Reaching Goals and Making Break-throughs!

Hi, my name is Sera and I’m a runner.  🙂 I feel like I’ve been waiting months to say that again and really feel like I meant it.  After months of starting, stopping and/or modifying my running routine due to pain I am so happy to say that my first month of PDR training has come to a close and I feel great!!!!  WoOOoooo HooOOOooo!!  I got all, but two of my scheduled training runs in this month.  A strained muscle in my stomach set me back a few days last week, but I know rest was much better than pushing through and hurting myself more.  I am so thrilled to be on schedule and feelin’ good!!  A month ago that is exactly what I hoped for!

In addition, I checked another goal off my “things to do post surgery list” this morning by running the Ben Franklin Bridge.  I loved running this bridge pre-surgery, but haven’t done it recently because it is a longer run for me from my apartment and it is quite a challenging run due to the incline of the bridge.  My body hadn’t quite been up to the challenge in the previous weeks, but it felt like the right test for me this morning as I woke up bright and early to start my Sunday.

At 6:30 a.m. the air was already so heavy and muggy due to the ridiculous humidity hanging around Philly the past few weeks.  With just a little drizzle blurring my vision I set my sights on the climb of the bridge and I was instantly reminded of how beautiful the view is on this run.    You get the view of the river, Camden (it may not sound pretty, but it is), and Penn’s landing on the way out and my favorite, the Philly sky line on the way back.  Seeing the sky line when I turned around to climb up the incline for the 2nd time, on the way back, today was such a needed sight.  A nice distraction from the aches and tiredness I was feeling in my legs.

I’ll admit that while I am hitting my goals of making all my runs so far I still have yet to really hit my “runners high” – or to me the point when the aches and pains seem to disappear and I am just with my thoughts.  My legs are still aching a little, I am still pushing through to get back my stamina, which means I feel the “am I almost there yet feeling in my legs” halfway through my runs – but I am loving it.  Each time I get the “are we there yet” feeling I just remind myself of when I couldn’t run and how bad I wanted to….it makes me pick up the pace and stops the whining every time!

To keep with the good news of  hitting goals and making break throughs this week, I had a HUGE break through with my stomach pain this week.  I haven’t been very accepting of the doctors, “you will just be living with this abdominal pain, post surgery” explanations over the past few months and have been trying a variety of things to release this pain.  I continue to have a lot of soreness around my surgery site and it seems to really flare up after my runs.  Obviously this is due to the use of my core muscles while I am running, but I couldn’t quite figure out what to do about it.  Monday as I was doing my post run stretches, I pulled out my foam roller and began to roll out my tight hamstrings.  For those of you who are not runners or not quite familiar with this, the roller is exactly as the name concludes – a big cylinder piece of foam that you place under your tight muscle, (typically hamstrings, IT bands, quads) roll on it back and forth and it miraculously takes away aches and pain.  As I was gliding forward and backward on the foam I had an Ah-ha moment – if this works for the soreness in my legs, why wouldn’t work for my stomach?!   I flipped over, gently laid the cylinder under my abs and rolled.  It was PAINFUL – as tears started to form in my eyes I questioned (briefly) if I was crazy, but when I stood up – I knew for sure I wasn’t.  My stomach felt great.  There was such a release of tension and tightness – it was amazing.  I’ve done it everyday, twice a day since, and my stomach is feelin’ good.  My runs have been better because of it and just as important, my pain between runs has been much more tolerable.   YAY!!!!

Of course this discovery now has my mind twirling – if I had the answer to my stomach soreness under my nose (or should I say under my hamstring:) for the last few months without noticing it, what other answers could I possibly have just lying around me?!   Sometimes we seem to get so caught up in the “right things to do” and searching for the right answers that when the answers to our problems are right under our nose we miss it completely.  To say that I have been searching for the answer to my stomach soreness the past few months is an understatement.  I have been to doctors and acupuncturists, massage therapists and physical therapists.  I have used ice, heat and a variety of different oils to try to elevate the pain.  I am not saying that my research didn’t yield some good results and ‘pain elevating’ moments, but I certainly didn’t find anything that was a winning solution.  The foam cylinder is a winning solution and it was here before the doctors, the massages, the heat and the oil.  Do you know how long ago I could have released this pain if I would have just paid attention, really paid attention to what my pain was and what tools I had around me to “fix” the pain?

I challenge you to think about a problem or issue you may be going through right now that you have been trying to get an answer to.  Have you stopped to really address the problem and take a moment to look around you to be sure you don’t have the tools to provide a solution?  I’m looking for answers to some bigger life questions right now (which will probably come out in later post, so stayed tuned) and I’ve been taking time to see if the solutions and/or tools are already in my path right now.   I think I know what I’ll find and I couldn’t be more excited!!

Here’s to a week of reaching goals, having break-throughs and finding answers.  I hope your week was as great as mine!

With gratitude,



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