Sunday, May 8, 2011

All I used to know is out the window...

I guess it's time to post; my mailbox is flooded with inquiries asking if I am still breathing.

For the most part, yes....but wow, what a busy couple weeks.

First, I have to say thank you for all the birthday weeks ago (things have been a little manic here, sorry for not posting, nor reading.  End of the school year revving up and all and a big job interview I was prepping for (and didn't get *sigh* )...); my heart was truly moved by all the generous comments; you made my day! Just another example of kindred souls in this vast blog land; nothing like a blog to turn a mish-mashed group of runners and cyclist and triathletes into one big happy family. I am honored to have your faces in my mind as I write today. 

I started writing a post several days ago; between my laptop constantly locking up on me and the ever so unfriendly blogger, I accidentally posted a bunch of notes.  I quickly deleted it, so sorry for the confusion for all that saw it in the blog reader.  I wonder if there will ever be a day when blogger and I become friends.

In the meantime, I have so much news to share....

I have to start out with a little bragging about my son, Ryan, who yanked out a 5:05 mile on Thursday (many of you know this via FB - thanks for all your kind words there!).  I could not believe it - that was a 20 second PR!!  It was a really warm day and Ryan was a little unsettled with the new-found warmth Denver recently acquired and unsure how he'd fare.  I gave him the ole pep talk about how he was stronger than a little heat and I positioned myself on the infield after he took off so I could get as close to him as possible.  I screamed my heart out each lap and on the last lap I told him to go and fight for this, it was inside him.  He grunted and by golly he kicked it into high gear and cranked out a 1:12 last lap and finished in 8th place (he was ranked 20th).  That kid's gonna go places with his running (he's only a freshman!), he just needs to learn to pace each lap a little better, stop looking at his watch 400 times, stop wandering around his lane, and get a little muscle on his scrawny bod.  Anyhoo, so very proud of him.

Also in running related news: A HUGE congratulations to EMZ who rocked her 24-hour treadmill run.  She sent me a really great text later that night. "No sleep, lots of potty breaks, one IV, 3 pairs of shoes, 3 treadmill changes, and 100.16 miles."  Amazing, girl!!  There is still time donate to the Sojourner Center for battered woman, if you haven't already, the charity she ran those 100 sleepless miles for.  Click Here.  I proudly don my EMZ shirt in her honor!!!

In my attempt to evade my own sucky heel melancholy, I have been putting in major cycling miles (for me anyway) in an attempt to reclaim even a portion of my pre-heel injury fitness.  I have a very long way to go, but I think I am starting to make a small dent.

Everything I ever thought I knew about cycling has been totally ill-conceived - I know nothing.  For instance: My uber-cool free bike from Tara was way too small for me; the cycling shoes I own are actually mountain biking shoes; you do not dress like it is 20 degrees warmer than it is, like you do running; 20 miles is really nothing on a bike; you actually DO have to fuel while riding a bike for an extended period of time...51 miles with only half a Honey Stinger bar is not going to cut it; just because you are an ok hill climber running does not automatically make you a hill climber riding (I SUCK riding up step hills!!! - different muscles I guess); riding in 40-mph crosswinds is unbelievably obnoxious!!!!; it is perfectly acceptable to wipe snot on your bike gloves - 200 times; never ever ever ever ever ever shift gears mid-hill or you'll end up with your chain totally dismantled, you sprawled out across the entire road praying a car doesn't quickly make you road-kill, and left with a big boo-boo on your knee:

Is that sweet or what?? 
Though I am far from calling myself a true cyclist, I am learning and I have to agree with BDD when he told me as I first started out on this little cycling journey a couple months ago, "I bet you'll even like it."  Not so much at first, but yes...I actually DO enjoy it a little now (if we could remove the hills.  And the wind.).  What I love the most is just being out there and covering the distance and the amazing topography as the landscape can change drastically in the course of a very long ride.  You don't get that running much, not even running 26.2 miles.  I have met up, and ridden a few times with, this rock star, hill climbing, studette cycling woman: Pedestrian Runner Christi:

Taken a few weeks ago, Christi and I on our first ride together
Christi lives in Colorado Springs, I live in Denver - about an hour away, so we meet in a small town in between called Castle Rock and ride the the hills, more hills, and then some hills together.  We've even signed up for the famous Elephant Rock ride next month, a 64 mile ride combing the notorious hills we've been tackling the past few weeks.  Christi, in all her awesomenss, has been very patient with me, waiting at the top of every flipping hill and giving me tips galore.  I've deemed her "coach" and I just pray one day I can keep my sorry ass up with her.  Thanks, Christi, for not dumping me on day one!  Today we had a great ride as the temps hit the low 80s and it was one of those beautiful sun-shiny, bright blue-skied Colorado days! 

That'd be me, with Pike Peak in the background.  Wish the
picture did it justice, it's truly magnificent!

That'd be Christi.  Way in front of me.  As usual! :)
Only cuz I wanted to share the pics: recently, my other twin, Brendan, and I rode from our house to the flagship REI store downtown - about a 42 mile round trip ride. 

Brendan and I at the state park where I have logged well over
a thousand miles running in all these years.  Rockie mts. as our
backdrop - nice, huh!?
Brendan at our destination - the REI flagship store; awesome place!

A little break at Confluence Park by the REI store
I'm certain I will have tons of cycling stories to share as I enter a new chapter in my life....

.... but, as you all know, my heart belongs to my beloved running shoes and per the advice of Miss Zippy - to keep knocking on doors until you find an answer - I think I have finally found a breakthrough.  A cause for the heel pain, not the quick-fix to make the pain go away (though that'd be nice, I firmly believe it's not a solution ... if the cause persists, the pain will eventually return).  Through this little blog of mine, someone came to my rescue and is helping me understand my problem: 

Hello, my name is Jill, and I have a huge over-stride problem. 
Obviously, not me - last I checked, but
this is the problem I have
And you know what?  All this laying off running is actually hurting my plantar fasciitis and Achilles because  the muscles in my feet are becoming weaker... and I am to run.  Did y'all hear that???  I AM TO RUN!!!!

Not to build miles, not to base build - but rather, to re-learn how to run properly:  Shorten my stride, quick on my feet, and land on my forefoot, not my heel *gasp*.  All I used to know is now out the window ... I am re-learning, from scratch, how to do it all over again.

It's going to be a very long road, and I'm certain very frustrating - but I am willing to do what it takes - however long that is.  THIS is what I am most excited to be sharing with you in the upcoming posts - my journey back to running.  I have my PT on board and we're already making great strides in finding my imbalances to fix this nightmare (perhaps more enthralling PT videos???_...

....finally, I feel I've turned a huge corner, and my days of running, really running, are on the horizon.

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
- Harriet Beacher Stowe
Run strong, friends....I'll be joining you out there one day ...soon!


ajh said...

Love your new header. Love the pics you shared. Great ride with Brendan and great running Ryan. I am trying to land mid foot. I think I do it when I am running slowly but when I am in a race I think i go back to what I know best! Ha! I will love following you as you relearn how to run. Good luck!

Kate said...

You already know that I'm THRILLED about your foot news...and I'm sooo jealous of your bike riding...and your locale. I'm glad you're enjoying the bike. Yes, wind is a whole different animal on a bike!! As is temperature. But distance is sooo much easier.

Anne said...

So many great things have been going on! Congrats to Ryan! I like the idea of getting better at cycling (although it scares me).

I look forward to following along on the running form transition and I do hope it is a major help!

Mikey B said...

Good luck learning to run all over again. It makes sense the stride length is the problem, but too often it takes an injury to force us to back off. I will say I've always had a short stride, so heel trouble has never been an issue. Maybe those VFFs caused my nerve damage?

I still don't have the beautiful mountain scenery to entice me to go biking, so I will stick to my ol' stationary bike.

Hope you Mommas Day was a good one.

Mikey B

racing dawn said...

Wow that boy is fast!!! So exciting for you proud mama!!

It's amazing how much we love running and the things we'll go through to have it! Good luck on all the form work, you'll be kickin out speed work in no time. :)

And yes that Emz girl of ours is beyond amazing. What a feat. I can't even imagine.

Char said...

What a big PR for Ryan!

From has been such a hot topic of late. I've read a lot on it. Seen a few of my bloggy friends work at correcting theirs. And now I'm so much more aware of my own when I run. I used to just get out there and put one foot in front of the other. Now I have to THINK about it.

I'm glad you've discovered a cause because you can't fix it till you know where it's broken. And I'm so glad you get to run again - even if it is just a little bit.

Adrienne said...

...when you get back out there, there's some High Intensity with your name on it!!

May be good for the cycling currently as well. One day I'll post my oddly similar blood shot from my last mountain bike ride!!

HappyTrails said...

I am liking your new header! And great job on becoming a real cyclist and even embracing it! Yes, wind is bad but hills are good: remember, the hills will only make you stronger-a very good mantra to have when you are in the midst of hill climbing misery! Wonderful news about your potential remedy and return to running - we know THAT is your true passion. But until you are a real runner again, maybe you, Christy, and I can hook up for a ride one of these days??? I need to get a few rides under my rear end so I can keep up with you girls!!! Have a great week, Jill!

Julie said...

Such great news in this post! Yea for your son's fantastic race, yea for starting to like riding and yea for relearning to run!

I always love riding down to REI, it's so nice down there. Would love to meet up with you and Cristy some time! Not that I could keep up but it would be fun to meet!

Running and living said...

Glad you are to run! Awesome! Your bike chain might need some loving - I always down shift mid hill with no problems. Cycling is a lot of fun, but takes so much time! Congrats to your son, I bet a sub 5 min mile is in his near future. Awesome!

mtnrunner2 said...

Wow, your son is fast! I'll probably never run that quickly. Nice.

You can learn a midfoot strike no problem, years back it took me only about a month to feel decent at it, and I have NO natural talent whatsoever. lol. I think once your calf muscles adjust to it, you'll find there's much less overall impact. Calf stretches!

I'm actually doing a bit of re-learning myself, since I seem to have been favoring one foot and strained my arch (I'm at the tail end of the healing now). So I'm learning put equal weight on each foot. It feels strange but it's been an interesting learning process.

XLMIC said...

Ooooo, Jill! Nice money shot on that knee! It's even a little coagulated :) OUCH! I'll bet that kinda hurt.
Great news about getting to re-learn running…it's gonna happen for you, I feel it :)
congrats to Ryan on his kick-ass PR! And Emz is indeed truly amazing. I cried watching that news clip.
hope your Mother's Day has been spectacular :)

Kenley said...

Loved reading your post. So very proud of your son. It sort of reminds me of where I was my freshmen year of High. I just hope that his support system is a lot better than the one I had. Good luck with the bike riding thing. I know nothing. lol. Have a good one, and take care.

Michelle said...

So glad you are back on the running path! I know we will all learn so much through your blog!

Bubble Boy said...

Great news about the heel and runnng. Good to get updated on life in Colorado. Happy trails.

Irene said...

Doesn't that company know who you are??? You are fabulous.

Wow, your son is speedy!

Too bad we can't start out running with an automatic pt or coach to help us with biomechanics from the get go. You'll be happy to have everything working right!

Awesome bike ride. I'm in awe of your bike miles.

Happy mother's day!

Paul said...

Glad for the update! (Yah, was getting worried! ;)

All good!

Told you the heel striking was fierce ..your profile pic (when zoomed in) shows the nastyness! Stop that!

Petraruns said...

LOve this post - love that you're (relucantly?) getting into your bike, that you're still beating away at the running problem (and might just be on your way to fixing it) and LOVE what your son has done - well done! And the other one is not too shabby either, with that kind of mileage!

Liz said...

Congrats to your son on his mile! Good to hear you have made some progress with the injury. Last time I saw a physio, she said running is actually not as bad for my PF as walking - they blow your mind sometimes don't they? Best of luck, and don't rush it - it'll be so worth it when you get back to running pain-free.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i too am slowly getting used to the bike, but it's never going to be my first love.

running form has been so critical for me in this last year, i really hope you can get some relief from working on that!!!

how is the topricin??

DRog said...

Great Update!

Happy Mothers Day
WTG Ryan
good job biking
Great news on the running form..will be hard work but your legs will eventually accept the new strategy and all will be good:)


C2Iowa said...

Outstanding work Ryan.

I will be attempting to ride my bike more this summer - for x-trgg purposes.

Glad to hear that you are "back". Do I sense positive vibes? Yep.

Laura said...

WooHoo! Awesome news all around..except your poor knee.
I love this will be a mantra in my race this weekend!

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

You know I hear you LOUD and clear on the relearning how to run!! You can do it!!!! I know I sound like a broken record, but its the big hefty heel on that shoe. Take it off, your brain will remember. :)

misszippy said...

First off, a 5:05?! And he's only a freshman? Good reason to be proud!

You are putting in some great miles on the bike. That will give you so much fitness for your return to running! Yes! to that. Go get those feet strong.

Marlene said...

FIRST - congrats to your son! Holy freaking fast and massive PR! What an insane final lap!!!

Sooo glad you are finding some love (or at least "like") for cycling. Ouch to the boo-boo!! Bikes scare the crap out of me, but good for you - finding ways to enjoy the open road.

Finally, WOO freaking HOO for knocking on a door where somebody answered (hehe). Awesome news that you may have found an explanation and even a solution to get you pounding the pavement again. So happy for you! GOOD LUCK!

Christi said...

You and your son are rock stars! I am so happy that you are getting to run more. I know that makes you happy and it will come back around soon!

You are a biker so don't forget it. Your riding is coming along and you were blood free this weekend! We are going to rock ER!

Teamarcia said...

Ooooh I love that quote! So true!
Congrats to B!!! He's speedy and intense like his mom! Can just imagine how proud you are.
Your biking is coming along so beautifully no matter how much of a novice you say you are. Really no gear shifting on hills? Guess I'd better stop that then. I love that youre getting out with Christie!
Sorry my texting/emailing fingers seemed to have been paralyzed yesterday but I hope you had a fantastic mom's day and those kiddos treated you like royalty!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I love the new header!

Congrats to your son. That is amazing! But I think he was bred for it.

I love that you are cycling. You have such beautiful country to do it in. And I was thrilled to read you are to be running. I loved that illustration! I know when I am pushing to pass people in races I strike my heel. I can control it when I am just running but when I push like that my form goes to pot. I'm sure that if in short bursts it's not good for me. My last race, I actually kept saying (out loud!) quick feet, quick feet.. to help shorten my stride when I was passing and going down hill.
Get out there a get a few miles in on quick feet, quick feet. ;-)

Jenn said...

Woot woot! Geez Jill-don't post for 3 weeks and now I'm going to need at least 15 paragraphs to tackle all this.

#1-your boy is a super stud! So awesome for him AND you. Such an amazing feeling to watch your kids succeed! Sub 5 right around the corner!!!!!

I love cycling but I don't even THINK I know anything which is good because I don't. Actually, I'm learning a bit here too. I actually really enjoy it!

The boo-boo-I hope you let that crusty "badass" blood sit there for awhile!

YAY that you ARE to run! I've heard this before from people with plantar fascitis! Changing a stride, frustrating for sure but SO rewarding if it means doing what you love again!!!

Hope you have an awesome week Jill! I'll be looking forward to your next post in 3 weeks....seriously, get with the program-ha!!

elaine said...

thank you so much for posting. I've missed this! And yes, of course I am on the same page, working hard on my stride, okay more on my core so my stride will be supported. Great post, thanks. Let me know how to like the bike.

Chris K said...

You're son is a stud. Only a freshman too. Very impressive.

How cool you can have a partner in crime to ride with. Man that scenery is beaufiful.... I like the one where Christi is a little ahead of you, looks so peaceful.

Okay, listen to me. I am demanding that you go to Boulder one of these Saturday morning and attend a FREE two hour Newton Running Clinic where they will show you how to run forefoot. You will literally run through downtown Boulder and they will watch you run and correct you on the spot. If you don't do this soon I will get in a plance, fly to Denver, and take you there myself.

Chris K said...

I meant your son, not you're son.

Chris K said...

I meant plane, not plance. Boy do I miss Google Chrome when I'm at work.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

YES JILL! I hear YOU in this post! First, HAPPY MOTHERS DY!

Those are breathtaking pitures--Colorado is one of my fav states--just glorious! Glad cyclcing is becoming a NEW however slightly dangerous experience for you! Yikes with that cut! ouch!

Proper running form is never too late to work on! You have some fabulous bloggy resources to help you run better than ever!


Big Daddy Diesel said...

I hope you had a great Mothers Day

I need to find the Rite of Passage list for cyclist and send it to you, so you can start checking things off it, being a biker and all

Mark said...

You will do this Jill! Congrats to your son on his awesome mile!

Run Jess Run said...

Woot to running again!!!

Run Jess Run said...

Woot to running again!

lindsay said...

ryan's coach needs to implement a no-watch rule ;) congrats to him all the same. i guess i am a bad facebook stalker because i think i missed your birthday? i'm sorry i'm not sorry. i mean, you *are* friends with matty, afterall.

cycling is kinda cool cause you can go further and do more sight-seeing. i don't exactly go for a leisurely 40mile run anyway, dunno about you now that you run in black adidas clothes and have a bad over-stride...

Black Knight said...

Congrats to Ryan, glad you have another fast runner in the family.
You ride in beautiful places, I am jealous. I cannot ride because I am scared to fall (after the motor-bike incident) and, most important, my wife said "NO MORE" (she rules at home).
Your quote "the tide will turn" remembers me the beautiful Roger Waters song (The Wall 2000) "The tide is turning".

Tara said...

You and I will have knocked on every door in America by the time we get done trying to figure out what is wrong with us. That's ok though.

I can't wait to get back to cycling so I can go on some bike rides with you! We will have fun scrambling up some of the gorgeous Colorado passes. I can't wait! And you will learn all you need to learn in good time. I am still learning stuff and I have been cycling for 8 years now.

Your son is going to be an awesome runner. Gonna try and break that 4 minute mile?

Kandi said...

YAY! You get to run again! :) Can't wait to hear about your journey back.
In the mean time, enjoy your rides and watching your son kill it on the track!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Hi Jill. I read this post right away but it has taken me a bit to get back here to comment. So much here and so many positive things here son, your bike riding adventures, your endeavors to correct your form, your determination to not give up! You're amazing! So happy that life seems to be on the up and up and so much seems to be going on. One of these days I will be one of those cool cyclists...if I can ever get past my fear of falling off my bike! :) Off to clean up a breakfast mess. Thanks for always taking time to e-mail and comment. And if Kara and I were sisters, that would have been pretty unfair with the gene pool division...but we both got big noses!! ha ha.

onelittletrigirl said...

I love this post! So much good energy! And yes, that is a wicked AMAZING battle wound!

Riding a bike that fits is #1 in biking!

Oh, and I love love love your header!

I think it is nice that all the interwebs emailed you. I dont even know if people would notice if my blog went MIA. Glad to see you are feeling good again :)

funderson said...

Hang in there, mama! It's good to see you getting out there in the lovely front range weather.

brian said...

Congrats to your son on an awesome time! Thank God, you might have found some help with that stupid heel! :) Hope to hear that you're running pain free very soon!!!

Aimee said...

First of all, yay for having an idea of what is causing your pain!! Hopefully it will be the answer you're looking for!
Secondly, yay for you son! He is super speedy!!
Third..yay for getting lots of biking in! When school ends, we should get together for a ride!! :)

Johann said...

I saw this post at 22:05 last night and decided to rather read it today when my eyes are more open. I’m glad I did because there’s a lot in here. I’m no fan of cycling at all and hope I never need to do that ever again. I’ve got many long term running goals, including some pretty crazy ultras. I’ll tell you my reason for the anti-cycling one day(when I visit).

I think you’ve turned a huge corner as well! That is brilliant! Will eagerly follow your journey. Are you looking at some chi-running type thing?

Glenn Jones said...

Great news Jill! Hope your PT can get things sraightened out. And congrats to Ryan!

Andrew Opala said...

I didn't miss you Jill, but I was away from the world too!

Ok - I did miss you. But email was satifying.

That stride analysis is cool. What are the good ranges/angles for the foot plant?

Bethany + Ryan said...

glad you are still here! :-) Happy late birthday. A MAJOR congrats to Ryan! wow, Mr. speedy!!! EEK that's quite the cut, looks pretty bada$$ tho! As always, I LOVE your pictures!!! So cool to see Pikes Peak int he background! Thanks for sharing!

Jamie said...

I really like your new header!

Congrats to your son! You have quite the runner there :)

Your pics have me itching to get back to Denver for a visit. I love it there.

Ulyana said...

You know, this is precisely what (sorta) frustrates me about recovering. It hurts to run, and it hurts not to run. Fortunately, it hurts more not to run. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. Happy recovery! I wish you all the strength to push through this, ahem, crap.

Beth said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and saw that you have PF and Achilles issues. I have been battling that same thing off and on for 2 years now. It is so discouraging because all I want to do is run, sounds like you too. The only thing that has helped was starting to run again. I know crazy, but it does! And lots of barefoot walking. I think it starts to build up those muscles in your feet. I started by running only about half a mile and built up from there. Unfortunately now I'm having a bone spur issue on my heel. It's always something! Good luck, I'll continue to check in to see how you are doing.

Small Town Runner said...

Oh YAY!!!! You are to RUN!!! Come on out here and RUN with me!!!!!

I know you love the bike and all, but you would have to leave it at home so we could run and chat. :)

5:05 is FAST- woo hooo for your boy!!

kassy said...

eeeek!!! first thing i noticed was that blood on your feet.. but anyway, woah! 5:05 you're speedy gonzalez!!im evnious on your rides! :D

Meg said...

You totally impress me with your spunk and eagerness to try new things! It sounds like biking is a new adventure for you, that's exciting!
I'm glad you're not giving up on your dreams, you will be back, I know it!!
Isn't summer vacation coming up soon??
Miss your fun stories, glad you posted!!

Molly said...

I think that is so interesting about how you should be running during this PF flare up. If I take a few days off running, things start to HURT. It's like the muscles get too tight or something. I hope you can get moving again : )

And how cool to meet up with Christi!

Anne said...

I think I know where Ryan gets his fast twitch muscles from! Congratulations to you both. I'm sure that first run must feel wonderful.

Treadmill India said...

It's amazing how much we love running and the things we'll go through to have it! Good luck on all the form work, you'll be kickin out speed work in no time.

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