I got a health coach! (And more running!)

Drink that Water Woman

Drink that Water Woman

Happy Tuesday folks! I am excited to be writing to you from the other side of injury town, where I can run and train to my heart's desire! It's a huge relief to be able to run consistently without pain and I feel incredibly lucky.

Last week, I outlined my re-entry program, and this week I thought I'd give you a visual of what that actually looks like. Check out my strava data below:

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Wow. It's beautiful. Look at that nice, slow, low, easy progression. I know most of you are shaking your heads. 9 miles total? Yup! 9 whole glorious total miles. A slow buildup is key to returning without re-injury and I am pretty proud of myself for that!  

The best part of being able to run and climb again is my friends. This past weekend, I was able to run a loop with an old teammate and watch her slay a PR. The next day, I climbed with a running buddy who, having just ran 17 miles, tackled boulders with confidence and ease. 

I am not where these women are now, but watching them succeed gives me hope that I could be one day. 

And I am so ready to get there. Big ideas and big goals are not hard for me to identify, but finding the willpower to honor them is. Which is why when the opportunity to work with a health coach fell in my lap, I jumped at it.

So, I have a health coach!

If one thing that getting injured over and over and over again taught me, it's that your body is talking to you, you just need to learn the language. But learning is hard and often requires practice. 

That's right. Just like in handstands, health takes practice.

I am not healthy. Yes, I do a lot of activities. But do I eat all my fruits and veggies? Do I stretch regularly? Give myself mental space? Um, nah.

So, I am practicing health. And just like in running, I have a coach.

Enter, Tara! 

Tara is pretty amazing and all about holistic health. For the next 4 weeks, Tara and I will be having sessions with a couple of goals in mind:

1. Energy
Remember my burnout? It feels like my energy levels have been slowly decreasing over the last year and I want it back.

2. Stress Fractures
Heal, heal, and prevent.

3. Chest Pains / Ear Infections
I'm lumping these together, because they are both symptoms of ongoing issues. Viruses, allergies, we don't know! Which makes it seem like a pretty good goal for a holistic health coach, right?

In each session, Tara and I will go over how things are going and come up with a plan to tweak things for the following week. So, let's recap!

The First Session

Tara opened our first session with a quick meditative breathing exercise. After going through my health history, and outlining the goals mentioned above, we dove in.

"I think of health in terms of 4 or 5 buckets," Tara explained:

  • Nutrition 

  • Sleep

  • Relationships

  • Spiritual

  • Work

The goal then, is to make sure each bucket is as filled as it can be. Being a classic go-getter, I was making notes the whole time, ready to jump in and revamp my whole life. What would she want me to do this week? Examine my micros? Yoga every morning? A montage of Biggest-Loser-like highlight reels flashed before my eyes, but you know, mixed in with yogi instagram feeds.

Tara had other plans.

"Small changes are manageable, and can be worked into your daily life." Which is totally fair. I have been known to go all in only to lose interest quickly. This then, is where we would start.

Week One Plan: Shoot back 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp of water every morning. Follow with a full glass of water with salt and lemon. And, most importantly, wait and see if anything changes.

The apple cider vinegar would help heal my gut lining, and the water would help jump start my day with hydration, something that Tara suspects might be behind my energy crisis. The ratio of your ACV shot is up to you, but the least amount of time it takes, the more likely you are to stick to it, thus the shot. 

So, how did it go?

Week One Learnings: The first day I took my shot, I learned a valuable lesson; do not workout directly after drinking apple cider vinegar. You will throw it up slowly over the course of a run.  Because of this, the time of which I took my ACV varied depending on my training plan. Even so, I still started my day with water and noticed some interesting results. 

The major thing I noticed was a dip in my chip cravings. I eat chips like other people drink coffee. In fact, I can't think of a day in my life where I did not at some point eat chips. I'm so known for it, that my old coworkers threw me a chip party for my birthday. 

"It's the salt"

Tara told me that when you are dehydrated, your electrolytes are out of whack. Salt is one of these important electrolytes, so it's possible that my salt cravings would lessen with an increase in hydration. Who knew!

Even with my morning glass, I was still averaging about 1.5 glasses of water a day. I know, crazy, but I just don't drink things. A cup of coffee in the morning, a glass of wine at night, and half a glass of water during the day. Rough, but a perfect place to start for our second session- so stay tuned!

Next week, I'll bring you through my second session with my health coach and fill you in on my new running plans. See you then!