It’s been just about a month since I sprained my foot and I have almost returned to my normal running routine! My mileage is low and my pace is easy, but this week I got in four runs and each mile felt wonderful. My foot feels only a bit tender or sensitive on certain surfaces or steep inclines, but I haven’t experienced any pain in weeks. And on top of that good news? I also got my haircut very short and it feels so good on summer runs.
Since the risk of spraining my foot again is high as it recovers, I’m slowly increasing my mileage back to where I was, avoiding any speed work for the next few weeks, and completing arch and ankle strengthening exercises a few days a week. I don’t start marathon training for the California International Marathon until the start of August, so I have plenty of time to build my base back up.
Today starts the Fall 2016 Marathon Training Group! I have five wonderful women who are training for fall marathons across the country and am so excited to train and support them on their journeys.
Monday: 4 mile trail run + 4 mile training hike
For Memorial Day, Ryan and I decided to finally try both trail running and a nearby hiking trail. We packed up Charlie, food, and coffee into my car early on Monday and headed down to Bridle Trails State Park in Redmond for a trail run. Bridle Trails is, as the name indicates, a series of trails for horsebacking riding, but it’s a popular option for trail running on the Eastside of Seattle, especially if you’re running with your dog.
Trail running was so fun! Ryan has been saying throughout the week how we should do this again. Traffic in Seattle doesn’t make this a practical option for weekday runs, but it most certainly can be done on the weekends. Bridle Trails has soft dirt trails with gentle rolling hills (most of it is a 1-3% incline). We arrived early enough to beat the horses, although we still dodged plenty of piles of manure along the way.
Afterwards, we picnicked on coffee and oatmeal while enjoying the scenery. We brought our Jetboil, which is a small gas stove we use for backpacking, along with us so we could enjoy a freshly cooked warm meal after our run.
Then we headed to the Woodinville wine valley for a hike! The Tolt Pipeline trail cuts through Woodinville and is popular for training for hikes. We met some people with huge backpacks training for summiting Mt. Rainier! The first big hill ascending out of the wine valley is known as Heart Attack Hill because of its brutal grade averaging 23%, but then the trail levels off to lesser grades of about 1-8%. You actually can’t see the hill in the photo, only where the trail suddenly plummets down and out of sight. We only hiked 2 miles out before turning around, since the gravel surface didn’t feel good under my healing foot and we forgot water for Charlie.
We may have months of grey skies and drizzly rain in Seattle, but when the blue skies arrive, they are stunning!
Tuesday: 6 miles easy run
After all of the hills the previous day, I opted for a flat and easy run along the river to let my legs recover.
Wednesday: AM: 5 miles easy run; PM: 30 minutes strength training
One of the new-to-me trails I discovered recently goes along some decent hills, and since I need more hills in my running life I am planning on running a couple times a week along it. The hills are nothing seriously by Seattle standards, but most of the running trails near me are flat (going through the wine valley and rivers and lakes).
Thursday: AM: 35 minutes/5 miles on the elliptical; PM: 30 minutes Pilates
Shortly after my workout I headed down to Woodinville for lunch and a long walk with Ryan along the river before my haircut. I had very long hair, as you could probably tell from pictures – it reached down to near the bottom of my rib cage. I was sick of detangling it and spending forever drying it, and since backpacking season and summer running are in full swing, it was time for a shorter haircut. I wanted to cut my hair just longer than shoulder length, but I realized with a few more inches off I could donate it while still being able to pull in back for running.
So I cut 10 inches off! I’m pretty sure between the length and thickness of my hair that haircut was the quickest way to lose a couple pounds. My hair hasn’t been this short since Ryan and I started dating over 5 years ago. I love the new cut!
Friday: 8 mile easy run
It had been 4 weeks since my last long run, and while 8 miles isn’t technically “long” in terms of marathon training, it felt so good to run for a longer distance. I missed being out there for over an hour. My new haircut felt so good on my run – no braid whipping me, less flyaways, and no hair sticking to the back of my neck when I sweat.
I don’t eat a lot of sweets other than dark chocolate, but I can’t pass up donuts on National Donut Day. Donuts are my favorite dessert and after my run I enjoyed a Top Pot double chocolate donut, which was decadent but so good! If you’re ever in the Seattle area (Seattle proper or Eastside), you need to stop at Top Pot donuts. I actually had their donuts for my birthday last year instead of cake, they are that good.
Saturday: ~5 miles backpacking
We hiked up to Goat Lake via the Lower Elliot Trail, which is where we went in early May. This time we brought our tent and camped near the water. Even though last weekend was cold and rainy, this week was hot – temperatures in the 80s – so camping in the mountains brought some welcome respite from the heat.
I think I’m a decent enough hiker, but backpacking is still very hard for me. My pack wasn’t adjusted properly for the first half of this hike which made the 15-20 pounds feel more like 30 pounds, and I struggled through part of this hike even though the elevation gain was only 1200 feet total.
But it was so worth it once we arrived, set up our campsite, and spent the rest of the day relaxing by the lake.
Sunday: 6 miles backpacking
Sunday we enjoy the easy hike down from Goat Lake via the Upper Elliot, which is longer but less technical. I’m still a bit paranoid about the risk of spraining by foot again, especially when hiking downhill, but this portion of the hike went very well. What a difference a well fitting and packed backpack makes! 6 miles flew by!
Linking up with Weekly Wrap!
Have you ever gone trail running?
Are your normal running routes flat, hilly, or a mixture of both?
What’s your favorite dessert?