Posts Tagged ‘injury’

blogiversaryWhen I signed up for my first 8km race a little over six years ago, I never dreamed I would end up calling myself a runner. And when I hit ‘Publish’ on my first blog post – exactly one year ago today – I had no idea how much ‘Bradley on the Run’ would become a part of my life.

March 1, 2015 – Many of you have been with me throughout this journey, while others have just joined the party. Please allow me the (slightly narcissistic) indulgence of reflecting back over the past 12 months. I also have to thank a bunch of people, too!

#42for42

I decided that 2014 would be my marathon year, and set my sights on Honolulu in December, just about a week after my 42nd birthday (42km marathon at 42 years old = #42for42). I figured this was as good a motivation as any to check the full marathon off of my bucket list. With a bit of encouragement, I ended up running the BMO Vancouver Marathon as my first (and best), with Honolulu my second. The question lingers whether or not another marathon is in the cards for me…

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Injuries and Excuses

During and after the BMO, I had some issues which I described at the time as ‘groin’-related. I took some time off, did some physio and – most significantly – started going to Pilates. Well, lo and behold, I was healed! Turns out that my problem was not, uh, where I thought it was. My problem was a weak core! Huge shout out to Christie at the YMCA who has helped to make a world of different in strengthening my flabby underdeveloped mid-section.

A Few PBs

I want to brag, just a little bit. In the past year, I achieved personal best (PB) results in 5 distances!

  • Full Marathon (42.2km) – the BMO Vancouver Marathon was the winner here. Much as I enjoyed Honolulu, it was not comparable time-wise to the BMO
  • Half Marathon (21.1km) – just a few weeks ago, I had a ‘perfect storm’-type race in the First Half Half Marathon – and loved every minute of it!
  • 10km – it was a cold and snowy day, but the 2014 West Van Run was a PB in this distance…that is, until today…(stay tuned for an upcoming race report on West Van Run 2015!)
  • 8km – the Modo 8K was a fun and unexpected success
  • 1 mile – this was a distance I had never tackled = automatic PB! We’ll see what this year’s Ambleside Mile has in store!

Huge Thanks!

Although I enjoy writing this blog – it’s one of the things that keeps me motivated in my running – it’s the people who have supported me that make the true impact. An enormous THANK YOU to:

  • Coach Carey and the amazing people of Forerunners – from Day One, I have been inspired and encouraged by this team of athletes.
  • My Twitter followers – for every ‘Like’ and every retweet, those I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and those I hope to meet someday!
  • All the folks on Facebook, including the many non-runners who visit my blog just because – it means a lot to me!
  • Everyone who follows me on Instagram, Pinterest (still figuring that one out) – and this blog!
  • Kristy (Runaway Bridal Planner) and the amazing new blog-mates I have met through the February Blog Hop, which pushed me to analyze and develop my social media skills over the past month!

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  • Last but not least – my friends and family, who come out to cheer me on, who put up with my endless running stories, and who wait for me to finish long training runs. You are truly amazing!

#YearoftheHalf

I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store. I’ve designated 2015 the ‘Year of the Half’, when I will focus primarily on the half marathon distance (or shorter). I look forward to sharing more race reports, hosting a few giveaways (look for one coming soon!), networking with a whole lot more bloggers, and making many new connections.

Thank you for celebrating YEAR 1 with me!

– Bradley

What do you enjoy about my blog? Is there anything I could do to improve it? I welcome feedback and suggestions!

Have you ever had one of those times when it’s the perfect storm of work, school, family all culminating in so much stuff going on that suddenly almost a month has gone by and you haven’t written a blog post?

Ya, that’s what happened.

2 weeks from today, I will run (or, by this time of day, have completed – I hope!) the Honolulu Marathon. And just to make sure I hadn’t forgotten, this arrived in the mail last week:

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But what’s been happening in the meantime?

The Long Run

I probably should have peaked last week, but I got my longest run in about 3 weeks ago. It also happened to be the longest solo run I’ve ever done. It started with an early jaunt to Forerunners, where I joined up with the clinic for the first part of their run. I then continued my loop around False Creek and on to Stanley Park, where I captured a bit of the local scenery.

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I’ll admit I also stopped along the way to vote in the municipal election!

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After circumnavigating Stanley Park, I finally reached Coal Harbour at 33km, where I stopped for a coffee. The barista said: “Lovely morning for a little jog.” I just smiled and nodded.

Running Barrie

I went back to Ontario for a week to help my dad out following a minor surgery. And for the first time, I took the opportunity to run the beautiful Barrie Waterfront – an out and back around Kempenfelt Bay.

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And had intended to get in a long run, but with some housework to manage, plus juggling working from home – I waited too long and woke up to this:

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Winter in Vancouver

I arrived back in BC just in time for…well, no snow yet, but a bit of below zero. Another False Creek/Stanley Park loop, and managed to reach a little more than a half marathon distance. I should have run further, but I ended up at Starbucks instead.

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But then yesterday, winter had truly arrived!

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I ended up taking a bit of a tumble en route, but thanks to the cold my glove took the brunt of my fall! I’ve got a bit of a sore hip, too, but no war wound to show off!

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So here’s what it looked like yesterday in all my key locales – including my upcoming vacation destinations!

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My #42for42 goal is fast approaching – the birthday (on Friday) arriving just over a week before the distance. We’ll then be off to Japan for 2 weeks, where (after some recovery) I hope to run some more!

Stay tuned!

eastside 10k

I usually don’t sleep well the night before a race, and Friday night was no exception. I tossed and turned, and woke up on Saturday feeling anything but refreshed. I downed some coffee, forced myself to eat some oatmeal (I don’t love eating in the morning), and found a car2go nearby to get me to the start line of the Eastside 10K.

This was my second Eastside 10K – I participated in last year’s inaugural race. But while 2013 was chilly and foggy, 2014 was bright and sunny – ideal weather, really. I’ve participated in two other Canada Running Series events this year: the Modo 8K in March and (my most recent race) the Scotiabank Half Marathon. And while the package pickup for the Eastside 10K was mildly chaotic, I find these races to be some of the best organized and most fun!

I decided to try something new for this race – I intentionally ran ‘naked’. No, nothing like the Underwear Affair; I simply chose to forego any technology – no iPhone to play music or tell me my pace, no Facebook cheers, no watch with a timer. To be fair, I had my iPhone in my pocket to track my overall race, but I had no earphones and resisted glancing at it during the race.

You may recall the slight trauma I experienced during the BMO Marathon when my iPhone quit at kilometre 30, and I was forced to run ‘naked’ the rest of the race. That was unintentional and unexpected. This race was deliberate and an experiment in self-discipline and self-awareness.
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The energy at the start line was great. Although Forerunners was one of the sponsors of this event, I, unfortunately, didn’t see anyone from my running clinic – so I was on my own. I also wore my race t-shirt – I know there are different schools of thought on wearing event shirts the day of, but something about being one of the 100s (or 1000s or tens of 1000s) dressed in {insert theme colour here} just makes me happy. This year, as you see, it was black. I washed the shirt Friday night, and it was dry and ready to race when I woke up.

At 8:30 sharp, we were off. Running without music is new for me, and it’s amazing what you notice when you don’t have familiar songs and beats to distract you. This is what I experienced:

The amazing sound of hundreds of shoes on concrete. As we ran across the Dunsmuir Viaduct the first kilometre, that really was the only thing I heard. Sure, one or two people cheering, others chatting – but that surge of energy from the feet of athletes propelling themselves forward – kind of amazing.

The guy making duck sounds. Because the Eastside 10K takes us through the poorest neighbourhood in Vancouver (the Downtown Eastside/DTES), and maybe because the race is smaller (about 1700 participants), there weren’t as many spectators or people cheering us on. So those that were out there stick in my memory. And just after kilometre one (and, on the return, just before kilometre 9), there was a guy with a duck sound thing – it made me smile. And if I’d had my music on, I would have missed it.

Phlegm guy. My experience in almost any run of a distance greater than 5 km is that you can easily get fixated on one particular thing – the weird gait of the person in front of you, a tweaky muscle, or a badly tied shoe. In my case, it was phlegm guy. Around the 3km mark, two guys ended up in pace with me, just behind and to my left. They were chatting away, but one of them kept coughing up phlegm and spitting with unusual energy and force. And he did it over, and over, and over. At one point they overtook me, and I got a look at him – just an average guy with excess mucous. But then I was anxious that I might end up in the firing line, and I pushed ahead. And for at least 2 kilometres, every 10-15 seconds, dude was hawking and spitting like a maniac. Dozens and dozens of times. I thought, Should he really be running? Is he sick? And then, after one particularly forceful iteration, a girl behind me said, “OMG, I’m gonna take that guy out!” And I knew I wasn’t alone. It was almost like water torture – or a dripping faucet – when was the next one going to come?

See how much I wrote about him? Seriously, for like a third of the race, phlegm guy was my obsession! But somewhere around the halfway mark, I blessedly lost him.

Lots of ‘Ohayo!’ and ‘Ganbatte!’ as we ran past the Japanese Language School on Alexander Street.

Not a sound, but a sight. Because this was my first post-recovery race, I hadn’t set a specific time goal – nor was I pacing myself. But as we approached the turnaround point in Gastown, I found myself behind the 50 minute Pacer – wearing bright yellow, easy to spot in the sea of black shirts. Was 50 minutes (my 2013 result) a realistic goal? I lost sight of her shortly thereafter, and stopped thinking about time.

The cheers (or maybe jeers?) of some residents of the tent city in Oppenheimer Park. One lady yelled out, ‘Nice fancy clothes!’ – not sure if she was complimenting or mocking, but I shouted out a thank you anyway!

The strangely annoying noise of my bib bouncing against the pins holding it too my shirt. Hard to explain, but when my surroundings were quiet it kinda bugged me – like change jingling in a pocket. But I got over it.

Lovely music from a singer/guitar duo at Heatley and Alexander.

Interlude:  It wasn’t until somewhere between 6km and 7km that I thought about it – my injury. The pain that kept me from running for the entire month of July. The thing that nearly made me decide to give up for #42for42 plan and skip Honolulu entirely. I thought about it – and realized there was no pain! Things are truly looking up… 

Two adorable little boys cheering for us around the 7km mark.

My own breathing. The last kilometre is an uphill onto the Viaduct, followed by a long stretch of ‘I’m never going to make it’. My breath was getting raspy, and I was making little groaning noises. Do I usually do that? Normally I can’t hear myself – a bit embarrassing! But I’m pretty sure everyone else is focused on themselves – no one is listening to me!

Then the finish line was in sight – and the number on the clock was still 49! I had a chance to better last year’s time! I heard the announcer say, “If you can see the clock, you can still get in under 50 minutes.” So I sprinted (at least in my mind) over the finish line.

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The Eastside 10k has: a fantastic dog tag style medal. Good quality warming jacket. Excellent spread of food. Beautiful weather. And a time just 5 seconds short of my 10k personal best (achieved earlier this year at the West Van Run). And I experienced it all without the aid of any technology, and I think I’m better for it. What more could I ask for? See you next year, Eastside 10k!

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Final Results

Chip time: 49:36
Average pace: 4:58 min/km
Place overall: 380/1461
Age category place: 35/87

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Early Days – April 2009

When I started running back in 2009, things got off to a pretty slow start. I didn’t have my Nike+ gear back then, so I can’t say for sure what the numbers were like. However, I’m pretty confident in saying that it took me at least a few months to reach my first 100km. Perhaps it took the whole year. Looking back over my Facebook posts, I can track the gradual progression of my races between April and August: the Sun Run (10k), the BMO 8k, the Scotiabank 5k, the Underwear Affair (10k) – but I suspect my training was scant at best. Those were the early days, the start from zero. It was the time when people commenting on my race updates still said things like: “I didn’t know you were a runner!”

February 2010:  I bought my Nike+ timing chip to connect to iPod (this was before my iPhone, before GPS). My runs averaged about 3.6km in length, and I would sometimes go for 2-3 weeks without running at all. Based on my historical stats, it took me nearly 4 months to hit 100km. But something about having that little timing chip really made all the difference in inspiring me to continue.

Fast-forward to 2014: My marathon-induced injury in May forced me to cut back on my running significantly. I managed to train enough to endure the Scotiabank Half on June 22, but that was followed by a full month without a single kilometre run. As a result, starting up again in July honestly felt like I was doing my first 100km all over again from scratch. What has added to the challenge this time is that I’ve been through it before, so although I know what I’m capable of (which is motivating), I’m also highly aware of the fact that I’m slower, and that it’s harder to achieve shorter distances (which is frustrating).

Today I clocked my ‘first’ 98km. It has taken just over a month to get to this point. With my target Honolulu Marathon fast approaching, I know I’ve got to step things up. However, I also don’t want to aggravate my injury or cause some other problem – so there has to be a balance. Push myself hard enough, but not too hard. And how easy is that to achieve?

I’ve been focusing my runs on Stanley Park, for a couple of reasons:
1) It gets me off the pavement, cushioning things a bit and arguably making recovery easier.
2) It gets me away from the maddening crowd. On days like today – a sunny Sunday – the Seawall is a zoo. Tourists and locals alike converge with kids, dogs, strollers, wheelchairs – and the odd wayward bike ridden by someone who either doesn’t care or doesn’t know where they’re going. Today, for example, I ran nearly 10km in the trails. Several times, I went for 1-2km without seeing another soul. A few scenes from Stanley Park:

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Within the next couple of days, I’ll have completed my first 100km. This excites me! It’s a fresh start, a new beginning, and a different perspective on being a ‘novice’ runner. Between now and December I have two scheduled races – the Eastside 10k and the inaugural Vancouver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. All part of my #42for42 master plan! Bring it on!

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Look how excited I am!

No-Running

You haven’t heard from me in a while because, quite honestly, I’ve been in somewhat of a blue funk. At the behest of my physio, I took time off after the Scotiabank Half Marathon in June to recovery from a lingering injury. I was meant to start running again after ’10 days pain free’, but 10 days stretched to a month and the pain hadn’t quite gone away.

Last week, I decided to give it another go. I managed two short (3 and 4km) runs. Finally, today, I did a 7km and – fingers crossed – I still feel pretty good.

During my ‘run-free July’ (and I don’t mean that in the good way like ‘pain-free’ or ‘carefree’ – more like ‘love-free’ or ‘happiness-free’, as in lacking the things you want/need), I had a lot of time to mull, and to be a bit angry. However, I also  learned a few things:

1) I’m addicted to running
When I was able to run without pain, there were certainly days I didn’t want to run. But once I was told not to, that’s all I wanted to do. I felt frustrated and anxious. I wanted to be out pounding the pavement. When I saw other people running, I was envious (and in a city like Vancouver, that happens a lot).

Last weekend, we took the train down to Seattle, and then drove out to Central Washington. As the train headed south, I saw folks running in the fields near Delta. In Wenatchee, the path along the Columbia River beckoned me, despite the 35+ degree weather. Even in Seattle itself, I wanted to run those hilly streets. But I couldn’t.

2) Core shorts are emasculating
My physio recommended Under Armour ‘core’ (compression) shorts to help with my groin injury, and provide support while running. They hold everything in – tightly. I guess they work. But they’re certainly not the most comfortable item of clothing I own.

This is not what I look like in core shorts

This is not what I look like in core shorts

3) Wine does not promote a flat belly
Without the promise of early morning runs every Saturday, and with Vancouver temperatures soaring, a cold glass of wine on a Friday night – followed by another – becomes very easy. That, combined with the lack of regular cardio workouts, has taken a toll. Plus, I have a weakness for potato chips and assorted crunchy, salty snacks.

4) I miss my running friends
There’s a degree of envy, too, when I see posts on Facebook highlighting the athletic achievements of my Forerunners cohorts. And I feel a pang of something…regret?…when I get the weekly Forerunners newsletter. The weekly training sessions have been such a part of my life over the last couple of years, and those people so integral to the small successes I’ve had during that time, I miss them all immensely. I hope they’ll take me back when the time comes!

5) Pilates is a life saver
My injury (which I won’t get into here) is definitely core related. I had never tried Pilates until a couple of weeks ago, when my friend finally convinced me to go with her to the YMCA. I’m a convert. I believe that the work I’ve done in that class has given me the physical strength and healing needed to get me to today – my longest run since the end of June. Coupled with weekly yoga classes, I feel like I’m making progress.

Where do I go from here?
I’ve made up my mind about a couple of things.

1) I will run the Honolulu Marathon, come hell or high water
I refuse to give up on my #42for42 plan. Honolulu is booked, and I will run it. I don’t expect to better my Vancouver Marathon time, but I intend to finish it regardless. I believe with steady, careful training, I can still make it happen.

2) It’s time to cut back and pay more attention to my diet
I’ve been lazy. I’ve allowed the dog days of summer (not that I’m complaining!) to lull me into a sense of recreation where another beer doesn’t hurt. But I know it can. So while I won’t be teetotaling through August, I’ll be a lot more aware of what I’m consuming – both food and drink.

3) I will continue cross-training
Pilates – check. Yoga – check. Some strength training at the gym – not my favourite activity, but an area to concentrate on. Swimming – I’m a clumsy swimmer, something I’m not confident about – but another activity I want to explore. Cycling – I don’t own a bicycle, and the aggressiveness of Vancouver biking terrifies me, but I’m thinking of trying out some spin classes…

Most runners face setbacks at some point during their training – injuries, illness, and serious life events, to name a few. I know my experience has been mild compared to what others have been through. But I would certainly welcome comments, encouragement, suggestions and the like on getting back into the game. Because that’s what I’m ready and eager to do!

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I signed up for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon as part of a 3-race package (Modo 8k, Scotiabank Half, Eastside 10k). Little did I know the time that I’d be running the BMO Marathon in May, and injuring myself enough to have very little training leading up to the race. Here’s how things panned out:

Friday, 5:00pm
Package pickup at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Quick and efficient. Nothing like the chaos and long lines of the BMO. Felt relaxed and positive. Nicely done, Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon organizers and volunteers!

Friday, 11:37pm
Significant amounts of self-doubt. In the last month, my longest run has been 7k. I’m out of shape. I probably shouldn’t have had those 2 glasses of wine. What the heck am I going to blog about?

Saturday, 9:56pm
My gear is laid out for the morning. I’m golden!

Saturday, 10:00pm
Bedtime!

Saturday, 10:01pm
OK, maybe I’ll read just one chapter before I sleep…

Saturday, 10:38pm
Now I really have to sleep. But I should pee once more so I don’t wake myself up in the night.

Saturday, 11:15pm
I’m so tired. Why can’t I sleep? What if I don’t hear my alarm? Maybe I should set another one. If I just envision crossing the finish line, it’ll become a reality! I have a Lady Gaga song looping in my head.

Sunday, 2:06am (give or take)
Is that my alarm? No, it’s still dark out…

Sunday, 5:12am
The alarm is going off in 15 minutes. I’ll just lie here a bit longer…

Sunday, 5:39am (two snoozes later)
Time to get up. Breakfast – oatmeal with blueberries; dressed and out the door by 6:20. Grab a nearby car2go. Arrive at UBC in time to check my bag, make a pit stop, and connect with a couple of coworkers who are running.

Sunday, 7:30am
We’re off!

The Race

This is my second Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. It starts with a brief out-and-back, meaning that we get to see the elites pass by while we are still around 2k and they’re approaching 5k. Great inspiration, lots of clapping and cheering from the masses. My pace is good and, although I’m aware of that nagging injury (in my psoas muscle – an inconvenient thing), it’s not extreme.

I’m impressed, as always, but the range of ages among the runners surrounding me. The love of running spans the generations. There’s even a guy racing in his wheelchair. Many folks running to support charities. A positive group.

The downhill starts around 7k. Last year, I pounded down this hill too hard and tweaked my right ankle. I try to remain controlled, to keep a quick but measured pace. The guy in the wheelchair whizzes by. My speed picks up, and my app tells me I hit 10k at 52 minutes. I’m hoping for a timing clock at the halfway mark, but there is none. Regardless, I know that this won’t be a PB race.

It’s familiar territory now – the route identical to the BMO Marathon, except the day is warm and sunny, and I haven’t already run over 20k! But, as these things go, my energy is flagging – my recent lack of training clearly evident.

At the short, steep Marine Drive hill, I shorten my stride and pump my arms to get some momentum. The wheelchair guy is here again, going up the hill backwards, and grinning at everyone he sees. Through the struggle, it makes me smile.

Somewhere in Kits, I get chills. Not the excitement kind. The kind that suggests that maybe I haven’t eaten enough, or maybe I’m getting dehydrated. After completing a marathon, I’ve underestimated my fuelling requirements. I skipped a few water stops during the first 10k, but I’m taking full advantage now. A guy in a Barney costume passes me. I’m so hot – how is he managing??

The Burrard Bridge has never seemed so long. Honestly, I don’t think it will ever end. I imagine the guy in the wheelchair working his way up this steady incline and I marvel. Someone has collapsed off to the right. He has several people around him, and someone has cushioned his head. I hope he’s alright.

Finally, the bridge peaks and it’s downhill from here. I don’t know if I have it in me. But when I see the photographer at the bottom, I whip off my sunglasses and throw my hands in the air in victory. That’s going to be a great picture (one that will be overpriced and I won’t purchase, but all the same…)

Nearing English Bay – the crowd is thickening. The end is nigh! Turning onto the final stretch, my ever-reliable and adorable partner is there with camera in hand, and I have that extra push to the finish.

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Nearing the chute, I pick up speed and pass about half a dozen people because I really just want to finish. I’m tired and hot and hungry.

Final results

Chip time: 1:53:56
Average pace: 5:24 min/km
Place overall: 1021/3333
Age category place: 89/179

I ran this one for Mom, in her memory. With the contributions from my generous coworkers, friends and family, over $2,500 was raised on behalf of the BC Cancer Foundation to aid its fight against this stupid, destructive disease. I consider that to be the biggest win today.

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The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon is a wrap. And I’m not going to have any worries about that glass of wine tonight!

As I’ve alluded to (or stated outright) in previous posts, I’m not a particularly sporty guy. At all. Running is that rare activity that has somehow captured my soul and given me the motivation to be – though I still feel the need to use quotation marks – an “athlete”.

But I can’t run right now. What’s a boy to do?

Indeed, I took the week after the marathon to relax. The first couple of days were enforced relaxation, to be sure, since I could barely walk. But by the following Saturday I was raring to go, and did a 15k Forerunners run.

It aggravated what I assumed had been caused by too-tight shoes:  a sharp pain on the top of my right foot. A visit to the physio assured me that it was not a stress fracture (how would I have dealt with that??), but very definitely tendonitis. The cure? Lots of icing, and “no running until you’re 10 days pain free”.

It’s been a week now, but I still had pain for a couple of days after my diagnosis, so I’m not there yet. I’m anxious and a bit cranky, and I’m not sleeping like I usually do. And although I’m avoiding any high impact movement, I did manage a few things:

3 days at the gym – 2 days of cycling, and a third day of cycling + strength work and stretching. I’ll admit, I find the stationary bike inordinately boring. Maybe I need a class. I similarly loathe the treadmill – something about all that forward movement, but no change of scenery and ultimately going nowhere – it’s truly a psychological struggle for me.

Flow yoga class at the YMCA – an absolutely delightful hour of movement and stretching. Lots of breathing. Very healing.

I’m an impatient patient. In general, I have no issues sitting still – but I hate that I have no choice but to do so this time. I can’t wait to get out there and run again. I recognize that I’m actually very fortunate – many runners have faced far more serious injuries, while all I’m dealing with is a minor setback. However, I’m forcing myself to consider the longer term impact of my behaviours. Because I want to run again soon.

So today I sit, I ice, and I blog.

It’s hard to believe a week has gone by already. 7 days ago, my legs could barely move, I was exhausted, and I was elated.

Is there such a thing as post-marathon blues?

Monday
I took the day off work and spent the day alternating from bed to epsom salt bath to sofa to bed – and repeat. I ate a lot, drank a lot of tea, and took small shuffling steps wherever I went (which wasn’t far). I wrote my marathon race report. I avoided stairs. I thought I’d never be able to run again. Thought about doing a yoga class, and dismissed the idea.

Tuesday
Back to work. So much support from my coworkers, sharing my marathon story. A long painful pedestrian commute both ways. Extreme pain in (on?) the top of my right foot, especially when stepping down. Headed to choir in the evening, and even got a round of applause. It’s weird, because I know so many people have done marathons – run faster, run multiple times – but I’m so appreciative that people think it’s a big deal. It makes me happy.

Wednesday
Took my gym bag to work, thinking I might either go for a short run at lunch, or perhaps go for a brief workout. Neither happened. Still feeling quite a bit of pain, plus I realize that it’s OK to let myself take a break. I’m itching to get back out for another run, but I know I’m not there yet. I just noticed that one of my toenails has turned purple (not black – it probably won’t fall off) and is a bit sore.

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Man, toes are funny looking things

Thursday
What a day! I ran back and forth between meetings for the entire day. OK, I didn’t actually run – but moved at a brisk pace. I’m starting to get my ‘legs’ back. Foot pain has subsided a bit. The walk home was miserable – the rain came back and I was absolutely drenched – memories of the marathon!

Friday
Until a few weeks before the marathon, I always did a bit of a workout on Fridays. I think this will be the last ‘holiday’ before I get back to the gym. My body is feeling stronger, but it needs to be doing something. With a mostly sedentary job, I have to be very conscious of getting that physical activity in. I didn’t sleep well last night – I think the lack of exercise is throwing things off a bit.

Saturday
Back to Forerunners! So great to see a bunch of my running buddies again! A few folks are away, but a bunch of us are here to get into the swing of things. Also awesome to share in everyone’s successes! Next big race – Scotiabank Half Marathon on June 22, so this is what a lot of people are now in training for. Today’s route is a 15k along the water – Jericho and Locarno Beach – and then up the UBC hill. It’s strenuous, of course, but since the full distance is so manageable, I don’t mind at all. Coach Carey has a water stop at 8.5k, and we only have 6.5k more to go!

In my group, there’s a lot of talk about how ‘relative’ running is. The BMO was my first marathon. One of the other girls has ‘only’ done 4 marathons. Another one of the girls is training for her first half marathon – and I’m so excited for her! Just a couple of years ago, that was me! One of the guys has ‘only’ done one marathon, and is training for his second. We discuss speed – the elite 2-hour marathoners vs. friends who take their time and do the marathon in 5 0r 6 hours. Sometimes it’s about beating your own personal best, other times it’s just about finishing the race.

It’s so good to be running again!

But the pain in my foot is back, and I’ve got a few other sore spots. I have a massage scheduled, and I get him to work mostly on my legs. I reflect that a marathon really does take a toll, and I’m glad my next few races are shorter.

Incidentally, I also learn that I’m in the promo photo for the Shaughnessy 8k – so I guess I’d better sign up!

shaughnessy

That’s me on the left in the sunglasses

Sunday
A week ago, I completed my first marathon. It was tough, but now I know that I can do it! I’ve got a physio appointment today, so hopefully I can deal with some of those issues I’ve been complaining about. And I’m ready for a new week – more or less recovered, and back into my routine.

And in case you’re interested, my upcoming races (with more to come?):