Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

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New Year 2024

Welcome 2024!

I feel blessed to be able to start the new year off with a 5 mile run. While my pace is what it is, I’m just happy to have the ability to run again.

Currently, I have been alternating Elliptical and running as the weather permits. I’m leaving the bicycle parked while the air is cold and road surfaces are questionable.

Here’s to looking forward to a great year of physical fitness and health!

November’23 Update

Recovery is such a long process.
I’ve spent the summer riding my bicycle the most and slowly introducing running back into the mix a few days a week. I picked up an Elliptical machine, which has been an excellent addition. I knew treadmills were problematic for me for two reasons: they are boring and do not provide much relief for my knee recovery. With the Elliptical, I can get a decent heart rate up, work a lot of muscles, and break into a decent sweat, all while being easier on the knees. Is it still dull? Sure, but it is much quieter than a treadmill, and I can watch videos or listen to audio with ease.
Of course, I’ve added additional strength training exercises to try and strengthen the knees as well. All these are helping, but I’m still taking it slow and short until I feel comfortable with my knees to go a greater distance out in the country.
I’m still riding the bike when the weather is decent, which reduces as the weather turns colder, windier, and slippery. I really cannot afford an injury right now, as I need my recovery so I can run through the winter months!
I hope your routines are going well!

Rehab Mid-year ’23

I figured I best place a date in the title as there will likely be other rehabilitation efforts in the future.

So I go to the Sports Ortho to discuss my knee issues and get professional advice. The team was great, the X-rays were helpful, and I will visit a Physical Therapist for some coaching.

The short version is that my ligaments are pretty beaten up, and we will focus on strengthening other leg muscles to help with the additional support needed. Cool, let’s do it!

The current routine is to slow-run twice a week for 2-3 miles, then cycle 8+ miles on the other days. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, those will likely turn into walking days.

The Sports Ortho did provide a knee brace that can be used while running. I’ve tried it twice and am not a fan, but I like it as an option! I also have some of those compression-style knee support sleeves, which are comfortable enough and provide some support.

Summer is upon us, and let’s make the most of the longer and warmer days!

The future of the long haul

Hey Folks, it’s been a long break from posting. I made it through the winter doing slow (10 min miles) and shorter (around 6 miles/day) morning runs. Unfortunately, the knee has not cooperated, and I have spent 90% of the mornings on the bike. The bike is not bad; it’s just not as fulfilling as running.

As I cannot seem to get the knee issue under control myself, I’ll be seeking some professional input. Meanwhile, it’s short runs (2-3 miles @ ~11 min pace) on the days I cannot bike.

I am a committed fitness junkie who loves the morning exercise routine, so what does that look like for the long haul if my “good” running days are limited? We adjust!

Much like natural aging and our bodies doing “new” things seemingly every day, we have to alter our approach, as doing nothing is the beginning of the end. Have you ever heard the phrase about announcing your retirement being a signal to the universe that your stint on earth is getting ready for recycling?

In this case, I’m not ready to start the recycling process!

Fortunately, we have options for lower-impact equipment and increasing the alternatives like yoga and strength training. I’ll wait for a professional evaluation on the knee before I get too deep into change, but it’s great to have options!

We’ll catch you next time to see what direction we go next.

A post from Don

I don’t know Don, but he belongs to a group in the LoseIt community. He doesn’t have the “friend” option enabled, so I couldn’t request his permission to post this. Nonetheless, it was so well stated I wanted to keep it here as a reminder as to why I and others run. I hope you enjoy Don’s thoughts as I do.

This is why I run…
Saturday morning. I have a meeting at 7am.
Still, I’ve been watching the forecast, thinking about, and anticipating a nice morning run.
I’m ready. The coffee maker is set up; just have to push the button. Wore my running shorts to bed, two shirts are set out; as well as my hat, shoes and socks. My Garmin and clip-on lights are charged.
It’s 4:25am and here in Ohio, 36 degrees. The night is clear, with an almost full moon looking down on me. As I head out and down my street, I think to myself that I should quit my job and just do this…
I planned an easy ten miles and keep telling myself to go slow. No oxygen debt. Marathon pace. Marathon pace. (Like I’ll ever run a marathon again!)
At about three miles, I’m settled into a steady pace.
Getting close to the river, a sizable doe trots across the street about 20 yards in front of me. She stops and watches me for a bit. I wish her a good morning before she bounds off into the trees.
In another mile, I’m crossing the river and then running beside it. Another mile and it’s back over the river on the lighted footbridge.
On the way home now, and the endorphins are fully kicking in. Two miles to go and resisting the urge to pick up the pace is futile.
On my street, I slow to a resting pace; stop my Garmin at 10.35, and walk for another quarter mile or so to my door.
Some fresh juice, a hot shower and I’m out the door.
I started running long ago to lose weight. Now, it’s impossible to imagine running not being a part of life.
My wife asks me, “Did you run today? How was it?”
Yes, I did run; and it was magic.

Don in the Running Club group on LoseIT

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