Somewhere toward the end of 2014 my body became weak. It’s hard to believe that considering I was putting in high mileage and racing half marathons one weekend after another, but it’s true. As careful I was to train correctly for my early fall races, once the winter ones rolled around, I became so focused on fitting in my training runs that I let go of my weekly kickboxing sessions, became too busy to keep up with strength training, and even let my daily push-up and squat regimen slide. I was having so much fun running that I didn’t notice the slow deterioration of muscle that can only be built through cross training and I paid for it dearly in late November. My left hip began hurting right before my last half of the year, but realizing that it was probably a bit of bursitis from so much recent mileage, I ignored it and pushed through the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half. It was a painfully brutal experience and I learned a lot about willpower as it was nearly my first DNF in my 18 years of running. Luckily my running buddy Bridget was by my side to talk me through, encourage, and help me get through the worst of it-which hit at mile 9 when my hip locked up and I stopped dead in my tracks wondering how the hell I would finish. The beat marched on, however, and I made it across the finish line in 2:03ish, but couldn’t even walk back to Marta without assistance from my awesome and faithful running buddy. What’s even worse is looking back at the pictures from the race and seeing how awful my running form was. I was hunched over (weak core), my knees turning in (weak hips), my feet pronating in (weak leg and ankle muscles), etc. It was a truly depressing moment for me. I closed the link of the photo mourning the strong girl I used to be and determined to get her back.
Enter January 2015. New year, new me – in attitude at least. I have a long way to go before I have the strength that I desire, but I’m willing to work hard for it. My current plan is cross training 4 days a week and running 2. Cross training is anything from Insanity to cardio kickboxing and running is limited (for now) to 3 miles or less. This plan will not only allow me to build back the muscle that has been waning, but will give my hip an active chance to rest/rehab. A typical week on this plan looks something like:
- Monday – Cardio Kickboxing
- Tuesday – Insanity Plyo
- Wednesday – 3 mile treadmill run (easy or intervals depending on how I’m feeling)
- Thursday – Insanity Power and Resistance
- Friday – Cardio Kickboxing
- Saturday – 3 mile trail run
- Sunday – Rest
Ideally I would like to stick as close to that schedule as possible (subbing cross training activities in and out), but sometimes things get in the way and I have 2 days of rest – which, let’s be honest here, can be a GOOD thing. I’m excited to throw in some new activities like Brazil Butt Lift (I just ordered it and can’t wait!!!) and spin. That’s the awesome thing about cross training – the possibilities are endless! I love trying new workouts, and I really enjoy feeling sore in new places. It’s going to be a great year for growth – literally!