I have not run in 16 days. This has been the longest I have not run since the last time I was injured, which was about three years ago.
This hiatus from running hasn’t been that bad or noticeable since the first week after the marathon, I was still in Alaska doing fun things like looking for sea otters in Resurrection Bay or hiking.
In the first five days after the race, I went on three hikes! Thank goodness my knee/IT injury hasn’t affected the ability to walk/hike. It seems that only running aggravates the injury.
Hike #1 (4 miles, 2 days after race) Bryce and I explored Archangel Valley in Palmer with our friends Alex and Liz. We hadn’t exactly planned on going on a hike when we left the house that day but luckily the rain subsided and we had wonderful views all to ourselves.
Hike #2 (2 miles, 4 days after race) Bryce and I drove down to the Kenai Peninsula with his mom for a day trip. We made a stop at Exit Glacier and Bryce and I hiked to the Glacier look-out point. (Fun fact: President Obama visited Exit Glacier in 2015 to talk about climate change. This glacier in particular has seen significant shifts in size because it is melting 😦 ). This trail is well-maintained and I did it in my Birkenstocks with no problem.
Hike #3 (+6 miles, 5 days after race, lots of elevation!) I was foolish to think I could complete an 8.2 mile round-trip hike to Matanuska Peak less than a week after my race. Bryce and I attempted this same hike several years ago in the fall but when we got higher up, there was so much fog, we lost sight of the trail and headed back down due to safety. This hike is no joke though. It’s 5,670 feet of elevation gain over just four miles! We made it up a little over three miles and I just couldn’t go up any more. We were literally climbing straight up a mountain with no switch-backs (like the kinder hikes I am used to back home in Washington state). I was disappointed that we didn’t get to the top. But, third time’s a charm, right?
Then back home, I went on another hike!
Hike #4 (11.5 miles, 15 days after race day) Up in the Central Cascades, Bryce and I went on a hike with Phyllis and Andrew to Dorothy Lake and Lake Bear. The forecast called for rain but we lucked out and had great weather! Overcast with some sun breaks! The mosquitoes and gnats were out in full force so beware if you ever do this hike. We also made friends with a few small frogs.
Other non-hiking activities done during this recovery and rest period? Canoeing and fishing in Alaska. Hanging out with friends. Reading. Going to work. Lots of walking. And, finally having a drink again. (I tend to opt out of alcohol the month before a marathon).
It’s been really nice having the “extra time” now that I don’t have to focus on waking up at 6 a.m. for Saturday long runs or going immediately home from the office to get a workout in.
Do I miss running? Honestly, I haven’t missed it severely yet. But, in another week I will probably be itching to go out and do a loop of Green Lake or Discovery Park or something. The other day I walked two miles to meet up with friends for dinner instead of taking the bus from work and was envious every time a runner passed me!
But, good news: My physical therapy appointments have gone from occurring twice a week to once a week starting this week! Hopefully they will soon be down to zero times a week!