Thursday, November 1, 2012

Back to Basics (or, Alternatively, Operation: Leave All Pain Behind)

Workout: pilates, 50 minutes walking on a treadmill at a 6 incline (so, like, nothing really)

Before we get into today's topic, a picture!

This picture blows, but I was out taking for Bailey for a walk earlier today and was impressed by this view. The moon was out and the mountains far off in the distance were very much visible, contrary to what your eyes are seeing. MiPhone almost got fired for doing such a bad job capturing this picture.


So things have been pathetic on the running front. I've said this repeatedly because it's true. Pathetically true. I also just want to make sure y'all don't think I'm trying to front like I'm some awesome athlete, because I most assuredly am not. But I'm trying!

Since I stress fracture-d my foot two weeks before the Burlington Marathon back in May, running has been frustrating. This is not breaking news-coming back from an injury is a pain in the ass. But it sucks to have spent a year running completely pain-free (since the switch to more minimalist shoes-I know I sound like a lying sack of shit infomercial when I tell you that, but it's true. We will discuss this some other time when I'm in a more combative mood) only to get derailed so spectacularly. As I've mentioned, once I was okayed to start running again, I tried to build up my mileage way too fast. I had stayed in fairly good shape even while dragging a heavy boot all over a hellishly-hot Manhattan for six weeks (or maybe even a bit because of it), and once I was able to run again everything felt fantastic. I figured I would be up and running 35-40 mile weeks in no time. This clearly has not happened, mostly due to shin pain that just won't go away. Being in reasonably good shape but unable to run the mileage I know I can feels kind of like being baby Benjamin Button when he's all old and wise but unable to talk. Clearly it's JUST AS BAD.

Every day I go back and forth on how best to deal with my situation. First it's "stop being a pansy, it's just shin pain, jack that mileage up and get ripped!" And then it's "Wait, slow down there, you're going to break your body if you don't slow down." This leads to me running too far too many days in a row and then resting for far longer than I'd like while I wait for the pain to go away. Running through the pain just makes it worse. It's a really, really dumb way to go about this whole running thing. It's funny how easy it is to read someone else's blog and think, "What an idiot! She is so obviously about to injure herself, I can't believe she doesn't realize it," yet I am unable to recognize it in myself.

So why the hell am I talking about this? Because I need a plan, a specific outline of how I'm going to safely and slowly increase my mileage so I can finally get back to running the distances I want. So I've decided to go back to basics (like my post title! See what I did there?!) and start from scratch. I'm shelving my pride, taking the next few days off (I haven't run since Monday so it will be a week total), and starting Hal Higdon's Novice 1 half marathon program on Monday. Because I'm a novice (1). I'm going to modify it slightly since I don't think I should be running three days in a row. I plan to run on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (long run), initially at a slow, slow pace. If I manage to keep things relatively pain-free, I'll speed it up a little. The other days I will continue with my awesome hikes, and maybe throw some strength training in for good measure.

Will this work? Hell if I know. But given the success I had with Higdon's marathon program, I think it's a start.


Today's Anchorage-y item:

Cute, right? These people live in the most adorable house and I need to figure out how to steal it from them. Don't report me. This, perhaps obviously, is not their house. It's a shed next to it. The snow shoes are adorable, right? RIGHT?!

Halloween ended up being a bust. Those adorable kiddos I was hoping for apparently all decided to go over to Kempton Hills, where they must shower trick-or-treaters with gold-plated chocolate or really good drugs (I kid-just say no, children). We got four groups of kids, three of which were just high school students. High school students are not cute. They are just punks. The one tiny, tiny girl that showed up in a pink superhero costume almost made up for it all, though. The only thing she could say was "I'm a superhero!" The best.


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