Category Archives: General Health

Creating Joy

Part of my work involves helping people seek joy and happiness in their lives.

I got featured on Tiny Buddha today with an article on this. You can read it here 😀

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Injuries…

I noticed a recent search term for my blog was “powerlifting injuries” so I thought I better clear it up online so people don’t think that powerlifting is a dangerous sport. I actually think it is one of the safest sports around, and is very good for your body generally speaking.

My most recent injury is a back injury – probably very common amongst powerlifters. It’s either a torn QL ligament or minor disc irritation.

I did it in the middle of strongman training, although it was during a deadlift – one of the powerlifting lifts. To be clear, this was a long time coming. I had referred pain in my glute for several months leading up to this, and when the QL went snap, the deadlift was just the last straw.

On the day, I had already done a fair amount of work. I had lifted heavier than I had before in other things such as the yolk and squat. I had also done log clean & jerks, and heavy farmers walks. All these things use your back so I was already fatigued. When it came to the deadlift, I was focusing on strong glutes, due to the recent referred pain in my glutes, which at the time I didn’t realise was caused by my back. I knew I had to strengthen my glutes, so I was really making an effort to use them in the deadlift.

So it wasn’t due to bad form. It wasn’t due to lifting too much. It wasn’t due to a weak back. It wasn’t due to those obvious things.

It was because I had become complacent. My clients’ warm ups were better than my own. I usually skimmed through my own warm ups, and did minimal direct anterior ab work. This meant my back took the brunt of the load. Not to mention that throughout winter my laptop lives in the lounge room where it’s warmer, so I slouch on the couch when working at home. My back is pretty strong, so it could get away with this for a long time… before it snapped.

So now I am taking my training much more seriously. I mean, if you are going to train and compete in sports, you may as well treat yourself like you are a serious athlete. All that training is going to catch up with you sooner or later.

This means:

  • Thorough warm ups so I am completely ready for lifting
  • Direct anterior ab work to build a stronger core to assist my back
  • More direct glute work so I have buns of steel to assist my back
  • Plenty of stretching afterwards to minimize tight muscles
  • Massage on tight muscles in between training to minimise muscle imbalances
  • Experimenting with supplements to improve recovery such as fish oil
  • Experimenting with other recovery techniques such as having a sauna

So basically… all the things that an athlete should be doing.

I personally believe that with correct form, nothing is impossible.

So… onto my running injury – tarsal tunnel syndrome. This is something that built up over years. I did not see anyone about it, and then when I did, I just kept running race after race! Although I rarely believe rest is the answer, modifying training should be.

My running form is pretty good. But when you have tight muscles, causing imbalances, the last thing you should be doing is running ultras. I did not pay attention to my body. I did not treat my body as an athlete should. All the points mentioned above… I did not do.

So now… while it is physically possible for me to go for a 3 hour run, it is not wise.

I should be doing all the above points. I should be treating my body much better. And I have no doubt that if I do that, and build up my distance sensibly, then there is no reason  I should not be able to run ultras again.

And I know everyone in the world will disagree with me on this point: But I see no reason why I cannot be a powerlifter and an ultra-runner at the same time 😉

No reason I can’t get back to this again

Anna’s Get Healthy Now Diet

This past week I have a sinus infection. This is sooooo frustrating because it breaks my 18 month streak of no illness. I thought I was immune from sickness. But now I have been sick for a week and it is showing no signs of improvement.

I think it is my body telling me to tone it down a bit. I had been feeling mentally drained for some time but stopped listening to my body. I recently had a week of high mileage which included no rest days and crossfit workouts 3 times in that week and I think maybe that was a bit too much. The Bruny Island Ultra is on in 2 weeks and I don’t want to be sick for that so as of yesterday I am on Anna’s Get Healthy Now Diet.

The diet includes fruit, vegies, pulses, nuts, seeds, rice and quinoa.

It does not include processed food, ice cream or chocolate 😦

The simplicity of it means my preparing/cooking/washing is even easier before (and for the record, I refuse to cook anything that takes more than 10 mins and involves more than 1 dish to wash up). I’ve been having lots of salads and mono fruit meals which is so yummo. I am hoping it will send me back on the path of good health.

Vegan for a week and 100 Pushups! What? 100 pushups?!

Last week I was vegan. An initiative of the Plant Powered Cool Runners group, those of us who were not vegan decided to give it a go for a week.

I was terribly unhealthy. I thought Right, I’m vegan. Vegan food is good food. I will bake some vegan muffins, vegan banana bread, vegan pancakes, go to the local World Vegan Festival and buy lots of vegan muffins and vegan raw chocolate. But you know what? Muffins are still muffins and chocolate is still chocolate no matter what label you want to give it. Hence I had a week of terribly bad health. So today I am back to my normal diet. I felt the need to cleanse myself of this terrible vegan eating so for dinner tonight I had a huge bowl of vegetables. Potato, squash, zucchini, green beans, cherry tomatoes and broccoli. I feel sooo much better after that!

It’s funny, there seem to be a lot of barefoot or near barefoot runners who run long distances and are vegan. They are a bunch of hippies. They are like the beautiful people at doofs in the bush who dance barefoot all night and all day.

Eating vegan food is one thing that makes me feel closer to the earth. I remember several years ago I came home from Rainbow Serpent and wrote down a list of things that I wanted to do to be myself. One of the things I wrote down was to walk outside barefoot at least once a day, even if it’s just in my back yard, so I could connect with the earth.

Has anyone checked out the 100 Pushups Challenge? Who wouldn’t want to be able to complete 100 pushups in a row? ONE HUNDRED FULL PUSHUPS! Well I am giving it a go starting tonight, I did Week One, Day One.

And I am not doing any of this girly knee pushup business. Full man pushups all the way baby! It makes such a difference. The girl pushups are so lame I think, even though at the start of the year I could only do 10 before collapsing. I have noticed with full pushups I really feel my core working, and that is what I need.

I have been building up to this for a while, working on my girly pushups so I can do 35 in one hit without a break. Then I suddenly went from being able to do 5 full pushups to 10 to 15! I tried again this morning, but with correct form I could really only do 10 full pushups. So I started the 100 pushup challenge tonight. J is doing it too so it will be good to compare notes 🙂 We have made a rule to start today and to do full pushups with correct form – No cheating!

I suggest anyone who is interested in general fitness and strength to give it a go. Who knows when you will need to impress someone with your ability to do so many pushups?

Lead up to First Ultra

3 days to go until my first ultra. I have been doing a few things in the lead up to make sure I am feeling good on the day.

Firstly, I bought some Dunlop Volleys. I thought it would be good to have some flat, unsupportive shoes for trail runs, rocky ground, and general situations where the Vibram Five Fingers may not be my first choice. I am also too cheap to buy some propper flats at the moment, although would LOVE to try on the Adizero PRs. I ran in the Volleys on Monday (felt good), Five Fingers on Tuesday (felt better), and my old Nike Waffles on Wednesday (legs felt great, pitty the shoes are so narrow). This switch in footwear has alleviated a lot of the recent achillies/bursa/metatarsal pain and my feet are feeling pretty good. I didn’t run today, and probably wont run until the day, although I might sneak a short one tomorrow or Saturday.

Secondly, I have declared myself vegan from today until the ultra. I’m doing this for my health. I have been experimenting with food lately, and I do feel much healthier on a vegetarian diet. I have decided to go a step further and be temporarily vegan, mainly to cut out dairy, but partly just out of interest to see how difficult it is to maintain.

Now I just need to make a list of what I need to take to the ultra, foodwise. It’s only 53k so it’s quite possible I wont even need any solids. Lately I have noticed on my long runs that I do crave fruit towards the end. Based on that, my list is this:

  • Water
  • Orange juice
  • Apple juice
  • Homemade boysenberry cordial
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Bananas
  • Promite sandwich on multigrain or similar bread

I will run in the Five Fingers, but take the Asics DS Trainers just incase. I’ll also take a very old pair of Asicas Kayanos with orthotics that I had years ago. They are sooo comfortable. Not to run in, but to wear after a long run when your feet just don’t feel like doing anything. The cushy cushy feeling and the orthotics moving your feet for you is just perfect after a long run!

If anyone reading has any further suggestions, please comment!