Life · Running

2 races, an injury, blogging break & academic burnout

It has been over a month since my blog turned 3 and I wrote any new posts. I enjoy blogging and writing but the last month has been hectic and blogging and writing has become a source of stress rather than a source of enjoyment.

There are 2 races and an injury that I didn’t write about. I really don’t enjoy running when I’m in pain, nor do I promote running in pain so there wasn’t a lot to say. I’ve had a groin injury the last two months that occurred during a race I ran on August 5th. This was a downhill 5 mile race called The Cheaten’ Woodchuck Chase. Prior to running this race I hadn’t been running a lot but I felt really strong from doing a few solid runs leading up to the race. I signed up for the race at the last minute and I figured I could use it as a baseline for where my fitness was. Since I decided not to seriously train for anything until I was done grad school I wasn’t overly concerned with the outcome of the race. Although I’m not training to run PRs, I do want to maintain my fitness and be able to consistently run decent times in local races. Plus, I love running and competing is growing on me more and more as I get older.

Anyway, I could feel this race taking a toll on my body from the start because it was all downhill and the impact of my feet hitting the ground was much more forceful than any other race I’d ever run. I’m sure there is a law of physics that explains this in more detail, but even without a physics lesson I knew this race was going to hurt. About half way through the race I encountered a cattle guard with a board laying across it so everyone in the race could cross with ease. As I was stepping off the board someone else was stepping on the board. This reminded me of when two kids who are drastically different in size play on a see-saw. The other person was bigger than me and the board forcefully bounced upward before my left leg was off of it. A sharp pain immediately went radiating up my leg into my groin. I kept running because I was halfway done the race and thought this was only temporary. It wasn’t.

I finished the race as the 2nd woman and ran the 5 miles in 32:33. I was happy with how I ran, I just wasn’t happy mg leg hurt. img_0180

The next day it was sore and I ran because sometimes running helps loosen things up and reduce the soreness. That did not happen. My leg and groin just started hurting more. After that I took several days off and felt better, but it hurt after the next run I did. The remainder of August was frustrating. When I didn’t run I felt fine so I’d run and after I ran 2-3 miles at an easy pace I’d be sore. After a few more days off I’d feel fine. Too much running caused pain and it wasn’t worth it. In August I only ran on days I was 100% pain free and only if I had an obligation to run. If my groin/leg started hurting I stopped running. This was frustrating but I’ve learned the hard way how detrimental it can be to run through injury and sickness. Often we do not realize that serious injury can be avoided if we listen to our body’s warning signs so when the pain started I stopped and iced and rested. As I said, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way too many times and I wasn’t about to run through this pain and make it worse. I decided that I would rather be seriously training in January when I am done graduate school than running painful miles in August and September that would inevitably cause more harm than good. This injury was tricky though because it would appear to be gone and then the pain would come back.

In early September I had a few days in a row where I felt no pain and when I tried to run I had NO PAIN. There was a trail race, Pyros Medaris Madness 5k, the following weekend so I signed up for the race to show support to the local running community and the scholarship fund the race was raising money for. I had NO PAIN when I signed up for this and I had NO PAIN for days leading up to this race even when I ran a few miles.

IMG_0385.JPG

I had no intention of ‘racing’ this race and I just went out and ran up and down the mountain. I probably would have continued to be pain free if I hadn’t done this race. The downhills of this race irritated my groin again and I quickly realized that when the pain subsided again I needed to avoid downhills. I can’t tell you what my time was because I wasn’t paying attention. I know it wasn’t anything noteworthy. Again, I was the 2nd woman overall and I finished in pain. Unfortunately, I was back to taking a running break. A few days later I had no pain and did an easy run. I was fine so I ran again the next day and again I had NO PAIN. I avoided running up or down mountains or on rough terrain for the next few runs and continued being fine. Toward the very end of September I began easing myself back into consistent running and I am happy to report that I have NO PAIN!

Aside from the running struggles the last 2 months I have been avidly trying to graduate and finish my thesis and internships. I am battling academic burnout daily and I have a difficult time believing that I will ever graduate. Unfortunately, I’ve been burnt out with a lot of other things too including blogging. Blogging is a fun hobby for me but I’ve been so drained that I haven’t wanted to sit in front of the computer and write. Academic stress is no joke and it has begun to creep into other areas of my life and I’ve been super stressed out. Starting a business while I am in the final few months of graduate school has added a bit more stress, but I wouldn’t be me if I did things in a more conventional way.  Overall, things are going well though!!! I just haven’t wanted to write.

If you read all of the above I am sorry for rambling! For a few brief life updates see below:

  1. I am finished with my 3rd internship and beginning my 4th and final internship this week
  2. I am finished with my thesis data collection and now I just have to analyze the data and type up the results and conclusion. I am also getting Qualtrics adds on Facebook
  3. I was injured for 2 months but I am not injured anymore
  4. I am still making Ask Coach Angela videos for GOALdenPeakPerformance.com and I ordered GOALden Peak Performance stickers. If you’d like some stickers let me know and I’ll mail you some!
  5. On Monday it snowed here in Colorado and we had a power outage. Now it is 75 degrees and sunny like a beautiful spring day.
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