Eager beaver gym bunny

I woke up to a rainy day on Saturday but decided, well, it’s the New Year so no more excuses, if I couldn’t run out on the road, I’d head to gym instead.

I checked out the Planet Fitness schedule and spotted a Power Box class at 7:30am. Perfect timing! I’m out the house in good time, braced the flooded roads and arrived at the class 10 minutes ahead of time. I was feeling good! I was “pumped” and ready to go! *gym talk*

The class started with a bang and we were “round housing” and doing level 3 punches within the first 15 minutes of the class. Yikes! None of the warm up I was anticipating. With every leg kick I thought, this feels hectic, but I’m okay. I convinced myself that this was brilliant for leg strengthening which I need! My bum burned! My arms ached. I loved it!

After 60 minutes, I left the gym with a beautiful red face, my clothes drenched in sweat, heart racing and feeling fantastic…

But 24 hours later, I woke up this morning in pain! I could hardly move! My arms were limp, my legs were stiff and ached as I walked down the stairs to make coffee. Damnit! I could hardly move. 

I was stiff! But really stiff! Eina stiff! WTH? I do track and some running in the week. Was I really this unfit? A hot, arnica oil bath was absolute bliss to soothe my aching muscles.

As I lay in the silky water, I was smiling. Maybe I had been too keen. I suppose I had overdone it, acted a tad too eager? Everybody knows to take it easy when you head back to gym after a long break. On the opposite end, what a fantastic workout to strengthen my legs and core? Most definitely beneficial to my running. 

I was more impressed that I had actually gone to gym, on a Saturday morning, in the pouring rain! Ironically there’s something about that stiffness and muscle ache that is addictive. It makes your body feel alive! Makes you feel like you’ve pushed yourself over a cliff (in a happy way). I also know that the more I do it, the less pain I’ll be in, the stronger I’ll be.

Silly me! We’ve all been there, right? By the way, I’m gonna try out the hot yoga next week! Watch this space.

Forced to sit this one out

New Year’s resolutions look differently when you’ve had the rough December I’ve had…

On the 17th December, I lay in a hospital bed with a drip in my hand in the Sandton Medical emergency room feeling absolutely miserable. Just a week away from celebrating Christmas, I realised that the last three months have been the worst I have ever felt battling a disease I have tried desperately to hide from majority of those around me. Managing the actual disease has been fine but the extra-intestinal manifestations of Ulcerative Colitis have really taken its toll.

Excruciating arthritis attacks on the joints of my hands and shoulders; painful eye infections due to the arthritis which caused my whole cheek to seize up; a revolting rash (and another late night hospital visit) which turned out to be Urticaria; constant mouth ulcers and now something new… Crippling pain in the right hand side of my abdomen shooting up into my shoulder.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time reflecting on my health during December. Being an utter control freak it’s difficult accepting that there is absolutely nothing I can do to control an auto-immune disease which at the moment seems to be attacking me on all fronts. Ironically, the worst part is that I’ve not been able to run.

I had planned to do so much running while I was on leave during this time, especially training for the Dischem half marathon which would kick-off my 2014 running year. But with the pain and no energy, all I managed was a 5km run at the gym.

sleep dog

My blog has always been focused on my running speed. My slow pace and my insecurities about my running. But sitting on that hospital bed, all I wished for was that I was healthy and able to put on my running shoes and head out for a run. I thought, who the hell cares how slow I run. I don’t even give a damn if those walkers come past me. I just want to be healthy and fit enough to run.

Running means I’m strong. Running means I am healthy. Running means I am able to conquer my fears. Running means I am in control of my body. I’m sure I’ll be fit soon but for now, my New Year’s resolution wish is for a healthy body.

If the (running) shoe fits…

If you follow my blog / tweets / moans in the office, you will know that I have been struggling with pains in my left foot for a while now. Podiatrists and biokinetists have diagnosed a combo of plantar fasciitis as well as morton’s neuroma.

Two different treatments have been recommended. The podiatrist made me orthotics for my running shoe and sent me on my way. The biokinetist has been giving me exercises to strengthen my feet and has shown me different massage techniques to do. She also recommended a change in running shoe style and size.

I’ve been reluctant to say anything ‘until it worked’, being the sceptic that I am. But so far… so good. I switched from the Asics 1170’s to Asics Gel Nimbus, which is more of a neutral shoe. The other major change is that I went from wearing a size 6 to wearing a 7 1/2! I know! I feel like I have giant feet but Craig at Dunkeld Sweatshop (this dude is good!) ensures me that this size is right for my feet.

So? Is it working?

I ran the 15km Colgate race in May as well as the RAC 10km two weeks ago. During both races, my foot ached like hell, especially the section where the neuroma sits. But the plantar fasciitis is 90% gone. (As my biokinetist put it, it will take time for the heel to heal.)

I walk around at work some days and actually find myself wondering where the heel pain is. But it’s gone. It feels wonderful!

I’ve got a long way to go with the www.lynosport.co.za treatments but I can definitely feel that my feet are getting stronger. I just need to be good and carry on doing my exercises.

Now just to tackle that neuroma…