RWIR #13: Ups & Downs

It’s that time again.  It’s been another week of progress and setbacks. It’s such a familiar cycle for me now. It’s like I can’t even remember anymore what it felt like to wake up with no stiffness, to sneeze without a twinge around my tailbone, or to just, you know, go for a run. Alas, we keep moving forward and here is what I achieved:

Saturday
Activity: Hike
Relevant Stats: 11km, 1087m elevation
Observations: Well, when I get back to an activity, I like to really get back to it. This trail kicked my ass…actually, it’s more precise to say it kicked my quads. At first you’re like, “really, 1000m in 5.5 km isn’t that bad for elevation gain”. That is correct. The problem is that the first 1.5km had virtually no elevation gain, so really you’re climbing 1000m in about 3.5 km. In the forest. Over heaps of deadfall. Looking at nothing. FOR HOURS. So yeah, would I hike Mt. Nutt again? That’s a firm no. But my SI survived. Sadly the muscle soreness, a bad night’s sleep on Friday, and the heat/sun factor left me debilitatingly tired afterwards, and my exhaustion was only combated by emergency bubble tea therapy.

Sunday
Activity: Hike
Relevant Stats: 8km, 800m elevation
Observations: This seemed like a good idea until my calves starting screaming in protest about half way up. I forgot what Chilliwack trails are like. In a word, they are steep. Always. It’s great when you’re fit and not-so-great when you’re…no longer fit. I survived and tested out my new trail runners which I love more than I can express in words. And my SI was still fine…until I failed to engage my core or any other muscle when attempting to get up off the couch. It’s just like me to hike back-to-back trails with no ill effects only to tweak my injury engaging in the least athletic motion possible.

Monday
Activity: Rest Day
Relevant Stats: Just a walk to work and some celebratory deep fried pickles (NHL playoffs are worthy of deep fried pickles right?)
Observations: I shook up my workout schedule and moved my rest day to Monday to let my SI recover after it’s tragic sitting-up-from-the-couch injury. It was stiff in the morning and I found it a bit tender to the touch so I figured for once I’d listen to my body and just move my rest day. Learning.

Tuesday
Activity: Personal Training Session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: I feel like my trainer went from 0-60 in one week. Last week we were all calmly doing dead lifts with low weights and bear crawls and farmer carries. This week we rapidly escalated weights for everything and added in reverse barbell lunges and some sort of hanging leg raise where I discovered I can barely hang from a bar let alone attempt to raise my legs. On top of that, my SI was still aggravating me and, with at least half the exercises, I felt perilously close to re-injury. I meant to follow up the training session with a cardio workout, but felt too stiff and petrified of making my SI worse.

Wednesday
Activity: Spin
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: I woke up stiff yet again, and found that bending brought about some pain, as did sneezing and sitting in my car. I felt anxious the whole way to work, fearing that I’d done some serious damage. I booked a physiotherapy appointment on my way to the gym, where I forced myself to complete a pretty unenthusiastic hour on the spin bake. Afterwards, my SI felt surprisingly better and, by the end of the day, the stiffness and soreness were pretty much gone.  I do not understand my body.

Thursday
Activity: Hike
Relevant Stats: 2.9km, 850m
Observations: Finally I made it back to the BCMC! It’s the trail that I love to hate.  It sucks. You see nothing. I know it like the back of my hand. But it’s also been a month and half since I’ve been able to do it, and since I’ve been able to use my season’s pass (something I bought only because I assumed I’d do this once a week all season).  It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was only a couple minutes slower than I was the first time I did it this season.  And no SI aggravation! All in all, that feels like a win.

Friday
Activity: Hike
Relevant Stats: 2.9 km, 850m elevation gain
Observations: Nothing like back to back BCMCs to round out the week. The weather was iffy today and my time a bit limited so it seemed the best of my options.  I can safely say I’m good without doing this again for at least another week.

All in all, progress still feels too slow. I had planned to attempt some running intervals this week but the stiffness Monday and Tuesday made me reluctant to give that a whirl right now. I felt encouraged on the weekend and discouraged by mid-week. It’s been a lot of ups and downs and so this week I give myself a:

Up and down. All the time. Sigh.
Up and down. All the time. Sigh.

Next week is all about increasing hiking distance and adding in a mid-week short hike. I may also go the acupuncture route to see if it triggers some faster healing. It’s been a while since I had acupuncture and last time it worked wonders on an irritating shoulder issue.

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