Posts Tagged by psoas

Spintastic!

Ever since I was cleared by my physical therapist to begin exercise after my psoas injury, I started Spinning.  It is a low impact cardio exercise that I could do to keep my endurance up while on a running hiatus, and I firmly believed it help with my recovery.  So even though I started running again, I’m continuing with Spinning because I love it so much.  It’s been a month now and I’m totally addicted.

I was addicted to Spinning about 4 years ago,  but work got in the way.  It wasn’t until this frustrating incident that I discovered there was a Spinning studio about 5 minutes away from my house.  No gym fee required…woohoo!  I’ve tried out a few different instructors and have found one that I love.  Great music and he combines a killer  core workout with your cardio.  Did you know that Spinning can really strengthen your core?  I didn’t until this class and when my abdomen began aching the next day!  Total bonus :)

I had a great class last night and really pushed my legs.  Afterwards both the owner of the studio and the instructor stopped me to tell me how impressed they were.  The owner said I was by far the fastest in the class and he couldn’t believe how hard I was pushing it.  The instructor (who’s been watching me for weeks now) said I am getting stronger and faster in each class, and that he is really proud of my progress.  I left there on cloud 9!  I’ve been feeling down about my slow running speeds and continued pain in my hips…that was just what I needed.

Feeling great, I went home to make a healthful dinner.  As I mentioned in my weekly review, my goal this week is to focus on nutrition and so far so good.  Here’s what I ate yesterday…

Breakfast: Antioxident Smoothie (diluted pomegranate juice, lite silken tofu, frozen blueberries & banana)
Snack: Apple & Peanut Butter
Lunch: Mixed Greens, Shredded Carrots, Garbanzo Beans & Balsamic Vinaigrette
Snack: Mini Whole Wheat Pita, Peanut Butter & Banana
Dinner: Grilled Shrimp, Roasted Asparagus, Tomato Mozzarella Salad & Bread

Super yummy grilled shrimp & asparagus

Tomato Mozz Salad...for 2

Oh and I also had half a Smithwick’s and 1.5 mini cannolis.  But hey I burned 800+ calories in Spinning, so I deserve it!!

What other exercise do you do besides running?  What are you having for dinner tonight?

Back in Action and Team Challenge Training

I’m back baby!  Well sort of.  I’m not where I used to be, but I’m running again which is definitely a start.  I’m glad I listened to my physical therapist and took those 3 weeks off to rest.  I’m running pain free and feel much better.

On Thursday, I went to my first training practice with my Team Challenge group.  This was a track practice held at a high school and it was the perfect place for me to get back in the swing of things.  It’s a flat, cushy surface to minimize any strain on my legs.  I stretched and did 3 laps before training got started.  I had met a few of my teammates at a bowling event a few weeks prior, but it was great to meet some more of the crew.  We started with the following drills for about 25 yards down and back: high knees, butt kicks, high skips, and cross side steps.  This was followed by 8 rounds of high knee speed hurdles that were killer!

Hurdles...boooo

We then began our run.  We did 4 sets of 2 laps with a 3 minute rest in between each.  I was able to maintain about a 12:30 minute-mile for all of the laps, which I was very happy with since this was my first run in 3 weeks.  My endurance has definitely declined, but I’m glad I kept up with the Spinning classes in the off time because it could be much worse.  I also had no pain in my psoas.  I will repeat NO PAIN!  That rest thing really pays off :)

I should also mention that this was my first run with my new Brooks Ravenna 3’s and I LOVE them.  Super comfy and I felt so much lighter in them.  I can’t continue to stress enough how important it is to get fitted for proper running shoes on a regular basis.

Brooks Ravenna 3

Running with coaches watching your form and yelling out your time was very new to me.  Running has always been a very solitary activity for me and is a way to relax a bit to let my mind wander.  But I must say that having coaches on hand is really nice.  Coach Janis noticed right away that I was swinging my arms incorrectly.  Apparently I have been crossing my arms in front of me as I run, which is a big no no.  She told me to hold my arms at a 90 degree angle and pretend like I’m holding a carton of eggs.  Keeping my arms apart like this will help my momentum and move my body forward more easily.  And boy did it work!  I have to say that it was hard to keep my arms in that position since I’m not used to it, but I really felt like it was easier to move.  Coaches rule!

After our track practice, we all headed back to the Team Challenge/CCFA office for a sports nutrition seminar from a local specialist in Sports Dietetics.  This was very insightful and I’ll be highlighting it in more detail in a later post…so stay tuned!  I stopped for tacos on my way home from my favorite spot Bartaco since I felt I deserved a reward after my pain free run.  Probably not what the nutritionist had in mind as a post race meal, but hey, I have a weakness for tacos.  YUM!

Pork Belly & Red Snapper Tacos!!!

I felt good the next day, but my quads were sore from not being used for a while.  That’s a good pain though.  I took Friday and Saturday off due to other obligations, but I also don’t want to push myself to hard in the beginning.  I want to make sure I give my body enough rest between runs so I don’t re-aggravate my injury.

Sunday morning I went out for my second run of the week and all was good.  I ran along the Long Island Sound, which is one of my favorite spots and I feel so lucky to live right down the street from it.  I had intended to do 5 miles, but around mile 2 I had to turn around and head home due to a minor GI emergency.  That was a difficult 2 miles home, but I managed to get through it and end up with a good time.  My average pace was 13:24 for the 4.1 miles, which included quite a few walking breaks.  Not too shabby for just getting back into the swing of things!

Gorgeous morning for a run along the Long Island Sound!

Now that I’m back to training, my goals for the week are the following:

  • Tuesday: 2.5 miles
  • Wednesday: Spinning (15 miles)
  • Thursday: 3 miles
  • Sunday: 6 miles

What is your training schedule for the week?

Here’s hoping for another week free of pain and continued improvement of my endurance!

Just Keep Stretching: A Psoas Update

For the past 2 weeks, I am continually reminded of Dory from Finding Nemo as I repeat to myself “Just keep stretching, just keep stretching.”  Because I haven’t been able to run, I have been doing numerous stretches to work my psoas tendon and the rest of my leg muscles.  I’ve never stretched so much in my life!

Last week I finished my steroid pack and began physical therapy.  About 3 days into the steroids, the pain had significantly decreased, which is when I began stretching and doing some upper body exercises to try and keep in shape. On Friday, I had my initial physical therapy assessment where I found out that my left leg is 2 cm shorter than the right.  The therapist seemed perplexed on how to handle my injury…oh how I love to be a mystery to the experts.  She had me do a few stretches and told me I could start walking on the treadmill.  I made 2 follow up appointments for this week with my usual therapist who I saw for some shoulder issues last year.

I was feeling better over the weekend and began my walks (and continued stretching) on Monday.  The first day I made it 1.65 miles and the second day I went 2 miles.  It felt great to be moving again, but I still felt stiff.  When I went to therapy on Tuesday night, my therapist Will knew exactly what to do.  This is why I love him.  After some heat and a painful 6 minute massage of my tendon, he gave me better stretches that really exercised the source of the pain.  Here are 2 of my favorites: 

He also told me I need to baby the area.  Doesn’t he realize I have a race in less than 2 weeks?!  This was not what I wanted to hear.

Today, I’m still a bit sore from the massage, which was to be expected, but I decided I needed to at least continue walking.  I did 10 minutes of various leg stretches before starting and then walked for 20 minutes at a 17:15 pace.  The pace you must keep for a Disney race is 16 min/mile.  So I turned up the treadmill to 15:40 min/mile to see if I could do it and I was fine.  It wasn’t as fast as I thought it would be.  With my new found confidence, I thought “Let’s see if I can run!”  Will is going to be so mad at me when I go to therapy tomorrow, but you know what, I did it.  I RAN FOR A 1/2 MILE!!  At first it was painful and felt awkward, but as I kept moving the pain lessened.  I had only planned to try for a 1/4 mile, but I just kept going.  I was SO excited and it gave me renewed hope that even despite this injury I’ll be able to do this race.  I stretched for another 10 minutes and felt great with minimal pain in my leg.

Now this afternoon, I’m sore.  But despite that, my confidence is boosted (which has been lacking for the past few weeks) and my excitement is building.  I’ll do my heat and stretching combo tonight and continue to do this routine twice a day up until the race.  It’s really incredible how all of this stretching has not only helped with the pain in my psoas, but has made me so much more flexible over all.  I’m hoping this will help with my running for the long term.  Maybe I’ll try for a mile this weekend :)

All I need to do is keep reminding myself…JUST KEEP STRETCHING!