Off-Week #2

I’m finally over my cold (I think! I woke up feeling kinda crummy this morning) and had a much better week last week. I’m sad that my hiatus has come to an end, while at the same time looking forward to running today (maybe… see below).

Monday-Wednesday: Strength training
I did that same set of exercises from last week. Super boring. I also did yoga videos.

Thursday: Strength training
I finally found a new workout, one that focused more on legs (LOTS of lunges). It was a nice change although I found one of the exercises (pistol squats) basically impossible. My balance isn’t the best and neither is my flexibility. I found a video that gives a progression to follow in order to do them, so I’ll give that a try. I did a yoga video as well.

Friday: Strength training
I combined the two strength workouts together, which was good, although then I was kinda tired for yoga afterward.

Saturday: Hiking
I went for a 5 mile hike starting at Twin Ponds and heading southwest. I stopped short of the big climb, which probably would have been too icy to be worthwhile. It was a nice hike but I was really late to the high school hockey games I went to in the afternoon. Whoops.

Sunday: Hiking and skating
I went for another 5 mile hike, this time starting at Highland/Getchell and turning around at Haines Rd. I meant to do a longer hike, but I didn’t have time, since I knew I wanted to go skating, and then get home in time for dinner and then Star Wars. I brought out my trekking poles to test them out. It went ok, although they were kinda clumsy with my big gloves. I did like them for uphills and downhills but didn’t really know what to do on the flats. I know people carry them parallel to the ground sometimes, but with the big mittens, that would have been tricky. One of the poles snapped at the lock about half a mile from the end, so I need to get in touch with REI to get it replaced.

I went skating at Pike Lake again with my dad and my stepmother. My dad and I skated around a lot and practiced some hockey skills, while my stepmother was more cautious (she has had hip and back surgery) and skated back and forth with a walker (seriously! it was so funny) while she re-taught herself to skate.

I tripped while skating on one foot and went down hard on my knee. It didn’t feel great and still doesn’t feel fantastic today, although I still have a full range of motion. I will probably run today, since it is above freezing and by the end of the week it’s going to be horribly cold.

I did an ok job of fulfilling my plans for this break. I didn’t plan on getting sick, so that derailed some of my motivation. I didn’t make food at all, other than the food I made for a potluck at work. My weight fluctuates up and down within the same 2-3 lb range, so I can’t tell if I actually lost any weight or if I’m just on the low end of that swing, but I didn’t gain any weight. I hiked about 20 miles combined on the two weekends of my hiatus. Other than that, I didn’t get over that magical “10,000 step” threshold, but eh. I don’t care too much about that, especially since I still got in about an hour’s workout (or more) every day last week. I also didn’t do any planning for Zumbro 50. I’m still in play-it-by-ear mode. My work-life balance might be tipped in favor of work in Q1, so I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to get in all the running I’d like to. I plan to, but I don’t know what my workload will be.

I would without a doubt recommend a planned, extended break to any runner, whether fast or slow, experienced or novice. It felt great. Most of my minor injuries are gone (the callus on my foot is still there) and I had time to do other stuff and enjoy downtime. I also managed to avoid some cold and snowy days. I got outside on the trails and hiked, forgetting about pace (other than “I need to turn around after x time in order to get back for xyz event”) and trying to enjoy my surroundings (though icy conditions inhibited that to some extent). I hardly ever thought “I should be running.” That was the best part of all – a break with no guilt, frustration, or negativity associated with it.

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