Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Family Hiking

Yesterday I was joking with Laura that my running blog is quickly becoming a hiking blog. I’m not quite sure what I think about that…. Thankfully she also likes hiking!  Also thankfully, misery loves company since we are both hurt in some form or fashion,

In spite of pulling the plug on all biking and elliptical, I haven’t yet stopped hiking. Similar to how a hard core drug user still allows themselves to smoke cigarettes, I just couldn’t quit everything that used my legs cold turkey. "Just one more mile, then I'll stop for good. JUST ONE MORE MILE!"  I’m not sure ANYONE would want to be around me if I wasn’t able to do SOMETHING.

Quick note, I’m sure there are lots of other aerobic activities I could be doing that wouldn’t aggravate my knee – swimming being the most notable. I would love to start swimming laps however based on my current situation the logistics prohibit it. (I really don’t like pulling the single dad card, but that was basically me doing that.)  I don’t belong to a gym and am essentially limited to what I can do either at home or at my work gym. I am 100% making excuses on why I haven’t started swimming, but I’m okay with continuing to make them for another month or two.

With that said, this past weekend my son and took advantage of the below normal temps (25 degrees below normal!) I went on a pretty substantial hike.  We hiked the first part of the same exact trail that I ran a month or so back that totaled 2.5 miles round trip and about 2000 feet of gain.

This wasn't our first time out - we attempted this a few weeks ago with disastrous results.  There was whining, tears, and even some "I'm just going to wait here for a little bit and wait for it to cool off". Not to mention how bad my son was. I tried to look for some pictures, but I am not sure that I took too many that were blog worthy. That said, it was amazing how this time was completely different in almost every single way.

Jeff's dog has lots of....energy


What probably made the most difference was having my buddy Jeff and his family there. Jeff’s oldest is a few years older than my son so my son was really trying to keep up as much as possible.  This, of course, is in contrast to last time where it was a constant battle to keep him moving faster than I move after the all you can eat pizza buffet (slow).  Just kidding, as Laura will tell you, when I walk I pretty much always shuffle / drag ass at BEST.

Daddy, put these rocks in your pocket, I think they are made out of gold

Other than having someone else than boring dad to hike with, the slightly cooler temperatures and fewer gnats made for lots more playing along the trail and a lot less "sitting down to rest". Although, to be clear, there was plenty of sitting to rest. In the middle of the trail. With no warning. Even if someone was coming. Something to work on for sure.

Without warning, what I turned around to more than once

As the morning wore on and the 12 pounds of rocks in my pockets weighed my pants down we both got a bit tired. We rock paper scissored to see who got to ride on who, and unfortunately I lost. Truth be told, since we were both out getting exercise, I wasn't mad at all about giving him a lift for the last half mile or so.

"ONE RULE, if you pull my hair or smack my head you are walking again."
(I really really should't have to have that rule....)


Either way, I couldn’t be more proud of how my son did and how much fun we had. I really hope to continue to do things like that for as long as I can claw him away from videogames or whatever else tugs at his attention as he grows up.  (Did I say videogames? I meant doing long division, Netflix, reading chapter books, and whatever else good parents have their kids doing now adays that isn't videogames.)

Mission Accomplished


Friday, May 15, 2015

Pulling the plug on cardio

Bueller? Bueller? 

Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

I AM STILL HERE!!  Replace sick with “screwed up knee” and replace 31 flavors with “French fry kiosk” and you pretty much nailed it. Knee still hurts.  In fact, it is not getting much better. (Also, why are french fry kiosks not a thing that exists??)

It is funny, I always thought of my blog as a blog about nothing.  The Seinfeld of running blogs. It was my random thoughts loosely coupled with running – but honestly just an outlet for my musings and innuendo. But, as it turns out, the running portion of the blog was the catalyst for most of my good and interesting posts. Without running to act as the peanut butter to my sarcasm’s jelly, I don’t have a ton to talk about.  Mix that with being pretty busy at work (with not a lot to show for it, doh) and the blog got put on the back burner.  So, in the spirit of Ferris Bueller, here goes nothing!

Running recovery is coming along, albeit at a slower pace than I would like. Meaning: PAINFULLY SLOW. I’m going to actual Physical Therapy twice a week now (vs Active Release Therapy before – which was sort of a bust) which I can already tell is helping a lot. I think Physical Therapy is Latin for “small movements to make you feel like little baby”. I certainly have some weaknesses going on because more than a few of the exercises are super hard for me.  Specifically, most of the ones where I present my crotch for all to see (which, is interesting because I feel like I do that type of thing a lot in my day to day life so you think I would be good at it).

As long as I keep showing progress, it sounds like I might start to run again in July. No, that is not a joke, IN JULY. The good news about starting to run then is that the AZ temps at dawn will be a balmy 80 degrees or so. Lovely.  But, I am willing to do what it takes to get back out there.

I had been biking and even hitting the elliptical, but after a 90 min session on Tuesday that left my knee quite sore, I might have to give that up.  The going assumption that both my doctor and I had was that cross training was not hurting my knee – but it seems like it is indeed causing additional inflammation.  Sooooo, I think that I might take the next week or so completely off to see if I can heal the inflammation and get my recovery FIRMLY on track. If nothing else, I'll keep doing the pelvic thrusts my PT prescribes. Clarifying, I'll be doing even more than I normally do in my day to day life.

But, in between bitching about my knee, life goes on.  My son and I have been as busy as ever, most recently doing man things like playing pull my finger cutting wood and building things. He LOVES to "work" with my powertools so I take him along during as many Home Depot trips as possible.

"Daddy, you're a crazy driver sometimes"

Two weeks ago had us building a framework to mount my TV on the wall (long story), which involved half a day of sawing, measuring, and more than a few juice box breaks. I had been holding off on a few of my home improvement type activities in favor of buying furniture, but who needs a formal living room when you can user power tools!?!?

Motorcycle, propane tanks, saws, bikes, 2x4s... what is not for a 4 year old to like!? (or, for that matter, a 33 year old) #DadLife


The sucky part about pulling the plug on all cardio is that I was finally gaining the leg strength to be able to actually push hard on the bike / elliptical.  The trick, I've found, is to set the resistance a few notches higher than I think I should and just figure shit out / ignore your legs screaming in pain. That is how you're supposed to workout, right? (Only slight sarcasm there.)

After a particularly hard elliptical workout. Kept my HR above 180 for 30 min. Yeehawww


Finally, Laura was in town last weekend and I finally convinced her to go on a quick motorcycle ride. She "didn't completely hate it" which I will take as a complete win and will obviously start planning our cross country motorcycle ride ASAP.  I'm headed to Colorado over the Memorial Day weekend and fully plan to tell my knee to suck it up and go on some more additional hikes.  (Related: I'm a terrible patient.)

Mastered the MOST important part of motorcycle riding - the selfie