Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summits and trails

The last few weeks, we have tackled a bunch of the various "summits" nearby.  The hip has cooperated with 6+ miles, 3+ hours on the trails, some of which were steep and rocky.   I used to hike a lot before I got into running, so it's been nice to revisit an old hobby.   To celebrate the miles, I bought myself a new hydration pack, the Nathan Intensity Race Vest:

We've also been having some incredible weather.  A few picture from our hikes:

I've been doing the ElliptiGo pretty regularly.  It's a good workout and really does not bother the hip at all.  Though, secretly (or maybe not so secretly lol), I do wish I could ride my bike instead.   It's getting better, but still aggravates the hip flexors too much for it to be comfortable.  

The sun is already is setting earlier, so pretty soon it'll be dark when I get out of work!  This summer was such a blur. :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

The new toy: ElliptiGO

I have tried bike riding several times post-op and I've found that it's too much hip flexion and just not comfortable.  It also leaves all my hip flexors unhappy for days afterwards.  So that means that I was limited to walking/hiking and the elliptical.   In New England, we have a good six months of true "outdoor" weather and the thought of hammering away indoors this summer on the elliptical to get a good workout in was just unappealing.

I knew I could handle the elliptical motion.  So I did some reading and research and there are a lot of hippie people really happy with their ElliptiGOs.   Yeah, it's not the coolest looking piece of equipment but it seemed like a lot of fun and everyone online said they enjoyed riding it.  

My new ElliptiGO!

From their website:  We got the idea to build the ElliptiGO really out of necessity. In 2005, Bryan lost the ability to run for fitness because of hip and knee injuries. Basically, a lifetime of contact sports and endurance athletics had caught up with him and by the age of 32 he was forced to engage in low-impact exercise. As a former cyclist and Ironman triathlete, he seriously considered returning to cycling to stay fit. However, he had always found the bicycle saddle and riding position to be really uncomfortable and cycling workouts to require too much time. As a result, he started using the indoor elliptical trainer. Although he liked the exercise, he hated being locked in a gym. To solve this problem, he decided to buy a low-impact running device he could ride on the street. 

The first ride on it seriously kicked my butt.  I had to stop a mile in to catch my breath!  Most importantly, there was no hip pain at all.   I am up to almost 4 miles now and am signing up for a 10 mile charity ride in a week.

People report riding bike-like speeds -15-18mph - and distances of 50, 60, 100 miles.  Right now, this seems completely nuts!  

There are quite a few elite athletes who use the ElliptiGO for cross-training purposes.  Here's a really interesting video showing how the elliptical motion is similar to running (but obviously without the impact):

Saturday, August 2, 2014


As I mentioned earlier, I have been using a BodyMedia arm band (now owned by Jawbone).  Here's what some of the data looks like (I don't wear a heart rate monitor and I am bad about recording my food, so I am not using all of the data features it has):

This is a summary of the last 7 days.  It gives you an average calories burned assessment and a summary of steps walked and how much exercise you did over that period.   It also gives you a sense of your sleep "efficiency", which is pretty accurate.  The nights when I get up at 3am and stare at the clock show up pretty clearly in their breakdown.

When you load up data, it will show you a list of "accomplishments".  I don't know what this says about me if all my accomplishments are about sleeping.  Hmmm.

On any particular day, you can look at your data by hour.  Here is my activity and steps on an hourly basis:

What I like about Body Media is that it's like having someone watch me all day and know that my decision to be lazy will be permanently recorded somewhere.  I want my numbers to be good, dammit! I've found myself opting to walk somewhere so I can be sure that I get my 10,000 steps in.  No, I'm not obsessed by data or anything.

Does anyone else use an activity tracker?  Fit Bit, Jawbone, Nike Fuel, etc?

Friday, August 1, 2014

The San Francisco Half Marathon: My final DNS

Over the winter - and pre-diagnosis - I had accepted the fact that I would just have to run through this pesky tendonitis stuff if I wanted to run.   I hit a mileage PR running through pain so why not sign up for a few races as well?   Sadly to say, I DNSed all of them.   The last one was the San Francisco half, this past weekend.  My husband ran the full marathon so I was spectator extraordinaire.

The SF Marathon has four races going on that same day - the full, TWO half marathons and a 5k.  25,000 runners!  And it was a very well-run and well-organized event.

We stayed at the Hyatt at the Embarcadero because I did not want to have to deal with getting to the starting line for a 5:30 start time.   We've stayed there before and so it was familiar territory, as well.  My husband was in the wave right after the elites, so he was officially off and running at like 5:32.  EARLY.   Even with the east coast time zone advantage, it still felt really, really early to be standing out there at o-dark-thirty.
The view from our hotel room.

Starting line.

Once he was off and running, I hung around and cheered on the remaining 8 waves of people (like I said, 25,000 runners!).    I saw the wave start that I would been in... ah well, it is what it is.  Sticking around the start line did mean that I caught the sun rise, which was lovely. 

The bay bridge sun rise

We stayed around the bay area for the rest of the week and ate a lot and drank a lot.  And I didn't do any of my physical therapy...  Back to reality now!

Needless to say, I won't be signing up for ANYTHING until the day of the race.  Signing up for races and not running them is an expensive way to get a t-shirt.