Just some thoughts

I falter in between “this is my new normal” to “I will get that sub-4 soon.” It really just depends on the day.

Some days I feel strong and have a good run.

Some days my knee is sore from just walking around.

I scroll through Instagram and see runners who are reaching and crushing their running goals. I am happy for them. There is also a twinge of jealousy.

I don’t want to be the jealous person. I want to be the supportive person.

I’m running a half-marathon in a week-and-a-half.

It’s a weird feeling. A part of me feels like I shouldn’t do it. That I am not ready.

Let’s be real. My longest run is this weekend and is only slated to be ~7.5 miles. (With only increasing 10-30 percent a week, this is as far as I have come).

I know I’ll be able to finish the race. I also am not looking to hit a certain time. I originally signed up with my cousin back in the fall — before I re-worked through this injury, yet again.

This will be her first half marathon so I am looking forward to just celebrating this milestone with her. (Regardless of whether or not I am able to keep up!)

 

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I forget what comeback I am on

This afternoon on my run along South Lake Union, I started racing the man on the other side of the street.

You see, he was running ahead of me, just a bit ahead. I needed to cross the street so that I could make my turn back to my office. (I run right after work near my office from time to time because I get so tired of walking and running in my neighborhood!)

Once I crossed the street and we were on opposite sides of the road, I realized that he was still not that far ahead of me.

I’m going to beat him.

Yes, I have a taped up knee and my longest run is only at 35 minutes, yet, I was determined to sprint down the street so I could “beat” this other runner.

And, I won.

It’s a small victory.

I also acknowledge that my “competitor” had no idea we were racing.

Maybe I’m making another comeback. Only time will tell.

I do have to say that I have that fire in my belly and I’m ready to eventually race for real again some day.

“My face is so cold, my face is so cold.”

I’m back and running again … sort of.

I’m starting up a return-to-running program for the second time.

I’m currently doing intervals of 2 minutes walking, 2 minutes running. I’ve gotten up to 20 minutes of running.

This is all with the mindset and heart that I will do a half marathon in May. 

I’ve registered for a half on Oahu Memorial Day weekend. My cousin signed up, too. This will be her first half marathon. This will be my more-than-10th half marathon.  (Note: We registered for this race before I started doing PT and before I was in the “no running” mode).

I’m not looking to PR. I’m not looking to even run the whole thing. I mean, running the entire 13.1 miles would be lovely! But, I also do not want to digress in “all the work” I’ve been putting into getting healthy again.

My hope and plan is that I am at a point where I can complete the race, even if that means walking half of it.

It’s been really cold in Seattle the past few weeks. Every time I go out for my run/walk, I kind of don’t want to because it’s just so cold during the walking part.

I’ve even caught myself saying aloud to no one but myself: My face is so cold, my face is so cold …

My face is really cold. But, I’ll do whatever it takes to be running again. And, to get back to 100 percent healthy-knee status.

New year, new me?

I know I last wrote that I am going dark. But, I just wanted to pop by here to say that I am going to try to keep writing here at least once a month.

For 2019, I obviously don’t have any running resolutions.

I just want to be able to run without pain this year.

I’m still going to PT and when I returned from a week away — in Colombia visiting my Bryce’s family for Christmas — I told my physical therapist that my knee had actually felt better in the last week.

“Just keep doing what you did in Colombia!” he said.

Sleep in and eat huge avocados every day?

I’m participating in a trail race at the end of this month. Yes, participating, not running. Bryce and I signed up for this race a while ago, before I stopped running again. We plan to hike the race together. Since this will be in New Zealand, I guess I’ll want to take a lot of photos along the way, so maybe it won’t be too bad to walk the whole thing.

Hope you’ve been able to stick with your new resolutions and goals. Cheers to 2019!

Time to pause and switch gears

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Hello, friends —

I haven’t been running for five weeks now. I’ve been going to PT for like three weeks or so.

And, well, what I’m trying to say is, it’s really hard to go through all of this again. So, I’ve started a new blog.

www.ottertravelmore.com

Why a new blog?

Because I want to focus my time and energy on another subject that is near and dear to my heart: travel

What does this mean for this blog?

I won’t be posting as often here … but, you already knew that if you’re a frequent reader.

To be honest, writing about how I can’t run and how I am doing PT again makes me feel even worse. I started this running blog to share the highs and lows of running and training for long-distance races … but for someone who hasn’t been able to run knee pain free for more than two years, well, it just really hurts.

I’m not giving up on running.

You better believe that I am diligently doing all my PT exercises at home. You better believe I am not running until I am given the green light.

I’m just tired of writing about PT appointments. I’m just tired of people asking me how running is going, and me replying that I can’t run again.

Thank you all for your virtual support, well wishes, comments and IRL encouragement. I know I’m not the first person to go through a running injury. I just won’t be documenting it all as closely as I would have liked to. Right now, it just makes me feel worse about the whole situation.

If you want to see what I’m up to non-running-injury-wise, please follow along on otter travel more. I have two exciting trips coming up in the next few months: Colombia and New Zealand! It’ll make for a better, more up-beat time, then here for now 🙂

 

What does being injured mean?

I’ve been silent again.

I just haven’t felt like writing here lately because this is a running blog and I am just tired of writing that it hurts when I run, or that I don’t feel like a “normal” runner still.

Sure, if you look at my Instagram posts, it looks like I am healthy and back out there running races again. I guess I’ve fallen among the majority of people who only post about the happy events and activities in their lives on social media.

Because what I excluded to share is that two weeks ago I went back to the doctor. To specify, I went to a new doctor. (So, for those keeping track ever since I was diagnosed with a stress fracture on the side of my knee in summer 2016, this would be my third sports med doctor).

I shared with this new doctor the timeline of events since spring/summer 2016. I hate retelling this timeline of events because summer 2016 to present day seems like such a long time to still be broken.

Just to be on the safe side, the doctor wanted to do an MRI.

Last week I did the MRI. Now my third MRI, they really aren’t “that bad” to me. The first time it was super startling. Now, I just listen to classical music and half fall asleep …

Three days after the MRI, I got the results from my doctor. Stress fracture has not returned. Ligaments fine. Nothing broken. I still have “runner’s knee” and he has referred me to PT.

You’d think I would be happy to hear that I did not re-injure my knee. After all, I was going into the appointment with so many worst case scenarios in my head. “You have a stress fracture again. You can’t run for six to nine months. You need knee surgery …”

I still feel frustrated and lost though. I’ll be starting with a new PT this week and am hopeful. My doctor says he refers all his injured runners to this place and that “they have never failed him.”

I guess the silver lining is that I do not have to completely stop running at this time.

Am I still injured? How do I categorize myself as a runner?

Maybe it really doesn’t matter. All I know is that I want to be able to run without hesitation, without fear, without pains or aches or discomfort.

Back to the way things were

I honestly don’t remember the last time I had a run where I didn’t have any sort of knee pain, ache or discomfort.

I’ve been diligently doing my PT exercises for the past month. I haven’t noticed an improvement.

It’s frustrating. I think my friends, family and coworkers are tired of hearing me say “my knee doesn’t feel normal.”

Yet, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Didn’t you run a half marathon a few months ago?” or “Didn’t you run up a mountain doing that trail relay recently?”

Yes and yes.

For about nine months, yes, I have been running again. But, no, my knee hasn’t felt entirely 100 percent.

I could have just been having phantom pain but really, do the ghosts haunt you for nine months??

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I want to be back to how things were before — where I could run and train for full marathons. I want to go back when I could run completely knee-pain free.

Does that mean going back to my sports med doc? Or to physical therapy appointments? Or, for a third opinion?

Maybe all of the above?

I’m too stubborn to not be able to really race ever again. I still have big running dreams.