Ask Dani – Hobbled in Hoboken

Dear Dani,

You have really nice toes, by the way :)

Last week I went running on a dirt path trail thinking it would be less impact on my joints. It was, but ironically enough I ended up tripping on the roots of a tree and got a minor fracture in my ankle. It doesn’t need to be in a cast, but it is in an ACE bandage, and I was told by my doctor to lay off of it for a little while. She said that cycling is ok, but nothing with any major impact. I’ve recently lost some weight and have been working hard at staying in shape, but now I’m worried that I’m going to lose my momentum, strength, and gain the weight back if I have to lay low for a while. Do you have an alternative workout that I can do while still allowing my ankle to heal?

Thanks, Hobbled in Hoboken

Dear Hobbled in Hoboken,

So sorry to hear about your ankle. Injuries are the worst to get after you’ve worked so hard to get where you are. But fear not, because an injury doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything, it just means that you have to change some things up a bit. You should actually look at it as a good thing, because it’s going to give you the chance to try something new out and shock your muscles in a different way.

I came up with a workout that will work your opposite leg, so that it doesn’t lose it’s strength while you’re recovering and I also added a bunch of upper body and core exercises. Simply click here and print out the workout. If you have any questions, just let me know! This is also a great workout for anyone else looking for something else to do. There are a lot of stability exercises to challenge and keep you motivated.

The last thing I want to tell you is to remember to RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest the leg as much as possible, ice it after you’ve used it to reduce swelling, compress it with a bandage (such as an ACE bandage), and elevate the leg above your heart when sitting. A few pillows under the leg should be just fine. Be religious about this treatment and it will be healed in no time. And whatever you do, avoid the temptation to rush back into working out – it will only delay recovery or make the injury even worse.

Feel better!

181 Miles Down, Only 4 More To Go!

I cannot believe that this is the last week before my race! It’s been 12 weeks since I started running and it’s amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come. Yes, I’ve been active and fit for the last 10+ years, but whenever you start something new it’s a shock. And new it really was, because although I’ve worked out for a long time I’ve never really taken to running. I preferred other things like Spinning or boot camp to keep my heart rate up, thinking that I’m just not a runner. I categorized myself as “not a runner”. Today though, 181 miles later I can say that I’m definitely a runner and my life is forever changed.

That being said though, I’ll be honest, today was HARD! I mean H-A-R-D! And it was only 2 miles! I’ve run 10 with no problem, so why am I complaining? I can’t be 100% sure what it was exactly, but I do know that my legs are killing me. And they were killing me for the entire 18 minutes it took me to run the damn thing. I couldn’t quite control my joints. It was weird. It was like they were just flopping around and I couldn’t get them to stay in place. As groups of cyclists pedaled by me I was almost embarrassed to look at them. For weeks I’ve felt like a real part of an athletic community, but now I felt ridiculous. Oh, and my left shin felt like it was warning me that if I didn’t let up it would explode. Seriously, I had that image in my head of my leg just exploding all over the place on the pavement. And because my legs weren’t cooperating I had to breath harder to power up the hill, which only made me feel like I wanted to vomit.

That also being said though, I DID NOT QUIT ONCE! I kept telling myself that it’s only 2 miles, it will eventually end, and I’ve run way further than that. I just repeated that in my head like a mantra. Still, I have to be responsible and follow the advice that I’d give to any of my clients and take it a bit easier this week. My body is obviously trying to tell me something and although it’s in my nature to not quit out of some insane need to prove something to myself, I’m going to listen this time and ease up for the last few days before my race. This is very hard for me, because I do not like to feel defeated, but I need to give myself permission to lighten the load. If I don’t then I will only be setting myself up for an injury.

Just because I’m a trainer doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle like the rest of you. I still remember what it was like starting from scratch so many years ago and what I had to do to convince myself that I COULD lose weight, be sane, and learn to eat normally, but it’s also pretty distant. This training has really reminded me of what that feeling is like to start from nothing and to really struggle through the ups and downs of pain, defeat, and fatigue. I feel stronger than I ever have though and it’s only convinced me more that you can really do ANYTHING that you want. I know I can get through anything, but I’m getting a little nervous now that it’s so close to the race. I want to be able to finish strong and know that I gave it my all. So, I’m reaching out to you all and asking you to give me permission to relax a little bit.

And please, if you haven’t already done so, please show your love and support for me by donating to The Fresh Air Fund (they are sponsoring my run). Every little bit counts and every little bit will power me through when I feel like my legs just won’t carry me anymore. I am running as a personal goal, but I will also be running for all of you who are struggling to find your way on your road to success.