Monday, September 26, 2011

Hiatus Lifted - Slowly back to Running

I was very pleased to get running homework when I went to physio last week. With four days until my next appointment, my homework was to run three days  - 2-3k the first day, 4k the next, and then 5k the last. This is to be started off with 10 minutes on the bike to get everything warmed up. 

The first day went well other than feeling like my legs and lungs had forgotten running. The second was about the same. Today, I biked to work and then hit the waterfront for an attempt at 5k with no walk breaks to see how far I could get. (The other two days were to be run/walk intervals.) Since yesterday's run was tough, I fully expected today's would be as well. 

I left my house just as the sun was coming up. My 20 minute bike ride to work also was a reminder that I hadn't biked outside in a while. The stationary bike is great, but it doesn't really mimic the hills! Though it also doesn't mimic the awesome downhills. I dropped off my stuff at the gym and headed to the waterfront. It was beautiful. The sun was part way up in the sky, shining off the water. Hardly anyone was around other than me, a handful of other runners, and the seagulls. At this point, I reflected on why I love running so much. Those treadmill runs are ok, but really, I just love being out and getting to appreciate the scenery. 

When my garmin beeped at the first kilometer, I passed the accordion player and he said good morning. I continued on up the waterfront and before I knew it, my garmin beeped at 2km. Huh. Didn't feel tired. Nice! I watched the cruise ships making their turns in the harbour. Then I looped around at Pier 21 and the garmin beeped for 3k. Not long after this, my quad started burning. Hmmm. Better walk. Took a short walk break until the burn went away and started again. Not too far and it burned again. "Does burn count as hurt?" My physiotherapist told me to stop when it hurt. I tried to start running a few times and then just figured it wasn't worth it. I had an appointment today, so I'd ask then. 

I walked the rest of the way back to the gym, garmin beeping for 4k and 5k. It was a nice walk. As much as I wish I hadn't had to stop running, I really enjoyed the walk. Before my injury, I was walking 4-8k a day and then was benched from walking longer than 1km. But, the walking didn't hurt at all, so I'm thinking that will be allowed again now. 

So, looks like 3k is my max distance right now. That's a bit of a bummer as I'd really like to be running farther to prepare for my half marathon. But, I'm pretty pleased that I am able to run 3k. That's much better than 0k. And as I continue on with my physio and strengthening my glutes/core, that number will go up again. I'm thankful that I'm at least able to bike and walk again as well. Tomorrow I am to try my 5k run again, this time with a stationary bike warm up instead of a cycle commute. Fingers crossed that I make it farther than 3k before the pain! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Running Hiatus

Well, I hit the crucial point of my training cycle, and got injured. A few weeks ago, I noticed my hip starting to get tighter than usual. My left hip was always tight and had much less mobility, but it started to actually bother me. So then I went to a yoga class and requested hip openers. I guess that was a bad thing. It just increased the tightness in the hip.

I tried running through it, thought it would just work itself out. I ran 18k a few days later, and didn't really have too much issue. Then as the week went on, I noticed a burning in my hip that would move to my glute and my hamstring while running or walking. It would only last a few minutes, and then the burning would stop. I took it easier for the rest of the week, resting, and less intensity.

Then I ran 12k as a cutback the next Monday. It didn't feel too bad, but I started to notice that I couldn't put my shoe on my left foot without pain. Hmm. Time to rest. I booked an appointment with a physiotherapist, thinking "If this is something, I want to get it worked out before my "A" race."

Honestly, I expected she could just give me a few strengthening moves, and would tell me I was fine to run easy. Nope. Turns out that my whole hip joint is tight and not moving properly. My L4 and L5 vertibrae are loose, and the hip seems to be tightened to protect this area. No running. No ultimate frisbee tournament. I was still somewhat optimistic that she'd clear me yesterday after having worked on my core strength for a few days. Nope. Not coming along very quickly at all.

My core and glutes are very weak. They don't engage while I walk or run or pretty much anything. So other muscles have taken up the slack, and seems to have caused this issue. For now, I'm only allowed to use the stationary bike, and walk for 10 minutes at a time and only if I make sure to engage my core and glutes.

I had to bail on the Rum Runners Relay race this weekend. I'm hoping to still be able to run the 5k race in the Valley on Thanksgiving weekend. I'm really hoping to be cleared to run my half marathon after that. However, goals are now changed. There are no more time goals. The goal is just to be allowed to get to the start and finish lines. Oh well. There is always next season for hitting those time goals. And, if I continue to build strength in my core and glutes, I'm sure I'll come back even faster. (Well, maybe not, but I can pretend!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Australian August is Over, September Starts!

I spent August sipping on some Australian wines. I knew that would be an easy month for picking some yummy wines. I did attempt to buy new ones that I hadn't tried, and was fairly successful until the last week when I went with Wolfblass.

I stuck with mostly shiraz or shiraz cabernet blends. I tried a pinot noir as well. I really enjoyed the shiraz. I'd been on such a cab sauv kick lately that it was a nice switch to shiraz blends. I didn't really track them this time, though. I'm getting lazy. I know that will come back to bite me later when I'm looking for a good bottle of red from Australia, but I'm sure I'll work it out then.

So for September, I've decided to not pick a country. I'm going with small countries. I don't have to stick to one particular country, but can choose from any smaller region. I picked up a bottle of Wolftrap syrah last night from South Africa. It was a bit spicy for my taste, but not bad once I got a taste for it. I also picked up a bottle from Lebanon, but I haven't opened that yet.

If you have any suggestions for good reds from smaller countries, feel free to share. I want to tie in Germany and New Zealand as well, but find they are better for whites, and I really wanted to focus on reds this year.