Category Archives: Injury Recovery

Diastasis Recti

I just was informed at my last doc appointment that I have diastasis recti (abs are tearing down the middle due to the pressure of growing uterus) 😦 It is not that bad yet, so that’s good.  I was suuuuuper bummed because I still have 3 more months to go and it will probably get worse.  HOWEVER, I am happy that LOTS of research has been done on what exercises I can do WHILE pregnant AND I am so thankful for the many fit mamas who have paved the way for me.  One in particular who I recently received great pointers and encouragement from is IFPA Pro Melissa Cunningham (check out her blog at: I had originally contacted her for my friend who had diastasis recti with her 2nd pregnancy, so I had all this info, youtube links and tips already at my fingertips! Special thank you to you, Melissa, for your time and compassion for reaching out to someone you don’t even know!

Thankfully, running is still totally ok. I was bummed when the Physician’s Assistant told me no lifting or exercising, BUT …I am going to wait and talk to my doc (who was out of office that day) who’s husband was a bodybuilder and knows my backgroud, so she is very familiar with workouts. I am hoping she will be able to shed more light on what REALLY is ok or not ok.  Like pull ups with my transverse abs activated- are those ok? I’m thinking yes.  But push ups…maybe not since gravity is putting pressure on the weak connective tissue.

Informative online resources:

The Perfect Fit for College

Most people I have met in the fitness world are like diamonds. Multifaceted. Fitness sometimes is the first sparkle you see, but often times they have other interests (and those other interests are sometimes their biggest trait!).  But EVERYONE that I meet in the fitness universe plays the balancing act.  They have to be intentional and organized when it comes to their life pursuits.  Everyone is different, so not one-schedule or one-system will work for everyone.

I wanted a perspective of a fit-focused college student and how he or she made fitness happen. Audrey Zuck gave me an in-depth look into her fit life including obstacles and struggles. Every athlete has their story. Here is hers…

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Do you have a nick name(s)?

 Audge, Audgie, Chinky, and “Roid-rager,” and Superwoman (which my guy friends call me, even though I don’t take steroids :))

How did you get into fitness or why? What was your driving force

Ever since I can remember I’ve been “into fitness.” My parents have a home video of me bench pressing a chair when I was about 4 years old saying, “Daddy, look at me! I’m strong like you!” Ever since then, I’ve loved working out with my Dad who is a fitness fanatic as well, my Mom and my cousin, Faith. But just this year, as I turned 21 I’ve really started putting in the dedication at the gym and most importantly in the kitchen. I’ve always had short and long term fitness goals, but this year I have been most serious about meeting them. My driving force, motivation and dedication first come from responding to my calling as a follower of Christ to keep my body fit for the work of serving Him and others. 1 Corinthians 6:19-22 reads “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Along with this, I am motivated by watching others around me- it drives me. This is my passion, so I want to feel and look the best that I can for a strong mind and body for the tasks which God has called me to.

Can you provide an example of a normal day?

06:00am Breakfast
07:00am  Morning run
09:00am Blog and do laundry

Every day actually looks a bit different for me, as a senior in college with mostly online classes and nanny jobs during various hours of the day. I usually try to get my morning going semi-early (6-7AM), get my protein shake and get over to the gym, which I do about 5-6 days a week. Around 8:30-9:30AM, I am back home making my high-protein breakfast, showering, then either going to class or spending time reading the Word. I am eating my second meal about 12PM, third meal by 3:00, and so on. Saturdays are my cardio days which my friends and I have been spending doing Crossfit at the track.

Is there anything or person or quote that has stuck with you over the years that keeps you motivated?

My cousin, Faith is actually one person that is always at the fore-front of my mind, ready to give encouragement and keep me motivated. For this I am extremely grateful. I’ve found that keeping positive friends around and being around people who have the same drive for living fit as I do, makes a HUGE difference! It’s difficult for me to recognize just one quote that has stuck with me because there are so many, but my favorite right now is by Ashley Horner, “Yeah it’s gonna be hard, you’ll have days where you feel like you can’t make it and that you want to quit! DO NOT listen to that person in your head. The times you overcome are the moments that make you stronger. You have to finish what you’ve set out to do… No more I’ll do it tomorrow, or I can’ts. Make it your priority. Get to where you’re going.” One more is by Jimmy Pena, the founder of, “The goal is not a better pair of biceps, but a pursuit of the healthiest possible version of the body He gave us so that so that we can better fulfill His purpose, whatever the calling might be. Friends, we have work to do, and we “live” in a showroom of divine craftsmanship. Let’s never again be content to sit idle.”

If people could remember one thing about you what would you want it to be?

I want people to remember my passion and love for life and others!!

Do you ENJOY working out?

I definitely enjoy working out 90% of the time! Of course there are some days where I don’t want to go, but I go anyway because the pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret. Consistency is key to meeting your goals! My goal each day is to become more like Christ in my lifestyle and He “never faints or is weary!” (Isaiah 40:28)

Are you one of those people that needs their food to taste good, or do you just do what it takes to get nutrients in?

When I am trying to meet a short-term goal, I will pretty much do whatever it takes to get those nutrients and protein in, but otherwise I normally like my food to taste at least a little delicious;)

What is your favorite Go-to health food?

I love cliff bars, bananas, and for a quick-dinner I have come to love tilapia with asparagus!


What is your biggest food weakness?

Easily ice cream, candy, and bread! I love carbs and sweets!


 What are your hobbies?

Obviously I’m a fitness freak, photography, fashion, art in the form of music (singing and violin), anything outdoors (skiing on the lake, hiking, biking…), shoe shopping, eating out, traveling, dancing, and loving on my friends!

How do you manage social life, school, family balanced with fitness?

They all tie together for me. My social life sometimes is doing crossfit with my friends or lifting weights with my parents when I’m in town. But otherwise, I put my fitness pretty far at the top, making sure I am getting my workout in for the day and then if I have time later on I will hang out with friends. I see it as honoring God with my body, by getting that in before spending time doing fun things with my friends:)

If you were taking a road trip (or even just running errands) and you forgot to bring your cooler of healthy snacks and meals, what would you do?

  1. Wait till I arrive at my destination
  2. Find a gas station and purchase a protein bar (If I’m out running errands and can allow waiting until I get home to eat my meal, I will do that. But if I’m out and forgot something, I will try to find a gas station and get a protein bar! They’re delicious to me!)
  3. Other:   _______________________________________________________________

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself, your journey or a personal struggle?

Lastly, I just want to share an obstacle that I have had to overcome that has made me a stronger person and driven me in my fitness goals. When I was really young I had a sternum disorder where I was born with a curved sternum- termed “pectus excavatum.” The doctors had to repair it pretty urgently because my heart was being compressed. Well in the last year I have discovered that I have a reoccurrence of this disorder, most likely due to having had the surgery so young and also irritation of “costochondritis” most likely due from new workouts I was trying. There is a 1% chance of the pectus reoccurrence and I was that 1%. I have seen many doctors, had to miss the first week of school to get it all investigated, had to make a lot of hard decisions and changes for awhile. What it came down to was that my heart and lungs are perfectly healthy, my chest wall is just only allowing me to get 70% of the air I need and I have some discomfort doing certain exercises or in certain sleeping positions. We decided to wait on surgery for now because it would be extremely risky and complex and there are not many doctors in the US who have done a repair of a repair. I could easily give up and make excuses to not go to the gym, but instead I am setting goals and working to overcome issues that make it hard to run or do a lot of cardio. It’s also allowed me more than ever, to depend on my Savior for strength and remain humble because I physically cannot do it on my own. It reminds me that He is strong and never fails even when I do. It pushes my mental health because I have to remind myself to “just keep going. Don’t be a person who needs excuses.”

Thank you, Audrey, for sharing your story and how you make fitness happen! You are an inspiration to athletes everywhere who are working to overcome an injury or physical obstacle.

Can you relate to her story or her system?

Follow Audrey on twitter! @audreyzuck

Injuries Are Like Sour Patch Kids

I am called “accident prone”, to which I must say, nay! I merely have fun until it hurts!

One of my snowboarding injuries is coming back to bite me in the butt (kind of literally too)…I had broken my tailbone right off. Now that I am pregnant I supposedly get to experience back pain, but with this old injury I am nearly debilitated.

Extremely frustrating – I’m already dying to hit the gym hard (but told by doc to cut back) and now THIS… *le sigh*

On one hand…I love injuries – they are memoirs of great times, chances taken, limits pushed.  On the other hand…they haunt you. The sweet then sour reality…

PS. check out my sister (also “a chaser of good times”). She just started blogging while she is recovering from shattering her pelvis doing a jump in the terrain park (snowboarding).  Our mom, bless her heart, often told us growing up (and still does) “I wish I could just put you in a cage” or “I hope you hurry up and get married to someone tame who will knock some sense into you”

Injured In-Season, What’s a Girl To Do?

Faith Keith - snowboarding injury #2
I went snowboarding last week with my husband, sister, and a few friends (and had the time of my life).  On the last day I was on the first run of the morning just relaxing to the swoosh of the powder (and ice).  Then a simple poor decision of a skier up-mountain from me threw my mind into slow motion.  He plowed right through the front of my board and causing my board to turn into his pole and flip.  (for those of you who snow board, I was traversing toe side, I fell, then the guy’s pole flipped me heel side)  OUCH!!! My knee was strained in 3 places.

6 weeks out.  What’s a girl to do.

I can walk fine, but balancing is painful.  Its amazing how much stabilizing your body does when doing simple things like walking up stairs or lunging or squatting.

6 weeks out. What’s a girl to do.

Per my trainer she wants me to rest my legs a week and then reassess.  I know the injury is not too bad.  After talking with her, I am going to try light elliptical or stair master to see what I can handle.  I will be VERY cautious and listen to everything my body says.  Just a few seconds ago I attempted a walking lunge with kickback.  After 10 lunges my knee was already swelling. Ugh…sigh…we shall see, we shall see…

Lord, what do you have in store for me? 🙂

Praying for wisdom to know how to continue training or the wisdom to know to stop.

Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement!

I’m Gonna Run, Na Na Na-Na Na

stickingtongueout image from

I am ready to TRAIN my body.

I am done with ABUSING my body.

I now know the difference! ha!

Just got back from the orthopedic doc and here is my recipe to kick tendinitis to kingdom come:

  • Stretch before and after each workout (lifting OR running)
  • Stretch again. Because I am now so tight, I have to stretch before bed and first thing in the morning for the next 3-4 weeks
  • Physical Therapy – to build a “base” before I can start building in my training (and then not increase load/force/reps/distance more than 10% each week)
  • Calm the swelling – with [heavy duty] anti-inflammatory

I can’t wait to incorporate 4:00am runs! I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Now I am really glad I contacted the team and didn’t just try to deal with this on my own.  I get so leery about taking advice from people unless they’ve BEEN there and know what it feels like to HAVE to run/train. They are easy to listen to because I can trust that they understand the athlete personality…ME!

I’m ready to kick this! PT here I come!

[Competition Training] Day 30: FINE!

stubborn woman image from onebrightcorner.blogspot.comSo it has come down to the wire…the knees have flared up and I decided to do something about it before it ruins me again. I have called my sports orthopedic and even scheduled an appointment.  I have lined up my therapy center, so that once I get my prescription I can head straight on over.  This is the first time I am taking care of something as a preemptive measure! Well, ok I know it’s not technically preemptive, but what I mean is I haven’t broken a bone or torn a limb off yet.

Are you a glutton for punishment as much as I am?

So per my awesome trainer, Susan Groshek, I will be waiting on her coaching.  Thursday will be upper body instead of legs this week. So today instead of upper body today I will be doing bis and tris. Staying positive.

Let’s DO this.

Tendinitis is your body’s way of telling you that you can’t get away with it anymore

Question: @irunnerblog my running injuries are coming back to haunt me! Tendinitis flaring up. Any recov tips for tendinitis? (


Hi Faith,

Below is the response from Marisa, hope it helps!

Yes, its called stop running so much, and get it treated. [Tendinitis] is your body’s way of telling you that you can’t get away with it anymore! Too tight, too tired, too many miles and the health of the tissue is in jeopardy!

Unfortunately, that’s the real deal! If it keeps coming up you aren’t addressing it. You can’t just treat it a bit when hurts, its like taking antibiotics until the jar is done…you have to do a full course of treatment so it goes away for good, and run less so it heals!

It usually means you are doing more than you should 😦

Scott Miles


// It’s true.  I have never finished a therapy course all the way to the end.  I stop when I feel improvement and “do it on my own”.  I have recovered from this before and I can do it again, but this time I will do it with due diligence.  I will actually create a time plan with routines to strengthen my tendons.  I’ll even call the ortho and talk to a therapist about routines. I’m ready to kick this thing for good!  Thanks irunnerblog team!

[Competition Training] Day 29: Working Around Weakness

All weekend my knees have been absolutely KILLING me.  I’ve been taking Naproxen (anti-inflammatory) and, when I can, I’ve also been icing them.  Today is Leg-day and I am so discouraged because they STILL hurt.  My motivation levels are still high though.  After talking to my fitness-guru hubs we came up with a game plan.  Tonight I will probably be at the gym longer so that I can take my time trying 1-2 reps of leg exercises to figure out which ones hurt and which ones don’t.  Once I can hone that in I’ll tell Groshek so she can help me compile a good workout.  I already know that plyos are a very bad idea.  can barely bend.  Ergh…

We shall see…

Side note…still eating perfectly with the exception of a half of a small whole-grain blueberry muffin which is NOT on the meal plan.

Do you have any tips on leg routines?

This is frustrating for training progress, what can I do while my knees heal? Focus on upper body?

[Competition Training] Day 25: The Ghost of Injuries Past

image from the greatest running blog out there!Due to work-staff situation, I had to cancel training to help cover the workload. I was really disappointed, but later realized it was a God-sent. My knees have been aching since last week all of which I am sure is as a direct result of pushing harder AND adding the new cardio program to my routines. I laid off of them for a day and even choose to wear flats on date night, but I woke up with it hurting worse. Hopefully it will oil up later in the day.

[gross story alert!]

The injuries…I hurt both knees twice on 2 separate occasions. (If you haven’t noticed, I love sports till it breaks me :)) The first time was while I was running down the soccer field and there was a hidden rivet in the ground. My left foot came in hard to the rivet causing my left to overextend while my right leg, in attempts to catch myself, tore the ligaments on the outside of my knee.  The second time was an over-use because I absolutely love to run.  The weather was amazing so I was running every day, every where, and not keeping track of my mileage. I developed severe tendinitis.  I am paying for my negligent abuse. *sigh*

Moral of the story…train hard, but use your brain too.

Exertion Headache Experiment

Splitting Headache

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been having headaches almost immediately during training.  If the warm up is on the treadmill I don’t get the headache until the first exercise, but if the warm up is double lunges or 50 pushups, I feel it within seconds of beginning.  Wondering if I am experiencing an exertion headache.

Today I am going to experiment to combat these headaches until my body is conditioned for the strenuous training.

  • 1:45p  1 Naproxen (NSAID)
  • Consume 1/2 gallon before 5.30pm (training start time)
  • 4:30p 1 Naproxen (NSAID)
  • 4:30p 200mg Caffeine pill

Tonight will try to get to bed earlier and see if it helps for tomorrow’s training

#FAIL naproxen only helped my on going headache (probably allergies), but did not help during workout.  Caffeine kept me up till midnight #doh!

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