Cleared for Take-Off: My Return to Running (or some semblance of it)


One of my favorite movies! (source)

One of my favorite movies! (source)

Last week I finally got cleared by my chiropractor to run again after a long 10+ week hiatus. Back in September I signed up for the Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler in Portland, but I made a wise decision not to run it even though I probably “could” have.

Casey, my chiropractor, said that I could run on a flat surface and no more than 3 miles. Well, obviously the 4 mile, very hilly course on Thanksgiving was out. Fine by me! I secretly hate that race anyway; however, I’m the idiot that continues to sign up for it because all my friends run it…

Between the holiday craziness, the icky cold weather, and work I wasn’t able to run until Saturday morning. I put just about every winter layer of running clothes I had on, since the last time I ran was back in September in shorts and a t-shirt. Apparently, I have become a cold weather wuss… I normally have no problem running in rain, snowstorms, hurricanes, and on ice, but now that the temperatures have dropped below freezing my body has decided that it prefers warm weather. I blame hot yoga…

I’m a veteran of returning to running after an injury. You’d think I would be used to the pain and mental mind-f*** of sheer lack of any aerobic fitness that a person has due to running. I brought my dog, Reagan, with me on the run for motivation (okay, maybe I was hoping that she’d just drag me around the trail…). That dog loves to run (and chase birds and chipmunks).



I felt good the first mile. I was running again! Yippee! I wore my Garmin but didn’t really pay attention to pace or time. I knew I would be slow. I just ran by feel. Around the Mile One mark I looked at my watch to check my pace and heart rate. I was going just a hair-below a 10-minute mile. Not bad for a slow, long run pace! Then I looked at my heart rate… 178bpm. No wonder I was sucking wind and felt like dying. I was running damn near my zone 5 heart rate!

Time to slow down a bit before I succeed to keel over from a running-induced heart attack… the “return to running” pain started to set in a bit during mile two. Argh, this process is going to suck. I was starting to get a small twitch in my right knee again. Please no! I was hoping with my running hiatus that my knee/IT-band issues would start to resolve! It was getting better post Ironman as I was focusing on rebuilding my lack of running fitness in August and September. Grr…

The knee was really starting to bother me after my Garmin beeped at the Mile Two mark. I held out until 2.25 miles and then surrendered and finished with a walk home. Why make the problem worst now?

Over all, it felt good to run again. I miss running. It’s going to take a long while to regain my running fitness, since I never really had any all of 2013 due to the knee/IT-band issues that began fairly early in my season. I’m okay with that. My big “A” race in 2014 isn’t until August, so that gives me some time to really ensure my body is healed enough to begin picking up the intensity and volume of training.

I will continue to run a couple times of week now, but my main focus right now thorough the early winter will be rebuilding my bike power. I’m hoping that we’ll get a lot of snow this year in the Greater Portland area so I can do a lot of cross-country skiing in place of running. And stay tuned for more pathetic stories of my return to running. J

~ Happy Training!


I’m broken. Okay, maybe I’m not broken, but my foot is. Actually, I don’t know if my foot is really broken broken, but I can’t run and thus I deem the foot broken. I won’t find out till Monday what is really wrong with it unless someone cancels their appointment and I can get in. Someone please cancel…

My Fall plans mainly consisted on work, school (which started today and will be one hell of a semester), and running. I am registered for one half marathon at the end of the month and was planning on doing one more in October. Currently, I’m not sure what my status on those races will be. Right now, not looking so good. Boo!

My right foot was starting to bother me a bit pre-Rev3. I could begin to feel the slight burning sensation underneath my heel that indicates the classic sign of Plantar Fasciitis. I had beginning stages of Plantar Fascitiis last Fall too and took most of the Fall off from running. Last week I started to get pain on the top of my foot around the big toe and little toe. Last time I checked my plantar fascia ligament was not on the top of my foot. My coach currently has a stress fracture in her foot. Of course now, I’m running around paranoid that my foot is broken too. I’ve never been much of a hypochondriac, but I’m pretty much borderline at the moment. I also have another reason to be paranoid too. Two winters ago I got 3rd degree frostbite on my big toe. It was almost to the extent that it was “bye bye big toe,” but my toe was a real champ and pulled through. By the way, severe frostbite is no joke. It was by far the most painful thing that I have ever felt. It’s no fun when your nerves thaw… My toe was x-rayed for bone and tissue damage during the whole debacle and got a clean bill of health. It should be fine now too, but the thought of infection still lingers in the back of my brain.

Anyway, I might not be able to run at the moment, but I have been doing a little yoga and strength training. One of my main focuses in the off-season will be lots of yoga and strength training to gain core strength and flexibility. I gave myself a good ass kicking on Sunday and succeeded to feel the burn in my legs all the way through yesterday! I miss that feeling!

I began practicing yoga last Fall after my hip injury. I am NOT a flexible person. My flexibility is actually rather pathetic. However, yoga has definitely helped me a lot with my flexibility, balance, and core strength. I did a lot of hot yoga over the fall and winter months, but barely any over the summer. I currently have a month-long pass for Lila Yoga in the East End that I purchased through MainelyMara. Purchasing punch passes and month-long unlimited passes at a discount through MainelyMara and LivingSocial is the only way I can afford yoga. Plus, it allows me to try different places in the area.

September is actually National Yoga Month! So put on those comfy yoga pants and hit the mat! 🙂


~ Happy Training!