Return to running

I was going to title this “Injury Update” but I thought that was a little inaccurate. I’m not really injured but I’m not yet back to normal – kinda in the purgatory of recovery. The good news is that I’m running again. As in actually putting on my shoes and running non-stop. And it’s amazing.

I’m not the type who thinks that running cleanses my soul/gives me spiritual meaning – I’m much to practical for that. But it is something that I really really enjoy doing. I like the simple task of putting on my shoes and seeing what my body can do. Sometimes it’s fun, a lot of times it’s hard and most of the time it feels like second nature. And I can do it again.

My first non-stop (after weeks of run-walking) was on May 30th and was a great way to finish the month. Right now, I’m working with my PTs (yes – plural) and am cleared for running every other day, starting with 30 mins and increasing 10% per week as long as there is no increase in pain.

Luckily this coincides with the start of training for my next half marathon. in 12 weeks time I’ll be running down one of our local canyons. This won’t be a goal race because, well see above, and also we are doing a ton of travel this summer (first world problems yo). I have a second race late in October that finishes one mile from my house with pizza so my goal for that is to get to that pizza as quickly as I can.

The plan is to run 3-4 times a week, gradually building up my mileage and not really worrying about pace. Mostly, I’ve been running with the pup before work with a solo run at the weekend. This Saturday I ran my longest, fastest, lowest pain run in forever.

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 17.29.05I might also have accidentally found my way into a race in my local park and it was nice to get some words of encouragement even if I wasn’t the lead lady. One day……..

You might notice that I said this was the lowest pain run and not pain-free. I still haven’t had that breakthrough. My first week of running was a little rough, so my PT and I decided that I should take another week before increasing mileage. Luckily, since then the pain has decreased on every run. Also, pain might be the wrong word. It’s not a sharp pain, more like a discomfort that I’m constantly expecting to rear it’s ugly head. The take-home message is that things are getting better……….finally!

What else I’m working on: strengthening those hips and glutes. And that seems to be working. I made significant strength gains in both legs and am continuing to work on that. We did an analysis of my form and that has also improved – more hip stability and perfect cadence (180 spm!). The one thing that has come out of all of this is my limited range of motion in my left leg which we think has been the cause of all my problems – and I’ll probably do a more detailed post about that later.

Bike commuting! For the last three weeks I’ve been cycling to work. I bought a single speed from a friend and finally got it back from the shop complete with 2 extra gears and a rear brake.  It’s about 11.5 miles there and back but all uphill (about 600ft) in the morning and takes 35-40 minutes depending on traffic/lights/the tiredness of my legs. I’m really loving it right now although by the end of the week my legs are pretty tired – especially if I’ve been running beforehand. I’m hoping that cumulative fatigue will help in the long run.

Yoga – still doing some hot yoga. I’m trying for once a week. Every time I go I think that it’s the sweatiest I’ve ever been in my life. Do you ever get used to the heat?

I’ve started June on such a great note and I’m quietly hoping that it will continue.

 

Recent travels

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks – and the craziness of summer has started over here. We’ve had two trips out of town and some hot hot weather.

Over Memorial weekend we decided to head down to the desert because – the desert is awesome. We drove to the San Rafael Swell – an area in central Utah bordering I70 that is usually immune from the craziness of Moab and Zion. We scored this amazing campsite and did some exploring.

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We hiked by the San Rafael river, making our way towards a natural arch. One surprise was coming across an airstrip – that apparently is still in working order because there were people who had flown in to camp.

IMG_20160528_140941IMG_20160528_162009We bushwhacked our way towards the arch – along some beautiful red walls and the quiet of a real out-of-the way place. We turned around just in time to get rained on which is a little unusual in the desert.

IMG_20160528_150014IMG_20160528_150018The next day we explored some more side canyons – Pine and Cow Creek. And Sophie got her first desert experience.

On the way home we swung by the Little Grand Canyon.

IMG_20160529_125447Can you believe that this viewpoint is just a 3 hour drive from our house?

After a short week at work we then did a 180 and headed for the big city – St Louis. We were traveling for a wedding and had a bunch of really fun weekend events – including the big day – spread out over the weekend, but we did get to do the two touristy things that I really really wanted to experience when I was there.

We had booked the Beermaster tour months ago. This is a small tour – we only had 6 people – that lasts about 2 hours and you basically get to see everything you could want to see around the brewery – and taste beer at different stages of the process. It was surprisingly enjoyable – especially the historic aspects. It turns out that a bunch of the buildings are historical landmarks and are incredibly ornate. And the clydesdale horses live right there too.

IMG_20160604_121936IMG_20160604_103030 We also visited the Arch – which is an experience. It is undergoing renovation right now to build a new visitors center and museum but you can still go to the top. And the trip to the top is in small futuristic pods – futuristic in the 1960s sense of the world. But the view from the top was pretty cool and the structure itself is impressive.

IMG_20160605_102456IMG_20160605_104849Now, are travels are done for a couple of months. So time to focus on fun stuff around SLC. And right now I’m doing that on a combination of two almost pain-free legs and two wheels. More on the injury saga – spoiler things are looking good – and my return to bike commuting later.