Distance: (3 runs) 8 mi
Miles to go: 1965
Had to do an emergency switch with another trainer when she got hurt so I have been out since Thursday morning. Trying to do a bit of catch up here.
After my initial 3 miler I was disappointedly sore. I thought about it for a while and was pondering my doctor’s words (he is a team doc for MIZZOU, Columbia College and many of the pro and amateur athletes here in Columbia). He imparted some tough love on me and more than a few admonishments for my efforts to try to come back too soon. Here are a few of his recommendations and pearls of wisdom that I thought I would share:
- Just because you are an athlete and think you are in shape doesn’t mean that your bones heal any faster than the average joe.
- Any bone takes a certain amount of time to heal… no matter who you are. In my case, a stress fracture of the pelvis takes 3 to 5 months to heal.
- Healing and recovery are two separate things. Healing is the time for the injury fix itself. Recovery STARTS AFTER the healing period has passed. This can take an additional 6 months to a year.
- Every week of fitness you lose will take you 3 to 4 TIMES that to recover.
- 70% of the athletes he sees that return to him after HEALING are back because they pushed the RECOVERY too hard and re-aggravated the injury.
- Allow 3 to 4 months recovery for each month you are off (in my case, that would be 9 to 12 months) to get you back to pre-injury fitness levels.
- Once you start training again you should start with no more than HALF of your last full HEALTHY weekly total and then increase no more than 10% per week.
- (on weight loss) Your body hits “set points” where it is happy and refuses to lose any more weight. The easiest way to break a set point is to change up your workout. Adding weightlifting and cross training, adding protein while taking away some carbs, adding a bit of fat (heaven forbid!!) and, believe it or not, taking a week off, can shake your metabolism back into action.
- (his only encouraging words) We all age. It gets harder to lose or maintain weight, maintain fitness, increase our speeds, etc. Just know that you are doing the right thing by staying active. Keep it up.
I’m sure we’ve all heard these things at one time or another from one source or another, but it’s not a bad idea to remind yourself of them from time to time. What it all means for me…? I’m not completely sure yet. However, on my last 3 runs I have simply pushed my body to the limit of COMFORT ONLY. Not 5 steps past like I usually do… oddly enough, I feel much better. I’m trying to be less of an athlete and more of a perpetual motion machine right now. Time doesn’t matter. Motion does. It already feels better…
On a different note, I bolted out of the house today in advance of a nasty weather system to get some miles in. I decided to go to a park that has a 1.25 mi track that is paved as the trails around here are still a bit soupy. As I stepped out on the trail an older gentleman passed me. He was wearing a camelbak and looked like a very experienced runner. I caught up to him and found that I was running in the presence of greatness. He was one of the original members of our local (and largest) running club. He was training to run our local marathon (on labor day) with his adult daughter who herself has lost over 50 pounds so far in an effort to “keep up with her old pop” as he put it. He’s 68… What a cool story… and a great bit of inspiration… I wanna be that guy…
I also watched just enough of the Ironman coverage to burst into tears at the incredible will and determination of those athletes. Dammit… if a 40 year old with no legs or a 70 year old who just beat cancer can complete an Ironman, I can beat this little setback I have suffered and meet my goal of 2000 miles for the year.
I discover new heros all the time, these are just the latest two… When I grow up, I wanna be like those guys…