Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another long camping weekend done. Possibly the last of this summer season. So sad. My camera completely crapped out on me, so all the cool pictures are lost.

One of the highlights of the weekend was hiking the road from our campground to Porphyry Peak and fire tower. We've skiied Showdown several times, and I had never noticed the fire tower before. It was a 2 mile climb to 8,100 feet, but the views were so worth it. The forest ranger at the tower told us she usually has special prizes on hand for people who hike it. Kind of cool, but also creepy that she was watching us and cheering us on from way above. Our mileage was only 4 miles but my legs felt it. Another scary thing? Imagine one of these in bright yellow built up on huge tires barreling down the very narrow rocky forest road you are trying to hike up. Seriously, when the tires started to slide, I was ready to leap off the side of the mountain. Especially seeing the driver's panicked face. A movie moment for sure.

Buddy and I also explored the Little Belt mountains via forest service roads. We ran/walked our way a little more each day. My legs were tired, but no swelling or pain the entire weekend. I felt bad for a teenage girl at the campground. Obviously determined to get her workout in, she ran the campground loop over and over. So much more to see, but maybe she was the smart one - the mountain lion tracks we encountered were huge and frequent! Wish I had the pictures...

With only days left before school starts, we're trying to get in as many trails as possible. I'm trying to be careful not to overdo it, but there's so little time before the snow flies!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Gonna Lie

I'm having a difficult time with this every other day harder workout. While injured with little hope of running, I was overjoyed to be walking. Now that I've taken those first running steps, walking seems so dull. In all honesty, that's not the only thing going through this obsessed brain.

The scale. Weight gain. The thing no one wants to admit or talk about. Truth is, I've gained a lot of weight in these seven months. That's not just the former dancer talking. It's reality. As in the reality of having to buy new clothes and actually think every day about what I put in my mouth.

Luckily, earlier in life, I avoided the disordered eating that other dancers faced. I definitely don't want to pick up negative food patterns now. I know the weight will come off. I know I have to be patient and find some balance. It's just so blasted hard.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My New Favorite Thing

Steve got me this for camping. Love it so much it now makes my coffee at home too. If you like a percolator try this one!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mystery Solved?

Chaos Theory proposes that an action taking place anywhere in the world can influence phenomena elsewhere. Who could have imagined that something taking place years ago would result in my mysterious injury?

For a long time, I did this...

and this...
and for sure, this...

that resulted in this...
In my case, the bone was dead by the time I sought treatment (16 years ago). The bones could not be removed because a nerve ran through the mess. I stopped dancing and gradually the pain faded from memory.

What I didn't know was that over time the problem would become more complicated and lead to a kind of arthitic condition know as Hallux Rigidus. No, this is not my toe, but mine looks similar. Mine is not really a bunion, but definitely a deformity.

When I picked up running, I do recall the ball of my foot and the above area hurting. With better shoes and time, it quit hurting. Unfortunately, it probably stopped hurting because I started doing this in a major way...
Again, I am an anomaly because even though the above picture is supination, my supination wasn't necessarily seen from the ankle. And it wasn't caused by weak hips, or other areas of the body. My supination was/is directly from the foot; caused by a general avoidance of the entire ball of foot pain. Basically, I run on the outside edge of my entire foot. Of course, this led to all kinds of biomechanical issues including hip pain, back pain, knee pain, toe pain, ankle rolls, and eventually an avulsion tear and peroneal subluxation.

So, who gets credit for finally figuring this out? No one really. It was purely an accident. When I started running just over a month ago, I had to work on my gait, including my foot plant and toe off. Naturally, the ball of foot pain came screeching back, halting all efforts to even walk normally.

Back I went to the doctor, who in turn, felt bad for never checking my big toe joint. How can I fault him for that considering I never even mentioned a previous fracture there?

The mystery is solved. You will laugh when you see my treatment plan. Yes, it works. No pain after one day of using it in my Wave Riders. One day later, I was able to run in my non-problematic Cascadias without pain. Off to the running store to invest in new running shoes; ones that don't bend right at that joint, and ones that offer lateral stability and no medial posting.
Not sure there is a moral of this story except that medical history is always important. Even the kind that happened 16 years ago.

Camping Weekend

Camping is much more fun when you can play! My ankle has been holding up well which meant I could mountain bike and run in one of our favorite camping places. Where that is will remain a secret. Very few people and lots of forest service roads running along beautiful creeks. After the usual walking and pylometric warm-up, we were able to do a 30 minute run. We were trying to stick to the 2 minute run/1 minute walk ratio, but it was a little messed up due to Buddy's sporadic sniff stops. Here's Bud patiently indulging me with a photo moment when he really wanted to run and take a dip in the creek.

Wildflowers, including Indian Paintbrush, were abundant.

Mountain biking has been a dream for awhile. It's still a bit risky getting on and off the bike because my ankle still isn't strong enough to take a lot of sudden weight. I've avoided trails because of that, so this forest service road was perfect. There was a lot of climbing even though it doesn't look like it in this photo.

A few nice obstacles thrown in for adventure. I guess this area really flooded in the spring and early summer. Sections of road were covered in jagged rock. Especially nice for me were the motor vehicle restrictions due to huge wash-outs. I had the road completely to myself.

Happy self portrait! The entire ride wasn't much in mileage, but my weak legs were still shaking by the time I was done. Each workout ended with a nice ice bath in the creek near our campsite. A very perfect weekend.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Starting some controversy, but I've kind of had it

Grrrr... that's from me. What's up with all of the off leash dogs in town? I'm not talking only trails, although we see them there too. Right now, we've got neighbors who think that letting your dogs out the front door to run freely is ok. They MIGHT check on them an hour later. In the meantime, they've chased down every other dog (and owner) walking by. And stomped around in my flower garden a good part of the time.

People may not think it's a big deal, but read this article. Not too funny, right?

My dog is not perfect. He occasionally runs after a deer, barks at the pizza delivery guy, or snarls at a stranger who get too close to me. Buddy was adopted from the Humane Society after spending years with someone who did not treat him well. Which also means he's got baggage. Combine that with his breed and you have a recipe for unpredictability.

That's why he's on a leash most of the time. At first, I felt bad about this. Border Collies need free space, a job, to run, etc. However, I've learned that he doesn't seem to mind his leash. He's just happy to be out with me. Which is a lot of the time. His leash reduces the possibility of conflict which makes every outing a happy one.

Why am I on this kick? Because I'm tired of other people allowing their dogs to charge full speed ahead at Buddy, get in his face, climb all over him, sniff his privates a little too well all the while calling out "don't worry, he, she, it is friendly." Especially when I've already asked my dog to sit off trail to wait for others to pass by. Even more so when I spot another dog acting aggressively and call out that my dog isn't always friendly. If I'm courteous to give a warning, can you be courteous and control your dog?

End of rant.