IT Band injury

The Racing Bug

The other day at the gym I hopped on the treadmill to try my hand at running once again. I had limited time before my spin class and I hadn’t tried running for a few weeks. I’m happy to report that I was finally able to break that 1 mile threshold and run 1.15 miles. Not much, I know. But I’m starting over from scratch. I’ve been starting slow–running 1 mile with lots of walk breaks to get my legs used to running again. I was happy that I was able to run over a mile without ANY walk breaks, no pain and I wasn’t sore the next day! This is promising!

After the run I went to Spin class and had a good time–and thankfully, it was the regular teacher that I enjoy! The class was a lot of seated climbs mixed in with a few standing climbs.

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:33
Calories Burned: 692

When I got home, Michael was making us dinner. I had a huge salad of green leaf lettuce with olive oil and a balsamic vinegar that was infused with pomegranate. It was tasty!

Our dinner was “throw everything together” kind of meal but it worked. He cooked some big pasta noodles and seasoned them with a little olive oil, pepper and herbs (thyme, basil, rosemary), sprinkled a little shredded white cheddar on top and then added cooked scallops and shrimp.

The dinner was good. The low calorie count in the scallops and shrimp balanced out the high calorie count in the pasta. It’s funny–trying to eat “cheap” AND healthy is often difficult because pasta is so cheap yet not the most ideal meal.

I was so happy that the run was a success. I have several running goals for 2012. First, I want to run another 5k. My first race was a 5k and I did horribly. I really want a re-do! Not only that, I would like to be back to consistently running 5 miles at a time so that I can run on vacations and run at lunchtime. Not having the running fitness built up to be able to do those two things right now makes me sad. I miss it. I miss running. I miss having the OPTION to run when other workouts aren’t available to me.

The 5k I’m thinking about doing is the 4th of July race on Sauvie’s Island. It’s a flat trail, scenic, with strawberry shortcake at the finish line! Sign me up!

As for biking, my goal is to continue spin class through the rest of the winter and as soon as spring comes I’m going to return to commuting to work by bike at least once a week. I want to do a short riding event–around 40 miles–in the spring and then start training for my first full century. The one I’ve picked is the Covered Bridge Century! How scenic would it be to ride a bike through this:

I’m definitely getting the racing bug again. I miss the feeling, the camaraderie, I miss the excitement. Editing my book and reading the parts I wrote about my running adventures really made me miss it. It’s time!

Finally, If you are interested in reading this series, check out “Diary of a Diabetic Chef: Chef begins his journey with diabetes” about a chef here in Portland. His first post was an interesting read (and reminded me a lot of my story). I am really looking forward to reading his progress as he tries to lose 60 pounds to cure his diabetes.

QUESTION: Are you already planning your races for the summer? Which ones are you doing?

Starting Over

I’ve had to start over a few times in the last few years. When I decided it was time to lose the weight, I had minor setbacks. For example, I’d fluctuate up and down the same few pounds or I’d hit plateaus that lasted a really long time. I was lucky in that when I finally set out to lose 100 pounds, I never gained it back. A common occurrence is for people to lose a significant amount of weight and then for whatever reason, gain it all back and more. I am so grateful that wasn’t the case for me. That does not mean I had a perfect time of it.

Gaining Weight

The first set back was in 2009. After losing over 100 pounds, weighing in at the lowest 143, I proceeded to gain 16 pounds. On New Year’s Eve my weight had gone up to 159.5.  What was the reason for this weight gain? I was eating the same healthy way I’d eaten to lose the weight. I was still exercising 5 days a week. In fact, I was training for the Shamrock 8k, the Hood to Coast Relay race and the Reach the Beach 55 mile ride.

The reason: medication.

I started taking a medication that caused weight gain. It was slow at first. A pound here. A pound there. Then I was 5 pounds heavier. I told myself it was no big deal. I was still under 150 pounds (my goal weight). I told myself that it was the training. All that running I was doing. I was gaining muscle. Excuses, excuses.

I peaked at 160 pounds. I was 10 pounds OVER my goal weight and not happy. I was angry that no matter what I did–how much I worked out–I could NOT lose any weight. What gives?? I saw a nutritionist. I saw my personal trainer again. I was feeling depressed. I’d come so far and here I was: a clique. Someone who lost a lot of weight and was gaining it back. Then it dawned on me. The medication. Maybe it was causing weight gain? Maybe it was making it impossible to LOSE weight?

I was right. I stopped the medication and immediately started losing the weight. Two pounds in fact.  It took about ten months but I lost the 16 pounds I had gained on the medication. I didn’t do anything special: just my normal eating, calorie counting and vigorous exercise.


The next set back I had was last September. I successfully ran Hood to Coast and was feeling really good about life. I was prepared to immediately start training for the Las Vegas Half Marathon. I went for a run a week after Hood to Coast and realized I was injured.  Overuse of my IT Band. Suckage. That meant months of no running.

I went a little batty at first. I was sad. I was angry. Depressed. Stressed out. Anxious I was going to gain back all my weight. Then I snapped out of it and pulled myself together. I had to find alternatives to running.

I did physical therapy (which was a negative experience), acupuncture (also negative), massage therapy, lots of yoga, stretching. In the end it came down to this: I had to start all over from scratch. I took 6 weeks off from all running and then I started the “return to running program” my sports medicine doctor put me on. I was starting all over. Walk, jog, walk, jog, eventually run…

In the end it came down to listening to my body and let it heal. I had to switch things up. Changing my workouts ended up being a GREAT thing. It ended the boredom I was feeling.  I started lifting weights just to have something to do and fell in love with it. Weight lifting was something I’d avoided for a long time and it ended up being the BEST THING I EVER DID. I immediately lost those last 5 pounds I had gained. My body changed. I got toned. I felt better. I felt STRONG.

I was happy with the changes and even when I was “cured” from my running injury I still lifted weights because I realized just how important it was. The injury ended up being a GOOD thing!

Starting Over

Starting over doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. It doesn’t have to mean failure, either. It’s all part of the journey.

When I was trying to reteach myself how to eat healthy I had many slip ups. It was hard breaking a decade of bad habits overnight. If I had a “bad food day” I started over the next day. The next day was a clean slate, no mess ups. A new day meant I started at zero and could make better choices.

Remember: starting over doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Keep moving forward and you will be okay.

QUESTION: How many times have you had to start over? What helped?