My first DNS, injury update and I’m not alone

I’m not at all a serious runner, so I never thought something like DNS would even factor into my racing ever, but lo and behold, it’s happened. Perhaps you remember me mentioning the hugely anticipated (by myself only) osteopath appointment that I made way back in October???? Well, I had it this past Saturday. For some reason, although I knew the osteopath would manipulate my spine and/or pelvis, I never thought it would hinder my entry into the Wildhears 6 km Santa Run the next day in Aberdeen. My physio therapist does manipulation to me as well, and always tells me to rest for three days-ish before I run again, which I adhere to, but for some reason, I didn’t think I wouldn’t be able to run after this appointment. My mind was clearly elsewhere when I entered my husband and I into the race. And yes, I thought about walking the 6 km, but that was also vetoed by the osteopath.

After the appointment, which I will brief you all about later, I had to break the news to Pat and to Rachel, who had also entered the race. Both were understanding as long as the plan of going to lunch to Nandos was still in place; clearly Nandos outweighs any race, and really, how can it not? It’s fantastic!

Race day, Pat and I headed up to Aberdeen and picked up Rachel and Ian on the way to Pittodrie, home of Aberdeen football (soccer) and the base for the race. On the drive up, it was windy and raining, and there were dark rain clouds every where. Pat was very hesitant to run the race, and at that point, had decided to pull out if this continued at the race venue. The four of us arrived at Pittodrie and the two runners went to register and get their Santa suits; I also picked up my suit and race number anyway. Memories right?

Rachel and Pat: Santas ready for action!

Pat and Rachel got kitted out in their very stylish felt costumes with plastic belt and fluffy beard, and we all just hung out in the stadium until the start of the race. That is until Pat went to put his stuff in my car and locked my keys in it! Or as he says ‘The car locked itself and I was responsible for the keys.’ Either way, my keys were locked in my trunk (boot) and the race was about to begin. Needless to say, I was fuming; the last thing I wanted was to have to deal with a car recovery service while a race was going on. Who was going to take the finisher’s photos?????

A quick snapshot of the entrants while I ran inside to take care of business

I think there was a warm up and then the runners were off. I was inside trying to find a phone number for someone to come save us. I asked the security guys of the race if they could somehow help, but all they seemed to dwell on was ‘Don’t you have a spare?’ (No). ‘You really should have a spare.’ (Yes I know, but when I bought the car, it only came with one key. And besides, if I had a spare, why would I have it on me? It would be at home, 30 minutes away by car. How would I get there???? Taxi to train station, train to the nearest town, taxi to my house? Oh, by the way, my house key is also on the keys that are in my car). Once we got past the spare key conversation, they suggested I call a Skoda dealer in Aberdeen if they could help. Which I did. They couldn’t help me directly as my car was no longer under warranty, but they gave me the number of a car recovery service, which I called and was told they could be out to us within 20 minutes. Excellent!

So Ian and I waited by my car for the car recovery guy to arrive, and watched the racers start to wind their way back to the finish. Pat came in probably the top 20 racers? And Rachel was a few minutes behind him. She also was placed third for the female racers, check out her race recap.

Pat’s the runner on the right with bright shoes

This car recovery guy was incredible! First, he wedged a plastic…. wedge into my door and stuck a deflated square-shaped rubber balloon into the door as well, pumping it full of air to create a space for his next step. Once this was done and my back door was opened about 1 cm with this system, the guy proceeded to stick a long wire rod through the whole to the trunk full of coats and backpacks, and fished around for my keys, which he found and managed to pick them up with the key ring! He then dropped them on the back seat, with the lock/unlock buttons facing upwards, and with the rod, pushed down onto the unlock button, thus unlocking the car!!!!!!! Amazing!!!! All while it was raining heavily and we were standing around, waiting to get into the car.

Thank you car recovery man!
Thankfully Rachel and Pat are fast runners, so we were outta there before the race was even over! Screw the race, we wanted Nandos peri-peri chicken. We all had earned in our own little way. After forking over almost £100 (eek!), we headed to downtown Aberdeen to the new Nandos on Belmont and scarfed down some bbq’d peri-peri chicken, fries, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. So delicious!!!!!

Do I feel bad that I missed the race? In some ways, yes, I feel like I’ve let Rachel and Pat down because I initiated doing the race. I also so wanted to run! But, considering I’m totally compromised in body right now, it wouldn’t have been a fantastic time, which would’ve most likely disappointed competitive me, but also it would’ve been a good lesson in doing a fun run for the fun of it rather than the competitive aspect. Part of me also wanted to do NYC Running Mama’s Race for Recovery virtual 5 km run last Saturday, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I think part of me wanted to believe I was better and thus I could push myself, but clearly, I’m not there yet.

In injury news, there has been progress in the last month with my two new physio appointments and now the osteopath appointment. It seems that cracking my back and pelvis is working, and no matter how many times it’s done, I still let out a startled yelp. I’ve gone a whole day before I’ve realised ‘My side isn’t hurting’ or ‘My foot isn’t bothering me,’ but also gone days where my foot is in pure agony! After telling the osteopath about my painful year to now, and telling her how stretches and exercises weren’t helping me, she reaffirmed that I was at the point with this injury that manipulation was what I needed. Which made me feel better and like I was finally doing what I should’ve done months ago.
The osteopath warmed up my side and hips before cracking my spine a few times. She said that my pain is a result of a tilted pelvis (which I knew) and my spine had some deviations which could easily be fixed (which I also knew). She also said that the pain in my right side could be a result of my Tensor Fascia Latae tendon, which becomes your iliotibial band, rubbing on the bursa on my hip, potentially causing bursitis. Bursitis is an inflammation of your bursa, which are small sacks of fluid throughout your body designed to reduce friction between your muscles and bones, and cushion. You have a bursa at your elbow, shoulders and on your heel to identify a few.
The osteopath also said that my hip flexor muscles, especially Psoas Major, were also very tight as a result of compensating for my pelvis and spine issues. She did some release work with them, digging very deep into my lower abdomen while getting me to straighten out my legs or raise them. Painful progress. I was given two exercises to stretch my glutes (knee to chest, angling my knee to the opposite shoulder) and to stretch my sides to create more space in my spine. I’m not out of the woods yet, and I’ve got another appointment in January to see her.
In the meantime, I’ve still been running, 2-3 days a week depending on schedule, with a maximum distance of 4 miles. My pace is probably the slowest it’s ever been, up to 10:30 miles, so I’m getting a feel for what my ‘long slow run’ pace is when I get back into harder running again. Typically, I would have issues with running so slowly, and would probably stubbornly try to run faster, but right now, because it’s winter and the holiday season, and because I don’t have any big plans to race soon, taking it slow and easy suits me just fine. I’m in a maintenance phase until my body gets better, and doing my stretches and exercises and slow running is what will help.
Finally, how I’m not alone. I don’t now if it’s because of tiredness or stress, but last night, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself. I have a really bad habit of putting too much on my mental plate and thus pressuring myself to get all this stuff done at work and at home. And most of the time, I procrastinate and don’t get  anything done because all I want to do is watch TV or a movie, and then become stressed to get them done, and disappointed with myself when they’re not done. Basically, a bit of a funk. I pressure myself to clean the house, to get my planing work done for school, to be a good wife (what does that mean? Look like?), to write blog posts, to bake things for my husband and I, and to do as much as I can in very little time. All of this makes me stressed and far from feeling happy. And the worst part of it is that I seem to do it to myself. It doesn’t come from work or from my husband, it’s all from me. Why? 
It seems I’m not alone in the stressed-feeling down-unmotivated-ness. The blog world seems to be suffering from it too. Today, Amy posted about feeling in a bit of a funk, and yesterday Lindsay wrote about stressing out and how to #relaxabit. Two posts which resonated with me because I’m not alone!!!!! Why do we do this to ourselves???? Are we over achievers? Are we like Sarah Jessica Parker in I Don’t Know How She Does It? I wonder if part of it is because we’re bloggers and as Amy mentions, we feel pressure to do something interesting to then write about. Totally true. I have a mental back log of about five posts that I still need to write, and constantly pressure myself into doing it. Is it because it’s the holiday season and things have to be perfect? Are we perfectionists???? I know I am. Whatever our reasons are, I think we need to have some balance in our lives and take time to just chill out. My husband, a very supportive guy (who’s cooked all our meals this week and not complained at all!) gets it and has suggested a few things that might help:
Take time to unplug from the internet. Let’s face it, Facebook is so time-consuming and addictive, and blogging can take much more time than expected. We’re decided to have ‘we time’ every weekend, where we do something at home that doesn’t involve laptops, the TV or smartphones. When he first mentioned this, I pathetically thought ‘but what will I do?’
One day every weekend will be devoted to us getting out and doing something together, like our Clachnaben hillwalk a few weeks ago. We’re out in nature, nothing keeping us tuned in, and we can enjoy the little things all around us.
–  Take away one of the things that makes you stressed. This is difficult because it totally depends on what I’ve pressured myself to do. Tonight, it was go for a run, write this blog post (which I wanted to do last night), and then watch some TV. Well, I took out two things as the run didn’t happen (no one from running group could go, and I wasn’t going to run at night by myself), and I didn’t watch TV. That’s okay though, as I’ll do both Saturday instead.
I don’t have the ability to take time off whenever I need it, so I try to give myself relaxation time on the weekend do re-energize. Sometimes it works, other times we’re too busy it doesn’t. This weekend, I’m prioritising me and will make sure I take it easy. I’ll also do plenty of relaxing in a week’s time when school will be finished until January. 
Do you ever feel like this? 
What do you do to make yourself #relaxabit?
It’s 10:15 pm and I should be in my warm bed. Tomorrow is Friday, which means movie night and no blogging, so no pressure. I welcome it. Good night.

6 thoughts on “My first DNS, injury update and I’m not alone

  1. i neglect my blog from time to time. i like keeping everyone informed about what's going on, but sometimes, i either don't feel like writing about it or i just don't have the time or i don't have anything to write about! but i try to think of it as a hobby.

    i go through phases where i'm so busy and overwhelmed that i can't remember things that happened five minutes ago! it seems like i'm forever working off a to do list (if you are a list person check out they have a free site and a $20/yr option that is fantastical).

    i try hard to force myself to do the things that i know i might not like at the time but that are good for me in the long term, such as:
    – use an app on my itouch called 1 minute relax. it takes your heart rate, takes you through 1 min quick relax, then heart rate after. (it's only 1 min!!)
    – exercise even if i dont like it. right now my body is KILLING me because i overdid some running drills…so even though i cant run…i'm going to do easy slow-paced yoga today. its not my favorite thing in the world..but i know i'll feel better when i wake up tomorrow.

    my best re-energizing tips:
    – listen to a ridiculously cheezy song and sing it loud. like wherever you are. i close my office door…and go to town. it works 99% of the time.
    – 10 jumping jacks. if i'm outside or in my office or wherever. it sounds ridiculous. but i usually end up laughing because i feel like an idiot.

    and before i go to bed…i'll admit….i need a quick cuddle session and like, 3 minutes of chit chat with my husband. we both say a few random things that we read/heard about that have no relation to work, family, or anything. such as: did you know the next 2 nights there are going to be more shooting stars than normal? i read that there is a weed taking over parts of hawaii that is from madagascar so they are importing a moth that eats it…etc. a super nice way to go to bed.


  2. A week late…I'm sorry!

    Glad to see that you aren't so injured anymore. Perhaps time to sign up for that half marathon…..:)

    Hoping you are out of your funk. Funks are no fun. At least you hopefully get a nice Christmas break to relax and bake and enjoy the holiday!

  3. I know that it might feel like you let folks (and yourself) down but it's so important to listen to your body and do what you need to do to heal and not risk further injury. It's definitely disappointing but you will be back at it. Hope you had a great holiday and get to #relaxabit (loved that post from Lindsay)

  4. Thanks for your suggestions Nicole! I like belting out a tune in the car, right now it's Adele, that always make me feel better. Now that school is finished for the holidays, I can begin to unwind because I'm almost done all my Christmas stuff, and then I can just chill.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Thanks Amy! I'm not out of the woods yet, it seems a week of gingerbread house baking with students, thus resulting in five days of on-my-feet-nonstop has not done well for my foot. Hopefully now that school's over for the holidays, I'll be able to chill out and rest a bit. And go see my physio 🙂

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Thanks Christine! You're right, it IS important to listen to your body rather than always try for that next PR or race. The race will happen again next year, when I'll be healthier. I will definitely #relaxabit now that school is finished and my holiday is here!

    Merry Christmas!

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