I'm committed to this sugarfree challenge, and it's turning out to be an easy thing to commit to. It's slightly more expensive, but I deserve the best!
What I'm not enjoying about the sugar-free challenge is the fact that the lack of sugar is not the only variable in play here, so it is really difficult to know which variable is causing which change in my body. The second variable? No running.
I haven't run consistently for at least two weeks now, and I'm really bummed about it. I finally felt like I could get in a groove and work towards a goal that excited me (half marathon), but this is not the case. I've mentioned several times in this blog that I fractured my T12 in 2006-2007, so back pain freaks me out... but back pain wasn't the original reason I was taking time off. It started with foot pain... the usual persistent annoying metatarsal foot pain that feels like an intense pulling sensation in between my 3rd and 4th metatarsal. Normally when this pain occurs, I first freak out thinking it's a stress fracture, then I rule that out when one day it goes away and doesn't hurt at all... Then when it comes back I try to run on it and figure out where the pain is stemming from, and I usually feel pretty confident that my hips are tight and all those muscles are connected to muscles connected to other stretchy things connected to the symptom. I try to treat the root of the problem, not the symptom, so I do tons of hip stretches and IT stretches, and sciatica stretches etc. etc. etc. This gets rid of the pain so I'm on to something.
After this most recent foot annoyance, I went back to 2008 when I first started my running log and pulled out every single instance that I complained of a sore foot. I was BLOWN AWAY by how often I am struggling with pain in my feet! Often, it doesn't take me out of a race or hurt bad enough that I can't train, but ultimately it leads to a week or two off every 4-6 months. I saw this pattern and decided enough was enough. I need a physical therapist to help me strengthen the right areas since my treatment was just not cutting it. If I want to be serious about running a good half marathon, I need to remain pain free a lot longer than my track record demonstrates I'm capable of.
It was a rough few weeks at work with 2 new students, one of which cries NON-STOP and really sends the other kids, who I finally felt like I had a thing going with, spiraling out of control. I spend a good portion of my days redirecting kids, or physically restraining them so they do not endanger themselves or others. So I'm bent over all the time and my body is being torqued in all different ways as they fight me with every bit of force they have in them. I have one student who is constantly trying to escape from the room, and another who will slam his head against a wall or floor, or table, or his own fist if he doesn't get to do what he wants to do (which is usually using a gluestick as a popsicle, or a marker as lipstick... Not good)... and then the back pain began. It's not normal... whatever it is. I can feel a bump in one spot, and it's really painful to touch or to bend over. I emailed a friend I trust about it, and I'm afraid it might be a herniated disc. The good news is, I already made a PT appointment for the foot, the bad news is that appointment isn't until April (because the guy is THAT GOOD) and I still have to go to work and do the job that got me here in the first place.
I'm committed to fixing what needs to be fixed. I'm committed to taking the necessary time off and not feeling like a pansy for it, and I'm committed to doing the necessary drills that will be given to me (and I'm already doing ones that I am pretty sure can help).... It sucks that I can't be committed to running, but I consider whatever time I do take off as being committed to training in a sense. It's what needs to be done if I want to move forward. Ironically, my appointment is on April 6th, which is the day I finish my sugar challenge... so it looks like I will never know if I have more energy because I'm not running or because I'm not eating sugar. I suppose I will never know if running causes headaches, or if it's sugar. I suppose I'll never know if having a sugar free diet will make me crash and burn if I'm also training intensely... I'll never know unless I try this again when I'm back up and running which just can't happen this month. In the meantime, it's been really awesome to put my energy towards something else.
At least I feel pretty confident I wont be getting fat while I'm out of commission!
Check out the sugar free challenge at No Sugar Added: A 30 Day Challenge and show your support for Matt and Jeff (as well as Ashley and I... we may not be blogging there, but we feel very much a part of their whole journey!)