May Accomplishments & June Focus.

When I wrote out the date yesterday, each time it looked like this “May June 1.” I fail to see how 31 days already went by and it is a new month but apparently it is so I guess we should see how I did with my May Goals, as well as figure out what I want to focus on during the month of June.

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At the beginning of the month I challenged myself to reduce my sugar intake, not that I eat a lot of processed foods, but in an effort to switch added sugar to protein in my diet. I also challenged myself to nail my injury recovery and slowly ease myself back into running. I think I did fairly well for both of these challenges.

I failed one of the first rules of goal-setting and didn’t have measurable goals but I can safely say I made it to the starting line AND finishing line of the Calgary 10K race AND I saw a significant difference in the amount of protein I was choosing over carbohydrates each day in May.

As for reducing my sugar intake, I definitely didn’t decrease the amount of fruit I was eating. Hello, berry season is just beginning and the apples lately have been outta this world, so no, I didn’t decrease my fruit consumption. I did however stop making waffles for breakfast every damn day. I traded carboloaded waffles and maple syrup for eggs and tempeh for breakfast and it was a solid decision for my health, maybe not my happiness, but my summer denim shorts collection thanked me for it.

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The best part of May was definitely the last day. After working my butt off to get back into running after having to take 6 weeks off, it was such a personal accomplishment to own the 10K race and rock it. You can check out my race recap HERE, but here is a little bit about how I got there.

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I stopped running when I started feeling pain in my right foot. It slowly became localized and after some at-home tests like the hop-test (aka I couldn’t hop on my right foot) and the two day-test (two days of full rest solved nothing), I headed to my doctor who diagnosed me with a 4th metatarsal stress fracture. I took SIX full weeks off of running, but maintained my cycling, swimming, and strength training. This is the most common recovery time for stress fractures and in a effort not to run too soon and end up back at square one, I went with it.

By the end of six weeks, I knew I was physically ready to get back to running, though I didn’t feel mentally ready, which is probably the hardest part of injuries. A few reasons I knew I was ready:

  • I had a solid week of zero pain, zero stiffness, zero cracking/popping in my foot.
  • I was able to walk at a fast pace 60 minutes pain-free.
  • I passed the hop test.
  • All bruising and swelling had been clear for at least two weeks.

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If you know me in person or have been a long-time reader, you know I am kind of an all-or-nothing person. Both my family and I feared I would get too eager and jump back into running too soon or too fast and end up doing more harm than good. I set myself up with a 4-week return to running plan that I would follow no matter what, no increases, in order to get myself healthy for the end of the month. My final “return to running” run would be the 10K in Calgary which I intended to take 50-55 minutes to complete, the perfect finish to my plan.

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A few things that helped me get back into running:

  • Strength training, specifically, training for function and attempting to both strengthen and lengthen my muscles. (Think squats, calf raises, core exercises).
  • WARM UP. I walked at least 5 minutes before attempting each run. I also walked to cool down a bit and then…
  • STRETCH. The foam roller will be your frienemy.
  • If you are sore or don’t feel up to running even a scheduled 15-minute run, don’t. Why risk injuring yourself further if you don’t feel into it or are too tired. Try the next day or wait a couple of days and in the meantime go for a short walk or work on stretching and strengthening.
  • Ignore pace. Don’t look at your Garmin. I took the auto-lap off of my watch all month and just simple ran for time, not for mileage or pace. You won’t be as fast as you were before injury… don’t stress about it.
  • Run on softer surfaces. Unfortunately I don’t have trails super close to me, so I hit up the track for a softer surface!

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It seemed ridiculous to me at the beginning of the month that I wouldn’t run more than 5 miles for four weeks, but in the end I am glad I took it slowly. I don’t think I would have even been able to do the Calgary 10K had it not been for the gradual transition back into running. I am also thankful I was able to continue spinning, cycling, and swimming as cross training to keep me from going insane! 🙂 I’d say I did pretty good with my running rehab goal.

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As far as my focus in June, I am aiming to stretch and/or foam roll at least 10 minutes each day. So many of the aches and pains and tight muscles I have can be prevented with a little prehab. My dad tiger-tailed my calves the evening after the 10K and there were far too many knots in them. Whether it’s in the morning or before I go to bed, I am going to try my hardest to work stretching into my routine EVERY day.

Do you have a goal for June?

What are some of your favourite post-run or pre-run stretches?

Breakfast lately, what’s on your plate/bowl/mug/Pinteresty-glass-jar?

4 Comments

  1. You are so disciplined about your rehab and recovery! You set a very good example and as much as I’m sure it was frustrating, keeping up with other activities (like the cycling etc) helped keep you physically ready. You like cycling though…that part would suck for me but I could totally get on board with swimming.
    I have some tendonitis issues that I’m dealing with so I’m off weight training for now, but I plan to do some bodyweight exercises to keep my strength up as much as possible.

  2. I third Jen and Leana’s comments – you really did an awesome job rehabbing your foot!
    Right now I’m in my mandatory 2 week break before I get back into running (sllllooooowwwwwly) and training for my fall races. Forced breaks are so hard, but definitely necessary!

  3. Coming back from an injury can be so hard. We want to be exactly the same kind of runner we were before, running the same pace. You were so patient and it was clear that it paid off. I’m so proud of you! Best of luck with your June goals!

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