The Needle Returns to the Start of the Song

…and we all sing along like before. (Any Del Amitri fans out there?)

What the musically inspired title of this post refers to is my glorious(ish) return to running… for the umpteenth time.

In my last post, I mentioned that the wheels had pretty much fallen off my running wagon yet again, but that I was hoping to take inspiration from yesterday’s Boston Marathon and haul my buns outside and get them moving. Did I manage?

garmin

Heck yes, I did!

It wasn’t pretty, by any means, and I didn’t get in my full intended workout but, by golly, I ran!

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day, sunny and low-60s at the time I laced up and ventured out. I wanted to head down to the pond, which I knew would be picturesque as well as partly shaded, but I also knew that everyone in town and their dogs would also be at the pond, and I just couldn’t deal with that. So I walked to the track as my warmup.

As I alluded a few posts back, my gait retraining coach had given me an intervals-based running plan that’s supposedly a bit easier to tackle than C25K. (I’ve found the jumps in running time a bit difficult to manage when trying to keep up my proper form.) Day 1 involved 5 minutes of walking for warmup and cool-down, and 10x 1 minute of running, 1 minute of walking in the middle.

The first running interval, as is usually the case, was awesome. I flew around the track, feeling strong and fast and quite proud of my form. But, as is usually the case, that fell apart soon afterwards. I probably started too fast, but I’m still struggling to balance my prescribed form with a pace I can manage; the proper form causes me to run faster, and I don’t quite have the fitness to maintain that pace. Which probably all points back to my inefficient breathing, which I’m also working on. Basically, I am a massive work in progress right now.

Anyway, I only managed 5 of the 10 intervals. I seriously considered pushing myself to do at least a few more, but…

  1. I hadn’t hydrated enough (anyone surprised?) and the shadeless track was starting to feel like a desert,
  2. I had forgotten my patella strap and was starting to feel ghost twinges in my right knee,
  3. I thought half a workout is better than no workout, especially as the goal of this whole thing is to NOT get injured.

So, yeah. Half of an introductory workout, which brought my total running distance to about a mile. Part of me was disappointed in myself, but I tried to think of the positives:

  1. I ran! Any running is better than no running.
  2. The workout felt a lot like one of the Shammies’ speed workouts, and I did decently, even if it was only half the workout.
  3. The weather was glorious and I was getting to be outside enjoying it.
  4. Related, it felt awesome to wear shorts/running kit again!
  5. I ran!!

It was a baby step, but a step in the right direction, and I’ll take that. And, my body felt fine afterwards – no niggles at all – and still feels fine two days later! It’s an odd feeling, and I love it 🙂 Here’s hoping this fresh start continues on the same trend!

tobias

How is your training going?

Have you ever had to restart your training from the beginning? Multiple times? How do you keep from getting frustrated?

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I Want My Running Back, Running Back, Running Back

*sings* Not runniiiiiing, because of my ribs (…barbecue sauce)

(How’s that for a little Monday throwback to the late 90s?)

Apologies for the radio silence. My excuses are as follows:

  1. Work has been crazy and I haven’t had the mental bandwidth to blog
  2. I haven’t been running or working out very much at all, thanks to a recurrence of the dodgy ribs… so, nothing really to blog about, and who wants to read my whining about being injured again?

Right. So. Yes. I may have sprinted my ribs into oblivion during the last 100m of the Shamrocks on the Rocks race, and have been hesitant to do anything that would anger them more since then. Both my running training plan and my GetFit fandango have fallen off the rails, which is especially distressing as I was supposed to start my half marathon training in earnest yesterday. Alas.

My artistic interpretation of the moment my ribs decided to rebel

My artistic interpretation of the moment my ribs decided to rebel.

So while I’ve been neglecting my blog and various related social media accounts, what has been going on?

Relearning how to breathe

I had another appointment with Jen (Gait Retraining Guru), post-rib-flare-up, and she reexamined my breathing. In addition to my ribs going up and down more than they should, the bottom ones have also flapped open all akimbo and my obliques have given up and stopped doing their job (my interpretation of Jen’s diagnosis).

Illu_trunk_musclesApparently, when you breathe in, your lower ribs sort of flare open slightly, then come back in when you breathe out. Mine appear to have flared out and then stayed out there, because I’m not activating all the right bits when I breathe. My obliques have forgotten that they need to activate to pull the ribs back in, so Jen has added more breathing exercises for me to do that will hopefully wake up those lazy obliques and get them working properly again.

I mean, really, who knew that something as subconscious as breathing could affect so many parts of the body like this? No wonder I’m an injured mess all the time.

Relearning how to run

Jen also gave me a few drills to do to help get my running in better shape, too. One of them is an old PT favorite, band walks:

Band walks (source)

Band walks (source)

Interestingly, Jen and my last PT place are very at odds about how my loose-jointed self should perform this exercise. My PT had me point my toes out, which was supposed to help strengthen my IT band. Since I was used to band-walking with my toes pointing out, I defaulted to that at my appointment, only to have Jen scold me for doing so. According to her, since my kneecaps do their own thing, having my toes point out knocks my legs out of alignment (if my kneecaps behaved, this wouldn’t be an issue I guess) and doing the toe-pointy thing is actually bad for my knees. Hmm.

Jen also gave me an intervals plan to get back into running, which is great. (She was pleased that I was able to run properly for the whole Shamrocks 5K, but was a touch exasperated that I aggravated my ribs in the process. She gave me the green light to keep running, but told me to please please please stick to intervals so I don’t hurt myself again.) I’ve been chomping at the bit to give it a go, but each time I think about starting it up, my ribs start to hurt. It’s like they don’t want me to run at all, the jerks.

Adding a new hat at work

For the summer, I’m going to wear a librarian hat on top of my archivist hat, and this has made the last few weeks a tad crazy-pants. It’s really great for my career – and gives me an opportunity to legitimately bandy about my invented title of “archibrarian” – but I’ve got a learning curve to climb on top of the new duties and additional meetings, so I’ll be keeping busy. I’m pretty pumped though!

Getting ready to travel

Related to work, I’m attending a conference soon, so there’s been a lot of planning, booking hotels and flights and trains, making lists, packing, getting shifts covered, and stress-dreaming about not being packed yet when my flight leaves in 10 minutes. Yet another time when I could really use the de-stressing aspect of running! Ah well. Soon. I have grand plans to use the hotel treadmill for some intervals, but we’ll see what actually happens.

How have you been? Any exciting running/traveling/working stories to share?

Do you manage to fit in training when you travel? Any tips on sticking with it?

February

Last month was the first time I’d ever seriously kept track of my miles and tried to stick to a legit training plan, so I figured now is as good a time as any to reflect on how it went. (A few days after the month changed is better than never, right?)

And, because I’ve always liked seeing the fancy graphics on other blogs, I thought I’d give it a go… but clearly my photoshop (read: MS Paint) skills leave a bit to be desired:

february

Probably the nicest picture from any of my runs in February, ruined by my silly text. And I will be haunted by that darn tenth of a mile! Nice, even numbers are so… nice… and that’s not one. Oh well.

So, February. Right. If you’ve been reading my weekly wrap ups, you’ll know that the month started pretty decently, and then devolved with niggles and dodgy knees aplenty. I had such grand plans… sticking to my plan, building a good base, and then running a 5k with my run club mid-March in which my performance would blow minds due to my awesome training. That is even more unlikely than before now that I have potential knee issues again, but hope springs eternal, eh?

As I write this, I’m seated in the waiting room of the gait retraining clinic I visited last year. I had to stop my retraining plan due to my freak rib injury, but after spending 2015 going crazy with injury after injury, I decided it was time for a reevaluation and another go.

So, this post isn’t so much a run-down of how my February went, as a “well, it went okay, I ran an obnoxiously not-even amount of miles, and I’m looking toward March with hope” post. I’m sure I’ll post about how this gait evaluation will go (hopefully it won’t be as scattered as this one – too many distractions!!) and hopefully this time around a) I’ll be able to see the program through, and b) it will result in a less injury-prone me. I’m accepting any crossed fingers you may have to offer!

Did your February go more or less how you wanted it to?

What are you looking forward to about March?

GetFit Week 4

Right. Another week that started off well and then turned a bit to poo. When will bionic knees become a thing, and can I get some? Sigh. Let’s get on with it:

GetFit goal: 195 minutes
Minutes exercised: 195

Steps:

stepsweek4

Man, my weekend step counts are pathetic.

Training Plan:
Monday (scheduled): cross-train
Monday (actual): cross-train (arms)

I came *so close* to just turning this into a rest day, but after feeling upset at myself for doing just that randomly last week, I forced myself to do something. That something ended up being a simple arm workout with 2lb dumbbells while watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I basically did as many sets of 10 reps as I could before my arms wanted to fall off, and considered that a success. Something is better than nothing, right?

Tuesday (scheduled): cross-train/speedwork
Tuesday (actual): speedwork

Tuesday's workout

Tuesday’s workout

I really didn’t want to do speedwork on Tuesday. At all. It was a long day at work, and I was exhausted and crabby. But I knew that running would make me feel better, so I forced myself to get changed and dragged myself to the track.

Drew and I ran 4 laps to warm up, then joined a small group doing some dynamic warmups – skipping, high knees, walking lunges, etc. After that we launched into the workout – 4 sets of 4 minutes running at 5K pace followed by a 2-minute jog. That workout was followed by strides, then some yoga as a stretch session/cool down.

The main workout was hard, mostly because I had a cramp/side-stitch combo stabbing my gut for most of it. I soldiered through, and was pleased that I was able to complete all 4 sets, dodgy knees and all! (A shiny new patella strap – so both my knees could have one – helped.) I even managed to speed up a bit in the 4th set, although that did mean I was gassed and unwilling to do strides. Plus, I didn’t want to stress out my knees too much. (And, my legs were also burning because I’d had the brilliant idea to shave my wintery-dry legs immediately before sweating in the stuffy gym, and they were protesting with an almighty redness and anger at any movement.)

I should probably figure out how to get my watch into stopwatch mode so I can do laps and figure out how my splits translate (see cardboard guide in the above photo – Coach Steve calculates what your lap time should be to get your goal 5K mile pace), instead of just running by feel. That would probably be productive and helpful.

However, I did figure out a good way to keep track of how many laps I completed, since it’s a tiny (150m) track and I can never remember – a tally counter app. It’s not ideal, because then I have to carry my phone and remember to hit the button after each lap, but I’m enough of a nerd that it’s worth it so that I know how far I ran at each workout. (Tuesday was 26 laps, so 3.9K or 2.42 miles.)

And, despite the legs on fire, I felt so much better after this workout than I did before!

Wednesday (scheduled): run 30-35 minutes
Wednesday (actual): run 30 minutes

Wednesday night was the monthly meeting of Run Club Book Club, so I had to squeeze a run in between getting home from work and heading down to the tavern for some cider and socializing (#priorities). I got home, got changed, and went straight to the gym… only to get there and realize I forgot my knee braces at home. D’oh! Oh well, I thought, I’ll just take it easy.

I snagged a good treadmill, walked my warmup, and got my run on. It felt okay – not terrible, not my best run ever – until I reached 30 minutes and slowed to a walk. Not long after I started walking, I realized that my right knee was kind of numb. Um, that can’t be good, right?!

I slowed my walk down even more (usually I slow down very gradually) and mentally assessed my knee. It was a bit numb, and felt kind of puffy. Nope, not good. I cut off my cool-down early, hobbled to the bubbler, and then assumed the awkward stance of someone trying to stare at her own knees. Drew found me like that – bent double and poking at my knees like a weirdo – and lent his eyes to the cause. He said Righty looked a little swollen, and my brain careened briefly into quiet-panic mode.

What "quiet-panic  mode" felt like (source)

What “quiet-panic mode” felt like (source)

I managed to reel it in long enough to get home, get changed, and grab an ice pack out of the freezer on the way to the tavern. The book club seems to be made up of two main groups – injured runners, or former runners who gave up due to persistent injury but stayed in the run club for the social aspects – so no one batted an eye when I showed up with an ice pack on my knee. Such is the nature of our beast. The ice, 2 pints of cider, and bookish banter helped distract from the weird feeling in my knee, and I decided to treat the rest of the week as touch-and-go. Boo, knees. Boo.

Thursday (scheduled): cross-train
Thursday (actual): a ton of walking

I walked a LOT at work on Thursday. I spent most of the day on-call for our reference staff, which meant walking back and forth across campus to fetch things several times. Also it was gorgeous out, so I went for a walk at lunch too. By the time I got home I didn’t feel well (not knee-related), so I decided that all my walking counted as my cross-training and spent the evening curled up on the couch.

Friday (scheduled): run 30-35 minutes
Friday (actual): rest

I knew I wouldn’t be running on Friday after Wednesday’s knee debacle. Instead, I went out for drinks with colleagues after work and didn’t worry about the run I wasn’t fitting in.

Saturday (scheduled): rest
Saturday (actual): rest

Another rest day, just for good measure. Watched some soccer, read some books, watched a movie. It was a nice, relaxing day.

Sunday (scheduled): run 4 miles
Sunday (actual): 1.5-mile trail run

I had planned to run with the Shammies as per usual, but:

a) My usual SMS buddy, N, wouldn’t be running, so I’d be on my own
b) It was supposed to be almost 60*, but when the Shammies run at 8, it was still going to be in the 30s
c) Spurs were playing at 9

The way I saw it, if I would be running alone anyway, I might as well wait until it was warmer and spend the morning cozy, watching Spurs, drinking tea, and eating a yummy breakfast. So I did.

When I finally ventured out for a run around 3, it was 58* and sunny and lovely. I took to the lagoon, because I thought the dirt trail would be a little easier on my knees than the asphalt around the pond. I thought I’d aim for 1 mile to see how the knee felt, then maybe go for 2 if I felt okay. Righty felt swollen when I woke up (looked fine, but felt puffy) so I didn’t want to push it.

What a gorgeous day it was! I was so happy to be out enjoying it, even if it did mean sharing the trail with pretty much everyone in town and their dogs. The light was coming through the woods in such a cool way… which didn’t translate in pictures very well, but that didn’t stop me from snapping pics as I jogged along:

Blurry woods

Blurry woods

Trail through the lagoon

Trail around the lagoon

Can you find the tiny waterfall?

Can you find the tiny waterfall?

I thought I was taking it easy, going at a gentle pace and trying to stick to the dirt, but I felt winded really fast. (Turns out I was going around a 10:00 pace, when I was used to a 12-something on the treadmill.) Then my right ankle/lower calf started bothering me and I didn’t like the way my right foot was flopping at the ground. I think I was favoring my knee and running a bit funny, and when I tried to fix my gait, my knee started hurting a little. Sigh.

My original plan had been to ease my way through the lagoon, see how I felt on the dirt trail, and then do the loop of the pond. But the loop of the pond is 2 miles, not counting the lagoon. I didn’t know if I could swing it, so I looped back through the lagoon again for a grand total of 1.5 miles. Not what I wanted, but something is better than nothing, right?

——

Keep calm and on to Week 5, eh? I’m changing my Tuesdays to be just cross-training again – no speedwork, at least until the Shammies move to the outdoor track. The turns on the tiny indoor track are too tight, and the surface is wicked hard. To save my knees (as much as I can, anyway) I’m going to wait until April to work at getting speedy.

I’m also torn about whether I should drop back to Week 2 (runs of 25-30 minutes and 3 miles on Sunday) or another attempted repeat of Week 3 (below). One of my Shammies buddies at Book Club kept saying “Scale back! Scale back!” but I’m on the fence about just how far back to scale. Hmm.

GetFit goal: 210 minutes

Mon: cross-train
Tue:
cross-train
Wed:
run 30-35 minutes
Thu:
cross-train
Fri:
run 30-35 minutes
Sat:
rest
Sun:
run 4 miles

If you were me and had a dodgy knee, would you try Week 3 of the training plan again? Or would you scale back even further?

Does “a crap-load of walking” count as cross-training, or is it a cop-out?
In my running class last year, our schedule said “cross-train or walk” for M, T, and Th.

The End of Metatarsal Drama*

*I hope.

Happy weekend! I can tell you it’s definitely a happy one for me… it’s wonderful to have a few days without much to do, especially after a month that has included 2 round-trip flights to California and lots of plans. Plus, I had a presentation at work on Friday, so it’s extra lovely to spend a weekend without that hanging over me!

Running with this happy theme, guess what? I actually have good news to share about my dodgy metatarsal! Huzzah!

Scanning back through previous posts, it looks like where I left off with my foot-related whinging was at the end of November, when I thought I may have re-injured my silly stressed-out metatarsal. I started getting “ghost pains” – I’m not really sure how else to describe them – and contacted my ortho, who said to lay off impact for a week and then get back to him.

Well, I gave it well over a week of no impact (excepting the Turkey Trot… and the Christmas 2 Give 5K), but the pain would still crop up at random moments. So I saw my ortho for a reevaluation and another set of x-rays. The x-rays came back negative again, and then my ortho got all serious and admitted that there was a chance I had reinjured and might need to go in a boot. He said if that were the case, it was his fault for not putting me in a boot to begin with, but that there was also a chance it was nothing. Only an MRI would really tell. Cue the nail biting.

So I trotted (gently) off to an imaging center and got some pictures taken of my wonky foot:

foot

Actual images of my wonky foot

And then I waited. Not for the pictures – they gave me those on a CD before I left the imaging center… isn’t technology crazy? – but for a follow-up with the ortho to get my diagnosis. Would everything be OK, or would I be in a boot?

Imagine my relief when I walked in the ortho’s office a few days later, only to be met with a giant grin. The grin foretold good news – no sign of cracking or any kind of stress fracture or stress reaction! No boot for me! Huzzah once again!!

Turns out, I’ve got myself a little case of bursitis, or swelling in the fluid sacs on either side of my previously injured metatarsal. It’s either my body still protecting the injured spot, or it’s my body’s reaction to my walking differently because of the injury. Basically, it should clear up with a short course of ibuprofen and some ice, and the ortho cleared me for all exercise.

huzzahFun note: I googled “bursitis” to make sure I was spelling it correctly, and was met with a picture that made me giggle:

bursitisIt probably shouldn’t have, but there you go. My giddiness at being free from stress injuries makes me laugh at stock images of cartoony people suffering from knee bursitis, apparently.

So, to sum up: Yay!! This is fantastic news, especially since my work’s GetFit program is about to start up again. 2016 is off to a great start… first a PR, then ridding my foot of its stressy shackles! Let’s hope this is an upward trend!

Are you doing fun things this weekend, or are you reveling in relaxation like I am?

Ever had bursitis? Am I right to be celebrating, or have I entered an entirely different temple of doom?

Scaling Mountains, Both Real and Virtual

Happy Monday, and holy quads, Batman!

Why holy quads, you ask? Because apparently my MiniYeti challenge at the gym is turning me into a real-life yeti… or at least a mini one… and at least for last weekend, anyway.

Virtual Mountains

On Saturday Drew and I hit the gym at apparently the perfect time – there was hardly anyone there! All the Expresso bikes were open, so I hopped on, did a warm-up lap of the virtual track, and then dove into Yeti Day 4: Dragon Fire:

Blurry action shot of Dragon Fire

Blurry action shot of Dragon Fire

Dragon Fire was my fastest mountainy course yet, which I was proud of because it was also the first “medium” level course I’d tried. Granted, it was relatively flat, or at least a very gradual mountain until the big elevation spike toward the end, but it still felt like an accomplishment! Now I only have 2 courses left before the end of December, and then I will have achieved official Mini Yeti status.

My challenge so far

My challenge so far

Real Mountains(ish)

After letting my quads feel the burn on Saturday, I dragged myself out of bed the next day to join the Sunday Morning Shamrocks (SMSs) at Shammies HQ. It had been quite a while since I ran with the Sunday morning group (Easter was my last good Sunday morning run, and then my knee troubles started), and I was itching to get back out there.

Let me say first that, much like at the Shamrock Turkey Trot, I went with expectations of walking. At said Turkey Trot, E said she was going to start walking up and down the “mountain” in town during Sunday morning runs, in an effort to keep her fitness up despite her injury. I miss my Shammies like whoa, so I told her I’d join her for the foreseeable future.

That brings us to yesterday. I got word from E that she was going to “waddle to the base of the mountain, then power up that bad boy,” and I decided to tag along. I met up with the rest of the SMSs at HQ, and when the bulk of the group ran off for their usual 5-6 miles, E and I, joined by N who is also injured, got ready to waddle off to the mountain.

And then, much like at the Turkey Trot, we just started running.

It wasn’t an all-out sprint or anything, just nice and easy, and man… it felt good. Well, if I’m honest, it was pretty terrible, actually. Despite all my virtual mountain climbing on the Expresso bike, my fitness has dropped way down, so I was sucking wind very quickly. But, so were E and N, so I was in good company! And, despite it not feeling great, it still felt good to be out there again.

We were all testing out our respective injuries to see how they felt, and ran without stopping just over a mile to the base of the mountain, keeping roughly an 11:40 pace. I was so jazzed to be running around the pond – my usual running haunt – again – and jazzed that it was 50*+ in December!! – so I broke out the phone to snap a blurry photo of the path:

IMG_5341N thought I was trying to take a selfie, so she photobombed me… and then was disappointed that I hadn’t actually been taking a selfie. So I took one, so she could photobomb me for real:

IMG_5342Now, before I continue, I need to make a disclaimer – this mountain that we hiked up wouldn’t be considered a mountain anywhere else in the country (except the midwest, I suppose), but it sure felt like one as we were speed-walking up it! I kept MapMyRun going from our starting point at HQ to when we got back, even though I wasn’t running the whole time, and it reports an elevation gain of 301 feet… pretty much all at once!

IMG_5345Where was I? Right. We ran to the base of the “mountain,” then proceeded to charge up a paved (though not in very good condition) path. If I thought I was winded from running, yikes! That walk up the path was no joke. But we were rewarded with a pretty fantastic view from the top:

Boston skyline

Boston skyline

View of the pond - my favorite running spot

View of the pond – my favorite running spot

The walk back down was more challenging than expected; N told us there was an easier trail to go down than the one we walked up, so we followed her… only to end up walking down a steep, muddy, grass-and-rocks path that definitely wasn’t easier. But it made the hike feel legit!

Once back at the base, we tried running for a few short bursts, but E’s knee was starting to hurt, N was struggling, and my inner quad was feeling weak again so we all opted to walk back to HQ. Round trip our little jaunt was 3.89 miles, and while we were all a bit disappointed that our aches and pains came back at the end, it was still a fun morning!

And, happily, I feel pretty decent the next day! Despite the angry quads whenever I go up stairs, anyway. My foot feels fine, and the fact that I tackled my wee mountain makes me slightly more confident that my December goal race could still happen, even if I don’t run it.

Do you have a hill/legit mountain that you like to hike?

What’s your go-to way to keep your fitness up when you’re injured?
Or, if you don’t get injured much, what’s your favorite way to cross-train?

Yetis, a Crap Run, and App Failure

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.)

snowmanI 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.

Calf stretch: hurts so good

Calf stretch: hurts so good

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?