Confession time! You may or may not known that the past two springs/summers were filled with the accomplishments of swimming, biking, and running time after time. First place in Nashville, flat tires in Chicago, and amazing sites in Muncie were just a few of the cool adventures. While I cant say that Ive given them up forever, Im experimenting with “NOT running”. Why? 3 knee surgeries over 10 years ago and too many kneecap dislocations later…Ive realized these issues arent going anywhere but worse if I dont take action.
SO I’ve been dialing down the flying jacks and tucks in class- being high intensity while low impact and NOT running. Finding intense activities without banging up my body is pretty much a Lewis and Clark like expedition. The discoveries are endless, but its a long road of trial and error, feeling lost at times, but knowing its for the right reasons. Much to people’s surprise there are SO many ways to get a phenomenal workout without making injuries and muscle imbalances worse. Weight lifting, low impact modifications in group exercise, biking, spinning, stairmaster, elliptical, hikes, incline walking on a treadmill, swimming, yoga, etc, etc, etc.
I may throw in a sprint tri for fun, but all in all Ive made the decision to not do activities that kill my knees. Its amazing to walk down the stairs and not feel sharp pains, be able to do a quad stretch without wanting to cry, and not have consistent cryo cuff attention to swollen knees. SO while Im a huge advocate of pushing through the discomfort of lactic acid and giving your all during class, I dont mean kill your joints, aggressively tear your muscles, and pop pain killers (ibueproefen for starters). I definitely dont agree and often cringe when I hear “no pain, no gain”. It motivated me as a kid to know things we wanted werent going to be easy however… it takes on a new message personally to me these days and Im agreeing to disagree on this mantra.
What I realized, however, is that the reason these tri’s were so cool for me was that yes the competition was inspiring, a true rush, and a personal obstacle I loved clearing and getting better at. But my favorite part was the biking! Im good at it, I dont hate getting extra saddle time, in fact I love it, and as cool as it is to cross that triathlon finish line, maybe I could get the same competition, inspiration, personal rush, and obstacle clearing satisfaction through biking events.
With that said, I signed up for 3 mountains 3 states 100 miler in Chatanooga with my good friend/co instructor Heather Richardville (who I know will be fun and also push me) along with a new cycling community of old friends and strangers. Its 100 miles starting in Chatanooga, riding up and down 3 mountains — Raccoon, Sand and Lookout. They sound mild enough, but everyone talks about how hard this race is going to be. Im stoked to train and really approach cycling with a concentrated effort. This large ride May 4th is going to be one heck of a challenge and while itll be weird to switch gears of Triathlons to strictly Cycling, Im feeling really good about my decisions and plan for the spring/summer.
I will root all my friends along to do triathlons as I LOVED them and still will explore them, but this whole not running and NOT “no pain no gain”-ing approach sure feels good. With giving up running, Ive implemented yoga, dance, strength training and more saddle time. Low impact but not low intensity. This girl’s still gotta compete, get sweaty, gritty, and uncomfortable – just in the best suited way for where my bodys at now in this stage of the game.
I’ll keep you posted on my training in case you want to join me on any extended rides. I’ll also let you know after hopefully completing this challenge the other awesome rides Ill be participating (maybe tour for the cure, Hilly Hundred, the RAIN…we shall see). Regardless, cant wait for it to warm up and hit the road, in the mean time you’ll find me at the varying Y’s, the Cycle Studio, and stalking any large calves that walk my direction… “hey do you ride?”…
What have YOU given up physically or drastically cut down? What have you newly implemented that has made you feel better? Share with us! If I didn’t have the resources of exploring options, I might still be banging the pavement with my knees not knowing what else is out there.
Maria “Like the Lettuce” Romaine
Fun Pics From the Weekend…hanging out with my Beach Body Family and Brett Hoebel!
Working it out Capoiera Style
Getting down with my girls!
A gift for advancing rank to Diamond- thanks Julie!
AWESOME friends and teammates- those from Team Lettuce who made it
Lunch with Julie Voris, Brett Hoebel, and Christine Dwyer
Treasured Family Time with My Lil Bella (Oldest of 6, youngest of 6…17 years apart)