Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So now what?

It's the end of November - the "off-season" - and I don't have a single race scheduled for the rest of this year or next year.  This is the time of year when I should be plotting out what races I want to do next season.  But with my on-going hip issues, it's hard to plan anything.

However I recently started receiving ART (Active Release Technique) treatments on my hip, and I've actually started running again this past week.  At my treatment yesterday, my provider told me that the area that needed treatment used to be THIS size but now it's only THIS size.  So she is seeing improvement and I'm feeling it, too. 

I started the Couch to 5k (C25K) running plan last weekend for the umpteenth time in my short running career.  But since I haven't been able to run at all since late August, I figured it was best to start slow.  

And I'm going to start swimming with the Masters group at my gym once I get past the work and Thanksgiving busyness of the next week and a half.

So, things are starting to fall into place.  I have hope that I'm going to be able to run again - at least enough to get me through a couple of sprint triathlons next summer.  And if my hip continues to improve at a steady pace, I've got my eye on a 5k in January.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mermaid 5K - A Different Kind of PR

This past Sunday I did the Mermaid 5k in San Francisco.  I've done this event so many times - including the 10k one year - that I've lost count.  I usually have a number of friends at this race who I otherwise don't get to see very often, and this year was no different.  But for some reason this year we forgot to take a picture before the race.  Doh!

How's this for a course view?
I still haven't been able to run due to my hip, so I was really happy my friend Myla was there.  She has a new baby at home so she has not been running either, so it was nice to have a walking buddy.  It was a beautiful morning, though a little chilly at the start.  We lined up way in the back and just considered it a beautiful Sunday morning walk.  We even stopped to take pictures since we weren't in any big hurry.

Myla and me - all smiles! 
Alcatraz in the distance.
It was really nice to have someone to walk and talk with the entire time, especially since we don't see each other very often.  The miles flew by.  We finished in 57:10 which was a new PR for me for the slowest 5k ever.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fear

I've been taking a Swimming for Fitness class at my gym for the past couple of months.

"This class is intended to prepare you for Masters or general lap swimming. This class will focus on building your endurance through freestyle training. We will also practice the fundamentals of the other strokes- backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly."

And while I didn't learn butterfly (thankfully!), I now have a half decent backstroke and something that resembles a breaststroke.  The thing is, I went into this class with the intention of moving from this into Masters.  And, well, tomorrow is the last class.

So that means next week I should sign up for the Masters program.  Only now I'm shitting bricks about actually doing it.  I had hoped that there would be others in my class and we could move on together so I wouldn't be the only "new kid."  But only one other guy signed up for the current class and his attendance was sporadic.

My instructor has been telling me for weeks that I'm ready to start Masters, but when I asked him if I'm going to die when I start his response was, "Absolutely."  The workouts are longer than I'm used to and I am still so slow.  So this is exactly what I need, but I'm still afraid to give it a shot.

This is what I imagine I look like swimming.

This is what I want to look like swimming.

The other fear I need to face is running.  I have not run since August due to my hip injury.  I finally got a fluoroscopic cortisone injection in my hip joint over two weeks ago and it has knocked out about 90% of my pain.  I keep telling myself that I've been too busy to run due to swimming, spinning, golf, and Sharks games, and for the most part it's true.  But I could easily swap out a spin class for a run, especially since I'm not training for anything right now.  My doctor told me that I could resume my normal activities a week after the shot.  In fact, he encouraged it so we could see if it worked. But I'm just so happy to be virtually pain free, and I'm afraid that if I try running again I'm going to be disappointed if the pain comes back.

This is making planning for next year incredible difficult.  I have dreams of a half marathon and maybe moving up to an Olympic distance triathlon, but I feel like I can't make any plans until I know if I'm going to be able to run.

I think I need a swift kick in the ass to get out of my own head and just do it - both the Masters program and the running.