Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hiking and Biking

On Sunday Avery, Jas, and I went to Silver Falls state park, and did the full trail-of-ten falls hike (about 5.5 miles). Here's a fall-by-fall countdown:

Upper North Falls:

North Falls:

Twin Falls:

Winter Falls:

Middle North Falls:

Drake Falls:

Double Falls:

Lower North Falls:

Lower South Falls:

South Falls:

Last Friday, Vic, Chris, Julius and I took the afternoon off and headed out to Falls City for some mountain biking fun. Julius brought his helmet cam:

Good Times!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free Beer and Hobbits

Not much writing lately... spring has finally *really* sprung, and I've been doing lots of gardening mountain biking, and just generally enjoying being outside. We're just now trying to figure out how to spend our upcoming 3 day weekend. It's supposed to be 70's and sunny all weekend long. Whoo hoo!

On the running front - well, no running for me these days. I'm being good about following doctor's advice. This time. I've been going to physical therepy once per week, and doing lots of strength building / balance / stretching stuff so that someday soon I'll be running again, better than ever. I evened signed up for a Yoga class, which starts in June. Last weekend was the Mac 50k race, our cool local ultramarathon, here in town. It was a bummer not to be running. Instead, I volunteered, working at an aid station, then later in the day handing out the souvenier beers that all the finishers received. I'm not sure how I ended up with that job! Due to OSU forest regulations, the beers couldn't be handed out on university property. So the race directors had us set up at a roadside pullout near the junction with the highway. We looked pretty shifty, I imagine, hanging out on the side of the road with a car full of beer.

In other news, we're booked a trip to New Zealand this fall! Jasmine's a Kiwi, according to her passport. :-) We haven't been back to see her home country in years, and Avery has never been there, so we're all pretty excited already. We're looking forward to visiting family, and having some fun adventures in a beautiful place.

And finally, in honor of New Zealand (where the Hobbits and all those Lord of the Rings types live):

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Down and Out for 2009

My calf is still giving me fits, unfortunately. I took six weeks off of running, but my first mile after that was pretty much as bad as my last mile six weeks ago. And so have all the 2 and 3 mile runs since then.
It's been 6 months since I first had the "weird pain in my calf" (that's what I wrote in my training log). I haven't been quite right since, but I kept feeling like I was a week or two away from being healthy.
Today I saw an orthopedic/sports medicine doctor, finally. She was really cool - she's a runner (marathoner), biker, and mountaineer, and even had a Ukranian name, so I figured she'd be the right person. She told me that calf strains are notorious for taking longer to heal than one expects, and need to be carefully nursed back into health, and that what I'm going through is pretty normal for distance runners, and understandably frustrating.

My calf isn't terrible, but in the process of healing, I've developed a big, nasty, tight knot in my calf, and I've lost quite a bit of range of motion in my achilles/ calf, making me a poster child for recurrent calf injury. Rest alone hasn't really worked. So my new doc prescribed a rehab regimen guided by a local clinic, and I start that tomorrow. It should include some deep tissue massage, stretching, and strengthening, along with core work and other stuff. She also suggested improving my balance (she did a 10 second balance test, and said I wasn't that good... and as an ultramarathoner I had zero margin for error). Hopefully after all of this I'll be better than ever. That'd make a "lost year" of running worth it, I guess.

The bad news: no running or serious hiking for at least two months. On top of six months already of lousy running. And then a really slow return to running. So like I said, basically a lost year as far as serious running / racing goes. But I can bike, use the elliptical trainer, and water jog (good cross training but the most mind-numbingly dull activity on earth, according to my doc), in the meantime. She also suggested Yoga, which I may give a try. And sitting on the couch drinking beer. (my doc didn't specifically recommend that, but I inferred it).

I was pretty bummed about it, but my friend Linda (runner extrodonaire and mother of two) told me to think of it like a time out for a pregnancy. She got faster both times after giving birth, so hopefully I'll get faster, eventually, too. That's a good thought, though I don't think (but can't say for sure) that my calf strain had the same root cause as her pregnancies. :-)