12 April 2012

Finding my happy place...

It's been a really rocky road lately here in XL-land. All of the health issues (most notably serotonin absence and hip pain presence) were really wearing on me. Even as I started to clear up all the 'down', I was still struggling... a lot. Last week, in an endorphin-less haze, I succumbed. To the elliptical.

And it really helped.

Who knew?

Oh, all those people who suggested it? Right.

So last week I started using the elliptical trainers at the gym. Maybe it was the week before, but last week was when I really got serious. (I hope y'all read my sense of humor into that...lately my humor has been too subtle or 'off' so I'm just checking ;-)  ) My physical therapist and I had discussed this piece of equipment before. We both agreed that going backward would really help strengthen things that are weak...things that start messing me up when I run. Twice last week, I went backward for 4 minutes and forward for one minute for a total of 25 minutes, and then I hopped on the treadmill for a little bit of sort of running.

This week I stepped things up a couple of notches. 55 minutes on Monday. Wowza. For the first time in I don't even know how long I had a deliciously sweaty and invigorating workout that did not hurt. Did you read that part? Did. Not. Hurt.

Then on Tuesday I decided to go run for a half an hour, and the strangest thing happened. It didn't hurt. Not only that but I was running paces similar to last summer and fall for my runs of similar intensity. It just felt easy and relaxed and fun. And I started to just about cry. My eyes did, in fact, well up with tears. And I was smiling very, very broadly. Part of that might have been due to the music that was playing... and what I now associate with that particular song, but it was largely the familiar-ness of the way I was running. It felt like the good ol' days.

Wednesday I hit up the elliptical again...this time for an hour. Dripping sweat again, and oh-so-satisfying. I may or may not have done the whole singing out loud thing...ummm...yeah, I did it. So embarrassing for everyone.

Thursday I decided to run a hill while my son was at soccer practice. I tried to time it correctly, but I managed to return literally 2 minutes late and the field was empty! I freaked...until I saw him and two other kids goofing around at the far end.

Pretty residential street on the beginning, gentler part of the climb.

Where the steep starts to kick in.

Right before the top.

Today's run elevation profile...
...uphill also discussed here.

Distance: 4.20 miles 
Avg. pace: 10:25 min/mile 

By now some of you might be thinking...Geez, woman...you run so rarely and so slowly and you're always showing us these crazy hills like you're some kind of something... and if you're thinking that, you may be excused from the table :D And no dessert.

I am so heartened by my workouts this week. It feels amazing to begin to feel like myself again. And this extends to all areas of my life. All of them. 

And it's about time. This girl and her siblings deserve a happy, healthy, feeling-good mom. And my husband deserves that 'me' as well.


  1. Man, hill workouts hurt so good (ugh!)
    Isn't it amazing how getting our sweat on is such an amazing mood booster? Works wonders for me, let me tell ya.
    Keep your chin up, and keep hitting those mountains...!

  2. LOVE this post. So pleased for you! Many prayers for continued happiness and running success. Elliptical - who knew?

  3. That's a killer hill! I'm so glad you're able to start easing back into it. I know exactly how good that feels. Keep it going!

  4. Yay for some pain free running! I have an elliptical and I love it, I wish I had a tread mill too, but I have kids and they cost a lot of money (as you know ;) so my treadmill has to wait.

    Nice hill run too!

  5. So glad you're feeling better! I've often gone to the elliptical machine when running isn't an option. It's not the same, but the next best thing for me!

  6. I'm so glad you are feeling better on your runs!!! I always find I'm a much better person to be around once I can sweat a little. Otherwise I am not a happy camper!!! Your little girl is adorable!!!

  7. Glad you are running without pain and are feeling in a better place. The elliptical helped me survive my achilles issue without becoming a complete cranky slug.

  8. Glad to hear you've logged some pain-free workouts. Hope this is the start of more to come!

  9. Yay! SO glad you are feeling better and had some great runs! Every time I try the elliptical, my feet go numb, otherwise I might use it as cross training. I must have me foot placement off. Have a great weekend!

  10. loved reading this post - you definitely deserve some happy days! I'm so glad you had some pain-free workouts - I know what a lift that can be!

  11. So happy for you! You all deserve for you to be a happy XL! I hope that you continue to feel great and that the running and elliptical keep rocking! I love this post!

  12. I love hills! You really rocked that one! That's quite a climb in a short amount of distance! My roommate has a tread climber and I thought it was for pansies, until I tried it the other day and only went 1.5 miles in a half an hour! It was hard! The elliptical is a great machine!

  13. Happy happy happy! You are awesome - so glad the funk is lifting and that you are running pain free again!

  14. I want dessert! Girl, I'm glad to see this progress! get you some endorphins and a hefty dose of hill work (unavoidable where you live!).

    See you soon! :D

  15. Yay for not hurting!!!
    You're humorous? what?

  16. Super happy for you!! Love this post and wishing you lots of pain-free workouts!!

  17. And YOU deserve to be that person! :) I'm pretty sure my pace wouldn't be anywhere near what yours in on those big ol hills, so anybody who wants to criticize better not! (at least not to me...I'm fragile)

    So awesome that you found something that is working. I'm pretty sure I'd fall trying to elliptical backwards and then get my hair caught in the thing or something for good measure.

    And your nuun entry was awesome. The end.

  18. Super Kate stole my line...

    so here it is...
    The light
    at the end
    of the tunnel.

    here's to hoping it only gets brighter and brighter!

  19. Bad hip or not, you're like the Energizer Bunny. You never stop! You are an inspiration and I love you...plus you met Fidel Castro so that does make you a celebrity.

  20. So glad you are back in your happy place and pain free running is awesome!!

  21. Woot! That's fantastic you are getting some sweat inducing workouts in pain free.

  22. Well, I've been a bit of a stranger but this was sure a great post to read this morning! One that I really relate to! So happy to hear you're getting some pain free workouts in! Only UP from here!!

  23. Isn"t it amazing how some good workouts can heal your soul? I know exactly what you mean. I hope these good feelings continue for you!

  24. I am so so so happy that you seemed to have turned the corner. Yay for happy endorphins. Yippee!!!


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