I mentioned a while ago that after this recent half marathon, I would be cutting my mileage back for a while. I’m not going to lie… it feels very strange to run so little. There is a part of me that is aching to go out for a good run. (But having some real physical aches from my Elliptigo clumsiness is making it a little easier to be content with the reduced running. In addition to some spots where I scraped skin off my feet, it appears that I have hurt my ankle. It is swollen, bruised and feels very tight. I don’t know if that is a sprain or not, but I do know that it sucks.)
To fill the void, here is what I’m doing.
I’ve been taking my little Jade The Boxer out on short runs, just one mile at a time. We run around the neighborhood. She’s still feeling a little sick from her awful gut infection, still on antibiotics and she’s still figuring out how to run on the leash politely, so the one mile at a time works for us.
Nike Training Center app:
I’ve been doing the 15-minute focused strength workouts in this (free!) iPhone app. Each day I focus on a different body part: abs, glutes, shoulders, back, legs, arms… It’s good to get back into a strength routine, I haven’t been doing much in this regard for a long time. It’s also making it evident how much strength I’ve lost over the years (and how much I still have!)
I got an unlimited year-long subscription to the YogaDownload site. I’ve been doing a 20-, 30- or 40-minute session each day. This site has been a great resource because I can try different types of yoga depending on how I feel and what my schedule looks like and I’m not locked into a specific class time. Plus I can experiment with different teachers in case one teacher’s style doesn’t click for me.
Using a hula hoop is just plain fun! I bought a collapsible one from Gaiam. I am pretty good at keeping it around my waist for long stretches of time and changing directions. I’m not that good at hooping around my wrists or knees, but it doesn’t matter… this is one of those things that doesn’t feel like I have to be “perfect” at it, it’s just playtime that happens to have a physical benefit.
The challenges in the plan:
1. My ankle – Like I mentioned above, it REALLY hurts. I ice it everyday, but it’s hard to ice it while I’m sitting at my desk so I usually just do it in the evenings. I’ve found that I can’t do some yoga poses because of the strain and pressure it puts on the joint.
2. My ED – If you remember when I first announced my eating disorder, part of the diagnosis was “compensatory exercise compulsion.” Before I started running, I would go to the gym for an hour and ride the bike or elliptical. Then I would do an hour of power vinyasa yoga and then a strength training video. I was in a fog, mentally disconnected from my physical self, just going through the motions. Starting to run was one of the things that helped me to start healing from my disorder. Many of the ladies that I was in treatment with weren’t allowed to do any exercise at all (except for the few nature walks we went on.) My treatment team recognized that running was helping me, but I didn’t do any other types of exercise for a long time (well, I did do some yoga too). I eliminated my gym membership when I recognized my ED. There’s a small part of me that fears I will let that controlling ED voice back in and start convincing me to exercise at unreasonable levels. I know my mind is far stronger that it was before, but I also know that I have to be vigilant about my life and how I react to stress if I want to remain in recovery-mode.
3. Laziness – Previously I had no trouble getting up early in the morning to run. I would get up at 4:30 AM to run throughout the summer in an attempt to beat the heat (you know, to hit the overnight lows in the 80’s) and early in the winter months as well so I could start working by 7:00 AM. Call it “being in tune with my body” or “lazy” or whatever… but I find that I need 8 hours of sleep lately. NEED it, I can’t just block that out and continue on with my day. Sleep beckons a lot more than it used to, which means I sleep until 5:50 AM each day.
4. Negative Self Talk – I really do try to be kind to myself, but it is so easy for the negative voice to slip in and tell me I’m not doing good enough. I know there are other people who train harder and run longer/further/faster than I do. I know that I’m doing what is right for me at this time. But it’s still hard to not compare myself to the rest of the world!
However, I am also willing to be flexible. If something in my plan isn’t working, I am free to change it. I don’t have to hold myself to something that isn’t right. And it’s actually empowering to recognize that!
How are you empowering yourself right now?