I’m back!

21 Apr

Back to running, that is.  I’ve traded trails for sidewalks, mountain vistas for suburban rooflines, and roadrunners for ibis, but I’m running again.

Over a year ago — January 2013 — I injured my knee in a snowshoe race.  It was a seemingly minor thing, just a little tear on the lower part of my quad, but it had major consequences.  Almost to the day that I felt no lingering pain when going up and down steps, I hiked the Inca trail.  On a day where we descended 1000 meters on Incan stairs I was overcome with what I interpreted as IT band pain on the same knee.  Post-hike, that pain haunted me when I ran.  I was devastated.  It was incapacitating.  And it took me a long time to figure out how to run again.

I thank my therapist, Jessica Kisiel of The Pain Free Athlete, (she’s in Los Alamos, but I get therapy over Skype) for helping me reach this point.  I’ve done what is generically called “posture alignment therapy”  — a regimen of active and passive exercises and stretches designed to align your posture and make the appropriate muscles do their jobs — since 2007, and I started working specifically with Jessica sometime 2010-2011-ish.  Her therapy combined with adopting a new running form has got me back in running shoes again.

I finally got this figured out sometime last November, and I progressed very cautiously.  I’ve just barely got up to the 5 km distance, which is all I had hoped for, but I don’t feel limited to that. I have to be vigilant with my form, but it feels easy and natural now.   I feel like it is now ok to declare victory.

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Florida Snapshot — Itty Bitty Crab

9 Apr

Florida Snapshot — Sunset

2 Apr

Gulf sunset aftermath.

Florida Snapshot — Dolphins

26 Mar

50% of beach trips result in a dolphin sighting.

Florida Snapshot — Birds

21 Feb

The Great Blue Heron.

Florida Snapshot — Birds

14 Feb

A very focused Great White Heron.

Florida Snapshot — Manatee

7 Feb

The Weeki Wachee river is clear and warm.  Paddling down river one can see down to the (generally shallow) sandy bottom.  The temperature (72 !) is just right for manatees.  A group of manatees were relaxing in a spot called Hospital Hole, known for its sulfur spring.  Fish crowd the sandy bottom and manatees squeeze in as well, indifferent to a small crowd of kayakers ogling them.

Florida Snapshot — Birds

31 Jan

Anhinga!

Florida Snapshot — Clouds

27 Dec

Florida beach, looking very cumulous.

Florida Snapshot — Hillsborough River

20 Dec

The oak trees here are amazing.

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