After RUM 4 in January I decided I needed a break from powerlifting for a while for a variety of reasons, but one in particular: it's exhausting :) Don't get me wrong, I love it, but I learned (the hard way) a long time ago that regardless of the TYPE of stress (physical vs emotional/mental), the body responds to it in the same way. So while I'm hammering away and physically stressing my body, if there's *stuff* going on that is causing other sorts of stress, it's like a double dose. So, I opted to chill a bit on the physical stress, since there wasn't (isn't) a whole lot I can do about all the OTHER stress.
For a while that caused me it's own sort of stress, I felt a little lost in the gym - no plans, no goals, no events. But I went on a run or two for cardio and decided "hey, ya know what, this feels good again!" And I decided to run with it (har har), thinking it'd be a great past time until I felt like I could take on the PL again. I signed up for a 10k on April 3, I set up a training plan..it was *very* exciting ;)
One week in and I was doing well! I wasn't far off on pace (it came back quickly) and I added a whole half mile to my runs (4 miles total!) and BAM, out went that knee. Pretty much just like that, too :( I don't know what I did, how I did it, but it was excruciating for a solid day, and then just really really painful after that. I knocked off the running immediately, RICE was the order of the day(S) and no lower body training. A week later I tentatively tried some body weight squats - nope! Basic leg extensions...NO GO! Didn't even have full ROM with no weight. Boo. More RICE...another week - repeated the tests, they went well! *phew* Another week (last Friday) and I tried some lightweight squats - bar, 65, and 85lbs...score! Yay!
So here I am, one week out from that 10k. Not gonna happen. And I've decided that if I have to choose, I'd rather squat than run. So running's officially out, aside from the occasional (and probably now LESS frequent) cardio run on the weekend.
The emotional/mental stress has greatly reduced since January, mainly because I've "let go" of so many of the things that are out of my control. All I can do is the best I can each day. I can't plan for every contingency, and there is a LOT of stuff just up in the air. All the time. And each day I'm a little more "ok" with that :) So I made that choice, but I'm not quite ready to go back to PL yet, despite the drop in stress levels.
Instead, I'm trying to drop these extra pounds, for real. We've come up with a plan that so far is working, but it's difficult. 40 mins moderate cardio x 6 days, training x 6 days and 1400 cals with 100g carbs. A "high" day every 5-7 days as needed...it's coming down. It's tiring, and it's definitely NOT a PL diet ;) I am weighing every day, but the plan is to stop when I FEEL right again. I have a goal dress and goal jeans, not a specific goal weight. I'm not obsessing, I'm not precisely measuring, I'm not neurotically tracking, and I'm not fearing my off days or my high days. I have trusted friends by my side, a plan in place, Christie's sort of approval(ish), but - I do feel like the past 8-9 months have taught me a lot...I'm ready for this. This time, just like that one time almost 11 years ago, is different :)
This is the image I'm keeping in mind as I do this, this is my visualization when times get tough (there are a *few* some days ;) - I'm going to be back here, strong, confident...soon :)