I'm really trying to embrace my motto every day- "No more excuses" but sometimes...it's not about excuses so much as just recognizing when I need a break.
As most of you know, I had a bad bout with tennis and golf elbow earlier in the year that really affected my weight loss. Heck, it affected my entire life. It was painful to open doors, go grocery shopping, lift pretty much anything... Not to mention my workouts were curtailed to an extreme amount because I not only had elbow pain but also a lot of neck and shoulder pain that made most high intensity exercise painful for solid 3 months. Imagine neck pain so bad that simply wearing a high impact sports bra felt like an elephant was sitting on the back of my neck. Yeah, not pleasant at all...
So about 3 weeks ago it flared up again beyond just soreness but started to really hurt again in a different way, but still painful. So I started up the routine again- icing, ibuprofen, and extended stretching. Thank goodness it's not nearly as bad as before and I've been able to continue working my legs and running.
I went to my doctor to get it checked out and he was worried about me having developed rheumatoid arthritis. After panicking during the walk over to the hospital, I had x-rays taken of my elbow- thank GOD no bone spurs or other evidence of arthritis. Luckily my doctor called with results within 24 hours- I'm so happy with this new practice I've been going to. I was seriously scared- that is not something I want to be dealing with, especially at 26. So I just started taking a joint supplement. I figure I beat my body on too regular a basis to not help it out a little.
To make my pity party that much worse I woke up Thursday morning (while in Pittsburgh) with the worst calf tightness I've ever had. It started as what I thought was just charlie horses but even after stretching the tightness only mildly calmed down. It basically felt like my calf muscles were rocks and just wouldn't relax. I skipped my pre-race run I had planned and stretched off and on all day that day and Friday....to basically no improvement. Emily suggested using a foam roller and Jen suggested heat- so I tried both when I got home Friday afternoon.
What an innocent blue foam pad this looks like- I never knew it could be used as a torture device! Thank goodness to youtube in it's all knowing power for showing me how to use it on my calves. After cringing and bitching my way through 30 minutes with this thing I wanted to throw it through the window and chop off my right leg.....but when I stood up, I realized it did help. It allowed me to find where the main tightness was and through some isolated massage my calves finally have calmed down. After limping for 2 days, I finally felt like I was returning to normal again.
But the end result- I totally bailed on the 5k Jingle Bell walk/run on Saturday. I could have gone and walked and hobbled my way through it but when I woke up and stretched my legs were still hating me. So after walking outside and realizing it was -20 deg I went immediately back to bed and slept another 2 hours.
And you know what? It felt bloody fantastic. I NEVER sleep in. But I came to terms with my body telling me to CHILL OUT and I did just that. It was glorious to be lazy for just one morning. I did drag my lazy butt out of bed about 10am and then stumbled over to the gym an hour later to foam roll, stretch, and sit in the sauna to heat my muscles some more. I did like 100 cruches so I didn't feel like I was wasting away and then walked back home- and could walk without limping! yay!
So today I did a simple fast walk on the treadmill for half an hour, stretched and enjoyed the sauna some more. Tomorrow is back to my normal routine (hopefully no pain!) with a killer workout with Emily. I just hope that this rest is what my body needed and it's ready to get beat again!