RICE

RICE: who knew it actually worked?

 

Thursday last week was my only day to get in a long run. Needing to go somewhere new, my running partner and I set out to climb to Ostrich Peak. If you know me at all you know that I have my dads sense of direction: AKA I’m always lost, always getting myself more lost, not afraid to ask for directions but usually mess them up anyway. In my running life this has become more of a blessing in disguise. My runs are usually longer than I anticipate with even knowing it!

So when I told my partner that we had to turn right on Strawberry, then right again on Hitt Road I figured she knew where Strawberry was… a few miles later we figured out where we needed to go—basically we just needed to up, up and up higher! So needless to say our run turned into more of a five-mile hike, which is fine, the trail was great, the day was perfect—until we reached the top and started back down.

The view was great. I could see Mnt Shasta (I think) and some other mountain in the distance…I’m horrible at identifying them! On our run back down it was just a straight shot down hill, rocky terrain, and with my awesomely weak ankles I stepped on a rock in just the right spot to feel like I tore all the ligaments and broke the bone. (DON’T WORRY, NEITHER OF THOSE HAPPENED. They were just my first thoughts that entered my brain.)

Sweet View

Beatuful View

I limped along for a while and when I decided nothing horrible actually happened we started running again. But when I got home I used the RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) method to get better as soon as humanly possible. Along with taking fist fulls of ibprofen it was feeling better soon. Who knew that by actually doing what all those running magazines tell you to do you can actually reduce the time it takes to get better? CRAZY!

Roommates frozen peas

My roommates frozen peas

I haven’t run yet, it’s still tender, but I did elipt my heart out today and plan to run tomorrow morning. Still icing it to keep the swelling down, and not doing anything too crazy this week. I’d rather be hurt a bit now then totally injured later!

 

Had any injuries lately? How long did they last?

 

What did you do instead of run or impact?

I actually started doing some of my work out DVDs at home. Friday I did a Denise Austin pilates total body thing…it was good! Denise is super annoying, but I got a good work out in. On Saturday I did a yoga burn DVD with my friend–we opened all the windows and doors in her house so it felt like we were outside, SO GREAT!

Don’t Flip

I love discovering new things, (duh, who doesn’t!?) But this past week I was able to rediscover a new part of a great State Park here in Maryland, Patapsco State Parkis way bigger than I realized. Last summer and fall I had only been trail running and hiking in one section of it, this week I went across the river and found myself wandering in a completely different section of the park.

Deer

Not only did I discover a new part of the park, but I discovered it two ways and had a completely different experience each time. If you’ve read this blog in the past you have by now realized that I have zero sense of direction, which I’m okay with for the most part, I just have to remind myself of that from time to time and make sure I have the time to be lost.

 

My first venture at the new Patapsco entrance was a hike. As I was hiking all I could think about was how great this area would be for trail running, (I’m again not running due to my stressed out sacrum) then the further I hiked my mind continued to wander from running, to nature to:  what am I doing with my life? To what am I doing tomorrow? To holy shit these squirrels are NOT afraid to get close to me!

Hiking alone brings forth a lot of thoughts and feelings, I’m unable to let go and just be in the woods. My mind races and I get really distracted by the thought bubbles floating above my head. So distracted in fact that this particular hike I totally forgot what color I was supposed to be following (Blue? Orange? Green? oh man, I’m lost!) My brain shifted to a bit of panic mode of not knowing where I was, knowing that I should leave the park by a certain time and the fact that my water bottle was running low, I had no food and the mercury had already climbed to 98 before I got on the trail.

 

Then reality came back and I realized that I really didn’t HAVE to be anywhere, so I tired enjoying being lost. I wandered, (not all those who wander are lost.) I eventually found my way to the road and walked the two miles back to my car on the safety of no chance of getting more lost along the river and out of the woods. Over all it was a great hike, I didn’t solve any of my life’s problems but I did have a great afternoon wandering and discovering myself.

 

Yesterday I was able to enjoy the same park a different way. In preparation for an adventure race I’m doing in 9 days (The crazy race I got myself signed up for) I’m trying my legs at mountain biking—if you remember, I went once when I was out in Oregon visiting my brother, so this time I went out at it alone and for a few more miles. The trails at Patapsco are narrower than in OR, the hills were shorter and steeper, the roots seemed more daunting and the potential of me flipping over my handlebars far greater.

I didn’t flip over, I think this has something to do with me being a big baby and super wimpy. I’m slow. I think really hard when riding. Unlike cycling, where I can zone out and ride for hours, mountain biking forced me to focus and use my brainpower fully. I kept my eyes where I wanted the bike to go, not where I DIDN’T want it to go, like over a cliff or into a tree. The second my brain wanted to shift to ‘life-talk’ I’d hit a rock, or go the wrong way into a stump, so my mind stayed focused on what was directly ahead of me—forgot what I had passed, I wasn’t worried about a mile or two down the trail, on the mountain bike I am where I am. If not, I’ll surely crash.

 

I’m going to let you figure out the life lesson I learned on the trail both days. No need for explanation.

Yeeehawww!: Part 3

I hike. Now, if you know me in real life you will know that I’m not the most graceful of people—meaning I trip, I fall, I run into things (I think I inherited this from my mother,) but most of the time it’s with a smile on my face followed by laughter, so it’s okay! This trip to West Virginia was no different, my group of new friends and I decided to head to the visitors center and check out the view of the bridge, the river and watch the crazy mid-western tourists snap photos at the vastness of what West Virginia has to offer. Gawking at the elevation change and how different it is from the cornfields of Illinois.

It had just rained I was sporting some sandals and walking down stairs, chatting and taking in the view. One of the guys was talking about how he just read that this bridge could fit two Washington Monuments, a Statue of Liberty AND still have twenty feet of space between it and the water! CRAZY! I thought, then BAM!!! I slid down four steps (my only shock absorber being my ass), grabbing onto whatever I could (mostly the people around me) everyone turned to look and see me, on my ass, laughing and crying at the same time. Awesome, a new bruise to add to my collection.  I won’t post the picture, it’s pretty gruesome and a bit PG-13.

That was my first hike of the week in WV. With the injury out of the way I was confident that my hike down the Kaymoor trail would be less eventful and more relaxing. Saturday morning of the Rendezvous my co-worker and I set off to hike down the 837 stairs and tromp down to the river. This was the easy part, a leisurely walk down, hang at the river, eat a few clementines and dunk my head in the swift water to cool off and revitalize my curls. Then our venture back up came, tired from the sun and legs shaky from the hike down, we began the 837 stairs back to the car.

I counted. I counted each step. One may think they are in good shape, you can think this all you want until you’re in the position where you have to move your body UP STAIRS FOR 837 steps, who thought this was a good idea?! But the accomplishment when it was over was overwhelming. This was a hike that was not only good for the body, but we had rewards at both ends—the way down we took our time, taking pictures, watching a millipede crawl across a branch was fascinating for a good 35 minutes, the river had a cool breeze coming off it, we watched rafters enjoy the day on the river and the hike up left me feeling tired and accomplished and there was an iced mocha calling my name at the local coffee shop!

I realized that even though I had been injured for weeks I was still in decent enough shape to use my body, bruised and all, to move myself up up and up!  Our bodies are incredible, they allow us to see, feel and experience so much—releasing endorphins can be as easy as climbing a few (hundred) stairs and enjoying the afternoon on a river.

 

What’s your favorite way to release some killer endorphins?