loss

Sidelined

Towards the end of March, life became extremely hectic for me at work. It was almost walk season (our annual fundraising event) and with my walk in the beginning of the month, there were a lot of late nights and my workout schedule became just as hectic. But… I was still getting the workouts in. I was still training for RunDisney’s Dark Side Challenge mid-April. (that race weekend review coming soon).

I continued to run, do cross-training and yoga. However, with the late nights, began running on the treadmill more than normal. I made an effort to get all my workouts in, because I knew my sleep and eating wouldn’t be consistent. Then, one day, I woke up and it hurt to walk on my left foot. My foot didn’t hurt, just above my ankle did. I was hoping it was overuse or something simple. I promised myself that if it still hurt after work calmed down, I would go to the doctor. I used ice, heat, compression, kinesiology tape, etc. Anything to keep me going through April.

Today, I went to see an orthopedic doctor. Although I am waiting for the MRI, the doctor seemed pretty certain that this continued pain is a stress fracture. Yep, stress fracture in the ankle area is a phrase a runner NEVER wants to hear. NEVER.

After discussing the MRI and such, the obvious was stated: you need to rest the ankle. No running, no high impact activities.

Sigh. I had a feeling this was coming. An intuition I guess.

How I'm feeling about this news.

How I’m feeling about this news.

I’ve been a runner since the summer of 2010. I’ve never been this sidelined. I’ve had a few overuse injuries that I could simply back off for a bit, then return to running. But, this, this is different. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. The next few months of training have to be completely redesigned. I cannot run.

So, I know there are numerous options for being active. I know I can swim and perhaps cycle. I know these things. I know I am not relegated to the couch. I get that. But right now, I just feel lost and miserable. I feel frustrated. I feel sad.

But, I have decided to give myself 24 hours to feel miserable. 24 hours, then, back at it. Redesign the training. Refocus. Shake off the miserable feelings, and go forward. This will not deter my goals at being healthy. I can focus on other forms of fitness.

1

How I spent my night.

 

And… one highlight to this… summer is on it’s way to Vegas, so with no running… I won’t have to be up at 4am to get my long runs in before it gets too hot out! I can finally work on improving my swimming and getting back on my bike! 

So, this runner is sidelined… but only from running, and only temporarily. This runner will focus on her other athletic skills and continue to build her strength, endurance, cardio and health.

Oh yeah, my new shades from my much needed retail therapy! Love them!!

Oh yeah, my new shades from my much needed retail therapy! Love them!!

Okay… for all my fellow athletes, suggestions welcome on other forms of cardio and cross-training welcome! Please share!!!

  • What keeps you active?
  • What have you done to cope with being sidelined from the activity you love the most?

Restart Button

Where have I been? Where am I going? Read on to find out!

I have opened this document and stared at the blank page more times than I can count. I start to write, re-read it, and start all over. So here we are…. months later, and finally hitting the restart button in many ways, in blogging, fitness, running, and most importantly, life. To say the end of last year and the start of this year were rocky is an understatement.

After a year of putting myself through a great physical challenge, which turned into a mental challenge… the battle wasn’t over. 2013 was a year for me… I lost my best friend, my grandfather… with that I went through emotional struggles I never imagined I would. I crept deep into my mind and soul on my training runs and during my races. I found that girl I lost a long time ago, that girl I always was… and couldn’t remember how to be. The next logical step was to let her free. Easier said than done, but, a necessary step on my path to true happiness.

Since the holidays, my life has gone turned upside down, and righted itself, went a little sideways, and seems to be righting itself once more. Ah, life… you tease… always keeping me on my toes. A significant relationship ended, I sold a house I was once so proud to be the owner of, I moved, I traveled more than I didn’t, saw my little brother get married, witnessed the fruits of labor of our race committee at another Susan G Komen of Southern NV Race for the Cure, had not 1 but 2 car accidents, I worked on several publications for work, I started a new job, ran my first relay event, PR’d at a half marathon that, for the first time ever, I didn’t take a walk break in… and sometimes I worked out, sometimes I ate healthy, sometimes I ate the cake and had the extra beer… I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I breathed deep. I learned I suck at being patient (hey, we can’t all be perfect). I held on to friends for sanity and laughter, I found new friends and amazing support from places I never expected, I turned 40. I grew, I changed, I learned, I loved… but most importantly, I came out of it all okay. I am happily, safely, wonderfully at a place where I put myself first, where I give with all my heart, and treasure those in my life.

So, am I back? I think so. I’m getting back on track with my fitness, I have worked with my trainer to reset my goals to what I feel is attainable this year, to what I feel matters, I have reexamined my priorities, I have found myself in a place I feel at peace and happy. Does it get better than that?

But, it’s time to restart this blogging journey… Ladies and gents… it’s time to get this party started! I will be moving over to www.naturallyangela.com! Don’t worry, I will redirect this page there… but, it is time to change things up. Like my page on Facebook and if you already follow me on Twitter, great! Just notice @solesisteronrun will change to @naturallyange and my Instagram will also change to @naturallyangela. The new format will continue to discuss running, yoga, and fitness, as well as add in wellness, recipes, natural approaches to healing and cleaning, etc. A bit of a rediscovery of self and keeping life simple… So… please continue to follow the adventures of me and Miss Mia Pup!

I’m Still Alive

February started off with a bang for me, I traveled to Huntington Beach, CA with a friend for the Surf City Half Marathon, had a wonderful weekend and a great race. The week following that was spent catching up at work for the most part. Mid-week, I received some upsetting news, and my whole week and my plans completely changed. The following day I hopped a plan back East to deal with some personal issues (sorry, but I am not ready to discuss it all). Although hectic, stressful, insanely emotional and sad… I will forever cherish that weekend. After being gone 4 days, I returned Sunday evening, to return to work Monday and never stopped to catch my breath.

I was right back at work that morning, and did my scheduled interview with Fox 5 Las Vegas on the Dirty Girl Mud Run being held 2/23/13 and worked all week. I managed to get a run in, and it wasn’t pretty, my mind was distracted, my body was exhausted… it wasn’t good. I went to spin class Wednesday to keep me going, and although it was a great workout, it was harder than normal for me. I was still distracted at work and struggling to stay focus and deal with my emotions I was trying to stuff down inside. My husband and I barely celebrated Valentine’s Day (babe, I still owe you one for this) with an exchange of cards, a great gift from him of a flower garden and Chinese take-out.

I had plans to meet friends for yoga Saturday and shop for our Dirty Girl costumes. I kept that date and was grateful for that hour of yoga when I could leave everything else outside that room. I enjoyed lunch with my friends and we found some great outfits (you will have to wait until Saturday/Sunday to see pics).

Friday and Saturday, I finally started to talk about everything… not in depth, but, for me, to admit that it’s happening, I am sad, and hate feeling helpless was big for me. I made the decision to hibernate for the weekend. To just let my mind and body dictate the activity. Here is what I wanted to do: Clean my house, do my laundry, prep meals, walk the dogs each day, long run on Sunday, spin class Monday evening (yay for the holiday), clean some more, interact on SM, interact with the world.

Here is what I did: relaxed the rest of Saturday. Sunday: sat on the couch with my dogs, my hubby and a marathon of Firefly on the Science Channel ALL DAY and then watched Serenity to cap it off. ALL DAY. Monday: got hubby and dogs out for a 4 mile walk, grocery shopped, did laundry. I didn’t clean, honestly, every time I thought about it, got up to start, I just sat back down. I got laundry done, simply because I needed clothes for work today.

Here is what else I did: I listened to my heart, mind and body and just sat still. I dealt with a difficult situation, I cried, I napped, I healed just a little. I didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty that my floors weren’t vacuumed, dishes weren’t done, things weren’t dusted. I had my phone off most of Monday, so didn’t interact and didn’t care.

I am still struggling with this issue, but, I know that my decision to just sit still, to not feel obligated, to not force a run, a walk, etc. was by far the best thing I have done for myself in a very long time.

So, my apologies for being quiet this past week, but as you all know, sometimes, it is what is needed. So, today is a new day, and I am alive and I am back!! Thanks for all of your love and support!!

Hey Running Mojo, where’d ya go?!

Well, I am sure you have all figured it out, as I have gotten a little quiet on here and twitter. Recently, I feel as if I lost my running mojo. I still love running, just struggle to get myself out there to do it. I still make speed workouts every week, but, in general, I have slowed down considerably in my weekly mileage, and even in my workouts. Honestly, I just feel exhausted and unfocused all around.

Let’s be honest, until the end of April, my life has been a whirlwind of go-go-go. I was training for my first half marathon in January (have completed 3 to date), graduated with my masters, began studying for a certification exam that I took April 28th, prepared for a belated wedding reception in PA, was the social media co-chair for the Race for the Cure, all while working full time. After the race on May 5th, I honestly ran out of things to do on my schedule, well, big things. I wasn’t training for anything, wasn’t studying for anything, wasn’t attending meetings at night… nothing. I could honestly come home from work, and sit. I cannot remember the last time I could do that. I would be lying if I said that isn’t exactly what I’ve been doing. Perhaps my body is finally realizing it can sit still… and is running with that option, literally sucking my energy out of my body. I have been eating healthy, so it’s not a sudden depletion of energy due to filling it with crap.

This past week, this has been a struggle for me. I went to the speed workout, and killed it on mile repeats, but other than that, didn’t do anything this week. Physically, I am pretty sure it is what my body needs, but mentally, not doing anything, has been hard. I feel lazy and unmotivated. I feel like a slacker. I can’t seem to synchronize my body’s feeling with my brain’s thinking. They seem to be at opposite ends, and this isn’t doing my mind or body any good. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that this doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I don’t have to be going all out to be happy or feel as if I am doing something. Is there a happy middle ground? Can I find it??

I think part of the other problem is, I briefly became a part of a running team. While I enjoyed the thought of the camaraderie and support, it became more of a focus on fulfilling the goals of a few vs focusing on individual goals. For a brief moment, I lost my goals… and I seem to be struggling to relocate them. Perhaps, I was able to to lose them, because I really didn’t have any set goals at this point in regards to running. I wanted to run a half marathon. Then, I wanted to run 3 in 90 days to become a half fanatic. I have accomplished those goals. Now what? And the bigger question, can I run with no clear goal to focus on? Run to just run, because I love it? I love running, how my body feels, how it clears my mind… but, I think that since I started running, I have always had a goal, perhaps out of fear of stopping or getting lazy without one. Is this what I need? To see where the road takes me, no goals for a bit?

Or, to trick my mind, does that need to be my goal, run to enjoy the run. I’ve heard that saying a lot lately as I wrestle with my lack of energy and focus. Enjoy the run. Oddly, my third half marathon, Rockin Rabbit… I truly enjoyed. I was tired going into this one, having done a lot of training and running another half 3 weeks earlier, so I didn’t go into it with a plan to PR, but, to finish and enjoy it. It was a paved trail run (mostly) and near Lake Mead, the scenery was beautiful. This wasn’t my best race, I got a blister, my achilles was sore, I was tired… but, I truly enjoyed this run. I enjoyed the view, took a few pics along the way, talked with some people. I didn’t PR and the last 3 miles I ran with a popped blister, but I finished and loved that race.

I spent this past weekend resting, initially I felt like an unmotivated slug, annoyed that I couldn’t get myself to be active… really. I’ve come this far in my journey to become healthy… and here I sit on the couch with a book. That’s the best I can do? And then, it hit me… that, for that moment, this is the best I could do. It’s called self-care. That thing we all sometimes forget. I know I do. I go and go and go… and then collapse. Not effective by any means. The more I thought about it, the more I realized…. this is it. The root of my issues…. balance and self-care. I gained weight and got lazy because I didn’t think I had the time or ability to “do it right” when it came to getting healthy. I couldn’t ever 100% commit to anything, whether it was weight watchers, walking, the gym… anything. After awhile, I stop progressing. I slide back into old ways…. I think right when the true change is within grasp, that opportunity to really become something new and exciting, to accomplish something big… I back away. Better to not try than try and fail? I think I have known this… but never fully admitted it. I can list off my accomplishments this past year and a half, but, can list what I didn’t do, where I failed, what I could have done better. So, what comes next? Why, have I been unable to continue to lose weight? Why have I suddenly lost all desire/energy/urge to be active? What gives?!

I have finally, finally verbalized what’s behind this… what my issues are. It’s fear. Now what? How do I push through this and get myself active again, lose the rest of the weight, and rekindle that super happy awesome feeling?  This quote Monday from RW really hit home for me….

Training for a race is sort of like a metaphor for life—it shows you how important goals are, it shows you how much you are capable of, it shows you the power of dedication. I’ve never run 13.1 miles, but I know I can do it. I will do it. ~Ashley Cadaret


I wrote most of this Sunday night and Monday… dealt with a long day at work Monday night, some personal issues I’ve been wrestling with… so, even after my friend canceled the run scheduled (this is always a good excuse for me to not go) I made myself walk out the door for a run. It helped that right after work I changed into my run clothes, so I was ready to go. I did a short run, 2.2 miles, and it wasn’t a good run at all. But, it was a run. It was hot, I was blah… but, I kept going. My mantra was dig deeper, you got this. It worked. I am so proud of myself, you would think I just ran a marathon. It’s the little things, right? It may be slow, but I think things will come together again, I have a great support system, I should really lean on them. Tomorrow is speed work. I will enjoy that, as I always do.


Have any of you been in this frame of mind or had this struggle? What worked for you? Any thoughts, suggestions, motivations?  Send ’em my way!!