Happy Monday! Sorry I forgot to publish last week’s summer training recap- 3 weeks in and I already slacked off 😉 Classic. I have a ton of highlights for you, so settle in!
The week of 6/18 to 6/24 was my last week in Spain. I was planning on increasing the walk-to-runs and enjoying my last week, but unfortunately my foot got progressively worse. After talking to my coach on that Wednesday, we ended up shutting down the walk-to-run progression and limiting me to an hour a day of cross training and no more than 3x/weekly strength exercises. I took off on Saturday and Sunday because we spent those days traveling.
Week of 6/18-6/24
- Monday: AM: 5×6 min run, 1 min walk + 25 bike. PM: 35 min easy recumbent bike + core + push-ups + foam roll/ice.
- Tuesday: AM: 70 min bike workout (15 w/u, 5 x hard song, easy song, 5 x 1h1e, 10 c/d) + strength. Foot pain while walking. Iced.
- Wednesday: Foot pain 😦 Glute activation, 50 min easy recumbent bike, core.
- Thursday: AM: ~30 min yoga by the ocean. PM: 60 min recumbent bike, glute activation, light lift/core.
- Friday: 52 min bike + light core.
- Saturday: off. Travel from Cádiz to Madrid.
- Sunday: off. Travel from Madrid to US.
Rundown from my running log: “Really sad about not being able to continue the walk-to-run & foot has almost constant pain- lots of breakdowns and bad body image BUT striving to see the positives <3”
After months and months of living in constant pain and trying with all my heart to come back to running, each time it gets taken away I feel a mixture of heartbreak, familiarity, and resignation. This unfortunately made my last week in Spain less enjoyable. Due to that and a month of sleep deprivation, I felt really non-functional on that Sunday and suffered from a depressive episode on that Monday that was scary and difficult.
There were some highlights- awesome sunsets, finishing classes, watching the World Cup at a sports bar, retail therapy (shopping haha), touring the Catedral de Cádiz and enjoying world-famous empanadas, watching our professor get sangria-drunk at a program dinner, and meeting up with our teammate in Madrid!
I’m not gonna lie- my body image SUCKED. I felt extremely uncomfortable and wasted a lot of mental energy hating myself, especially the weekend that we were traveling back to Madrid and then the US. With injury, especially injuries that won’t heal, there’s a tendency to feel like your body is betraying you and become angry/sad/body-dysmorphic. Add in travel where you’re out of routine, and it’s a perfect storm for self-hatred. That’s exactly what happened to me. Luckily, returning to the US and getting back into a “normal” summer routine, with enough sleep! (albeit without running), has done wonders for my mental state and self-perception.
Week of 6/25-7/1
- Monday: AM: early 60 min swim (3500 yds). PM: 20 min glute activation/core/light dynamic strength.
- Tuesday: 60 min bike with long pick-ups Lift (Swiss ball core/hamstring curls, quad curl/cable row, hamstring machine/pull-ups, DB shoulder press, calf raises, lat pull-downs.)
- Wednesday: AM: 60 min swim. PM: 1 hour slow flow yoga.
- Thursday: 50 min pool with my friend (30 swim, 20 aqua jog).
- Friday: 65 min bike (20 miles) with some intervals. Lift (glute activation, planks, chin-ups, hamstring curls, RDLs, lat pull-downs, hip thrusts with plate, ab leg raise, monster walks, core/DB push-up rows).
- Saturday: Off. Light yoga.
- Sunday: 60 min swim (3350 yds) with some harder intervals.
Rundown from my running log: “Nice week, great to get back in the pool & also find out what’s really wrong with my foot! Work is tiring! Did well on sleep this week but am staving off a cold.”
Last week, I got back in the pool with zest and zeal after 5 weeks of not swimming. Jet lag made for some super early morning training sessions. I also worked over 25 hours, and the store was 90+ degrees, so we were all dying…But gotta get that money!
I stuck to my coach’s instructions of an hour a day, and it has been just enough to keep me sane while not enough to make me feel like a walking zombie. Excellent!
On Thursday, I began wearing the AirCast again and met with an orthopedist at Georgetown Hospital to find out what the heck has been going on with my foot. A few x-rays later, he told me that not only had I had a stress reaction in my second metatarsal, I had a (healing) stress fracture in my second metatarsal and a stress reaction in my third metatarsal! Holy shit. I felt crushingly relieved because this explained why a) my foot hadn’t healed, and b) why I was having what seemed like pain all over my foot, when it “should have” been localized to the stress reaction spot. It all makes sense!
So to let this thing heal once and for all (jesus, it’s been almost 6 months of injury), I am wearing the boot until I feel zero pain, and then waiting another two full weeks before even attempting to run. I’m sticking to my hour-a-day of cardio, and my goal is to get strong, sleep a lot, and be happy. I’m motivated to increase my aerobic capacity and functional strength while letting my foot heal for good this time. Once I’m in the clear to run, I have a “prescription” for a local Alter-G (haha) and a follow-up appointment at the orthopedist at the end of July.
Did I ever think I would be in this position right now? Never. I distinctly remember back in January when I first got post tib, my teammate asked, “So you think this is going to be like a 3-week thing?” And I responded, “yeah, I think it’ll clear up pretty quick, I’m not too worried!” Little did we know…
But I have my whole life to run 🙂 There’s no law stating that I have to be as fast as I can ever be within these 4-5 years of NCAA eligibility. And my current goal is to get hella fast in the pool (and #ripped in the weight room) because that is what I can do right now and there’s no point wiling the days away comparing myself to past summers and wishing I could be running 60+ miles per week. Sustainable running careers are built off of loving the process, and my process right now consists of biking, swimming, lifting, and trying not to die of heatstroke throughout these 100-degree weeks, haha.