Sunday, November 09, 2008

I am not giving up.

I am sitting here once again with ice on my knee thinking about all the great possibilities that are going to be soon before me and I cannot help but feel a bit frustrated. I feel as if I am trying so hard to make all of my dreams come true and yet I cannot start anything and take action as I am here in Siberia. I want to run and race, I want to train and see where it leads me. I can do all of these things soon but in the here and now I have to be patient and know that what I do today will prepare me for my someday! I want to train hard as I have in the past, but I have this never ending knee that is driving me mad. Today it is doing ok, but last night it swelled up quite a bit.

I feel as if my journals are becoming an injury report or the bummed knee chronicles instead of what they used to be, a celebration of my weight loss. If I really stop and think about it, a part of me gets frustrated and depressed, feeling as if I will never conquer this problem once and for all. It would be so much easier if I was in the US and I could just make an appointment with a doctor, then I could move on, but that is not the case and so I must deal with it and move on.

So now I have two choices, I can sit and sulk in the fact that I am not able to run as long as I used to, I cannot go as fast and I will most likely need to adjust my goals for the first half of 09 as a result, or I can adjust my plan and go with the flow. Ok, so I may have to run slower or heaven forbid even walk some. Is this the end of the world? Goodness no!

Life and its unpredictable journey is going to be filled with all kinds of twist and turns, ups and downs, and so I choose to make the most of where I am in my own journey, injuries and all. I cannot help but think once again of the man outside of my building who has no legs. I remember running past him so many times and wondering how he feels when he sees me. What would he give to be able to run or walk just one more time and here I am complaining because I may have to slow my pace down for my upcoming half marathon. Does it make me any less of a champion if I cross that finish line 10 or 15 mins behind what I had planned for? Or am I still a champion because I made the most of out the days I was blessed with and reached for all that I could. I am having to come to grips with the fact that where I want to be someday and where I am now are worlds apart. That does not mean that I cannot get there, it will just take some time and with this will come great success and I am sure many defeats. I need to always remember the old Chinese proverb –

“Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”

Now, I have to decide what it is that I can control and what I cannot. Every victory first starts with a plan. And so I am reviewing my whole entire workout schedule and looking at where I can improve to make the most of this time. My abs are not strained, my biceps are perfectly fine and my shoulders are as strong as ever. So let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, and try to figure out a solution that will be lasting and will help get me back in shape for my races soon to come.

Things that I cannot control at this time -

1. My knee is hurt.
2. I do not have access to the doctors in the states.

Things that I can control at this time -

1. The pace and duration of my runs
2. My strength training and core workouts
3. Increasing my yoga and Pilates workouts
4. Taking time to ice my knee more
5. Anti-inflammatory meds and joint fuel, omega’s etc…
6. Taking time to do specific stretching for ITB etc…
7. Continuing to watch my diet and log all of my meals
8. Water, water and more water
9. Getting back to the basics – long slow cardio, watch my intervals
10. Stay clear of all plyo and lower body work such as lunges

So I can see that there are far more things that I CAN control than that I can not. So it is now up to me to take control, stop the sad pity party and get to work. Things happen, deal with it and move on and some day when I do cross that finish line it will be worth it!!

My goal for the next 4 weeks is to follow the 10 points I listed. I am reshaping my program to fix each one into my daily routine. There was a time when I first started out and I could not run. So I increased the length of time on the treadmill and I walked. Something must have been working because I lost so much weight and I have kept it off. Now my fitness level is far different that it was before so I am going to need to be creative but I know it will work.

Lower impact cardio options for knee recovery –

1. Fast walking on the tread.
2. Walking with intervals
3. Walking with intervals while carrying DBs
4. Intervals on tread during ST circuits
5. Slow jogging intervals – maybe nothing more than 6.0 – 6.5 mph depending on the condition of my knee.
6. The low impact option of Turbo Jam
7. Kenpo X – P90X

Here is a sample of my new workout plan –

Monday –
AM – 60 mins cardio.
PM – Full body ST with core work – ABX/ Cathe Core Max/BG

Tuesday - 60 mins cardio followed by 30 mins of Yoga X

Wednesday –
AM - 60 mins cardio.
PM – Full body ST with core work – ABX/Cathe Core Max/BG

Thursday – 60 mins cardio followed by 30 mins of Yoga X

Friday -
AM - 60 mins cardio.
PM – Full body ST with core work – ABX/Cathe Core Max/BG

Saturday/Sunday – Rest or Stretch X

So that is the plan. Will it help? Only time will tell. All I can do is continue to be consistent in my efforts and give each and every workout 110% of all that is in me. If there is one thing that I know for sure, it is….

“In the course of achieving anything, nothing is more important than persistence”.

And so now, I press on.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a plan!

I, too, suffer from knee pain. Sometimes when I'm not even working out. I've BEEN to the doctor and he sent me for x-rays which, ofcourse, didn't show anything, so no answers. I COULD go see a specialist, but I'm frustrated with doctors at the moment.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Magda said...

Hey Jen,

I love those 2 sayings. Especially the one about going slow vs standing still.

Great plan too. You'll make it!!


tigana said...

I have had some problems with my IT band pulling my kneecap out of alignment. Two things my physical therapist gave me that helped the most were foam rolling (literally rolling out across a foam cylinder, like intense massage for sore muscles - she also said if i could not afford the foam roller, I could use a stiff pool noodle :)) and a quad stretch - lying on your side on the ground, you do the standard stretch bringing your heel up behind you - but you cheat the bottom foot forward and use it to *gently* apply pressure on the top leg, to bring the knee a bit lower - great for the IT band but take it gently and go slowly. A little is a lot, there. Good luck.