Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Eugene Week 1 of 17: On Bullets & Dodging Them

So I had this plan that by the end of 2015 I'd be done with the post-sfx elliptical drama & back to running at least 8 happy, comfortable miles in a row. This was mostly based on the fact that I was up to four in early December & I figured I'd just keep adding one mile per week, race my 5K on 12/20, take a few days off after while we traveled to Don's parents' in Spokane, then pick it back up after Christmas & get a few easy runs in in Washington.

The mighty Guinness in his natural habitat.

Alas, I kept getting spoiled by stupid work and stupid travel and okay, also sometimes feeling a little afraid that I would be cruising along in mile 5 or 6 or 7 & suddenly the pain in my leg would come back without any warning. (Hey, it happened in October.) But I did race (and win) my 5K, which felt great even though it wasn't particularly fast, and thanks to a bunch of travel delays, taking days off after that was pretty easy.

If I fits, I sits.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve & Day, but a couple of times around then I started getting these weird twinges in my RIGHT tibia (ie, the one I have never had any problem with, ever). At first I figured this was just post-race crankiness (after all, I hadn't run hard on concrete in five months) & ignored it.

Then, the day after Christmas, Don & I made our usual Boxing Day sojourn to Spokane Macy's. The twinge reappeared, then became an ache, and after a couple of hours the pain was so bad I almost couldn't put weight on my right leg. The pain felt like bone and the experience was strikingly similar to how the bone stress injury in my left leg came on this past August, so, naturally, I pretty much freaked out & had a total melt down on the way home, certain I now had ANOTHER stress fracture in a yet ANOTHER bone where up until the past day or so I had never had even the faintest hint of pain.

So, instead of ramping up my post-Christmas running, my strategy became to sit on the couch as much as possible and make people bring me stuff. The one bright spot was that I couldn't really find a single spot on my left tibia that was particularly painful, which is very unlike a stress fracture/bone stress injury.

Honestly, though, by then it was utterly vomiting snow in Spokane, & thanks to a few days of cycling between just above freezing & then dropping back into the teens and twenties, there was a lot of ice on the roads too. People who lived there were spinning out & sliding down hills in all-weather tires, so trying to run it probably would have been a lost cause anyway. (Like, if I was two months out from some super-important race AND I had YakTrax, *maybe* I would have risked it. Four months out & debatably broken? Nuh-uh.)

Fear not, though! Basically I just took my entire two-week holiday vacation off and tried to pay close attention to that leg during normal activity. I felt a little twinge here & there, but thankfully, it went back to normal pretty quickly and I haven't felt any pain there since. Honestly, I don't know what to think about that whole episode, except maybe I yanked on something (shin splints? Bone membrane?) a little too much in the 5K & it took a few days to show up. Gift horses, and all that.

The night we burned the old toilet seat. No, there is nothing you are missing.

Staying off my feet over New Year's was easy as we rented a house in Sonoma with a bunch of fellow foodies for our friend's Jan. 3 birthday. There was much hot tubbing, eating of delicious home-cooked food, drinking of excellent wine, and very very little temptation to test my leg out.

Tenderloin on New Year's Eve

Grilled rack of lamb & cassoulet from the night Don & I cooked

Opera cake for dessert
(Not pictured: Some amazing Paso Robles port)

Definitely not drunk & belting "Bohemian Rhapsody" in a bunny onesie. Definitely, definitely not.

Also, it goes without saying that we watched Stanford kick some Hawkeye patooty.

#gameface. Photobombing by my friend G who cooked the gorgeous tenderloin above.

I mean, I *guess* you can call that a football game, in that there was a football present.

In other news, I guess I'm counting now?


Some Numbers:

    * 14 miles running
    * 3:00:00 elliptical
    * 2:15:00 strength work
    * 00:50:00 stretch & roll

Monday: a.m. 45:00 strength / p.m. 20:00 easy treadmill run + 20:00 easy elliptical. After winning that 5K on Dec. 21, I was basically sedentary for two weeks (if you don't count running through airports & a few hours of shopping), which had left me feeling kind of blah & gross. Usually I keep Monday a rest day because Sunday is my long run day, but since there are no long runs happening right now, I decided to get a short, easy workout in just to get the blood pumping & check in with my dodgy shins. (Also, wow. Goblet squats. I was so sore.)

Tuesday: a.m. 30:00 stretch & roll / p.m. 1.5 easy run to the gym, 5 x (5:00 @ 10K effort / 3:00 easy) on the elliptical, 1.5 easy run home.

Wednesday: a.m. 45:00 strength. We didn't go to karate because all of our students were out for some reason. Instead we tried to go rock climbing, but ended up bailing because the place was packed (guessing because it was pouring rain).

Thursday: a.m. 4 miles easy / p.m. 20:00 stretch & roll. I wanted to run 2 miles, do ~30:00 elliptical at the gym, then run 2 miles back home, but I was flying & had a bunch of work to do before that so it didn't work out. My schedule only called for 4-5 miles easy, so it was okay, I guess.

Friday: 1.5 easy treadmill run, 2 x (10:00 @ HM effort / 1:15 easy), 1.5 easy treadmill run Work work work get delayed in the airport for 3.5 hours fly fly fly pass out. :-/

Saturday: 1.5 easy treadmill run, 2 x (10:00 @ HM effort / 1:15 easy), 1.5 easy treadmill run

Sunday: 2.5 easy to gym, 60:00 easy elliptical, 1.5 easy home. More or less equivalent to a 10-11 mile run (at least time & effort wise).


  1. Close call. Glad you're ok now: that's scary. Perhaps just MTSS or something.

  2. Phew. You definitely dodged a bullet there. Glad to hear that you've managed it well and there doesn't seem to be any repercussions.

  3. Eep. That was close. I'd be wondering though what was going on with the right leg. As though correcting the imbalance that produced the left-leg issues might've started another chain of...well, something...

    By the way ,_- what's your stretch and roll routine? I'm still trying to faithfully do my, like, two minutes, but I have terrible post-run ADHD.