My Non-Running Life

It’s been more than 3 weeks since my last run, and almost 4 weeks since I actually pushed it while running. Does my hamstring hurt any less? Until 3 days ago, the answer was “nope.” Does it hurt any worse? No, so that’s good, I guess. But to say I’m frustrated with the pace of progress, or lack thereof, would be an understatement.

Here’s how my time since the Cambridge Half has gone:

Day 1: Sports massage. Learned how to foam roll and OMG HINT: it does not involve any movement! What?!

Day 2: 45-minute YogaSculpt class at Acorn Yoga. Hated the shorter format. Slept on my brand new mattress for the first time ever and am pretty sure I died in my sleep – it was THAT comfortable.

20171122_173314Day 3: Got up at 5am and drove to Longmeadow. Worked a full day from my dad’s house, then went to my first class at Heartsong Yoga in actual years. This is the place where I fell in love with yoga, so it’s always nice to go back. I took a flow class with Sheila, the owner and the teacher who taught me to love yoga and love myself. Might have overdone it a tad, as my hamstring was a little annoyed with me afterward.

Day 4: Turkey trot with Dad. Did not aggravate my hamstring at all.

Day 5: Woke up and went to my first Ashtanga class in probably 4-5 years. It was hot and hard and at one point, I killed my hamstring trying to put my left leg behind my head (I did this with no problem on the right side minutes earlier). I paid for it dearly for the next 2 days.

Day 6: Rest at Mom’s.

Day 7: More rest at Mom’s, drove back to Boston, skipped yoga and drank a few beers instead, slept terribly and deciding no more skipping workouts.

Day 8: PT right after work. Made a deal with Ben, my physical therapist, that if I skip my PT homework, then I am not allowed to go to yoga/barre/spin. Clearly I sleep like crap when I don’t work out and my PT homework is so vital to my recovery that I HAVE to do both. Then YogaSculpt class, back to a proper 60-minute class. Felt great. Slept great.

Day 9: ChillFlow yoga class. Loved every aspect of it. Slept great.

Day 10: PT after work, then my first Wednesday YogaSculpt class and also my first time going to Sculpt 2x in one week. Slept great.

Day 11: VinyaSizzle yoga class. Struggled through most of class with a grumpy hamstring. Slept great.

20171201_175540Day 12: PT at 6am. Worked from home using my brand new standing desk, then went to my first-ever spin class after work. The Handle Bar in Fenway is awesome and has a $10 first-class special. Clip-in shoes are free to borrow, towels and earplugs are provided, and they helped me get set up on the bike (although the seat was a little too high). I had a great time and a great workout and will definitely go back, but went straight home and ordered padded cycling underwear. My butt still hurt 4 days later! Slept great.

Day 13: Went to a 9:15am VinyaSizzle class. It was only 45 minutes but a wonderful class, and the instructor was teaching the next class as well, so I decided to stay for her HealFlow class – a glorious 75-minute restorative class. Then I went to a DFMC 2018 fundraiser and had a great time with my running friends, but paid for it a little bit the next morning. Slept great.

Day 14: Unplanned rest day. Skipped the 10am free Fitness Fusion class I had signed up for, and instead enjoyed a quiet morning watching TV and drinking coffee on my couch for the first time in several weeks. Bought groceries, meal-prepped for the week, deep-cleaned the apartment and changed the bedding on my sheets. Slept great.

Day 15: Went to PT at 8am, which meant I got to work a little later than usual so I stayed a little later than usual. That meant I couldn’t make an early yoga class, and I needed to be in front of my computer at 7pm in order to register for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon. I got in at 7:01pm and it was sold out by 7:09pm! My only option would’ve been an 8:30pm yoga class and I was just mentally exhausted, so I went to bed early but, for the first time since last Sunday, slept like crap on my new mattress. Why, you ask? 2 rest days in a row, again! That seems to be my threshold.

Day 16: Went to PT at 8am again. Felt cramps coming on, but after 2 rest days in a row, knew that it was going to be another bad night of sleep if I didn’t do something. Went to ChillFlow yoga and slept great again (and have every night since then!).

Day 17: My work holiday party was in the evening and I got my period in the morning, so I took a planned rest day. Even though I had taken 2 earlier in the week, there was no way I was going to make it through a workout with raging cramps.

Day 18: More bad cramps, low energy, slight fever. I took another planned rest day and for the first time ever, forgot to cancel my yoga sign-up so I was a no-show! Thankfully Acorn doesn’t penalize you like most other gyms and studios do.

20171201_091128.jpgDay 19: Went to PT at 8am, then worked from home. I barely sit at ALL when using my new standing desk for my apartment. I went to my 2nd-ever spin class. This one was at 5:15pm, which was much better than working from home then sitting around waiting for a 6:15pm class, but I didn’t love the instructor and don’t want to take her class again. My colleague actually said the same thing about her, so I’m glad it wasn’t me. I still pushed it in class, but I had such a hard time keeping up with her muffled cues and zany choreography that I spent more time frustrated than actually working as hard as I could.

Day 20: Volunteered for the first DFMC team run. It was COLD and it was also our first snowfall here in Boston. It started just before we headed to Heartbreak Hill to set up our water stop with Gatorade and snacks for the runners. By the time the last runner turned around at the halfway mark of the 10-mile run, my toes were numb and I was so happy to go come and cuddle on the couch with Chip for a few hours. Then I went to a 12:15pm $8 class at Barre3 – deeply discounted to train one of the new instructors. It was a great workout, especially as we watched the snow piling up outside. I did not feel any discomfort in my hamstring at ALL – it was more of a glute, quad and shoulder workout. I walked there and back (it’s only a 10-minute walk from my apartment) and a hot shower hasn’t felt so good since my last cold marathon training run back in March! Then I headed out to Ashland/Holliston with Chip for an evening with the besties and their kids/dogs/husbands.

Day 21: Volunteered for a different Dana-Farber fundraiser with Juls on the 1-year anniversary of her grandfather passing away from brain cancer. My hamstring was grumpier than ever. I was thinking about an evening yoga class but instead indulged in 3 cold-weather cocktails and did not regret it one bit.

Day 22: Went to YogaSculpt because Abby (the instructor) was finally back from a week off. Felt much stronger during planks and shoulder work than I have in forever.

20171212_184130.jpgDay 23: Slept great the night before, which was good because by the time my head hit the pillow, it was well after 10pm and I had to be at PT at 6:40am. I was so incredibly sore that Ben let me rest  while he did ultrasound therapy on my hamstring. I went to another $8 class at Barre3, and for the first time since my hamstring troubles began 16 months ago, was able to identify the few times exercise does aggravate it (on all 4 fours, left leg extended behind me, toe pointed) and a shooting pain up the front of my right thigh that I only experience during burpees and during the leg lift part of side lunges (like this). Otherwise it was another amazing workout, and I sweat more than I ever have in my whole life during a 100% non-impact workout.

Day 24: Worked from home to accommodate an 8:40am PT appointment and a 4pm dermatology appointment. Again, used my standing desk pretty much the entire day. At PT, Ben and I discussed my newly identifiable pain and a bunch of potential theories. For a second day in a row, he let me skip the gym and instead we worked on my arch strength since that seems to be the least of my pain right now, and then did Graston on a lower part of my hamstring that was so painful I almost asked him for a bucket. I had planned to go to YogaSculpt after my dermatology appointment, but then I realized my platelet donation was that night instead of the following night.

Day 25: Had to cancel my plans for 6am barre because of the previous night’s platelet donation – I really need 24 hours to recover. Planned to go to yoga after my evening doctor appointment at Spaulding National Running Center, but he was running 90 minutes behind so I got home way too late and way too exhausted to do anything. I’ll post about that appointment next time!

Day 26: Back to PT after an early morning dentist appointment (can you tell I met my deductible and am trying to squeeze EVERYTHING in before all my insurance resets on January 1?!). I updated Ben on what the Spaulding doctor had to say, which didn’t really affect our PT plans. As I was still pretty bruised from Wednesday’s Graston, we avoided the manual work and instead went out to the gym – the REAL side of the gym – to lift weights! I’ve been telling Ben that I want to get into this after the new year and so he wanted to test out my ability. Not to brag or anything, but he was really impressed with my form, strength, and excitement about barbell squats and Romanian dead lifts. Needless to say, I will be seeking out a gym membership and/or personal trainer over the next few weeks so please send any inexpensive recommendations my way! After working from home at my standing desk all day, I went to my third spin class at The Handle Bar.

That was Friday, and it is now Monday. I took the whole weekend off from exercise but still somehow managed to get in my 10,000 steps on Sunday. My hamstring is feeling amazing for once so I wonder if I just need to take more rest days. Or (my fear), less yoga – because I only made it to one class last week and that was Sculpt, so not “real yoga.” Either way, I know my workouts are going to be on the back burner next week as I bounce between my dad’s house and my mom’s apartment as well as the BFF’s house for New Year’s Eve, so I’m squeezing in as much as I possibly can this week:

  • Monday – YogaSculpt
  • Tuesday – Barre3 (last $8 class of the year!)
  • Wednesday – YogaSculpt
  • Thursday – VinyaSizzle
  • Friday – 7am spin (Coffee & Rihanna, to be exact!), 6pm ChillFlow
  • Saturday – was planning to go to 9:15am VinyaSizzle but sadly Acorn canceled all classes Saturday-Tuesday so maybe Barre3 before I head off to Western Mass…

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