it’s “race” week! and an injury update.

I would like to start off by saying thank you to those of you who have donated to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for the upcoming Enormous Elephant Run!  I’m so excited to be heading to London on Wednesday and to run in an elephant costume…Eric and I bought a selfie stick, so I’ll be sure to share, don’t you worry!  There’s still time to donate and of course still time to sign up for yourself if you happen to be local to London……or if you just like to buy last minute plane tickets.  ;)

P1040912 More baby elephant love if you need some motivation!

I suppose I should update on the running front, considering I just said we’re running a race on Saturday!  Luckily for everyone involved, it’s a 5K, so quite manageable.  Eric’s kiiiiiiiiinda maybe following the Couch to 5K program, and my running certainly isn’t up to par, so I’m sure we’ll be doing some solid run/walking.

But the good news is that I’ve started running again.  I took about 3-3.5 weeks off from running, and a couple weeks off from really much exercise whatsoever.  Since I never really found out what was wrong, I decided that perhaps the pilates/yoga/weightlifting I was doing might be irritating my groin as well, so why not try stopping.  This coincided with my vacation, so that worked out well, I suppose.  It also helped that I wasn’t working for two weeks since nursing isn’t exactly the most restful job ever.

image A bit of an empty May.

So that was that.  The extreme pain in my groin area seemed to go away, but at times it was still sore even when I was just sitting around.  I don’t remember it hurting like that when I was still trying to run, but maybe I blocked it out.  After two weeks off, I tried a few single leg squats just to test it out.  Running is basically repeated single leg squats, and that was the only motion outside of running that would cause my groin pain.  (And it was only when I finished pushing up with my left leg and transferring weight to my right leg.)  I didn’t have any pain after two weeks, but I played it safe and took a little more time off.

I took the weekend after we got back from vacation off, which was convenient since I was working and squeezing in a run when I’m gone for 14-15 hours per day isn’t exactly easy.  (Especially when it’s so busy at work you take 20,000 steps without even trying – why do I even need to run??)

Then I decided it was time to give it a go.  Heeding some advice from readers, I took is realllllllly slow and easy.  (For me.)  I walked for about ten minutes to warm up, then I ran for 10 minutes.  TEN MINUTES.  I felt like a slug and was oddly happy with a 9-9:30 mile pace.  I knew I would be slower since I just took so much time off, and I also wanted to make sure I didn’t push anything too hard.  My legs felt a little creaky, but I didn’t have any pain in the spot in my groin where I always had pain.  VICTORY.

Followed by ten more minutes walking home.  Ah, the little things.

The next time I ran, I ran for twelve minutes.  So moving up in the world.  Still slow, but no pain.

Next time?  20 minutes.  I know, big jump.  But I’m holding it there for a bit and I’m okay with that.  The fun part is that 20 minutes is apparently enough time to get that sports bra/tank tan going!  Can’t be without that…

I always do about a 5-8 minute walking warm up, as that gets me down to the Hudson River path – I don’t think pounding downhill is the best for my legs when coming back from injury, and the warm up helps too.  I also do lunges from this warmup recommended by Grace.  I don’t know if it helps, but it certainly gets my legs a little sore…

On Sunday, Eric and I slept in a little bit then headed to brunch.  I definitely needed to digest a bit, so I did some laundry/organizing, then did yoga, then went for a run.  If you live in NYC, you will remember the downpour that we got yesterday.  Well, I probably should have left for my short 20 minute run about ten minutes earlier than I did.  I did my usual walk routine, ran north along the river, saw lightning in New Jersey across the GW, decided to head south away from the lightning, thought about turning back early (but really wanted to get my 20 minutes in…), started getting lightly rained on, started getting mediumly (new word) rained on, finished 20 minutes, started to walk home for a cooldown, got drenched in a downpour, decided to do a slow jog home, then wrote this absurd run on sentence.  Ha.

I think running in the rain is fun, but maybe I should have just run like a normal person – in the morning when the sun was shining.  At least it took care of the humidity…

image Breaking records this week, aren’t we?

I’m not sure if I’m out of the woods yet, as I still notice something in the groin area, but I wouldn’t call it pain.  It just feels different.  Should I stop running for longer?  Go back to the doctor?  Go see a chiropractor?  So many questions for a problem where I don’t know what’s wrong.  I do know I’ll stop if it hurts when I’m running, but fingers crossed that it won’t.

Maybe running in an elephant costume will be magical and this will all just go away…ha.  Maybe not.

Has anyone out there had a groin injury?  Part of me thinks I pulled a groin muscle/super low abdominal muscle, and I hear those take foreverrrrrr to heal. 

Also – if anyone has suggestions for restaurants/must dos in London, please let me know!  I’ve got most of the tourist stuff figured out, but looking for food suggestions.  :)

eric, elephants, and (running in) england

Given my forever love for running, one of the first questions people ask about my boyfriend, Eric, is if he is a runner.  Strike that, they first ask how we met, THEN they ask if he runs.  Of all the questions that someone could ask about a significant other, it’s quite high up on the list.  I’ve always had an affinity for dating runners since it’s such a large part of my life, and Eric is the first serious boyfriend (whatever that means?) that hasn’t been a runner.  YIKES.  However, it’s been almost two years, so I suppose it’s working out, ha.

One day I’ll write a post about the benefits of dating a non-runner (holding my sweatpants so I don’t have to throw them away, texting my mom to tell her I’m still alive, etc. etc.), but that’s not what this post is about.

Eric is not a runner, and I’ve never actually tried to make him one.  However, awhile ago he promised he would run a 5k.  I did not prompt this, I did not ask for this – it was actually his idea!  Then we got into a mess of him preparing to move here, moving here, then OMG WINTER IS COLD.  I hardly wanted to run in it let alone a guy who doesn’t own pants worthy of running in 20 degree weather.  He still kept saying he’d run a 5k…some day.

In the meantime, I was scrolling through Instagram and some elephants caught my eye.  (This is relevant, stick with me!)  I follow the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust account to get my daily fill of cuteness, as they generally post daily baby elephant pictures.  If that doesn’t give you a boost, I don’t know what will.  However, this elephant picture stopped me in my Instagram-scrolling tracks:


People in elephant costumes?  Running?  WHAT IS THIS?  TELL ME MORE.  I clicked through and found out that the DSWT does a fundraising 5k/10k in order to raise money for their elephant orphanage in Nairobi.  I actually visited the orphanage when I was in Africa in 2012…but apparently I’m the worst blogger ever and never finished blogging about my trip.  This is sad since the baby elephants were definitely worthy of their own post, and that’s right when I stopped!  Fail.  (Here’s a post about patrol week with the elephant voluntourism part of my trip…lots of elephant pictures!)  Just so you don’t totally miss out, here are some pictures:

Elephants on parade!

How could you not love them??

Gatsby saying hi.

The gist of the DSWT is to save elephants that have been orphaned as a result of poaching, raise the elephants, and release them back out into the wild.  This takes years because elephants are dependent on their mother’s milk for so long.  (DSWT has a special formula they make.  The elephants hold their own bottles once they’re old enough.  It’s adorable.)  They’ve had wildly amazing success, and it definitely aids in the dwindling elephant population.  And baby elephants are sooooooo cute.

Basically, it’s a great cause.  Especially if you love elephants, which you may assume I do since I carry around a stuffed elephants wherever I go.

So back on track here.  I researched the 5k/10k that appears to be run while wearing an elephant costume and was a little disheartened when I found out that it’s only in England.  It’s called the Enormous Elephant Run and is indeed run while wearing an elephant costume.  After polling Facebook about the ridiculousness of buying a plane ticket to London to run a 5k, I decided it wouldn’t be the worst idea I’ve ever had.  After some plans I had hoped for fell through, I decided even more so that it would be a go.  (Especially after I learned you get to keep the elephant costume.  Um, done deal?)

Full circle back to Eric – obviously he wasn’t going to miss out on a travel opportunity (and I wouldn’t miss out on a travel buddy).  Before deciding to go, we joked about his first 5k being run in an elephant costume………..and yet here we are!  So yes, in June, Eric and I are flying to London for a long, long weekend in London.   And we will be running a 5k in an elephant costume.  (I pondered the 10k, but we weren’t so sure Eric would get up to that level so quick, and given my current injured state, a 5k might be a better idea for both of us.)  The downside is that the 5k isn’t timed, which might be for the better, but it also means that I can’t set an elephant costume PR.

Of course, this is a fundraising event, and I hate asking people for money.  (I was bad at selling Girl Scout cookies, if you that gives you any idea…)  However, although we paid an entry fee, they would like us to raise 200 pounds each (give me enough Girl Scout cookies and it might happen, har har…).  So, if you feel so moved to donate to save the baby elephants, you can do so at my Enormous Elephant Run fundraising page.  Any gift is welcome and much appreciated, and Gatsby certainly thanks you even more.

Annnnd back to Eric.  We headed over to the local Jack Rabbit running store so he could get fitted for shoes.  I tried to hold back my opinion and just ask him what he thought felt best.  He ran in a bunch of different brands, and he ended up picking the Brooks Adrenaline.  Be still, my beating heart!  My first love in running shoes.  Eric sure knows how to pick them.  ;)

ericrunning Giving it a go on the treadmill.

image He’s already mastered the Garmin/shoe picture…

Eric downloaded the Couch to 5k app, which he’s modifying a bit since we’re on a time crunch…and he may not have run too much while on vacation.  Oops.  I do admit I’m seriously jealous on the couple times he’s headed out to run while I’m…not running.  Role reversal at its finest.  I don’t know if this running thing will stick – Eric always talks about his knees hurting, so we’ll see how that goes – but this will certainly make for an interesting first race.  :)

Have you ever run in costume before?  I need tips.  Also, any tips on things to do/see/eat while in London – last time I was there was nearly ten years ago, yikes!

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