Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Slogging Through Wet Cement

The last two days my workouts have been tough. Not because they were actually difficult, on a good day I would have been fine. But something in me is askew. I am tired. I am sad. Running feels terrible. A number of little things are plaguing my body and I can't pinpoint a single one that is 'the one'.

Two days ago I decided to run an errand by walking and running. I have done this innumerable times. I had to walk home from work to retrieve some checks I needed to deposit in the bank. My calves and hamstrings were as tight as they have ever been. In fact, I found myself thinking I was more flexible a year ago than at that moment. I walked home and back anyway. Then I took the trolley to the bank.

I decided things must be better now that I was warmed up, so I started running back to the station. It was a little better, but my shin and my Achilles began to hurt on my left leg. While the Achilles has a recent history, I haven't had shin splints since about 3 months after I started running 18 months ago. It was disconcerting. I kept stopping and stretching and trying to rub it out.

Yesterday I met with trainer Traci. She is always ready for me because I love it. She tries very specifically to make my workout difficult and prefers that I whine at some point. She got plenty of that.

I was completely out of sorts. I was a couple of minutes late, so when she out me on the treadmill straight away, I faltered. She wanted me to go my usual easy stride of 6 miles an hour and weave in some hills. I began wheezing, just like I did last week when I ran with Bret. Then my Achilles tweaked and my shin started throbbing. I whinced. Traci let me off and took me to the elliptical. I warmed up there.

Then it was on to arms, where I struggled with the usually easy dips for my triceps, pull-ups for my biceps and push-ups for my chest and back. I felt like all of my strength was gone. Like my muscles had atrophied and I was back to where I started a year ago with Traci.

We talked it through. She confirmed what I was thinking - my crappy, sugar-laden diet of the past few months had to go. Luckily I had ditched it on Monday - tomorrow I will cover the corrections I have made in my diet. She says if a couple of weeks of real food and hard workouts don't pull me out of feeling like this, it's time to see the doctor - I agree.

I finished the workout, but barely. It was the kind of workout that I would have shredded just a couple of months ago. My wimpiness made me very angry at myself. I know everyone has an off day, but they are rolling together like crap downhill and it's NOT o.k. I have become a bad example, even to myself.

So, today it's back to the gym to see if I can shake this off before I end up sleeping with the fishes because the cement has dried around me.

Yours in fitness, Kate

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