That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Triumphant return (heh) and flood adventure

I was allowed to run today, but I decided to skip the group run. I told the doc that I thought my running buddy was going to be running about 18 today. You'll do some real damage if you try 18, he said. He suggested half that. I talked him up to 10. I was going to run 5 with the group and then turn around and run back.

Instead, I decided to run on my own. That way, I could (a) run on a flatter course (going to ease back into hills, since hills are more bothersome than flatness), (b) monitor my own pace rather than wanting to keep up with other people, and (c) quit when it hurt too much. Technically, I could do the last two with the group, but I'm much more likely to do so when it's just me.

Oh, was that a good idea. I decided to run the airport playfield trail, which is a 5 mile loop. I figured that way I could do it once, and if I was up to it, then I could do it again. But when I got out of my car, I realized I wasn't entirely convinced that I could WALK 5 miles. Running wasn't bad, though. It was slow - it was painfully slow, it felt almost like I was running in place - but it was a run. I kept thinking how really really great it felt to get out there and be running, even if it was a bit labored. I felt way more worn out than I should - running that course usually feels like nothing. I started to hurt - really hurt - around 2.25, but it wasn't worth turning back at that point. A mile later, the entire back of my right shin seized up. I started running with a limp. That's when it was time to stop. Training with a limp is not going to do me one bit of good. Plus, I was getting progressively slower, which is a good sign that I'm not hanging in there as well as I should be.

I was a little bummed, but I hadn't known what to expect, and I had a goal of assessing where I am right now more than anything.

So I decided to make the most of it by taking pictures. I've always wanted to take some pictures on this trail, but I'm usually too busy running to do it.

That's the view of the airport runways. That lake? That's not supposed to be there at all. Cincinnati's had tons of rain and flooding lately. The water was beautiful though - blue like the ocean that I love and never get to see, ya know, living in Ohio and all.

A cardinal - my favorite. My phone takes craptastic pictures, though.

This sign always cracks me up. Oh, those rebellious cyclists.

On my way to that hill (about 4 miles around the loop, or 1 mile, depending on which way you're facing), a guy flagged me down and said that the rest of the trail was pretty much flooded. Well, no way was I walking 4 more miles back. He told me to get to the top of the hill and check it out.

This was what greeted me.

There are two hills on the trail, but they're good hills. Particularly this one. Again, all the water is supposed to just be grass.

Yes, that is definitely covering the trail. The woman ahead of me plowed through it, so I did, too. It was just deep enough to get into my shoes.

The guy who had warned me had suggested that I could maybe cut through the golf course beside the trail....

....even though it's strictly forbidden.

I didn't think any golfers would be around to be bothered, though. Hey, since when does this course have a water trap??

It was also a pretty ineffective idea. Yep, I'd say the trail and the golf course have been pretty much drowned.

And then cutting through the golf course left me stuck on the wrong side of the fence. That's the trail poking out of the puddle/lake/ocean.

I did manage to make it back, although both socks and shoes were thoroughly soaked by the time I did. I tried starting up a run again several times, but each time I was overwhelmingly vetoed by every muscle in my lower right leg. Even the top of my foot, as I was thinking, why the eff does my foot hurt??

I went to the chiropractor after that. I even got a smile out of him when I told him about my adventure - first time I think that's happened. He's sooooo serious. And then, even though I was hobbling after that adventure, he told me things looked really really good. "Your left leg is pretty much fine, and your right leg is doing weird things," he says. Weird things are good??? Yes, any change is good. The fact that it doesn't feel like shin splints anymore is good, and it looks like my other leg muscles are just rebelling due to overuse because they've been compensating for the crappy shin.

His advice: take the rest of the weekend and Monday off. Maybe cross train if I want. Stretch and ice, plenty of sleep and even eat extra food to refuel. (That is probably the best thing a doctor can say to me. Bring on the extra food!!!) Honestly, it helps that I'm fighting a cold right now because most of that advice is good for that, too. Plus, fighting a cold makes me WANT extra sleep and extra food. (Husband picked up Bob Evans chicken and noodles for me - I could eat my weight in that stuff when I'm sick.)

The part I don't believe - he says I'm going to be surprised at how much better I feel on Tuesday. Considering I've only felt marginally better after a week, I'm a skeptic. I'm also worried about the half marathon next weekend, but I've decided to worry about that on Tuesday. I'll either be feeling fantastic (as Dr. Seriousface alleges) or I'll still be hurting and I'll have a big WTF for the doc and then we'll discuss the half.

For now, nothing I can do but bask in the familiar post-run endorphin rush and enjoy my weekend of taking the doctor's advice to pretty much sit on my ass and eat food.


  1. I'm thoroughly impressed by your sunny disposition. I hope you get back to normal SOON, I miss good conversation :)

    Really, I'm glad that your doctor thinks you're making progress. You'll be back out there in no time!

    After all the hardcore running is over and I'm taking a little break, we should take our (real) cameras and go on a photographic journey of Lunken. I've always wanted to get some pictures of planes as they take off.

  2. That would be awesome! My "real" camera is nothing super special, but it would take better shots than my phone. Every time I run there I think about how I need pictures of that place. It's so pretty.

    Clermont County airport would be a great place to take pics of planes taking off, too. You can get closer to them there.

    Honestly, I've been grumpy and irritable and sad all last week. Result: I feel like I've been injured FOREVER. It's not helping matters. All I can do is wait it out and focus on making it to the Pig.

    I do hope I'm back, soon, though! I'm itching for a long run...and conversation! :) Hopefully we'll make that happen for the next long run. I still may not get the approval to do the whole thing (not sure how long it is) but I think I can be back in double digits, at least.

  3. Oh yeah, pain or no, that little bit of running helped my mood tremendously. Like morphine for a junkie. :)