I Want My Running Back, Running Back, Running Back

*sings* Not runniiiiiing, because of my ribs (…barbecue sauce)

(How’s that for a little Monday throwback to the late 90s?)

Apologies for the radio silence. My excuses are as follows:

  1. Work has been crazy and I haven’t had the mental bandwidth to blog
  2. I haven’t been running or working out very much at all, thanks to a recurrence of the dodgy ribs… so, nothing really to blog about, and who wants to read my whining about being injured again?

Right. So. Yes. I may have sprinted my ribs into oblivion during the last 100m of the Shamrocks on the Rocks race, and have been hesitant to do anything that would anger them more since then. Both my running training plan and my GetFit fandango have fallen off the rails, which is especially distressing as I was supposed to start my half marathon training in earnest yesterday. Alas.

My artistic interpretation of the moment my ribs decided to rebel

My artistic interpretation of the moment my ribs decided to rebel.

So while I’ve been neglecting my blog and various related social media accounts, what has been going on?

Relearning how to breathe

I had another appointment with Jen (Gait Retraining Guru), post-rib-flare-up, and she reexamined my breathing. In addition to my ribs going up and down more than they should, the bottom ones have also flapped open all akimbo and my obliques have given up and stopped doing their job (my interpretation of Jen’s diagnosis).

Illu_trunk_musclesApparently, when you breathe in, your lower ribs sort of flare open slightly, then come back in when you breathe out. Mine appear to have flared out and then stayed out there, because I’m not activating all the right bits when I breathe. My obliques have forgotten that they need to activate to pull the ribs back in, so Jen has added more breathing exercises for me to do that will hopefully wake up those lazy obliques and get them working properly again.

I mean, really, who knew that something as subconscious as breathing could affect so many parts of the body like this? No wonder I’m an injured mess all the time.

Relearning how to run

Jen also gave me a few drills to do to help get my running in better shape, too. One of them is an old PT favorite, band walks:

Band walks (source)

Band walks (source)

Interestingly, Jen and my last PT place are very at odds about how my loose-jointed self should perform this exercise. My PT had me point my toes out, which was supposed to help strengthen my IT band. Since I was used to band-walking with my toes pointing out, I defaulted to that at my appointment, only to have Jen scold me for doing so. According to her, since my kneecaps do their own thing, having my toes point out knocks my legs out of alignment (if my kneecaps behaved, this wouldn’t be an issue I guess) and doing the toe-pointy thing is actually bad for my knees. Hmm.

Jen also gave me an intervals plan to get back into running, which is great. (She was pleased that I was able to run properly for the whole Shamrocks 5K, but was a touch exasperated that I aggravated my ribs in the process. She gave me the green light to keep running, but told me to please please please stick to intervals so I don’t hurt myself again.) I’ve been chomping at the bit to give it a go, but each time I think about starting it up, my ribs start to hurt. It’s like they don’t want me to run at all, the jerks.

Adding a new hat at work

For the summer, I’m going to wear a librarian hat on top of my archivist hat, and this has made the last few weeks a tad crazy-pants. It’s really great for my career – and gives me an opportunity to legitimately bandy about my invented title of “archibrarian” – but I’ve got a learning curve to climb on top of the new duties and additional meetings, so I’ll be keeping busy. I’m pretty pumped though!

Getting ready to travel

Related to work, I’m attending a conference soon, so there’s been a lot of planning, booking hotels and flights and trains, making lists, packing, getting shifts covered, and stress-dreaming about not being packed yet when my flight leaves in 10 minutes. Yet another time when I could really use the de-stressing aspect of running! Ah well. Soon. I have grand plans to use the hotel treadmill for some intervals, but we’ll see what actually happens.

How have you been? Any exciting running/traveling/working stories to share?

Do you manage to fit in training when you travel? Any tips on sticking with it?


6 thoughts on “I Want My Running Back, Running Back, Running Back

  1. Seriously, ribs? WTF? I hope that your exercises get you in ship-shape soon. I myself love those band walks, and generally do them with my feet parallel. Training while traveling is tough. It helps if you’ve got a gym in your hotel or something. But for me it’s more a problem of motivation. I tend to go into vacation mode and just eat and sit on my butt 🙂

    • Thanks Rae, I hope so too! And motivation has almost always been my problem with training while traveling… there are usually so many other things I’d rather do! Including eating and sitting on my butt too 🙂

  2. Ugh – sorry about the dodgy ribs! But good that it seems like you are getting some help addressing it. Hoping things continue to get better (and your knees cooperate as well!)!

    Story? The first time I ran > 5 miles was on a business trip to West Palm Beach in 1990 (i.e. pre cell phone, GPS, smartphone) and so when you rented cars you would get a physical map. Same at a hotel. So I went to go for a run after glancing at the map, and it was so gorgeous outside that I wanted to extend my run a little bit – and my memory of the map was that going another block would add another mile. Um … no! It actually doubled the route, with a diagonal slant on the next block taking my ~4.5 mile route and making it more than 9 miles!

    As for travel-training, for me it is consistency … I am a morning runner at home, so I am a morning runner when I travel. That is always what works best for me … keeping as much of my routine as possible (even though eating and evenings are generally a mess)!

    • Thanks! And that’s a great story… hopefully you had enough fun stuff to look at while exploring so that the double mileage didn’t feel so bad! 🙂 Consistency makes sense… unfortunately I tend to struggle with that when I’m home, heh. Ah well, we’ll see how it goes!

  3. Boo ribs!!!! Not cool. Don’t they know they need to behave?! I admit I have no idea what band walks are. Is this something I should know? The only time I travel is for races so I don’t know how I would do on a non-race related trip. I can guess though. I would probably fail at exercising and eat all the bad things. 🙂

    • My ribs are clearly little punks who do not like behaving. I’m not a fan. I only know band walks because they’ve been assigned to me at every PT I’ve gone to 🙂 They’re good for strengthening your glutes and hips apparently. I tend to default to not exercising and eating all the bad things when I travel, so I won’t be surprised if that’s what happens on this trip 🙂

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