On the road again…

Last time I posted, in *January*, Maine was in a deep freeze and I was complaining about plantar fasciitis.  Let’s just say, in all respects, it was a LONG winter, weather-wise and exercise-wise.

I just couldn’t get myself to deal with the gym and do the therapeutic workouts on the rowing machine or elliptical.  I’m not a gym girl. So, I made up my own workout – not the same cardio as running, but a regular routine that worked on strength.  It helped me keep focus and I stayed generally fit.

Ever heard of a Bodyblade?  Neither had I.  And then I tried one out and … it is one serious piece of equipment. It’s a long piece of fiberglass with weights on the end and a handle in the middle. You grip the middle, and cause a rhythmic motion and that works *everything*.

Here is the Bodyblade:

bodyblade photo

 

So, anyway, I had a routine of the Bodyblade, 40 lunges, and a 7 lb kettlebell, 6 days a week.   To deal with the foot issue, I rolled out my foot on a special (not so nice) nobby ball that was supposed to help loosen up the tight fascia in my foot. Then, along with those exercises, I slowly started running again.  Just 2 miles at a time, a couple times per week. Then 3 miles. Then 2 or 3, etc.  And now, I’m getting some real mileage back.

However, I am not completely recovered from the plantar fasciitis, so I have to do the following:

1. run with tight tape (and yes, the angle of this photo does make my ankle look really, really strange. It doesn’t really look like that.)

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2. A post-run ice bath for my poor foot.

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3. Then, a therapeutic compression sock especially for plantar fasciitis (and I have to sleep with the sock on, too!)

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The good news is that I’m actually getting somewhere.  I logged over 20 miles last week, with an 8 miler last Sunday. (Though, I stopped at mile 7 for a quick hello to a neighbor who was outside in his driveway, and then it was actually a 15 min chat, so I got a bit of a rest before getting that last mile in.)

And, if you’ve read this blog before, or if you actually know me in person, then you know that there is a probably a goal embedded in this mileage effort.  Indeed, multiple goals exist.

For instance, I no longer have horses. This leaves a huge hole in my life for a lot of reasons, including regular exercise and a daily time commitment to caring for them.  Running takes time and effort and planning, so it helps to fill that tremendous void of an effort that I loved so much.  In this way, my goal is to use running to distract myself from the loss, finding an alternative outlet.

Also, running connects me to other people, though I mostly run alone. But, I know that Janet and Margaret are there, working on their own goals, logging their miles in achievement, with focus.  And, sometimes we’ll run together.  Margaret will be in Maine for the 4th of July. I am running the LLBean 10k on that day with a couple of friends from work, and Margaret will join us. 🙂  Janet is coaching a Couch to 5K group, so she’ll be with them on the 4th.

And, running is helping me keep my head together as there are days when the intense push-pull of my life could get me so mixed up that I would want to just stand still. But running keeps me moving forward – literally and figuratively.

So, I’m on the road again. I am aiming for October 5 – either the Maine Half Marathon or the Maine Marathon, depending on what I’m ready for.  Janet really wants to do the Philly marathon again, but it’s so late in November this year that it puts the heavy distance training during my busiest travel time which is pretty complicated. But, as Janet pointed out, Philly is relatively flat and has fans cheering for the whole 26.2 miles.  Maine is hilly, 1/10 of the runners, and not so many fans. It’s lonely and hard.  I’m not sure I need lonely and hard. So maybe Janet and I will just do the half marathon on Oct 5th and then decide about Philly.  Too soon to say.

However, I just went out and planted a water stop for tomorrow morning’s run – I am going to head out before it’s too hot and just see how far I can go….

Onward!

Half Full

This post tips the hat to my friend, Karen, who always expects me to share the “half full” point of view. I’m relying on that today because my recovery run didn’t go as planned.

Obstacles:

1. I planned too long a distance. I was feeling all pumped that I walked away from what could have been terrible injuries in the car accident and decided to try a loop that, according to mapmyrun.com would be 12.65 miles.  The first 2.5 miles were some serious hills (I knew that) so I figured if I was in trouble after the hills, I could turn early and shorten the loop to 10.5 miles.

 

2. Major cramps.  Not the kind that you can breathe through (though I really, really tried). Rather, the kind that make you think your insides might have tied themselves together cutting off all blood flow.  Incredibly painful and like nothing I’ve had before. Methinks this may be related to my recent intestinal troubles more than the mileage.

 

3.  The cramps started after my shorten-the-route turn. By the time they started, it would have been equidistant to turn back than to continue onward.  I kept going.

 

4.  I missed the next turn.  I was thinking about breathing and trying to keep running and all of sudden, there was beautiful Maquoit Bay in front of me. “Cool!“, I thought, “I get to run along the water!”  And then I remembered from the map that my run wouldn’t go by water.  I had to go back and find the turn I missed.  I think this was an extra .8 miles or so.  But, I’m not really sure because…

 

5. My Garmin stopped working. Seriously.  I’m the one with the hard work. I’ve got hills, cramps, jet lag, car accident left overs.  All the Garmin has to do is keep a steady tic-toc and ping off of a satellite every now and then.   It came back on. And then went off. And so on…

 

This sounds all glass-half-empty, I know. But here’s the half-full part for Karen:

1. It was the most gorgeous summer day in Maine! Crisp blue sky, 70 degrees, sunny, no bugs, light breeze. And I spent the entire morning outside in it.

2. I remembered to put on sun screen.

3. I only walked a little bit.

4. I didn’t throw up.

5. I covered a distance even longer than the one I planned thanks to my unplanned detour by the water.

6. I don’t have reliable Garmin evidence of how long the whole adventure took, so I don’t have to feel bad about it.

7. I got back just in time to prevent my husband having to leave work to come search for me.

 

There. All in all, not a bad morning.  I believe I have earned an ice cream mix-in, thankyouverymuch.  🙂