Saturday, December 4, 2021

A Return to Running

My return to running from my ankle and foot fractures continues! While writing this recap, I can't help but share my pride in my progress. I've been slowly increasing my running intervals for the past month but really -ahem- hit my stride this week, with 2 longish trail runs and another zippy 5 miler on the bike path. While my ankles are still a bit cranky, once they loosen up, I'm able to move well. RA hasn't always been happy with my increased miles either, but I ran a total of 69 miles in November.

Wow. I saw that number and was stunned. Happy, but stunned.

Why has this comeback gone so well? I credit the work I did while I was healing. Instead of agonizing about not being able to run, I looked at what I could do. As soon as I could, I started walking. I added pool running, which gave me cardio and mobility. I participated in a trail hiking challenge on the Ice Age Trail, which helped me build strength and work on agility. My strength coach adjusted our sessions to incorporate mobility work in addition to building strength. The funny thing is that I didn't plan any of this. These opportunities came my way and I took advantage of them. 

I'm going to continue to increase my running intervals with the goal of eventually eliminating the walk intervals. Pool running will stay in my rotation through the winter. I'd like to add more strength work and I'm still trying to figure out when I can add CrossFit back in. It's a great problem to have, isn't it? 

Apparently, I run with my eyes closed!

Weekly Rundown:
Sunday: trail run 7.6 miles
Monday: pool running
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: trail run 10.3 miles
Thursday: strength training
Friday: run 5.3 miles
Saturday: rest

November running miles: 69

Running

We had some really nice weather this week and the trails were calling. I had 2 longish runs on the trails. I didn't set out to go that far, but I didn't want to stop. On Sunday, it was sunny but very cold. I was greeted by 3 does feeding on the connector trail, but as soon as they saw me, they took off, their white tails bobbing in the woods. My run took me through the woods and I realized how bare all the trees were. 'Tis the season, I guess.

Wednesday took me back to the trails and I made plans to do both sections of the preserve. I figured that I'd end up with about 8 miles, but yep, I underestimated that and finished with over 10! I felt great for this run--just a little hamstring soreness. About halfway through, I came upon this young buck who wasn't scared of me at all. He let me get fairly close. Isn't he the cutest thing?


It was mild on Friday morning, but there was a brisk wind blowing from the east. Lake Michigan might be about 25 miles from my house, but when the wind blows across it, it's raw and bone chilling! Since I headed out with that wind at my back, I was pretty warm when I turned around to head home. It worked out well with the wind cooling me down, lol. I was still a little tired from my long run on Wednesday, but I picked up the pace on the last mile, didn't stop to walk, and finished strong!

Pool Running

I was tired on Monday after my longish trail run but I always look forward to my pool workouts. The water really loosens up my sore and tight muscles. I dialed up the Life is a Highway workout, a combo of endurance and sprints. There are a lot of long strides and that always feels good. My left ankle was still cranky from rolling it the week before, but it settled down and I finished this class without any pain.

Strength Training

Ever creative, Sammy Jo continues to help me build upper body strength towards that elusive strict pull-up! She brought out Crossover Symmetry Bands, resistance bands which I had never used before. I did several different movements to work my shoulders and lats. After that, I did back squats! We've been avoiding these due to the limited mobility in my ankles. Both SJ and I were pleased that I was able to hit sets of 2 at 115#! I alternated those with 3 sets of heavy bag (65#) 100m carry. That made my heart pound!



How was your week? Are getting all your workouts in? How is your holiday prep going?

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown. 


34 comments :

  1. I am so happy to see that running is going so well for you! Pool running really is a fantastic tool for recovery but also an excellent way to keep up your cardio. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, my friend! Grateful for all the cross training and the good outcome!

      Delete
  2. The holiday prep is done except for a wreath.

    So happy that you are able to run again. You have been so patient. Taking it slow is the way o go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, You Should Be Proud - Righteous Deer Moment In Time - You AND The Pool So Rock - You Are Truly An Inspiration - Soak It Up And Enjoy Those Family Gatherings - Well Done

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! This return to running has been great. No complaints at all!

      Delete
  4. Oh, I’m sure everything you did when you could run helped you make a strong comeback! I’m so glad it’s going well.

    I see the deer and imagine hos much Scooby would freak out. We encountered one earlier this week — poor thing, it was on along a road, not in the woods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These deer have a pretty good life but they do occasionally wander out onto the very busy roads that surround the preserve. Sigh...

      Delete
  5. Saw that long run on Strava! So glad you're doing so well. My comeback year continues. My slow pace is about 2 minutes faster than anything I was running a year ago. Amazing how our bodies continue to respond!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! You are running a lot! That's awesome. Your trail pictures are making me jealous. i haven't been on my trail in a while and I need to get back there.
    It's interesting to me that you're very strong- I mean stronger than most of us with the heavier lifting you do- and you still can't do pullups. My son has been working out and he can't do them either- he's very tall and thin and told me it's hard for people with longer arms. Er, yes, that's it! My arms are too long. Just curious to know if your coach has any insights on this.
    Anyway, so glad to see you're back to running!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! That's it! My arms are too long! Lol. We just keep plugging along with strengthening my lats. If I never get the pull-up, it's ok because the prep work is keeping me from getting bat wings and back fat! :p

      Delete
  7. Doesn’t it feel good to rally back! It’s great to have numerous fitness options to appreciate when a favorite one is on sabbatical:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't expect it to go so well or that I'd be back to baseline so soon. I figured it would be 6 months before that happened. I'm very pleased.

      Delete
  8. The work you made was very important to come back to running.
    I am happy that running is going well and you are back to the long distance runs.
    I miss a lot swimming. I went to the pool 2/3 times per week before my incident.
    Beautiful shot of the deer.
    Have a good Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think the pool running was the key. I'm so grateful!

      Delete
  9. Obviously this week I didn't get all my workouts in -- totally ok with that.

    Happy that your comeback is going so well, Wendy! I'm always amazed at how many deer you see.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am so so happy for you Wendy! It's great to see all of your hard work paying off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I can't believe how well this recovery has gone. Fingers crossed it continues.

      Delete
  11. That deer shot is amazing
    So glad you found a natural path back to running that worked for you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Awesome week Wendy! You should be so proud of your comeback to running. 69 miles! Way to go!

    That buck is so cute! And he seems very undisturbed by you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So good to see you running again, Wendy!
    That sentence "the opportunities came my way and I took advantage of them" sticks out to me. It reminds me of the quote “Success occurs when preparation meets opportunity".
    You did really well with your comeback from injury!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Catrina! I hope to continue on this path to recovery. Yesterday, I signed up for a couple of races for 2022.

      Delete
  14. Great to see this progress, well done! Holiday prep done here in that we know what we're doing with the family (not always (ever) a given this early) and we've booked our Christmas supermarket delivery (we need to actually choose the food now or we'll get a giant turkey and a butternut squash dish). I bought two mini Christmas puddings and some red cabbage without red wine in (hoooray) at the discount supermarket on Saturday, and I have bought my secret santa for my BookCrossing group. So all good over here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear your prep is going well! I need to do some more gift shopping and shipping. That's the plan for today after I get back from the pool.

      Delete
  15. Awesome progress Wendy! So good to see you back to running and the fact that your comeback felt so strong is a testament to all the hard work you did while recovering from the injury.

    That buck is the cutest thing and it looks like he was smiling at you, lol

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love this so much for you! It's just the best feeling and so great to see.

    That buck is crazy close. How cool!

    The tree is up and lights are out. Now it's time to turn to baking.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your running is going so well now because of the hard work you put in during your healing process. Here's hoping it continues to progress at the rate you're hoping for!

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's a really strong comeback! I agree with you - comebacks like this are only possible if you do the work while injured. It sounds like you were very consistent with your strength and the pool. Good to see you back out there!

    ReplyDelete