stress fracture

Where I am now

… Like I said, blogging continues to appeal to me as long as I don’t set a specific schedule in my mind of what it should look like—as evidenced by the fact that I disappeared for a week! (Work was crazy.)

Recently, I shared my New Year Challenge progress, which I was really satisfied with. Now I want to show you where I stand today and what my current program looks like.2013 fitness progress

Left: February 2013  Middle: March 2013   Right: April 2013

Three months of progress and feeling like I’m in the best shape of my life, hands down!

Exercise

When the challenge first ended, my main focus was getting back into running shape. I haven’t done much running at all this winter, but, with warm weather ever-so-slowly teasing its way back around, I was eager to start logging miles again.

It felt great to run my little heart out for the first time in months—maybe too great! My body wasn’t happy with the number of miles I was logging and I started feeling a nagging, stress reaction pain in my left foot about a week ago. Trying to heal a full-blown stress fracture is a pain in the ass. I opted to stop all high-impact activity for a few weeks to see if I can ease back into running (building mileage gradually) without angering my body.

But, unlike usual, I haven’t let this “injury” stop me. I stormed GPP workouts four times this week and taught spinning one day. Sometimes I had to modify workouts (rowing instead of running), but I still got my business done. The best thing about GPP is the fact that I don’t have to do the same thing every day or every week. That is what had always turned me off from sticking with strength training in the past. Doing the same thing over and over… boring! GPP is never boring and even though I do the workouts on my own and off-site, I feel connected and challenged by the GPP Community.

I did GPP workouts throughout the New Year Challenge 2-3x/week. When I am able to return to running I will drop back down to 3 GPP a week. Until that time I plan to storm GPP workouts 5 days a week and practice yoga once a week.

I love GPP and running. Finding the right balance of the two is not easy for me because, if I could, I would do both everyday. GPP makes me feel strong, capable, and badass. Running keeps me sane and adds life to my life. So yes, I will return to running. But I will continue to GPP as well.

Eating

I began tracking my food/calories for the first time in a while during the challenge. Since the challenge ended three weeks ago I have continued to track my food. I use the My Fitness Pal app (add me: Mariatrains) to track. It is easy for me because I eat a lot of the same foods each day/week, making tracking a breeze.

I believe I will continue to track to keep myself on plan. It doesn’t really add more work to my day or hinder me in any way, so I don’t see the need to stop when I am doing so well because of it. I haven’t found myself slipping into any restrictive eating habits and typically consume anywhere from 1700-2200 calories (depending on the day’s activity).

I’ve been experimenting with having a weekly “cheat” meal each week, which I like. I typically eat 85% clean during the week just because the foods I enjoy most are already “clean.” However, for my cheat meal I allow myself to have whatever I want, track it, and move on. This week I had a big burger, fries, and milkshake from Steak ‘N’ Shake. It was delicious.

Basically, I just want to continue to see more progress—safely return to running, storm GPP workouts and build muscle, and lower my body fat percent… all while enjoying life.

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Another Stress Fracture!?!

So, the post I’ve been alluding to for a week now…

I have a stress fracture in my left foot. At least, I think I have a stress fracture in my left foot—I haven’t gone to have a X-ray because those are expensive and it might not even show up unless it’s really starting to heal. But that familiar, nagging, burning pain is ever present these days after vigorous, high-impact activity.

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[[A little backstory—I’ve had one previous stress fracture (in my right foot) from running. It was brought on my increasing my mileage too fast. I did get that one checked out and was told to rest for 8 weeks. About 10 weeks later I was back to running.]]

I’m sidelined with a stress fracture for the next 6-8 weeks—6 if I caught it early enough—so, now what? Do I take it easy for the next month and a half and just be extra careful with my diet? NO! There are so many exercises out there that are already low-impact or can be modified to work as low-impact. Also, I can still walk, swim, bike, and do cardio machines and DVDs.

Getting to the gym isn’t very convenient for me right now. I’m committing to home work outs that keep my heart and metabolism pumpin’ but let my foot heal. I posted one of those earlier in the week: low-impact circuit. Every Monday I’ll to share a workout I’ve come up with for Monday Movement, so keep your eyes open for those. For the time being, they will be low-impact, but after my foot heals I will kick them up a notch to include more explosive and high-impact moves.

And yes, after healing, my foot will be back to running. I love it, even when my body doesn’t cooperate. However, the Detroit Free Press Marathon I’m registered for on October 21 isn’t looking too promising. There’s just no way I can let my body heal AND get my mileage up high enough to begin marathon training in mid-June. Another year, I hope.