. Also, today I went to a Strictly Strength class at Lifetime in Schaumburg and it was great! Wow, I can't even remember when I last seriously lifted weights, so here's the first positive thing that's come of this injury. (As you can see I'm trying to find positives in a negative situation right now... can we say maturity? hahah I hope so cause that's what I'm trying to be.. mature :)

I've been spending at least an hour in the pool every day concentrating on two things, my breathing during freestyle, and then pool running.

2) Freestyle breathing - Since I've gone to masters in Elgin twice so far, they keep telling me I am breathing wrong and that is what's slowing me down because it throws off my body alignment and makes me zig zag down the lane. I heard I'm breathing too late and my head comes too far out of the water. So I've been trying to fix this, but it has proven to be one of the most difficult and frustrating things for me. So for the past month all I've been thinking about when I swim is breathe early and keep my head down, but I have felt SO OFF and just really funny when I swim. I knew I was doing it because my right lower back would always hurt a little because it pinches together when I twist my body too much to breathe. So I've been youtubing it up lately watching a million videos on breathing drills and freestyle swimming (the ones Dave Scott made are awesome btw). Today I spent a half hour doing breathing drills. I swam in the "kiddie lanes" as I like to call them at Lifetime, or the lanes they randomly put up in the kiddie pool with the slides. These lanes are super short and they don't have a line drawn on the bottom of the pool so you know if you're going straight or not. This is actually really helpful for me though because if I end up hitting a lane line I know I'm doing something wrong again! I left the pool feeling like I accomplished something today after I actually concentrated on fixing this breathing problem instead of just thinking about how much I wanted to run or bike instead... cuz I can't right now. So there, positive thing number TWO!

3) I don't really know much about pool running, especially like what depth the water should be when you pool run, but I've been doing it back and forth in the lanes at the pool and it mentally, and probably physically, makes me feel better about not actually running for real. I actually worked up a sweat today pool running for 15 minutes! I'm going to have to do more research on this though because I don't want to be doing it wrong and end up hurting myself... which would be so stupid!

4) Tonight I also went to Bikram Yoga, which is AWESOME! Let me just say that again... AWESOME! I know I should be stretching, and believe me I am doing that multiple times a day and am pretty much married to the foam roller both at the gym and at home, but nothing, I repeat nothing, feels better than Bikram Yoga. I haven't gone in about two years, but now I remember why I used to be an addict! Bikram is kind of like Catholic Church... the exact same sequence every time, but I leave feeling like a new person with a brand new body! It's a 90 minute yoga class in a studio heated to about 105 degrees. You will sweat more than you've ever sweat before, trust me, and your heart rate will be very high at times even though it is yoga. It's crazy awesomness and I plan on going at least twice a week for now because I know it will help me not only just for recovery, but mentally and physically for the future as well. I like to think of Bikram as endurance Yoga in the desert. You have to be mentally tough to do it, and you know me, I thrive off extremes.

Well that's all for now. Life is crazy right now with work and school and obsessing over this stupid knee issue. I bought a ticket to go to Arizona May 14-19 because I planned on doing an Olympic distance tri there to kick off the season. I'm bummed because I have no idea if I'll even be able to do it now, and the thought of not being able to do Ironman in November makes me just sick to my stomach. But I keep telling myself to think positive thoughts, that I will recover from this and become an even better, faster triathlete because of all this mess!



Friday, March 27, 2009


So I've put off this post for long enough. Yep, I can't run again.

It started right before I went to Minnesota two weeks ago when I started feeling a little pinch toward the end of my runs, but I didn't think much of it because I thought my body was just telling me it was time for new shoes again. No worries, I told myself, I have my new pink DS Trainers waiting at home to be worn! So I went to Minnesota and on Sunday ran on the bike paths for an hour. About 15 minutes into my run I randomly, yes completely randomly, fell. My knee cap hit the cement and blew up like a tennis ball. Now, I've fallen many many times so I again brushed this incident aside and figured I'd be fine to keep running like nothing happened. So Monday when I got back home I laced up my new shoes and tried em out. I lasted about an hour and 20 mintues, but still felt the pinch at the end of the run but no big deal. On Tuesday I wanted to do some speed work so I ran down to the park do do some speed laps. About 20 minutes into the run it hurt really bad. I stopped and stretched out my IT band and continued running, but it was bad news. Eventually it hurt so bad I could barely walk and I ended up limping home, cutting through my neighbors yards in order to get there as fast as possible. I threw my shoes against the wall asap. Since that day it's been horrible, I'm still the 20-minute wonder and cant get any farther than that without pain and having to walk.


So I've pretty much been doing anything and everything to help myself recover again. I really don't get it! I was fine! And then out of the blue this happens? So last weekend I went and got my running analyzed and a gait analysis at Road Runner Sports in Naperville. They said I have a high arch, but that it doesn't matter because I run perfectly neutral and stable. So I tried on a million different shoes and ordered the Mizuno Wave Riders, hoping they will help. I got them today, ran in them, and yep, still 20 minutes and then I had to walk... and CRY! I've been icing, taking ibuprofin, sticking to swimming and biking, taking Calcium, glucosamine, and my normal suppliments, foam rolling and even doing glut and hip strengthening exercises with a resistance band to strengthen the muscles that support the knees. I seriously will do anything for this to get better. I really just dont get it.

I want to crawl into a ball and not talk to anyone until I can run again because I am so depressed. :(

Not happy... AT ALL.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring is ALMOST here!

I had a blast this past weekend in Minnesota visiting Luanne and her family! Minnesota is awesome because it has probably the best trail system ever! I could run forever up there! This picture is of us being dorks at a restaurant in Chanhassen called Axels. The peace signs are an inside joke.

I ran today in new DS Trainers and my knee hurts again. I am going to stay positive and say I just need to take it easy for a couple days and ice while sticking to biking and swimming. I am NOT going to say I'm injured again yet because I really really hope that isn't the case. I hope it is just the shoes, which are going in the garbage! The weather has been awesome though and it's almost time to change up the tires on the Felt and start biking outdoors again! YAY! I am so excited!

This week is supposed to be Spring Break, but I still have a lot of school work (research group project meetings, papers, midterms blah blah) to do this week. I guess there is no Spring Break in grad school! Good thing I like school or I'd be really mad I can't go anywhere or do anything exciting this week! Lifetime is having a two hour spin ride for ALS on Saturday so I signed up for that. I am also debating on if I will do a 10K or go to masters swim again on Sunday morning. IF my knee feels better by this weekend I will do the 10K, otherwise masters it is, which is fine too because I need it.

Time for bed! Miss you Lu Dogg :)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've held back the tears for too long

Never give up,
Never lose hope.

Always have faith,
It allows you to cope.

Trying times will pass,
As they always do.

Just have patience,
Your dreams will come true.

So put on a smile,
You'll live though your pain.

Know it will pass,
And strength you will gain.

Charlie Remiggio, Motivational Poet

I just wrote my letter to UNC to tell them I will not be attending the post-baccalaureate program in April. I've been crying ever since and can't stop thinking about how excited I was to apply to that program a year ago and the dreams that I had. I just feel like they are so crushed right now and it hurts, I'm not going to lie. It hurts a hell of a lot more than I ever thought it would.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Will I ever find my happy place?

I know, I know, it's been like forever since my last post. I'M SORRY to all you loyal followers (if there are any of you out there hehe.)

The past few weeks have been very hectic. I am so busy all the time and therefore much, much more tired ALL THE TIME! Every morning I wake up between 7 and 8, even though I stay up WAY late (oooops) and end up falling back asleep after breakfast! Because of this I've been late for my workouts, which I try to squeeze in before work at Lifetime in Schaumburg, or at home on my trainer or outside around the neighborhood. My knee is all healed now (YAY!) but it's hard for me to do runs longer than 90 minutes on a treadmill and the weather has been rainy, yucky and, yep you guessed it, still freakin cold! Then on the days I actually could run or bike outside I'm either sick, wayyyy to tired and sleeping, or I have to work or study. Bottom line: I REALLY NEED TO GET MY BUTT OUTSIDE... before I get even more depressed than I already am.

A couple Friday's ago I received an acceptance letter to the post-baccalaureate program I applied to at the University of Northern Colorado's Denver campus. I applied to this almost a year ago, so it was upsetting that I received the letter after I already moved back to Chicago AND began the Master's program at Roosevelt. My mind started racing as soon as I opened the letter with "what ifs" and "what am I doing in Chicagos." Let's just say I was a mess for a couple days. I even researched how much money I would lose if I dropped out of Roosevelt and just moved back to CO went to UNC. I miss the mountains, training outdoors, all the random Ironman triathletes I would meet out there, BIKING WITH LAURA (I MISS YOU!) running on the trails along the river, running and biking in the mountains, taking Hannah on hikes in the mountains... I could go on and on for days. Eventually I just sunk back into reality: in this economic time the best thing for me to do is stay at Roosevelt for another year and a half... then get the H-E-double hockey sticks outta here ASAP!!!! I told myself I will be 25 when I graduate and that is still young. I can start a whole new life then when I get a job far far away from winter in Chicago. Seriously, I don't know how I will do it again next year though....... tear!

Ugh, so can you tell I've been in a slump lately?! I feel white (no sun and no outdoor time to keep my sexy biking shorts tan line), fat (this weather makes me so hungry all the time and I know I'm eating too much but it's hard to control), sad, friendless (where are all the friends who said they would hang out with me when I moved back and that they missed me so much the past 6 years?), dependent (living back with the parents is harder than I thought, more on my self-esteem then annoyance of living with them) and many other things. Right now it's cold and raining outside. Seriously WTF? Will it ever stop? Please God just give me better weather!

Could I complain any more? Oh yeah, but I will spare you!

One thing I do like about being back in IL is Panera Bread. I love that place. I go there with my laptop, order yummy food, use the free WiFi and work on homework for hours and hours all while staring outside at the crappy rain! However (ok a little more complaining here sorry) I would give up Panera for some Great Harvest Bread Company with a view of the Rockies, a closer Whole Foods, Pita Jungle, the list could go on and on of what I miss about CO and AZ. Today I ate a fortune cookie and it said something longing for personal independence. Spot on!

I'm excited to be going to Minnesota this weekend to see Luanne and her baby Cailyn! Although it will again cause some conflicts with my workout schedule, it will be worth it to see her and I can't wait! I know Lifetime is based out of MN, so maybe I'll hit up the pool, spin classes and the treadmills if its freezing up there before I head home on Sunday. The drive is about 5 hours, that kinda sucks but its the price I'm willing to pay to spend time with people that matter most to me :) (Hear that Lu Dogg, you owe me one hahah!)

Before I end this post of complaining I have to congratulate Elizabeth on an awesome Ironman New Zealand!!!!! She had a kick ass swim and bike time! And second in our age group! Awesome! And I'd also like to thank her coach, Jen, for reaching out to me and inviting me to my first ever masters swim practice! I went on Sunday and had a lot of fun. I even learned the breast stroke, back stroke and butterfly finally! I've always been to scared that I would look like a total dork if I tried them on my own. I still looked like a total dork, but I managed to do a couple lengths of butterfly on my first try which was awesome. I still feel like a dork trying to do it at Lifetime though! I also got a lot of very helpful hints on my freestyle, which I tried to think about today in the pool, and on my flip turn (I kinda sorta maybe, ok well I did make up my own way to do a flip turn because no one ever taught me and I think they kinda noticed that too LOL!) But it was great and I definitely plan on attending more often now that I'm not scared anymore!

See it's already 12:30 a.m. and I'm still up. I need to start gettin to bed earlier so I can get up and get some good workouts in before work and school! I'll let you know how that is going in my next post!

Trying to stay happy,