Friday, August 21, 2015

And the comeback begins

The past 2 Saturdays I have gone to the forest to do the fire road trail which is an 8 mile roundtrip course I have been doing for a couple of years. The first Saturday I decided to jog down a few of the hills and walk the uphills but listen to see how my body would react. The doctor did say I could start adding some running in in about 6 weeks and this was 11 days later so close enough to try??? I was with some friends and it actually felt really good. One friend was struggling to keep up so we decided just to stick with walking after a couple of downhills.  On August 11th I then decided to run the local 5K route that I have been walking a lot and just do a run/walk and again go by feel...nothing to prove no need to push. I ran that in 41:47 - not too bad only 68 days after major spinal surgery!! Afterwards I still felt pretty good. The only pains I have are some sciatica nerve pain in my right upper glute area and its not shooting pains down the leg nor does it pinch to make it hard to sit up and stand up. Doc says it could be a permanent nerve damage, could be residual pain, could be just a flare up. I will keep listening to  my body and not push to much. Next appointment is October 20th so if I am still having that discomfort he may do an MRI just to be sure nothing is still wrong. 
So back to my comeback..... The second Saturday...this time 2 friends and Andi my 4 legged running partner went out to the fire road trail....things felt amazing!! My friend that struggled the week before was doing awesome as well.....we ran the downhills power walked the uphills for the majority of the 8 miles. Towards the end there were a couple of the downhills that I decided maybe it wouldn't hurt just to walk them because I know going downhill is going to be more pounding anyways then just running on flat surface. After we finished we stopped for some ice cream. 
This week on Monday Tuesday and Thursday I ran/walked the bear run as well.  My goal for the week was to run under 40 minutes but not to push even though I set my garmin I would not look at it because I didn't want my head to tell my body to move faster I wanted my body to tell my body how to work. All three runs were under 40 minutes with two of them at 37!! I am trying to figure out if I am some sort of medical marvel or just a plain ass freak??? 
Today I was going to run/walk with Heather but after doing my upper body strength workout my nerve pinch was telling me maybe just to walk. So I was glad I listened and we did a nice 4 miles with a super nice clip and no nerve pain what so ever during the walk. 
My head and heart tells me its ready to do a marathon but I know not running one since January 11th and all the trama my spine and nerve endings were put thru it may be like starting over for awhile? All I can do is get out there and see what happens but remind myself to not push too much. Its also hard to believe that December 31 January 1 January 10 and January 11th I did a marathon each of those days!!! Wonder if my first one back is going to feel like the first marathon I ever did? Well I won't know that since my two marathons I ever did was after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles :-).....but I remember what I felt like after my first half marathon! I think we feel the same after each distance that is a milestone. I got to a point to where I no longer hurt even after a 50 miler or a 100K. Since I only have done one 100 miler I never got to a point of not hurting after that...I can't even imagine not hurting after that. 
Well I have rambled enough for today.....looking forward to tomorrows 8 miles in the forest and I have been biking a 50K each sunday and have been feeling good on the bike as well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Life is journey

Life is a journey and if we didn't have set backs that we could pick ourselves back up from in order to start a new journey it would just be plain boring.
I had my follow up appointment on July 28th and knew I was going to be able to fly after that appointment so I had already made arrangements for my son and I to go to Vegas and Southern Utah.  I couldn't wait for him to see what I am so in love with!
 We arrived in Vegas on Wednesday evening and stayed for 2 nights....On Thursday we toured the Hoover Dam and that evening watched the amazing Blue Man Group!! We also played some penny slot and black jack and both of us cashed out ahead with about $150 each more!
On Friday morning we drove to Hurricane and met with a real estate agent Ive been working with for about 9 months and this time we were planning to check out the small town of Kanab. This was also our base for the next 5 nights. Kanab is home of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and only has about 4,000 folks but it is more centrally located to all the different National Parks and ranges about 10 degrees cooler in the summer then Hurricane but 20 degrees cooler in the winter. I liked one home but due to some differences in communication from the seller I started getting an uneasy feeling about it and went with my gut. It wasn't the one either.
Saturday we decided to try to drive down a sand road to a trail that would take us to dino tracks...the rental agent upgraded us to a Kia for an additional $278 and swore we would be fine. I told him exactly what the directions to get there said about needing a high clearance 4WD and he said this vehicle would be ok. Well we got 1.9 miles down the road which I still don't know how we got that far and the bottom of the car was completely under sand. Thank God I had met a local SAR guy Paul from the area before we had gone to Kanab and I had all his contact info or we could have been out there all day! We did keep a case of water in the car at all times in case anything would come up. Paul made it out in his truck and taught Tanner how to shovel the sand out from under the car and wheels so that we could get a chain around it and he could start pulling us out. I felt bad for Tanner but there was no way I was going to be able to get down there and shovel. It took some time and there was no hurry but we finally got out!!! We spent that day hiking local trails and checking out the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.
Sunday we drove to Willis Creek Slot Canyon...I love slot canyons and after my trip out there in April I decided I could be considered a Slot Canyon Junkie...I don't think I could ever tire of them!! Willis Creek Slot I read was a nice slot and good for beginners...not super technical and not much having to wedge through the slots or boulder climb to get to the other parts....this was perfect with my back still just shy of the 2 month mark and I really wanted Tanner to experience a slot canyon. We
had to leave fairly early to get there as we were watching the weather and rain was due in around 1pm. If it rains within so many miles of the vicinity you don't wanna be in a slot canyon due to flooding. When we arrived a couple other cars were there so that made me feel more at ease. Off we headed and in a short time down the slots we went! We caught up with the other groups that were down there with their children.  When we got to the end and turned around Tanner heard a rattle...and said what was that. We were told we would hear a rattle snake before we would see a rattle snake and sure enough we did!! It was so funny cause Tanner was a little worried about the rattle snakes and I kept telling him that the chances were so slim that we really would run across one and here we see it on the first real day of hiking. It rattled once, Tanner saw it and we stepped over the creek to move kept slithering away from us all the while you could tell it was keeping an eye on us...and never again did it rattle. They must do one warning and then you move away and they move away. I did get a photo but I didn't try to take a selfie like the idiot on the news a couple weeks ago did.
Monday we drove to the Grand Canyon North Rim....this was both our first times here and we decided to hike down into the Canyon. Once we got tot the first check point we were told the next one has a water refill and a tunnel....we knew the trip up was going to be rough but also knew it would be worth it to keep going! It was starting to get pretty hot and mules were sharing the same trail....oh boy the smell of mule piss and shit lingered for a long time!!! This hike took us down about 1700 feet through switchbacks with view after view. We took out time and just enjoyed everything about it. At times I would just stop and tell Tanner to just listen.....listen to just nothing! The air is thinner, the sounds are just nature. My favorite photo came from some folks we met at the first check point...I wanted one of the two of us just looking out over the canyon, not posing just admiring its beauty. I know have this one framed in my family room.
Tuesday was all about Bryces Canyon.....I was there in April but only drove to the lookout points and admired the views. I was so excited because I wanted to hike down into the canyon and see the hoodoos all around me. The hike we had planned was a figure 8 loop that combined 3 of the top trails. It would be about 2000 feet of elevation change and we both knew it would be work but the payoff would be worth it.  We followed the directions from someones hiking post and did the Navajo Trail and connected into Peek A Boo loop....When we finished the Peek A Boo loop it was getting hot and there were no water refills on these trails at all? We then looked over the directions trying to see which way to the Queens Garden trail but something was off a little bit so we decided to start heading back up the navajo trail loop...We got in about 6 miles and it really was spectacular!.
Wednesday we drove back through Hurricane and I showed Tanner the house that I had placed a back up offer on in April but didn't get.  One of those things were timing is just that time I didn't know I would be needing MAJOR back surgery so all things work out for a reason. He really liked the Hurricane area more then Kanab and felt I would be happier there because there is much more to do and its closer to some bigger cities. Even though its a little further to the north rim by an another hour then Kanab there is a 10 screen movie theatre not a one screen and there is plenty of food and grocery choices. When the timing is right it will happen.  I think my plans now are to try to find a place that will allow my dogs that is furnished after the first of the year and just rent on a monthly basis....I will be running my business remotely and have a place to store my furniture here if my home here sells. 2000 miles is a long way away to go alone after being in a town for almost 48 years so I want to be sure things run smooth with the business and I feel comfortable before making that huge leap. Hiking new trails every weekend will be amazing!!!
Now we are back home and I am able to start lifting some weights and adding in some other cardio. He told me on the 28th to wait about 6 more weeks before running but Im such a slow runner I had to give it a try today. My first mile was around 14 takes awhile for the legs to get ready to move...they feel stiff easily and still tire quickly, the inner thighs and such feel weak as well but I know that will all come back. I had no goal today except to add some jogging in...whether it was pole to pole or flower pot to flower pot I wasn't going to push I was going to stay comfortable and be connected to how things felt. Mile 2 came out to be a 12:14 min will take that being 2 months and 7 days after major spine surgery!! Mile 2 was a 12:41. I have no desire to beat my time at all...right now its about coming back slow and smart. I still feel the slight pinch in the right butt cheek and still no radiating down the leg and the inner thighs are really tight but will have to start stretching more.