Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Everywhere I look lately magazines and online sources are telling me not to give up my exercise or diet routine during the holiday season - that that will guarantee I skate through these few weeks stress-free and with my health relatively intact. Hmm, I don't know if that is true or not, but for the first year ever I am actually not abandoning my running routine due to holiday obligations. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, as my legs still do not feel great. My left shin still is unhappy after almost every run, so I am left with icing it and doing cross-friction massage on my off days. My right foot, too, has decided to whine, so I have started icing that as well. I recently went to see my physical therapist for a consult, and so far no red flags have appeared, so I will continue running through it for the time being. I guess the good news is that running doesn't bother either leg or foot. Like most things with me, it's mostly afterwards that they complain. As my PT noted, I do have a tendency towards "itises" (i.e., tendonitis), so I guess maybe this is just the cross I have to bear if I want to continue running.
In any case, after my last great whine-post, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that in all the long-distance training leading up to the marathon, I had followed a Galloway run/walk method. I further realized that directly after the marathon, I threw caution to the wind and decided to scrap the "walk" portion of the run/walk. So, all in all, I am not surprised that I might have hurt myself, seeing as not only was I no longer taking walk breaks, but I had also increased the speed of most of my runs - and my weekly distance. Duh! I guess that is the problem with following your gut - well, at least my gut. My gut is not very smart and will lead me into trouble every time.
So, it's been back to the run/walk for me, and that has been enjoyable. I have really liked the group runs, but with the run/walk I have been able to get my runs in, spend some time thinking, just cruising around looking at the holiday lights. That's not to say I haven't done ANY group runs, because I have managed some. I ran the NilleB - backwards Bellin on December 10. The Bellin 10K is one of the country's largest and I have run it a couple of times. The NilleB, which of course follows the Bellin course backwards is simply a fun run put on by a local running store and running club. I had a lot of fun running it, despite the fact that it was one of the coldest days of the year so far. (It took about two miles for my fingers to warm up and three for my toes - ouch.) I did the run/walk for that and forced myself to go slow. For me, that meant four-minute-run and one-minute-walk intervals. I came upon a trio of runners doing about a 10:30 pace in the first mile, so I decided I would run with them on the running portions. So, basically, I would walk, run to catch up with them, and then tuck in behind them to maintain a slower pace while running, walk, catch up, run.... over and over again. I think that could have been considered pretty obnoxious, but I started chatting and joking with them early on and we seemed to get along famously. What a kick that was! I mean, when did 10:30 pace become "easy" for me?
Other group runs included the wine run last week - a three-mile run followed by a glass of wine at a wine bar - and yesterday's Wednesday morning group run. Yesterday's run took me a bit out of my current comfort zone actually, but it was good. I really just intended to do my run/walk for an hour and catch up with the group later for coffee. However, when I got to the coffee shop they happened to still be standing around, so I decided why not and ran with them. We took it a bit slower, but we did do 6.3 miles - a bit more than I would have thought to go originally. It was a lot of fun, though, and I am glad I had the chance to run with my friends before Christmas.
So, the holidays have been hectic around here - in a good way. I have always loved this holiday and I make no apologies for it. Having the young 'uns now just makes it that much better. They are so excited it is hard not to catch their excitement. Two days until Christmas and it is hard to believe I still have things to do.....cookies to bake, a card to buy, a couple little gifts yet to buy. Despite best efforts, I can never seem to get everything done ahead of time. Of course, I figure even if I did get everything done ahead of time, that would just be an excuse to find other unnecessary things to do. So, I'll take things as they are, I guess.
To wrap up, I will wish the few of you who actually read my blog Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! Hope you all are keeping to your health-promoting routines, and if you aren't - no worries! That's what the new year is for. Everyone needs downtime sometime.