Branching Out, Angry Knee, and Minnie Pancakes

This weekend, I did things a little differently.

And I liked it. A lot.

I’m the definition of “a creature of habit,” and it’s rare for me to switch up my routine, try anything new that I don’t already know I’ll love, or extend myself beyond a certain comfort zone. I like to think that I push my limits and that I challenge myself, and I definitely do, but there are certain areas of my life that I tend to keep very even-stevens in terms of their excitement. This is mostly due to the fact that I dedicate myself so wholly to running, that I get concerned with anything breaking up my consistent routine. While marathon training this is understandable, but there are other times when it simply gets in the way of the rest of life, which isn’t good. Therefore, I was very conscientious this weekend of incorporating more fun into my days other than just running.

And indeed I did. I spent all day Saturday with my dear friend Kawika, Saturday night with several old college friends at a bar/birthday gathering, and Sunday visiting for a bit with my friend Rose. Oh, and BF and I went bowling Friday night, which doesn’t sound extravagant, but for a couple who is normally so tired on Friday that even watching a full episode of a show sounds daunting, this was HUGE. Also, there was a bet made that whomever had the lowest total two-game score would pay for everything. I’m not saying who won or lost, but let’s just say I think the person who made the wager regretted their proposition by the end of the night…

Also, while all the normal bowling alley dwellers drank their beers, this is what my pre-22-mile-morning-run self was consuming.

LAME

….but perhaps this helped yield a certain final outcome?

Bowling and beer go hand-in-hand. Next time, no water bottle.

And speaking of, 22 miles was completed Saturday morning, done before 10:30 am! It was long, it was tiring, but it was absolutely great. Aside from one wrinkle in the run (which I’ll get to later), I couldn’t have asked for a more confidence-building, satisfying long run. Remember how I said on Friday that I was experimenting with some new long-run tools this time around? Well props to all—especially the new fuel that I tried.

liquid GOLD my friends

No stomach issues! AND I think the caffeine factor definitely helped with my energy overall. Also, I think my soreness was seriously lessened due to the enhanced electrolyte replacement. Good work PowerBar, I’m ready for my sponsorship now.

{Joke}

Moving on, another CRAZY thing about this run was what I did afterwards……

{insert moans of searing pain here}

I finally gave in and decided to give his whole “ice bath” thing a try.

YOU GUYS. THIS IS SO PAINFUL.

I knew it wasn’t going to be all relaxing and soothing, but I seriously was not prepared for just how intense this actually is. I used two whole bags of ice, kept my shorts on, and even bundled up on top like you’re supposed to. I cannot say that I ever really “got used to it” the whole 20 minutes that I was in there, and by the end I was literally counting down the seconds until I could get out. I immediately attempted to warm up in a way-too-hot shower, but after getting out it was clear that my core was still freezing cold. Despite the cranked heater and being bundled in a robe, I could not stop shaking and had to layer up and drink some hot water until I could finally manage to control my temperature.

I’m not sure if I did something wrong…or if my natural poor circulation just got the best of me, but hot damn ice bath, you got me good.

Okay, on the bright side, I need to credit my twenty minutes of Arctic conditions for my lack of soreness on Sunday, and I felt much less stiff after I got out and warmed up.

Overall, good times. And I was proud of myself for trying out some new running related things.

However, as mentioned, there was one hiccup.

My run felt great, however there was a twinge in my knee that I couldn’t seem to shake. My knee felt a little tweaked after a yoga class last week, but nothing too bad and I could run on it just fine. This was the same throughout the 22 miler, but I could definitely feel it. Not pain necessarily, but just an ache that couldn’t go away. The ice bath helped, but I was still feeling the ache throughout the whole day.

Yesterday, it had subsided a bit, and so I decided to go through with a shake-out run which actually made it feel even better. Last night it had all but gone away, which was encouraging, however this morning proved this little knee pang to be a bit more substantial than a tweak.

I was in actual pain when I woke up, and although walking around and getting blood flowing to it helped out, it’s still not feeling awesome.

And, I’ll admit it…it’s bothering me. Both physically and mentally.

I couldn’t help myself and did the whole Google-diagnosis for a while, and decided to quit because nothing was going to be encouraging or conclusive about doing that. See, I do learn things. Instead, I’m deciding to go against my natural instincts and—FINE—not run.

I’m going to give this knee pain a few days to hang out, relax, and hopefully get lost. Honestly, I’m far enough along with my training that a few days off won’t hurt, and it certainly will help if something is acting up from overuse. So while it burns a little bit inside me, I have learned enough and know enough to err on the side of caution.

I know it might feel better tomorrow, but I’m conclusively deciding to wait until at least Thursday to try out running. Running definitely doesn’t make it hurt worse, but I want to ensure that running isn’t taken out of the picture because of excess mileage.

And this is actually good timing, because West Seattle Runner is having a PT come in tomorrow night to do FREE injury consultation. You can show up, have a chat with her about your running ailments, and she’ll offer her expert advice. You can bet I’ll be there, with this knee pain at the top of my “what’s wrong with me?” list.

So, lots of different things happening around these parts—some good, some not so good, but all offering an interesting change of pace. I’m going to enjoy some sleep-in time this week, and honestly…with a weather report like this, running isn’t exactly super duper enticing:

Seattle says, "Oh, you thought it was spring? How silly of you!"

Here’s hoping this ailment goes away with some R and R. I’m doing my best to remain confident and calm (not an easy task, mind you)…and hopefully my new invention of shortbread GS cookies with Nutella on top will help.

Also, on one final note, BF often times reminds me of why we’re good together…but this reminder from yesterday is worth sharing:

 

While making pancakes for himself, BF delivered me this little beauty. A traditional Mickey pancake was too standard, therefore a bow of cranberries were added on top to emphasize the fact that it was Minnie. Creative touch BF, you’re the best!

Have a good Monday!

What’s your favorite pancake shape? Did you do a long run this weekend? A bike ride? A hike? Please share any fun/entertaining activities!

 

 

 

 

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