Note: Super long rambling post ahead… thank you for sticking with me on this one 🙂
Hi Friends! Can I just say this is how the last couple of days felt?
I’ve been working really hard at learning to use my new camera and I know I still have super far to go, a lot to learn, photography is probably like nutrition, you can never stop learning enough and getting more confused right? Baaaauuuuuutttttt…. waiting for food grazer sites to submit/reject my photos got me holding my breath followed by a leap for joy or a mumble, resubmit, and resume holding breath….
Anyways…so I actually wrote this post on the plane while traveling over the holidays. I consider it the second part to Tips for New Runners I posted last week. Check that out if you missed it, now let’s get on with today!
So many times in the past I’ve heard and said things like “well he/she brought it on themselves” they shouldn’t have been doing X….
- Running too much
- Lifting too much
- Training too hard
- Biking is dangerous, they knew that
That really erks me, it’s like saying…it’s your own damn fault for pushing too hard.
I thought I was suppose to challenge and push myself? Now it’s my fault for working to hard? Whhhhhaaaaaaaattttt……..
From my personal perspective…
I’ve always been active and although I was a high school cheerleader/dance, I’ve always liked to run because it was so challenging for me. I restarted running in college as a way to lose weight and when I wasn’t running I was at the gym on a cardio machine. I knew nothing about strength training so I stayed away from that area of the gym. Over time my love for running grew, I was motivated to be outside, get faster, go longer distances and all that jazz. It gave me sense of accomplishment I would have never known with the elliptical. As I started to think of myself as a runner I learned more about running, including the need for strength training, which I didn’t like at first. However, over time I grew to love that, especially when I found Crossfit. It gave me loads of self confidence, helped me find new friends, helped improve my outlook on weight status (I like to focus on what my body can do, not how much it weighs), and gave me a stress outlet.
However, I didn’t know hardly anything about running and I definitely knew very little about weight lifting. I thought I knew what good form was, but my hip was constantly achy and sometimes I had low back/hip pain. I figured this was normal, I figured all the things I were doing including running and lifting were good for me… I was IMPROVING my health.
Then it happened, the day where the pain escalated, in a way that I didn’t even know possible. I’m finally on the mend (over a year later) thank you to an amazing doctor (who is having an open house this weekend at his new clinic, raffling a free care packaged see his logo on the side bar), although I have some days with flares, for the most part I’m all good, I’m planning to run a half marathon in a couple of weeks.
Here is the question, did I push too hard by increasing my mileage for running and weight at crossfit to0 quickly? Maybe. Ok, Probably. Did I deserve injury or have it coming because of that. Absolutely not. I feel like it’s a double edge sword, you are either not working hard enough for results or working too hard and that’s why you got injured.
What I didn’t know (common errors):
- How to taper my running to prevent injury (things I’m still learning).
- How to make sure my alignment was neutral during crossfit (I relied on the coaches, but didn’t have a true sense of body awareness to detect imbalances in myself.)
- I have a “short leg” causing compression to my spine on the right side, so sooner or later I could have ended up with the same symptoms any way.
- That some things don’t improve with RICE, you absolutely need the right functional strength training focusing on week tiny muscles.
A common complaint?
A couple of weeks ago I said to some friends “my back was doing great until I ran 8 miles and now I’ve got the same pain on the other side under my bum, I think it’s from the lift in my left shoe.”
Mr. Hungry kindly pointed out how idiotic that sounds…. most people who don’t run or have a love a specific sport would probably think “why the heck are you running then?” Same goes for any kind of workout, if you complain about an ache/pain after a workout, most people are thinking “well why did you do that then? Stop doing that and said pain will go away.” That may or may not be true, but increasing your mileage and distance is the fun part, challenging yourself is the fun part.
Why I like to challenge myself :
- I work out for health benefits, I’m motivated to continue working out by doing activities I love that challenge me.
- Being sports oriented forces me to take a well rounded approach. Running needs strength training and flexibility. Crossfit style of working out needs flexibility and endurance.
- I’ve had months of periods of inactivity thinking it would heal my injury and be better for my body, what happened? My muscles atrophied and so did my mood as well as my metabolism. Not to mention, I didn’t feel any better. I had much less pain once I started being active again.
What’s different this time around? My development of these skills:
- Body awareness.
- Mindset of “I want to but I don’t have to.”
- Appreciate your ability to work out.
- A real idea of risk, knowing it could happen to you.
- Some sort of activity is always better than none.
- Functional strength training, ability to adapt movements to suit your body
- Support Professional (like Dr.K) and Friends
- Rest days at least 1-3 days per week.
- Use a foam roller
- Keep inflammation down with ice and supplements
- Good nutrition
The fact is I feel blessed to be able to run, lift weights, and be active in a way that’s fun for me….
Injuries happen, to the newbie and the most seasoned athlete. Injury happens even when everything is “done right” and some people skate by doing everything “wrong.” It really isn’t fair, but that’s life. To me, it’s similar to those with gifted genetics that eat fast food every day, don’t workout, smoke, drink and live till 100. Some people eat healthy, perform minimal safe exercise, avoid alcohol, and die at 30. That DEFINITELY isn’t fair either.
So, is it risking injury or simply just challenging yourself?
To me, it’s both. Exercise will always be as dangerous as not exercising at all. I think it’s okay to push yourself as long as you continue to develop the skills necessary to stay safe.