To say that this summer didn't turn out as planned would be an
understatement. But, really- all's well that ends well- right?! I feel like I
can't complain. No entitlement here. Please see my last blog if you have no
idea what I'm talking about.
I raced only once this summer. I competed for the first time in one of the
Terramungus Sprint Triathlons. These triathlons are run weekly throughout the
summer in Marlborough, CT. I planned on competing in a number of sprint
triathlons, The Mossman Triathlon (Bridgeport, CT, Olympic distance), and I had
also planned on two 70.3 Ironman Triathlons- Syracuse and New Hampshire. My
training and racing was put aside to care for my husband.
At the end of the summer my piriformis muscle began giving me problems and it
was irritating my sciatic nerve. This is called piriformis syndrome. Brief
anatomy lesson.... The piriformis is a muscle that travels behind the hip joint.
and it works to externally rotate (turn out) the hip joint. The sciatic nerve
and the piriformis tendon cross each other behind the hip joint, in the deep
buttock. When the piriformis muscle and the piriformis tendon are too tight, the
sciatic nerve is irritated. It really made my lower back, and hips very very
I had been ignoring this pain and running through it. Until one day, while on
the trails I noticed I was running funny. My form was really messed up as I was
trying to compensate for the pain in my back and hips. This only made things
worse and I had to slow down. I took a week off. This was killer! I engaged
only in yoga and walking. And the following week I stepped my routine up just a
little bit of running, more yoga, and swimming. I feel better physically, but
emotionally I turn into a spaz when I can't run or ride.
My yoga routines have been very specific to my injury and it has made a big
difference. However, the missing piece in strength training. It is not a big
deal to me to go out and run double digit miles, bike in excess of 50 miles, or
swim over a mile. If it sounds like I'm bragging I'm not, I promise because I
cannot engage in the kind of exercise without the strength and flexibility to
back it up. Sometimes what you CAN do and and what you SHOULD do are much
different. The flexibility piece is easy for me to work with because I love
yoga. I teach and I practice regularly. I have been trained to teach yoga for
athletes, power yoga, and yin yoga. It has made a huge difference in my
endurance training. Strength training though.... YUCK. I suck at it. I am
tall and skinny and I have to work for every bit of strength I have. I don't
want to go to a gym. I don't want to do this... insert temper tantrum here!
I'm going back to square one, and starting over. I am building a base. This
base will have strength as a large part of it, and I know that the strength
combined with yoga specific for athletes will allow me to be strong enough for
my running, cycling and swimming.
I am committed to doing things differently. I will let you know how the
whole strength thing works out. I am not enthusiastic about it, but I'm
committed. Sometimes you have to just suck it up. It is what I have to do today
to race effectively in 2012.
Enjoy the weekend!