Little Steps

Monday, 18 February 2008  |  Bullish Insights

Little steps at a time. That’s what previously-injured-and-now- breaking-PR’s Photographer Ben texted me today about the process of recovery and getting back into running again. Yes, I had to agree. It’s all about baby steps and itsy-bitsy victories for me nowadays; a slow but sure way to start again without slipping back into the problematic realm of injuries.

Over the weekend, I was in a bit of a sour mood having missed out—once again—on some great races. I was particularly looking forward to Hope in Motion since it was held in my running route, Ayala Alabang. It would have been fun to have joined DZMM’s race too and rub running shoes with Juday hah! The Ateneo Aquathlon, as I’ve heard from Marga, was great great fun; I seriously doubt I would’ve joined it sans injury but still I felt awful knowing that there was a race in my alma mater and I couldn’t even come close to considering joining it.

But, I had to remind myself that there were definitely little victories that were worth celebrating. Thrice last week, I was able to walk a full 20 minutes without feeling soreness or pain after. Woohoo! In my swimming lessons, I was finally able to swim laps using the Total Immersion technique and felt more at ease in the water. The gym…er…uhm…okay, it still bores me to death, but at least my tummy is just a wee bit tighter.

Now that I know I can start walking/jogging/running again, I want to be completely safe about it. Yes, people, I have been traumatized by this evil injury and I shall exhaust all possible means to keep him away. I promised my bull headed self that I will follow this “Return to Running Schedule” which I downloaded from Dr. Pribut’s website weeks ago:

Week 1: Walk 10-20 mins every other day
Week 2: Walk 20-40 mins 5 days per week
Week 3: Jog at easy pace 10 min + walk 20 min
Week 4: Jog 15 min + walk 20-30 min
Week 5: Alternate run 15 min/ run 25 min for 4-5 days of the week
Week 6: Alternate run 20 min/30 min
Week 7: Alternate run 20 min/ 30-35 min
Week 8: Alternate run 25 min/ 30-40 min

Far cry from the Higdon Marathon Training Program I posted on my bathroom mirror a couple of months back, but it requires just about the same amount of dedication and will power. It will be quite difficult to resist the temptation to run a little bit longer or harder every now and then, but I’ll try my best.

To all those who ran the three races over the weekend especially Happy Feet runners, congratulations! To all those preparing for Pasig Marathon this Sunday—especially my bestest running buddy,  Annie—best of luck!

1st Month Anniversary

Wednesday, 13 February 2008  |  Bullish Insights

It has been one month to this day since I last ran.

This kind of long-lasting injury can easily lead an obssesed runner like me to jump off the skyway, rob a bank, or watch Wowawee all day. But, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could easily keep my composure—or better yet, my sanity despite the absence of a run. The farthest I had gone to relieve myself of this pent up anger and frustration was to gorge on Lay’s potato chips all day.

Lucky for me, I was too busy the past month to get too depressed about this hellish situation. How could I even find the time to mope? I got into so many new activities—swimming, weights, yogilates, therapy—just to strengthen and stretch these leg muscles so that I could run again. Work also poured in enough to keep me busy with nary a time to shed a tear about my lost marathon goal.

For now, my objective is to run for 15 mins. straight without feeling any tightness or soreness thereafter. Just last week, I walked for 10 mins. on the treadmill and felt soreness in my knee again. The pain was not intense but it bothered me nonetheless. It got me wondering when this knee would ever heal. What was taking so long? Was I doing enough? How could I speed up recovery?

I continued with my drills, swimming, and weights and fortunately my work paid off. This morning I attempted the treadmill again for a 10 minute walk. The results were more encouraging. I felt no pain, nada, nothing. It may be too early to tell that things will progress from here on but I’m certainly more hopeful about it now. Please let this be the start of better days ahead.  I don’t know how much longer I can wait.

U.P. GIG Run Results

Monday, 4 February 2008  |  Race Announcements

So, I heard it was a PR race for most of you. To those who finished…PR or not…congratulations

Click here for results:

Mens 10km

Womens 10km

Mens 5km

Womens 5km

* Thanks to Mark for sharing this!

A New Gameplan

Wednesday, 30 January 2008  |  Bullish Insights

I was planning to pay the doctor a visit yesterday but I decided otherwise. You see, I was simply planning to bombard the doctor with all the unanswered questions in my head such as “What am I going to do now? I’m gaining weight by the second!” or “Why did you tell me to run when I ended up limping after Clark?” But, after Monday’s therapy session, I pretty much got my enlightenment from the gracious therapist who answered all my queries.

This is what I learned about my injury from my therapist:

– My doctor did not stop me from running since, like I said, I only need strengthening and stretching exercises. But, since the pain seems to worsen after a run or even a treadmill walk, the therapist told me to resist the temptation until we’re sure I am fully recovered. As a mature, disciplined woman I nodded in agreement (but that’s after I dreamed of slapping her in the face. Kidding!)

– Those 5-minute bike warm-ups at the gym aggravated the injury (so that’s why I would limp my way out of the locker room everytime! Duh!) I was advsied to do none of the cardio machines at the gym: treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical. I can take that. They kinda bore me to death anyway.

– The only cardio I’m allowed to indulge in is (drum roll please): swimming.

Somehow, that last therapy session helped pull me out of the confused, injured state I was in and gave me a clearer vision of what I should be doing to get out of this rut. I’m a lot more hopeful now. Plus, I’m feeling great since I have felt no pain for the past couple of days.

Yesterday, I pretty much laid out my game plan for the month to help me stay fit despite the injury.

CARDIO: Swimming (4x a week)
STRENGTH: Weights at the gym (2x a week)
STRETCHING: Yogilates at home (2x a week), Squats plus other exercises ordered by PT (daily)

If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what will. Here’s to a wet and wild month ahead!

On Missing The Bull Run

Monday, 28 January 2008  |  Bullish Insights

The race was named after me (at least that’s what I’d like to think) so it was unfortunate that I missed it. How did you all do in “The Bull Run: Takbo Para sa Ekonomiya”?

Ah, there were so many reasons why I wanted to be at this race:

1) It’s my namesake.

2) My first job was as a research analyst at the stockmarket. This was my chance to be a part of it again in some way.

3) “Takbo Para sa Ekonomiya”…Oh sure, I am more than willing to contribute to the growth of our economy. If running could somehow help propel the stockmarket (where I’m losing money as we speak) then that would have been a win-win situation for me.

4) I love races. Big or small. Organized or chaotic. I’m in.

Too bad then that my injury is showing little signs of improvement. The past two weeks, I have run 0 kilometers and biked a depressing 20 mins (total of all my warm ups) and yet there is still some soreness in the knee and tightness in the muscles. I’ve been strength training, stretching, praying and whining yet nothing seems to work. Worst of all, I feel bloated and cranky. It irks me that I have to eat so much less now and still my jeans feel a bit too snug. I just have to have my cardio soon or my kids will see me as their favorite dessert: jello.

Tomorrow I hope to visit the doctor again and beg him to give me a magic antidote to this way too long injury. If he does have one, I’ll let you know. I’ll probably sell it for a million a piece.