When the winter tires come off…

Well, I do not have car…and to be perfectly honest cannot really drive, although I am going for a drive later today (first time in over a year eeeh!) but the change in tires really proves the much needed change in weather! I am starting to feel the ol` energy return as the sun starts to wake me up in the mornings and indicate warmth rather than a deceitfully cold winter day.

I have been dealing with a diaphragm issue for since about august, although at that time I was not aware this was the issue. I am now regularly visiting an osteopath and the last visit, I think, was the real breakthrough. So to start from the beginning, in august I was feeling pain in my right inner thigh close to my knee. A kind of muscle tension, which I just assumed was exactly that -muscle tension, so would massage it etc.. it then moved up my leg into my groin and then into my back. So that depending on the day either I felt, as I ran, that my back was in extreme arched position and giving me pain, or my groin and inner leg was having sharp stabbing pains. I ran nationals -definitely not with the best mental state, and then Aileen Meagher in Halifax off of barely jogging and no workouts.

After taking two weeks off the summer season, I slowly brought back the mileage. The pain in my back and leg disappeared after the two weeks, and by mid-September I noticed that running took more effort in my diaphragm. Especially going up hills, now I know that hills in general will make a person struggle a bit more for air, but at this point and at that pace I should not have had the feeling of a tennis ball in the centre of my chest, enabling me from taking in deep breaths and breathing into my diaphragm. This came and went, and unfortunately I got a knee injury due to taking away my orthotics and therefore forgot about my diaphragm tension.
Cross-training did not seem to bring the same sort of pain into my chest the way running did, and it was not until getting back onto the indoor track in January that it seemed to come back full strong. I got a pretty bad flu for a couple weeks; my first time experiencing that complete lack of energy and soreness. The fact that all I wanted to do was lay in bed all day and watch movies (since I was sleeping 12hours a night) made it pretty clear that I was meant to do just that to get over being sick.

It may have been a mixture of getting sick and not getting over it, for my lungs, back and diaphragm remained in tension after combating the sickness (plus all the regular stresses of school etc…) I felt that I was unable to breathe when doing workouts, and in my 3000m race in Boston felt it hit full on. A few workouts afterwards I got a real scare when I was hitting 1km repeats at a significantly slower pace than last year, for that matter slower than before Christmas, and unable to breathe at all when finished. I had to lie down on the ground with my arms above my head in order to relax my diaphragm and take deep breaths that would go past my throat.

Well after a few visits to the osteo, and using a ball to loosen up by abdominals, the results were incredible! The ostea explained that it was my sacrum and my sinuses (spots around my head, back and front, the back of my neck) that were off, and because of this my diaphragm was taking the brunt of everything. I crazy combination or a past back injury, a fall on the ice that may have moved my tailbone and sacrum, and the stress my body was under when I was sick resulted in this diaphragm injury.
It has taken about six visits to the osteo to sort it out, and the difference in my performance is hard to miss. I have gone from feeling like I was going to vomit from the pain in my back and the tightness in my chest, completely unable to breathe when running a 3:24 1000m to running a series of 900m and 700m with less rest reaching 3:10 per 1000m pace! And what is the most exciting is how easy it feels! My boyfriend kept trying to make me feel better throughout the whole ordeal by saying it is like I have been training at altitude (since I did not stop training) and to be honest that is what it now feels like. I can breathe when I run! I can push my body without concentrating on my breathing. I can run a 200 all out and feel the high that comes with wanting to beat the guys you are running with and feeling your body go fast! It`s awesome! And so nice to remember the feeling of what running can give me!

So bring on spring! And let the track season BEGIN!