Monthly Archives: June 2014

I deserve a break…

Thanks Elizabeth for snapping this fun photo at our reunion 🙂

I’ve pretty much stuck to my healthy lifestyle plan for 13 weeks. That’s a quarter of the year, y’all! In that time, I’ve dropped about 10 pounds, my clothes are fitting better (including some I haven’t worn in 10 years!) and overall, I feel just plain better on a day to day basis. Maybe that’s because the conscious eating, exercising and supplements are allowing me to rest better, too.

So in the spirit of rest, I’m on an official “break” from my plan. I just wrapped up one trip (see the photo above from my 20th reunion…how did we get that old already?!?) and I am in the middle of a week off from work, which I’ll spend relaxing and retreating. After tracking what I eat for nearly 100 days straight, I’ve decided to put that on pause. 

This article sums up why I’m doing this. Basically, it’s good to have an off-season, mentally and physically. Athletes do it, so why not me? After all, I’ll be officially starting training for the half marathon soon (at today’s therapy session, I got clearance to try some very light running this week!).

I believe that this time off will allow me to get back to my healthy ways with an renewed enthusiasm and appreciation. And I’ll have a chance to enjoy some foods that are squarely in the “occasional treat” category now.

This is a lifestyle for me, not just a quick diet to follow until I reach a weight goal. I need to learn how to make it livable, and for me, that includes short, scheduled breaks. With a plan to get back to it afterwards (which I will do with another 24 Day Challenge in about 10 days).

I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Until then, you’ll probably be seeing a few photos like the one above of me enjoying my break!

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Finding uses for my fitness equipment…

AKA “I’m really glad I bought this exercise ball a month ago!”

Today was my first “real” day of physical therapy at Memorial Hermann’s Ironman Sports Medicine Institute. (Friday’s session was more like an extended exam to zero in on where I hurt.)

I was a little nervous going in as I had been achy all day, starting from feeling a bit of a pain behind my knee when I got out of bed. Today’s workday was not a desk day…so I was more active than I had been in a few days, and my leg was already a little tired. I made sure to tell my therapist all that, so we started on the bike as a warmup.

I did 8 minutes! That boosted my confidence (and told me I should stick with this for my cardio for now). Leah (who is studying to get her PhD in PT) then took me through a workout which was actually pretty fun.

There’s a strip of astroturf in the facility, and first she had me doing some side jogs (basically striding sideways and hopping together) and grapevines (dancers, y’all know these!). A good way to keep my heart rate up but also allowed her to see my range of motion.

Next we moved into exercises that I could easily replicate on my own. There was a series of planks involving a Bosu ball (which I’ll have to try again at the gym), and some bridges with a ball similar to the one pictured above. Since I told Leah I owned one, she put these into my homework assignment.

We finished out with stretches using a cord that resembled a yoga strap (again, excited because I have one of these too!). We discovered my IT band is really tight, so I am your stereotypical runner. A fresh application of KT tape and I was good to go.

So I have a list of exercises and stretches I’m to do daily for the next week, plus try to get in some more cardio. Which means the ball is getting deflated and coming on the road with me!

I’m feeling better tonight than I did when I went in to the appointment, so I’m hopeful I’m slowly progressing along.

Summer time training

Officially reshared by the Houston Marathon 🙂

Summer time training

And so it begins…

So today started my physical therapy adventure. The good news? No nerve issues. The bad? I’ve strained the part of my hamstring where the muscle connects, which is harder to heal than the “belly” of the muscle because it’s near the joint.

This means a longer recovery time for me, but my therapy team seems confident that we are going to build stronger hammies, so I’m putting my faith in that.

This also means early to bed tonight for me because just that little bit of poking and prodding wore me out, and I have a full session scheduled for Monday afternoon. I’ve been promised I’ll break a sweat. While I’m not looking forward to potential aches, I am looking forward to a decent workout 🙂

Dealing with Detours

I’ve strained my hamstring. It started about a month ago during a training session in the gym. I was doing back extensions, and my abs and back weren’t strong enough for the last few, so of course my hamstrings tried to jump in and help. I could feel the ache as soon as I finished, but hoped it wasn’t anything serious.

It was. Zumba the next day did NOT feel right. So I spent 2 weeks doing mostly upper body workouts and resting. And I felt fine. So I ran. And kept training.

Mistake. I wasn’t ready yet. I started aching again…at least this time it was not the full right hamstring, but just the base of the muscle. I did a little more running for our National Running Day event that week and called uncle. Massage helped, but I skipped a 5k I was hoping to do that weekend. So I sent myself to the stationary bike. I could do just 7 minutes at first, then 15, then 20. I was feeling good.

Then I went to my training session last week, and my trainer felt strongly that I should see a doctor (I also think I pushed a few too many things in the session and ended up a little more achy, but that’s another story). 

So Thursday, I saw my first sports medicine doctor ever. Seemed like the right choice for my newfound athletic life. A few X-rays and an exam confirmed it was a strain (at least it’s not a tear!). Here’s what he prescribed me:

  • Cardio: stationary bike level 3 or less, elliptical (ski style not climber style), treadmill 2% incline or less, swimming (but watch the leg)
  • Weight training: upper body only
  • Meds: I can keep using Advil but he gave me a stronger NSAID for nights or weekends if I’m hurting badly
  • Physical therapy: A few sessions to learn stretches and exercises I can do on my own. My first session is Friday.
  • Other treatments: heat and ice are both OK, gentle stretching is fine and keep wearing a compression sleeve on and off for my leg, especially when active. KT tape is OK too.

The good news is he thinks I’m on the right track, and can likely start my Houston Fit training program next month (my follow up with him is the day before to be safe). I’ve put massage and personal training on hold for now. 

The hardest part is how much you miss something (the running and lower body weights) when you can’t do it. But boy I am grateful he at least cleared me for some activity or I would go nuts!

I know this is the right thing to do. I don’t want to mess myself further and not be able to run the half marathon in January (not to mention, try to achieve a new record!)

I’m hopeful that I come back even stronger from this 🙂