I headed down to the lake this morning for my long run this week. It was chilly when I started, but like a dummy I didn't factor in the direct sunlight off the water and lack of shade so I was a little toasty by the end. I also forgot any sort of sunscreen this morning like a fool, so there are some definite freckles that weren't there before. I smell pretty terrible right now too. Aren't you glad you're on the other side of the computer?? The run felt okay at first, there was a strong headwind going out that seemed to reverse and also be there on my way back in. It was nice though, see aforementioned heat issue. I didn't feel as awesome as I was hoping near the end, but I'll take it. 8 sunny, lakeside miles done.
10/3: 8.02 miles, 9:05 avg pace
Today's run was the farthest I have run since September of last year. That is so nuts to me, but it has been just over a year since marathon #2 aka that time I got a stress fracture in my foot. I was thinking about that during most of my run, since I am always keeping my feelers out for how things are, well, feeling injury wise while running. Before the stress fracture there was the hip flexor tendonitis that basically kept me from doing any speedwork going into the marathon. Then after taking significant time off to recover from the SF, my weird hip decided to get super weak and cause it's own chain of problems that I am still working through. I toggle back and forth between dull hip ache, quad weakness, knee pain, and phantom foot pains that are all on my left side. My hip aches are usually remedied by foam rolling and stretching. The knee pain has subsided (knock on wood) since changing to the Asics. The quad weakness I haven't figured out yet, but seems to feel a little better when I really focus on my left side stride matching my right and my heel doing a full, straight circle instead of kicking out to the side. (This makes sense in my head, someday I will draw it out.) Also trying to add more lunges and squats, but I worry about the weird hip sometimes too much to push those really hard. The phantom foot pains I was advised of after the SF, some people still get minor aches after 1-2 years, which I think is seriously INSANE. Even this week there is a new, tight feeling in the arch of my left foot. This should be fun.
Aerial is helping me cross train and gain some core strength that I do not do a good job gaining otherwise, I hope that is helping my running somehow. But I can even tell in Aerial that my body is really uneven and it doesn't help that we can easily favor one side over the other when attempting different poses/moves. I've been to a few doctors, a couple PTs, acupuncture, and chiropractor in attempts to figure this out, plus countless terrifying searches on the internet. Most of the professionals just kind of gloss over things, or don't get it. My ears are definitely open for a running doctor or PT within my insurance umbrella, who is looking for a runner to rehab who is really a terrible patient. My strategy may not be super smart, but right now it is to run slowly and strong, keep cross training and keep stretching/strengthening with mostly body weight exercises. I'm thinking of adding a yoga day in there courtesy of the internet sometime soon. I think it would help with flexibility and just chilling the fuck out some days.
I love running so much, I love the post-run bliss, the during-run challenge and feeling of community. I even love the struggle (by love I mean hate of course) to get out the door because and make the time to run because it means I'm working to do something that is hard and I can do hard things. It's never all rainbows and PRs and age group wins, in fact it rarely is those things. I just love the universal feeling of strong, of being out of breath and in pain. Because there is always a good feeling to be found somewhere after or a stupid metaphor about life, or just a really good thirst quenching drink of water. Or the challenge to do better next time. Or the desire to write a really rambling blog post. Sorry about that!
Hope you guys are having amazing weekends and getting some good and shitty miles in. They are the best, amirite???