I didn’t even know my trail soul was missing. I had been missing running. Maybe not terribly, in some ways. I would feel sad as I drove down a road that was part of my usual running route. I knew I missed running trails terribly when I stepped onto some blazed orange Massanutten trail for a little hike away from the aid station. I didn’t walk more than ten feet than I felt relaxment, peace, and contentment. I hopped over some boulders-as one does on the Massanutten trail-and could tell my right operative knee still needed some strengthening versus the left knee.
I had started the “Couch to 5K” training plan. Don’t laugh. It’s a great plan. It’s actually just very slow interval work. I was using my treadmill. I think I completed about three days of the plan.
I decided to go out to Salt Fork State Park and run four miles. Just four. Two miles out and back on a section of bridle trail that was pretty “flat” for our area. I arrived at the trail head about 730 am as it was already in the 70’s and humid.
About 1 mile in to my run I felt my soul return. I could feel the visible relaxation as my body warmed up. My feet appreciated the soft surface of dirt and mud.
No music, no water, no gear except for my SPIbelt holding my car key and phone. I could hear the drone of the 17 year cicadas. I heard the deer snort in the woods and I snorted back and watched it bound away.
I worked up a sweat. I walked up the little tiny hills. I wondered why people had to clean up dog poop when out with dogs when horses were allowed to crap all over the place. Perhaps that was a definition of a bridle trail? Bridle trail- where horses walk and nobody has to pick up their poop. Perhaps we need a dog trail-for dogs to run on, and poop wherever they please.
I felt I was back where I belong. out in the woods and on my feet. running.
It was four miles-two miles out and back and it was glorious.
I am a believer in the “you can do more than you think you can.“ Growing “older” does not change this at all.
I celebrated my fiftieth birthday in January. In honor of this, I created Project 50: fifty goals/activities/events to celebrate turning fifty.
I’ve been an avid trail runner for the last twelve years. I had knee surgery-meniscectomy in April and was told I had a good case of arthritis in my knee. I was also told that continuing to run will progress the arthritis faster.
Just because I have arthritis does not mean I am going to give up my active lifestyle. In my Kimba 2.0 post last week, I talked about training smarter and adding alternate activities to my exercise routine, such as bike riding.
I celebrated ten years of blogging in April. Many things have changed and many have stayed the same. “Blogging is dead” has been around for many years-and yet we keep on blogging!
Please visit my tabs at the top, my Project 50 goals are there with a few of my race reports over the years, along with my manifesto.
Please visit the lovely ladies featured this Tuesday on the Between the Lines Series.
I started with “A Study in Scarlet”. After consulting the internet, it seemed I should have started with more of the short stories. But this was where Holmes and Dr. Watson met. It wasn’t bad. The Tonga section was kind of boring.
“Hound of the Baskervilles” was much better after “A Study in Scarlet”, more mystery.
I didn’t realize most of the Holmes stories were short stories! I read many of these. Easy to read and follow.
I was surprised to see that Professor Moriarty was only in one short story. Even though I had never read or watched any of the Sherlock Homes TV/movie shows, I know of the characters.
I did read The Valley of Fear where Dr Moriarty was referenced. Another interesting read. I believe I read most of the novels/stories that were in the Kindle edition of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
Is there a “classic” book that you have never read? Why not try Sherlock Holmes?
In order to return to my active lifestyle, I said all along I would train SMART. I listened to my PT, did my exercises, walked on my treadmill, attempted to start eating healthy. I still had to take some pain relief on bad days, but all it needed was a little cbd releaf cream and it subsided.
I’ve been told by two doctors that running will progress the arthritis in my knees. (I also can tell I have arthritis in my elbows.) Well, I can either not run and have Arthritis, or I can run (therefore keeping my sanity) and have arthritis.
Does anyone remember the opening of the “Six Million Dollar Man”? “Steve Austin, astronaut, a man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology. We have the capability to make the worlds first Bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster.”
I have taken that opening to heart. I am going to rebuild Kimba 2.0 into a better athlete than before. Better. Stronger. Faster. (Not sure about the faster part.) SMARTER.
I am going to incorporate other exercises that are not weight bearing. I am learning how to ride my bike!
Today I am going to work on a training schedule. I return to work next week, so I need to get back into a training routine. Perhaps I will even go for a small jog at some point! I have heard about a return to work program that can help those who are injured return to work in the best way possible, maybe some more employers should implement this in their businesses.
Have you made any changes to training due to injury?
My evolution as a Blogger from the beginning to Present
I started my blog in 2007. Like my Geocities pages of old, I wrote about what I knew. Trail running. I had no idea of what I was doing in both running and writing blog posts. There was a typo in the header post of my first entry. I’ve kept it that way for posterity!
Joing Blogland April 23, 2006 Well, well, well, I have finally joined blogland. But first I have to go for a run before I can work on this anymore.
I just wrote. No SEO, no alternative text in photos.
I just wrote. Edit? Second draft? Nope, I just wrote and posted.
I wrote for years. Now and then I would wonder why I didn’t get many comments. Yet runners would comment, in person to me that they liked my blog. How many followers did I have? I have no idea. I had no idea there were blogging statistics. Was I bothered by the fact I may or may not have had loads of followers? I don’t know. I mean I guess I could’ve researched more into marketing and how to get myself out there. I’ve heard that many businesses do it, even people in the CBD industry regularly search up cbd marketing and how it can help them, perhaps I should start to do the same to get myself out there more.
Social media came around. I joined-meaning Facebook and Twitter, but didn’t think to add my blog to the social media, ever. Promote a blog post on either? Why would I do that?
I listened to a podcast called Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone. I believe that’s where I found the Fitbloggin website. What, a conference about blogging and fitness? Wow, what a cool/great idea! Baltimore! That’s not far!! Ohhh.. It’s sold out.
There were recaps and live blogging from the conference. I got some good ideas and didn’t understand others. I wished I had attended the conference!
I followed some of the bloggers from the conference. I noticed other bloggers getting “free stuff”. I wondered how they were getting stuff from sponsors. How did I get these sponsors to knock on my blogging door? Perhaps this is what I needed. If this did cause a rise in followers on my page, and even encouraged some to buy the sponsored products directly form me, I would have to start looking into some online accounting services. Whilst querying how I could get these sponsored posts in the first place, I noticed how nicely designed most blogs and websites where.
I noticed everyone was ending their blog posts with a question. Hmm. What was that all about?
In 2011, I changed my name to a custom URL, but still on blogger, to Ultratrailgoddesss.com. I wrote on. I didn’t edit, or post to my *social*. I don’t know whether I gained or lost readers, because I didn’t track any analytics. I posted pictures right off the internet *gulp* because I didn’t know any better!
I kept writing. I still didn’t know why I wasn’t getting any more comments or followers. Twitter moved too quickly for me to do anything there, when I popped in once or twice a week. I didn’t *get* Instagram at all.
The Savannah Fitbloggin conference fit right into my off weekend in 2014. A little overwhelmed, I felt like everyone was light years ahead of me AND I had been blogging for years and years! But it gave me great ideas and action plans. I had four pages of notes.
Back from the conference, rejuvenated, a few months later, even though I had just bought new business cards, I felt like I was in the need for a change, a rebrand, a fresh start. Maybe I need to try WordPress?
WordPress scared me. I took the plunge and started the new URL and blog-because, with it being brand new, if I broke it, it wasn’t breaking much! I’d heard it was pretty straight forward to set up and use, and there was loads of help available online like this advice on how to choose the best wp hosting, so what could go wrong?
I felt like a total newby on WordPress. This didn’t bother me because I love learning. I felt like I was being refreshed as a new blogger. I began reading blog posts about WP and tips and tricks for a *new blogger* and listening to podcasts about blogging. I even started looking into SEO tips, sharpening my approach at getting my pages read and noticed.
I discovered FB Groups, which, get this! where other people will promote your post. I found Blogher and other networks. I began reading about how other bloggers got traffic to their posts. I finally understood the saying ” I could write and write and write, but if I don’t promote it, “nobody will come’. ”
I finally understood that it’s a good practice to ‘edit’ a post. Not to just write, wily nily and throw the first draft up. That I could re read and delete many “probably” and “so” from my writing.
Fitbloggin 2016 is just around the corner in Indianapolis, July 21-24. This year, they have set up a referral program. Since I am already registered, if you register and use the word REFERRAL in the coupon code, and my name in the “other comments” YOU and I get 75 dollars off! The conference is only $295 to begin with (a good price when you look at costs from other blogging conferences.)
Look for me at the Indy Fitbloggin conference with a new URL, a media kit, and a fresh look on blogging and social media!
What’s your blogging history? Are you ready to make a change? Do you need to make a change? Are you going to join me at Fitbloggin 16 in Indy?
This post is based off a mindset from Endurance Nation, a coaching service for triathletes. They have a podcast where they go over their Four Keys of Ironman Execution. It’s very valuable. I’ve adopted it for Massanutten Success.
From Endurance Nation: Execution, not Fitness. ” All you’ve done is build a vehicle. Ironman racing is about how you DRIVE that vehicle, it is NOT about the vehicle. It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz and energy of the day, but creating and sticking to the right plan for you is the only thing that will lead to the best possible day.”
What shape I am in on race day is not relevant now. I’ve driven the vehicle to the starting line. I now need to steer that vehicle around on the rocks, in the best time possible, while feeding it and watering it, to its (my) best ability.
From Endurance Nation: The Line. “Nothing on race day really matters until you reach The Line on the run. The Line is the point at which continuing becomes very, very difficult. You define success as simply not slowing down at The Line. EVERYTHING before The Line is simply about creating conditions for success for when the Line comes to you.”
The Line, in the EN talk of the Ironman Race is mile 18 of the marathon.
There are many smaller lines of MMT.
My first goal of MMT, is to finish. ALWAYS the goal. I have many smaller side goals. My side goals from the 2013 Race (your goals may vary):
Get to Edinburg before 7am.
Get to Elizabeth Furnace before lunchtime.
Get to Habron Gap before 6pm.
Get OFF Bird Knob before daylight.
Get to Picnic Area before daylight.
Other goals you could have:
Where you see your crew for the first time
Habron Gap is almost the “half way point” for MMT.
Where you (can) pick up your pacer
The key is to have little things to look forward to, all day long.
From Endurance Nation The Box: “All day long you are going to race inside a box defined by what you can control. Ask yourself “What do I need to do right NOW to create the conditions for success at The Line? Is what I’m doing right now counter to this goal? “
The weather is something you cannot control. But the weather conditions will be the same for everyone starting the race. You can control things within your Box. Make sure you have appropriate clothing, hat for the sun and to dip into creeks, dry socks in drop bags, getting ice at the aid stations. Be able to solve your problems within your Box.
From Endurance Nation: The One Thing. “If you swallowed the Kool-Aid we’re serving you here, you will show up at the Line, in your Box, ready to git’erdun and simply not slow down. But we’re not done yet. There is still some psychological stuff you need to address. During the course of your race day, expect your body to have a conversation with your mind: “Look, Mind, you’ve had me out here slogging away for miles. This is really starting to get old and very painful. You need to give me a good reason to keep going forward. If you don’t have one, I’m gonna slow down and you can’t stop me!”
Another point I got from the podcast, not one of their 4 points, but very worthwhile:
Your racing self owes it to the training self.
Racing self needs to respect all that the training self did, to set up the racing self.
Racing self needs to suck it up and embrace the hurt to honor the training self.
Training self put itself out there always-ran in cold weather, cold downpours of rain, icy windy ass days, sloppy slow mud days, early early morning runs; cold clothes changes in parking lots; runs endured on treadmills. You owe it to training self to get out there and endure on racing day, racing self.
There is nothing BAD about my knees. My knees are not: disappointing or unpleasant; of low quality or evil or morally unacceptable. I’ve protected my knees my entire life by staying active and always using knee cap pads when undertaking any welding DIY projects. I value having a healthy body and that is why I take this necessary precaution.
Those are all definitions of “BAD” knees. People who lead active lifestyles, regularly partake in big DIY projects or work in construction need to appreciate the value of taking care of your body and especially the vulnerable parts like your knee joints. Arthritis causes a huge amount of pain but can be avoided if you treat health and safety as a necessity and do not ever cut corners! There is no excuse for this when you can find the necessary gear to protect you online.
My knees are awesome. I may need to buy some knee pads or a knee brace that says “Awesome” just like my “awesome socks”. (You can buy your own Awesome Socks!)
My knees have carried me around for fifty years. They have allowed me to squat, to kneel, to crawl through tunnels. They have allowed me to dig really big holes, to shovel horse manure for my gardens. My knees have allowed me to climb trees and hop up,
over and scramble over boulders.
Do these sound like BAD knees? I think they are awesome knees!
If my link to the Awesome Socks works, it will take you to Amazon where I am a Amazon Associate and will get a penny or two if you happen to love the Awesome socks!