Tuesday, June 26, 2018

June 18 - June 24

This week my calf definitely started to feel a bit better and I was able to get in some hiking and a little bit of running.  I realized that my calf felt fine while walking so I decided to see how fast I could hike up and down McCulloch.  My plan was to hike as fast as I could without being in any pain.  It turned out, no matter how fast I walked my calf way okay.  When I reached the top of McCulloch, I began the walk down.  After a little while I figured I might as well try to do an easy shuffle.  Again, I planned to stop as soon as I had any pain.  Fortunately I managed to shuffle all of the downhill without any pain.  For me this was very encouraging since it was really the first sign that my calf was improving.

As the week went on I kept hiking up and running a little bit quicker on the downhill.  I was always very cautious and only increased my speed sightly each day, but I each day felt a little better.  With a little improvement each day, each "run" I did became a bit more fun and a bit more like running.  By the end of the week each run felt more like a run than a hike.

All in all, last week was very encouraging that I'll be back to 100% pretty soon.  I plan to continue with a cautious approach, but I also hope to get in some runs next week where I run the whole time.  Regardless, the best part of being mobile again is getting to spend time in the forest.  I realize that regardless of my pace, its a lot of fun to spend time in the forest.  Hopefully the next few weeks will bring a big increase in the time I spend hiking and running.

Here's some picture from the week:
Mary's Peak - I really can't wait to get up there!

Hiking up McCulloch Peak


More foxglove

Monday, June 18, 2018

June 11 - June 17

This was finals week, so I spend much of the early days of the week studying.  When I can't run, it turns out I have a lot more time to study.  Finals this quarter were far less stressful than in the past and I would say having an excess of time to study certainly helped with that.

I did a little walking early in the week and some mountain biking too although that came to an abrupt halt Thursday when I tried to fix the brakes.  One of the brake pads was rubbing a little bit, so I decided I needed to fix that before going for another ride.  While this should have been about a 5 minute job, I started by tearing everything apart instead of seeing how to do it properly on Youtube.  I created a lot of extra work, but I did learn how to bleed the brakes, and went ahead and changed the brake pads as they were getting a bit worn out.

Friday I went for a run and felt fine for the first 10 minutes, but after that my calf started to hurt quite a bit.  I probably should have stopped at 10 minutes just as the slightest pain started.  But I ran for about 25 and my calf hurt a bit by the end.  I think I just need to give it a bit more time and perhaps start out with only a 10 or 15 minute run to begin with.

On Saturday we went to Cape Perpetua where the weather was actually pretty nice.  It not too uncommon for the coast to be 55 and cloudy in the middle of summer so we were grateful for the beautiful day.  We got to check out the tide pools, then went for a walk on some of the trails above Cape Perpetua.  Those are some terrific trails which made me excited to get back out there and run!  It'll be sooner than later.

Hopefully the next week will bring a few more miles on the trail.  I plan to keep biking a bit once I get the bike all sorted out (yeah, I really goofed) and hopefully get in some running took.  As soon as I feel healthy and am running 1 hour a day, I'm going to sign up for a 50K about a month out.  I won't train for it or taper or anything special.  I'm going to show up and run.  It might not be my best race, but I'm ready to be back.  I miss the community, I miss the joy of exploring new places, and I miss the challenge of pushing myself.  I'm ready to be back.

Uphill - just hard work like running
Downhill - white knuckles all the way

Tiger Lilies

A crab - there way to quick to catch, as soon as you get close there in the water


Lots of urchins

This was a neat water spout.  When the waves came in right, it would shoot up pretty high.

Wild Strawberries

Ghost pipes

Those are red huckleberry bushes growing on that massive doug fir.  The Oregon coast is pretty cool

Foxglove, perhaps my favorite flower

I could get the bee to sit still, but that what the brownish blob is
The same wild rose without the bee
Tiger Lilies in the Mac

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 4 - June 10

I tried running on Monday and that didn't go too well.  My calf was slightly painful for the first 15 or 20 minutes, then it got a lot worse so I ended up walking it in.  That was a bit of a bummer, but also not a huge surprise.

I didn't do much hiking this week outside of marking the Run for the Hills course with Cary.  Maybe that was a good thing as it gave me a bit more time to study for finals this week.  However, my calf was feeling a bit better by the end of the week so I'll try another run this week.  I'm optimistic I'll be running again by next week although it won't be too far to begin with.

Saturday I went for a ride on my brother's mountain bike.  Here's a video of my ride: Bike Ride 

Sunday the whole Miller family manned and aid station at Run for the Hills.  It was bit rainy which makes it less fun for the volunteers, but it looked like ideal conditions for the runners.  Regardless, it was fun to see a lot of local runners come through the aid station, and a few other runner I didn't know.

At this point I'm officially not going to run Western States this year.  That was a pretty disappointing decision, but also one that I saw coming for a while.  I certainly want to be there next year and I'm confident that it will happen.  For now, I just have to get healthy and slowly build back to top form.

Pine Drop in McDonald Forest

All ready for the runners

Sunday, June 3, 2018

May 28 - June 3

When I first started my blog, I was inspired to do so because I enjoyed following Anton Krupicka’s blog which featured weekly updates on his running.  I’ve never managed to post anything weekly and in recent months I rarely get anything up on my blog.  The point of saying this is I’ll try to start giving weekly updates of my running and hopefully tack up a few pictures from the week as well.

This week I ran Tuesday through Thursday for about an hour and a half, then took the rest of the week off.  I did a few short walks on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and that was it for the week.  The reason for so little running is that my left calf has been bothering me for a few weeks and I finally decided to just stop running for a few days.

In early May I went for an hour and a half run with my friends Nick in Cary and the next day my left ankle hurt too much to run.  It took me a few days to figure out what was wrong, but soon I realized it was peroneal tendonitis stemming from a very tight upper left calf.  With a bit of foam rolling my left calf started feeling a bit better.  It took a week and half, but then I was back to running about 1.5 hours in the morning before class without any pain.  That weekend (May 19-20th) I ran a little under 3 hours each day and felt pretty darn good.

Then Monday came and after making the climb up McCulloch Peak, my left calf started to bother me on the descent.  By the time I reached Soap Creek (about 1 hour into my run), my lateral left calf was almost too painful to run on.  I had progressively slowed my pace on the descent, but to no avail, so I stopped in Soap Creek and stretched my calf for a minute or two.  I don’t think I’ve every stretched during a run before, so it was obviously pretty bad.  Still, I was parked at Oak Creek, so I made a beeline from Soap Creek to Oak Creek to finish up my run.  My calf didn’t feel any worse, but it certainly didn’t feel any better by the time I finished.

Although my calf hurt, I tried to keep running that week.  I just wanted to be out in the forest enjoying the warm spring weather and watching the forest change.  New flowers start popping up in March and continue until June, so I like to see the whole progression.  My calf hurt all week although it felt fine on our Memorial Day weekend snowcamping trip.

I stubbornly tried to run at the beginning of this week but came to my senses realizing that my calf was OK for low impact activities like skiing and walking but running was just too much.  At this point I’m doing some foam rolling, stretching, and strengthening exercises as well as a little walking.  I plan to try to run Monday.

I’ve found myself reflecting on why I’ve been injured a lot over the last two years.  Since Western States I’ve been injured frequently and typically only get 5-6 weeks of running between injuries.  My running has been very inconsistent for the last couple years and I think that play a role in being injured.  But I think the way I view running has a bigger role.  When I first started running, I ran because I loved to be in the forest and my main goal was to spend as much time outside as I could.  As time progressed I got more wrapped up in competition.  I’ve always been competitive, but I slowly turned running into a daily task of training for a race.  The last two years have been very frustrating and not very satisfying.  It’s time to be a kid in the forest again.

Here's some pictures from today's walk.

A dead butterfly

A purple iris

A little snake

Lots of bees hovering around these flowers

A bumblebee

Too bad this one came out so blurry