Friday, June 28, 2013

Returning to Running...

Slowly but surely, we're getting there.

Here's a photo of what I've been doing:

I'm up to 70% body weight, 3 minutes of running at a time, at a 3% incline.  Not bad.  Next week, we start getting rid of the walking breaks.  Hopefully I'll be up to 20-30 minutes of continuous running by the end of the week.

X-rays the following week.  On my birthday.  My fingers are crossed that my present will be visible bone union and the clearance to run on actual land.

Now, confession time.  Our local Road Runner Sports running store sponsors a monthly Adventure Run.  Starting at 6:30pm, they reveal a map that has a bunch of checkpoints in the city of Falls Church.  You have 60 minutes to run to as many of these as you can, and the number of tickets you receive are based on the distance and difficulty to get there.  It concludes with a Sierra Nevada beer garden and raffle, where they give away a ridiculous number of awesome prizes (like new running shoes and local restaurant gift certificates.)  I figured that Jamie could run and I would walk Susanna and Jack in the jogging stroller.

Except Susanna wanted to register for the race, too.  And she is one competitive chica.  We checked the map and I noticed one was in the pub below my friend Victoria's condo, so I figured we walk there, say hello, and walk back to "participate."  But no.  Susanna took off and ran.  Fast.  Like I had to run to keep up with her.  And this was not some little track.  This was Route 7, the main road running from Alexandria to Tysons Corner, and it was rush hour.  So I took off too, screaming "STOP!" every time she reached the end of a sidewalk.  "HURRY MOMMY!  WE NEED TO GET TICKETS!  WE NEED TO GET MORE THAN DADDY!"

We met Victoria at the Mad Fox Brewery, and Susanna stopped to pat her dog while I ran in and got our tickets.  "MOMMY!  We need to get more tickets!"  So we were off to Vantage Fitness, where we each had to do 15 push-ups.  Then, on to Famous Dave's.  To get there, I had to run right pass my physical therapy office.  I was pushing Jack in the BOB and chasing after Susanna, and praying my PT wasn't in the parking lot.

It was 7:05 -- time to turn around.  I figured we could hit Mike's Ice Cream on the way back (down a MUCH quieter street, thank goodness.)  Susanna, who had already run about a mile and a half, finally decided she was tired and hopped in the stroller.  Yay, I got to walk.

Except then I realized that I still had to go a mile and a half, stop and get tickets, and get back to home base in about 20 minutes.  So it became a jog/ walk.   We got to the ice cream shop at 7:22, and had the tickets in hand by 7:25.  About a quarter mile to go.  Yeah, time to run.  Susanna wanted to run, too.  So we held hands, and ran to the finish.  We reached it at 7:28.  Phew.

I should point out that at my last doctor's appointment, he said that any exercise was okay if I didn't feel pain, and that short spurts of running would be okay to try.  I didn't feel pain.

Nevertheless, I don't think  my PT was very pleased with my impromptu run.  I know she means the best for me, and wants me to heal without any setbacks.  I did explain to her that I have really been on my best behavior for her compared to, well, anyone else...  I mean, obviously I didn't take the "no exercise for 6 weeks after childbirth" thing very seriously if I did a triathlon 8 and a half weeks after Jack was born....

Jamie scored a ton of tickets, but between the three of us, we didn't win anything.  Well, Susanna won a tube of lip gloss at one of the booths that had a prize spin wheel (and has been carrying it around like it's an Olympic medal, telling everyone she "won it at her race.")  But it was the most fun I've had in awhile.  I miss running.  I miss running in groups.  I miss races, and fun runs, and chatting with my friends as we trot along on Saturday mornings.

My fingers are crossed.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I May Or May Not Be Training For an Ironman

I know I said I wasn't going to do an Ironman this year.  My plan was to really focus on running shorter distances and get some PRs on the 5K - Half Marathon.  AND... since that isn't going to happen, I guess I'm kind of sort of training for an Ironman.  Or an Aquabike.  I mean, yeah, I could do some centuries, but they aren't really races.  And I'm doing all this swimming. So I might as well.

No, I'm not paying for anything yet.  I'm not going to register til the last minute.  So obviously that leaves out "Ironman" branded races, and whatever on that.  I'm looking at races that I can Aquabike if (probably) necessary.  I'm pretty sure it's going to be Chesapeakeman -- perfect timing, since the taper will begin right when school starts back up, and it's cheap (less than $300, $400 if I run!), flat, and about 2 hours away, on the eastern shore of Maryland.

So I'm loosely following a training plan, adding extra bike miles or pool running in the place of the runs for now.  If I'm cleared to run by July 8, it might be possible to do the whole thing by the end of September (because we all know it will be more of a jog/ walk marathon.)

If my doctor doesn't give me his blessing to run, however, Aquabike it will be.  My placing will be humbling, since I will be racing my two weaker sports only.  Every single tri I have done, my placing has improved with each section of the race.  I'm always in the last ten percent at the end of the swim, somewhere in the middle on the bike, and towards the top third after the run.  (Louisville was another story -- finished right smack bang in the middle, but even then the run is what got me out of the second 50%.)

So.... I had a fantastic weekend!  I have really missed my running buddies, and was a little depressed that the running club (DSG, the close knit group marathon training group I've been with since it's inception 6 seasons ago) had its first Marine Corps Marathon training run Saturday morning.

Instead, I met up with a member Mom's Run This Town who also got injured in February.  She also still is unable to run.  She also qualified for Boston in the fall, also did her first 50K this winter, and also was training for Shamrock.  (I would love to say she ALSO runs the same pace as me, but in all humbleness, she is a lot faster than me and her marathon time smoked mine by 20 minutes.)   It was GREAT to chat to someone going through the same thing.  We walked the 5 mile Burke Lake Trail Loop and I had Jack in the jogger, and I actually worked up quite a sweat.

Then today I woke up at the crack of dawn to get in a long ride with a girl from my riding group.  It was great to meet a new riding partner, and get out on the roads in Loudoun wine county, where I did most of my Ironman training last summer.  I loved those rides.  Bales of hay, mountain views, horses, and vineyards... a little piece of heaven, just a few miles from busy DC.  We got in 60 miles, and we were done before 11.  Here's a picture from the 7-11 in Lovettsville, our halfway point:

Beautiful mountain views, and a Pina Colada Slurpee!

I had parked near the pool in Ashburn, and met Jamie and Jack there for lunch and some outdoor pool time.   Then I took him shopping and to the park so Jamie could get in a long run, and also to get the ingredients for whatever-meal-his-heart-desires-for-Father's-Day (turned out well, will put on the food blog.)

I am so, so thankful I can get outside for most of my exercise now.  Take THAT, stress fracture!  You will not keep me down!