Sunday, August 21, 2011

Slow Motion

My, my… where has the time gone?  A few weeks ago I wrote about my surgery in October and how optimistic I was, and how I was going to stay active and run all the way into the surgical ward.  And then… silence!  Was I just all talk, no action?  Well… sort of, but for good reasons.  I spent a solid 10 days this month in Vermont, riding my horse over hill and dale and having a fabulous time with friends.  Like a dutiful quasy-runner, I packed my Garmin, running clothes, and mountain bike with dreams of spending every afternoon tackling the trails and hills of Vermont.  The actual results were slightly dismal, but I probably did more than 99% of the other campers I was with, so I guess I shouldn’t beat myself up too much.  That 1% I couldn’t live up to?  Well that would be Diana, a blog follower of mine, athlete supreme, and fitness Oracle.  She doesn’t saddle up her horse for a ride under 30 miles, lace up her running shoes for a run under 10 miles, or hop on her bike for a ride under 40 miles.  She is bona-fide Type A-Mazing, and married to someone just as insane impressive.  Diana is a goddess and role model of mine, and I had fun catching up with her and gaining fitness insight over some drinks, while she wore a skin-tight dress in cow print as only Diana could. 

But back to me….
        I snuck in a couple mountain bike rides while on vacation (those hills are murder!) and a 6.2 mile trail run with Ronnie (double murder!!)  All of those activities occurred in the first half of the week.  By Wednesday my motivation to run slipped, and I fell into a comfortable pattern of: wake up, ride, drink, sleep, repeat.  By Sunday my body cried foul, and I knew it was time to pull myself together.  My hip got progressively crankier throughout the week, and the first half of this week was pretty painful.  I had pretty much given up any hope of ever running a substantial distance…until…Monday, when we got a message from my running club reminding us about the 10k race on Saturday.  I had completely forgotten about this.  I pondered whether or not I could do it.  I couldn’t see why not, since I had just run a trail 10k in Vermont last week (I won’t tell you how long it took me though) (Okay I will: 1:07!!!)  Armed with this new motivation, I decided to run at lunch on Wednesday.  I know I said a while back I wasn’t going to run at lunch over the summer anymore because I look like a sweaty sopping mess at my desk all afternoon, but due to scheduling issues this week, that would be my only chance to test out my hip.
        It seems like it had been forever since I ran with my lunch buddies so I was really looking forward to a reunion.  Apparently it had been a while indeed, because there were new signs posted outside the locker rooms warning employees that it was for shower use only.  I got a good chuckle out of this.

I mentioned the signs to Jaimee.

Jaimee was right.  The signs don’t work, as at least half a dozen folks popped in while I was changing.  Personally I don’t like the intimate feel of a 2-stall restroom, and I’m hoping that over time I can make people feel very awkward so that they’ll start avoiding the locker room altogether.
So...Wednesday I recruited Todd and Kerri, but Jaimee was out of commission with an IT band/Glute injury.  So, it wasn’t the full original group but still fun.  We plotted about what juicy, off-color, wildly inappropriate topics we would cover in our run, since we had some making up to do.  This all sounded great in theory, but when the three of us hit the pavement, it was Kerri and Todd that took off at a good pace, while I lagged far behind.  We hadn’t made it out of the parking lot and I was already out of earshot.  The run ended up being fairly lonely, with occasional visits from Todd as he would backtrack to check up on me.  My body fought every step and was shocked at being yanked from retirement.  Still, I managed a 4 mile run in the 80+ degree heat, and didn’t even care that I was a sweaty sopping mess at my desk all afternoon.
        Wednesday night I was still high from the running endorphins, but the hip was very angry.  I settled into bed with a Vicodin and dreamed about running again the next day.  Thursday morning my hip didn’t feel too bad, so I packed up the bag again and went off to work.  This time I recruited Kerri and Jaimee.  Jaimee had a killer PT session Wednesday night and wanted to try to run. Todd had other commitments and couldn’t run.  I won’t say what they were.  (Okay I will: He thought he was having a heart attack so he went to the doctor; it was just strained muscles from swimming).  So the girls went out for a run, Kerri breaking away while Jaimee and I shuffled along behind her.  Jaimee made it almost a mile before her injury flared up and she had to head back.  Kerri and I finished the run together, doing an easy 3 miles.  In some ways the run was easier than Wednesday.  My body wasn’t fighting me anymore and my breathing was regulated.  My hip wasn’t too bad, and I even managed to tolerate the 86 degree heat and high humidity fairly well.  But my quads were SORE!  I couldn’t believe it.  I generally have pretty strong legs and was shocked that a 4 mile run from the day before had left my legs feeling so heavy.  It amazes me how little time it takes for the body to lose fitness.
        So today I have rested up, legs are feeling good, hip is so-so, and I’m committed to run/jog/shuffle the 10k tomorrow.  I would love to come in under an hour, but once again I have to throw all time goals out the window because of this ripped hip.  I’m happy just to keep going.  I have to take advantage of this excuse I have for my slow running, because next year it’s going to be a mad rush trying to keep up with the likes of Todd and Diana.  Just don’t ever expect to see me in a skin-tight cow dress.

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