I should have set a higher view goal than 1 by the end of April: 25 in 12 hours! Thanks guys! I feel like such a true, mediocre novice blogger now.
As promised on my home page, this one’s going to be about cross training. Cross training itself is viewed very differently by lots of athletes; some absolutely hate it, some people grew up in the pool or on a bike and love the break from running miles, and some people might view it as punishment for getting injured rather than an important and helpful supplement to their every day training. Unfortunately, I used to fall into the category of people who found cross training to be the newest form of cruel and unusual punishment, the price you paid for not being able to “handle” high mileage or intense workouts without getting injured.
In the last few months of my college career, cross training and supplemental training to running has become very different for me. While running a relatively moderate 50-60 miles a week, I was given anywhere from 60-180 minutes of biking, swimming, or whatever cross training was “coach approved” in addition to the mileage. Some weeks my longer Wednesday mileage was to be completed on the Alter G treadmill at 75-80% body weight, with maybe a bike session later in the day. When I first read this in my weekly log, my brain threw a red flag: why did I have to go on the Alter G? Why does he think I can’t handle the mileage? Why do I need to bike so much when I’m not injured? All of the questions and doubt were so far misplaced, but it took a few weeks of me questioning my training and doubting my own abilities before I was told point-blank: “I know you can handle it. How do you think Galen Rupp stays so healthy? He runs 120 mile weeks, and 20 of those miles are on the Alter G. It’s not about how tough you are, it’s about how smart you train.”
So there I had it. I strapped on those awkward neoprene shorts and watched New Girl on my iPhone while dutifully bobbing around on the Alter G, hopped in on spin classes and was the only who stayed seated when the instructor screamed “OKAY EVERYBODY THREE TWO ONE UP!”, and ran the best I had in years. Through current injury, my mentality needs to stay the same.
Stress fractures in the pelvic region are difficult; it’s a difficult game of needing to walk to class but don’t walk too fast but keep your hips open and activated but don’t use your legs in the pool, etc., etc. The first few weeks of this injury saw almost no activity outside of limping around and laying down to put pants on. As I was given more green lights due to less reported pain, I started going on walks, hikes, pool trips, and yoga journeys. Luckily for me, the house I share with three teammates had adopted some old Rodney Yee yoga DVDs from a previous tenant: hence, free core and total body yoga that has me sweating and swearing as I “gently move into half moon pose”. By the end of the hour, I’m dripping, winded, and falling asleep in corpse pose, but I’m maintaining some muscle tone and working on flexibility. My podcast career began when I started committing to an hour of walking a day (I shoot for about 4 miles because I’m hardwired to check my damn watch), and rather than continuing to listen to DAMN. every time I go for a walk, I try to keep up with the latest political happenings (https://getcrookedmedia.com/here-have-a-podcast-78ee56b5a323), learn about “Stuff You Should Know” (http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com), and focus on correctly my anterior pelvic tilt and getting my heart rate up. As for the pool, I hate the pool. I grew up on a lake, chlorine makes me sick and headachy, and I’m not a lap swimmer–“nevertheless, she persisted.” With the encouragement of one of my best Flagstaff friends, Rachel Schneider, I’m in the pool around 4 times a week, aqua jogging with a belt in hopes of maintaining muscle memory and non-impact movement with minimal resistance, and the complimentary coffee date upon completion.
Speaking of which, Rachel and I are sitting at the windows facing San Fransisco St in Tourist Home Urban Market. Today’s caffeine consumption included a caramel latte, iced triple americano, and a drip coffee in my favorite sticker-covered Hydroflask. Snacks included a rosé macaroon with gold sprinkles: it was phenomenal.
To recap, cross training isn’t all bad, and in the reality of injury, I’ve found a new appreciation for the things I actually am allowed to do while not being allowed to do most things. Friends who unfailingly get coffee with you after are also helpful.
Treat yourself to more macaroons. ‘Til next time xx