Learning to run again

 After the third and hopefully final knee-flexing session with my doctor today, I was given the go-ahead to start running again, as well as encouragement to "ween" myself from dependency on a rigid brace while riding bikes. Lots of miles in the saddle and very few on foot have disrupted the balance, and I've noticed old overuse nags that I haven't felt in years — hints of patellar and Achilles tendonitis. I either have to reduce the cycling miles or slowly increase the foot miles. I'd planned on walking after the appointment, but after the encouraging assessment, decided to leave the trekking poles in the car and try a slow jog. Four miles on a flat gravel path at an average of 12 minutes per mile, and the knee felt surprisingly strong. I would probably be more excited about that, except for the rest of it felt discouragingly tough for a four-mile, 48-minute jog. It's going to be a long road back. It always is.

On Wednesday I rode in the Headlands with Leah. I'm actually feeling pretty strong on the bike right now — that came back fast. We enjoyed a mellow spin in the fading evening light, then went for Burmese food in the Richmond district. As we were enjoying our tea leaf salad, the streets outside erupted into mild chaos, with screaming, honking, loud bangs, even fireworks. Before this evening, I had no clue that the World Series was happening, or that the Giants were playing, but they apparently had just won and the usual mayhem and car fires were about to begin. I'm embarrassed that I didn't know about the World Series. I browse the New York Times site every morning, keep up with Bay Area media to an admittedly lesser extent, and have baseball fans as friends, and yet I missed this. It's evidence of how insular my world has become, and how I should probably pay more attention to what's going on locally besides extreme drought and eye-rolling political antics. I'm not against professional team sports; they simply aren't interesting to me, and it's gotten to the point of inattention where I've lost track of even major events like the Superbowl. But it is good to know when the streets of San Francisco might erupt into riots, just in case I'm out for a Headlands bike ride that evening. At least the trails were nice and empty.

In other news, my blog turns nine years old this week. Can you believe it? Nine! A cursory glance at the Blogger overview reveals that amounts to 1,796 posts, 21,874 comments, and 4,141,958 visits lo these many years. This is a small (yet obese) blog with a limited scope, but it continues to be a fun, relaxing project, and I enjoy having the record of nine years' worth of adventures. I am nearing completion of my book project that has involved poring over every post from year one of this blog, and that's been an interesting rehash as well. Many times I find myself thinking, "Was I ever so young?" ... which is a little embarrassing considering I'm still writing about virtually the same subjects on the same platform. But I value all of the connections this blog created over the years, the new friends and new ideas. I appreciate those who continue to check in even during the typical life lulls, like now.

On that note, I've also returned to my Iditarod 2014 race report and am considering starting to post that next week (contingent on continuing to make good progress on my book project.) I held off for so long because ... life ... and also because I had this conceptual idea that I wanted to spend more time hashing out, but it's proving to be difficult. A straight narrative might be the best way to go for now, just to make sure I get it all down before the memories start to fade. I can return to my original idea in future Iditarod adventures, which I plan to continue this coming March. So look for that. In the meantime, buy Tim's book! ;)

I am trying to put together a ~300-mile bikepacking loop around the Santa Cruz mountains, and was hoping to scout some trails on the northern part of the Peninsula this weekend. Beat scrutinized my route and announced it contained a large amount of hike-a-bike and some possibly illegal trails. So perhaps it's back to square one. If any readers know of good routes in Half Moon Bay, Montara, and Pacifica, I'd appreciate some direction for good touring (emphasis on touring) trails. Apparently I routed my tour through 30-percent-grade segments with names like "Cave Hike-A-Bike," "911 DH," and "XXX DH."

Speaking of blog connections, I recently learned that a woman who I knew while I lived in Alaska has been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer that spread to her liver. She used to keep a blog called "Karen Travels" and lived in Anchorage for a few years. She is a single mother to a two-year-old son and she is younger than I am, facing an extremely difficult battle. She has been on my mind frequently this week, even before she sent me an e-mail asking if I wouldn't mind sharing her fundraising page. "I am hoping I have at least a few good years, I am not done adventuring, and I want to take him out on some adventures too!" she wrote. Karen hopefully will have more great adventures. Her fundraising page, "Karen Kicking Cancer," is at this link.


Comments

  1. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing, only a couple of weeks and you would be running again at full pace. I am only relying on muscle memory at the moment, time to put in some miles again !!!

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  2. Love the blog! Great job keeping it going. The writing is great. I really enjoy reading it. Thanks for putting your time into it.

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  3. Hi Jill - funny I was about to ask you if you knew better routes from Montara Mt to half moon bay. I will PM you with an old track in the area, perhaps we could figure out how to avoid hwy 1.

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  4. Hi Jill, I love your blog (and your books) too - it's time to tell you how much of an inspiration they have been. A few years ago I could not run a mile and considered 15 miles on a bike a long ride. That was before your writing inspired me to transform my life-style. I've since taken up running and cycling and worked my way up to multi-day bike-packing, ultra-cycling, and I even completed my first 100k on foot with 17k feet of climbing. I'll never be fast and, like you, I am doing it in search of adventure, not to win in a race. I'm inspired to one day attempt an event that even you find to be a challenge (like TDG), or perhaps even one of your signature events like the TD. Until then I look forward to reading more inspirational stories, increasing your blog's page view count, and getting my hands on your next book. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, and congratulations on your awesome accomplishments. I appreciate the comment.

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  5. HI Jill,

    Thought I asked this but maybe I only thought I did!! :o)

    Can you answer with a Cliff Notes version of how, where and when you got the boo boo? Somehow I missed it in reading your blog.

    Thank You

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    Replies
    1. Hi Slo Joe. Don't think you asked before, but I agree this long-winded blog could use some Cliff Notes from time to time. :) I injured my left knee in a fall during a 330-km race I was attempting in Italy. I fell and wrenched it badly and had to drop at km 200. It was diagnosed as a partially torn lateral collateral ligament, which generally requires six to eight weeks of rest for recovery. (Total tears require surgery. Partial tears can usually heal on their own.) I'm about eight weeks out now and just starting back with slow and short runs again, but cycling no longer causes me any pain or tightness.

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  6. I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

    www.boycottamericanwomen.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I support your boycott. Thank christ American women don't have to deal with you anymore!

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    2. Ha, that's one of the funnier spam comments I've seen.

      Delete

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