injureez: work through da chit

i hate dislike talking about the ‘bad’ stuff, but ya know what? chit happens. stuff happens. life happens. and yes, injuries do happen. even to the best of us. i’m talking to you runners out there, but anyone who can read can partake in my babble and banter. it’s always a party over here ya know. so this post is about what i’ve done when i have had to take some time off from training, running, or working out, heaven forbid.

(ok maybe not every runner has been injured. apparently there are special runners out there that have never been injured. i have not met one, but i haven’t met a unicorn either… so which is real? you tell me) 

let me tell you, i have had a lot of falls, bumps, scrapes, and injuries in my life. shoot, after a major surgery i can tell you that any athletic endeavor does not come without a bit of suffering. no sir-ee! but i’m tough, yes sadly this is true. i think i was born half gangsta, half princess. with a hint of dancing queen… i digress.

gangsta girl
i can’t help how i was born.. womp womp

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so my point of this post is to share my thoughts (in a very rambling, nonsensical way – my usual modus operandi) about how to come back from injuries as a runner, since running is my joy jam these days, post the last IMTX of 2014. and oh by the way, this is targeted towards all runners and people who train, coming at you from a regular gal’s point of view and experience. i’m no pro, so obviously don’t take my word on all this. these are things that have worked for me, and i’ve tried a CHIT load! and sorry, i’m not Ben Greenfield and don’t spend $$$$ on wearing space pants for recovery. props to big Ben G, he’s totally a badass. but nope, my methods are what i consider to be manageable and doable for the common average runner who do this stuff for fun. we’re all badass indeed, but you know what i mean. right? sorry if i’m offensive, just putting it all out there.

aside from running, i dig dancing as well, specifically 90’s hip hop dancing or 80’s gothic/sway/i’m a dead doll dancing. i love dancing! but on the daily, i guess it’s easier for me to lace up rather than rock out. how lame am i? hmmmmm 

like i said i am not a pro runner or top athlete by any means. i just dig putting on my kicks or hoka’s or nike’s – whatever – and running out the door. and feeling all free and chit. ahhhhh the fresh air, the sweat, the losing myself in the steps. i love it.

but there have been some really, really sad times when i suffered some injuries or was not able to run. sometimes for just a short while, other times i was out for weeks and (gasp!) months! yes. i have dealt with some very sad injuries, and injured runners are no fun to be around.

running-injury

provoke
TRUTH

runningwithdrawals

so what to do when you’ve got an injury?

here’s what i have gathered as my golden nuggets of wisdom over the years:

  • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 
  • first thing is don’t freak out. okay that’s not possible, for most of you runners, but try not to. TRY to stay positive. keeping a positive attitude really does make a difference in recovering from any injury or time off.
  • readjust your plans and goals realistically.
  • get your gait analyzed
  • consider new shoes
  • try new gear
  • try TRX workouts, they are amazing for all
  • introduce yourself to YOU TUBE, if not for inspiration, for laughs. and workout videos for every injury.
  • give yourself extra room to recover and heal.
  • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 
  • seriously, go see a pro – professional. like physical therapist or chiropractor or witch doctor.
  • follow the dr’s orders! see above: stick to the said plan
  • treat your recovery like your training, it’s just a part of training. do those annoying exercises.
  • find other things you can tolerate: spinning, swimming, jazzercise, zumba. whatever.
  • take baby steps. literally.
  • take nice walks if you are able, it’s therapy for the soul
  • have you tried HOKA running shoes? i love them. see my note about new shoes…
  • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 
  • start small and slow.
  • be realistic.
  • don’t give up!!!!
  • enjoy and celebrate ALL victories. like hey, i jogged 10 steps today pain free! wahoo!
  • and
    • SEE A PRO, GET HELP! 🙂 

please take it from me, life happens. we can’t all stick to our training plans 24/7 to the dot. it’s okay to adjust, be flexible.

life is so much easier when we allow for chit to happen, cuz it always does… so don’t freak out. and enjoy.

CHEERS! and go see a PRO…

iloverunning

 

curried sauteed kale w/ tofu and coconut-walnut cream (Vegan)

*vegan, paleo, gluten-free, low carb, magical*

kreamy kale w/ krunk kream……
IMG_1137
krunk krunk krunk kale

otherwise known as SAAG PANEER got a vegan facelift and got screwed by some kale babies.

or more pleasantly…

curried sauteed kale with soft tofu cubes and coconut-walnut cream. 

sorry for the obscenities but i’m excited.

ok contain yourselves – i’m throwing not just one but TWO recipes your way.

amazing, don’t I KNOW IT.

i made this for the man of the house tonight and i nearly drowned in my own tears of joy and glee and pride. like i gave birth to flavor babies.

do you have those moments of culinary genius where you just feel like you’ve entered another zone, another level even, of gastronomic mastery and flavor mania?

i’m sure you do. i have these moments but NEVER seem to blog about them or record them. truth be told, i love cooking and making stuff in the kitchen but blogging and writing about them distracts me from my ZONE. i know, hello get over it. i get it! i know i know i know. but i’m just being honest. it’s not my normal to write about my creations. especially when i’m just maniacally throwing chit together in a pot and making flavor bombs of love.

so enough, and gosh darnit this kale dish and accompanying creation blew my effin mind. so while i’m hot off the dinner table, i’m throwing the love out to the universe. catch my flavor babies and see whatcha think.

first we have the kale….

i am one of those cliche kale fans, i hopped on the kale train and have never said goodbye. i’m still into the green leafy stuff and love finding new ways to put it in my mouth. hehehe wink wink.

i also love me some SAAG PANEER. yep, anything with curry and anything indian is my jam. which leads me to my next love: taking old favorites and veganizing them, if you will, or un-dairy-ing them since me and dairy don’t “always” get along. if i can make a non-dairy version of something, like SAAG PANEER, and have it blow my dairy-loving mind, then i have struck gold. well i struck gold here. yep i sure did.

first i gave the pretty leaves of kale some uber lovin’ by sauteeing them in some EVOO and some curry powder, sea salt, and splashy splash of h20. then i let that get all soft and happy in the pot with the lid on, fire on low.

while the kale was getting the curry braise love action, i blended up some coconut shreds, walnut pieces, garlic, lemon juice, and more h2o. that became my magical KRUNK KREAM.

i chopped up some firm tofu to emulate the paneer and BOOM. mix all that gorgeousness up in that pot of curried kale, and you got yourself some action all night. we’re making flavor babies of yummy love, ya’ll!

KREAMY KALE w/ KRUNK KREAM

for the kale:

2-3 cups washed and stems kale leaves

EVOO

water

curry powder – 1 large spoonful

sea salt – 1 spoonful

  1. put all that together in a large pot, put the lid on it and simmer for 15-20 minutes. let it get all soft and lovely.

for the krunk kream:

1/3 cup coconut shreds

1/2 -3/4 cup walnut pieces

a glug of lemon juice

couple of cloves of garlic depending on tolerance

splash of water

  1. in a small blender (i use the small cup on my nutribullet, so you can just figure that one out for the substitute gadget of choice) add all those ingredients and wiz up until it’s the consistency of sour cream… i give it a few minutes, it will get hot. add water if too thick, or add walnuts if too thin. have fun and play.

To finish the dish:

in that yummy pot of simmering curried kale, add some chunks of firm tofu. i add about a cup of the stuff, or more depending on your liking. then stir. finally i turn off the heat and add in the walnut-coconut cream, spoonfuls at a time until it tastes like heaven.

YUMMMMMMMM

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what goes good with kreamy krunk kale?

some homemade chapatis! 

i spiced my chapatis up with some sea salt and cumin to go with my meal and it totally worked.

here is a recipe for easy chapatis, 

or you can just do the following –

in a large bowl combine:

2-3 cups of good flour. use whatever you love

some sea salt, like a large spoonful

a teaspoon of cumin, little goes a long way

grind of pepper

a couple large glugs of EVOO

  1. mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. massage that dough, work it!
  2. heat up a large non-stick pan on medium
  3. take a dough ball, about the size of a plum or small apple, work it and form into a ball.
  4. press it on a floured surface, roll it out till it’s like a tortilla.
  5. throw that sucker on the hot pan.
  6. when it bubbles, flip it.
  7. then it’s ready when it’s brown on both sides.
  8. BOOM

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you can write me letters of love and thanks after you try this.. if you need some non-vegan protein, i suggest from tandoori chicken or steak. now go a mangia mangia!

 

 

so, i run

I am a runner

after run
these legs, they do a lot for me! thank you legs

 

Do you know how long it’s taken me to admit that? I’ve done countless triathlons, 2 ironman triathlons, and 2 marathons. Yet I still didn’t think I was a runner. Like a real runner. I’m not kidding.

Why did I not think I was a runner?

Good question. Long story short, all my life I thought of myself as an artist.. like media artist. Paintbrushes, pencils, all that jazz. Until I had to go to a different highschool than my artist friends – I just didn’t feel inspired anymore. Probably also had to do with the fact that I was too busy playing dress up, dancing, and acting like a maniac but whatever. I just always considered myself a person in the art world, a creative type. Exercise that involved sweating didn’t seem that creative or glamorous. However I did do martial arts, that was a form of art in my mind. And it connected me with my Chinese roots since I practiced Northern Shao Lin Kung Fu. I felt like I was being true to my blood. So it kicked my but mentally and physically and became my new outlet during highschool and for a while after. After highschool I attended a culinary school as well, and that became yet another outlet for my creative urges. In many ways, I still felt connected to my artist self. I didn’t know who to identify myself other than an artist of some sort, and sometimes badass martial artist. On a good day.

But then I had to have back surgery at age 20, right before I was to get my black belt. Sadly, I was not able to get it because I was in serious need of the surgery. I made peace and bid the martial arts world goodbye. I also had to leave my beloved culinary school behind because I was not able to stand on my feet for so many hours after the surgery for quite some time.

My whole life changed after my back surgery, it gave me a new life. But I had to find out who I was after that all over again. I didn’t have an urge to paint and martial arts was out of the question. Since my doctor had me walking for 2-4 miles every single day, I began to connect with nature and remembered how I used to enjoy running back when I was in martial arts. It was just something we did in our training but I loved it. However I didn’t think I would be able to. Until I asked my surgeon at my year post op check up. He kindly told me that I was able to run, walk, swim, ride a horse! Anything I wanted as long as it wasn’t full body contact. This really made me feel excited. And nervous as heck.

So over the next few years I slowly but surely started to jog during my daily walks, baby steps. And eventually I took a leap of faith and ran! It was slow and sad but I did it. Then I did it again. And again, and loved it. Some days more than others, but I absolutely loved it.

However, after all these years, I never really thought of myself a real runner.

Well guess what, I finally came to realization that even though I wear many hats in life, I also wear a running hat. Because I am a runner. Damnit!

so did you know I like to run? I barely discuss it. when i began this silly little blog, i didn’t really talk much about it much because i was still  a sad injured runner.  (imagine a sad person in your mind, that was me…) and anything running just made me frustrated. When I started this little blog, i had just begun seeing a chiropractor, again, and felt like maybe i was just going to have to settle for running very minimally at best. I even thought I might have to find something else to love… ugh. I tried to embrace it, I really did. I rode my spin bike for hours and hours, trying to feel that runner’s high. But never felt it. I tried out several other exercises and activities, some I liked and others not so much. I was happy on the outside but inside, I was missing something. And then I realized it was running, and I had done something I said I don’t do: I was settling!

Earlier on here i said NEVER SETTLE! remember that? i did. i don’t believe in settling, even though i wasn’t quite sure how to change my reality at the time or what i thought was just freaking biology and nature and science, or how to make my body work right, I just needed a new way. honestly, i was almost at the point where i was afraid that running was not going to be joyful like it used to be for me ever again. i was happy for the baby steps and little progress,  but i was still pretty sad. Thinking about riding the spin bike was not making me feel the love… I felt embarrassed to talk about how I “used to run” or how I used to train.. until it hit me. I’m a runner. Even if I’m injured and not running, I’m still a runner. i am many things and wear many hats in life, but i finally came to the realization that no matter what, I AM A RUNNER. and it’s ok if i’m slow, it’s ok if i walk sometimes. it’s ok if i don’t run every day. no matter what, I AM A RUNNER.

5 mile run
feeling all sassy and sweaty after a run
running journey
my favorite places to run… i love where we live

 

so with my new attitude i decided that nothing was going to stop me from being who i am: a runner.

i opened my mind to trying things that i never did before. around that time i was out walking and listening to my favorite running podcast, the running lifestyle show. that episode talked about how Kari, the awesome and cheery hostess, was using the Galloway method and was able to run/walk her way through a marathon without time to train for it. and she felt good the next day! i was seriously in disbelief… i had to learn more. so i got the Galloway book on my kindle and read the whole thing. the very next day, i began using his run-walk method. BOOM! i was able to run/walk 4.5 miles effortlessly and felt amazing!!! wow. i can’t tell you how that felt. finally, i had HOPE.

Jeff Galloway and his amazing ways have changed my life and my running. his run/walk thing is like magic, i’m not kidding. since i discovered the Galloway method, thanks to my husband and Kari Gormely from the Running Lifestyle Show, i have re-fallen in love with running. basically, the Galloway method has changed ME as a runner and my entire running experience. i know many people can’t fathom taking walk breaks, i don’t judge you. i was one of you quite recently. but injury after injury had me crying for help – all i want to do is run without pain! i don’t care how fast, just let me run again. This was and is my answer. Running and walking this way has helped me to respect my body and see the improvements in my running. Can you believe that taking walk breaks has actually made me faster and stronger than before??? I’m not kidding, it’s pretty amazing. Now my faster is still not record breaking, but just to know that using a run/walk method has actually improved my fitness AND my speed is pretty freaking awesome. I’m a total believer now. i drank the Kool-Aid and then some. gulp!

So here I am, a runner. I’m a runner and I’m so happy to finally come out of the closet. I’m finally announcing to the 3 or 4 readers I have that I’m a runner! I’m not just sauce girl. I’m not just a sriracha queen. I’m a RUNNER. And I love it.

I don’t run every day, I don’t believe in that for my body. But I love walking in nature and combine my nature walks with running, and have found this happy place in my soul. I am so many things and I know I’m unique and special, but I’m also a runner. I don’t know why exactly it’s taken me so long to admit it, but I am doing it right now. Okay, I’m not fast or paid to run, but I just enjoy it. It gets me out into the world and it’s just me and my shoes, and everything else just happens step by step.

So from now on, I’ll be posting more about running and it’s place in my life. I want to talk about why I run, and just share my weekly routines. I’ve never felt comfortable doing that before because as a sad, injured runner – what’s the point? But I’m feeling so hopeful and happy now that I’ve found the Galloway method that I want to tell the world about my love of running again.

Watch out, I can get really annoying!

012 love-sweat best 10k park running heart-with-hands