Spring bulbs

Welcome back to my fitness week update that I share on the Weekly rundown link-up hosted by Kim and Deborah.

This week’s post should perhaps be named “my lack of fitness” week – because I have a new injury and have yet again realised how poor my fitness level apparently is, despite everything I do. Or is it? Am I just unfortunate with injuries? It’s really upsetting and makes me think I should forget about running until ALL my joints have 100% mobility and I KNOW I have sufficient strength. But how would you know?

It makes me wonder what’s so special with me, since other people have started running at 50, without problems. But I refuse to give up.

You remember my brilliant run last Sunday? When I was just metres from home, I started having some odd pain around my heel in the right foot. It wasn’t bad but it got worse during that afternoon/evening. I decided to not worry too much about it but to contact my trainer to have him look at it if possible after the Tuesday training session.

But no matter how much I try to stay positive, I’ve really, really struggled to keep the mood and hope up this week. The disappointment was absolutely overwhelming.

However, the timing wasn’t bad because we’ve had a cold snap this week, with both snow and ice. Eew! So, I wouldn’t have been able to run this week anyway.

Monday

Monday was all about rest and work. My foot was possibly a bit better than the day before but definitely not good. I had a conversation with my PT.

Tuesday

Gym day. The snow had actually stuck to the ground and the drive to town was quite unpleasant. I don’t know about you Americans, but we don’t have winter tyres here. I understand how Irish people are excited about snow because it doesn’t happen a lot here, but I’m certainly NOT excited about it! Give me green fields and plus degrees all the winter please!

In the gym, we discussed a lot of things around injuries and I wondered whether I had done something wrong , The answer was that there is no easy answer. The only thing I can do is to keep training.

Some heavy lifting always makes things better.

And then, assessment of my foot. I got massage and trigger point treatment on both feet and lower legs, and more physiotherapy exercises to do at home. It turns out I have reduced outward mobility in my ankles and I need to do more to prevent developing plantar fasciitis. Oh my goodness, this old body. I’ll need to get up earlier in the morning just to have the time to do all my physiotherapy! It could actually be a very pleasant start of the day. And it’s better to be active, have fitness ambitions and discover all of these problems (and work on them), than to give up and be a couch potato.

So what’s with the foot? At least nothing obviously awful. Probably something to do with overcompensation because of poor mobility? I just call it the mysterious foot injury. The only good thing is that the more we know about my weaknesses, the more I can get targeted training. But how do I get back to running after this, when I don’t know what went wrong?! We’ll see.

But I’ll do everything I need to do to try to reach my goal to be a runner, because running simply makes me happy.

Wednesday

Nothing else than work, Italian class and physiotherapy for feet, ankles and elbows.

Thursday

I started the day with physiotherapy. All of it, feet, ankles, hips, elbows, rotator cuffs, and I added leg raises, glute bridges, both the usual and the single leg one, and another exercise for the glutes and legs.

I got some good work done today – I could finally publish the new camera club website I’ve been working on for a long time! It was a wonderful feeling to get that done. I also played some concertina and made progress with some tunes. The slow music session in the evening was lovely. If you have no idea what this is (which may be the case for most not-music-people especially outside Ireland or possibly England), it’s a session where we meet to play and learn new tunes at a slower speed than what is done in regular trad music sessions, and it’s a life-saver for my concertina playing.

Friday

My mood, self-confidence, and hope about getting back to running were at an all-time low, and I was miserable, but I had a good training session after all.

As always, my trainer helped me try to think rationally and did his best to encourage me. Poor man, having to listen to my misery for an hour.
While I was in the gym, my husband bought me a balance board to help strengthen my feet and ankles. (and core, and much more!)
Bless them both!

I was able to boost myself a little during the afternoon and started preparing a new work project I’ve been thinking about, plus continued planning projects for my portfolio. The evening was fabulous – before dinner I took up the guitar, played some tunes and tried a new song I’m learning. It really helped get my mood back on track and we had a fantastic music session later in the pub. I even felt my concertina playing went quite well. The other musicians there are very supportive and encouraging regarding me playing the concertina even if I’m not good yet and not up to speed with most tunes. They still encourage me to play it in the sessions where possible, and play certain tunes slower so that I can join in. That means a lot and inspires me to keep going.

Saturday

The weather was back to ordinary Irish weather, oh joy! Even if fog and drizzle isn’t particularly inspiring, 10 degrees is fantastic. And the foot seemed somewhat better… so who could resist my husband suggestion to go for a walk? Not me!

After a week in misery, I think my oomph is back, and I needed to get moving. Since we have steep hills all around us and I didn’t want to start my almost-post-injury walking up and down hills, we took the car to the nearest flat area that offers some nice walking trails.

Oh the gloom.. but it was a lovely walk!

And, I may envy all you people who are able to run without getting injuries, but but but… we have signs of SPRING!

We play music in another pub most Saturday nights, just the two of us, and it was a good night, with more people than usual at this time of the year, because of some events. A friend of ours showed up and sang a few songs and we had a good chat.

Sunday

A nice self-care and bodyweight strength session! I started with some stretches of glutes, legs and lower back. After my training on Friday, I realised that step-ups is a quite powerful exercise, however simple it may seem. I was sore in leg muscles I can’t remember being sore before.

I did a very pleasant workout session of mainly legs and core.

Two variants of glute bridges, then lunges, sumo squats, plank and alternating plank, push-ups, leg raises and back extensions. I finished off with my usual physiotherapy. I really enjoyed this session.

This afternoon we’re going to town to join in a new music session that started last week, in a pub that closed down but reopened with new owners. It was very pleasant last week and I’m sure it’ll be a good time and a good end of the week.

Now for next week I’ll keep up all this good work and another challenge I apparently need to work more on is the mental one – I can’t let setbacks like this foot injury get me down as it did this week. I think there was more to it than just the injury, but my usual strategy to stop negative thinking didn’t work so I need a plan B – and I have one in mind already.

How was your week? Have you had seemingly random injuries? How did you plan coming back to running?

I hope you are doing well. I’m joining the Weekly rundown link-up with Kim and Deborah.


33 responses to “My fitness week #3 2023”

  1. Coco avatar

    Oh, it does seem like I could spend all day on PT exercises. I’m not injured now, but still try to do the basics 1-2 x/week as “pre-hab”. I’ve recently had a bout of mild PF — I was able to keep running but I kept my mileage low, iced my foot after, and made sure I did my exercises. For me, tight calves have been a source of a lot of trouble.

    We don’t get much snow in D.C., but when we do, everything shuts down. That used to mean a holiday, but now everyone just works at home.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I believe tight calves could have caused this for me too. I did a lot of hill walking before it happened, and I know my calves were quite unhappy. I need to do more stretching at a regular basis, will add that to my fitness routine now.
      Things get quite crazy here too when we get snow, or even minus degrees. As a Swede it feels ridiculous at times but I also understand it – snow and cold weather isn’t the norm. And that’s one of the reasons I want to live here!

  2. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    You know, every BODY is different. Yup, I’m shouting, just to emphasize you have to keep your eyes on your own mat, so to speak. Yup, some people can run 100 miles in their 70s — who know what demons they may be running away from?

    That said, it sucks to be injured. It sucks even more to be injured often. I’m sorry. It’s beyond frustrating, I know. Ankle mobility is a real issue for most of us as we get older — it’s unfortunately normal for ankles to tighten up as we age. Everything, really!

    Sounds like you have a great team around you — trust them! I know you’ll do the work.

    SPRING? OMG. Winter is just really getting going here . . .

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes – I have a good team and I’m so thankful for that. And yes, I’ll do the work, and more. Interesting to hear the ankle mobility issue can be, or is, because of age – of course it makes sense but I hadn’t thought of it like that. I thought it was another problem caused by many years of inactivity.

  3. Jessie avatar

    I love the signs of spring! And even on a foggy day, Ireland looks very pretty 🙂

    I’m glad you have a PT you trust. They are key! I haven’t found one yet in London; I went a few times to one near our temporary housing when we first arrived that I liked, but it would be a log way from our current flat. Anyways, glad you have someone and have a plan! Some people are more prone to injuries, but also being new-er to running probably means your body is still adjusting. It will get better with time! Good luck!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Jessie! When you say the body is still adjusting, that gives me so much hope! Thank you!!
      Ireland IS pretty, in whatever season. I actually like foggy days, I think it’s beautiful with the moody, mysterious feel that fog gives.

  4. Deborah Brooks avatar

    Sometimes I also feel like I have to do so much prevention of injury and warm up and post workout stretch. But, it’s still better than not doing the things I love. Glad your foot sounds like it is nothing serious.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’ll add a LOT more warm-ups and stretching now along with my physiotherapy.

  5. Wendy avatar

    I’m feeling the niggles of some possible impending injuries, which I always look at as a reminder to do my rehab. I’m not good about that at all, but I do want to avoid injury! It’s also why I swapped out a 4th run per week for a pool running session. It’s still hard work but much easier on my body. I hope you feel better soon.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Wendy. I’ll just keep doing these exercises now, they’re all for preventing injuries and will always be relevant.

  6. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    I’m glad your foot seems better. Those oddball injuries are so frustrating! last weekend, I had a weird thing going on with my left foot. I kept things low-key (in other words, low impact) on Sunday, and it felt “normal” again by Monday morning. I love what you said about having fitness goals and being able to work on your problems as opposed to giving up and being a couch potato. That’s a great mindset!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m glad your foot got better so soon! It will be at least another week until I can even think of running again, and I probably will wait even longer. But I’m so happy it’s finally improving somewhat because I need to be able to do my February challenge! It will be more challenging (more time-consuming) with no running but at least I can do it.
      Thanks for the encouragement, yes, I refuse to give up, and really, I’m still just on the starting line of becoming a runner so it’s way too early to think I can’t do it.

  7. Jenny avatar

    Yes, injuries are miserable! I’ve had a LOT over the last few years. But I like this: “it’s better to be active, have fitness ambitions and discover all of these problems (and work on them), than to give up and be a couch potato.” Perfectly said. Keep doing your strength training and your PT- it will all come together.
    That foggy picture looks very Irish! Glad you ended the week well and that your foot is feeling better.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had so many injuries! Thanks for your encouragement, and I’m really thankful this doesn’t prevent me from doing my strength training (today I could do lunges again!) and while I can’t run, I can do more strength workouts at home.
      That foggy picture – yes, that’s Ireland in January in a nutshell! Although I must say, January can be fantastic here but this year it’s been extremely gloomy.

  8. Michelle avatar

    I’m glad your foot is feeling better. I know how discouraging an injury can be. I’m returning to PT this week and know that the exercises and rehab will have to be part of my routine moving forward. I hope your week ahead is a good one.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Michelle! I’m sure the coming week will be much better. All the PT exercises will be ongoing work here too.

  9. Debbie avatar

    It’s good to hear that your foot injury is feeling a little bit better. Just keep taking it easy as you ease back into running. I hear you on doing the PT exercises. There are a few that I still do from a back injury in 2012 because I feel that they continue to keep that area strong.

    1. Susanne avatar

      It feels like it’ll be a long time before I’m back to running. Not because I’m so far from being well enough, but because I don’t know what actually went wrong. I’m not sure what my strategy will be but avoid getting tight calves (I believe that was part of the problem), doing more regular stretching, and keeping up the PT exercises long-term is definitely included in the plan.

  10. San avatar

    I am so sorry about your injury. I understand how frustrating it is to be doing PT just to get the body “right” again and not have time for actual “joyful” exercise… but I think your attitude is a good one. If you do the PT, the rest will (hopefully) follow. Keep your chin up.

    I love that gloomy walking trail along the lake. How lovely!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, San. Things are getting a bit better, both the foot and the mood. These PT exercises will be a long-term thing to prevent future injuries and keep my feet and ankles in shape.
      This walking trail is a perfect place for easy walking as it’s all flat and the scenery is lovely. The “lake” is actually Courtmacsherry bay, a part of the North Atlantic!

  11. Marcia avatar

    I’ve coached thousands of women and I can assure you, as we age, more stuff crops up. Balance, strength and mobility work are so important, as well as listening to your body and backing off when necessary. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things. I know it’s frustrating to be sidelined from running, but you’re being smart and you’ll be back sooner than later as long as you keep doing the PT work. Hang in there! Look at those signs of spring! We are nowhere near spring at the moment so I’ll live vicariously though you!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh, thanks Marcia for your encouragement. I’m going to focus on strength and mobility for a while, do more of it at home, alongside the PT exercises, and it should keep me happier too. And you’re totally right about spring! It’ll come soon enough here and that will be such a blessing and mood booster!

  12. Darlene S Cardillo avatar
    Darlene S Cardillo

    Oh no. I hope your ankle/foot issue is just random and nothing serious.

    Signs of spring!!! We won’t see that until May!!

    Cloudy, rainy and snowy… that’s our weather. It’s really hard to make yourself go out there and run.

    But if I don’t, it’s worse…

    Hoping for good news on your running front next week.

    1. Darlene S Cardillo avatar
      Darlene S Cardillo

      and us older runners are probably not (as Judy says) running away from demons… we are running toward consistency, good health and longevity.

      When I first started running, I had a lot more aches and pains than I do now (and I’m running many more miles.)

      I do agree that everyone is DIFFERENT, you do what works for you…

      1. Susanne avatar

        Thanks, Darlene. We’ll see what happens but what I do know is that this injury, like my knee injury, adds to my motivation to try again..because I know it can be done. Just read an article that my age group is the fastest increasing group of runners and that’s inspiring. It will take a while to get back to it but in the meantime I’ll do more strengthening, muscle building, mobility exercises and more.
        The short winter is an important reason why I’ve chosen to live in Ireland. Although, we may have spring bulbs and more coming up, but can still have quite cold weather for a good while yet. But it’s the little things for me… having colours around me and see nature gradually come back to life. It was hard in Sweden with the world in monochrome for so many months.

  13. Kim G avatar

    Bring injured is no fun – I’m so sorry! One thing that has helped me deal with injuries in the past is trying to focus on what I can do vs what I can’t do. When I have had lower body injuries, I try to focus more on doing core and upper body exercises.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Kim. Yes, after a few days in misery I decided to focus more on strength training for a while, stop worrying about the foot and my running goals for a while, just do what I need to do with physiotherapy, and build muscle and strength.

  14. Melissa avatar

    Good to hear your foot is feeling better! I know how frustrating injuries can be, especially when you can see other people running without injury ever it seems. Everyone is so different and some people can handle more mileage, etc. than others.

    I’m so jealous of your spring!! We do not have any spring yet — and it won’t be for a few months. Instead, it’s just SNOW here 🙂

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, exactly! I’m wondering why I’m so vulnerable to injuries, when my husband who was also overweight (still a little but is losing quite a lot of weight) and always had a sedentary job can run with no problems and I can’t (I rarely sat down in my previous job)! However, after some reading I’m starting to believe that this injury may not have to do with the running but rather the intense hill walking.

  15. Zenaida Arroyo avatar

    I am sorry to hear about the injury. Those are never fun. Spring already? It is still Winter here and we’ve had many gloomy days. I want some sunshine.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I saw the sun yesterday for the first time in almost two weeks. It made everything so much easier!
      To say it’s spring would be quite a stretch, but signs of spring start coming early here because we have such a mild temperate climate, especially down here in the south, so bulbs start coming up and with more sunlight you can feel a certain smell that I call “nature waking up”. It’s wonderful even though the weather can still be cold and dull for a good while yet.

  16. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear about your foot. So they think it’s PF, or something else? As I’m sure you’ve heard, we are all plagued with frustrating issues now and then. Super frustrating for sure!! I hope this was a better week and maybe the foot is getting better.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Lisa, apparently I don’t have PF but I have a tendency to it so need to be careful and do constant exercises to prevent it. I honestly don’t know what this was. To me it seems to be another irritated tendon more than anything else. After all the reading, I know a lot about foot injuries now! It’s much better now and I’m going out for a walk soon.

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