Archive | June, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Commuting

13 Jun

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My Achy Knee

12 Jun

Today I told my work BFF, Lauren, that my knee hurts. I went on to explain that I rode my bike on Saturday, Sunday and yesterday, that I went for a run on Sunday and yesterday I had PT. She looked at me and with all the love she could muster said “You’re a moron.” And she’s right. Whoops!

The key thing that my doctor stressed to me was not to “over do it.” It’s SO subjective. More importantly, what “over doing it” meant to me pre-surgery seems to be different than what it means now. He told me that I should ramp up slowly, start at 10% of the activity that I was doing pre-surgery and add more time and/or intensity each week.

In my head, riding my bike is a form of transportation, not a form of exercise. So logically, since I’m transporting and not exercising, I should be able to do it in an unlimited fashion… or not. With that thought process in place it didn’t occur to me that cycling should be taken into consideration in the “ramp up” process. I was so focused on easing into running, and being systematic about my implementation of my running plan, that other forms of physical activity sort of slipped my mind.

the basket on my bike, Lucy

Saturday we decided to checkout Franklin Square, a park at 6th Street and Race Street. The park features a mini-golf course and a carousel. Alex wanted to go on an adventure and after vetting ideas like NYC, camping and the beach, we decided that the park was the best we could do at 3:30 p.m. on a Saturday. After the park we went to Pietro’s on South Street for bruschetta, salad and cold beverages. We clocked 6.5 miles on our bikes during the outing. I also got to ride an elephant on the carousel!

Me on an Elephant!

Sunday I had to work on a paper for my Social Work Research class, so we rode up to the Bean Exchange on 7th Street. Alex came with me to work on some of his schoolwork, and keep me company. While hanging out at the café we met a puppy named Spike Wilson who has a strong affinity for diamonds, he just kept licking my engagement ring. Good taste, pup! After we left the café we went for a short bike ride and then found a cantina with a patio for margaritas and guacamole. By the time we got home we hit another 6.5 miles. After all that cycling I hit the gym for my first run.

Spike Wilson the Glamour King

I had my last PT session (woo hoo!) yesterday. My physical therapist and I talked about running, took some assessments and then she pretty much just let me do my own thing. After 30 minutes I told her I was done because the knee pain had already begun, and hung out with my bag of ice for a bit. Yesterday’s activity also included my commute to work, which was 4 miles, and my ride home that included a stop at an appointment downtown, which was 5 and a half miles.

So in the course of 3 days I rode my bike 22.5 miles, ran/walked 2.25 miles, had a PT session, and played a round of mini golf. The slightly crazy part of me is like, “go you!” and the more sane part of me is like “take it down a notch!”

Do you have trouble gauging your level of “over doing it?”

What it Means to be a Runner

10 Jun

The entire reason that I had my surgery (besides the fact that sometimes I couldn’t unbend my leg) was to be able to get serious about being a runner. So this year I’ve done a lot of thinking about what it means to be a runner. How long, how far, how fast, how often… what are the qualifications and parameters one must meet to call themselves a runner?

I’ve always been of the school of thought that if you move yourself on your feet without walking, you’re running. But there are those out there who believe that you are only running if you are hitting a certain pace. I’m not exactly sure what that pace is, but I am pretty sure that it’s a lot faster than the 11-minute miles I was averaging before my surgery. Since I believe that you are a runner at any pace, what really defined running to me was distance. Which would probably explain how without enough training I ran a half marathon not once, but twice. I wanted to prove to myself that I was, or could be, a runner.

Before my surgery I had some grandiose running plans for 2012. Surgery at the end of April, recovery in May, start running again in early June, half-marathon in September and full marathon in October. Then I remembered that Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, and I realized that I don’t want to be insane. The last two times that I set out to run a long-distance race without a solid base I stopped running for over a year after the race was over. More importantly, I didn’t feel successful, and instead of feeling that sense of accomplishment I felt like I had failed. I left the finish line feeling dejected. I don’t want to do that again.

So I decided that this year I am going to focus on building a base. I’m going to start slow, run often, and love the process. I want to be a runner, not just for 2012, for ever.

Tonight I did my first post-surgery run. I did Day One of Couch to 5k using the Run 5k app on my iPhone. I ran on the treadmill because it was crazy hot in Philly today, and because the treadmill is slightly better on impact for the knees. I’m going to follow Couch to 5k to help me build back my endurance and to make sure that I start up slowly for the sake of my knee. My surgeon warned me repeatedly not to go all out too quickly, so I think following a regimented easy plan will help reign me in. Also, after not working out for almost two months, my cardiovascular fitness was pretty much kaput.

Check out some photos from my first time back in my running shoes!

Beet Red!

Swirly skirt and hot pink and lime running shoes, I like to look as crazy as possible when working out!

Treadmill Stats