Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Content

I realize I have been really lazy with posting anything lately, especially anything with actual content! I am here to make up for that. I have a bit of free time at work and am making (what I consider) good use of it. So, hello! Here I am! Lots of content here.

Hmmm, bullet points might get a little unruly, so I’ll go with more of an outline form. If my usage is slightly off, screw you, I haven’t taken a formal class since I graduated college 8 years ago. (Side note, 8 years? Dear God, why do I still have anxious dreams about not finishing my homework?)

Part I

Running

Let’s begin with running. I can summarize the last several weeks with a single word/sound: UGH. Seriously, not good. I was on such a roll over the summer getting in lots of easy, carefree miles. I did some long runs just for fun, I ran the trails, I ran on the riverfront, whatever! I was running and feeling good. Sure I wasn’t running fast at all- why bother? Right? I’m free as a bird and speed is a non-issue.

Then, I twisted my right ankle really bad. It was not running related at all. In fact it was drinking and high-heels-wearing related. Classy. It was seriously injured and I did not run at all for a week. I actually was having a hard time even walking on it! I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to walk around on our trip to Europe but thankfully it healed up enough to get me all around Paris and Amsterdam and even for a couple short runs. When I got back, it was fine and I resumed my easy, breezy running routine.

It was a little rough though. I had lost some fitness in my two week break. And considering my running fitness wasn’t tip-top to begin with, it was extra rough. Also, not surprisingly, I had gained a few pounds on vacation. I pushed through a few runs but grew increasingly negative. I felt so slow and clumsy. I was pissed! I forced myself to run 10 miles last weekend (Sept 26) and it was AWFUL. I was toast by like mile 7 and had to walk a whole bunch. My calves were cramping up and I was all woozy. I finally finished and cried at the end. Boo hoo! Life is rough!!!!! <sarcasm, foreshadows insight gained since pity party

I pushed on. I thought, I can do this! I’ll regain my fitness. I asked Zach last week if we could do this really tough trail run with like 2000 feet of climbing and off we went. Turns out, it was HARD and I felt so negative about myself as I shuffled up the hills at a snail’s pace. A terrible choice of runs for someone who needs a boost! A couple of miles in, I twisted my ankle really bad. Not the same ankle from earlier in this story, the other one. I cried a bunch, and Zach stuck with me as I hobbled back to the car. It’s not as bad as the previous injury but definitely not good. I haven’t run in a week.

In summary, UGH. :( Sucks.

Oh right, I think I said something about gaining insight. Ya, I guess I have. Basically, I know that not being able to run fast is a pretty minor complaint in the range of world problems. I get that. I was being a baby and that’s annoying. I don’t want to complain about something so minor when I have so much to be grateful for. I know that my ankle(s) will heal up and I’ll be back out there. And I don’t even care how slow or fast I go, I just want to be out there running! Because I like it.

I know that I chose to not race, to not train, to not push myself like I did nonstop for the previous 5 years. And if that means I run a little slower, that’s fine. It really is. For me, right now, those seconds are not important enough to me to give all this up. And by all this, I mean… I guess, this freedom. I’ve been free of all the pressure and expectations and competition and overuse injuries and stress. I have gained so much and I’m making the most of my freedom. I am putting effort into the people and activities in my life that I neglected for so long.

I am going to try a short run after work today and am going to be patient if it is still sore. Once I can run again I am going to start FRESH and be positive. I am going to keep the running on the back burner and accept what that means. Lots of other good stuff to keep me occupied and excited. To wit!

Part II

Good stuff!

   A. Yoga

   I’ve been doing lots and lots of yoga and loving it  more than ever. I’ve been going about 3 times a week consistently and sometimes more.

   I have been making an effort to challenge myself and go to more active yoga classes instead of always just going to the meditation classes. The Power Vinyasa class almost killed me the first few times but is actually getting easier. And now, regular Vinyasa is downright enjoyable! I am enjoying some Pilates classes too, very tough stuff. I can feel myself getting stronger and I am doing more advanced poses that I couldn’t do before. Of course, with yoga there is always plenty of room to advance and I’m looking forward to that. I am still trying to go to at least one meditative class each week to spend some time focusing my mind, working through stuff, and finding myself somewhere in there.

   B. Outdoorsy

   The weather has been gorgeous and we’ve been taking full advantage of it. I posted pictures from our rafting adventure a couple weeks ago.. that was SO fun. We went kayaking last weekend, pictures are below. Also, a lot of the running we’ve been doing has  been done on single track in Forest Park. It’s heaven (ignore the nine pages of complaining before). Zach has especially taken to trail running- he just loves it. Basically, every chance we have to spend outside, we do. Especially while it’s sunny! Although we’re determined to get out there all winter long too. We have big plans for skiing, snowshoeing, and some really muddy trail running. And we already have big plans for next summer!

   C. Etc…

   I took my bike out for 25 miles on Saturday since I could not run, and that was nice. I hadn’t been on my bike in a couple months. I’m going to try to go for a few more rides before it gets too cold and wet.

   Zach has been going to the climbing gym a bunch and is excited to get me to join too. I’ve never done it but I’m willing to try. We’re signed up for a beginner lesson (he doesn’t need it, but is playing along to encourage me) in a couple weeks. This is something that could keep us busy through the winter and would combine nicely with our big outdoorsy plans for next summer. It’ll be interesting, I’ll keep you posted!

   Since I brought it up, I should follow up… I’ve been cutting back in order to lose the vacation weight and so far so good. I hate this roller coaster of gaining and losing the same 5 pounds over and over but whatever. It’s not that big of a deal I guess. I need to work on moderation, especially with the holidays ahead!

Part III

Conclusion

I’m determined to improve my attitude regarding the running, and to be more positive in general. I really do have so much to be grateful for and refuse to forget that. I do love running and can’t wait to get back out there, for whatever distance and pace my body can do. I also look forward to lots of fun bike rides, hikes, yoga, travel, parties, all of it! Life is good.

As always, thanks for reading. :)

 

A few pictures from the kayak tour Saturday:

IMG_3983

IMG_4016 IMG_3997 IMG_3999

6 comments:

Amy said...

All those minor little injuries really can be frustrating & sucky. It sounds like you're getting a good handle on things, though! You've been doing so many fun things.

I have big plans for a summer of fun outdoorsy stuff, too, and can't wait 'til I'm on the trails again. I'm excited to hear all about the rock climbing class. I took one about 7 years ago, and would love to give it another try again someday.

See you tomorrow!

Alisa said...

Ooooh lots of good stuff here. You'll definitely heal up I know it. I'd love to get on my bike again before the weather turns south too. I haven't been on it in ages.

Maybe we can go for a run soon--once your all healed up.

aron said...

hang in there girl... i know its hard after YEARS of focusing on the pace but you know now is not the time. hope you can get back out there soon without those ankles bothering you!! love all the fun you guys have been having, you are really living life to its fullest right now :)

Ewen said...

This was a good post Jen. I like "I just want to be out there running! Because I like it." I'm sure you'll get things back on track.

It's funny, but running is usually easiest when we're training a lot, on a roll, and hardest when we're not running much - you'd think our legs would be fresh for each run, but they're not. As you get a chance to run a bit more your fitness will come back. Enjoy the runs with no pressure. Throw in an occasional race for fun :)

Marathon Maritza said...

Man rolling your ankle takes a lot out of your fitness! Same thing happened to me too. I think you are doing the right thing, laying off it is the best for it to heal and biking and yoga will help in your recovery.

I love that you are trying new things and getting outside and enjoying yourself. Who cares about running stamina? Enjoying life is really what it's about. We are both in very different places, but turns out we are learning the same things, huh?

XOXO can't wait to see you in Nov!

arcteryx said...

Wow!You have a great post here! Very interesting.Keep it up!