Tag Archives: recovery

Training Update – 2 weeks

I was officially cleared to resume “normal activities” almost two weeks ago. First and foremost, I double-checked with my doctor to be sure that meant running, too! Since she said, “Absolutely!” I’ve literally been off and running.

That being said, I’m coming back very slowly. I actually had to quit running back in December after a bout with a nasty cold. After that, I couldn’t keep my heart rate down even doing my run/walk intervals, and I knew that wasn’t good for my pregnancy. So, I kept up with walking about 3-4 days each week throughout the rest of my pregnancy. After that long away from running, I decided I shouldn’t just jump back in and risk injury, so I set some entry points for myself.

runner silhouette

I decided to start with some very short running intervals and increase the time I spend running in those intervals a little bit each week. I’m “running” four days each week and running based on time, not distance. Everyday, I include walking to warm-up and cool down as part of the workout. I am gradually decreasing the amount of time I spend walking for warm-up and cool down as I increase the length of my intervals. Here is what my weeks look like:

  • Monday – 35 minute workout – 5 short intervals, 1 longer
  • Wednesday – 45 minute workout – 8 short intervals, 1 longer
  • Friday – 30 minute workout – continuous running between warm-up and cool down
  • Saturday or Sunday – 60 minute workout – 2 sets of 5 short intervals, 1 longer

During my first few days back, I stuck with a 1:1 run/walk ratio for my workouts. I knew I could increase a little bit after those first few days so I increased my running intervals to 1:30 for short, and 2:30 for longer.

This week, I’m doing 3:00 for my short intervals and 4:00 for my longer intervals. I will continue to increase this by 1:00 each week as long as I continue to feel healthy and strong. Coming back like this is an exercise in patience, but I know I’m doing what is right for my body.

I’m also starting to do some core work. I found a great YouTube video for those recovering from abdominal surgery. I do it on the days I run and give myself a full rest day in between those workouts for now. Eventually, I’ll be adding some more toning and more  difficult core work at least one day each week, but I don’t want to run into any issues with diastasis recti while I’m getting my strength back.

So, that is where I am right now. Like I said, it is an exercise in patience, but I know I’m doing what is right for my body as I work my way back. In two more weeks, I’m going to assess where I am and determine whether or not I am ready to register for a race or not. My hope is that I’ll be able to do a slow 5K in mid-to-late August and I kind of have my eyes on the Growler Gallop.

We’ll see!


Running on Optimism


It’s been 10 days since I’ve been cleared to start running again, and I’m going to confess, I’m having a hard time getting back into the routine. I’ve run exactly four times since then. I’m allowed to do easy, low mileage, but I just haven’t been able to make myself really want to do it. Until this morning.

As my run started, I really felt like I was just going through the motions, just putting the miles in so it was over with for today. But something happened in my mind about a mile in. I started thinking through my recovery plan and how I can get back on track by phasing in percentages of my training volume as my knee starts to feel better and better. I still may not make it to the point that I’m ready for my 40 miler in November, but as long as I can keep building, I’m going to try.

And, as all of these thoughts were running through my head, I realized that I barely even felt pain in my knee. I walked some when I got tired, but I got out there, and I enjoyed myself.

It’s kind of amazing what positive thinking can do…


Screen shot 2014-08-15 at 7.39.20 AMDon’t forget to check out more Fitness Friday posts over at www.jillconyers.com!


It’s a Two-fer! Meal Planning and Weekly Recap

That’s right! I stayed on the go this weekend, so I never had a chance to sit down and write my meal-planning post for this week. Lucky you, that means you get meal-planning and my weekly recap all rolled into one!

I’ll start off with the good news. My doctor’s office called on Monday and offered me a slot for an appointment the next afternoon. I’ve never been so happy to go to the doctor in my life! At first glance, it appeared that my totally non-expert self-diagnosis was correct; it was a reoccurrence of patellar tendonitis. However, the more we talked (myself, the doctor, and the resident) the more my doctor felt like we needed to do a scan to make sure their was nothing else going on. So, we hit the ultrasound room, where we were also joined by a professor in orthopedics from a local college who is on sabbatical to study with my doctor. They all took turns looking at knee with the ultrasound and what they ultimately found is something called a traction spur. He said it is caused by the tendon actually pulling on the bone. So, the week the pain developed, I had significantly ramped up my squats and lunges (as part of Body Pump and my 30 day challenge for July). He thinks following up those workouts with running was just too much for my body at this point. My tendons are probably super tight from being a runner, so that is something I’m going to need to work on. He gave me some exercises and, the best news, permission to run!

I’m going easy, really low mileage. I’m giving myself 48(ish) hours between runs, and I’m trying to find flatter routes to run (not easy given the area’s geography). But, I’m running! I did 2 miles twice last week, and I’ll start out with 2 more 2 mile runs this week, and then try for three. I’m walking when I need to and I’m just trying to relax and give myself time to heal properly. I’m supposed to go back if my pain isn’t better after 6 weeks.

Our weekend was fun, but busy.  We were in Suffolk, Virginia, for a get-together with Nathan’s family on Saturday. It was a very nice time, but a long day. We managed to squeeze in our runs before we left, but with getting up to run, driving over 3 hours there and again on the way back, and spending a few hours there with everyone, we were spent by the time we got home. We grabbed some dinner at our favorite pizza joint, and called it a night pretty early.

Sunday morning, Nathan had to break down all of his instruments and headed over to Graham, North Carolina to perform at a church service. While he did all that, I engaged in some quick meal-planning and put together the grocery list for the week. Aside from Nathan taking a pretty nasty spill coming back into the house while loading his car, the morning went smoothly. I chose a slow-cooker meal for yesterday’s dinner, so after I shopped I got that prepped and cooked the rice to go with it. (I’ll be sharing more about the recipe tomorrow, so be sure to stay tuned for that.)  I also roasted the gorgeous purple tomatillos, jalapenos, and tomatoes a friend gave me from her garden earlier in the week.

IMG_4215Then, I was off to Graham myself for Nathan’s afternoon recital. His recital was lovely, and his new version of “EvenStar” was absolutely beautiful. Our friends that played on the recital stuck around afterwords to help us break his instruments back down and load the car. Then, we were off for a celebratory adult beverage before we headed home to dinner.

What a great weekend!

Now, on to the week ahead. As I mentioned, we’re going to be looking at houses some in the evening this week, so I wanted to make sure I had two meals that could be ready super fast. I elected for leftovers one of those nights and the other night we’ll have a big salad with either shrimp or chicken on top (we have both in the freezer right now). Here’s how it looks:

Sunday: Slow Cooker Lamb Curry – Check out tomorrow’s post for more info on this!
Monday/Tuesday: Leftover Lamb Curry & Grilled Something Salad (We’re flexible on this since we don’t know exactly what these evenings will hold.)
Wednesday: Stacked Roasted Veggie Enchiladas
Thursday: Fish of some sort with sauteed veggies – I didn’t buy this on Sunday since I don’t like to keep fish in the refrigerator that long. I’ll see what is on sale and/or looks the freshest when I stop in at the store later this week to finalize this meal.

On Friday, we’re off to Virginia again. We’re seeing Nickel Creek in concert on Friday night with my mom and stepdad and then we’re heading to Busch Gardens on Saturday. We’re fully taking advantage of our last real weekend of summer!

Pain While You Train

If you are a regular blog reader, you know that I am not a running coach or personal trainer and I have absolutely no medical experience.  If you aren’t a regular reader, now you know.  I wouldn’t normally start a post this way, but due to this post’s topic, I think it is really important to remind everyone of these facts.

If you train with any regularity whatsoever, at some point, you are going to have to deal with pain.  There is the good “I had a great workout” tenderness after a good lifting routine. There is the “I may have overdone it a little bit” kind of pain that comes from a hard workout (I would also put post marathon pain in this category).  Then there is the “I might have done something to myself” pain, and, even worse, the “oh my, I’m hurt” pain.  We all feel some degree of these pains at some point.

Pain is our body telling us that something needs attention. And regardless of how you train, it is important that you listen to your body. The first two kinds of pain on my list usually resolve themselves pretty easily.  Slight muscle tenderness allows you to continue training, although I don’t recommend putting more strain by training muscles that are already tender.  The second level of pain I list above usually requires a few days of rest and recovery (I generally allow 48 hours of rest for that muscle group when I get that kind of pain).

The last two types of pain are usually something that requires a visit to the doctor.  When I get to that level 3 kind of pain, I rest, see how I feel, and if I’m not better, off to the doctor I go.  I’m lucky that I haven’t had any acute injuries while running.  However, I’ll never forget the day I was doing a step workout at home and when I stepped backwards off my step, I felt something pop in my calf.  It turns out it wasn’t a major injury, just a small tear of my calf muscle, but I didn’t take time to evaluate my level of pain.  I grabbed an ice pack and hobbled to the car and drove myself straight to an urgent care.  I can’t imagine what I could have done to myself had I tried to continue working out with that kind of injury.

Right now, I’m struggling a bit with evaluating my own pain. I’ve mentioned a couple of times previously that I’m having some tenderness in my quads. Some days I have no pain, some days they are just slightly tender, and other days, I’m more in the level 2 range.

They have actually been feeling better since my race, but this week, after 2 runs and one Body Pump class, my quads are back up to what I would consider level 2 pain. They hurt, but the pain hasn’t impacted a workout. The question now becomes, when does ongoing level 2 pain warrant a doctor’s visit?

Today is a rest day. I am foam-rolling this morning (quads and IT bands) and I’m going to carry my runner’s stick with me today so I can massage the same areas a few times throughout the day.  I’ll take some ibuprofen today as well to see if that helps. After taking these steps, if things aren’t improving, then I think it’s going to be time to head to the doctor.

Just remember, when you’re having pain, listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard. Running with pain is a huge risk. Always be sure to evaluate your pain so you can make sure to appropriately rest and visit the doctor when needed.