Sunday, August 30, 2015

Letting Go

Sometimes the hardest decisions, are also the easiest ones.  It's a strange place to be when you can so clearly see both sides.

I had been holding out hope that I'd still be able to run the Victoria Marathon, or at least the half.  I would get to 3K on my treadmill and somehow think it was doable.  But the reality is, I'm scared to run after my kids, I'm afraid to run outside, and sometimes taking that first step after a walk break on the treadmill feels alot like "oh sh*t, what might happen?"

I had had two successful runs this past week with no pain.  I started incorporating a knee brace, and with that on, ran a 5K and then two days later a 7K.  But yesterday, I did my run walk, and had pain at 6.5, then again at 7.5.  I made it 8K before I shut the treadmill off.  I tried picking up my phone to cancel our hotel, but just couldn't do it.  Not because I was overly upset, it was just something too big for me to do.  So I had my hubby do it.  I sat and stretched while he cancelled our flights and our room.  I just needed to have that weight off of my shoulders.  These crazy distances looming there that I thought somehow I could acheive.

And with that lifted, I have nothing else on the calendar other than Winterstart in Banff, which is a 5 miler.  Easy enough that I can walk, and I'm there with a girlfriend, so will have company along the route.

I have learned alot this past Summer, and credit alot of it to my knee injury, but also to watching Ironman Whistler.  I was humbled by the marathoners, who after a swim, and bike, AND in grueling conditions, made that marathon look "easy".  When you attend a marathon on it's own, there is carnage everywhere near the end.  Not at the Ironman.  And I clearly saw that there is a better way to train.  I took a swim class in August through our city, swimming twice a week working on stroke improvement.  And I got onto my bike and started cycling at least once a week.  I've incorporated yin yoga, and just recently some pilates to focus on my core.  On top of all that I'm doing my physio exercises and icing my knee.  Truth to be told, I'm more active now than when I was just logging long distances.

With Vic off the table, I'll be cancelling my physio appointments, and taking time to just BE.  I'll be doing all I wrote above, and running no more than 5K's.  I might even take the next few weeks off.  It's also two days from my 36th birthday, so I've been reflecting on what some of my yearly goals will be.  With rehabilitation in mind, here how I hope to approach things:

1.  Take time off running until I no longer hear a click in my knee going up stairs.
2.  Get to the point that without thinking, I freely chase after my kids (right now, I'm scared to run after them at all).
3.  Once those two are hit, back on the treadmill and see how the knee is fairing.
4.  Get back outside and running on the road.
5.  Get stronger and faster at swimming.  I've taken out a Y membership so I can swim twice a week while my littlest is at preschool.  I am right now doing 1K in 1 hr.  I'd like to see that get faster, and I'd like to improve my endurance on my front crawl.
6.  Try out a cycling class.  Tricky due to timing, but I'd like to find a way to give it a go.
7.  Try a triathlon in the Spring.  I've looked at the Strathmore Diva Run or the Vulcan Tin Man.  I don't have a road bike so need a nice introduction, with a run no longer than 5K as I don't know where my knee will be at.
8.  Maybe, maybe, thinking a year away to next Fall, maybe a half will be possible.  Maybe not.  Not clinging too tightly to that as a goal.  Maybe a distant wish.  Time will tell.

I've had some say (and even myself) that my family has had a really crappy year.  It is true that it could be looked at that way.  But there is a positive lining to everything, and I have learned alot about myself, my family, my friends, and I truly feel blessed to see the world the way I see it now.

School starts back up here on Tuesday, and hopefully I'll be in this space more often!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Runner Down

The past two months were filled with year end school activities, a family trip to Vancouver Island, spending our days wondering when the next thunderstorm would hit, and catching some rays when the days brightened.  I also managed to run the Millarville Half Marathon, the Stampede Half Marathon, and the 5 Peaks Glenbow run.

Those first two halfs, and my training in between, I was on FIRE.  My times were coming down, I felt strong, and fast.  I recall thinking that it was too good to be true.  Maybe those words/thoughts shouldn't be uttered, because about 3 weeks ago, I went down fast.

I ran a 16K run in Victoria, hoping for 25 but my legs were so tired.  I checked Strava and saw that my kilometers were close to 500 on the shoe.  Holy cripes!  And I did a foolish thing.  Maybe.  I left those shoes there, and came home and the NEXT day, ran the Stampede Half Marathon.  That race was great despite the early start and time change.  I love the course around the Reservoir, the race shirt never disappoints, and this year I had the pleasure of my brother and SIL also running the course.

Dudes, then things crumbled.  That following week, I texted my hubby at 9K and asked for a pick up.  9K.  I don't think I've ever done that.  I trudged through and made it to 17.  From then on, I would near 4K and my knee would feel like it was being cut.  I've never experienced a running injury like it, and I've had a few.  I tore my achilles before Boston and was in an air cast, and I'm no stranger to IT injuries.  But knee.  Never the knee.  And here I was, 4K and I could not run.

A friend referred me to a great physio close to home, who told me it was Runners Knee as well as Quadricep Tendonitis.  I have been receiving acupuncture and some torturous ultrasound as well as wearing Kinesiology tape 24/7.  I saw Chiro last week who told me that my knee is showing the symptoms, but she thinks it is due to tight hip flexors and that my SI was locked.

I am doing EVERYTHING I can to try and beat this.

Yoga - almost daily now since my brother sent me some Yin Yoga tapes.
Icing twice daily
Rolling as allowed
And running as far as I can before pain.

I made it 10K on the treadmill this past weekend and had to stop to put my kids to bed.  Coming down the stairs was NOT good.  I made it 1K more and decided I needed to be smart and stop.

I was doing SO well maintaining a half marathon base after Vancouver, and this is honestly killing me.  I run not for fitness, but because it gives me time just for me.  To get my mind cleared as I pound the pavement.  To process and deal with things I need time to think through.  Space to take in the air and beauty around me.  I just do not get that same release in a 25 minute run.

I'm sad dudes and am close to having to make some hard decisions about an upcoming 5Peaks race this coming weekend, but more so, my Fall marathon.  I should be running kilometers around the 25K mark and I can't manage 11 comfortably.  My physio said that physiologically a half is the same as a full.  But to me I know it's not for my body.  I don't know what to do.  My heart knows where it is leaning though, I'm just holding back.

Last night my hubby and I were out for our anniversary date and at one point he gently said "do you know you've been talking about endurance sports for over an hour".  Cripes.  I need an outlet.  Maybe laying it all out here will help.  And I'm starting swim lessons Tuesday and getting better acquainted with my bike.

But wow do I miss my running shoes.

Have you ever had an injury that's taken you out for awhile?  How did you cope physically and emotionally?