Last week I somewhat “graduated” from the chiropractor. Though I’m not completely done, I no longer need the spinal decompression table and visits have decreased significantly from 3x a week to 1x a week with the plan to decrease even further to 1x every 3-4 weeks after a few more adjustments. Slowly the work of keeping up is being taken from him and the responsibility is placed on me to follow the plan of stretches, exercises and incorporating more cross training.
12 weeks post injury and my longest run to date is still only a little over 5 miles. After my broken toe I was back to running 9+ miles 6-8 weeks later. I’m finding myself to be both frustrated at how slow recovery feels (knowing I’ll be lucky to run one or two half marathons this year let alone the 6 I’d hoped for) and hesitant to push too hard for fear of re-injury. A broken toe is a bit harder to re- break (unless I find myself face to face with another fever and late night bathroom trip blocked by a bouncy seat) than a joint is to…displace? re-displace? Whatever.
One of the biggest mistakes I made (though at the time I didn’t realize it) post partum was jumping back into running without consistently working areas like my abs, hips, and glutes. I still have diastasis rectii (split abs) and am not sure if that is something that will ever fully go back to normal. I assumed I’d be able to make a comeback without needing to worry about anything but how many miles I’m logging and at what speed I could run my fastest 5k. I can’t say that I would have avoided the injury altogether – both the chiropractor and I “blame” the weight and effects of a twin pregnancy on my hips and generally small frame.
I’ve reintroduced yoga once a week in attempt to increase my strength and flexibility overall. I’m supposed to stretch my pyriformis after runs and other times throughout the day. I’ve “cut” running from a consistent 5 days per week with occasional cross train to a consistent 3-4 days per week with 1-2 days of cross training (bike, yoga, rollerblading). I’ve been given a set of exercises to help strengthen the left side of my back in order for things to stay as even as possible, for lack of a better word.
I, and other runners too I think, have a hard time thinking outside the running box. Workouts are centered around going for runs, calculating miles and keeping track of pace. It has been a difficult habit for me to break out of and one that I honestly still need to work on. I have been good about incorporating cross training, but sometimes I have to mentally force myself to pull out my yoga mat and not plop the babies in the jogging stroller. I’m consistent about stretching after runs, but not as much at other times. I’m still only intermittently working my abs and if I’m completely honest I can count the number of times I’ve done the shoulder/back exercises on one hand. I can blame lack of time, I can blame the babies, I can blame exhaustion, but really all I am doing is making up excuses. Excuses that will only hurt me in the end. I’m hoping that by putting this out there will begin to hold myself more accountable.
I am no good injured, I need to remember that my body is not the same as it was before the twins and I need to remind myself that in order to stay injury free in the future, I need to be consistent about strengthening other areas.
I’m on the mend, but I could still use a little work.