My Romance With Running

Stories about running


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My very first Tri(mester)!

It was a Sunday night in September when we first found out that you were a real thing.

In our grand old rented villa with stained-glass windows, in a past life it was classy and timeless but now looked like a dated student flat. Every furnishing and fixture carelessly battered, coloured the shade of white specifically achieved through years of overuse and under-cleaning.

I think the moment we were conscious of you, I started feeling sick. Stomach flipping as gravity and the ground and all those comfortable certainties in life began to disappear. The Sunday morning drudgery, dehydration, fatigue and nausea that had previously been earned through several glasses of pinot was now greeting me on every day of the week, no wine needed.

Three weeks later, a few little spews, some bike rides abandoned at half way and a lot of mid-day naps and I was allowed to start on a walk run program to get over my pelvic injury, osteitis pubis. Finally!

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Rehabbing. I still have little shoulders here hallelujah!

The commitment to going to the gym several times a week, cycling inside on the wind trainer and aqua jogging – none of it seemed very important any more when I knew that I wouldn’t be getting ‘fit’ any time soon.

In the early weeks I was still feeling really strong, going to chain gang rides with the HCR crew, charging up hills on my bike in the rain after work, motivation I can no longer relate to! On the days I didn’t feel good I would make sure I went for a walk to keep active, or for a ride alongside Mr B as he ran, just to get some fresh air in my lungs.

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8 weeks in after a fast morning ride around the bays I felt incredible. Light, happy, and with that satisfying deadness in my legs. I finally got that familiar feeling after a hard training session and I felt like myself again. But myself wasn’t just me any more, and that hard session was the last.

11 weeks pregnant and I was making lots of progress on my walk run program, 6 minute walk, four minute run for thirty minutes. One particular day was a five minute walk, followed by a trip to A&E. I read later that pregnancy can make your balance a bit off, I agree with that!

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I was in a panic because my chin bled a LOT when it split open, it hurt, and I had to get a tetanus injection. I was really worried about falling with the baby, but the Doctor said ‘It’s fine, your pelvis will have protected the baby, the pelvis is really strong!’. Oh you mean the pelvis that got a stress fracture? The same pelvis that keeps malfunctioning and preventing me from running? THAT PELVIS!? *cue sobbing*

The Doctor said she recognised my name from Strava, and noted that I might not be on the leaderboards any time soon. She gave me 8 stitches while I held Mr B’s hand. That hand softly slipped away during her graphic blow-by-blow account of poking fat back inside my chin with the end of a pair of scissors. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that he gets over that squeamishness by May 2018.

The last week of the first trimester was a great one. I had one of those runs (still 30% walking) that was so blissful, in the sunshine, around Wellington’s Oriental Bay and in that moment I knew that the rehab was all worth it. I felt like me.

Training for the First Trimester

  • Longest run: 5.6km (a run/walk)
  • Longest ride: 74.9km
  • Average hours of exercise: 3-5 per week (not including walking)
  • Biggest run/walk week: 30km

I switched a lot of runs out for walks through the botanical gardens, I slept a lot, I tried to remember that I wasn’t eating like an athlete and to cut down on the portion sizes to account for this. I don’t need to fear being hungry any more when I have no long run in the morning!

I think in a way it helped already being unfit to begin with. I was riding a lot and doing yoga and gym work, then I very slowly built in the walk-run program when I felt I could. Working on increasing my running at a time when I knew that I’d barely get started before I had to decrease it didn’t worry me. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have, and all that.

The Best Parts of the First Trimester

The Beautiful people at Harbour City Racing! Being able to ride with a group who were welcoming, who helped me to learn, raced me on the hills, and showed me how it is possible to change a tyre with no tyre lever made my life very happy.

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The titties! A new toy! I have taken great joy in popping a tit into every possible photo opportunity.

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It was just sooo hot I had to ride with my shirt open ( . ) ( . )

Already being unfit before I got pregnant meant getting away with having a bit of extra fluff around the tummy with no pregnancy suspicions at all.

The Worst Parts of the First Trimester

Not being in complete control of how my body feels. Training is certainty, you tick the boxes, you feel the benefits, you get the results. Having the motivation to get outside, but dry retching when you move makes training near impossible. Serena Williams winning a grand slam 8 weeks pregnant is more mind-blowing for me than Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy rocket launching a car into space. I felt like utter shit at 8 weeks!

Keeping a secret is very hard. Declining the wine matches at a five course degustation because you ‘don’t feel like drinking wine’ is really flippin’ hard and also a really terrible lie.

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Documenting my ‘obviously pregnant’ tummy at 11 weeks

A lot of the time I felt like I was letting my friends down, because I was feeling too sick to hang out, too tired, or just too emotionally unstable to leave the house between tears at the impending human thing or stressing out about whether or not I’ll be a good mother. It has also made me think how I could have been more supportive of my own pregnant friends, I realise now how little I understood what they were going through. I think I get it now *dry retches*.

I feel like I was very lucky to be able to keep riding, running and doing the things I love in the first trimester without having to dig too many holes to bury little piles of spew on the side of Polhill trail.

I’m optimistic about the other TWENTY SEVEN WEEKS (oh myyy that’s a long time) being just as cruisy and a little less spews-y. I’m looking seriously in to a running buggy that looks friendly enough to take to the Plunket rooms but will perform like the Dodge Charger in Death Proof when I need it to.

Any suggestions much appreciated ūüôā

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On the hard stuff

It has only just occurred to me, that running isn’t fun.

I don’t ever run with music, my head¬†(or the space inside it) makes the music. If you see me¬†out running this is what is going on…

Here are the lyrics for your reference:

Lalalalala lalalalaala lalalala lalalaa aaa lalalalaa lalaa lalalalalalaa lalalala lalalal laaaaaaaaa lalalalal a pam pam lalalaallaaaaaaaaa lalalalalalaa lalalalalaalalala lalalaal lalalalaa pam pam pam pam lala lalalala lalala laaaaaaaaaaaa lalalalal (x8)

Yesterday¬†the run that my lovely coach set for me was 24km at 4.40pace, which shouldn’t be too hard, at least not at the beginning of the run.

Before I set out, I was like, uber-stressed about running wearing all-black because I had failed to plan my usual colour coordinated attire. What would Chandima think if he saw me out running in black on black with teal Nikes and no other teal! I changed my top to a teal Lululemon number (crisis averted!) and headed out the door, satisfied that I was aesthetically athletically ready to crush this longer tempo.

I knew it would be a HAAM of a run after the first 200metres. It felt like I hadn’t been stretching or rolling out my legs as often as I should recently since 2012. Let’s see how it goes, let’s just run at the pace for as long as you can and see how it goes. GO.

I went through a broad spectrum of emotions on this run, these are a few.

Misanthropy– Toot or ‘Awwww yeeauh gurl’ at me again and I will cut you. No I don’t have a knife, I’ll use the edge of my Snapper card. Can you not see I’m attempting to run away from you? Leave me be¬†you lobotomised bottom feeders.

Self Loathing- Why is this hard for you? You’re just being pathetic. You run this fast all the time, why is it hard today? Probably because you haven’t brushed your hair in three days you bloody feral. You should just call it quits and go home and shave your head, it will solve so many problems.

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Numbness-¬†Perhaps not an emotion so much as a physical feeling. What is happening¬†to my right foot? Is my shoe on too tight? If I still can’t feel it after 12km I will stop. Surely that’s a problem you just run through? Planes can still fly with one functioning engine right so I can run with one functioning foot?

Loneliness/Neglect- My usual Wednesday buddies are on different training schedules (and are maybe just a wee bit too fast) so I had to suffer alone. I would rather run a few kms behind them alone, but just with the comfort of knowing they are there. (Single tear)

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Arousal- Wait, what is the opposite of this? I definitely had no runboner at any point on this run. I did admire my reflection in the window of a maroon Rav4 but it was to check my form rather than my sexiness. I’m already well aware of how sexy I am.

Amazement- Holy shit, I can feel my foot now! And I can’t feel the pain in my calves, shins, quads and hamstrings that plagued me for the first 15km.¬†Lalalalala lalalalaala lalalala lalalaa…

Is this how it feels when people who hate running go for a run? Like a death march, like being slowly tortured by a domestic-ated abusing cat that intends to kill you eventually but wants to enjoy the process? I hated every step of the first 10km. I passed people I knew and managed to squeeze out two smiles which took so much effort that I think I dropped the pace off by ten seconds per km.

Feelings

Feelings

At the 12th kilometre I turned around. The sun was going down¬†over behind Makara and the¬†road winding back around the coast was golden and sunny. I told myself there were lots of great things happening on this run! Look at that sun Amanda, ain’t it grand! Big old firey hellish ball up there that is never quite puts out enough heat to account for how cancerous it is.

Every step hurt, and¬†I was still holding the pace, I just didn’t want to! I promised myself that if I finished the run and hit the goal pace I could get a new pair of racing flats which was super motivating because I don’t need them and things I don’t need are much more exciting than the necessities.

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Room for another substratum of sports shoes methinks.

I have a clear understanding now of what people are feeling when they say that they hate running. If you push through these runs though you will be the little Spanish Flea tinkling around the Bays humming tunes to yourself and smiling. Just keep at it. Buy more shoes.

This is the hateful run if you want to see it.


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Running in Vietnam- Ha Noi

Taking a three and a half week holiday from work; glorious! Taking a three and a half week holiday from running; terrifying.

I knew when we planned this trip that I would be able to squeeze in a few runs, and doing my favourite thing while travelling has been an challenging and rewarding experience so far.  

Our first destination was Hanoi, a city of seven million people in the North of Vietnam. Our hotel was near Hoàn Kiém Lake, and it turns out this is a hugely popular spot for the locals doing their morning exercise. From 5am (likely even earlier) the path around the lake was packed.

Before my run, 5.45am and 28 degrees C

 
I aimed to go for a 6km run but cut it short because I was sweating more than I do I hot yoga (which is litres) and breathing like I was running 400m sprints.  

I am sharing this so you know how hot I am (in temperature and also sexiness)

 Most people that were running just ran on the roads because of how crowded it was. You wouldn’t do this in the day or night time though because the traffic is chaotic and you would become a speed bump for the scooters.

 
There were a few groups that looked VERY vaguely like the Vietnamese version of Les Mills BodyJam classes happening around the lake including this one, it was brilliant, perfect for a warm down.

After uploading my run to Strava I saw that I was a good 30 seconds behind the course record for a lap of Ho√†n Ki√©m. Like any Strava addict I went back the next day and ran it faster so I could claim it for myself, take that other Strava tourist. 

I look like I really enjoyed that, right?

  

The lake and surrounding foliage

 

Because we were off to Sa Pa that night, and sharing the sleeper bus with other travellers I thought I should be considerate and attempt to clean my horrifically sweaty running gear. Ben I swear I didn’t use your toothbrush for this…  

Ha Noi was really hot, very polluted and very dirty. It was cool to get outside and see how the people who live here exercise but not a very pleasant experience. If I lived here I would definitely opt for the group fitness classes, or perhaps become a X√≠ch l√ī (rickshaw) driver. Anything to avoid all the treadmill time!


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There is no such race as a non-race

Word of advice, don’t enter a race with the idea that you are ‘not going to race it’.

You’re either bitching out and making an excuse to go slow, or you are a delusional post-injury runner who thinks that they learned something from seven months off and will take things easy now.

THE NON-RACE

Turn up to the Scottish Waterfront 5km race with the idea that you will be a supporter. You’re the Captain of the women’s team now so you need to be present, and clapping, and smiley. Pay $8 for the entry, to you know, give the club some extra cash because you are such a good person.

You’re going to be sensible today, you didn’t do the 16km that was on your training plan because you are still getting over the horrendous cold that put you out of action for two weeks. (The cold that lasted for two weeks because you kept trying to run before you were better, and running in the rain, and just being an idiot in general).

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A demonstration of my new and improved running form after two sick weeks

Oh look, you’re already in your running gear! Co-inkydink? I think not. Let’s just jog it you say to yourself, you can feel your eye twitch because you know you’re lying.¬†Coach Kevin says that if you must run, it is best to run with the 25 minute plus group so that you aren’t tempted to race.

With each minute that passes before the start time you adjust your goal pace to be a second faster, arriving at a still quite sensible pace of 4.45 per km. Sensible for the runner recovering from a chest cough, green snot and stress fracture? Yeah sure!

You don’t warm up because you don’t need to before this non-race, because you are going to jog it.

This is the sort of logic you are using

This is the sort of logic you are using

Set the scene: You are standing amongst a gangle¬†of 17 year old boys at the start line. Lanky awkward boys¬†who look built for running because they haven’t discovered beer yet. All wear¬†size 12+ shoes that none have ever learned to tie properly. One minute to go until the start time. One of the lankies starts to count down from fif-ty-nine, fif-ty-eight, fif-ty-seven, thankfully his voice breaks in to a high pitched squeal and he stops the countdown.

Up until someone says Go, you have made good decisions. ¬†That magic word go. The ‘Go on throw caution to the wind!’ kind of Go. Go NUTS.

Upon hearing GO! we all speed off through the first kilometre, weaving through meandering crowds on the Wellington waterfront.¬†The plan of doing the sensible 4.45 pace isn’t 4.45, it’s 4.20. That is still ok you think, I can hold this pace, it’s still cruising…

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Views on course of the Scottish Waterfront 5km race

The lankies start to fade after five minutes. You stick to an even pace and cruise past them, making sure to run as close as possible up behind them to let them know that you make angry breathing noises when you run fast. This is where it becomes hard to stick to an even pace, not physically, mentally. In front of you¬†are 12 more lankies, clomping size twelves along the pavement and fading fast. All¬†have targets on their backs, ‘Hey there, if you speed up to 4.05 you can pass me! If you do an even 4minute you’ll pass me too! Faster faster faster!

Your ego takes control of your legs¬†and you now have tunnel vision where you can only see targets ahead and nothing. Else. Matters. You hear Hinano’s voice in your head ‘Run with your balls!’ Balls¬†to the wall, you give it 110%.

The familiar feeling creeps in, the lactic acid in your quads, the spit gathers at the corners of your mouth, you drive hard for the finish line and with a final burst of speed make it past the orange cones. You sit on the ground heaving and panting for a split second before realising that you jogged that race. So you stand up, breathe normally, and walk calmly over to talk to Coach Kevin about your future jogging plans.

My final time for the 5km was 21.17, a good 100 seconds off my PB but because I ran down all those stinky teenagers and I feel like it was a good run. An ego boosting run. I have been back in to running for two months now after seven months off so anything is a win!


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Breaking a Six Month Drought

How do you get your mojo back after a dry spell?

When it’s dry, it’s dry for ages. Often the only thing you need to get a good stiff run under your belt is a slightly less desirable initial run, just to break the drought and dust things off.

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How do you define a drought?

A drought is an extended period when a runner experiences¬†a deficiency in his or her¬†run¬†supply.¬†A drought can last for months or years, or may be declared after as few as 3¬†days depending on existing levels of hypochondria and addiction.¬† It can have a substantial impact on the fitness¬†and mental state¬†of the affected runner.¬†The definition may depend on you,¬†and what you class as a ‘normal’ number¬†of times to be sneaking off for a quick run.¬†Some of us do it twice or more a day, others once a week, and the odd few save it for special occasions like Christmas and New Years¬†(those fitness resolutions are great!). I think we can all agree, that if you haven’t wet your end of your nose with sweat from a run¬†in six months, you are experiencing a drought.

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What a run drought looks like on Strava

During a dry spell you can feel quite left out of the action, because you are. You wake up feeling squeaky-clean on a Sunday morning, and¬†you’ve got no juicy stories for your workmates on Monday about the sweet route you conquered in the weekend.¬†If¬†it‚Äôs been a while since you’ve been out for an all-morning sweat fest you might be feeling like it’s never going to happen again.

This hot weather we’ve been having in Wellington gets¬†everyone¬†in the mood for it. Bronzed bare legs and a warm 120km/h breeze blowing through your hair like a Pantene commercial, the conditions are perfect for some carefree summer loving.¬†I’m here to help you to get back in to the game, to end your drought, and regain your prowess on the streets, the track and the trails.

Let’s put another notch on your GPS watch and break the dry spell, let’s get you a RUN.

  1. Take stock of your appearance

What typically happens to your body during a six month drought?

You gain or lose weight, you wear things that aren’t made of spandex and regain a sense of style, your hair is clean, and you have¬†all¬†your toenails! You have had lots of spare time while you haven’t been chasing trails to work on things like flossing your teeth and getting hair cuts, there will have been some big changes. You need to reverse all of that.

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Consider¬†changing your hair, making it more aero.¬†If you have acquired¬†a fringe since being out of action this just has to go, they are not good for running. Have you shaved off your beard trying to look clean and fancy? Grow that¬†pube-face back, especially if you’re running off road, you need somewhere to keep mementos¬†of your big running dates.

The boobs/moobs? I’m sorry but they need to go. Also not aero. Once you get back on the horse you will have plenty of time to run off your titties, but if you want to start the process now then get your bum on to a spin bike. I recommed the¬†RPM classes at Les Mills¬†to get your lungs cardio ready before launching back in to that first run.

2.Get ‘Interested’ again

If you find yourself home alone (again) eating pizza and watching the Susan Boyle X Factor audition (again) to make yourself believe that the Ugly Duckling story can come true, just stop right now and put away the pizza (keep the tissues out though).

If you have lost that burning desire that once had you at it twice a day, try to reignite that passion.¬†The best quality ‘inspirational’ material is on the websites you can subscribe to, like¬†Flotrack. Sign up to the site, grab a sock, some bodyglide, a strong shoelace, and any other running paraphernalia that might get you inspired (I like to wear my race medals when I watch running videos), and settle back for an evening with just you and the screen.

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Runboner material from Flotrack featuring Mary Cain

The more you watch, the more you will get inspired and want to get a slice of the action for yourself.

  1. Have realistic expectations

You’re not going to get that perfect run on the first go, so just stop with the idealism and focus on what is attainable for you right now to get this first run out of the way. Have an open minded approach when it comes to choosing your run.

What you are saying:

‘I need to get new shoes, it has to be a sunny day, I need perfect form, my favourite flavour energy gel, and the scenery has to be so good that I try to fumble a photo with my iPhone and run and eat my gel¬†at the same time.’

What you’ll say if you¬†really¬†want a route. to run:

‘Stuff it, I’ll run in my chucks and skinny jeans on the damp grass after eating a turkish kebab at 2am’

Don’t wait for that perfect run to come along, you have to slay a few dragon runs to get¬†back to prancing like a prince or princess.

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It won’t be pretty. Nice one on the ponytail hole Lululemon.

  1. Take every opportunity

Drought buster-¬†A person you normally wouldn’t run¬†with but whom you decide to bang. out a run with anyway because you haven’t been on one¬†for too long i.e. The person who breaks the dry spell.

“I heard you had a run¬†with Emily. That girl is suspect. What were you thinking?”¬†
“Yeah, she’s not quality. She runs 12 minute kms. I’m not proud, but what can I say? She was my drought buster.”

All your friends have continued training and you’ve been left in the dust. They are all married to their training programs, and can’t just do casual runs any more.¬†You need to meet new people, ones who are going to have an attainable pace that you can see yourself conquering without too much effort.

Be wary of the running virgin.¬†It may be tempting to pick up someone who hasn’t run before to help you break your drought. You might fluke it and have an amazing run with one of these people, but it’s never good having to comfort them the next day when¬†they are in pain and walking with a swagger because of you. On the plus side, your technique can’t look bad to them, because they don’t know any better!

Other potential drought-busters

Online meetups. These are often in a group though, so if you’ve been flying solo for a few months, going straight in to a group situation can be intimidating. Some people don’t like group runs, but if you’re serious about breaking the dry spell then doing it in a group means you have not just one but up to ten new potential future running buddies! From these ten you may find the one that you can go steady with on long run Sundays. I recommend our local group¬†Wellington Running Meetup, they are fantastic.

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Wellington Running Meetup. It gets weird.

THE ONE

When the golden opportunity finally presents itself, try to remain calm. Take it slowly or it will be over within a couple of minutes. Start off at an easy pace to get in to the rhythm, if it feels uncomfortable then slow it right down. Listen to some Lionel Ritchie if it will help to set the pace.

Expect the unexpected, it may feel like you have never done it before if it’s been a while but practice makes perfect right? The shock of that initial run is over, now it’s time for you to get in to training!

Describe using as many multi-syllabled adjectives as possible, what your first time (or first time in a long time) was like. Share with the group, go on.


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Throwing a pity party, and cleaning up afterwards

I’ve thought a lot while running, about how much I love to do it, how rewarding it is, and how when you dedicate yourself to something so fully, how great the rewards are that you get in return. I’ve thought about how it’s helped me through depression, and changed me from that person who would hide in her room all day, to someone who runs outside in a crop top and posts pictures of her crotch on the internet. I’m so grateful for the ability to run, and I was so caught up in it that I never thought about what would happen when it was gone.

On Friday two weeks ago I went along to the physio. I’d had the X-rays, I’d sat through a vey lubey ultrasound in a variety of awkward¬†positions, and every possibility of injury had been eliminated except for one thing, which was the only thing that it could be. It wasn’t the best news, but it wasn’t the worst

‘You have a stress fracture, most likely in your pubic rami. Mentally prepare yourself for not being able to run for the next six months.’

I picked this picture because the red makes it looks really sore.

I picked this picture because the red makes it looks really sore.

After delivering the news the Physiotherapist then did some release work on my right quad with needles. I feebly pretended my tears were¬†because of the needling and electric pulses making my leg convulse, but it wasn’t. I was pretty devastated. The Physio handed me some racy yellow crutches with instructions not to put any weight on my right leg and off I hobbled.

People like to remind you that there are other things that suck more than not being able to run for six months, ‘It’s not like you have cancer’, ‘You can still wipe your own ass’, or ‘At least your birthday isn’t on Christmas Day and people only ever give you one present’. These are people that don’t run, who see running as evil, to be avoided, and who have never felt the joy of a bag of jelly beans melting through the pocket of their tights, or the wind blowing their spit in to their ear.

To the runners, you might as well have lost the entire leg. They offer their condolences, they know exactly how hard you worked to get your running to that level, and they know that feeling you chase that you’ll now miss out on until your body agrees that you can run again.

Technical stuff

To properly diagnose a stress fracture you need to get an MRI, as it won’t show on an X-ray until the bone starts to heal. Two weeks of yoga, spin class, Pump, and walking a few kilometres each day meant that my stress fracture was definitely NOT starting to heal. To get an MRI, you must see a physician (you can’t be referred to get one from a physio or GP). I went to see Ruth Highet, a well known Sports Physician¬†in Wellington. I took an instant liking to her when one of the first questions she asked was¬†‘ What’s your PB for a 10km?’ None of this ‘Why do you run so much?’ nonsense, this was someone who I could relate to.

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See the white part on the upper left corner, that is the stress fracture

Ruth showed me my bones on the screen and said that if I had gone for one more run I would have completely fractured the bone, so I guess I am pretty lucky in that respect.

How does one get a stress fracture in the pelvis? There are many reasons, there may have been 120 reasons why I got one, here are a few contributing factors and I am sure all of these helped me to get my stress fracture.

  • Your running shoes aren’t right
  • Running style is not perfect
  • Your headband didn’t match your shorts
  • Too much pelvic thrusting. Wink. Cough. Elbow elbow.
  • Increasing your mileage too fast
  • You have a vagina (only females get these ones, lucky us!)
  • Poor or inadequate nutrition
  • Running 120kms a week

Ch ch ch ch changes

I have noticed changes in my body already, I FILL an A cup bra now! Badonk-a-donk.¬†I have no visible abs any more, and my¬†right leg is slowly shrinking and losing muscle definition with not being used. I’m beginning to look and feel squishy and lop-sided, like a pair of room temperature testicles.

I used to pride myself on munching down a giant bowl of porridge for breakfast, a foot long subway for lunch, then an entire pizza for dinner, and snacks, and pudding included. We went out for lunch on Saturday, and I had my first DNF in almost two years, I just couldn’t finish my fries. I felt so defeated, leaving that food there on the plate. Those perfect hand cut crispy potato fries with their spicy tomato sauce, lonely, and going cold, destined for the scrap bucket when they should be in mah belleh.

I have not dealt with my loss of mobility very well, and I feel really pathetic for it. Where did that strong person go? The one that could conquer mountains, the one that people told ‘You inspire me’, and why has she been replaced with this sad girl who cries and can’t finish her fries? It has been a challenge getting use to using crutches, and a few times I have thrown them away in frustration, only to have to crawl to get the dumb things back. I also get a little envious of people who can still workout, which is hard to avoid when you work inside a gym!

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I haven’t hit anyone with my crutches. Yet.

I think part of why I got so upset with being injured, is that I thought my happiness was directly tied to my running, and if I stopped, I would become depressed again. One day leaving the sports doctors I walked/ crutched out past a group of people playing basketball. They were all different shapes and sizes, some tall, some wide, some scrawny, and all giving each other absolute hell and having a damn good game, in their wheelchairs. Watching the little¬†people in wheelchairs be sandwiched by the big¬†ones and have¬†the ball stolen from them, and seeing them keep playing with the same determination made me feel a whole lot better about my own situation, and I didn’t cry again after that.

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Yes, I did buy this dress to match the crutches.

What I can do now (2 weeks in to recovery)

  • Swim in the pool with a pool buoy only using my arms
  • Very isolated glute exercises
  • Side planks- my most hated exercise
  • Crunches on a bosu ball
  • Arms, every day. Arms.

What I am working towards

  • Cycling – in four weeks
  • Aqua jogging – four weeks
  • Losing the crutches – 2 ¬†weeks
  • Being completely healed! 11 ¬†weeks
  • 22″ arms
  • 3minute long side planks, oh hell yeah.

Happy recovery to me, happy recovery to me!


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Hurry up and rest!

Don’t have time to stretch?

Think yoga is a bore?

Cooling down is for losers, and rest days just mean your heart rate stays slightly below bulging forehead vein level?

Look after your body, or it will dump you. All those hours you left it out in the cold, those stretches you missed in favour of lying on the floor eating bananas, will catch up with you and you’ll find yourself in a lot of pain.

Last Monday I went out for my usual 10km run, and my groin hurt the whole time. I’m not great with anatomy, so I surmised that my pelvis/ hips/ womb¬†were all under some sort of immense stress and I should stop running immediately and get straight on the Google to find out what was wrong.

I was convinced that this was going to be the last ever photograph taken of me running- Thanks Sharon Wray for the picture

I am convinced that this is going to be the last ever photograph taken of me running- Thanks Sharon Wray for the picture

As I researched ‘Pelvis pain’ a whole heap of related links¬†popped up in my side bar with what were surely reputable and peer reviewed scientific articles¬†such as ‘Ten signs you definitely have cancer’. My google diagnosis revealed a possible tendonitis, a groin strain, fractured pelvis, prolapsed uterus, arthritis, pregnancy, ostetitis pubis, and a hernia.

I thought I should also seek the opinion of a qualified off-line human, and went along to the physiotherapist. Kieran the physio played origami with my legs and concluded that I had strained my groin.

‘How did you do it?’ asked Kieran

‘I was running down Mount Victoria, and I felt a wee niggle in my pelvis area’

‘What did you do then?’

‘I ran for another two hours. (Sees Kieran’s facial expression and tries to change the story) I did cut my run short by at least 5km.’

‘Ok, that perhaps wasn’t the best idea to keep running. Why do you run so much?’

‘WHY DO YOU PHYSIO SO MUCH! What kind of question is that?’

I left with a sore everything, and a prescription of three days of rest with absolutely no running. Convinced that this meant the end of my running career, and that Kieran had in fact mis-diagnosed a broken femur and gangrene, I went home to sulk.

That's me! Or is it....

That’s me! Or is it….

What to do when you feel an injury coming on

  1. Run through it and finish your workout, neglect to stretch at all (as always) then record your run on Garmin, Strava etc
  2. While sitting at your desk post run analysing your Garmin data, google whatever ailment you have
  3. Pick the worst possible diagnosis with the longest recovery time, you have that.
  4. Use your thesaurus and a Game of Thrones novel to find  grotesque ways to describe the pain so that others can know what you are going through
  5. Since you will never be able to run again, pick a new sport, one that someone once said you could be good at. I picked Pole dancing. ¬†–¬†It’s best¬†if a drunk person said you were good at it.
  6. Google pain treatments, with your broken femur and possible amputation you will need them
  7. Sit at home alone (too painful to go outside to socialise) and swing between crying with self pity, and frowning with anger looking at Facebook updates of other people running
  8. Watch pole dancing videos while googling how to make ‘Cannabutter’ to ease your pain with magic brownies.

 

I’ve been very relaxed this past week, no running at all! I’ve opted for the spin bike for some cardio, and I’ve joined a really cool little yoga studio¬†(Hot Yoga Wellington) so that I can give my muscles a well overdue stretch. Their teachers are fantastic, and I enjoy being the sweatiest and least flexible person in the room.

Same same? I did have the heat pump on 30 degrees so it was almost tropical

Same same? I did have the heat pump on 30 degrees so it was almost tropical

I’ve also been to get a deep tissue massage, these hurt a lot. In my opinion I am pretty fearless, deep tissue shmeep tissue. I pick up spiders from my room and take them outside, I wear shorts on a cold day, I don’t measure the sugar when I bake cookies, I’m a badass. The most afraid I have felt in a long time is when being massaged with deep heat in the groin area. The burning balm was about half a centimetre from my sensitive parts, it was like being separated from a river of boiling lava by a hedge, that had been recently trimmed.¬†‘Be careful when you go to the bathroom and wipe’ said the masseuse. Lucky she did, because I usually wipe the paper up the length of my entire thigh then right around halfway up my back, not that day though!

Iv’e had an X-ray, which revealed nothing. I ran 2kms and felt like my pelvis was going to snap like a Kit Kat down the middle. A week later I can run for two minutes on the treadmill at a 6.30 pace without too much pain. Two. Minutes. It’s a bit annoying not being 100% sure on what is wrong and missing all the time spent outside in the sun, wind and rain running in the fresh air. In a week I will probably be running again, but just in case I’m not, I’ve started to research in to the cost of installing a pole in my living room.

How to recover from an injury

  • Have a positive outlook, treat your body like it needs serious healing, but think as if you’ll be back to 100% in a week
  • Don’t do the things that hurt, even if they are fun, don’t do them!
  • Extend the truth¬†about the extent of the hurt¬†and demand that you need to be driven everywhere as you cannot possibly walk
  • Be kind to your body, feed it yoga, ice cream, and inspirational quotes from Pinterest, and learn to love time with the foam roller
  • Point to the injury to direct where the sympathy must go, especially¬†if it is very close to your genitals.
  • Realise you can still walk, and still have fully functioning legs, and just focus on what you can do!
It's cool to foam roll

It’s cool to foam roll

Watch this space for my triumphant return to running/ debut as a pole dancer.