Injury Progress: Week 13 – Back to Running!

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As Taylor mentioned last week, we’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus recently. I’ve been playing catch up all around: between returning to the office after 2.5 months at home and returning to a normal workout schedule with hopes of racing at the end of the month, my days have been action packed from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I’ve done double sessions most weekdays, and signed up for a cycling studio where I take 90 minute classes at least twice a week; my fitness has been coming back quickly.

Looking forward to another big racing season in wine country.

Looking forward to another big racing season in wine country.

The big news on my end is that I ran (!!!) for the first time last night. I need to stick to the track or treadmill for the time being, but I ran 1.25 miles – 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking, and it felt easy. Taylor and I are off to sunny SoCal for Mountains2Beach Half Marathon, this weekend. Although I don’t think I’ll be able to participate, I may be able to run outside depending on what the doctor says on Friday. That said, I wanted to share some of my highlights and low points now that it’s time to put the injury behind me:

Highlights:

Taylor: enough said! Taylor took the best care of me while I couldn’t walk, drive, or even carry a glass of water (beer) to the couch. I couldn’t have done it without her!

Swimming 10k in the pool: when I got cleared to swim again, I put my fitness to the test by swimming 10,000 meters. Although it may sound crazy on paper, it wasn’t nearly as bad as spending weeks off my feet, and it was a good litmus test for my fitness level at the time.

Staying fit despite not being able to walk: between the home gym I constructed and the treats I didn’t eat, I managed to stave off weight gain and maintain fitness. Getting back to where I was quickly seems realistic, and it’s only a matter of time at this point.

Biking 55 miles at a 20.6mph average pace 12 weeks post injury: I went for my first hard bike ride over the weekend and pushed it – I did 8×5 minute power tempos, and rode miles 10 through 20 at a 24mph average pace; I hit 25 miles at 1:06 – a minute faster than my PR at an Olympic distance triathlon on similar terrain. Despite strong headwinds on the way back, I still averaged close to 21mph – by comparison, I rode 56 miles at a 20.9mph average pace at Vineman 70.3 – my A race last summer, at the peak of my fitness.

Getting my hands on an ultrasound machine: at week 6, my x-rays didn’t show any signs of healing. By a stroke of good luck, I got my hands on an Exogen Bone Stimulator – I recovered almost 100% between weeks 6 and 10. I have what could likely be my final appointment with the orthopedist on Friday and am expecting to get full clearance to run on the road.

Here's to never seeing you again, boot.

Here’s to never seeing you again, boot.

Low points:

The break itself: I broke my foot 2 weeks after my fastest half marathon to date, and never felt faster than I did when I got hurt. 8-12 weeks on the sidelines was a tough pill to swallow.

Missing Way Too Cook 50k: Taylor and I both took a DNS at Way Too Cool this year – a race we were really stoked about for years. Hopefully we’ll find a way to sneak it in next year.

Missing Wildflower: I was really disappointed to miss Wildflower, and was determined to make up for last year’s blowup earlier this month; there’s always next year.

Pivoting my goals for the year: I was dead set on running 100 miles in November and going for a sub 5:00 70.3 in July at Vineman. The realist in me knows that those are both a far reach at this point, but I’m going to take it in stride, and focus on running a great marathon in Berlin come September.

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