Hope you had a great four-day or two-day (non-Thanksgivingers) weekend.

Thanksgiving started with a “Pumpkin Pie” yoga class where sadly no pumpkin pies were eaten. But we did try to get into the most ridiculous crescent roll pose.

Something like this - minus the beach.

Something like this – minus the beach.

Then a quick stop at home to get some dough ready for our contribution to the Thanksgiving festivities.

Freshly baked sourdough courtesy of J.

Freshly baked sourdough courtesy of J.

And then on to the part that I was dreading/looking forward to all week – my first run outside in about 7 weeks! My treadmill runs had been going fine but were incredibly boring (I swear that time slows down in the vicinity of the dreadmill). I wanted to get outside so badly that I was having serious runners’ envy when I spied people on their daily runs. I decided that Thanksgiving was the day to take things outside.

But there has also been the ever present knowledge that doing too much too soon (AKA the classic injured runner trying to get back on the road ASAP) could lead to recurrence of my injury or even worse a full scale stress fracture. I haven’t noticed any symptoms in my foot since taking a break from running back in October but I am all too familiar with finding myself with a brand spanking new injury while recovering from something else. Yay – runner’s problems!

So with a little trepidation I headed to one of my favorite trails near SLC – the Pipeline in Millcreek canyon. The temperatures in the valley have been pretty mild lately and our high on Thanksgiving was set to get near 60F. Obviously I decided to wear some shorts and contemplated running in just a t-shirt. That is until we got near the trail head and saw snow everywhere! Yike! I guess I forgot that 1500 ft can make such a difference in winter.

Millcreek_run

It wasn’t that cold – 39F – but the trail was packed down with snow for the first mile which made running a little slower and a lot slicker than normal. The second half was snow-free and mostly dry although I still manage to get my legs nice and muddy.

Running

 

Just a little over four miles but with 898 ft of elevation gain. Maybe not the easiest way to return to running but it felt amazing! Pain-free and out on the trails – who could ask for more?

I woke up the next day expecting to feel pain – and I did but mostly from my intense yoga posing – hello hip flexors! My calves felt a little tight, which seems to be the story of my life. But I can deal with muscle pain – it doesn’t scare me like tendons/bone pain.

After de-muddifying we headed for dinner and filled our bellies with an amazing spread. This might be a controversial opinion but my favorite thing about Thanksgiving dinner are the sides. Give me extra mashed potato and stuffing over pie any day.  And pumpkin flavored things – meh – I can take it or leave it – and this even applies to pumpkin pie. Sorry if we can’t be friends anymore – although if we stay friends I’ll give you all of my pie (in return for some of those taters).

Friday was some low impact cardio – a 35 minute (uphill) bike ride to work (yes work – boo) followed by a core yoga class. And then more trails on Saturday (right now I’m running every other day) – 3.75 miles – bringing my total mileage for the month up t0 28ish miles. Not exactly what I wanted but I am going to take.

And I’ve become an accidental triathlete. Biking + trail run on Saturday and a swimming session on Sunday. Don’t worry – I have no plans to ever ever ever intentionally do a triathalon – that is officially for badass/crazy people. But I am really digging all of this cross-training right now.

 

Update

Today I did something I rarely do – a lunchtime workout. I wanted to do a swim workout and usually that means hitting the pool after work and getting home late, or going at 6 AM and having breakfast at work. I finally figured out option 3: go during my lunch break. And take advantage of our amazing weather (clear blue skies and in the 50s) for a nice 15 minute walk each way. I am usually stuck in my building from dark til dark these days.

Winter came on Saturday but was gone 4 hours later.

Winter came on Saturday but was gone 4 hours later.

 

Plus I swam 1 mile for the first time – although with a couple of breaks – but I am almost done with my 6 week zero to 1 (continuous) mile swim program. And I could spy the new cardio equipment and 50m pool in the new gym that will be opening in January 2015.

Shiny new gym.

Shiny new gym.

I could get used to three day weeks! No races for me tomorrow. My body (or more specifically – my right foot) just isn’t ready – and I know that I cannot take it easy in a race situation. I’ve managed two 3 mile treadmill runs in the last week. Running is pain free but my hypochondriac injury detector has gone into overdrive.

When I started back with my 1 mile runs I was feeling little aches in weird places (shins for the first time ever and calves as usual) but these went away pretty quickly. I think that my body was just getting used to running again. So one part of me now thinks that I just need to be brave and push myself a little. To toughen up a little. But (there is always a but) I still don’t feel right. It’s hard to explain: I’m not in pain (and certainly not the rapid onset that made me make an emergency appointment with a doctor) but my foot doesn’t feel normal. I’m not sure if this is actual or imagined weakness in my foot, but I think it isn’t doing any harm to be hyper-vigilante as I start to add back the miles. So vigilant that I’m wearing my compression socks today.

IMG_1109

I kinda feel like a superhero – wearing my superhero socks under my regular clothes!

So, like I said no race but tomorrow is a big day. I’m planning to try a short run OUTSIDE on one of my favorite trails with J and my running buddy A. I haven’t run outside since October 16th and I am so excited, especially because the weather here is meant to be unseasonably warm. Thank you Thanksgiving gods!

Seriously, if I ever move back to Ireland or the UK I am bringing Thanksgiving with me. It is just the best holiday ever. Like Christmas without all the pressure of buying gifts. I also like to think of it as practice for eating Christmas dinner which is a huge deal in Ireland (we do turkey AND ham). We will be eating delicious food and hanging out with our awesome friends.

Speaking of delicious foods……….I think enchiladas are my favorite thing ever.

IMG_1108

These ones are black bean and sweet potato (and you know I need to have avocado and jalapenos). But I’ve been making my own sauce for a while and thought I’d share because it is ridiculously easy.

8 oz can of tomato sauce

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1-2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 chili in adobo sauce chopped (these are in cans in the Mexican section of the supermarket)

Mix everything in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 mins and it’s ready to pour over. I think I could happily eat this everyday.

Workout summary: 11/17 – 11/26

Mon: 2 mile run + leg strength/stretching

Tues: AM: Yoga

PM: 1600 yds (40 mins)

Wed: 2 mile run + leg strength/stretching

Thurs: AM Yoga

PM 1600 yds (40 mins)

Fri: 2 mile run + leg strength/stretching

Sat: 1600 yds (40 mins)

Sun: 3 mile + full body strength

Mon: Rest!

Tues: 3 mile + leg strength/stretching

Wed: 1650 yds (1 mile!)

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! And if you live in the UK or Ireland I recommend that you take the day off work and have an early Christmas dinner!