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!

Hello Again!


Remember me?

I use to blog here…

Yup, I’m back!

Last week I put out a couple of book review posts, but haven’t really mentioned what I have been up to in the past couple of months. Well, September is my favorite month of the year! However, the weather in Maine this year as been a bit hit or miss. This past week I was hit with a cold plus allergies since Mother Nature can’t make up her mind whether she wants to be 90 degrees and sunny or 50 degrees and pouring rain! It’s been a bit of a snot fest…

Anyway, I have big news!!! I got a new job! Finally. It’s been a long and frustrating process. I came close for a couple of jobs that I would have loved but no cigar. However, I tend to think that everything happens for a reason and my new job is going to be awesome and a good first step in my future career path. I’m so excited to start a week from today. 🙂


What have I been up to lately? Here’s the short list:

I’ve watched a lot of this on Netflix lately while drinking tea…

I totally love Gossip Girl so don't judge me...

I totally love Gossip Girl so don’t judge me… (Source)

My new favorite show... I want to be Olivia Pope when I grow up!

My new favorite show… I want to be Olivia Pope when I grow up! (Source)

I’ve done a fair amount of running lately. All my running has been zone 2 easy runs to build my baseline running fitness back up again since I really wasn’t able to do much running all year-long due to my knee/hip issues.

I’ve played and hiked with my dog, Reagan, a lot lately. She has also joined me on a majority of my shorter runs.

Playing fetch in the backyard

Playing fetch in the backyard

View from a top Pleasant Mountain

View from a top Pleasant Mountain

I’ve shopped for new clothes for my new job since I actually have to dress up and look presentable now. Not that I looked like a homeless bum at my lab job (well, that may be debatable because I often wore my winter hat while at work since it was cold), but when you work in the lab you learn not to wear nice clothes because chemical spills and your cashmere sweater are not friends. Trust me on this one!

New shoes, new nail colors, new jewerly, and just about new color blazer from J. Crew

New shoes, new nail colors, new jewelry, and just about every color blazer from J. Crew


I’ve also been doing a great deal of reading lately.In the past few weeks I have probably finished close to 10 books. I recently finished (finally!) an autobiography of Lance Armstrong that I started 2 years ago. I won’t be doing a book review on it since Lance isn’t worth my time. All throughout the book when it was telling his Tour de France victory stories all I could repeat in my head was “DOPER.” I mostly just wanted to get the book off my “to read” bile. I’m currently reading Maryn McKenna’s Beating Back the Devil, which is about the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. The EIS is an elite group of medical and public health professionals that on a drop of a pin must jet off to where ever there is an epidemic breakout of disease. I plan on applying to the EIS after I earn my PhD in the future.


So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Nothing super exciting, just nice and relaxing for a change of pace. Half marathon training is going to begin shortly! 🙂 Until then…

~ Happy Training!