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shin splints Archives - A Familia Adventure

From Mom to Machine – It’s a Balancing Act … Week 4 and 5

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Yes, I’m 3 weeks behind on filling you in with my training. I know I know, this wouldn’t be the first time my time management skills were called into question. In effect, it sums up what my days are like at the moment. Juggling kids and their activities, work, writing, home stuff and training is leaving me scrambling for time and dropping more balls than usual. Certain balls can’t be dropped, lest they break, but luckily children are pretty pliable, I work with my husband, and the house will wait. So I guess I have it easy. Unfortunately writing does get side lined though.
Making training a priority is a luxury I count myself lucky to have. I have older children who understand what Mom and Dad are doing, a supportive family and a husband who constantly encourages me to push myself. I wonder sometimes what it must be like for people who don’t have a support network. How they fit training in around full time jobs and getting home late to their kids and spouse. It puts my life in perspective and I count my privileges daily. Counting those helped me get through week 4…

Week 4: …Moping.

Monday was a rest day after our first sea swim and bike day on the Sunday. The kids were on holiday and taking a day out to just chill with them was awesome.

On Tuesday I went for a 35km solo bike ride. The idea of riding on my own is a nerve-wracking process; I avoid it as much as possible. It is never so bad when I am actually out there, but the thought of heading out on my own is scary for some reason. A fear I know I will have to get over because Shaun can’t hold my hand through all of this. “Man the f*** up” or “put on my big girl panties” comes to mind, but panties are not something you want to wear when you go cycling and I think woman are tougher than men, so I’m going to make my motto: “Woman up and just get on with it”!

Wednesday we were heading off for 3 days away with the kids in Kogelberg Nature Reserve, so we had some breakfast, packed the car, and on the way stopped at the gym for an hour weights session before continuing with our journey. We managed to fit in some good upper body and core work, a nice bonus before 3 days of pigging out – as is customary on holiday 🙂

On Thursday we managed to walk 3km with the kids in-between beautiful sheets of rain. We had hoped to fit in more hiking but the weather encouraged us to put our feet up and soak in the solitude as the ground soaked in the water.

It rained for half of Friday as well but by midday the sun peeked out and we headed off up the valley for an 8km hike with the kids. At the top of the valley Shaun decided to turn his hike into a 24km run and he parted ways with us while I walked down the valley with the kids. I know we couldn’t both have done that distance with the kids, but I felt sad and despondent about the limits my shin splints were putting on things. Although I was happy Shaun had had a good run, I actively had to count my blessings so I didn’t grump on our trip back home.

Back in CT and feeling sad I didn’t get in a blissful long run, I headed off for a good Saturday morning swim to burn off my frustration. 2.2km with drills had me feeling more purposeful again. Still no fins, more arms than kicking, but getting there.

Sunday Shaun and I did a 65km ride with hills! Up Kloof Nek to the top of Signal hill is a view to work for, but by golly it’s worth it! We then rode back to Hout Bay and over Chappies, to Noordhoek, to meet Shaun’s brother for breakfast. Hills and more hills. This better be making my legs strong!


Thoughts on conclusion of Week 4:

Getting back into the swing of things. My shin splints don’t hurt so much and I’m looking forward to being able to run again. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be sad at not being able to run for 2 weeks, I would quite probably have wet myself laughing.


…and because I’m behind you get a double whammy!


Week 5: Feeling good about my training and getting into a good pattern.

Monday was an upper body weights and core session, at gym.

Tuesday was rest.

Wednesday had me swimming 2.4 km with drills and no fins. More arm work than legs still but I got into a great rhythm. My swimming times don’t seem to be getting much faster but I’m waiting until my legs are allowed to get involved before getting despondent about that.

Thursday was cause for celebration! FIRST Run back!! Only 3.5 km’s which took less than 20 mins (as emphatically instructed by my physio). Followed by Watt bike in the gym for 35 mins – quite hard. And planks. My legs didn’t hurt!! Whoop whoop. Not even a little bit!

Friday Shaun and I cycled 45km to waterfront and back. He had me doing some sprint work on the flats, issuing instructions like; “If at any point you feel like you could be going faster, go faster”! There is no wonder I had sore legs afterwards.

Saturday I rested. Tired, sleepy legs. Felt like I had a knot in my left calf so made sure to ice and rub it down with Arnica after giving Shaun’s legs a warm up rub for his race on the Sunday. A wife who’s a massage therapist… Shaun doesn’t know how lucky he has it! 😉

Sunday the kids and I supported Shaun at the Gun Run. We raced between viewing spots and drank hot tea while we waited for him in the early morning light. Other than that I rested. And had FOMO. (He did a personal best by the way and came in just under 1.30, earning himself a silver medal!)


Thoughts on conclusion of Week 5:

I’m feeling nervous getting back into running after not doing it for 3 weeks. Worried I’ll set myself back by hurting my shin, and concerned I’ve lost some of my running strength. But it’s good to be stepping back in. Feeling tired, but pleased with the training I’ve been doing. For me… this is some pretty consistent training!



From Mom to Machine – Learning to Overcome

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When you’re a mom, mid-night wake up calls are inevitable. I wouldn’t list it as my favourite past time, but they are part of the drill. They hamper recovery, test your patience and have you swearing repeated oaths to throw away all the lego!
Monday night had me swearing for different reasons though, while wandering down the stairs with Lincoln I realised I had a shin splint from hell! Curse them bloody downhills!

So, week 3: …Despondent.
How am I suppose to train properly when my body keeps telling me to get knotted! Injuries are seriously demotivating.

Monday was a rest day after my 15km road run on the Sunday, so I chilled, while noting some pain in my shin when I walked. I rested, and waited. I wanted to see whether my leg was a twinge or something more serious. So I iced, used Traumeel (I’m thinking of buying shares in the company) and cursed a lot.

The expletives got worse Tuesday mid-night when I wandered down the stairs to the blatant realisation that my leg was getting worse. Dammit all to hell. I had done a gentle session in the pool Tuesday morning and kept it short, only half an hour. Clearly I had done something wrong.

Using all the customary grace I apply in all aspects of my life, I threw myself into an hour swimming session on Wednesday so I could mope in silence. With a rare moment of resourcefulness I contacted my physio before my session to find out the do’s and don’t of a shin splint injury. A self diagnosed injury and an hour of ‘internet treatment options’ left me discomposed and needing the guidance of a professional. So armed with the facts, I hit the pool with no fins and a pool bouy to encourage leg resting. No kicking left me feeling rather lazy but I am told my upper body is working harder. I’m not so sure about that though, I’m convinced I’m just going slower. But treatment is treatment and I am determined to kick this thing, so if laziness is required, so be it. The good news is that I swam the half iron man distance (2000m) with relative ease, without the use of my legs.

With my physio session lined up for Thursday eve and the go ahead from her that cycling was ok, Shaun and I headed out for a 50km bike ride. I’m loving being on the bike again! Even in the rain. Pushing it up the hills and cruising the flats is exhilarating. I’m not sure my legs agree with me yet but they’ll get there… I hope.

Friday was gym day. But no legs! They are protesting. Shaun doesn’t believe in climbing hills slowly on your bike so every hill is a killer. My legs have been murdered on every bike ride with him. But arms are ready to go. Time to get these swimming muscles strong.

Saturday was rest. Every muscle in my body needed it after this week. Despite my shin splint this was probably my hardest week in a long time. About time too. I need to start upping my mileage. (mild panic attack #1)

Sunday was exciting! I saw the day in with a 1 hour ride on a Watt bike at gym – with a friend. Thank goodness for friends or I would have been dizzy with boredom! The wind was howling outside and despite the craziness of training for this race, I have maintained my scruples about foul weather training – it’s for the birds.

Sunday afternoon had us travelling to Big Bay for what was to be our very first open water swim. (mild panic attack #2)

After decanting yourself into your wetsuit, with heart rate at about 180 beats per minute (that’s almost my limit), you head for the frigid water with the greatest of hopes that all the sharks in the vicinity have already had their lunch. It was absolutely terrifying!! I think the only reason I climbed in the water was because my wetsuit was blocking off sufficient blood supply to the brain as to render me mentally incapacitated. But so be it, I was in, and it did a lot to quell my nerves and make the bile retreat back to my stomach. Thankfully, being with Shaun, my fearless cousin and 2 of her mates, made my transition to ‘seal’ fairly simple. We did a pleasant 1200m swim without so much as a “hello” from a nearby shark! I cannot share my elation with you as we made our way out of that water.

I am not naïve enough to think it will be plain sailing the next time, but I do hope it will be a little easier than this first time was.

Thoughts on conclusion of week 3:
This whole exercise so far seems to have been one in learning to overcome things. Bending and moulding with the process. The road is not the straight one I envisaged when I signed up. Only 3 weeks in but already I am seeing why this journey is a gruelling one. One step at a time. Each corner as it comes.