Friday, August 9, 2013

A "summer break" that is living up to its name...

I hadn't planned to take a summer break from anything, really, and certainly not from running.  I kicked off the summer on June 1st with one of those rare races where everything comes together.  It was the perfect culmination to a hard season of training through the winter for two back-to-back marathons.  I had big plans for this summer and how I would use it to transition into an even bigger fall season of racing shorter distances.

Unfortunately, my body decided it didn't like these new plans.  It is high time I finally admit that I am injured.  Ever since my last marathon, my left knee has been bothering me.  It appears to be runner's knee, although I haven't actually gone to a doctor for any confirmation.  As far as running goes, I took it relatively easy all of June and July and had gradually worked up to some longer distances that were fairly comfortable.  But then, of course, I did too much too soon and suddenly my knee was really hurting.

Like many runners, I am my own worst enemy.  Though I have been pretending to rest my knee by not running much (or at all) lately, I have continued to do the Insanity program five days a week.  And when I do the Insanity DVD's, I always skip the rest days, the cardio balance days, etc. and only do the hard, month two workouts.  [If you aren't familiar with the Insanity DVD's, they are similar to P90X but with more cardio and plyometrics.  They involve a lot of jumping from one lunge position to another, quick lateral movements and general stress on your body.]  So even though my knee doesn't usually hurt when I'm doing Insanity, the truth is that I am definitely not resting it, either.

it may not look like much but I am so much stronger than I was at the beginning of the summer
I know some people sweat this much just walking out the door but I am someone who rarely sweats...I just overheat.  But the Insanity workouts definitely cause me to break a sweat!!
Now here I am with the Hood to Coast relay just two weeks from today and I'm unable to run pain-free for even a quarter mile.  I tried yesterday on my treadmill and stopped just two minutes into the run because my knee was really hurting.  I am the captain of our HTC team, however, so I don't see dropping out as an option.  My new plan is total rest for the next two weeks!  I'm not sure how I will mentally cope with no exercise for two weeks but it will be worth it if I can start back up again and take better care of myself.  Obviously, starting back up with a 200 mile relay race isn't ideal but that is where I'm at today with my running...

As it turns out, I seem to be taking a break not just from running but from blogging this summer, too.  Days stretch into weeks between posts and I never know where the time has gone! 

As I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone, I realized the break from blogging has likely been due to how busy I've been and all the fun we've been having as a family.

There was the three day raft trip on the John Day River in late June.  Although my son is a veteran of many raft trips, this was a momentous trip as it was the first time the girls had been on the river.  They went from only having been car camping for one night to three nights of sleeping on just a tarp with no tent under a starry sky!  Despite a rocky start with Annie crying that she wanted to go back home, we had an amazing trip and can't wait until our next big adventure on the river.

the whole family (except the dog...who was in the river at this point)

Captain Fish (a.k.a. my dad) flyfishing

the view from our campsite at sunset
We also spent 10 days in New York visiting my in-laws and the many relatives we have on Long Island.  We saw amazing fireworks, spent lazy days at the pool, played at the beach and took the kids to their first Broadway show.  Fittingly, we took them to see Annie.  And to my immense joy and my husband's dismay, the girls have not stopped singing all the Annie songs since seeing the show.  (It helps that I know every word to every song and constantly am singing it with them.  Ha!)

celebrating the 4th of July with cousins

sunset over Long Island Sound

bubbles at the BBQ

great-grandma celebrating her 95th birthday with some of her great-grandchilren

the big kids fishing on the pier

Annie at Annie

Of course, anyone who lives in Oregon knows that it is the best place to live in the summer.  So as much as I love taking trips and vacations to see friends and do fun things, there is nothing better than a day of golf, an afternoon bike ride or an evening spent cheering on the Portland Timbers.

typical summer forecast -- our reward for putting up with so much rain the rest of the year

a rare sight -- an afternoon spent golfing with my hubby

an even rarer sight -- my son and his friends spending time with us on a bike ride to a park

Portland Timbers game

I am so excited for an upcoming beach week on the coast of North Carolina with friends, a weekend in a stinky van running HTC and whatever else the rest of summer holds.  And here's hoping I get back to running (and blogging) on a regular basis soon!!

Happy Summer, friends!

Anyone else out there injured??  Who else is running HTC?  Any Insanity fans out there?  And what fun things have you done this summer??

- Kristen


  1. I have a sciatic, back and left hip thing going on, which I think was caused by leaning over my garden a lot. The pain hasn't kept me from running yet. I've never tried insanity, but would like to. I have a Jillian Michaels, a Bob Harper and a few yoga dvd's I use.
    Your family summer looks great, especially the rafting/camping. I like your shorts, what kind are they?

    1. Wow...I am replying to comments a month after I wrote my post! So sorry!! I hope your sciatic, back and hip thing is going away. That seems like a common trifecta of problems. I think I had a little bit of that going on this summer, too. Mine may have been caused by the fact that I changed my running form slightly to accommodate my knee. Ugh.

      My shorts are Zella(?). I'm pretty sure that is the brand name. They are sold at Nordstrom. They aren't cheap but are great quality and I love the wide waistband and how they sit low on my hips. Suuuuper comfy!

  2. I do the same thing when I'm supposed to be "resting". All of a sudden I'm super duper motivated to do some hard core strength training and bike riding. That part of my brain that pushes me through a tough run doesn't take a break just because I'm injured.

    Hope your knee feels better soon! I'm sure your body will appreciate the true rest!

    1. I think the first few days or week of true rest are the hardest to get through. Part of it may be that I continue to eat as if I'm running six or more miles a day but since I'm not doing anything, it just makes me feel even more sluggish...which makes me want to exercise even more! It is hard to be addicted to endorphins, huh?!

  3. So happy to hear from you again! Such a bummer about your knee :( I can totally relate to being *my own worst enemy* when it comes to running injuries. It's just so hard. But it sounds like you've been thoroughly enjoying your summer! My husband and son went on a rafting trip on the John Day River in late June, too... wouldn't that be funny if you were there at the same time?! My husband's highschool buddy organizes a big rafting trip there every year and this was the first time my husband and son have gone. They LOVED it!

    Hope the rest of your summer is fantastic and can't wait to hear about HTC!

    1. How funny that your husband and son were also on the John Day in late June -- was it the last weekend in June?!

      Now that school is back in session (and I have more free time since I'm not training for a marathon), I am looking forward to getting back to writing more and also reading more blogs. I haven't read any blogs all summer so I have no idea what you've been up to!! Hope you have had a great summer.

  4. I totally hear you about the busy summers. My blogging has suffered from my lack of time. Looks like you have had an amazing summer with the kids. Like I said, my blogging will be here when I return. There is no rewinding our kids' childhood's so don't feel bad and enjoy!

    1. Happy to hear I'm not the only one who has disappeared from the blogging scene this summer. I feel badly that I haven't even read anything from anyone all summer...let alone write more than 1-2 posts the entire time!

  5. Your summer looks like fun. Good for you.

    I have been injured with a back injury since May, got it feeling better and started running, reinjured it in June. I have been down since, but doing other exercises. It sucks.

    1. I'm going to go check out your blog to see if you are running again...hope the back has improved. Back injuries can be so debilitating and frustrating! :(

  6. Wow it looks like such a lovely summer! What a beautiful family you have! Love all those photos of the little ones enjoying summer!

    Sorry to hear about your injury, but it is great you are taking a break! Hope it feels much better after some rest!

    1. Thanks, Jess. Sadly, my knee hasn't improved but I'll save all the details for another post. :)

  7. I am just back after resting for 2 weeks - It was a necessity that occured much likes yours - I kept pushing through an injury thinking i'd be ok. I hope you can embrace your rest as best as you can

    1. Did the rest help you?? Hope you are feeling better!