I think I’ve come to an important realization. Well, for now.
I’m not the type of person who can just run and stay healthy. I can’t handle “high” mileage or running 6 days a week. As much as I’d like it to be the case, my body just really doesn’t appreciate it.
I have a bad habit of picking up a cross training routine whenever I get injured, swearing I’ll stick to it, and then slowwwwwllllyyy abandoning it as I get stronger and my training gets better and I get faster. I do exactly what I say I won’t do and I end up running 6 days a week. Then I get hurt – my back gives out, I get a stress fracture, whatever. Quite frankly, I’ve had enough that, so I’m not going to do it anymore. At least, that’s what I’d like to think.
I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking about what I need to do to get back to running, get stronger, and stay fit. Unfortunately, my back is not where it needs to be yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do other stuff, and even when my back gets better, I still need to work on being more well-rounded. The reality is that I have back issues that will always plague me, but I don’t need to actively make them worse. So here is what I’ve decided to do going forward…for now:
1) Commit to yoga and stretching. Every day.
I love how I feel when I’ve spent time doing yoga or even just stretching for half an hour, but I hate taking the time to do it. The fact is that I need to in order to stay healthy. I’ve been doing DVDs at home and watching the Prime Instant Videos that are available for free for Prime members on Amazon, and even when I don’t do actual yoga, I try to commit to stretching while I’m watching terrible reality television at night. It’s not only good for my back, it’s good for my whole body, and since I’m basically the least flexible person on the planet, it’s definitely an area where I can improve.
2) Mix up my cardio by getting on the bike.
Oddly enough, I’m a much better cyclist than I am a runner. Unfortunately, I don’t love it. I have a triathlon bike that I absolutely love, but the aero position isn’t the most forgiving on my back, tri bikes are notoriously hard to control, and you really can’t take them on group rides. As such, I’ve been looking for a good used road bike for the past couple of weeks, and I found one this weekend!
I ended up getting a great deal on an Orbea Marmolada, even if the colors are a bit aggressive. I got it in Myrtle Beach, so I named it Lil Daddy in homage to one of my current favorite terrible reality shows, Party Down South. If you watch it, you get it. Otherwise, it’s still funny to say I’m going for a long ride on Lil Daddy.
3) Bite the bullet and start swimming.
I hate swimming. No, really. For someone who spent years as a lifeguard AND a certified swim instructor, I absolutely hate it. But you know what’s good for you and makes you strong? Swimming. SO I’m joining a stupid gym so I can have access to a stupid pool. My first day of swimming will be tomorrow. The other good part about joining a gym is I will have access to yoga classes and other fun stuff, so I won’t just be swimming. Literally, my current goal is to swim one day per week. My goal, of course, is to work up to more, but right now, that’s all I can muster up the will to commit to. Baby steps, I suppose.
4) Find a basic training plan that won’t kill me.
When I can get back to running, I am going to start with the basics – a simple training plan that runs no more than 4 days per week. No speed work. Nothing crazy. If I can make it through a couple months of that without reinjuring my back, I will start to (slowly) introduce the complicated stuff again. I have made huge progress on my speed in the past year, but it’s not worth it if I keep getting hurt. I honestly think I feel the best when I run about 35-40 miles per week and no more. I would love to say that I am the type of person that can run 70 miles a week, but I’ve never done that successfully for very long. Either way, I’ve got to build back up slowly for now.
So, that’s the game plan. I’m feeling optimistic and actually even a little bit excited – for now. I’d like to pretend I’m mature enough to finally start making good choices for myself, but really, who knows? Either way, I’ve got a good plan for now.
Oh, and I got oil/grease stains out of AJ’s sweatshirt today using this method and it was basically my greatest accomplishment of all time.
LEAVE A COMMENT: Are you injury prone? How do you stay healthy? What is your favorite type of cross training? What is your secret house/clothes cleaning trick?