Day 239 through Day 264 — I Ran, Injured Myself, Ran, and Injured Myself

A picture says a thousand words. You want to know what happened on the 7th and the 16th? I ran, and I didn’t log it on my phone. I’ve been running every single day, Monday through Saturday, for as long as I can remember at this point, for a month and a half maybe, who knows?

I wanted to know, so I checked, and it looks like I’ve been running at least three miles a day since February 11th. Now that’s amazing. Now you see the dip on the 28th, the 29th, and the 30th?

I didn’t run those days. I hurt myself on the 27th of March, and was so impaired that I limped around on the 28th, and the 29th. I hurt my thigh while practicing a forward balance, on the hands only, I have no idea what it’s called, I did it for about a second and a half, and then landed on something in my pocket that was practically as hard as a rock. I fell on this object, mind you, from about a foot and a half in the air, with all of my weight on it.

On the 29th I could barley lift my left foot half as high as my knee while sitting down and I needed to use my hands to grab my leg out and over the bottom edge of my car door. I don’t remember when I got spirulina and vegan BCAA. It must have been around the 30th. Before I even began drinking the supplements, I could lift my foot as high as my head and it matched as high as my non-injured foot could go. The severing pain in my thigh, when lifting my foot, was completely gone!

I was still limping on the 30th however. By the next day, I was walking again with minimal pain, and was able to jog forward with only some pain.

On Sunday, April 1st, I went for a 4.5 mile run. The pain was excruciating at times. I am grateful for the pain. I learned how to balance more on my right side, to let the pain go away from my left thigh. Then I realized that was putting too much impact on my knee, so I attempted to balance myself vertically, by having more of a bounce, but that didn’t work, so I reduced the bounce to nothing, as if I were trying to keep my feet 40% as high off the ground compared to a full run.

By Monday, I was back to normal and running up and down hills. On Tuesday, April 3rd, a week after my injury, I ran 4 miles with a 6:44 minute pace. A personal best!

While I was injured I upped my food intake by about 30%. I figured that I needed to rebuild muscle, so I drank supplements and ate more food. It worked. The biggest injury to my thigh over the past few years was no match for eating more, resting, and taking supplements.

I later found out that BCAA may be harmful and one of my vegan inspirations, who practices arco yoga, named Dakota Mays, confirmed what I knew deep down: there’s no need to take supplements, let alone BCAA. Within a matter of minutes, I found out that BCAA is bad and that he’s written a part in his eBook about bulking, which is something I’m paradoxically interested in as I want to up my weight in preparation for marathon training.

On Wednesday the 4th, I started to run 6.5 miles, out of the blue, seemingly. Well, I think what happened is on Tuesday or Wednesday of that week, my coworker told me about the “Bolder Boulder,” a 10km race. That’s 6.5 miles!

So I wanted to see what I had in me. I ran that first 6.5 miles with a 7:49 mile pace. Then on Thursday I ran the same distance with a 7:31 pace. On that Friday, I ran the same distance again, with a pace of 7:14. And the best of all? Look how sweet that pace stayed across the elevation gain! Go ahead and compare the Friday run below, with the Wednesday run.

Friday
Wednesday

Granted, the elevation was going up and down, nonstop. But you know how I was able to improve so much? By starting out with a difficult path to run, up and down, and up and down. By the time I was running again on Friday, my body was thanking me for it tenfold, and producing an amazing result.

Now imagine if I took away that mountain from the Friday run. Imagine if I ran on flat surface. Could I break a 7 minute mile pace for 6.5 miles? I think the answer is yes.

I ran another 6.5 miles on the 12th, and I was able to get a 7:15 pace: please note that it may have been 7:14, I took a note that I finished 8 seconds faster, which would put the pace at a lower 7:14 pace, such as 7:14:22 or something of that nature, it’s just that I pressed the stop button on my GPS app later than I finished my run (since it takes time to get it out of one’s pocket and get the phone opened and so forth). My form wasn’t as calibrated though:

And you want to know what happened on the 9th? It was the day of my birthday, and a day after I injured myself running in a “Beerinteering” event that took place on the 8th. It’s a mix between the Hash House Harrier Boulder club, orienteering, and drinking beer. I nearly didn’t make it in time for the beginning because I couldn’t find parking, even though the event had said to come early because parking is hard to find and people should car pool…

I got there in time for the first beer downing. Then I was off, following Lady Daze with his short shorts, taco farts, slender legs, plastic map holder, and plastic compass necklace. Lady Daze was a crazy fellar. He ran through a Rocky Mountain Spring Cold stream within 10 minutes in. I followed him, too timid to run back to the start and try to find another way. We were the first to find the first beer pack on the run, and we downed some beers. I decided to sit down on a cactus to have this first earned beer.

Lady Daze had his damn high socks on and his short shorts on, and I had long pants on and was getting beaten by the bushes and other crap that was in my way. What a crazy way to run! I found out that Lady Daze had gone to college for some technical or business field, and he had web development experience like myself, and used similar tools to build websites. It was nice chit chatting with him, as we ran through thorns that cut our skin ever so slightly, and as I dug my hand in my pants trying to pull out thorns from my right side that were itchy and painful, as they got pushed in deeper by my pants as they moved up and down my running thigh. I was just grateful the cactus got my thigh, and not another part of my sensitive lower areas…

By the near end of the “beerinteering,” I was four or five or six beers in, and I fell onto my right ankle. My foot went into a sprain mode, and I took it right out by overcompensating, but the damage had been done. My foot became sprained on the right ankle, and then, when we were just singing and playing silly beer/fun/Hash House Harrier games, I went to pee by a stream. I’d been instructed that if you’re doing it discreetly, it’s all good, and I remembered this from the people that told me that public urination is okay more or less where I live.

Lady Daze had just shown me what was possible when he peed, it’s a move where you go on one knee and pee, and it looks a lot less awkward. I don’t know what I did… As I was walking to get close to the stream, I tripped and took a knee, straight into a rock. My left knee then became bruised and painful. On every run I’ve had since then, I’ve felt the pain in my left knee ebb up.

My friend said I should take it easy with the running and be kind to myself. I agree with those sentiments, especially considering how much faster I got after having my thigh injury. However, I responded back saying “what if my mind is stronger than my body?” I am certain that this knee issue is just my body crying wolf. It is more than capable of healing itself, even with additional running. If I’m wrong, so be it, but I need to get faster for the Bolder Boulder.

Everything I’ve learned over the past few weeks has been teaching me to not run on the side of roads. People are just not careful enough. A few weeks ago it was snowing and cold, and this car did a U-turn in the middle of the street and it was too close to hitting me so I gave it the middle-finger and the person honked and sped off as I tried to catch up and smash the damn thing. I would have thrown my encased iPhone at it if I had though of it quickly enough. And yeah sure, here I am, talking about chasing cars like a lunatic, but I’ve had way too many close encounters while running and am at that stage where anger still flows from me, because I’ve got the excuse of “I could have died!”

From here on out, I really ought to find better alternatives to running on the sides of roads. I saw this article today.

BOULDER, Colo. — The world-record holder in the Ironman triathlon had what is known as a hangman’s fracture, a broken C2 vertebra, like that found in someone who has died by hanging.

Want to know how he got hurt? Ding ding ding! You got it… He was smashed up by a car.

In October, Don was preparing for the Ironman world championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and went out for his final prerace bike ride. He was warming up when a car smashed into him on the highway.
Instead of the career-defining medal he had sought, Don wound up with the halo. For three months, he passed much of his time motionless in an armchair as his vertebra healed at his home here. He could not dress, shave or shower. His forehead swelled, and the holes where the pins were screwed in began to ooze. When his wife tried to clean around the metal with a sponge, Don nearly passed out from the pain.

I want to prepare for my first marathon this year, and the next, and the next after that. There is no way in hell I’m going to let my indecision about staying off the roads keep me on the roads. I am going to stop those damn things once and for all. I just can not risk my body in that way, against stupid cars.

On Saturday the 14th, I ran 13 miles with a 8:30 pace.

The weekend leading to my birthday, on April 9th, I finished up my book of 42 lessons. It was a delight writing it. Now I await a bit more, to forget what I wrote, so that I may edit it by the end of this month and then have the paperback books ready.

Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve been manifesting things more and more, getting more than I’ve ever wished for in a short amount of time.

To begin, my job… It’s perfect. Everything I could want at this age and stage, and more.

My coworkers, are amazing. One sold me a drone, a week or two after I told my friend that I wouldn’t want any gadget except a drone right now. Then he gave me his 1984 bike for free. Granted, it’s “old,” but it’s awesome because there’s a book by that same name that I love, and the tires are brand new, and the brakes, and there’s a water bottle holder on there, and it’s actually EXACTLY the type of hybrid bike I had decided to get after a cashier at a grocery store told me that it’s best to get one like that, not a mountain bike and not a road bike.

On January 11th, I had written about how a woman gave me a water bottle holder at the grocery store, after I gave her some of my change:

After work today I showered and shot a quick video presentation of a promotional plan I’m proposing to someone who sells a water bottle holder; which is interesting considering the fact that I was given one over the weekend by that woman I met again at the grocery store, who offered it to me after I offered her some of my change.

Then look at that. Now I’ve got a bike. Exactly what I was thinking I wanted before she gave me the water bottle holder, that holds two bottles of water. When she gave me the water bottle holder I thought “good, now this will be perfect for my bike.”

Well here I am, now I’ve been given a bike water bottle holder, and a bike. Isn’t that neat?

It keeps going on, and on.

See this? It’s a photo of a SpaceX rocket taking off. Since last year I’ve been using this image across my profiles. I even have a business name that is in line with one of Elon Musk’s creations. Well guess what? I found out that my Russian friend, who I met through Instagram, had painted a piece just like this.

Shipping the painting would have been difficult. But she just so happens to have a friend who’s father is a pilot. Isn’t that neat? The painting looks like a spaceship, and a man and what appears to be a woman is on the right, and the spaceship is on the left. The photo above is a blue and grey photo, the painting is a mostly grey, and blue, painting.

Elon Musk was driven by the Russians to create a better rocket when they spit on him, when he was trying to buy an outdated rocket for a large sum of money.

So guess what? I get my very own Russian rocket art created by a Russian woman delivered by a Russian pilot, that looks all like the photo that I love, that came from the country Elon Musk left with a burning passion to create something greater than NASA could with tax dollars, and something greater than the Russians were trying to sell, which could only be used once. He created the re-usable rocket, and a big part of his drive may have not existed without the Russians not taking his 20-year-old-looking self seriously.

Now I haven’t gotten the rocket yet, so I’m crossing my fingers, because there’s a lot of moving parts to this traveling rocket. To get a piece of art from Russia to the USA is more difficult than it seems, but it is definitely worth it.

The day I told my friend about this rocket art piece, they said to be careful, with buying art that is, because they remember when they wanted their first art piece. I was upset and said “no! I haven’t wanted to buy art before, I have on occasion, but this is different. This is the only piece of art I want to buy.”

I sent my friend 50% for the rocket piece a few days ago, and when I tried to send the rest they were confused. I think they want me to hold up until it’s clear if they can get it delivered or not, this week, through their friend’s father, the pilot.

The next day after deciding I wanted the rocket painting, another friend reached out to me to checkout her most recent painting.

It was inspired by the hiking trip we had in Boulder, when she was traveling with me.

I may have bought the first painting that she had made with this pattern, but I am not certain if it was her first. Regardless, this painting spoke to me.

The person who made this is visiting in a few days. Isn’t that neat?

And my friend from Maryland, they started to paint a bird for me. This person, we will name them Bird.

Bird is amazing. She reached out to me literally within 48 hours of me saying to my friend that it would be a dream come true if I could inspire ten people to become vegan, in one year, in a few years from now. She told me she was going to try veganism again. Later on the phone with Bird, I asked her how much of her going vegan again was because of me. She said she wouldn’t say it was because of me, because they wanted to be healthier and so forth, but I definitely made it a lot easier with all the yummy recipes I share. Then you won’t believe it, within that same exact week, the person who painted the mountain above told me that they were ready to try vegetarianism again. A day or two later, they were eating a vegan diet.

Isn’t that wild?

I think a few days or weeks, before all of this happened, I had someone ask me for advice on eating a vegan diet, and there wasn’t much I could give since there was other underlying obsessive food habits to combat.

With all of this in mind, I never thought once in my life that I would be a source of empowerment for vegans and a hub of knowledge for others, on this plant based topic. Aside from the examples mentioned above, there’s been a few other people that have been inspired by my vegan eating and running, and it’s kind of taken me aback because to me this is my every day regular life. I wake up groaning sometimes, and I grumble throughout the day, and then I complain a bit, and then I groan a bit more, and huff and puff as I run, and by the end of the day I’m tired and beat and spent, moaning and groaning my way to bed.

I don’t feel all that fluid, I feel free, mind you, but I am not fluid. I am this mixture of routines and beliefs and distractions and energy, and yet for others somehow I am one fixed point of vegan, running, and health.

I’m not quite sure how it happened but it’s a blessed feeling.

At work other great things have been happening. I picked the 5 AM shift, because it was available and I wanted it. Now I sleep at 9 PM, or maybe 10 PM, who knows, and then I wake up at 4 AM. I want to try waking up at 3 AM and sleeping at 9 PM every day.

At work, I have access to a library full of books on the topics I love, it’s right in the break room. There’s a foam roller for my back too, which appeared a day or two after my back was sore and I thought about how useful they are.

At work I learned about the Hash House Harriers, and the Bolder Boulder 10km race, as well as the Marathon called Pike’s Peak.

You want to know the best part? Two weeks ago my coworker told me about two tracks, one at a high school and one at a college. Both were not accessible to the public, contrary to what my coworker said. Then a day or two later, a new employee shows up and what do they say? Their husband is a football coach at one of the schools and I may end up being able to get access after all, the new employee asked their husband and it looks like it should be doable.

So here I am. I’ve got a drone, maybe access to a track, a new bike, new art pieces coming into me (the mountain piece will arrive tomorrow, the rocket maybe within a week, maybe within four weeks, anything works as long as it lands safely within my hands, and the bird soon enough too).

Also, my yoga friend from Maryland told me that they used my “aum shield,” that I taught them about and it worked. It was funny because when I taught them about the “aum shield,” I specifically stated that you don’t have to say “aum” outloud for it to work, and on the phone they said they did it differently and that they didn’t say it outloud, I found it really funny. Sometimes having a distinct memory can be a trap against the things people say that they think are original.

I would love to write about the “aum shield,” should I get a request from my readers to dive into detail. It is getting late, it is 8:55 PM and I must retire to sleep, or at least, to relax for an hour.

If I stayed up writing even a little bit more about the manifestations, I would not finish for another 45 minutes. I kid you not!

By the way, in Russian and Romanian, rich is “bogat.” Car is “machina.” It’s interesting. I was listening to my Russian friend repeat some of the words I’d said in Romanian, thinking that they were just saying them twice, but then I realized they were saying “in Romanian,” and then “in Russian,” and it was the same exact thing.

I also found out that it’s not as hard as I thought to visit Russia. For some reason the internet made it seem a lot harder. At first glance it said you could get a 3 month student visa, and you had to get an “exit visa” while inside the country, to be able to leave.

Then my Russian friend said it’s not that hard and asked “do you think we are North Korea?” I looked it up and she was right. It is easy to travel there, at least easier than I was expecting.

My friend is married, has their own salon, and literally spends the majority of her day painting. She’s also married and in an open relationship, which blew my mind more to learn than it did to find out that they were married. An open relationship in Russia? How is that possible? I’ve been learning that the culture there isn’t all that different, and at the same time, it is.

The best part about all of this? My Russian friend said that they will be my tour guide when I visit. Now isn’t that sweet? I would love nothing more than to visit a country and have a tour guide local, especially in Russia, it would make me feel a whole lot more comfortable knowing someone who knows the language and the customs.

I think it’s neat that this friend lives across the Black Sea, which I grew up visiting as a kid in Romania. Talking to this online friend has really inspired me and reminded me of a bit of my own Romanian culture, and creativity, and so forth.

I could talk about it more, but then I wouldn’t get as much rest or have as much time to live this beautiful life.

To be continued…


Originally published at storyofoctavian.com.