"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: January 2013

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Confessions of an injured runner ...

Two weeks ago today I injured my ankle whilst out running and have been unable to run (or do any exercise) since!

This has left a huge gaping big hole in my life and I have been wallowing around in self pity trying to find something to keep me entertained during the endless days I've been on my own, immobile and off work.

At the very beginning of January I signed up for the 365 project challenge, which is a site where you have to post a photograph everyday for a year. You can view the site here.

 Initially I signed up for it to keep a sort of visual diary of my life during 2013 with no real intention of the photos being of a high photographic quality but just a snapshot of my life.  That was until I was injured ... too much time on my hands resulted in me looking through everyone else's photographs on the site and being amazed at some of the effects people could do and how pleasing they were to view.  It inspired me to start taking better photographs.  

I dug out my son's fancy camera (a Canon EOS1000D) and started snapping anything and everything that didn't move.  I was disappointed with the results!  Why weren't my photos like these fab one's I had seen? Why couldn't I become an expert overnight? 

Not to be disheartened I Googled for assistance and played around with the camera settings experimenting with shutter speed and amount of light etc.

The first time I managed to take a half decent close up photo I was dead chuffed and I thought I would share these early efforts with you. My main aim in this session was to take a photo that had the main object in focus but the background blurry!  

Here's the results, please feel free to comment and offer assistance on how I can improve.

At the zoo - not a bad attempt through glass!
Love this photo of the monkey sneaking up on his friend to pinch the banana, although I failed with the blurring of the background!!

Waiting for the lemon to grow to go in my G & T!

So there it is ... from frustrated runner to novice photographer in 14 days!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Things are looking up ...

After playing in the car and feeling rather silly for the past couple of days, today I decided to bite the bullet! I have been sitting in the driver's seat playing experimenting with pressing the pedals to see whether my ankle could take the strain and today I decided to give it a go for real!  After 13 days of feeling like a prisoner in my own home, today I felt like I had been set free! I was able to drive with absolutely no pain or discomfort at all - far less painful than actually walking!  So I put the dog in the car and drove somewhere different to go for my little prescribed walk.  

Unfortunately, no sooner had I got out the car the heavens opened and I got wet and cold.  My ankle doesn't seem to like the cold weather so I went back to the car after a very short 0.80 miles. When I got home I erred on the side of caution and put the heat pad on my ankle just to be kind. I wasn't really sure how my ankle would be after driving as I had taken Ibroprofen beforehand, and was waiting for the effects to wear off.  Luckily the drive doesn't seem to have aggravated it, so this afternoon once the rain had stopped I went out again for another little walk. I managed 1.36 miles, but my ankle was starting to object by the time I got home.  I need to keep the ankle active and strengthen the ligaments so I can start running again ... sometime SOON!

So all in all not a bad day ...

Today's walking miles = 2.16

Total Janathon Running miles: 51.20  / 80 running miles
Total Janathan Walking miles: 29.96 / 30 walking miles
Total Janathan Cycling miles: 52.43/ 130 cycling miles
Total Janathon Swimming miles: 3.83 / 10 swimming miles
Total Janathon non-mileage exercise: 2 hours Circuits

Total Janathon mileage: 137.26 / 250 target

Total days exercising 25/30

So only 0.04 of a mile to walk tomorrow and I have cracked my walking goal! It's a pity about the rest!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Back on Janathon - staggering to the end!

This afternoon it started to rain really hard and was very cold but I still went for my daily prescribed walk! I managed my longest distance since damaging my ligaments - a huge 1.22 miles, at a painfully slow pace but hey it's better than nothing and means I am on the mend. 

However, once home my ankle did start to tell me it wasn't very happy!  Instead of using an ice-pack on it (as I usually do) I used a heat pad.  In Runner's world this month it says that heat is best for an injury that is a few days old as "it helps by boosting blood flow, shunting more oxygen and nutrients to the affected area".  As my ice pack is a "ice come heat pack" I duly threw it in the microwave!  

It took me several attempts to get it to the right temperature - I was nervous about blowing the whole thing up if I put it on too high for too long!  I eventually got the desired result and strapped it to my ankle.  I must say it is much more pleasant sitting with a warm sensation radiating up through my ankle rather than cold penetrating my whole body!  Let's see if it works! 

Whilst I was logging my walk on the Running free website, where all the Janathon miles are logged, I realised that although I hadn't succeeded at Janathon by exercising everyday I was very close to my "self chosen" walking target for the month.  I have 2 days to try and walk 2.2 miles and at least then I won't feel a total failure! I will have succeeded with 1 out of 4 goals! 

Even with my injury I have only missed 5 days exercise ... so far!

So it looks like this: 

Total Janathon Running miles: 51.20  / 80 running miles
Total Janathan Walking miles: 27.80 / 30 walking miles
Total Janathan Cycling miles: 52.43/ 130 cycling miles
Total Janathon Swimming miles: 3.83 / 10 swimming miles
Total Janathon non-mileage exercise: 2 hours Circuits

Total Janathon mileage: 135.10 / 250 target

Total days exercising 24/29

Monday, 28 January 2013

Keep going ... the end’s in sight

 I am on Day 11 of my injury-induced rest and it isn't getting any easier!  

Only 3 more days to go until we are done with January - I for one will be pleased to see the back of it! Every time I see the word January it reminds me that I failed with both Janathon and Jantastic this year.  So for me, as well as Goodbye January, it's goodbye crutches, disappointment, pain and boredom and hopefully hello running, cycling, races and PB's!

I  am still signed off work but thankfully I am much more mobile now and in a lot less pain.  I can even do the first lot of exercises given to me by the hospital easily, whereas last week I found them incredibly hard and painful. I now get to move on to the next lot of exercises which may prove a bit more of a challenge but with determination I will get there - after all the quicker my foot masters them and gets stronger the quicker I will be back out on the streets! 

So what have I been doing? 

Not a lot is the answer to that!  

I have found a marathon training plan I want to follow when the time comes and have made adaptations to suit me and I have been updating my scrapbook running pages.  I will post pictures on here soon.

I am desperate to get back to exercise - I am feeling fat and unfit.  At the moment I am managing to walk about half a mile a day ... way to go before I am back to my former distances!

I am determined to take things gently and built up my mileage slowly - I really don't want anything that will set me back any further. I have a 10K race booked for 2 weeks time, I really want to do it!  I know if I do attempt it, it will be probably be my slowest 10K ever but at least it will mean I am back in the saddle! 

Am I a mad to want to do the Mad Dog?

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

I can't run ... but I can still blog!

Bored doesn't even begin to describe how I feel at the moment!  Hence why I keep driveling on in this blog!  Apologies to all my readers - normal service will resume soon - I HOPE!

On a positive note (yes I know I have been a miserable cow recently!) yesterday I got an e-mail that made me smile! 

It was from "Sport in Action" the company who organised the Carlisle Resolution 10K run that I had to cancel due to my injury (have I mentioned I'm injured?!).  I had sent them an email prior to the run to cancel my place in an attempt not to get a DNS next to my name in the results table!  I failed but hey ho the reply I got back restored my faith in human kindness!  They have emailed back offering their best wishes and telling me what a good day i had missed (charming!) and offering me a free place on the Longtown 10 mile race in April!!! I hadn't expected anything from them, I was just trying to avoid getting a DNS! Thank you Sport in Action you have given me something to look forward to!!  Fingers crossed I am fit to run!

In the many hours I have had lying incapacitated on the sofa I have been thinking about what caused my injury in order for me to avoid it in the future! The only thing I can think of is I was wearing my new trail trainers for their second outing.  I wasn't off road but because there was a little bit of snow and ice around I thought they would be good for the extra grip and stability.  Has this somehow caused my injury?  Seems too much like a coincidence to me!  

Back to the Doctors tomorrow!  Fingers crossed it is good news!  I have been trying to do the exercises given to me by the hospital but the ankle doesn't seem too willing at the moment!! 

Well I suppose I will go back to looking at Marathon training plans for York in October and praying that I will one day be fit to run!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

I want to RUN ...

I don’t like being injured obviously.  No one does.

But ... “Tis better to have run and got injured then to never run at all”.

I am going crazy with having so much time on my hands and not being able to fill it with running, cycling, swimming or walking! 
I know that when people hear of my recent ankle injury and discover I did it running they will say  “That’s why I don’t run” or “Running isn't good for you" 0r "I told you it was dangerous".  
I feel like I spend all my life defending my choice to run.  I get told repeatedly how it’s not good for my joints, how I will get gammy knees, it’s not safe to run alone or even that I am an addict. (errrr ... actually they are probably right with this observation!). 
What was, in the beginning, just a means of getting fit is now a focal point of my life that the last 5 days have confirmed I cannot live without!
When I think back on the places I've been, the views I've seen, the feelings I have felt and the friendly people I have met through running I can’t help but be grateful to have experienced it all.  I wouldn't trade those times for the few weeks of ankle pain that lies ahead.
Most "non-running" people don’t understand my “need” to run and some think I’m crazy for loving to run. I know people who say they want to run but then look for excuses not to run.  During these past 6 weeks I have been triathlon training so instead of spending most of my spare time running I have had to divide my time equally between swimming, cycling and running. Being off work and injured has given me time to reflect on this.  It has dawned on me that cycling is not the same.  Swimming is not the same. I just don’t have the same yearning to swim or cycle that I do for running. I have also discovered that "Triathletes" aren't as beginner friendly and encouraging as  "runners" are. However slow you run there is always another runner willing to congratulate and encourage you, whereas I don't feel at all encouraged or inspired by my local tri club.
So why do I run?
For my sanity.
It makes me feel good.
For the physical challenge and to have goals to aim for.
To meet amazing like-minded people.
To eat junk food.
To drink copious amounts of alcohol.
To accomplish something I am proud of. 
For complete ME time - When I’m running nothing else matters.
Its faster than walking and much more satisfying.
I love the peace and quiet.
I love the sound of my feet on the pavement.
I just love it!

And if I have to risk a dodgy knee, a blackened toenail or another sprained ankle to do it -  I will! 
To have experienced life as a non-runner for 5 days now has made me realise I will never willingly give it up!! 
My leg is still unable to bear my weight so I am unable to stand on the scales and get an accurate reading ... I dread to think how many pounds I have put on whilst recuperating on the sofa with just the Christmas chocolates for company! (maybe this is why my ankle can't bear my weight!)

I feel so compelled to get back to running I don’t even feel the same desire to complete a triathlon that was driving me forward earlier in the year!  I think part of me blames this type of training for depriving me of  the ability to run.  I trained for a marathon last year with no problems and remained injury free throughout the training and the marathon itself then the moment I start incooperating other activities into my programme I get injured ....

Monday, 21 January 2013

A Room with a View! by Lesley Wallace · 365 Project

A Room with a View! by Lesley Wallace · 365 Project

Day 4 in the house of insanity ...

I am sure many of you are tired of hearing about the following topic. I’m sorry.  This is the last time I mention it. PROMISE! (believe that and you will believe anything!)

For those of you who aren't aware, I damaged the ligaments in my right ankle during a short slow run on Thursday which has kept me from resuming life as I know it ever since!  

Initially, I had hoped that with a couple days rest I would be able to run the 10K race I had entered on Sunday; however I was just fooling myself! It was obvious this tweak in my ligaments had not untweaked and it wouldn't anytime soon without rest.  

At the moment I am working on standing without having tears pouring down my face from the pain, then I will progress to walking and then hopefully get back to ...   shhhhhh don’t mention the R word!

There is a trilogy of three letter acronyms in running: DLF, DNF and DNS.  They stand for “dead last finish”, “did not finish” and “did not start" respectively. 

This weekend I experienced my first of any of these in my running career to date. 

This morning I decided to have a look at the race results for the 10K Carlisle Resolution run I had entered.  I wanted to see where abouts I would have been placed had I been able to run based on my normal running times (silly I know, cos does it really matter?).  I went onto the website and looked at the fastest runner then scrolled down to the bottom to see how long it took the slowest runner and there it was staring back at me... it was like getting a slap in the face ... Lesley Wallace DNS.  I am painfully aware I did not start but now the whole world knows too! Well the part of the world that cares to check the race results in Carlisle! I hadn't prepared myself for this at all ... I had hoped I would just disappear and no one would realise I wan't there! Wishful thinking!

I’m not sure which hurts the worse –my ankle or my ego!  This was the first time I've ever had to miss a race due to injury, illness or something else out of my control.  It's the first time I have ever missed a race full stop.  I feel mad, disappointed and upset with myself.  

Its hard working towards goals, and then to feel like you have taken a huge step backwards.  There’s a whole lot of year left to race.  I know I just need to be optimistic,  patient and let myself heal so I can come back strong and race hard.

My next booked race is in 3 weeks time - will that be another DNS?!

Yesterday I did manage to make it out the door (on my crutches) and made it down the street ... 0.26 miles, not quite a marathon but hey I'm getting there!!! My first walk!

So time off work ... no running ... now what?!

 I have been reading the blog of a friend who was killed in a cycle accident last week and I came across this:

Over the last year and a half I've made great advances in my running and cycling and have put everything I've done up for everyone to see. Not every run or ride has been positive but I've commented when it has gone well and where I have felt it could have gone better. I have heard from several of you how inspiring I have been and I would like you to know that I receive a lot of inspiration from you as well and I'm sure that others, though they may not say it, receive a lot from us that post our workouts daily. I believe in leading by example and being humble about it. My 5k time may be better than yours right now but you continue to improve and soon you'll out do my times and make me feel slow. You'll look at my long rides and say "I remember when..." and I will love each and every time that happens. There are no boundaries to what we can achieve and the inspiration we unknowing give to others. Being proud of your achievements is wonderful but when they inspire others there is no better feeling!

... these words brought tears to my eyes. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fallen at the first fence ...

Today should have been the day I ran my first run of 2013 - the Carlisle 10K Resolution Race, and I would have been one step nearer to achieving my 2013 goal! Instead I have fallen at the first fence and failed miserably!  It's such a perfect day for a run too - cold and frosty but not icy!!

One of my 2013 goals was to  run 12 races in 12 months (one every month!) but that's not going to happen now is it! So... lets be positive and reword the goal.  It is now "run 12 races in 12 months". 

I am struggling to stay positive.  Being such an active person I find it really hard sitting here doing nothing!  Although I must admit to liking the being waited on hand and foot bit!! However, I will try to stay positive and I know I will be back running and cycling sometime in the future.  The day I injured myself was the same day Ron Gehring a Runkeeper street-mate and Blogger friend was killed in a hit and run cycle accident in Australia. I didn't know him personally but he was such  an inspiration to me.  He was always there with good advice and gentle persuasions (aka a kick with the bum!) when I was feeling down. He was always full of humour and had such a positive attitude towards life, and had incredible determination to achieve his goals.  Even though my goals were small in comparison to his mega goals he never belittled them and encouraged me every step of the way! I am in awe of a man who cycled a 600 km event just 2 years after starting cycling seriously. I will run or cycle my first race of 2013 in memory of Ron.  

One thing that I have discovered in the few days I have been injured is who my true friends are.  There are some who text and message regularly asking for updates and giving words of encouragement etc, some who pop in to cheer me up and some who just get on with their own lives ...

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Doom and Gloom...

I woke up this morning feeling fairly positive that I would soon be back in action ... until I tried to move and realised I still couldn't without great difficulty and immense pain.  

I took my pile of prescribed pills and waited for them to kick in before attempting to move for the second time.  I very slowly managed to get up, get washed and dressed before braving the stairs.  The only possible way for me to get up and down the stairs at the moment is on my bum!  It reminds me of being a kid and "bumping" down each step - but I can guarantee I don't do any bumping! Its at times like these that living in a bungalow seems a good idea! 

I made it to the sofa, ankle elevated and ice pack in place ... and here I am ... still ... 7 hours later!  BORED! BORED! BORED! A friend of mine visited me for a coffee to give me some light relief and other than that I have had too much time to wallow ... and too much time to look up recuperation times for my specific ankle injury on the internet!  It appears that I might as well wave good bye to all the races I have booked for the first half of this year at least!  I was looking forward to them all and what a damn waste of my hard earned money!
I don't think my non-running friends quite get my despair and see it as a self-inflicted injury so I should get on with it - quietly! 

I never sit still for long and hate watching telly - what am I supposed to do?!!

The fact that 2 days after the injury I am still not feeling any better suggests to me that it's going to be a long job!  Surely I still shouldn't be in excruciating pain whilst popping painkillers religiously?

My new challenge is to find a hobby that involves not moving ...