Rode a bike today

My first real Boulder-approved bike ride.  In honor of the 5 Days of Sunshine (canyon) challenge, I did it once.

I’m trying to embrace the whole not running thing and at least get exercise somehow.  This is a great ride because it’s pretty hard and it’s more or less right out the front door of where I work.  So even if I am able to run again soon, I should probably try to do this more often.  And since I’m a terrible cyclist, there’s a lot of room for improvement.  90 minutes is a bit more than I want to spend on a workday ride, but a guy at my work can bang out a 12 mile version of this in 55 minutes.  So there’s something to strive for.

My outlook about my injury is a little better after reading a great blog post by Amelia Boone.  Her story sounds a lot like mine.  Specifically the short clock to a big race making me feel pressured to ramp up too quickly.  I don’t know if I’m disciplined enough to learn my lesson despite vowing at the beginning of the year to take things slowly.  But it’s another reminder for me when that time comes.

While I was suffering up Sunshine Canyon I settled on my plan for the rest of March, bringing me up to the withdraw or push forward deadline for the Bighorn 100:

  • Tomorrow:  90 minutes of skiing before work.  I’m a terrible skier so it’s great exercise.
  • Friday.  Day off from exercise an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon to get my knee actually looked at by an expert.*
  • Saturday through Tuesday: Snowboarding in and around Aspen.
  • Wednesday: Bike ride.
  • Thursday: Rock climbing and mindful leg rest.
  • Friday: 4-5 mile run.*  
  • Saturday: rock climbing and leg rest.
  • Sunday: 11 mile test run.*

* I’ll cancel Sunday’s run and ride my bike instead if Friday shows any sign of pain or if my ortho appointment gives me worse news than I’m expecting.

Sunday afternoon I have to make the decision on whether to drop from Bighorn or not.  So if my Sunday run isn’t at least good enough to feel like I can start ramping up (slowly) again, I need to cut the race.  I’m at peace with it at this point.  Luckily Leadville is still 5 months away and I feel like I’m pretty fit right now.

Knee still trashed.  Decision time coming up f…

I took 3 days off from running and gave it a try yesterday.  I got in 11 miles, the first 3 of which were pretty bad.  Like stopping every half mile or so to shake things out and stretch to get it to calm down.  Then I realized that if I run fast, it doesn’t hurt as much.  So I did the last 8 miles in the upper 7:00′s.  Since the 11 miles was far short of what I’d originally wanted, I rode my bike 14 miles after.  Then of course later in the day I played some basketball with my 9 year old.  Needless to say, my knee feels pretty awful now.  I brought my running clothes to work thinking I can just run fast again and hopefully it won’t feel terrible.  But then common sense swept over me and I realized that if I have to resort to some sort of gimmick to keep the pain down, then it’s something I shouldn’t screw with.

So here I am in mid march.  The Big Horn 100 is in 3 months.  The last day to withdraw from it with a partial refund is March 31st.  If this still hurts like this on the 31st, it’s pretty insane to keep pushing towards it.  Especially when I care a lot more about Leadville in August than this race.  While I daydream about grinding out a finish in 32 hours on a bad knee, there’s just no point.  yeah, I get a ping pong ball for Hardrock.  But that’s all I gain.  And it’s at the risk of Leadville and an entire season of trail running.

So here’s the plan:

  • We’re going to Aspen for a ski trip on Friday night.  No running until we get back mid next week.
  • Heavy strength work every day between now and then.
  • Bike if it feels okay, but otherwise, no repetitive cardio
  • My nemesis advil until the inflammation goes down.
  • I’m seeing the orthopedic surgeon on Friday.  He specializes in PRP and stem cell treatments.  His PRP treatment didn’t work on my heels.  But it’s something to consider on my knee if he thinks it might work.
  • Once back from Aspen, take a full rest day or two then try running <= 5 miles.
  • On the 31st, go for a 10 mile run.  If my knee holds up or at least feels significantly better, stay in Bighorn.
  • If my knee is still trash, withdraw from Bighorn and consider getting on the Run Rabbit Run 100 wait list.  
  • RRR would probably be a crazy decision since it’s only 4 weeks after Leadville.  But 4 weeks is about what I should expect to need to recover.  I’d go into it flat as hell, but hopefully residual fitness would give me a chance.

Anyway, a lot to do in the next week.  Time for another set of squats.

Running isn’t going well

3 weeks ago I was making good, steady progressing in ramping up my mileage base.  I did a 16 mile run with some discomfort after, but nothing serious and it was actually okay in the process.  Then I went on a snowboarding trip to Canada for a week.  The day after getting back, I tried to push my long run again.  It felt bad, but I still made it 14 miles before I had to cut it.  It’s been getting steadily worse since then.  Now I can’t really run at all without some flavor of knee pain.  My outer knee hurts, as it has since December.  Though that’s the least bad injury.  There’s also pain directly above my knee cap slightly to the outside that’s really bothering me.  Then there’s what appears to be a bone bruise right in the center of my knee thanks to a terrain park mishap in Banff.  So yeah, 3 distinct knee injuries in the same knee is making for pretty rough sailing.

I’ve been really hammering my quads to get stronger and hopefully keep things together better and I feel much stronger.  And things actually feel better when running uphill.  But they still feel bad.  I don’t know what the problem is, but I probably have an actual quad injury or quad tendonitis that’s made worse when my legs are tired, which they pretty much always are due to strength work or snowboarding.  I thought I could fight through it, but it’s only getting worse.

I just got off the treadmill: 1300 feet of climb in 5 miles.  My knee felt pretty bad during the run but feels better now that I‘m done.  So there’s at least some hope, but I think I’ve proven to myself that I’ve taken it too far.  So here’s the plan:  I have dry needling PT tomorrow morning, then I’m going to get in a couple of laps at the local ski hill because it’s going to be a powder day.  Then I’m taking Friday and Saturday off completely.  Then I’m going after my long run again on Sunday.  If it’s as bad as last Sunday (turned around at 2.5 miles), I’m going go home and get in some time on my bike.  If it’s marginally better but not great (it won’t be great) I might still get on my bike for a bit.  Either way, if I don’t through some miracle get in 2 or so hours without meaningful pain, I’m taking 2 weeks off from running and seeing the orthopedic surgeon next week to get some testing done.

My prospects for the Bighorn 100 are starting to look pretty bleak.  But the one good thing is that I’m getting much stronger.  So if I can ever get past this, I should be able to really start training hard.

It’s funny, all I’ve wanted for the last couple of years is for my achilles injuries to heal up so that I can run without pain.  Maybe an unrelated and even worse injury is what it will take for that to happen.  My Achilles’ actually feel better these days.

Regular

I did 2 5ks for daylight saving time. The first was at 1am and the goal was to finish before the time change.

(if you didn’t your watch time would say you took an extra hour!! 😱😱😱😱)

I got 1st in my age group and 4th overall female (super small event; I’m too out of shape to place at something super compete).

The second pic was from approximately 4 hours later after the second 5k, which the goal was to finish before the sun was fully up.

You can SEE how exhausted I was

There was a ton of torrential rain between the two events, so it was basically the same group both times. I had almost the exact same performance as the earlier one. My time was even within a few seconds.

At least I’m consistent???

Eagerly awaiting more race pics to come out

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