Wednesday, April 20, 2011

recovery and extras

Feels good to be back on the trails after three weeks of no running. The condition of my foot seems to have improved and so far, after logging 25 miles last week I hardly felt any problem on the injured area. I am still taking it easy knowing my body needs time to adjust before I can completely go back to my normal running routine.

The hardest part of the recovery was how to stay put. When you are used to running outdoors one of the worst things that could happen is to be stuck at home for weeks. I tried to distract myself by doing small projects at home but my injury prevents me from doing anything else. To make the best out of the situation, I took this as an opportunity to spend more time with my family. Having this mind set makes the recovery process a lot easier and the wait time more productive. Kids kept me preoccupied the whole time especially my little baby daughter Gabu. We watched countless of Korean sub-titled movies at home thanks to the ingenuity of my brother-in-law in hooking us up with online movies.

All the while I was doing my own rehab: lots of rest, stretch and ice. To help speed up my recovery I've been using the Go Fit Stretch Rope, and I bought a new pair of casual shoes from Crocs. The stretch rope is a simple yet effective tool that enables me to stretch muscle groups I wouldn't normally be able to do on my own, it worked especially well in bringing flexibility to my injured foot. The shoes was a no-brainer, when I found out that Crocs also carry casual dress shoes with the same material as their comfy sandals, I immediately got one. 

Of course I was counting the days when I can go back running. Since my last run was the LA Marathon, I pegged the date in my calendar - first week of April, in between will be three weeks of complete rest. Coincidentally, that same weekend falls exactly on my birthday. And what better way to celebrate than go out on the trails. I'll welcome my one-year-the-wiser (i hope), and my first run coming from an injury to the place where I always find comfort. Couldn't wait, that's all in my mind.

Rock Pool, empty, just us
So finally it came, me and Janet were up early and headed to Malibu Creek on my birthday. I chose this trail because it is not too technical, good for easy and recovery run; and the place also has more foliage this time of the year, just visually captivating. 

The fog just lifted when we got there, it was chilly but the forecast was warm in the afternoon - a perfect day to hit the trails. The plan was to take the M*A*S*H site and Century Lake route but we did a detour because Janet wanted to see the Rock Pool. I was trying to avoid going there because it is   usually packed with college students but surprisingly it was empty when we arrived at the pool. I was tempted to swim but the water was just too cold. We walked most of the time (which was good for me), still, we covered about 8 miles that day and a lot of quality time together. 

Coming home, my 9-year-old daughter gave me a book as a present: Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer, a story about Sir Mallory's climb to the Mount Everest. She said she purchased it with her own money at their school's book fair weeks before (so sweet of her). I've been eyeing a minimalist shoe for quite sometime now but can't seem to save enough but that's exactly what I got from Janet, a pair of Brooks Green Silence (we went back to the store for the proper fit). Top it off with a generous gift from my brother-in-law,  a Garmin GPS watch, the reason for my new widget I put on this blog that tracks my runs and race schedules. I couldn't have asked for more. I am so grateful for being around wonderful and supportive family members.

My goal was to simply get over with this injury and go back to running again. I'm there but not yet completely, but making my first run on the trails, coming back from an injury, on my birthday, surrounded by people close to me, plus all the other extras I got, I felt like the day has given me more than what I want, my spirit completely healed.

On a side note, I was planning to do the 50K Leona Divide on the end of the month but decided against it for obvious reason. I will concentrate instead on the upcoming Pasadena Marathon on the second week of May. If I still cannot make it because of my injury, I'll wait, I know there'll always be races for me to join (see, I'm a year wiser now, ha, ha).

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