My Toolbox is Full; It's Time to Build

By Tanya

As you may remember my 2012 was filled with running injuries galore, the worst of which was a painful locking up of my back that would take days, sometimes weeks, to relieve.  In 2013 I decided to hang up my running shoes and fill up my toolbox. This meant taking a year off from my usual 10k race series as well as any other additional races I like to throw in and spend the year collecting tools to build strength and balance in the areas that seemed to be causing my problems. For me this meant spending two months with a personal trainer, ten months of cross training, and a year of learning to listen to my body.

In the beginning when I started working with the personal trainer I was not allowed to do much in the way of aerobic exercise.  To help me from packing on the pounds and to see if any thing I was eating was causing pain from inflammation, I decided to go on an elimination diet. I started by only eating fruits and veggies and then added in different types of foods one by one for a six weeks. Though my pain and inflammation did not go away, I did learn how much better my body feels when on a clean, whole foods diet.

During this time I also became better aware of how many of my activities of daily life created an unequal imbalance in my posture. This led to changes in how I sit, stand, sleep and bend.
When the time came for me to add in more exercise, I started swimming more and rekindled my forgotten love of dance through Zumba. Dancing really helped me to loosen up my back and after a couple of months I stopped having painful back lockups.

I started feeling better around the time that Carissa and Jodi started formulating their plan to compete in an Olympic triathlon. I was inspired watching my Sole Sisters train and I enjoyed seeing their progress. I even had the pleasure of joining Carissa in the pool and on a bike ride through the beautiful Oregon countryside. During this time I started testing out a bit of running. Though the ongoing tightness and pain in my hips continued to plague me, I found that through a combination of proper stretching, rolling and regular massage, I was able to keep the pain at bay.

As much as I would have loved to compete alongside my Sole Sisters in the triathlon, I knew I was not ready.  Instead, I had a wonderful experience being with Carissa and Jodi on their race day to support, cheer and videotape their amazing journey as triathletes. Some of my personal highlights from that event were pushing past my fear of swimming in open water on a practice swim through the lake with Carissa and tag-teaming on race day with Jodi's family to encourage the girls through some tough portions of the swim.  I was also able to run the 10k course by myself and take pictures while Carissa and Jodi were on the biking portion of the event.

My run that day gave me confidence to add in more slow and steady running into my workout routine. The year moved along and I continued to feel better.  So much better that when a really good deal come up to run the Whidbey Island half marathon scheduled for April of 2014 I took the leap of faith and signed up.

2014 is finally here and I am ready and excited to open my toolbox and build a new running story for myself. Like Carissa and Jodi, I too plan to take 2014 one goal at a time and see where the road takes me. For now I am on my way to Whidbey.  But first I need to make a stop in Scio to cheer on my girls!

Happy 2014 Sole Sisters! May this year bring you new exciting roads to travel and great friends to join you on along the way.


  1. I'm excited that you'll be at Scio cheering!!!!!!!!! :)

  2. Yeah Devon. I am looking forward to cheering you cross that finish line! Happy last few weeks of training. See you in Scio!

  3. Go Tanya go! I love how purposeful you've been in retraining your body.

  4. Yay, Tanya! You've been so patient! You've got someone in KY cheering you on!

  5. Thanks Jodi and Claire! I'm just going to keep moving along in some way or another as long as I can! Thanks for your support and encouragement!