Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

Tag: injury Page 1 of 3

Jan-Feb 2021

It’s been low miles on the bike with continued improvements on the running.

Goose has over 4600 miles on it now. I’m still amazed at how well this “cheap” “department store” bike has served my purposes. We (Goose and I) had one wipe-out this winter when we hit a spot of black ice on a turn. The bike fared well but the body suffered a few setbacks with some bruising on the legs, hip, shoulder, and arm. The longest repair was the ankle. Even though I was wearing above the ankle leather boots, the foot must have twisted or extended enough to do some damage. It was at least 4 weeks or slow going on that ankle. This was complicated further by the fact I couldn’t ride due to the slippery conditions, so I went into the slow-jog mode. I didn’t care about time, I just wanted to move!

I consider myself very blessed to be able to run again. I’m still slow and averaging a 9:45 mile. While I was recovering the ankle and there was snow and ice on the roads, I was averaging 11:00/mile. In spite of all that, I have ran over 9 miles two or three times now. I’m pumped about that!

Jan-Feb 2021 Stats

I took the plunge and purchased a multi-sport watch at the end of January. It arrived in early February. I went with the Garmin Venu SQ.

I like it! Previously, I was using three devices to track my activities. I had the Garmin Vivofit 1 for walking/steps, the Garmin Forerunner 10 for running, and the Garmin Forerunner 25 for cycling. Technically, the Forerunners are for “running” so I had to convert the activity manually from running to cycling. Not ideal, but workable. Now I simply select my activity when I start and it records properly all by itself, plus I only have to work with one device for charging, syncing, care, etc.

I have been able to charge the Venu SQ once a week with the settings I’ve enabled. There are many options (very many) that can affect performance and battery life. I like where things are as the Venu SQ is able to find the satellites quickly and has recorded activities without error.

There are many customization features on the Venu SQ as well, I was able to create my own custom watch face and select which elements I wanted to be on my at-a-glance display. Nice! The image below is just a few of what others have created. I’ve gone old-school crossover with an analog timepiece (yes, hands) and data fields of battery, date, temp, and heartrate.

Sample Venu watch face options

There are many more features with Apps and Widgets that I haven’t even explored.

It’s early March as I write this and the morning temperature has been closer to 40 F which allows me to expand back out into the country without fearing freezing to death in the event of an injury or equipment failure.

This morning’s bike route wasn’t anything extreme but nice to get out of town. I was fortunate to run into one of the other outdoor runners on his route and finally slowed down to chat a few seconds. I’m always encouraged when I come across others working on their health regimen.

Until next time, I hope you keep working on you.

Knee status – 12/1/19

I keep saying… it’s getting better and it is. Normal movement pain is down to 1-2% range, flexibility is +90%, strength is over 90% as well. Yet, I cannot run without significant discomfort and fear of re-injury.

The picture above helps with my explanation of this injury. All of the soft tissue items were impacted by this injury event.

The meniscus was the original damage back in July, then when I overdid it by running 6 miles in September everything else was damaged.

The ligaments on both sides and the patella have caused the most pain throughout this recovery. We take our working knees for granted way too much, well, at least I have not been as grateful as I should have been for working joints.

After the 6 mile mistake, kneeling and bending that knee included extreme pain. Mobility, range, and pressure were very limited. There were even periods where pain would shoot through the knee just sitting still.

The weeks following have been a series of mat exercises, yoga, Pilates, and any other gradual stretching it allowed me. Daily bike rides and walks have been instrumental in the healing process.

I’m not going to press it. Now that we’re into December we’ll continue to adjust to whatever winter brings and I’m hopeful this may be the month I can attempt to run again.

Useful tools @ Original Strength

A friend told me to check out Tim Anderson over at Original Strength and I am glad I did. I am still checking out the videos over at YouTube as there are tons of useful resources available to introduce some very helpful tools.

The concept of a “reset” is an underlying theme and one key routine is rocking. At first I was thinking that is too simple, however, when I started I quickly realized how much work my knee still required. These resets are great physical therapy!

The knee is getting better. While it’s not ready for running, flexibility is improving and pain intensity lowering. Riding the bike is not a problem for it, for which I am very grateful. I have been able to walk two to three miles a day. I wish I could say the walks are pain free, but not yet.

Sept 2019 summary

I ran 11 total miles in September. Yeah, I know, sad. But, I learned I can run again and that I shouldn’t push so hard after an injury. Yup, I re-injured the knee on the second run. The first run of 5-miles left me recovering fairly well and I was ready to run again in 2 days. I now know I should have stayed with less than 5-miles, for when I exceeded five, I felt the pain increase and at the end of 6-miles I was done.

The injury isn’t as bad as the beginning of August, but enough to know I’ll be riding the bike for several more weeks to recover. I have continued walking at least 2-focused-miles a day as well. Focused miles means, I went on a 2-mile walk, not just that I had X number of steps in a day.

Not that riding the bike is bad, it’s just not the same workout as running. Below are the bicycle stats for September 2019.

Speaking of the bike, at the end of September, I’m 18 miles short of 1000 miles on it, not too bad for a low-end bike. I did replace the rear tire at 850 miles as it was pretty worn out, but overall it’s holding up well!

The combined walk-run-bike summary is below.

Gratitude on the 1st day of Fall – I ran again!

I ran again today. The first time in over 6 weeks. I ran so slow it makes me laugh, but I ran.

I was like all Forrest Gump out there once I got past the fear of re-injuring my knees. The first mile was very cautious, but after that I didn’t want to stop! Just a little more… just until the next intersection… just go until the next mile is complete…

Before I started the run, I had made a deal with myself to pay attention and listen to my body. Don’t over do it! I did listen, but it was so amazing being able to run (even slowly) on my knees where I was concerned I’d never run again. I did listen… mostly…

Perhaps you’re not a runner and think this is crazy and maybe it is a bit, but as a runner, this is a big deal. It’s like being set free from a long captivity, like getting outside on that first warm Spring day after a long cold and dark winter. It’s refreshing and I’m grateful!

I ran 5 miles. I stayed close to home, just in case. I believed the knees were doing better when I could feel other body parts start complaining louder than my knees had previously. The patella, the plantar, the quads all started to chime in as if to say “hey wait, where have you been?”, it was great.

I forced myself to quit at 5 miles, then did a 2-mile walk to celebrate.

The bike has been a great way to keep my cardio in shape as there were no issues with breathing or heart-rate. I’m going to experiment with mixing the bike in my routine going forward as I have felt the benefits from it.

Happy Fall 2019! Running is back on the menu! 🙂

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