“Go For It…I trust you”

Sunday May 1st I was grumpy, bored, frustrated, and honestly the list goes on and includes bitchy, to say the least. So, at about 4pm I got into running clothes and shoes and walked the fuck out the front door. It was hard. It was hot. It was weird. My left knee was still numb from about 3″ above the outside of the ankle, across the patella and to about the middle of my inner thigh. Taking a step off the sidewalk to the street to cross the road was not quite scary, but definitely nerve-wracking. My knee would still give out a little bit just for fun, so crossing the street was like getting on slack line to cross a river. But, I must have been too irritable for it to give out because it held. Not too far from the house is a pretty good downhill, and it held. Toward the bottom of the hill, I increased my walk pace to where I almost felt like in the right light it could possibly appear I was running. It was more of a shuffle, but still the knee held. 
At about the end of mile 2, I threw caution to the wind and DID pick my pace up to a very slow run. My knee held, so I kept that up for .5 miles and felt amazing. By the time I climbed up that steep hill I had come down at the beginning, I knew I was going to keep going. I went 4.1 miles total, mostly walking, but with a little bit of running and it felt amazing

Post-walk with a little run = happy
I was so happy when I got home – it was exactly what I needed.But, the next day I had to fess up to Dr Zach. I hadn’t quite been cleared to run. We had hoped by the end of April or beginning of May, but he still hadn’t said I could go for it. Besides, what if I couldn’t walk when I woke up? What if I undid everything? What if I had another set back like mid-April (I think I spared everyone – it was bad, but within 3 days I was back to where I had been).

Well, Monday morning came and I felt great! Better yet, Dr Zach said “I’m cool with that, keep pushing a little but not if you have any pain, or soreness that lasts more than 12 hours”! Can I run the relay race we’ve been talking about for over a month? Yep – run, NOT RACE, and be smart. Wahoooo!!!
So of course I went to Tuesday night ladies run group – and we ran 30sec run:1min walk intervals.


And…I’ve been running every Tuesday, Thursday and either Saturday OR Sunday since. In fact, Sunday the 15th, I ran FIVE MILES. It’s the BEST!

Boy does it feel good to get to run again.

I saw Dr Zach again last Monday and let him know how things are going. The feeling is coming back in my leg, and somewhat in my knee. The numbness is now just around the patella and inner knee, but “mostly has feeling”. And this week, when I asked him if I could consider getting back to running more or training for a half this summer, he said the most delicious six words….”Go For It…I trust you”. He knows I will stop if something doesn’t feel right. He knows I’m not going for speed right now, I’m just going for good, healthy, uninjured running. 

And so, run again I have. And this weekend, I somehow managed to convince my running buddy to drive 3hrs across the state with me with less than an hours notice, and sign up the following morning for a 12k (I registered on Monday, and two other friends already had a hotel room I was going to crash in)!

I will do a separate race report, but I will say – IT WAS AWESOME!

I’m not 100%, but knowing I will get there is one of the best feelings ever.

Trust me.

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Recalibrate…or else

I’m broken. Not broke, although that’s pretty much always the case. But I really DO mean broken. As in, I can’t run. Worse yet, I can’t walk. Well, I can walk, with crutches but not very well first thing in the morning. I see stars first thing in the morning when I get up to walk and I’m not in the film biz anymore.

I ran a bunch in January, and then again in February. In fact, February ended with two days of trail running that were awesome (Sat was better than Sun only because we took a wrong turn and didn’t end up on the trail we wanted).  

Sat, Sat, Sun and bottom from Sunday, too
 

Seriously, some of the happiest running of the year so far!

And then…. disaster struck. Since I can’t really pinpoint exactly when it happened, it has to be one of the following that has ruined my life (yes, I’m being dramatic, I’m broken, damnit!):

  • Watched the Academy Awards (worst ever)
  • Sunday was burpee challenge day 59, so I got them done
  • Monday clipped my toenails
  • Laundry into the wash
  • Worked from home on the computer
  • Fed the dog
  • Fed the cat

Nothing on that list was even remotely out of the ordinary other than the annual Academy Awards, therefore that is what’s going to take the blame. By Monday night, I was hobbling around and no amount of Child’s Pose or foam rolling was getting the kink out of my lower back.

Tuesday, the laundry basket turned into my walker and was my only avenue to the bathroom. That’s as far as I got. I didn’t have COFFEE until Thursday! On that glorious day, my amazing guy of 15 years made me coffee for the very first time. Best coffee ever, too. 

Clearly, things are messed up. I talked to my favorite chiropractor Thursday am as she was in the security line at the airport and she confirmed via phone that everything I was describing was indeed the apocalypse and it was time to call the kids and say goodbye. Or maybe a massage would help, but that it sounded like a disc injury and I needed to be cautious. 

I sent an emergency text to Trevor, the greatest masseuse ever, but he couldn’t get me in until Monday. Well shit. Patience.

First ever DNS
Red was coming home from school so we could snag new PR’s at the Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday. We had a slumber party with Trish who ran as well and that was fun. You know, like sticking a fork in your eye when everyone else gets to go run in the cold pouring rain and you have to stay in a warm cozy bed for an extra 45 mins. Yeah, isn’t wasn’t really too bad. Whoops. And then the tracking texts came in and I realized they really WERE going to PR and I needed to get moving if I was going to see them! (I barely snagged photos as Red & Trish went whizzing by – I got the the curb, pulled out my phone, opened the camera app, looked up and there was Red. One chance for a photo. Trish was right behind her. Phew!)

She’s flyin’!
  
Love running with these 3, even though I only got to watch this time.

Red got a 10 min course PR! I got a sweatshirt, because I paid for it. 

And, I got to see my Pip Running teammates which was awesome. 

My Running Framily during the only 5 mins without rain!
Wahoo – massage the next day! And BAM, BOOM, Urgent Care.

I have had 3 kids via c-section, and the middle one was touch and go with some major complications, yet I have n e v e r experienced pain like I did Monday morning. My guy called an audible, I canceled the massage, and almost 2 hours later we made it to Urgent Care.

The ASSHAT-MFer “doctor” that saw me didn’t even have me take off the back brace holding me together when he diagnosed me with “Routine Chronic Back Pain”. He made inappropriate comments about menopause (“Men on Pause”), and used Mob Families to explain the different drug strengths (I probably saw The Godfather once, maybe). Yeah…right. I’m an athlete, I may sit at a desk during the day, but I am active almost every evening and some mornings. He saw “50, desk job, 20lbs extra weight” and made assumptions.  

By Wednesday, I got back to work because quite frankly, I needed to get out of the house before I lost my mind. Moving helps, even though transitions from down to upright are rough.

And finally, yesterday I got into PT for my first assessment appointment. He’d like me to get an MRI. The injury is pinching a nerve which affects the left hip all the way down to the ankle. Our medical insurance starts April 1, due to some paperwork not being completed on time (at work – do not get me started), a month late. Literally. Will have to think long and hard on that expense. I could buy a LOT of Maker’s Mark with that and possibly not care about the pain (though all joking aside, it would take a lot more than a cocktail or two). 

 

I have been drinking Nuun everyday, so I cal feel like I’m still a runner, and to keep the muscle spasms to a minimum. 

Dreams of a PR at Horse Butte 10 Miler have been crushed, though I think my brother is (not so) secretly relieved that he’s off the hook since his training hasn’t gone well (he’s run 3x, dork). So thankful that Dave from Superfit Productions that puts on that awesome event will let me defer. I LOVE running in Bend even though the altitude kicks my ass. 

Horse Butte 10 Miler course 2015
So here goes a new training season. Training myself to be patient.  Training my back to get its shit together and do its job. Training myself not to eat like I’m running 75-80 miles a month. 

Because clearly, I’m not running. 

Green = Run Day
Ever been sidelined from anything due to injury? My back was acting up last summer, but running didn’t hurt. New shoes made a world of difference.

Ever taken someone else’s pain meds? Thankfully we had some Vicodin just hanging out…it was awesome. It might be awesome again. 

Ever had nerve pain? Ya know that phrase “you’re getting on my last nerve”? Yeah, I can’t even begin to describe the pain associated with this nerve thing. Not a fan. It’s beyond anything I could have dreamt up.

Cheers,

h

 

Happy Trails to you 

Happy trails to you and me. That’s pretty much how they make me feel, even when they are technical, steep, covered in snow, wide and smooth, muddy, dry, tree-lined or with beautiful mountain views. Trails are my happy place.

January 1st I did my first 5k with a Polar Bear Plunge (into Lake Washington – which was warmer than the mid-30° air temps that day) and it was a lot of fun! Not sure I HAVE to do it again, but I would if friends were doing it. The race was in Magnuson Park. I have to say, the ONLY reason I did it was for the plunge. I’m pretty tired of the route there since it’s almost always the same. This time was slightly different, but not enough to make me want to go back anytime soon.  

 

A sunny 34° to start the year!
  
Out of the water – repping FitFam!
 
(I also ran the Yukon Do It Half the end of December with a last minute bib acquisition. It snowed most of the second half and was great but we were sooooo cold because it was thick, wet snow.)

The next day I fretted. My amazing massage guy Trevor (Traveling Hands in Issaquah) got me to say yes to trying the (unofficial, group of people running the same trail, the same day, same direction) Fat Ass 25k on Tiger Mtn on Jan 2nd, oh, 6ish months ago. I figured I was safe and that he’d forget all about it. He didn’t, and a couple weeks beforehand sent me the info on where/when to meet. He is a REAL trail runner. He recently finished the Cascade Crest Classic 100 MILE race. Yeah, no decimal point. 100 miles. I laid stuff out the night before and then slept like crap. I woke up several times thinking Search and Rescue was trying to find me. I’ve run at Tiger Mtn before. There are lots of trails and some of them are obviously marked, others… Well, I was worried (and I did buy the topo map from REI a few days earlier, just in case!). I woke up, thought it over and sent him a quick msg that I was a chicken and to have fun. No big deal. Until he responded back: 

 
The next messages were all about what I needed to bring (seriously, snow, pshaw…can’t be much, whatever), etc and I got my ass moving and out the door. Poor guy, we were runners 89 & 90 (I think) to check in (you put down your name, time, how far you’re going – some did 2 loops, then check back in with your time when you are done. No one is left behind. Awesome!). Did I mention he finished in the top 10 for the Mt Si 50k last year? Okay. I can do this, he’ll make sure I get headed on the right trail.

Well, he either took pity on me or really is just that great of a guy, and he stuck with me the ENTIRE time. 5-1/2 hrs. 3,759′ elevation gain, more than half the time we were in over a foot of snow.  

  

Charity Miles included my picture in a recent collage!
  
More uphill, in the snow, 25°
  
Finally to the top!
  
Looking West toward the Olympic Mtns from the top of W Tiger #3
 
From here (around 11 miles), it’s finally mostly downhill. Sounds great, I’m ready! We went about .25mi and there was a guy bundled up, battery operated Christmas lights strewn about, playing “Dashing Through The Snow” on a ukulele! BEST ENTERTAINMENT EVER! We stopped and chatted then he dove into “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as we left. So much fun. Until the ice.

Snow is awesome, love it. I grew up at the beach so I’m still like a little kid and love snow. Ice. Well, I prefer that in a glass with whiskey. I did not have YakTraks or MICROspikes, but I did have my very cushy Altra Olympus Trail Shoes…. which have zero traction on ice. I fell three times. One of those times I was thankful I had my hydration pack on because it was just enough to keep my head from hitting the ground. Another time I came down on my elbow, which is still a little wonky a month later. I have YakTraks now (my coach grabbed me a Costco pair – thanks)! Once we were off the ice, it was smooth sailing. I have to say I was tired, but after miles and miles of hills and snow, I felt pretty happy that I was running the last 1.5miles at a decent pace. 

Trevor kept me going. He talked when I couldn’t catch my breath climbing those hills. He entertained, he gave pointers on form and techniques for handling the terrain. He led or stayed back, depending on what he thought I needed. We stopped and chatted with other runners (our moving time was actually 5:17) along the way. He made sure I saw the subtle trail markers so if we DID end up separated, I’d be okay. I was. In fact, better than okay. It was AMAZING!  

 
This weekend I have trail run on the schedule for both days. Our running group buddy, Katey, is coming up from sunny & warm AZ to run so today we will go try out a new to us trail for fun and tomorrow our training group heads to Carnation for trails for a long run.

I’m working hard on hills for the next couple of months. Red (my daughter) & I are running the Hot Chocolate 15k for the third year (with a bunch of Pip Runners) and my brother and I (and hopefully my SIL) are gearing up for the Horse Butte 10 Miler again! SUPER excited for a few days with family in Bend and a beautiful race location.

What’s up next for you? Frost Eagle 5 mile next weekend.

Trails or road? Trails, at least until the bees reappear.

Snowy mountains or sandy beaches? I cannot choose between, both make my heart smile!

Cheers – h

It’s not on my bucket list… (pt 1)

Evidently, I’m a follower. Please don’t jump off any bridges, because chances appear good that I may follow. 

Pip Running PR Training started in April, and my MAIN GOAL was to run uninjured and maybe PR a half (since I had been injured most of last year and race times were getting longer, this seemed like a good goal). Of the twelve runners and two coaches, only 4 people were NOT training for the Portland Marathon…including me.

I had no desire to run that far, for my speed, that’s a loooong time running. And I don’t run marathons, because “I’m only half crazy”.  My girlfriend Trish thinks I should though, because it’ll be fun. She’s clearly not right in the head. And then Coach Susan became an Ambassador for the marathon. And we were running long distances in our training and I felt fine. By the end of July, I’d done Ragnar and had stopped taping my Achilles. I got new shoes and my back issues were gone. And we were getting ready to run 16 miles.

And….I jumped on the bandwagon.

 Then, I ran 16 miles. Seriously, that group picture below is AFTER 16 miles! I did feel like throwing up though, so there is that. After that, I drove straight to the Cedar River and scooted my butt into the water for the best ice bath around, before heading home.

 
And training continued, hilly training giving way to speed work. Evening runs starting earlier yet still needing headlamps (though we may not have always had them).

Before we knew it, the training day I had feared since I first saw the calendar had arrived – the 20 miler. Holy shit. And to make it scarier, the route is going to be a four leaf clover, with the center point being our coach’s house (so each 5 mile loop starts & ends there), which is in my neighborhood. At any point, I would be within walking distance of home, where I could give up.

But I didn’t, and it was amazing. I was sore, and ‘done’ by the end, but the dozen plus text and/or Facebook messages from my guy & Sub30 Club friends kept me going. I was supposed to pick my daughter up at the airport after the run, which was going to mean finishing and jumping in the car to get her. Luckily, my guy got her and I was ice bathed & showered when they got home.

   
    
 
Still. Feeling. Good.

For the first time ever, I follow a strict training plan that works and I feel confident & physically really good.

A few more runs and then it’s time to taper. Whoa! What a weird feeling. Our runs have become really short. As in, shorter than when we first started training. I have dinner after a run before 9:30pm. Weird!

My guy and ‘the water boys’ (his son and his sons best friend – both of whom are living with us right now- were our water stop on a 9 miler what feels like AGES ago), book rooms in Vancouver, WA for marathon weekend. 

Portland Marathon recap coming up next…

Cheers!

Training really works…and it IS work, too!

  The Horse Butte 10 Miler was fantastic! I wrote up a race report for the Sub30 Group (from RW Big Guy Blog) that I’m part of, but forgot to post it. I’ll copy that into its own post, but in a nutshell…heart rate training (HRT) is paying off. I ran my pace (NOT LAST) fairly steady for the whole race, and took over 2 minutes per mile off my pace compared to The Dirty Half. HRT works. Sold.
  And then a week later, there was the Blooms to Brews Half Marathon, which I’d earned a FREE entry to from Gametiime – awesome! Again, another race report I’ll put into its own post. That little lady on the left ran her first half (we finished in 2:34) and the one down in front ran her first half post-foot surgery (and since turning 50) right around the 2hr mark!

April was a monumental month for me and running! Those two races built my confidence back up, and helped me realize just how much I love running longer races/distances. In addition to the races, April 26th was the first official run as part of the Pip Running Marathon/PR Training Group – I have two coaches!!! Training is 24 weeks with two supported runs per week, complete training plan, shoe and nutrition guidance and snacks! Really, there are three supported runs since Ladies night is also a Pip Running event and we have started doing strides at the end of our standard 3mi run.

My guy blew me away when he said I should go for it and sign up for the training group. It’s not cheap and we aren’t rolling in dough, but it was not only an opportunity for me to have ‘running friends’ vs finding motivation for longer and longer runs going solo, but a HUGE selling point was Coach Dave emphasizing running ‘injury free’. You can DO that?

Today’s run was the beginning of week 5. I’ve run Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s for 4 weeks. I’ve run more miles in that time period than ever before – 71.35. My Achilles are not super happy, but I think they are finally grasping that I’m not going to stop. The last two (group) runs I did 90:30 run:walk intervals, and tonight they feel pretty good. Still tight, but good.

I’m still doing Body Works and Mat Pilates each once a week, and don’t want to give those up, but I have to admit – I look forward to Wednesday & Friday a LOT (my only two rest days)! Training is hard. Running with a group means keeping up a lot of the time, though still trying to balance HRT with them. And Coach Susan’s runs are fairly flat, some low frolicking hills. Coach Dave? Just expect to feel the burn in the first mile, minimum. I’ve actually told him I hated him. You can’t cheat yourself when running with a group, either. No turning around when the hill is daunting. And I hear, it’s making me stronger.

I believe that. Physically AND mentally. It’s awesome.

Adding to the fun and excitement around here, my bonus son and his friend are living with us for the summer. These aren’t kids, these are full grown early 20’s men. Oh, and Cooper completes the package. 

Senior Prom was a success, graduation party in two weeks and graduation the weekend after that.  

 It’s crazy busy, and I am seriously loving every.single.minute! 

Soon, I will have to decide if I’m going to run a mar… a mara… really long race.

Cheers,

Honoré

What’s the longest race you’ve done? Half Marathon – done 7 so far.

Do you have kids at home? Almost an empty-nester – not sure how I will deal with that!

Have you ever worked with a trainer or coach? Other than school sports, this is pretty much all new to me!