Exploring what works…

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Happy place…

This week was an eye opener to say the least.

I was a raging lunatic this week.  I can’t even describe how “all over the place” my brain has been lately.  I have run the gambit from calm to anxious to angry to happy all in a matter of minutes sometimes.

I am blaming the acupuncturist.  He said that would happen!

In all seriousness, the week broke down like this:

2 gym workouts

19 miles (1400+ feet of elevation) over three runs… longest was 10.8 miles.

Here are the key points of the week!

Acupuncture:

First session ever.  To say that my mind is blown is putting it lightly.  Doug was super cool, very passionate about his work and seems to have put a dent in the knee pain I have suffered from for 6 months with no relief.  Last Sunday, I had a searing pain under my knee at mile 7 which has been pretty typical since at least June.  This weekend, I ran 10.8 in Northwood, PAIN FREE.  I followed that up with 5 road miles this afternoon PAIN FREE.  Coincidence?  Time will tell but I doubt it.  Doug worked on my TMJ and tension too.  He warned me I could be emotional this week.  I blew that off… until I was.  Poor Eric.

The weird from my first session:  Phantom bicep pain (lasted 12 hours), left sciatica spasm/right shin spasm, right calf spasm (all came and went during my short run on Friday).

The awesome from my first session:  No more knee pain, no more TMJ pain (had been lingering for months on the right side), neck feels freer and I am sleeping like a champ.

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Northwood Meadows for 10.8 and 1K in elevation gain!  Solo and happy.

I am still being very cautious about planning and training, but I feel great.  The gym workouts have made such a difference in my lower body and core strength and I am a complete believer in incorporating HIIT style workouts into run training.   I haven’t committed to a run plan so to speak, but I am following one loosely.  This one builds me up to the 50K at Pineland over 6 months and will have me running multiple 20+ milers before then as a method of building a base.  This would set me up well for the Emerald IF I start healthy.  Another plan I found is more like a traditional marathon plan where you basically run each long distance (20/22/24) once before your big race.  That one doesn’t start til late February.  That one doesn’t excite me as much.

For better or worse, I have been skipping two of the weekday runs and have replaced them with gym work.  Next week, I am planning on working a double day in (most likely Thursday – gym in AM, 4 miles after work).  I am aiming for 75-90% of the mileage in the plan a week.  I have been great at the 10% increase.  So far so good.

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Happy Pavement running to finish the weekend.  Galloway 2min/30 sec is working!

A PF Membership is in my future too.  I want access to a recumbent bike and Arc trainer for the winter when it all goes to shit.  I once trained for a 5K on an Arc and have faith it can help substitute weekly short mileage when the weather is terrible.

I would like to get a peak this coming week.  No big plans for Christmas so that may be the day to find one.  Other than that, I need a 9 and 7 next weekend.  And I am already looking forward to it.  I see both the acupuncturist and my miracle working massage therapist this week.  More to come on acupuncture for the long haul.

From the mountaintops down to the bay…

That sums up my weekend….

For the first time in months, I saw the view I love the most.  A loop hike of the Welch-Dickey loop in Thornton with friends highlighted my Saturday. A nine mile tour of the Sweet Trail wrapped up my weekend on Sunday.

Total Miles last week: 18 (3 runs)

Total Elevation last week: 2319

Total gym workouts: 2

My knee has been bothering me for over six months now.  Left knee, usually on the outside that leads to stabbing pain under my knee cap on SOME runs.  I had been pain free for about 6 weeks, but this weekend definitely aggravated my knee.  IT band syndrome?  Patella tendinitis?  Angry quad?  I took a significant break from running after Kismet and have been doing everything recommended by the chiro and massage therapist.  I am getting strong through my gym workouts and I am down NINE pounds.  I have abs I haven’t seen since I was twenty.  I am no longer consuming nightly beer (I am still imbibing in 1-2 glass of wine… not every night).  The knee pain is not debilitating, more irritating.  It’s bothersome because I do not want it to turn into more.  Other than that, I feel great and rebound from workouts quickly.  My energy levels are fantastic.  I am seriously considering acupuncture as it’s the only therapy I have not tried.  I wonder how much of this is residual effects of my epic ankle sprain of 2014.  No doubt I compensated for a long time in an effort to keep hiking and running.  Is this pay back?  Maybe.

Tony and I are tossing around 2016 plans.  I am fairly committed to Pineland 50K and the Emerald 3 day… given I stay strong and healthy this winter.  Given I find a way to make the knee happy and functional.  He’s attempting to pick another 100.

I was asked today by a coworker WHY I want to do an ultra…

I struggled to answer because it’s hard to put into words the desire to blow the cobwebs out of my brain and struggle… really struggle… as a way to grow.  I basically told him that.  He didn’t get it.  But I don’t really expect him to.  The older I get, my tolerance is declining.  Professionally I have more responsibility than ever… personally I want to walk away from it all.  Since I can’t (yet) I think training hard and running an ultra (finally) may be away for me to black out life for periods of time to cope in a healthy way.  Not drinking heavily and medicating with food have left a void I am seeking to fill.  Fingers crossed my body will cooperate and let me suffer in a healthy way.

On tap this week:

2 gym workouts

Wednesday run/chiro

12/7 milers this weekend

 

Making Changes

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My life has been nothing short of a whirlwind in 2015.  It’s moved faster than I ever thought possible.  Many professional changes, some personal changes and a whole lot of eye opening experiences that have created a significant shift on my outlook on life.  I have also gained a great deal of physical rest which has allowed me to return to running in great shape physically and mentally.

Most of my professional changes I cannot talk about, but they have been for the better.  I am finally starting to craft means of retirement… hell I may even be able to leave my career early if I get lucky!

I have finally started to back off from some friendships that don’t “feel” good.  Ones that make me question WHY I am involved.  I love the people I have stepped back from, but I just don’t think they are healthy for me right now.  Doing that also opened my eyes to social media and it’s impact on my daily life.  I ditched my 10 year old Facebook account yesterday.  Well, I tried.  Once I deactivated it, I realized how many other accounts it was tied to.  Such as Strava.  And Pandora.  I am sure I will find others, but I am determined to stay deactivated.

All day long, I found myself arbitrarily picking up my phone.  And watching other people bury their faces in their phones.  I made a joke to Scott that I wanted to go back to 2003 and find a pager.  I figure at this point, if people want to see me and talk to me, they will know how to find me.  The rest just fill up my head with useless information.  I do care… trust me… this wasn’t a decision I took lightly… I even told a friend I a going to miss her baby growing up pictures… but this will motivate me to be a better friend.  I love phone calls, so this should work well for me.

SO here is to more reading, more writing and definitely more photography time!  It’s going to be a great 2016 if I have my way.  I am becoming a force to be reckoned with!!!