Taking a break on the London trip report. It’s gotten longer and more unwieldy than I anticipated, and I’ve started chunking it out based on experiences rather than timeline – it seems to flow better that way.
Anyway, as I mentioned previously I have been scaling back the amount and intensity of my workouts – HIIT limited to 3x/week, no committing to races I hadn’t already signed up for through the end of the year (this one is hard – a lot of friends are running Stockadeathon and that race is a perennial favorite of mine), and trying to incorporate meaningful cross-training (i.e., spin, yoga). I did join a step challenge for the month of November, with a personal goal of 15,000 steps/day. Yesterday I got over 23,000 – this included two long walks with Finnegan, walk to and from work, and a 3 mile run. Today, no run and I had to drive, so I’m worried I won’t break 10,000. I am planning on taking Finnegan for a walk after my board meeting tonight, as the weather is nice. Tomorrow it’s going to rain. This will be a tough goal, but that’s why I set it.
I mentioned that I hadn’t been feeling as much pain in my hip. I ran the Squirrelly Six Miler on Sunday with some friends (I had previously signed up!), and I took it relatively slow. It was a trail race and I hadn’t run trails since Ragnar, and it was quite muddy making the downhills – where I typically like to make up time after speed-hiking the uphills – mildly treacherous. The last 3/4 of a mile, after the last big downhill, are relatively flat (if anything, still slightly downhill, but not steep), so I took off at that point.
I did feel some soreness in my hip toward the end, telling me that I had made the right call in continuing my stepped-back (for me) schedule as I am clearly not 100 percent healed. But I am getting there! In fact, after All The Steps yesterday, my OTHER hip/glute had some mild soreness – nothing that persisted, but maybe a sign that everything is finally starting to equalize? One step at a time, as they say.
I was supposed to run with a couple of friends Tuesday night, but both had separate work issues come up end of day, so I ended up running by myself. Truth be told, I didn’t have the best day at work myself and was pretty upset, so I decided to use the solo run as therapy. As always, it helped, and helped me work through a liveable solution and centered me. However, I was watching the clock pretty closely on this run and was pretty frustrated with my speed. I know there are good reasons I’ve slowed down some and it’s going to take me some time to get back to where I was before, but it was still disheartening. (Though, overall, the run was healing.)
And then Wednesday morning happened. I did a HIIT class before work, and our “Afterburn” – the last 2-4 min of class that is an all-out exercise once our circuit is complete – included a 60s push up hold. A push up hold is similar to a plank, except you bend your elbows. Even the instructor said this was tough and advised to do what we could and then drop to our knees. I’ve been struggling with core strength lately, but my push ups have been stronger recently (thanks to the 22 Push Up Challenge that I completed in August). I got into position, and thought, “OK, this is hard, but let’s see if I can hold this for at least 30 seconds.” Then we got to 30 seconds (sooner than I thought based on my internal counting – apparently that slows down when my brain is focused on a tough exercise!), and I thought, maybe 45 seconds? “GOOD, Jen!” the instructor says, and though I don’t look up, I wonder if I’m the only one left on my toes. “TEN SECONDS!” she shouts. OMG, I’ve GOT THIS.
I collapsed when she said we were done. But I stayed up for the full 60s. On my toes. I still don’t know if I was the only one in class that did it, but part of me wants to pretend that I was.
Later that morning, I pulled up Timehop and found this:
4 years ago, I did 20 minute workout videos a 2-3 times a week and could run 5 miles max. And look at me now. It’s been a long road, but it’s a worthwhile one, and sometimes the uphills are steep and the downhills are muddy, but then sometimes that finisher is primed for coasting.