Thursday, August 31, 2017

Can we talk? Over coffee?


It's been awhile since we've chatted about our summer training. Care to join me for coffee, tea (I'm having a chai latte'),  or any beverage of your choosing?

My summer training took on a different angle this year. My training didn't involve running, per se, but instead was all about coping with the reality of NOT being able to run. Ironically, I ran a marathon (Grandma's Marathon, Duluth MN) on June 17, had a full day of travel back home, ran a single #nevermissaMonday mile on June 19th, and that's when it ended. Summer began (two days later, June 21), and with it came the recurrence of a crazy knee bursitis...that turned infectious (and was overlooked/dismissed by one of my local docs), and had me on the operating table before months end (care to hear more of the details? checkout The Road to Recovery). 

Thus began the most difficult summer of my life (at least in recent memory).  Somehow through all the shock and unexpected drama of the situation, I managed to keep a pretty positive attitude as I journeyed #onward

Along the way, there were several key lessons I learned about myself through this adventure:

Lesson #1- Walking is a legit form of fitness.
I used to only walk when I was too tired to run, and never gave it much credit in regards to exercise. I remember reading (many, many years ago) that running didn't burn that many more calories than walking, though it was blessed with a bit more cardio (due to the faster pace, which requires more output from the heart). So why not walk? If it was almost as beneficial as running, and had much less wear and tear on the body and would allow me to get some exercise (even with my unbendable,  recovering knee)...why not give it a serious go?
Sometimes the hubby has joined me...
Well, most people know I don't do things "half-buttocks-ed." When my surgeon granted me the go-ahead for walking, I went with it. July 17th began my daily walking streak, and it's still going strong. All of these walks have been in the early morning (some days, there's even a few extra bonus miles in the afternoon and/or evening...you know, just for kicks) and all have been outside (except for one rainy, stormy Sunday morning I had to succumb to the 'mill #UGH).  Thus far, I have walked 231 miles with Voldemort (he's my suture scar), and I can feel all sorts of "newly defined" muscles in my legs (even more benefits to walking are highlighted HERE). 

Lesson #2-I'm no longer dependent on music.
Believe it or not, I have done almost all of these walks sans music (except for a couple of long walks that were 5 and 6 miles in distance and I was walking solo). Most of my early morning walks are 2-4 miles long, which take anywhere between 30-45 minutes...and those are mostly in the dark now (due to the sun rising later and later).  I'm not afraid of walking in the dark with music...I walk near the college campus, which is well-lit with street lights every 27-33 steps (I've counted), but I'm just enjoying the peace and tranquility. If I was running, though, that would probably be a different story.

One of the rare walks with music
Lesson #3-I really resent looking (and acting ) like an injured runner. After all, I technically never really was injured...the bursitis came from out of nowhere. There's a lot of speculation that it wasn't even a running-related thing (though, there's no doubt that running probably aggravated it). Even though I'm not "injured," I still have to treat this recovery (from an emergency surgery that shouldn't have happened) as if I were.
I even had a PICC line for three weeks (in  my right arm) to administer IV infusions after I was discharged from thehospital
Lesson #4-Foam rolling and stretching are valuable devices that aren't just for runners. I have really slacked off on the daily foam rolling, as well as the pre and post workout rolling and stretching. Walking utilizes some of the same muscles as running, but also many more. My walking stride has a definite heel strike (as opposed to my mid-foot strike for running), and my calves feel like they have ballooned in size. All of these muscles benefit from daily maintenance and TLC even if they're "just walking" for now.  I have been doing ankle rotations each morning, though, so at least I have maintained some of my "running" rituals.
ready to roll...
Lesson #5-I will never take any mile for granted, ever again. No matter how hot, humid, slow, or freezing cold, every mile is a blessing regardless of how it feels. Heck, just being able to move my body is a blessing. Although the surgery completely took me by surprise, I'm thankful it wasn't worse. There are probably countless other injured (or recovering) runners unable to even walk...and they would probably gladly change places with me if they were given the opportunity.


SO, there you go....a brief synopsis of my summer 2017 training (or lack there of). How was your summer? Lots of miles logged? Any lessons learned? Anything you'd do differently?

I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Please join us!! We're talking about our summer training today.

And, since it's the first weekend of the month, I'm also linking with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date. What would you share with me, if we were having coffee?

47 comments:

  1. I can't believe the summer is ending already. This was not really a summer of running for either of us! I tried to get into walking during my time off running but I just find it so boring! And for some reason walking in the dark feels scarier than running in the dark. Im sure all your walking will help with a smooth transition back to running!

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    1. Walking IS boring LOL I'm surprised how much I'm actually enjoying it. Probably because it's all I really have right now...for a little while longer ;-)

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  2. I feel you on the "injured/not injured" thing. I was in the same boat last winter after my diagnosis with RA. I wasn't injured but it was the same as if I were. It's hard to get your head around not being able to do the things you want to do.

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    1. Exactly! I understood all of you frustrations last winter, but I totally get them now. It's like a cruel twist of fate when something you love & depend on gets abruptly taken away...

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  3. Your walking is more than a legit form of exercise! You are racking up some serious miles. It must be odd in a way to have an injury that keeps you from running that was not caused from running. Agree we cannot take the miles for granted! See you tomorrow for coffee too

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    1. You said it exactly...it's tough being denied one thing you love doing for no rational reason at all

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  4. I've been impressed with how positive you've continued to be through this process. 231 miles, wow! That is great.
    I don't mind walking sans music. It's much easier for me to do that than run without it.

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    1. Oh, I agree...walking is manageable without music, but running? Not so much (at least for me).

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  5. Every time I get knocked down I remind myself to be thankful for ever mile I get to run! You're keeping a really positive outlook and still clocked a lot of miles. I'm not a music person but I love to run with my podcasts.

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    1. I have never gotten into the podcast thing. I should look into them for walking...not sure I'd like them for running, though, because I like the fast beat of music to keep me moving

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  6. I love your lesson #5. When I was injured at the end of last year, I said this to myself over and over again. Sure, running is hard and it can be rather annoying sometimes, but you don't realize how much you miss it until it's taken away from you.

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    1. So true...once it's taken away (sometimes NOT from our own doing), it's a really cruel reality

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  7. I did not log a whole lot of miles over the summer. Mostly around 50 or so each month. I walked this morning and it took me a loooong time to walk 3 miles. I enjoyed being outside and it is beautiful today! We just have to do what we can to stay active!

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    1. Exactly! With my healing suture site, I could not bend my leg any more than necessary, so that eliminated a lot of stuff (cycling, pool walking, squats/lunges, etc.), I did what I could...and walking fit the bill ;-)

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  8. I am very grateful to be running again after my injury. I still have to be so diligent with my strength training and PT exercises, and I still have issues pop up, but I'm so happy to be active.

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    1. As soon as I get more (continued) range of motion back, I'm gonna be adamant about daily PT stuff, and especially foam rolling and stretching. Being active, no matter in what capacity, is a true blessing!

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  9. I so hear you on not taking running for granted. It really is a blessing. It still blows my mind how this thing came up out of nowhere on you.

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    1. Yes, it still blows my mind as well. Every now and then, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and briefly forget my current reality. Then, I'll be like, "oh yeah, this DID happen. The dream has not yet ended" LOL

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  10. With my own recent setback, we definitely cannot take anything for granted, including the ability to run. I really hope that you'll be back at running again much sooner than later.

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn ;-) I'm hoping to stage my comeback (slowly) this month....

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  11. Injuries that come from a non-running source (talking to you water skiing) but cause us not to be able to run provide extra frustration. You've done a wonderful job in staying positive and doing what you can.

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    1. Thank you, Holly! I know I'm not alone in this arena ;-)

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  12. Ugh I'm so sorry. I know you're hanging in there like a champ but I can only imagine how frustrated you are. You're almost there. Just keep healing up.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel.....this recovery business is far more DUMB than marathons...just saying ;-)

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  13. Glad you kept up with your walking throughout the summer. Hopefully you will be back to running soon!

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    1. I'm hoping to be back in the running shoes soon...possibly next week!

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  14. I know the summer has been very challenging for your but your attitude is great. I walk quite a bit as I think it is a great compliment to running, working my muscles in different ways. My summer has been great running wise. Working with Holly as a running coach has been fantastic. First time ever I have done that and it has been a great, learning experience.
    Hope you are back to full recovery soon !

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    1. Thanks, Karen!!! I have been blessed with a very extensive support system through this entire experience ;-)

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  15. The American Heart Association would love your views on walking - they really promote it as an activity that's accessible to so many. In addition to the exercise, I think walking gives you more of a chance to take in your surroundings. Here's to a fantastic fall for you!

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    1. I agree...walking does allow for more appreciation of the surroundings. ;-)

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  16. You are so inspiring! I love your attitude and I totally agree that walking is a legitimate form of exercise!!

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  17. These are all great lessons! I should definitely learn a few of them. ;-) I'm hoping to do a bit more walking in Sept. I'm sure my pup won't mind. :-D

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    1. I plan to continue with walking after my running resumes. I probably won't need to be walking daily, but it's an easy quick 20-30 minute cardio option

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  18. Having been sidelined in the past I totally hear you on the not taking running for granted. You've had such a great attitude through this whole recovery process - here's to a great fall!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle ;-) I hate to see summer end, but I have a lot to look forward to this fall!

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  19. Walking is absolutely a form of exercise! (Half-buttocks-ed--I love it! :P ) Great job on getting in 231 miles already! That's amazing!

    I really need to start stretching and foam rolling more often!

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    1. The stretching and foam rolling are SO easy to skip, aren't they?

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  20. Waking is definitely legit & I've been passed by racewalkers. I include my dogwalks (even though they're really slow) in my activity because yes, it's activity!

    And I don't run or walk with music (or listen to podcasts). Maybe someday I'll go back to it, but there's really nothing wrong with just being out there in nature.

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    1. I do appreciate being out there in nature,like you. When I'm running, though, I like music to keep me moving...the fast beat of my tunes really keeps me "up."

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  21. It's been really inspiring to follow you on your road to recovery. It's crazy how we can have these sudden setbacks, but the positive attitude makes a huge difference. Great job with walking this summer, you're so inspiring!

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    1. Thank you, Janelle ;-) As much as I"d like to cower in a corner....that would get me nowhere and make my situation pretty unbearable. I've had to focus on the positive, and it's really been a great experience (most days LOL)

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  22. You are amazing. I have realized foam rolling is good. I am happy that walking is being good for you and it is no joke. I walked a marathon and it sucked, never again. I ike your music epiphany, I do not use music 95% of the time while running... i enjoy my surroundings more...

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    1. I can't imagine walking an entire marathon! That would be tough (physically and emotionally)!

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  23. I envy your ability to not rely on music because right now if I don't have music, I don't run. I just can't! I can't zen out like I do when I have music. And I need to stretch so much more than I do now, which is almost none. You are doing such a great job not letting everything get you down!

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    1. Well...I have been sans music for most of my walks...but if I was running, I'd have the tunes with me LOL

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  24. yesss..walking has become my go to esp when i have very little energy but still want to do something.

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