PT IS OVER!
I am officially discharged from PT! My ankle is strong enough and my hips are looking pretty stable and are able to keep me nice and level when I run. Now, it's just continuing to rebuild muscle, and to build more muscle!!!, throughout my training cycle. I finally learned how to dead lift using the bar and am tasked with incorporating deadlifts, weighted squats, and one-legged balance exercises into my weekly routine. Given the progress I've seen with the light lifting I've been doing with Dr. Michelle, you can bet good money that I'll keep weights in my life for forever!
2 weekends ago, Andy and I set casual sights on climbing + skiing Middle Sister with Cinder. We left Portland at the crack of 12:30pm on Saturday and were able to drive to within a mile of the trailhead. We kicked and glided to camp, enjoying the relative remoteness of the skin track we set. My legs felt good and strong on the way in and we kept up a slow, but steady, pace on the way to camp at around 7,100’. No hot spots to speak of and no pain or discomfort in my ankle during the side-hilling and log-walking. It was a glorious feeling. Sunday morning, we slept in, I tried airing out my still-wet boot liners on the roof of the tent while we made breakfast (to no avail), and we left camp around 8:15am. Again, we set a nice, steady pace and maintained it all the way to the saddle. I relished in the feeling of mountain air filling my lungs and the gentle rhythm of skins on soft, slightly mushy snow. We put on crampons at the saddle and began our ascent, Cinder assisted by a rope since it was a bit icy, and I realized that, after a winter spent on a bike trainer, I hadn’t worn crampons in nearly a year (aside from a dry tooling training session last Fall). What a shock to the system that was. I have a lot more work to do than I thought I had…
All in all, our climb was fun and the skiing was excellent. I, again, struggled a lot mentally through the steeper sections of our skiing, trying desperately to make every turn happen and not letting my skis do any of the work. By the time the skiing leveled out a bit, I was feeling much more confident and started trusting my experience and just let the snow flow under my skis. It was wonderful. I think the mental barriers are definitely my number one enemy right now…
Friday afternoon, we spent 4 1/2 hours driving over the pass to drop donations off for the Smith Rock Spring Thing, our favorite annual event. We took Cinder for a quick run up and over Misery Ridge to stretch legs and get out some of the zoomies that had built up during the time we spent sitting in the truck. My legs felt really good- a little tired from lifting earlier but good. We spent Saturday building trails and stairs over at the Spiderman Buttress with some old and new friends- it was amazing!
We jetted up to Mount Hood on Saturday night (late) with plans to ski up to Illumination saddle, lap the ZigZag a few times, and then jet home... after a very icy skin to the Palmer lifthouse a quick nap, and, an hour later, an icy traverse to the saddle, we bailed on our plans, opting to try to wait out the corn cycle. At 1:15 ish we bailed and skied down. My skis desperately need wax so the skiing was extra not-fun for me but it was a good training day I guess.
I’ve been hovering around 13-14 miles/week for the last 2 weeks, with my longest run being an accidental 7.5 miles last Friday. Starting next week, I’m adding in a 4th day of running- this one is to be short and mostly will act as a recovering run for whatever we’ve managed to pull together over the weekend. My mileage will start building from here on out though and I have a proposed training schedule that includes a ‘long run’ that’s about 30 minutes longer than my previous long run. So, next weekend, I’m looking at around 90 minutes of very easy running + lots of uphill miles.
The last ~4 weeks have been challenging for sure but knowing that the culprit of my health issues is hidden in my list of 12 things was rewarding. I start reintroducing foods today, focusing on one food type over a 5-day period. First is yummy citrus aka the thing I’ve missed above all else.
Also this guy is jetting off to go be extreme in the meowtains so if anyone wants to do some serious uphill training soon, lemme know :)