Hello and happy December! (How the heck is it December already?!)
When I last left you, I had thrown caution and doctor’s orders to the wind in order to run the Shamrock Turkey Trot. Happily my dodgy metatarsal didn’t hurt during or after that run, and hadn’t really bothered me too much in the week since. I also listened to my ortho – once the Thanksgiving run was done – and laid off impact exercise for a week to give my foot a break.
In the interim, I went to the gym a few times to get my cycle on. I’ve written about my love for my gym’s Expresso Bikes before – they’re like stationary bike video games! – so imagine my glee when I received an email about some Expresso challenges during December. Woo hoo for fun motivation! (Seriously, I can use all the motivation I can get right now.)
I joined the Mini Yeti challenge, which involves completing 6 hilly courses (remembering my ortho’s earlier advice about taking it easy on the bike, I didn’t want to sign up for one of the more difficult challenges that would have required scaling some ridiculous virtual elevation!).
My first Yeti Day went great. I warmed up with an easy, flat course, then tackled the “Alpine Splash.” It was hard but not incredibly taxing, and it felt awesome to work up a sweat after a long period of relative inactivity.
Yeti Day Two? Not quite as great. Two of the Expresso bikes were taken, and the third wasn’t working. Boo. I hopped on the elliptical and completed a mile before either of the bikes were vacated. Figuring I’d already warmed up pretty well, I launched right into “Lost Trail,” which ended up being a mistake. It wasn’t a particularly hard level, but I failed to adjust the seat properly (which I would have done had I completed a warm-up course) and felt that achieving a faster time on the course was more important than my comfort or form. So I cycled 2.9 miles on a very uncomfortable bike seat, putting more pressure on the pedal with my toes than usual. The thought crossed my mind several times to just get off the bike and fix the seat, but my dang competitive side won out.
There was no immediate effect, other than post-cycling stretching being a bit tougher than usual.
Fast-forward two days to yesterday. Drew and I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably nice weather (50* and sunny), as well as the fact that my one week of no impact exercise was up, and hit the track for a quick run. I fired up my C25K app to re-do Week 1 Day 2 (having re-done Day 1 during my Treadmill Run of Glee), strapped on my patella strap in an effort to ward off the ghost pains that had been haunting my right knee since Yeti Day Two, and got to it.
The first two or three one-minute bouts of running felt fine. I was trying to keep my form proper, based on both my gait retraining classes of yore and advice from Steve the Shammies coach, and felt like I was going at a pretty good clip. Nothing hurt, and other than being a bit out of breath I felt great.
Then everything started going wrong. My right knee began hurting a little, so I tightened the patella strap. Then my form started breaking down big-time because of a sudden weakness in my inner thigh, just above my right knee. It was a bizarre feeling… I’ve never experienced such outright weakness in a muscle while running before. Pain, sure, but a feeling that a muscle just couldn’t handle it? Not that I could remember, anyway.
I tried to power through a few more runs, but my leg wasn’t improving and my form was getting worse, so I just gave up. It was during my discouraged cool-down walk that I found out the C25K app I use doesn’t save partial workouts. What?? I had completed between 2/3 and 3/4 of my workout, but there was no way to save the data if the workout wasn’t complete. That just ticked me off even more! I wanted to know how far I had run – I wasn’t counting laps of the track – and how fast I had gone, but nope. Serves me right for not also wearing Simon, I suppose, but still.
And then, later that afternoon, my left knee started hurting. And then, this morning, my dodgy metatarsal started acting up again. Boo, I say. Boo!
Was my crap run a direct result of my crap form during Yeti Day Two? Perhaps. I feel like a messy Etch-a-Sketch, and want to shake it and start over… start running again from the beginning with no injuries to speak of. Wouldn’t that be nice?
But, alas. There is no do-over button (at least I haven’t found one yet!). I think this calls for a serious knuckling down on my part. How many times have I written here that I’m going to get serious about doing my PT exercises and yadda yadda? I’m learning the hard – but not surprising – way that I *actually* need to do that stuff. Merely writing it here isn’t going to solve my injury woes. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get myself to do it… dangling carrots of motivation haven’t helped, or any of my other schemes. One thing’s for sure… I need to figure out something!
In the meantime, my injury woes made me unable to participate in this year’s Mill Cities Relay, which I ran last year for the first time and absolutely loved. I’m also not sure if I’ll be able to run my goal 5K later this month. Hmph. All this disappointment may end up being the motivation I need to knuckle down! As I’ve said too many times on here – wish me luck!
How’s your running going? Did you race this weekend?
Have you ever used a Couch to 5K app? Which one(s) did you use, and did you have any frustrating experiences like I had?