The setback

So the setback specifically is in regard to my toe (shocker!). I thought I was being smart with my return to running but apparently there was a delayed response in tendon overload. I ran fine at the Spring Lake 5 miler on May 27th. I didn’t run again until almost an entire week later for just 3.5 easy miles. Again, no issues. Two days later I ran another 5 miles and I think that was probably where the overload came in because the next day I felt a smidge more achy than usual and literally each day this past week it got progressively worse until I found myself limping by the end of the week. So sneaky that toe! Needless to say I’m back on running hiatus. But I learned something here and I’ll use this setback as a reminder that even if I feel good one day after a run or even two I need to wait it out a little longer.

The progress

While the toe has had a setback, I’m happy to report that I’ve been making progress in a few areas.

1. Yoga Poses: I am getting better at crow! And, last night I realized that about 15 minutes into class I could touch my fingers to the floor during forward fold which I don’t think I’ve been able to do before (hello tight hamstrings!). I had a really awful time this weekend when my toe hurt so bad I was struggling to walk and I was at the Jersey Shore with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter. I didn’t want his daughter to see me cry but I was in such pain. I really just wanted to curl up with Mr. SOTSS and cry my eyes out and have him comfort me but obviously it wasn’t appropriate at the time. And I didn’t want to ruin a fun night since she doesn’t get to see her dad that much.

A fake smile as I limped along the beach with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter and a full moon.

A fake smile as I limped along the beach with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter and a full moon.

So the progress in yoga was a well-needed lift to my spirits. It’s empowering to try new things, stick with them and then see small improvements and progress. (I wish I could say the same for biking but we all know I never found my groove there). And now this brings me to #2 but first watch my shaky crow:

 

IMG_0596

Enjoying the last of the sunset from the window of the yoga studio

2. Mental Strength: Ok so this one was a huge aha moment for me last night at yoga. I’m gonna get a little deep here so bare with me. We were laying in Shavasana at the end of yoga class tonight and listening to the song “Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons. I felt so calm, so happy, so clear. This really sounds silly but I truly felt like I found a new way to soothe myself. A small choice to give yoga a shot in the midst of my toe injury depression has turned into 6 weeks of attending 2x a week and leaving class each and every time feeling not just good but great! My toe feels much better in the few hours after class, my core is getting attention after being ignored for so long. But most importantly my heart and my mind are getting a workout during practice that have their own “afterburn” effect.

Yay me!

Yay me!

I know you’re thinking “Um what’s the big deal? People do this every day.” Before my husband died (like a few weeks before he died….probably in March of 1999) I remember crying to my close friend when I thought about the inevitable funeral. Who would comfort me that day, because frankly the only person I wanted to comfort me would be him, but if he were laying in a casket that wouldn’t be an option now would it?! (side note: I read the book Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg recently and loved it because I could totally relate to so many things she said). Well, I survived not only the funeral but 15 years of widowhood (dating on and off but pretty much on my own) before meeting Mr. SOTSS. I learned how to comfort myself and pick myself up after every setback. I didn’t have a choice. It became something I was so proud of. And of course meeting friends like Lisa and beginning my journey into the running world only helped my mental game. A coworker once nicknamed me “the rock” because he was so impressed with how I kept moving forward. But something happened when I met Mr. SOTSS. Not right away because I still had my protective shell….but over the years I’ve started to rely on him more and more to help me with my moments of depression or anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to have a significant other who loves me and wants to comfort me in times of sadness but the more I rely on him and not myself the more I’m losing what I worked so hard to gain. Not to mention it really puts too much pressure on him because emotional support is not necessarily his strong suit…..he’s a dude and dudes are from Mars not Venus right? :) (Hi honey! Love you! ;)) Life is best lived in balance and I think 2017 is the year I’m learning this just a bit more. I’m learning to diversify! LOL! …adding yoga and hiking to my exercise passions. Adding a standing desk so I can balance the time I spend sitting while working. And now I can focus more on getting my own self through the tough times again like I used to.

However I don’t think I’ll ever be able to balance the amount of Duncan pictures I take. He’ll always be my muse and my biggest addiction :)IMG_0589

Question 1: When you are overwhelmed, depressed or anxious do you tend to reach out to others to help you keep moving forward or do you like to find your own path?

Question 2: Have you been dealing with a recent setback or discovering progress in something in your life?

So much to tell you!

Altra Running sneakers:

I’ll backtrack to a couple of weekends ago when Mr. SOTSS and I took a trip to Road Runner Sports so he could buy a new pair of running sneakers. I have been so curious about Altra Running brand sneakers with both their foot shaped toe box and zero drop. With my toe injury I’ve found that the more space my toes have the better it feels. I normally go for sneaker brands that run wider (Asics are my favorite) and sometimes buy a wide width because of my wide forefoot but these are created to be not just wider but also more closely aligned with how the foot is shaped. And with my string of injuries over the years I also was intrigued by the zero drop theory of a softer stride. So I bought a pair (I bought the Altra Escalante) and have been wearing them for walking only the last 2 weeks.

Escalante

Altra Running Escalante sneakers and a cute dog to enhance the photo :)

I LOVE THEM! I felt a little calf soreness the first day or two as my body adjusted but boy oh boy I love them so. I wear them almost daily now and can’t wait to try running in them. The only thing I hate is the laces. They just can’t stay tied….even double knots fall out! Geez. But hey, small price to pay and easily fixable.

Yoga classes 4 and 5:

I went to my 4th yoga class on Saturday and was so proud to hold a crow pose for a few seconds at least.

yoga pose or doga pose

Asked Duncan if he wanted to take a quick selfie before I headed out to yoga and this was the outcome. He doesn’t always follow direction.

And then last night I went again. With each class I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the poses. I still struggle with squaring my hips and aligning my knees, flexing my feet and so many of the things that you just don’t automatically remember but it’s been a real eye hip opener for sure! And my tight hips are loving the attention. On the way home from yoga I had the bright idea to try running again. I felt nice and warmed up and it was a gorgeous evening weather-wise.

recovering runner

Pure happiness and optimisim after this mile and a half

I went 1 1/2 miles and even a little bit faster than my last attempt last week. But the biggest improvement was how I felt afterward. I didn’t feel the need to limp at all. Slow and steady….unfortunately the Brooklyn Half this Saturday is looking more and more confirmed to be a DNS. But my silver lining? I signed up for the Spring Lake 5 miler the weekend after and that actually seems like it will be doable!!!! Hoping I can salvage at least one of my 4 spring races.

So that’s my update.

What’s your update?

Tell me 3 things going on with you.

Ever tried a zero drop shoe like Altra

I tried yoga and went back for more

This past Monday I went to a yoga class taught by a former colleague. It was a 60 minute power flow class based on the Baptiste Power Vinyasa style of yoga. After a warm up of stretches there are a series of pose sequences that get more challenging as the class goes on. We do a lot of core work toward the end of class before a nice cool down and savasana (basically laying like a “corpse” and removing all tension from your body for a few solid minutes….I almost fell asleep)

My colorful trio: water bottle, towel and mat.

My colorful trio: water bottle, towel and mat.

The room was warmed to around 80 degrees. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. I was really surprised by a lot.

I tried yoga and went back for more

photo: strenthwithinyoga.com

  1. I knew more poses than I thought (warrior, tree, child’s, downward dog)
  2. I always thought I wouldn’t be able to “sit still” for yoga but this class was perfect for me as we moved fairly quickly through sequences of poses.
  3. It was challenging! I loved hearing the instructor call out ways to get more out of the pose. Pull the belly in or squeeze the knees together, etc etc. I broke a sweat and felt my core working hard.
  4. I immediately found myself thinking of goals. I want to master crow pose. I want to be able to hop to the front of the mat from downward dog. I want to be able to move through the poses continuous without having to rearrange myself on the mat. (You’d be surprised how many times I found myself hanging off the front or side of my mat.)
  5. I was soaked when class was over—partly from the hot room—partly from working so hard.
Sweat Out the Small Stuff: Vinyasa Style!

Sweat Out the Small Stuff: Vinyasa Style!

I went again last night for my second class to see if I would still feel as positive about the class and I did! I’m excited to continue this practice and hope to be able to attend 2 classes a week. There’s something so wonderful about discovering new ways of moving my body and staying fit.

IMG_9626I started hiking every Wednesday with a local hiking group every Wednesday night and immediately became addicted. I hated missing out on the hikes for the 6 weeks my toe was injured. I’m hoping yoga will be a similar addition and help me focus on stretch and strength combined with the mental aspect it brings as well.

Just doing some glute work at home with an audience

Just doing some glute work at home with an audience

So my toe was feeling so good I actually forgot I had ever injured it until yesterday when I guess I started out a little too briskly on my brisk walk, combined with the damp weather i found it achy and sore. But after yoga it felt better and today it seems back to “normal”. I’m assuming this will happen a lot over the next month or so as I completely heal. My other foot, however, is feeling a bit sore and achy from spending so many weeks compensating so I’ve been icing it.

My goal is to try and run just a short distance next week and work my way up to 3 miles by next weekend. I’ll have to see what my body wants but I’m optimistic.

In other news Duncan has been displeased about the rainy weather we’ve hadIMG_9614And after 2 years Mr. SOTSS finally finished renovating his bathroom so for his birthday I framed some photos that i’ve taken over the years all based around a water theme to decorate.

The large photo is from our trip to Lake Louise in Banff, Canada. The small ones are from a sailing trip to Port Jefferson Long Island, Cape May, New Jersey and Lake George in New York

The large photo is from our trip to Lake Louise in Banff, Canada. The small ones are from a sailing trip to Port Jefferson Long Island, Cape May, New Jersey and Lake George in New York

And yesterday my beautiful niece turned 17 and passed her road test!

I miss this....She used to want to hold my hand all the time.

I miss this….She used to want to hold my hand all the time.

And now she's all grown up.

And now she’s all grown up.

It always makes me feel like I’m “growing” or “evolving” as a human when I go through something crappy only to discover something wonderful. From discovering running after feeling stuck in my grief over the loss of my husband, to discovering yoga while on running hiatus. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and there is ALWAYS something to bring positivity.

**Thank you to those who have commented here and on my Instagram posts as well with such kind words of encouragement and advice over the last 6 weeks as I’ve been working through this toe injury. It means a lot.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Have you ever tried yoga? Do you like it? Favorite pose?

Currently tree pose for me but I can’t wait to master crow.

 

What if

What if the MRI doesn’t reveal anything

What if I don’t get answers

What if the MRI reveals that something is in need of repair surgically

What if I have to wear a boot

What if I need crutches

What if I gain too much weight from being less active

What if I can’t run again

What if I can’t run the New Jersey Half

What if I can’t wear heels to Barbara’s wedding

What if I can’t run the Brooklyn Half

Yep. You get the point. I’m feeling a lot of What ifs lately.

I had my MRI tonight. Results should be back in a couple of days.

I rode my bike on Saturday for 5 miles to see how that would feel IMG_8711and I rode again yesterday for 8 miles. It was ok. IMG_8937I got a kick out of these geese trying to cross at the cross walk. IMG_8938That sign really should be more inclusive! :) I’m not loving the bike. I don’t have a bike rack and trying to get it into the trunk of my car is quite cumbersome. The handlebars actually crashed down on me and whacked me in my ear when I was putting the bike back after riding. I feel like I have to concentrate so much on the bike (I have terrible balance) that I don’t get to zone out like with running or walking. Once I find out what the deal is with my toe and how long I’ll be an injured runner I’ll have to make a plan for how to be active without the bike as my only option.

In other news, I ate an entire bag of Starburst jelly beans yesterday. #triggerfood IMG_8899

And I thought I couldn’t control myself with popcorn….

And of course a Duncan picture to wrap up this post #yourwelcomeIMG_8941

What’s your trigger food?

What’s your latest “What if?”

Do you bike ride?