Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to Running

Well hello there friends. It's been over a week since my half ironman and my crazy/interesting hospital adventure. The aftermath included significant soreness, as well as making sure I recovered adequately. I think the cramping I had gotten during and after the race contributed to the soreness, so for two days I hobbled around, napped, and ate. And spent a great deal of time talking on the phone to friends who couldn't be at the race but wanted to know all of the details. By Wednesday the soreness was much better, and it was completely gone by Thursday.

I did not work out again until Thursday afternoon, and by then I was about crawling out of my skin. The soreness made it easy for me to rest the first few days, but when you've been working out this much and suddenly you stop, your whole world feels out of whack. So on Thursday, after watching my mom and her friend Starr swim and giving them some technique and workout tips, I went on a nice, easy, 10 mile ride with Starr. (Side note: Mom and Starr are both racing this coming weekend in Massachusetts. It is a sprint and this will be Starr's first triathlon. My mother is on a relay team as the swimmer. Goodluck Ladies!) The ride felt great, my body was so happy to be in motion again, and the pace gave me a chance to actually look around and enjoy the ride and scenery.

Friday's cross-training? Rock climbing! Very nice, although managed to bring back some upper-body soreness.

By Saturday I was again getting restless. Erin was coaching a hockey tournament up north of here, and it involved one morning game and one evening game. After the morning game she drove me to a park nearby. I had her park at the top of the first trail-head we saw, changed clothes in the car, and jumped out for an adventure. I didn't have my iPod, or any way to track my mileage. All I had were the little white hashmarks on the trees indicating which path I should follow back when I decided to turn around and a deadline from Erin ("If I don't see you by 3:45, I am going to start worrying!") My run was, in a word, fantastic. The weather was a bit cool and overcast in that way that makes the green of the trees sort of glow. The trail was singletrack, and just technical enough to be really fun without being too challenging to run. Over streams, past waterfalls, under half-fallen trees, and over a few large logs I went. I got lucky in that there weren't any huge climbs to really take the wind out of me. I have no idea how far or fast I went, but after 20 minutes or so I turned around and followed the trail back. Every second was fun and free and it was exactly what I needed.

Yesterday I played around on a mountain bike and took another short trail run (although this one ended up being too technical to really run all that much). The break from the roads, especially after this race and blow-up, was welcome.

I have signed up for a few more races. I am doing a 5k in a few weeks and a half-marathon in November with my best friend from home and her roommate. I am the cyclist and runner for a relay team with my mother scheduled to sprint in Bermuda in November as well.

I have also signed up for a half-ironman next summer. My ironman plans are a little less concrete at this point. I wanted to sign up for Chesapeakeman, and I likely still will. I just wish the registration didn't close up so quickly, because I would really like to have another, more successful half-iron distance race under my belt before I paid that entry fee. I am excited to be doing more running this fall, and I think I may invest in a pair of real trail running shoes so that I can spend more time on the singletrack. I would just keep using my old running shoes, but I managed to rub a hole in them between the hiking and trail running I have been subjecting them to.

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