UN-Runfessions

Runfessions - What it’s like to be a motherrunner who can’t run. If you’re a runner and you’re injured, or newly postpartum, or just unable to get out for your regular run, it can be brutal to have that outlet taken away. Here’s how one mom is dealing with injury, when she’d really rather be running.

On the last Friday of the month, Marcia hosts a Runfessions link up, where we can all spill our deep, dark running secrets…or you know, just write about running. And every month, almost without fail, I totally forget to join in with my runner friends.

But not this time, baby!

Except… well, there hasn’t been a whole lot of running going on. It’s been a tough month. After a couple of runs late June and early July, I could feel something a little off in my left leg – maybe my hamstring, maybe an adductor? Just a little twinge, though. We went to our cousins’ for 4th of July weekend and on Saturday I did an easy run with some hill repeats in the middle.

See this hill? I’m going to run up it a bunch of times. 😁👆

A photo posted by carlypizzani (@carlypizzani) on

I felt great. It was humid and hot out, but I was able to get through six repeats and stretched afterward and all was well with the world.

The next morning, I spent 40 minutes on the spin bike out on the porch, while I watched the kids play and the dogs nap.

Runfessions - What it’s like to be a motherrunner who can’t run. If you’re a runner and you’re injured, or newly postpartum, or just unable to get out for your regular run, it can be brutal to have that outlet taken away. Here’s how one mom is dealing with injury, when she’d really rather be running.

Once I was done, I got off and felt a sharp pain in my left leg. It hurt badly the rest of the day. I rested completely for a week, then when I worked out in the week following, it was swimming, yoga, weights and finally I tried out the elliptical for half an hour. No more pain, no problem.

Until I tried to run again.

Sigh.

Runfessions - What it’s like to be a motherrunner who can’t run. If you’re a runner and you’re injured, or newly postpartum, or just unable to get out for your regular run, it can be brutal to have that outlet taken away. Here’s how one mom is dealing with injury, when she’d really rather be running.

So my life has been a few attempted runs, followed by a different workout entirely.

This has resulted in a very grumpy motherrunner. Other exercise helps, but it’s no substitute for the mood booster that running is for me. I am snappy and overwhelmed and terrified that every single time for the rest of my life that I try to run, it will hurt.

Also, it DOES NOT HELP that I have an awesome new running stroller and I can’t take it for a proper test drive. It mocks me daily.

Runfessions - What it’s like to be a motherrunner who can’t run. If you’re a runner and you’re injured, or newly postpartum, or just unable to get out for your regular run, it can be brutal to have that outlet taken away. Here’s how one mom is dealing with injury, when she’d really rather be running.

We do baby yoga instead. It is NO JOKE. In fact, it’s EXHAUSTING.

JUST KEEP SWIMMING

The good news is this has helped me out with swimming. After I started swimming late in my pregnancy with Baby T, I decided to switch gyms so I could keep it up, since I was enjoying it so much. My first couple of postpartum swims were as slow as when I was 40 weeks pregnant, but as of a week ago I realized something had changed – I felt faster, my stroke felt fluid, I was taking less breaks and for shorter periods. I moved up to the medium-fast lane. No, I’m not thinking about a triathlon (the bike part freaks me out too much). I’m just really enjoying swimming.

FEELING HOT, HOT, HOT

In case you haven’t noticed the awesome tights I’ve been rocking lately, I was selected as a Spandits! ambassador for 2015-2016. I love the company and their product, but since I am carrying extra weight postpartum, I have been sticking to long tights and capris. But holy moly guacamole it’s been hot here in NYC. So I’m actually considering getting some shorts. Not boy shorts (I haven’t lost my mind) but still pretty short. What do you think of these?

Runfessions - What it’s like to be a motherrunner who can’t run. If you’re a runner and you’re injured, or newly postpartum, or just unable to get out for your regular run, it can be brutal to have that outlet taken away. Here’s how one mom is dealing with injury, when she’d really rather be running.

I think I’m at the point where I just have to be more comfortable temperature-wise than body image-wise, especially as we head into the dog days of summer. (I love that saying so much, by the way, “dog days of summer”. I have no idea what it means, I just love the sound of it and how evocative it is of moving through warm, soupy air outside and ice melting just as fast as you can clink it into your glass.)

Runfessions - What it’s like to be a motherrunner who can’t run. If you’re a runner and you’re injured, or newly postpartum, or just unable to get out for your regular run, it can be brutal to have that outlet taken away. Here’s how one mom is dealing with injury, when she’d really rather be running. AT LEAST MY CLIENTS ARE COVERED

I just finished up writing training plans for not one, but two of my awesome clients to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon in October! One actually already followed a program I wrote for her while I was on maternity leave and ran the Brooklyn Half in May (check out how well she did!) so it’s been fun to re-write her program and tweak it a little to see if she can knock some time off her debut PR!

I’m signed up to run it as well, but of course I’m terrified I will never run again blah blah blah. Yeah, I know. Dramatic.

SO, FOR WHEN I’M REALLY BACK…

I just listened to an interesting podcast on Run to the Top, which is hosted by the lovely and talented Tina Muir – if you remember, she also wrote a guest post for me on the surprising habits of elite runners. Tina interviewed Michele of NYC Running Mama, who is such a lovely woman and talented runner. They discussed the idea of running by effort rather than being tied to your watch for pace and goals. Both of them recently ran PRs in their goal race marathons – Tina ran a 2:41 in London and Michele ran a 3:15 in Boston – and they both did it without looking at their watches or at mile markers for their splits! To me, it seems incredible to be able to trust your body to run to what you know you’re trained for, but something Michele talked about made it a little clearer for me. She said that in previous races or runs, she’d look at her watch and realize she was a little shy of her pace, so she’d speed up a bit, then realize she was going too fast. By the next mile, it meant she had slowed down off her pace even further, resulting in this fast/slow/fast/slow pattern that was exhausting.

Does that sound familiar to you? It describes at least a good chunk of most of my races.

So, I’m going to try out running by effort when I get over this injury and just see what happens. I figure this is the perfect time to experiment with a new technique like this, when I’m not shooting for any specific time goal anyway and I already know I’m not in peak shape.

Of course, old habits die hard and I will still wear a GPS watch to see my splits and pace and all that lovely data.

Anyone else out there sidelined from running?

Have you tried running and racing on effort rather than pace? Advice?

Are those shorts too short?

Comments

  1. Oh honey!! I had no clue you were dealing with an injury! That is awful but you know, if you make a lot of good decisions, you can be back in time for the half. Don’t forget about pool running:-) it really works! xo
    Allie recently posted…How To Train Hard on Vacation!…or NotMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Thanks Allie – I was kind of keeping it quiet because I hoped if I didn’t voice it, it wouldn’t be true. I’m taking another week to rest from running, then I will try again. My pool’s a little too crowded to do pool running, but I figure the kicking helps, too. I’m sure I will be fine for the half, it’s just that I was hoping to really kill it! But what’s new?? 😉

  2. Seriously it’s way too hot to run so don’t feel like you’re missing a thing. So impressed you’re enjoying swimming! Send some of that aqua mojo my way! I’ve got some Spandits Boardies and LOVE them! Need more! Thanks for un-Runfessing!
    Marcia recently posted…Runfessions: Prison EditionMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Ugh I know, that’s working in my favor. If the weather stays like this I’ll be trying out a run indoors next week. I was trying to decide between boardies and the shorts, but I think I’ll feel like the boardies are too long. I just want to get something in the peacock fabric before it’s discontinued. 🙂

  3. Healing thoughts to you that you get over the running injury quickly. It absolutely sucks to be sidelined when you *want* to run. Embrace the swimming – it is an amazing workout. You don’t have to be a triathlete to put your swimming enjoyment to use if the atmosphere of “events” gets you excited. There are great open water swims and masters meets if you ever get that inkling. There are also some race directors that put on aquathlons (swim-run, no biking).
    Kelli recently posted…Runfessions: My love – hate running annual cycleMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Thanks so much, Kelli! I like the idea of an open water swim meet! I hadn’t actually thought of that. An aquathalon sounds great except I can’t imagine running in a wet bra – my sports bra is one of those that you’re practically locked into once it’s on, ha ha!!

  4. Oh Carly, I totally feel your pain….literally! I am 4 1/2 months postpartum and was making a very slow return to running when in early July I got sidelined by knee pain, and very tight IT band and hips 🙁 I wasn’t able to run since I was about 12 weeks pregnant, so I am so ready to get back and was finally get into shape. I’m with on the back and forth of trying to run and then having to do something else instead, when all I really want to do is run. Hope you’re injury heals quickly and you can get back out on the running scene!!

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Oh Nikki, that sucks! It’s so hard isn’t it? It’s like being on one of those diets where you can’t have a certain food so that’s ALL YOU WANT. I had ITB syndrome when I was training for my first marathon and IT band pain is horrendous. If you do a search of my site, you’ll find a post on treating it that might help. Off the top of my head I can tell you that sports massage helped hugely and if you’re foam rolling, don’t actually roll the IT band itself – sometimes that can make it worse. Try rolling out your calves and adductors (inner thigh) instead. I hope your injury heals soon too!! xo

  5. Running Chicago, you can’t rely on your Garmin at all. The tall buildings completely mess up the signal. This is definitely a race you run by feel…
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Runfessions for JulyMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Wow!! I had no idea that happens in Chicago, but it makes sense. I guess if I ever want to do that marathon (which I hear is fantastic) I’ll have to get used to running by effort.

  6. Those shorts are short but they look fitted and will keep everything in place. I say go for it. Too hot not to. Sorry to hear you’ve been in a running slump lately. At least you are still keeping active with other things.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness.com recently posted…What we’ve gained through our blogMy Profile

  7. Sorry to hear about your injury 🙁 never any fun!

    And no, those shorts are adorable! Not too short at all.
    Michelle @ Unbound Wellness recently posted…AIP and Paleo Travel | Disney World With Food AllergiesMy Profile

  8. Ah man! I’m so sorry that you are sidelined from running. I hope you heal and can get back to it soon! I went through a series of injuries first with a fractured elbow and then with a weird foot thing and each time I had to really pull back on what I was doing. I guess luckily for me, two of my workout of choice are pilates and barre–both low impact but I get cranky when I can’t Zumba.

    I love the shorts and no, I don’t think they are too short!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…FFF: Barbell Workout PlaylistMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I feel like injuries often happen in quick succession, so I’m hoping that doesn’t happen this time!!

  9. my husband used this method before. And i think it really does help for some when you are getting too bogged down on your times, etc. But to each their own, right? You’ll be back there soon friend. <3 heal first

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Thanks, Lindsay! Running by effort feels like taking a leap of faith – maybe that’s what we all need once in a while.

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