Hope is in bloom!

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the intervals and heart rate restrictions in my recovery plan (the term recovery plan is used very loosely here, as I have been floundering with it).  I completely understand the need for both of them and their role in my return to injury-free running.  And even though I say terrible things to my watch during my run (let’s hope no one has been in earshot), I do believe in the heart rate training and have faith that it will work well for me.

I have struggled with intervals.  I used an interval recovery plan out of a book of mine.  But the beginning intervals were run 5 min/walk 5 min (3 times) and I really didn’t feel like I was running much at all.  This weekend, I came across another return-to-running plan and decided to go with it.  So Monday afternoon, when temps were near 70 and the winter sun was smiling brightly upon North Texas, I tried these new intervals out.  The run was amazing (as amazing as intervals can be, anyway)!  I started on week 4 of this plan, which called for 3 min run/1 min walk (8 times).  I liked the shorter walk intervals and I actually felt as if I had RUN at the end!  My heart rate is an entirely different matter and, yes, I was angry at my watch the entire run!  I saw an acquaintance while I was out and felt the need to explain why I was running like a turtle (while she was passing me (as if she cared)).  And we won’t even discuss the looks I got because I was wearing compression shorts (it’s what I get for running at the park!).

Sadly, the stares continued when I stopped by Wal-Mart post-run
Sadly, the stares continued when I stopped by Wal-Mart post-run

The best news yet is that I didn’t experience any pain or increased tightness after the run – that evening or the next morning!  I have been experiencing some minor nagging issues with my runs, so this was a HUGE development!

I finally found a full yoga sequence specially for runners (that isn’t cheesy and I actually like) and started doing it on Saturday.  I LOVE IT!  Yoga has been on my list of things to do, but living in my small town there aren’t many options.  And I like being able to do it in my living room, even though my family LOVES to come through and make fun of me!  I have found that the front of my body (specifically, quads) is much more limber than the back of my body (hamstrings, hips, calves, ankles….*sigh*).  I am quite sure that I am not doing all the poses correctly, but I am trying and I can tell those hammies are loosening up, if only a little!  No….I won’t be posting pictures of my yoga.  No one needs to have that image burned into their brain.

Tuesday afternoon, I was unable to leave in time to get Alli to volleyball practice, but that freed up some time for a bike ride before dinner and Logan’s soccer game.  This ride was even more encouraging than my new interval run.  I could tell that my body had gotten much stronger since my last outdoor ride.  The last time I went out on the bike, I had to remind my legs to do the work.  This time was much smoother and didn’t feel as much of a struggle.  I rode the same route as last time and the wind was still an issue!  This left me feeling very hopeful because it has helped me realize that my strength training may finally be catching up.  I truly believe, for the first time, that I can beat this injury.

I do, however, face certain “challenges” when it comes to riding near my house.  I live off a busy state highway that is the main thoroughfare to and from the Dallas area.  Translation: lots of cars and they are ALL in a hurry!  To complicate things, there is this weird passing lane on this highway.  So, near my house, there are 2 lanes (with a less-than-normal shoulder, going South) on the opposite side of the highway from me, and one lane plus a full shoulder (going North).  Usually, this doesn’t cause much of a problem except that I just try to pay more attention when coming back home as I am usually going South and on the “short shoulder” at that point.  Manageable, right?  Throw in the road construction that was left uncompleted in the Fall and you have yourself a cluster.  You see, now there are NO stripes on the road, so people are assuming (incorrectly) that the North-bound shoulder is a second lane and we now see people regularly driving the shoulder.  This is a problem for a cyclist! Can’t wait until the weather is warmer so this project can be finished, once and for all!

My messed up highway!
My messed up highway! (And YES, that is a nice HILL in the distance 🙂

After my awesome ride, Bobby, Taylor, Alli and I went to eat before Logan’s soccer game.  We are always so excited to see Taylor (and Izze) and she is always so thoughtful and supportive of Logan and Alli by making time to come to their events.  The team didn’t play well, but somehow earned a 1-0 win, which brings their 2015 record to 5-2-6 (remember we were ALL losses and one tie last season?).  At Taylor’s insistence, we posed for a family photo afterwards.

I have NO idea what I'm looking at.
I have NO idea what I’m looking at.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful sunrise pic I snapped at work yesterday.  🙂

Just breathtaking.
Just breathtaking!

Happy Hump Day!


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