It’s been 21 days since I tore a muscle in my calf during the Boston Marathon (which I will now refer to as “the incident”). I can’t remember the last time I took 21 days off from running – if that’s ever happened.
I’ve been going to physio twice a week and receiving lots of treatment. Since I’m still allowed to cycle, I went back to the gym for the first time in oh, about five months. Nothing like an injury to get yourself back at it. I’ve been to the gym more in the last three weeks then in all of 2014. As much as I miss running, I’ve actually enjoyed my time there more than I thought I would. I’ve challenged myself with spinning classes.
Leading up to Boston when I was running all the time, my boyfriend asked if we could start cycling more in the off season because he wants me to be able to walk beside him when we’re 70. Although I wasn’t necessarily thrilled with his impression that running must be bad for you in the long run (pun intended), I thought it was sweet and I agreed. I’ve always found cycling challenging, but as competitive as I am, I want to become better at it. No I will never become a triathlete, but I love a good challenge.
My physio homework last week was to try some “light jogging”. So one morning when I was meeting my big sister at the gym, I decided I would run there. It’s about 1km from my apartment so I ran without pain except for how painfully slow I went. I was being cautious. After our sister gym session I ran home and started to feel a dull pain in my calf (but not in the spot I tore it). My physio said that’s to be expected since I haven’t been using it and not to worry as long as it didn’t linger. In my mind I had expected to be 100% healed so I was pretty bummed when I felt that pain. It had been 17 days at that point! Come on calf.
However yesterday I had a slow but successful 5km run! I stopped a few times to stretch my calf because it felt tight, but I didn’t have any pain. To say I felt euphoric is an understatement. I am so happy. I am having another ultrasound done on Friday to give me peace of mind that the tear is gone before I get too crazy though. Slow and stead wins the race.
This injury has given me a lot to think about. I will (hopefully) have tons of races in my future. Not all of them are going to be my best and I need to become OK with that. I am sure I will have another race that I won’t be able to finish (although I really hope not). This is just one chapter in my running book that hopefully I’ll look back at in the future and see it as a stepping stone. I’m not referring to it as a setback because I plan on coming back from this stronger than before.
Do I wish I didn’t have to have this learning experience with 8kms left in the Boston Marathon? Of course. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
In more exciting news, my boyfriend and my best friend ran a marathon last weekend! It was my boyfriend’s first marathon! No, I didn’t pressure him into running one. It had been on his bucket list for a while but he was injured the last two years so wasn’t able to train. But not this year! I am so unbelievably proud of him.
It’s one thing to train for a marathon in the worst winter on record when you’re a running addict. Even if I wasn’t training for a spring marathon, I would have still ran in the -20 degree weather. Andrew likes running but I wouldn’t say he gets ‘irritable’ if he can’t run – like me. He’s a basketball and golf addict. If outdoor golf courses and basketball courts were open in the winter, he would have played all winter long and he actually did play indoor basketball three days a week on top of his marathon training. To train for something you’re not incredibly passionate about in a ridiculously harsh winter – that’s remarkable.
I haven’t asked him if he plans on doing another one, but I secretly (or not so secretly via this blog) hope we can do one together.
And Jen freaking Raven ran her second marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon a second time! She is a force to be reckoned with. Her coach gives her weekly workouts but she does them all on her own! Intervals! Tempo! Solo! Talk about Superwoman. Not too many people can say they qualified for the Boston Marathon on their first try. That is truly incredible.
Back to food.
I recently bought Martha Stewart’s new cookbook called Clean Slate from a colleague who accidentally bought two copies (long story). I recommend it for those looking to “reset your health, detox your body and feel your best”. I made the granola last weekend and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to store bought granola. It was significantly cheaper and my mind is already racing on all the different variations I am going to make with it.
1 cup rolled barley flakes (I couldn’t find these so used rye flakes instead)
1 cup rolled spelt flakes
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup sliced almonds
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Toss to combine all ingredients in a bowl, then spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring halfway through, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.
Nutritional Information per Serving: 193 calories, 7g total fat (0g sat. fat), 0mg cholesterol, 29g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 4g fiber