Friday, July 10, 2009

The Ups and Downs of Running

This post is brought to you by my favorite product of all. Bird's Eye Classic Mixed Vegetables. They are the perfect accompaniment to black beans and rice, they are cheap, and easily transportable. They are also my favorite ice packs.

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful. I had to show my apartment since I'm looking for a new roommate, so I couldn't go to spin class as usual. Nor would I have anyway since it was so nice out. After I showed the apartment, I decided to go for a run. I wanted to go 6 miles. At first my run was going great! By the time I hit the downtown area of New Haven, I was running just under 8 minute miles! I was pumped and I kept at it, pumping myself up more with positive affirmations. I did hill intervals during my morning workout, and it seems I immediately see a speed increase after those sessions. I kept telling myself I need to do more hill intervals because I was going so fast!

I felt great, I looked great. I've committed myself to doing abdominal workouts every other day (which I will post more about later) and it's really starting to show. All was going well until I tripped on a grate in the sidewalk I've run over a dozen times. I hit the ground, HARD. Two ladies who were several yards ahead of me where turned around when I got myself up. My shoulder and knee immediately began to burn. I looked over to my shoulder, it glowed red. I paused my iPod, and one of the ladies yelled, "It only hurts for a minute! Were you running?" "Yes."

I walked forward, a bit defeated. Every time I'm feeling awesome about myself and my progress I get smacked down. It's become an Icarus complex, I can never fly high without getting burnt. I muttered expletives and thought about what I was going to do. Am I going to walk home? What would I tell people? What would I write on my blog? Haha. I thought to some encouraging words my friend Maura had just texted me an hour or so before. She told me how I was an inspiration to her, and that she's been running more. I was so touched, and happy to hear that. I needed that. I've been having a down week, I feel weak but I have no real explanation. I think with the whole roommate situation and some other thoughts I've been having, on top of lack of sleep, has just gotten to me. I wanted to cry, I almost cried. I had a flashback to Muay Thai sparring, when I got the wind knocked out of me. The trainer was right next to me again screaming "Don't CRY! DON'T CRY!! SUCK IT UP!" And so I sucked it up, and swallowed it down like a rancid shot of cheap whiskey.

So all this ran through my head at a thousand miles an hour. Not even a minute after falling, I turned my iPod back on, I restarted my now scraped up Garmin and started running. No way I was walking home. What if I fell during a race? I think I need some injury perseverance training. I passed a woman who was smiling at me, like really smiling. I couldn't tell if she was smiling at me because I'm tattooed (which is usually the case) or if she could tell I was injured (my shoulder was a brilliant shade of lava) and realized I kept on running. Most likely it was just the tattoos, but I decided to go with, "She thinks I'm awesome because I got back up."

So I ran, debating the entire time whether I was doing more harm than good, or if this wasn't such a bad idea. By the time I got to my street I was feeling "good". Okay, I was in pain, but the rest of me wanted at least another mile. I fell at mile 2.5 and I was now a mile past that, so I decided to push myself even more. I went down Whitney a little more before I turned onto a road that was sort of heading back home. I was running sub 8:30 min miles. I kept going and by the time I was nearing my apartment I was really in pain. In the end I ran 4.28 miles with a pace of 8:23. Had I not injured myself I probably would have had a pace of 8 or even below. Still, under 8:30 is fine with me.

Excuse me Mr. Flamingo, it seems your head has exploded.

It looks so lame! The real pain isn't the scrape, it's my complete shoulder. During my cool down walk I tried to move my shoulder, and I heard that digital noise in my head, the sound a camera flash used to make when it charges. Shit. This is bad. I only hear that noise if I'm about to pass out or I'm in a lot of pain. As soon as I got home I took two bags of Bird's Eye Mixed Vegetables, laid on my mat, and put one on my shoulder and one on my knee and just laid there. I looked up at the ceiling wondering how bad it was, or if I was just being dramatic. After the icing I put Ziploc bags with wet microwaved towels in them on my injuries. Then Google said not to do that. Only long term injuries get heat. But the heat felt so good! The ice made me stiff and hurt more. So I iced again, and took a shower, which loosened up my shoulder and knee again.

This morning I debated working out, because I'm insane. Luckily I realized I'm insane, and opted for a rest day. Because sometimes I need to admit I'm human, which is hard for me to do. I'm sore, and I keep trying to stretch out and move my shoulder. Luckily my knee isn't so bad. So I will probably go to the gym after work, to go to the sauna and hopefully loosen it up some more. I know they say not to heat it, but it makes it feel so much better. I think the muscles are just knotted up, and hopefully I will be able to swim this weekend.


triblog carol July 10, 2009 at 8:07 AM  

Yes, you are awesome because you got back up. HTFU girl all the way. Love the exploding flamingo head!!!

Krista July 10, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

The flamingo head does look like it's exploding! Great job for getting up again and for taking a rest day to let your body heal! You've also motivated me to do some hill workouts because I'm super SLOW and maybe it will make me go faster!

maura July 10, 2009 at 11:31 AM  

Hey lady!
Seriously! You've been so helpful in being more kind to myself and working out.

I've got a run in central park tomorrow morning-- hills! Since I moved downtown and don't run in the park regularly I've noticed how slow I've become.

Rest up lady!