Now that my dreams for my first 50K have been put on the backburner for awhile, you might be wondering what’s next for me.
Well first, there were the temper tantrums.
Then I died my hair purple because feelings. Or something.
But you know…wallowing gets old pretty quickly and I hate being in a negative funk so I did the only thing I know how to do to get me moving forward and focused on the positive-I made a plan.
Where I’m at now:
My chiropractor and I have figured out that the IT Band/meniscus stuff was a symptom of a greater issue that I’ve having with my kneecap. My kneecap goes sideways, not up and down like it should-this creates a lot of inflammation and obviously puts stress on the connective tissue on the side of my knee.
And now that we’ve discovered that (and when I say ‘discovered’ I mean he did a procedure that had me coming off the table and yelling so loudly the receptionist heard me), I remembered all the issues I had with my knee playing basketball in middle school. I eventually stopped playing because of the discomfort/swelling/inflammation but once I stopped playing, the symptoms decreased. They’ve never gone away but I’m so used to them, I don’t think about them anymore. I think it says something about how much less impact there is in trail running that it’s taken a year and a half probably 1000 miles (maybe?) for this to become enough of an issue to slow me down.
And right now I’m just in the cluster stage of healing where everything feels wonky and twingy as I’m strengthening muscles I haven’t really used before (or correctly, I guess) and other muscles are compensating as I use this brace to redirect how my quad muscles support my knee.
I’m calling it THE YEAR OF THE STRONG GIRL.
I know. Sort of cheesy.
But here’s the thing-I was starting to think that something was wrong with me, that I was weaker than other people and that’s why I could never get up to the distance I wanted to. Now it seems I have some biomechanic issues that are preventing me from getting as far as I’d like (the plantar fasciitis was on the same leg). So this is about getting a really firm foundation under me.
What does that mean?
No goal races in 2015- this was a hard decision. I just need to focus on other things now and take that off the table for now. And if I get healthier and get to a distance that might mean I can run a 50K sooner than I think, that’s great but it’s not the focus.
Strength training- Obviously. Not just my normal strength training regime. Consistent PT exercises. Changing up my yoga routine to include more specific exercises for the affected areas.
Better self care- The chiro will probably be a weekly visit for the time being. But I also need to be better about regular massages, hot baths, foam rolling and quality rest days (which means no more back-to-backs for the time being).
Finding a running group- My focus has been so much about doing longer and longer distances and while the training has been really valuable, it’s also been lonely sometimes. I want to run with people.
Speed work- once I get healthier. Let’s see if I can get stronger and faster.
Keep exploring- just because I can’t go as far as I’d like (at least for now) doesn’t mean I won’t be getting on to new trails. It may be shorter excursions and more walking but what really lights me up is the adventure of a new place. I need to remember that.
Thoughts? Experiences with this?