Monday, August 23, 2010

One Step Forward, Zero Steps Back

Beats 5 steps forward and 6 steps back, it is a mathematical certainty. 16 straight days I've run - usually just 2-4 miles, but once a week now up to 7. That's a long enough streak that I'm in commit mode - run every day unless it's dumb and injurious. If someone had told me that I'd be able to do that w/o re-injury a month ago, I'd have laughed at 'em. The muscles and body are a complex system and I'm glad I have a good coach (Tom Smith, DC and runner) on what muscles need work because despite my obvious brilliance, I sure was clueless on how to fix myself post-surgery. Doing everything wrong! Progress is definite.

So I decided yesterday to do my long-time favorite run; it was time to go run trails again - I ran the Hoffman Trail at Nicene Marks, which is 6.5 miles and 750 ft of total climbing from the trail branch-off at Aptos Creek Road where I lock my mtn bike (7 miles if from the "green gate"). I told myself to just run easy, as I'd done a 40 mile 3200' climb on the bike on Saturday (and 2 mile run). I took it easy, but still discovered at the end that I'd set a new post-surgery PR on that trail. I can make use of the endorphins too - I'm usually in mourning over the loss of my summer by mid August and don't perk up until a week or so into the Fall semester's teaching. Not this year.

Santa Cruz - An Optimum Place for this Dilemma

Philosophically - Does one find oneself doing one great ride over and over until sick of it and can't bring oneself to ride it again till all other options are spent? Right now I'm enjoying the Mountain Charlie/Summit/Zyante ride. Done it 3 Saturdays in a row now. It's so beautiful, and Hwy 9 below Felton still remains closed except for bikes. I used to ride up Hwy 1 to Davenport or on to the Swanton Loop. The traffic on Hwy 1 didn't bother me, till one day it did, and now the thought of doing that ride is just not enticing at all. I'd done Capitola/Eureka Canyon/Summit/Old San Jose Rd over 'n' over as well, and it's still a beautiful classic Northern California ride, but I'm bored with it. What'll I do when I get bored with Mtn. Charlie? I'm starting some GoogleEarth'ing to get ready.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

All Hail South Carolina

A few days ago, on my daily run down to the Boardwalk on the beach in Santa Cruz, I was greeted at the shore with a nice sight - perhaps 20 young people wearing club jerseys with their roadbikes right there on the damp sand at water's edge. For a moment, I thought - strange, those don't look like the kind of bikes you'd want to ride on sand.... and then I realized. They must have completed a fairly significant ride and are celebrating. Their smiles and joy was infectious, and I found myself pulled in. Parents and friends were there too, snapping pictures as the young people hoisted their bikes overhead while feet enjoyed the Pacific ocean. I asked one of the parents "Did your group just finish a nice ride?". She answered - "You could say that - we just bicycled across the country, from South Carolina!". I was impressed, inspired, and joined in the congratulations. Later, I felt a bit more spring in my step as I ran through the waves. I so crave to be inspired by my fellow man, and this moment made my week. So now I know South Carolina has at least two great things going - these ambitious and adventurous kids, and also a great surgeon - Dr. Thomas Gross - who did an outstanding job giving me the ability to run again, with my new cementless resurfaced hip.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Gluteus Maximus

I've been doing left-leg stands, bent knee, upright back, to engage my glutes and train the proprioceptives. Often at the beach on the soft sand to make it tougher, (and the scenery better!). And, it's working! Aug 3 I went for a 2 mile run and actually FELT like running fast, and did. After 10 miles in 3 days, I am dialing back a bit and yesterday did a 38 mile ride; up Mtn. Charlie over to Zyante Rd and down to Felton, Hwy 9 back home. Beautiful ride! I'd forgotten how great Zyante Rd is, with dense redwood groves and rarely seen habitation, beautiful creek, blackberries ready for picking. Quite a nice day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Rehab'in

Dave D had an impressive Vineman Ironman 70.3 race. I... survived it. The story's here. Two more races (Roughwater Open Water Swim, and the Sandman Triathlon) were this past weekend. but it's gotten pretty clear that I won't make any further progress on returning to pain-free distance running until I double and re-double my efforts to balance all the muscles involved. My excellent DC Tom Smith is helping me. Weak glutes, we've decided, are the first necessity to fix. I'm doing a lot of balancing on my left leg, knee bends and one-legged bridges for glutes.