Let me just start by saying that I am by no means a great runner, but I have been running for over 30 years and it is a very important part of me. Just shy of a year ago, on the evening before getting on a flight to Ottawa for Race Weekend, I was at my last physiotherapy appointment. At that point I’d been to physio on-and-off for about 3 years trying to deal with a back issue and working on range of motion and building my core. I was only up to a minute of running at that point so you can imagine how slow the process was.
A minute of running. It’s pretty hard not to get discouraged.
So on that last night before race weekend at physio, I herniated my disc. Yeah. I was so incredibly discouraged and a little in shock. But I hobbled home, hobbled on my flight and did everything I could think of to get walking. We were registered for the Voyageur Challenge, the 5K, 10K and Half Marathon and 3 days later I was walking. It was a friggen miracle.
Now after a year of doctors, ultrasounds, orthopaedics and an MRI, I finally have an appointment with a spine surgeon the week before Ottawa.
So why am I telling you this?
Well I have tried everything and put together a training program that has been working for me and I wanted to share it with you in case you are lost in the abyss like I was. I am not a professional trainer, this is just what I have figured out works for me and maybe it will give you some ideas. I am shocked at how well this is going. So here it is:
My Recovery Training Plan
MONDAY: Rest Day
TUESDAY: ChiWalking 6K am, Hip Flexor Yoga 20 minutes pm
WEDNESDAY: AquaJogging 45 minutes, Lane Swimming 450 meters
(50m legs only, 50m backstroke, 50m sidestroke x 3 repeats and add repeat every 2 weeks)
THURSDAY: ChiWalking 6K am, Hip Flexor Yoga 20 minutes pm
FRIDAY: AquaJogging 45 minutes, Lane Swimming 450 meters
SATURDAY: Hip Flexor and Hamstring Yoga 40 minutes
SUNDAY: Long Walk 10K, add 1K every week up to 18K
AquaJogging & Lane Swimming
I am loving AquaJogging and swimming lanes twice a week for core and range of motion. I’m a little lazy getting my ass there for 7am, but it is totally worth it.
I am doing as much as I can to work on my hip flexors and hamstrings for flexibility and range of motion. I believe that tight hip flexors and hamstrings are the root of my back issue. Decades of office chairs and sofas will do that to you.
I also have regular visits for reflexology with Deborah Walsh RRT. We have concentrated on opening up my hips. You can do that with reflexology. It is completely amazing. I L-O-V-E reflexology…
I ditched my office chair for a kneeling chair. You can’t sit in it straight through the full day, so I change positions and get up and move around every 20-30 minutes.
I went Ketogenic this year and I feel both mentally and physically amazing.
Now I’m not 100% sure I’m doing this ChiWalking stuff correctly, but I am SHOCKED at how much of a workout I am getting. As a runner I had zero interest in walking, however it has allowed me to notice the smallest details of my form and correct them. It has helped stretch those hip flexors and lengthen my stride. I am using new muscles, and walking on the trails is even better for building stability. I would never have this attention to detail if I were running. I feel great. Now when I walk I feel completely different. I feel so loose in my hips I am amazed.
So there you have it. I hope if you are ever injured and discouraged, you don’t lose faith in yourself. Figure out a way. Maybe I’ll never be the runner I used to be, but then again maybe I’ll be even better. Until then I’ll continue my own race and be grateful for every step.
Never, ever, ever give up.
Race photos by Marathon-Photos