All runs bright and beautiful, all major muscles sore.

All runs bright and beautiful,
All major muscles sore.
Tennis balls and foam rollers,
My lounge room has them all.
Nurofen and frozen peas,
I'm stretching on the floor.
Running shoes gathering dust,
Forlornly at the door.
My friends are running marathons,
and I can't run at all.
My shins ache, my arches burn,
No runner's high at all.

To the tune of 'All Things Bright And Beautiful'. I know, I missed my calling as a jingle writer.

You may recall I 'came out' of the running closet and confessed that I was training for a half marathon, with plans to go to the Sydney Blackmores Running Festival with Sarah.

My BRFAABF (Best Running Friend All Around Best Friend) Louise and I were running 3-4 times per week and all was noodling along nicely. I mean, my shins hurt but if I wore my calf sleeves it seemed manageable. My chiropractor, GP and Physio all muttered about resting and stretching and icing and I was doing most of those things. They also mentioned cutting down mileage, and perhaps not doing a half marathon.

Say what?

Mummy needs endorphins.

I mentioned to my chiro (also a trail long distance runner) that my shins hurt a lot, a lot of the time. As in, I couldn't rest on my shins on the floor and if anyone touched them I felt punchy and stabby. This is apparently indicative of a bigger problem than basic shin splints.

I've had biomechanical issues for quite a few years, lots of iTB problems and hiking injuries. Mostly I put it down to a lack of basic fitness and kept on rolling. I fell in and out of love with regular exercise for years, but this time something clicked. It became important for me to be fit and healthy to keep up with two loose cannons moving toddlers in my life. I realised one day how important it was to me when I jumped up off a chair and sprinted to the top of a park up a steep hill to rescue M from a gigantic slide. It was a great feeling to be able to BE THERE, pronto. I can also chase them endlessly despite it being endlessly boring and bounce up off the floor when needed. I'm active, damnit.

The Mother's Day Classic arrived and despite having been 'on rest' for a week I ran it anyway. At 4km I had a mini-meltdown because it was SO hard, and I've run further than that before. It was a horrible feeling. Louise fed me jellybeans, we put some music on my phone and powered through the last 4km. We clocked in at 1:02 and I promptly came home after lunch and iced, rested, snoozed and took lots of ibuprofen.

My name is Amy and I have shin splints, plantar fasciitis, tight calves, tight iTB and in the words of my (female) chiro, a nasty ass. Read: tight glutes that don't 'fire' properly. I prefer nasty ass.

As of last week I had a good conversation with my chiro and made a decision about my running health.

There will be no half marathon this year, or next year. There will be no running until I can walk 16km per week with no shin pain.

I bought The Five Minute Shin Splint Cure which sounds like a total crock but has diagrams of how to foam roll your shins and legs properly, which was very useful. I also bought Tennis Ball Self Massage which was really quite amazing for me. My chiro looked at me like I was an idiot, but I truly didn't know anything about trigger points for major muscle groups, so for a few dollars these two Kindle books were eye opening for me.

At present my routine goes:

  1. Foam roll shins (front, right, left)
  2. Foam roll calves
  3. Foam roll hamstrings
  4. Foam roll iTB 
  5. Tennis ball anterior shin
  6. Tennis ball interior shin
  7. Tennis ball quads (helps with my knee pain)
  8. Tennis ball arches
  9. Tennis ball calves
  10. Tennis ball any other tight spots
  11. Stretch calves
  12. Stretch hip flexor
  13. Stretch glutes
It's so boring that I watch trashy television or text with Sarah whilst I'm doing it. It seems to be helping.

Once I can walk 16km without pain I'll begin with the Galloway run/walk/run program for tiny amounts, increasing my mileage slowly and steadily.

I'll work up to a 5km run, then a 7km run, then a 10km run. I'll continue that for 12 months so I have a solid running base together, then I'll think about other races. 

I've currently got a pair of these Asics GT-20002 running shoes, and I bought them when my knees were bad. They've got perhaps 100km of running on them, so I'm not looking to replace them any time soon. I know that replacing shoes is usually the first step in dealing with shin splints, but I really want to try everything else before laying down another $200 on shoes.

So there you have it. That's my plan at the moment.

Are you injured? How are you rehabilitating yourself?

100 Days of Happiness - Run, Girl, Run.

In 167 Days I will hopefully be lining up at a start line in Sydney, with Sarah and HB close by. At least, until the starting gun goes off and HB will be off running 4 minute kilometres, with Sarah not far behind.

A month or so ago Sarah sent me a message and said 'I'm doing the Sydney Blackmores Marathon'.
I said 'Wow! Awesome!'
She said 'You should do it with me.'
I said 'uhhhhhhhh what?'

Sarah listening to all of my excuses, declared them null and void and advised me to harden up. Actually, because she is delightful, she did nothing of the short. She listened to my excuses, said encouraging exciting things and left me to it. So I talked to Mr S about it and I didn't let the fact that I've been running for less than 6 months intimidate me (too much) and I said yes.

Terrifying.

I am somewhat genetically predisposed to running. As in, I've got gigantic long legs that like to run fast. Now they aren't particularly speedy but they like a good run. Since I've been exercising regularly my hips don't hurt anymore. I know, right?

I downgraded my initial enthusiasm to a half marathon after reading lots of training manuals and books, which advised to be running for longer than a year before committing to a full marathon.

My BRF and I began to up our training, and pretty soon we were running 2km non stop. Then we did the MONA GASP run, which was 4km, non stop.

This week I cheated on my BRF, abandoned my family on Saturday morning and went for a solo run. It's rare that I run in either daylight or solo, so it was such a treat. I aimed for 5km, and after flagging a touch at 3.5km, I looped back to the car, ate some jellybeans, drank some water, found a toilet and kept going. I packed it in at 6.6km - my furthest distance ever!

My recovery has been awesome this time. Usually I'm suffering with shin splints that ache as much as newly engorged breastfeeding boobs (sorry boys, but it's true) and various joints complain. This time? Nada.

There was something funny on my leg the other day when I was getting dressed. I was concerned for a few seconds, and then I realised it was a quad muscle. Oh! An actual muscle! I have great Lady Guns from tending to my veggie garden and lifting two toddlers, and I've had Runner's Calves for a while, but Actual Leg Muscles are very exciting.

Mr S is endlessly patient listening to me waffle on about my Personal Best times and Heart Rate Zones, with a good serve of 'OMG MUSCLES'.

I have not lost significant weight in numbers, but my clothes are fitting nicely these days. My BRF is actively trying to gain weight after our exercise has seen her lose weight! She also looks amazing.

So my 100 Days Of Happiness can begin here. Running makes me so happy. Sewing makes me happy. My little daughters make me happy. My Mr S makes me happy. I love this song - it makes me happy.

Happy!


Again, the point form update.

Source: Facebook. I'd love to know where it's originally from, can you help?
Is this perhaps the post where you're not entirely sure that you've got much to say... but here's a template so let's give it a crack?


Making : Five pairs of trousers for DMM, who has shot up 2cm in the past four weeks.
Cooking : Jelly, Peppa Pig birthday cake, caramel slice.

The two semesters of cake decorating classes I took
were freakin' invaluable in a case like this.

Drinking : water, decaf tea, real tea, coffee.
Reading: I've just finished Rich Rolls' Finding Ultra and I love his passion for life and exercise challenges. He lost me at the end with his advice to mix up a green smoothie in the morning and sip at it over the course of the day so as to not eat food that will not best serve your athletic goals. Or eat a baked potato instead. I like real food.
Wanting: the girls to stop talking to each other and go to sleep. They've been sharing a room for four days and it's gone relatively smoothly... relatively.
Looking: outside at the misty hills and the rain.
Playing: Spotify. How did I completely miss out on Spotify until now? HOW?
Wasting: Time. Still toddler food.
Sewing: Trousers for DMM, a birthday dress for DMM, and three t-shirts for myself. I've just bought a stretch twin needle so I imagine that will make it easier.
Wishing: that my non-training days had as much energy as my training days.
Enjoying: watching documentaries about ultrarunning and trail running.
Waiting: for the girls to go to sleep...
Liking: the look of the couch right now...
Wondering: decaf tea or should I chance a Big Girl tea due to sewing night tonight?
Loving: Mr S' eyes. I never tire of looking into them.
Hoping:
That my tomatoes ripen.
A tiny amount of the tomatoes from my garden. I've got 23 plants out there, people.

Marvelling: At myself - at the beginning of the year I couldn't run 50 metres without huffing and puffing, and now Louise & I run 5km in a hit.
Louise and I all loved up after our first fun run.
Needing: Sleeeeeep.
Smelling: Wood fire burning and my new laundry liquid.
Wearing: My wedding rings, which are too big now.
Following: The new awesome FB running group.
Noticing: My posture.
Knowing: That chocolate does not cure all, but I still like to give it a red hot crack.
Thinking: Teeeaaaaaa.
Feeling: Grateful for marvellous neighbours.
Bookmarking: Clothing patterns.
Opening: my mind to setting long term exercise goals. A first for me!
Giggling: at Millie climbing on my lap to whisper 'secrets' into my ears... which are simply silent movements of her mouth and then right at the end she whispers 'I really love you. I love you. I love you Mummy.'
Feeling: Happy, exhausted and content.


Want to play along? I stole this one from Foxs Lane. Such beautiful pictures and stories.