Who am I now?

I’ve been thinking about this blog lately. I re-vamped it earlier this year when I started marathon training again. Then I got injured, and I wrote about that experience. But I’m healed now, and making marathon plans for 2018, so who and what does that make me now?

Are you still an injured runner after you’ve healed? Can you still fall into that category when you’re back to running pain free? Or am I back to just being a runner, with no distinct quality about my running anymore? What do I have to write about now that I’m just a normal runner again, making plans for another marathon, taking spin classes and continuing with deep water running. Does anyone care about my workouts now that I’m not in the rehab state? Did anyone care when I was injured and trying to get back to running?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t see a need for this blog any more. I feel bad when I don’t write enough, and then I feel pressure to write. I don’t want that. I just want to be able to share my thoughts, about running and life, in the moment. I’ve been doing a digital cleanse lately – I got rid of my Twitter account, I’ve cleaned up my Facebook and Instagram – so I think this blog is just the next thing on the list. It’s not something that sparks joy in my life, and causes more pressure and stress than I want or need.

So, to all my readers, thank you. It was fun while it lasted. And if you want to see what is going on in my running life, follow me over on Instagram: @a2_aliabel.

Ali out.


These feet

These feet.

These feet did not run a marathon today.

These feet did not cross the finish line in Edmonton.

These feet did not feel the pain of 26.2 miles, or the joy of having that finishers medal hung around my neck.

These feet did not endure miles and hours of training over the last 16 weeks.

These feet (especially the right one) experienced injury for the first time, and frustration as their goals slipped away.

These feet went through physiotherapy and rehab this summer. Stretches, balance work and strength exercises.

Instead, these feet moved the decimal point to the left, and ran 2.62 miles this morning, and thought about all the people 3 hours north feeling the joy of crossing that finish line.

But these feet aren’t done. These feet will continue to get stronger and will keep running, and will toe the start line again in the future.

These feet have big plans and won’t give up that easily.

These feet will keep running for years to come.

Jump! Jump! (And sprint)

Jump jump 

The Mac Dad will make you jump jump 

Daddy Mac will make you jump jump 

Kris Kross will make you jump jump…

I took my rehab to the next level today, with sprints and jumping exercises. Sprinting to get my foot used to faster speeds, and jumping to strengthen the muscles. Once again the entire workout was pain free, but I was totally breathless and sweaty at the end. It’s exciting to see so much progress happening, and I’m excited to start adding more minutes to my runs soon – I’ve been keeping my workouts to about 30 minutes lately just to make sure everything is feeling good and to not re-injure my foot. 
On the menu for today was 8 x 30 second sprints, followed by 30 seconds of walking and 30 seconds of jogging after each sprint (with a jogging warm up and cool down of course), followed by some “line jumps” (I don’t know what else to call them). I hopped two-footed horizontally over the vertical line for 15 seconds, then two-footed vertically over the horizontal line for 15 seconds, then one-footed (right foot) horizontally over the vertical line for 15 seconds. And repeated all that jumping for a second time. My balance on the single-leg hops was not great, but that will come with time and continuing to do all the exercises assigned to me by my physiotherapist…and through the rest of my running days.

The next goal is to do 10 sprint repeats and the hopping exercises for 30 seconds each. Not going to rush it, but like I said, today felt really good.

Horizontal and vertical line jumps

Horizontal and vertical line jumps

Take it to the streets

I ran outside today. It was my first run outside in more than a month. And it felt great! I was a bit nervous about leaving the safety and predictability of the treadmill and track, but knew that this was the next step in my recovery. I took it easy and went back to a 3 and 1 workout, and did one of my easy, short routes. I’m pumped that it went well and there was no pain!

My workout:

3 minute walking warm up

3 minute run; 1 minute walk x 6

3 minute walking cool down

My pace was a bit slower than my last run on the track, but I don’t mind. Because I ran outside! On concrete! Pain free!

And, I finally got to take these babies out for an actual run. Love them!

Taking my rehab to the streets in a new pair of kicks

Taking my rehab to the streets in a new pair of kicks!

Next up: Adding in speed intervals. That’ll happen on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Clockwise, counterclockwise

Now you’re, walking around in your circles.

Walking around in your circles, yeah.

Walking around in your circles, circles.

Walking around in your circles.

– Rainbow Butt Monkeys, “Circles”

Rehab runs #3 & #4 are in the books, and they were very successful! I took to the track to get rid of the steady pace security of the treadmill and to try a different surface with my foot. For run #3 I ran counter-clockwise and today I ran clockwise, just to see if it would be irritated in a different direction. Both runs were pain free, which I am super stoked about! The only pain I had was a slight pain in my inner ankle when I picked up the pace for the last minute of today’s run, but nothing major. I just really wanted to see what I could do and what sort of progress I am making.

I also played slo-pitch last Friday for the first time in over a month. I ran the bases once and felt ok (probably ran a bit too fast, but it’s hard to run slow after you’ve hit the ball and need to get to first base!). The inside and outside of my arch was a bit sore after two games, likely from planting my foot repeatedly while pitching. Stretching and strengthening exercises continue every day.

I’m really excited about this progress. I have another physio appointment tomorrow so we will see what’s next. I hope to do a road run soon, and I have at least six games of slo-pitch this weekend. 

Rehab Run #3

6 minute walking warm up, 3 minutes running with 1 minute walking (x6), 6 minute walking cool down.

Rehab Run #4

6 minute walking warm up, 4 minutes running with 1 minute walking (x5), 6 minute walking cool down.

Progress is a wonderful thing!