Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thought Constipated

Since the Chicago Marathon, I've raced for fun a handful of times. Unfortunately I also managed to hurt my right Achilles and am now taking some time off of running. In addition to resting from running, I have been implementing the Alfredson Protocol: 3 x 15 eccentric heel drops twice per day (for 12 weeks). This protocol is very commonly recommended for runners with injury to the midpoint of the Achilles tendon. It's important to note that injury to the insertion point of the tendon should be handled differently. Google it and consult a professional if you have questions.

Anyway, here's a video that clearly illustrates eccentric heel drops:

Instead of running, I've been riding my commuter and road bikes. This has been somewhat of a rude awakening as I've been run commuting so much that I'm out of practice when it comes to dressing for colder rides and riding itself. The constant threat of traffic is much greater when riding in the street and is sort of grating compared to the relative serenity of the sidewalk.

On top of biking for "fun" and transportation, I've also been taking this time to develop some strength and conditioning routines to help make me more injury resistant and faster. I've never had a serious Achilles tendon injury and so I think this is more of a freak injury; the result of a couple of runs where I pushed my body too hard without a proper warm up. That said, pretty much every runner can benefit from additional injury-proofing. My existing routine before and after Chicago Marathon was very, very minimal: calf and quad rolling, the occasional MYRTL routine, and that was pretty much it. I'm still developing a plan around injury prevention, but I know a lot of it has to do with my hip and core strength. In addition, I fully realize to achieve my goals on the track and roads next spring and in Berlin next fall, I need to get stronger in general. So I'm also looking into protocols for this as well.

My upper body is a particular area of focus. I undervalue upper body strength and have done little to maintain or develop strength in this area. To this end, I am going to do a 30 day push up challenge I found via a quick Google search. I've always sort of looked down on these sorts of challenges. If I'm painfully honest with myself, I've looked down on these challenges at least in part because I felt threatened by them and the people that did them. I lack motivation/ability/confidence when it comes to my upper body.  This is obviously a really unhealthy, constipated way of thinking. My hope is to use this challenge to take steps towards strengthening my upper body, embracing challenges, and celebrating the diverse skills, dedication, and talents of people around me (which yes, maybe different from my own).

Here's my Google Sheets Push-Up tracker for accountability!

What are your tips for embracing challenges?

How about celebrating the skills, dedication, and talents of others?