Hi there

Happy Friday. I’m trying to get my butt out the door for a 22 minute run today but have this annoying cold/congestion thing going on and I’m not as energetic as I’d like to be. But of course after not being able to run for so long I know i’ll have a hard time skipping a run because of the sniffles. I just need to blow my nose a few more times and then get out the door. :)

Last Sunday I ran 18 minutes and felt really great. It was drizzly but there was still a little crunch to the autumn leaves that have started to fall.

 

 

It made me a little weepy to know that after 10 consecutive years, I wasn’t able to run the Staten Island Half. Last year it poured but i was prepared for the inclement weather and finished with a smile on my face.

IMG_6676I remember running it in 2011 and made it a 20 miler in preparation for my very first marathon a month later. I ran 7 miles before the race began and when I crossed the finish line I was definitely hurting….

Gasping for air? LOL! Oh back in 2011 when I carried a water bottle. I loved that thing.

Gasping for air? LOL! Oh back in 2011 when I carried a water bottle. I loved that thing.

And in 2009 and 2010 I was just so darn happy

2009 Staten Island Half

2009 Staten Island Half

2010 Staten Island Half

2010 Staten Island Half

Good memories! Meanwhile I just looked at my race recaps page. Wow, no recaps for 2017? Cray Cray. I sure hope 2018 will be filled with recaps for all my favorite races. Maybe even some new ones. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

On Tuesday I ran for 20 minutes. Still increasing the time 2 minutes per run with success.torin-30I tried out a new pair of Altra Running sneakers for this run. Having enjoyed walking in the Altra Escalante for a few months, and then transitioning to running in them with success, I wanted to try a more cushioned pair. I bought the Torin 3.0. They felt AWESOME! But I’m actually going to exchange them for a half size up. The Escalante’s are an 8 but I think these felt a bit snug so I’m going to try and 8.5. Interestingly I read online (after I bought them) they actually suggest you get a half size up in this style. I’m now obsessed with this whole foot shaped toe box thing that Altra provides with their kicks. Altra also makes trail/hiking shoes that I’ve got my eye on. Gee, you’d think I was sponsored by them. Comfy feet has become more important to me than anything lately. The Altra sneakers also are a zero drop shoe, and while I wasn’t seeking out a zero drop when I got my first pair, I really like them. I’ll probably have to run a lot more miles in them to decide whether or not I think the zero drop helps or hinders my running stride.

And so I’ll continue adding 2 minutes per run and according to the calendar I’ll hit a solid 30 minutes on October 25th, my 44th birthday!!!! I remember when a 20 miler was a milestone….and now i’m excited to  reach 30 minutes. Injuries are humbling.

He's so tired of hearing me talk about my injuries

He’s so tired of hearing me talk about my injuries

Anyone with a birthday coming up?

Any zero drop shoe runners?

Favorite Season?

 

Hi there.

Happy FriYAY! I figured I should let you guys know how my slow return to running has been going.

But first I wanted to just share a happier Las Vegas moment. After waking up earlier this week to the news of the horrific event that happened at the Rt. 91 music festival I was very sad as the rest of the country was too. It’s just so scary to think that we are just living in a world where things like this can happen. Anyway, I hate when we start to associate a specific place to a terrible event. Boston marathon bombings were a prime example. You literally can’t even Google “Boston Marathon” without seeing images from that bombings. While with all of history, we must not forget, I truly believe it’s helpful to re-associate with fonder times. So here’s my Las Vegas happy moment story…

Back in the fall of 1998, my boyfriend at the time, who was in the later stages of Melanoma, and I decided to get married. We opted to go to Las Vegas and get married in Red Rock Canyon which is right outside of the city/strip area. On 11.7.98 we sort of eloped but we did have about 6 guests. We stayed at the Mirage hotel. It was all sorts of awesome.

Welcome to the jungle... of the Mirage hotel lobby

Welcome to the jungle… of the Mirage hotel lobby

I went back on 11.7.99 for what would have been our 1st wedding anniversary (he passed away in April of 99). And sent a note attached to some balloons up in the air from the exact spot we were married at.

11.7.98 in the front photo and 11.7.99 in the back photo

11.7.98 in the front photo and 11.7.99 in the back photo

The note asked him to send me a rainbow. I know….corny right? But on the flight back to New York the next day I saw a rainbow! From the sky! It gave me this comfort that has stayed with me. It made me realize that we are always connected to our loved ones who’ve passed. It’s the hope I have for each and every person who has lost someone.

OK….now to awkwardly transition to my petty return to running update.

A few overall thoughts.

  1. It’s scary and i constantly worry about getting re-injured again
  2. I’m still not convinced that I’m “healed”
  3. I’m loving these short runs in that they don’t take much of a commitment to get done

OK, last Thursday I dropped Duncan off at the groomer and went to a soccer field 5 minutes up the road where they have super soft and cushy astroturf.

The final product. Poofy cuteness

The final product. Poofy cuteness

 

 

I figured what better way to re-introduce my body to running than with a flat/soft surface with easy access to my car in case anything went wrong. I don’t have to tell you how happy I was to be running. 10 minutes of finally feeling like myself.

IMG_3254

 

It ended before I even got into my groove though. Overall I’ll say it was a success. I had no pain while running but as I did last time I got back to running I do feel the toe and the entire forefoot just feels “weird” sometimes a bit achy or tingly usually before and after the run. This has been the case for all 3 runs. (I bumped it up to 12 minutes on run #2 which was 3 days later and 14 minutes 3 days after that. I’m toying with the idea of backing down to 12 minutes today. I’m just so scared! I’ve been doing all my PT stuff too and I guess I’ll just keep taking it slow this month.

IMG_3306

 

I literally just registered for the Trenton 5K on 10/28.

trenton-5k-confirm

 

I’m guessing I’ll be running about 30 minutes straight by then so a 5k seems fairly doable. I’ve officially switched to my Altra Escalante shoes for running as they are the most comfortable for my feet although I’m worried that I don’t have much arch support. I’m going to the running store this weekend to poke around and see what other shoe options there are. I DEFINITELY need wide toe box but I also need arch support AND cushioning.

If I can keep my running short and easy for the next 3 months maybe my body will complete the final stages of healing and maybe, just maybe I can start 2018 fresh. I have to keep reminding myself that I MUST run in order for my body to get back to adapting to impact. Stress and rest….mantra city!

So that’s the scoop. I’m cautiously running and feeling foot “weirdness” and achy but no pain.

How are you? What’s on your weekend agenda?

Anything fun? Anyone have a return to running story to share?

So happy to report that my back is almost back to 100%! I was seriously freaking out when i last posted.

So now I’m finally planning my comeback.

Clearly Duncan is thrilled about my comeback

Clearly Duncan is thrilled about my comeback

I’m looking forward to joining my hiking group tonight and returning to the yoga mat tomorrow morning. I’ll modify as needed for my back if I feel the need.

And I’ve resumed what I was just getting underway with at physical therapy for my toe 2 weeks ago when the back went out. Yesterday I did 3 sets of toe raises and took a brisk walk. I’ll incorporate some jumps soon. Just want to make sure my back is truly 100 percent first. The next couple of weeks will be all about stress and rest which is what my toe needs to continue repairing in its final phases of healing. I found this great post on the site irunfar.com about recovering from soft tissue injury that explains everything so clearly.

My plan is to actually start running a little in another week or 2. I’m going to follow the rule of 2 starting with a 10 minute easy run and adding 2 minutes to each subsequent run so long as I have no pain. (I’ll be taking at least one rest day in between runs to monitor the situation).

Over the next 3 monnths I’ve got three 5Ks that I’d like to run (slow and steady!) if possible. I have to say that I am being cautiously optimistic but even just the idea that I’ll be running again this year makes me so happy.

trenton-halfSince Mr. SOTSS has already signed up for the Trenton Half at the end of October I’m hoping I can run the 5K. (Here’s my recap from 20162014 and 2013.)

fall-flat-5k

Then there’s the Fall Flat 5K in mid-November (where I truly discovered what “conversational pace” was at last year’s race).

big-chillAnd finally the Big Chill 5K in December (you can read a little about last year’s race here. If all goes well I’ll think about increasing mileage next year.

2017 sure has been a roller coaster for me. The highs and lows of injury…..Sigh!

First off, I think I’m going to have to accept that the posting frequency on this blog will have to be what it is for the time being. Every 10 days or so is about all I have time for. So thank you to my small circle of loyal readers who come back to read and don’t forget about me.

So here’s the funny, not funny story…

Last Monday I woke up with some general back/hip aching. I assumed it was because of how I slept combined with PMS. I always get low back pain around that time. I had also had a string of workouts including 2 bike rides the Friday and Sunday before.

Friday ride...high!

Friday ride…high!

Sunday ride with Mr. SOTSS-double high!

Sunday ride with Mr. SOTSS-double high!

The discomfort was mild and I just assumed it’d be gone by the next day. Later on in the evening I went to yoga. Had a great class, held crow for long time, managed a few wheels. Did some awesome hip opening pigeon pose stretches an left there feeling good. Next up was grocery shopping. I live in a 3 level townhouse and refuse to take multiple trips with my grocery bags up to the kitchen on the second floor so I grab them all and do the transport in one trip.

Random photo because I have no pics of yoga or the grocery bags.... I baked some brown butter cookie bars last weekend :)

Random photo because I have no pics of yoga or the grocery bags…. I baked some brown butter cookie bars last weekend :)

Tuesday morning I went to physical therapy for my last toe PT session with the same mild back/hip ache but still not thinking any big deal. My PT told me he thought I was ready for some more weight bearing exercises so he had me do some toe raises, lunges and press off from this machine that reminds me of a space shuttle. And then we did 3 sets of 10 jumps. Still, I felt fine. I actually was giddy at the progression to the final step before returning to running. I was instructed to do the lunges and jumps every other day and if after a week I still felt good I could start running again. Well, Wednesday morning I woke up feeling worse. My back was really hurting. Walking seemed to be the only thing that took the pressure/pain down so I went on my hike figuring the workout would keep the muscles warm and help me recover. Thursday I felt even worse and by the afternoon my back was full on in spasm mode. Tears started. Sleeping each night got worse and worse and by Friday morning I texted Mr. SOTSS with a desperate cry for help.

Well, one of us doesn't have any discomfort while trying to sleep

Well, one of us doesn’t have any discomfort while trying to sleep

I could barely walk down my stairs. He came over and took me to urgent care where I saw a wonderful doctor who helped a ton. He agreed it wasn’t one specific thing but the months of my lack of impact exercise and my compromised walking gait from the toe injury most definitely contributed. So maybe I overstretched in yoga or maybe those lunges or jumps in PT set me off but the weakness was brewing for some time. He prescribed 800mg of Ibuprofen along with a muscle relaxer to take for 10 days. He diagnosed me with back spasms with sacroiliac joint involvement. I spent the rest of Friday with the essentials, remote, coffee, heating pad, pb&j and meds…

IMG_2754

The spasms in my lower middle back have gone away but the sacroiliac hip pain is still there although after 5 full days of meds it’s definitely improving.

My back managed to hold it together barely going over the potholes in Brooklyn for a ride to Brooklyn Bridge Park on date night with Mr. SOTSS

My back managed to hold it together barely going over the potholes in Brooklyn for a ride to Brooklyn Bridge Park on date night with Mr. SOTSS

A tree really does grow in Brooklyn

A tree really does grow in Brooklyn

I went to what should have been my last PT appointment for my toe today and instead we jumped right into PT for my back. The usual, ultrasound, massage, electro-stim and some gentle stretches. If I’m feeling 100 percent by the weekend I’ll return to yoga on Saturday and then take it from there.IMG_2766

I can only laugh and hope that next year I’ll reminisce about that time I was just about to return to running when I got injured AGAIN!

I’m starting to realize that my desire to be active and “Sweat Out the Small Stuff” needs to sync up better to what my body is capable of. I’m almost 44 years old and all the years of running “stupidly” without cross training and strength training has caught up to me.

I’m optimistic about this back/hip thing not lasting so long. We’ll see. In the meantime at least the dogs are feeling just fine…

IMG_2748

“So long as your backache doesn’t interfere with my walks…”

IMG_2761

Have you ever had a second injury on the heels of recovering from the first?

Do you have a funny, not funny story to share?

Random question: What are your favorite crunchy snacks? I need some new options. Getting sick of baby carrots and potato chips. :)