Monday, May 14, 2012

The Best Day in a While

Really, I don't have a lot of bad days...but today was damn good.

Wanna know why?

Well, it started out as Mondays usually do: a 5 a.m. alarm, some 50 minutes on the recumbent bike and some glute exercises. When I got home, I got the kids their breakfast and took them to school.

But after that, things were different. I went straight from preschool to.....

This wasn't my first experience on the Alter-G. It wasn't my fastest. But it was much more meaningful. I warmed up walking at 100% body weight for five minutes. Then my exercise physiologist, Jaclyn, ratcheted me down to 70% body weight (the 50% prescription Cathy had suggested apparently isn't a good idea). And then I ratcheted the speed up until I was running. Yes, running!

How was it? The first few steps were, as my daughter says, "Ouchie." I felt them instantly in my tailbone. But as I got accustomed to the motion and warmed up to the speed, the pain disappeared (this took about 20 seconds). Soon I was able to increase the speed. In the end, I ran for 20 minutes, starting at 12 minute miles, working up to 10 minute miles and doing the last five minutes at 8:27 minute miles. At no time was I out of breath (thank you recumbent bike!) and though I had some tightness in my right hamstring and hips by the end, I felt no pain apart from those first few steps. At the end, I walked another five minutes at 100% body weight.

I estimate I ran a grand total of two miles (total miles with the walking amounted to 2.52). This brings my sad little annual grand total for 2012 up to 252 miles (it's been sitting at 250 since March 6). They weren't real miles, in a way, because of the anti-gravity boost. But trotting along at the end of them I felt that old joy, the old pull at my sternum to try to go faster and harder. I can't tell you the bliss of being able to push that speed button higher at last. Tonight my back is definitely stiff. I've given it a good foam rolling (along with that hamstring) and a good icing. I'm going to take it easy tomorrow, doing only my PT exercises and a short walk. My next date with the Alter-G is Thursday and I'm feeling optimistic.

Another fun thing: I debuted some new shoes with this little return to running.

The Pure Flows in my favorite color! The shirt was a gift from Kathy late last year. I wore it today for my modest return.
I decided that since I can't run very far anyway, I'd use the chance to get used to some lower-profile shoes. After trying a whole bunch on over the last few weeks (wishful running retailing!), I settled on the Brooks Pure Flows. It took me a while to find a place that had my size in stock (we had a little overnight with Kathy and her family on Friday, and a Saturday trip to one of her running stores finally resulted in a purchase--thank you, Kathy!). They just feel good--not too narrow for my bunion-y feet, cushioning in the right place under my forefoot, light as a feather. And on today's run they and I agreed nicely with each other (at least at 70% body weight).

My fun day wasn't over yet, though. After showering and running some errands, I drove down to Denver and met up with Jill and Kathleen for lunch. These two ladies--both of whom are seriously generous people and admirable runners, with one being a road goddess and the other a trail goddess--had run together down in the south suburbs but kindly drove a ways north afterwards to hook up with me.

Jill, Kathleen and me.
Between my night hanging out with Kathy over the weekend and this lunch today (and thanks to a comp day off work that allowed me to do all of these things!), I had a really nice Mothers' Day weekend "girl talk about running" fix, something that's too rare for me.

Am I "back"? I can't really say that yet. I need to have pain-free running, and have it with full gravity pulling on that tailbone of mine. But it's a step in the right direction. Two miles of steps, in fact.

34 comments:

  1. Woo-hoo for Best Days!  I am so thrilled that you were able to run for the first time in a long while - that is a celebration in itself!  And it certainly was a true pleasure to be able to meet you and share lunch and gab time with you and Jill.  A fun day for me as well!  Once you're back to running full-time, we'll have to get a group together for a Joy Run and lunch!  :-)

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  2. Been waiting all day for this post - I was well behaved and didn't hunt you down in case the day didn't turn out the way you were hoping!
    I am so GLAD that it went well for you - mentally and physically!!!
    Shoot, I wish I had today off - I would have come up for lunch!!
    I am SO excited for you - we loved having you guys for the weekend, come back soon!
    LOVE that you wore the shirt!! :)

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  3. Yay!!!! I am super happy to read this. All of it!!! Woo hoo!!

    And i LOVE the shoes. Those are the only ones I have worn since last fall.

    You are well on your way to your strong and speedy comeback. Yay!!!

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  4. I absolutely agree!!! Great idea!

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  5. Fantastic! Sounds like a lovely weekend find shed off with a great day. So happy for you.

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  6. Holy cow, you live at Blogger meet-up central! I'm jealous. :)

    So happy for you that you had a chance to run again and that it felt good! I like those shoes, too.  I'm in the market (though I won't be making the purchase any time soon) for a new pair of running shoes, so I'll have to check those out when I get to that point.

    Thanks for the race vote of confidence! I HOPE I'll fare better than I expect. :)

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  7. so happy to read your awesome weekend ended with running on your new shoes today...I'm stoked for you!  onward to Thursday!!

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  8. Glad to see you're getting better.  Maybe you don't need to change the blog to BQby41, after all?

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  9. Poor Kathleen sure had to listen to a lot of chatter about road racing!!  Heheh.  

    Glad the pic isn't really close up showing all those imperfections :).  Had a fantastic lunch date, can't wait until you are all happy and healed and we can do one of those many runs we talked about :).

    I have those shoes and that shirt - identical!  We'll have to be twinsies sometime and wear them on a run :).

    Very very very happy the run went well today.  Cannot wait for many future happy posts!

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  10. BostonboundbrunetteMay 14, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Glad you had a good day!  Those are the days that make you forget the bad ones!  I am so glad that things are looking up for you!!

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  11. So glad it was a good day for you and that you got to use your running legs. I know how much this meant to you!!

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  12. What a great weekend! I'm so glad to hear that your running went so well! Hugs and happy dances!  I really want to try those Brooks so I will be curious to hear how you like them.

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  13. Tons of great stuff going on here--I'm so happy for you! Sounds like the Alter-G session went perfectly and yay for new shoes and lots of friends! 

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  14. YOU RAN!!!! YESSSS!!! That is so awesome! I am super happy for you and glad that you didn't have on-going pain during the 2 miles, I am sure you were super nervous about it! Sounds like an awesome day all around. 2 days and counting until run time again! 

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  15. Congrats on your running!  I know that can swing a move in the right direction every time!

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  16. This is great! Oh, and I was under the impression that you had never done the AG, so I hope I didn't come across as a know-it-all! So glad that it went well for you. I am operating at 70-80% on AG lately... We're getting there!

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  17. That's great that you ran! Like you said, it's a step in the right direction! Also it seems like you have a great support system and that is the most important thing! How fun that you could get together with the girls this weekend! 

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  18. What a perfect day!! So thrilled for you... it must feel so good to be running, even if it's a little different and takes some getting used to on the AG.  Two miles of steps is huge.  :)

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  19. Yay! How exciting and fortunate that you have the Alter G. Good friends make everything better too.

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  20. I want to run without all this weight! I could run like the boney Kenyans????

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  21. Yay! Happy to hear it :)

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  22. fantastic news!!!! so happy for you!
    If we were the same size shoe I would ship you my pure flow! We got a divorce so they need to move out!!!

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  23. I love my Pure Flows.  Soon you will be back, great job on your first two miles back!

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  24. Did you decide which marathon???  Also, have you seen this post: 
    http://www.runningwithspatulas.com/2012/05/tommie-copper-compression-shorts-review-giveaway.html  She talks about some pain that sounds similar to your tailbone pain and about a type of compression short that helps her with recovery - might be worth checking out?

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  25. How awesome is this?? I'm so glad for you. Enjoy the new shoes and the running workouts. This slow and steady comeback will be so worth it. Belated Happy Mother's Day to you too!

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  26. Yay for a pain-free run! The AlterG is such a great tool. I really hope this is the first step toward a complete return for you. And great that you are starting out in the Pure line...I love the Connects. 

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  27. This is SOOOOOO cool :) I have wondered about the Alter-G. How does it feel? I really hope this is the awesome beginning of your back being 'back' :) YAY!

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  28. I'm so glad that you had a good day! It's awesome that you access to the fancy treadmill :)

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  29. I couldn't stop smiling for you reading this!!  I'm so happy you had a great day!  The alter-G is just awesome.

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  30. um yes serious fun!! so glad you were able to actually RUN!!! and then celebrate with ladies who totally get it

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  31. Every return to running is never little but glorious! Almost a coming back to life.
    Keep on running!

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