Sunday, June 11, 2017

I Get To Run

I do. I get to run. Never before has it been such a big deal to me. As runners, I think we take it for granted that we can run. Even when we are injured, we know that eventually, we'll be back on the road. We might not be happy to be sidelined, but there's always the expectation that there will be many miles ahead for us.

Even though I've been feeling pretty good, I get little reminders all the time that I have a beast inside me, that I'm not really the boss of me. Often it's my knees. Going downstairs is more of a challenge these days. They aren't painful very often, but they are stiff. The first mile of a run is always a liar now while I start slowly to loosen up my joints. My feet hurt almost all the time. My big toes keep me in good alignment as I run because if I land wrong, they send me a very strong signal to straighten up and fly right.

Still, I get to run. I've always been grateful to be a runner but never as much as I am now. I had always hoped to be able to run into old age. While I still hope for that, realistically I know that my running days are probably finite.



I thought about this on my run this morning. I'm loosely training for the Rock 'N Roll Chicago Half Marathon, which is one month away. I needed a 10 mile run today. The forecast was for temperatures in the 90s, so I woke up extra early to beat the heat. I had to do some convincing to talk myself out of my comfy bed on a Sunday to hit the trails. I negotiated with myself multiple times to get moving. There was the getting out of bed negotiation. The getting off the couch after drinking coffee negotiation. The "maybe I should bike instead of run" negotiation. Finally, the "maybe I should just run the bike path" negotiation. That one was an easy no since there isn't water on the path and only one porta potty.

I drove to the same forest preserve where I ran last weekend. The 8 mile loop has no escape route. If I want to quit on my run, it's a long walk back to the car. Maybe that's what had me so anxious. Once I got there I was so happy that I pushed myself. It was warm already but the heat was not overwhelming. There's a lot of shade on the path, which kept me comfortable. Since this was a long run, I did my 4:1 run/walk intervals. As much as the runner in me wants to just run, I'm finding that I'm enjoying my runs a lot more now, looking forward to my "break". Is that wrong? I'm still running fairly fast, which makes me happy.

I felt really good on this run today. No knee stiffness and no foot pain for the win! My finish time made me really happy: 10 miles/1:35:30/9:33m/m. Splits were very consistent (run/walk intervals for the win!) but my fastest mile was my last mile, which I ran in 9:06! Full disclosure: I did make 2 potty stops, for which I stopped my Garmin.


All my runs this week were good. I ran an extra day this week--a 5k on Global Running Day. My total mileage for the week was 27 miles. Yep, I got to run!

I also went to 2 yoga classes at the studio and one strength session with Becky. I learned in yoga that there are certain poses I can no longer tolerate. On Monday, I went up into wheel pose (backbend) and when I came down, my wrists were not happy. I found this odd, since I do planks and chaturangas frequently without problems. Later that day, my left hand complete froze and I couldn't move my fingers. I sent a message to my rheumatologist--yes, it was another RA thing. Ok, fine. I can live without that pose. Who wants to do wheel anyways? I'm a warrior, you know.


On Thursday, Steph and I got our booties kicked by Becky. We did some KB squats alternating with the slide board. Then there was some lunges, jumping, and then we threw a weighted medicine ball back and forth, trying to catch it. I loved that! I was pretty sore the next day, but as I write this, I realize that my strong run today was probably a result of some of that work!


I get to run and that makes me happy.

Did you get to run this week? Any yoga poses you can't do? What's your favorite way to cross train?

I'm linking up with Holly, Tricia, and Kim for the Weekly Wrap! Kim blogs at Kooky Runner and I'm thrilled that she's guest hosting. Be sure to go to her blog and show her some love!




77 comments :

  1. I get to run is my mantra! Holly gifted it to me on a charm as I struggled through summer marathon training last year. I have been trying to say it on repeat to myself as I struggle to find motivation in the mugginess. I use intervals quite often in summer and it makes my runs so much more enjoyable :) Sometimes looking forward to that break is what keeps me going.
    I love that you #nevergiveup

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    1. I love that "I get to run" is your mantra! I may need to get that one on a Momentum bracelet. I think we appreciate it since running isn't coming easy to either of us!

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  2. I feel the same way in that I get to run. I try not to take it for granted since it sucks being injured and not being able to run.

    I am bad at cross training but plan to do it more this summer.

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    1. I don't think I'd be running without my cross training!

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  3. There are so many yoga poses I can't do -- but I'm willing to try and build up to them.
    So glad you had a great week. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful that I get to run!

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    1. I needed that reminder too. Those long runs give you plenty of time to reflect, don't they?

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  4. Ever since I lost a year of running due to an ankle injury, I always say I get to run. There's nothing like an injury or illness to make a grateful runner, right? Glad you are feeling so good running intervals and that your 10 miler went well! :)

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    1. I've lost a lot of time due to injury--it's amazing now what I can do with that dark cloud chasing me. Suddenly, I've become a whole lot smarter about how I run. SMH!

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  5. Not only did I get to run this week, I got to run 3x with my BRF, including 1 time with her and her sister (who I haven't seen in over a year)! During the school year (we are both teachers), we usually only get to run together once a week--our long runs on Saturdays--so this was a real treat!

    My favorite way to XT is weight lifting and/or biking, but I love the camaraderie of the group fitness classes at my gym, too!

    As for yoga, I enjoy it, but I am not as diligent as I should be! :)

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    1. Are you planning on a lot of BRF runs this summer? How fun! I've always been jealous of teachers' having summer off. I don't think I've ever gotten used to having to work during the summer.

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  6. I used to be able to do back bends (many years ago) but it would take a lot of work to get into Wheel position these days. It's so frustrating, I simply do not even try. Give me a Chattaranga or Warrior 3, and I'm good.

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    1. I have never had a problem with it until now. This is going to be an interesting journey. Good thing I like bridge pose!

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  7. Congrats on your long run today Wendy! Oh how I wish I was doing RnR Chicago this year so I could meet up with you! Love that the theme of your post was "I get to run". Sometimes when I'm having a craptastic run, I have to remind myself of that. There are so many people that wish they could run, but can't.

    Thanks for linking up for the Weekly Wrap!

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    1. I wish you were running it this year too!

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  8. I feel so grateful that I can run even though its not how I would like. After this ridiculous injury I dont think I'll ever be able to take it for granted! Im glad you were able to get in so many good workouts this week!

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  9. I have that same sentiment! Kudos on a great 10 miler and awesome mileage week. I would love to do long runs again one day, but for now I'm happy that I can run at all ;) We GET to run!!

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  10. I feel the same way. Though I don't have to fight RA, I deal with other issues, so every day I get to run is a joy and a victory for me.

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  11. I just love your attitude; your positive perspective is contagious. I had to stop doing push-ups because my wrists were killing me, but I was secretly relieved. ;)

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    1. I love my push-ups--if that goes away, I may be less optimistic...

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  12. There are a LOT of yoga poses that I cannot do. Some I'm still hopeful that one day I'll manage, and some I'm OK with knowing that I'll probably never get.

    I had some great running last week, too - even though my knee(s) are protesting a bit.

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    1. I guess I can say that "I did that', right? LOL.

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  13. Great job on your 10 mile run and awesome pace! I look forward to my walk breaks too especially running hills around my neighborhood! I can't do a lot of yoga poses like a head stand or hand stand. Can't do forearm stands or any of those really tough poses! Hope you have another great week Wendy!

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    1. I think you could do a headstand--they aren't that hard compared to some other poses (like wheel!).

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  14. I'm glad your running is making you happy! There are times that I think about how much pain I use to be in when I run and now I fell so FREE! I don't ever want to take that feeling for granted! I am happy I GET to run!

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    1. Isn't it a great feeling? Now that I've slowed down, I'm running better. Fingers crossed that this continues.

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  15. I love your mantra and your attitude! I would not be surprised if you out run us all. Looks like Becky had you doing some serious workouts this week-impressive!

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    1. I'd have a whole different attitude if I wasn't able to run. It's been an adjustment to my new normal, but I'm really happy about how things are going.

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  16. I hope you are wrong -- that your running days aren't numbered. Hey, research is always being done! Sounds like a mostly good week & you know how I feel about my intervals. It surprised me that they had me finishing ahead of runners who I know are normally faster than me, but we all know that you never know what the day will give you.

    I can't do wheel anyway -- not yet, anyway, although I don't work at it. Or crow.

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    1. I hope I'm wrong too, but I'm pretty surprised at how fast I'm losing flexibility and how stiff I am now.

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  17. I love that: "I get to run". I've had running taken away from me too and I appreciate it so much more after a forced hiatus.

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    1. I always appreciate running after coming back from injury! Now I'm scared it's going away for good.

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  18. So grateful to be able to run! Hope you get to run longer than you think! Awesome job on your 10 miler! Your strength training sounds tough! You rock! I feel like I don't get enough cross training. I can't do a lot of yoga poses lol.

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    1. Every long run feels like a victory now!

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  19. YOU ARE A WARRIOR not a WHEEL <3 xoxo
    Me? Ill never ever be a balanced ANYTHING pose. And that carries more weight in my world than Id realized until lately.

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    1. That is going to be my new mantra! LOL!

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  20. I think because I spent my adolescence seeing my mom so sick that I never, ever take my health for granted. I'm so grateful every single day that I GET to run, bike and swim and just lead a healthy life. I love how much you appreciate it as well, even before your diagnosis. Nice job getting out of bed early on a weekend and getting it done! Not easy...but if it was, everyone would do it :-)

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    1. It's so funny because I've never been one to just want to lay in bed, but there it is! I think it's more a factor of my busy life than me not wanting to run! It feels so decadent, doesn't it?

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  21. I am so thankful for each and every mile. I have had so many times where I was so sick or broken that I couldn't do what I wanted to do, physically, and as a result, I never take any step for granted.

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    1. If anyone gets this, it would be you. <3

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  22. That's an awesome time and you are still running fast! Yay!

    I'm about to take 2 full weeks off of running to see if I can nip some hip pain in the bud. Will substitute with swimming and biking...just rejoined my old Masters Swimming training group.

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    1. I hope that hip pain goes away! I wish I liked to swim. I know it would be good for me.

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  23. I totally get this! I too and thankful that I get to run right now. I've been so injured and dealing with whiplash the last few months that I'm just happy to be running. My favourite cross training is between yoga and soccer...love being on the field!

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    1. It's been nice to see you coming back to running!

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  24. I think staying in the here and now is so important - and being grateful for any and all runs. It's easy to take advantage of the ability we have. Thanks for this important and grounding reminder.

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    1. More now than ever, I am grateful for the ability to run.

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  25. As we head into my least favorite season, I need to keep reminding myself that I get to run. It's not that I have to - I get to. Sounds like you've found a good way to keep running in your life using intervals.

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    1. Who knew? It sure beats not running at all.

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  26. Since coming back from a few years of injury and having many ups and downs, I am always grateful when I'm healthy enough to run. I definitely "get" to run. Great job on the mileage. It was steamy this weekend and that pace was really strong!!

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    1. It's not the pace that I'm used to but it's my new normal and it's faster than I expected using the intervals!

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  27. Yay! So glad to hear you can run!!

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  28. I enjoy my walk breaks too. I love my runs because I can keep going, even with my knee. The shorter intervals I did for the Bolder Boulder let me keep running even though my knee was tired.

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  29. It sure makes me happy to see you happy about your running too! I stop my watch too when I take a potty or a picture taking break on my training runs!
    :)

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    1. I had to be honest about stopping my watch, but heck, it is a training run not a race, right?

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  30. I tell myself that I get to run... and sometimes that plays games with my head... so I have switched over to "I want to run". The thoughts are all over the place during a long run!

    There is many yoga poses I can't do, need to work on shoulder strength!

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    1. You aren't kidding about the wandering mind during the run! I'm working on being more mindful. It is a "moving meditation", after all!

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  31. Another amazing post. I totally feel you on this. After being so sick with mono last summer, I am so happy that I get to run this summer. Keep up the great work!

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    1. You came back so strong after that! What an inspiration. It's nice to know that it was in there the whole time, right?

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  32. I love this! Yes, we GET to run. Actually, as I was running down the canyon in Provo on Saturday I thought to myself that I was so thankful for this "gift" of running. I may be slow and getting even slower as I age, but I'm still moving and enjoying every minute of it. It's right to give thanks for even the smallest of gifts!

    As to the yoga ....I can't do any of those poses. I've tried and I think I'm just too old and stiff now. lol

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  33. Yes! Love this! I love your attitude of "I get to run"! You are fast with your run/walk intervals!

    I'm pretty horrible at yoga because I'm so not flexible. I like tabata workouts for cross training and I'm really enjoying tennis right now.

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    1. I'm not very flexible either, even less so now, but the yoga really really helps open me up!

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  34. I'm so glad you're getting your running mojo back. And now this heat!!!

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    1. Heading out into the "cool" morning as we speak!

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  35. Such a great outlook.

    I can't do wheel at all. There is just something in me that will not let me get myself into an upside down position. No headstands, handstands and no wheel. It's frustrating, but it is what it is.

    So glad you were able to get in some great runs and workouts. I'm sure it's all working to bring back your confidence. :)

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    1. Getting upside down is pretty scary at first. The first time I did a headstand, I was exhilarated and scared all at once. You do get used to it.

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  36. I keep my eyes on the running prize for as long as I can because you're right, you never know when you won't be able to run anymore.

    My girlfriend asked me on Sunday if I always stop to drink water. I said yes, usually. Not only do I not do so well running and drinking, but it helps to recharge me. So I totally think running intervals is not only an efficient way to run and run far, but it helps to recharge us. I used to think I needed to run x-amount of miles to feel accomplished. Now it's much more about the journey than the destination.

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    1. People ask me why I don't just run slower but that doesn't work for me--I agree with you that the intervals help to recharge me. Maybe I'll be able to drop the intervals but for now, it works.

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  37. Its so easy to take our ability to do physical activities for granted until something hinders our ability to do so. Keep celebrating those accomplishments, Wendy, even the small ones.

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    1. Every run is a victory! And getting back to form is a win all around.

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  38. Technically I don't run, I am a "power walker" but I love it, that's how I lost all my weight. These days I mix in a variety of other things. Yesterday I did half on foot, half on my bike. I got on the bike mainly to cool off with some breeze! It's getting hot and humid here in NC. Have a great rest of the week! :D

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    1. I need to get back on my bike! But I'm so enjoying my runs that I haven't had the urge to ride.

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  39. Every single time I complete a run feeling great, I'm thrilled that I get to run. I no longer take my running for granted with the number of injuries (not necessarily huge, but still side-lining) I've experienced over the last three years. Great post!

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