How do you talk about a running injury without sounding like an annoying narcissistic whiner? It’s impossible, just ask Mike. So I will sum up the current state of things by saying that the foot is still unhappy, I’m missing so much training that it seems impossible to salvage any semblance of fitness for Club Nationals (less than two weeks, but who’s counting?), and the stages of injury grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) are more like a soupy fog than orderly feelings that you can check off a list.
But that’s just depressing.
Let’s talk about CrossFit. Because that always goes hand-in-hand with running.
This is where I’ve been spending my early mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays since July. It started as a matter of necessity when my regular trainer went out of town for a few weeks. I knew I couldn’t keep up the strength training on my own (because I WILL.NOT.DO.IT.), and a trainer at Bainbridge CrossFit Outcome (Bethanee Randles… holla!) had some time to get me through those weeks. I really only intended it to be a short-lived stint, but a session or two convinced me to make the switch.
I’ve always had that runner’s skepticism about building muscles. When I look around a starting line, it’s always the tall, lanky people who intimidate me. They *look* like they must run a lot, and therefore must be fast. How can you run fast if you’re laden down with bulky muscles?
Take that misguided perception and add it to the rep for bulk that CrossFit seems to have, and you’ve got a place that definitely did not seem to be up my alley.
But having little other choice, I tried it. The first couple sessions were pathetic. I couldn’t do a real push-up, my burpees were abysmal, and I wasn’t sure that I could make it through the workout. And I HAD been working on strength. Clearly, there was a hole there that needed to be filled.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not delusional enough about my abilities to claim that what I do is ACTUALLY CrossFit. It’s more like CrossFit lite, but it’s probably more than your typical runner’s circuit.
But I am here to attest that it has helped this year. I think I’m moving better, and was able to navigate the muddy mess of the PNTF Champs course more easily than in the past. And now it’s my final fall-back position for this last race of the year. The speed and endurance have been on a steady decline since early November but I’ve been able to keep up the gym work. Hopefully the strength piece will compensate for the things that are lacking. It’s the only thing that’s keeping me from oozing into a sloppy puddle of doubt.
So ladies, lift those weights. Strength = confidence.