Hiking, Me, Running

The changing of the seasons and of other things

I’m sitting here listening to the rain playing drums on our roof, and it feels like Seattle again. We had an absolutely incredible summer with endless sun and no significant rain from late July to mid-October, but now autumn is here and it’s time to lounge around in front of the fireplace, reading books and ingesting myriad pumpkin-spiced foodstuffs.

For once, the rain was welcomed, as it seemed like half the state was on fire. Unfortunately, the Table Mountain A-Frame burned down (poor Pooperine!), but obviously that’s inconsequential when you think of all the people who lost their actual homes.

Mazama Ridge

In personal news, I’m still trying to find the root cause of my pain problem. My doctor’s new theory is that it could actually be a musculoskeletal thing, which would be preferable to a scary internal organ thing.

I tried total rest, but that didn’t help at all (and it turns out that chronic pain is much more difficult to handle without a regular influx of endorphins), so I’ve been doing easy but wonderful hikes and lots of slow (as if I have much choice) runs. Just in case the doctor is right, I’ve also been doing pitiful, Fondaesque adductor exercises to strengthen and stretch the area in question.

Labyrinth Mountain

I’ve been hesitant to mention this online or to most of my friends, but I’ve stopped eating gluten. I know, I know, it seems like such a fad, right? Originally I tried it because of anecdata showing it might help with my pain problems. Well, it didn’t, but three days after going cold turkey, I woke up feeling clear-headed for the first time I can remember since my teenage years. No brain fog, no headache, no lethargy. I didn’t want to say anything at first since I figured it might be some sort of placebo effect (and I can practically hear the exasperated sighs all the way from Norway when my parents realize that I now not only eschew meat, but also bread), but a month and a half later I am still going strong.

It’s been surprisingly easy so far, but I could see problems arising during the holidays – no Norwegian Christmas cookies? No Field Roast?? No gravy??? No onion-rosemary rolls???? Hnnngh. But really, I would rather feel this great than eat a cookie. Besides, I can still have sweet potato soufflĂ©. Mmm. I should probably do a test where I eat something really glutenous and see how it affects me, but I just feel so damn good now that I don’t want to risk it.

Homeward bound

Due to this new-found energy, I have started running more consistently and really enjoying it (mostly). And…I signed up for the Orcas Island 25K in January! I’m hoping it will keep me from hibernating all winter long. This will be my first race of any kind ever, so the only person I will actually be racing against is myself. As long as I’m not last, I’ll be happy (but, honestly, there’s a pretty big chance that this could happen).

Actually, I’ll be happy if I make it to the race at all, if it turns out I do have some sort of musculoskeletal failage. Maybe my uneven-legged, pigeon-toed gait and crooked back has finally caught up with me.

Sleeping in for the win

So, this was an update of sorts, complete with photos from different hikes we’ve done which I will get around to writing about at some point. I guess going gluten-free didn’t magically turn me into a better blogger…but I’ll try not to let an entire month pass before my next post.

October on the beach

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  • Reply Annet M October 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    that bottom photo is AMAZING! We’ve mostly gone gluten free around here too, cause my son really needs to and so then its easier to just all follow along. So the other day I had a donut and boy that made me feel all kinds of weird afterwards. No point for you really to try, is there? Ain’t worth it!!

    • Reply Ingunn October 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I did try a couple of beers last weekend, and didn’t notice any ill effects – yay! The only thing that has made me feel sluggish was a gluten-free pizza crust…I guess it’s just too “fake” to digest easily.

  • Reply Mark Griffith October 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Hope you continue to feel better. My knees have been aching for the past 6 months. Hasn’t stopped me from getting out but I don’t feel the greatest. Sucks, but I need to see Doc.

  • Reply Michelle October 20, 2012 at 6:19 am

    Ah, what stunning, crisp pictures, love them! Sorry to hear about the pain thing, i hope they can get to the source of it. oh, and I totally believe in nutritional changes for health, I don’t eat gluten either (and minimise dairy), they both just made my gut very uncomfortable. I’m also a fan of seeing naturopaths who specialise in a more holistic (body, life, nutrition) approach to diagnosis if you are at all inclined that way. Happy hiking in the meantime though!

  • Reply Glamorous Ski Bul October 20, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I found your blog though Colorado Gal, and WOW! I must say that your pictures are beautiful!!

  • Reply Ingunn October 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Mark, I didn’t realize your knee is still bothering you – get thee to a doctor!

    Ski Bum, thank you!

  • Reply Christina October 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Ingunn, I continue to enjoy reading your blog. I’m sorry I don’t always comment. My husband and I thoroughly enjoy your photos! It would be fun to meet you someday when we pass through Seattle. I’m so glad that you are feeling better from not eating gluten. I’ve actually heard about a lot of people feeling better from staying away from it–it’s pretty amazing! You commented on my blog awhile back about something and I wanted you to know that I have been praying for you. If you want to talk more about it, please comment on my blog again and maybe leave you email address (I won’t post it). And if you are ever in our neck of the woods (Southeast Alaska) please look us up! I think you would love the alpine here!

  • Reply ewb October 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Good call on the gluten, glad it helped! I found additional relief by dropping dairy, too. Well, mostly. But it was very hard to do.

  • Reply Brianna October 22, 2012 at 8:07 am

    That first photo looks like Goat Rocks? I just did that in September. Love your blog and thanks for your wonderful updates :)

  • Reply Rachel October 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I always look forward to your posts! You take such pretty pictures :) Good for you for trying gluten-free! I’ve been dairy and egg free for about 9 months now and I feel so much better, mostly because I’m allergic to them. I just feel so much better and now I don’t want to go back!

  • Reply jill i October 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better. I’m a veteran of muscular-skeletal issues (autoimmune stuff too) that have slowed me down and prevented me from doing the number and level of hikes that I did when I was in my twenties and thirties (like you have shown on your beautiful blog). But I did play with diet and worked with a nutritionist to eat an anti-inflammatory way, and gluten was on the list of things to cut out. I of course have rebelled against that “abstinence” off and on over the years, but just yesterday I made another pledge to cut out wheat and sugar. Day 2. The Orcas run sounds great! Wish I could run again but that ship has sailed, don’t want to risk the flare-ups.

  • Reply Ingunn October 25, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Christina, thank you so much for your comment, I might have to take you up on that!

    ewb, we’ll have to start lobbying the Pour House for a better post-hike menu for us intolerants. :o)

    Brianna, that’s from Mount Rainier looking towards the Tatoosh Range – I haven’t been to Goat Rocks yet, but from the photos I’ve seen it looks wonderful.

    Rachel, it’s crazy how easy it is to stay away from something when you *know* it’s going to make you feel bad to eat it. It almost makes me wish chocolate had the same effect on me. ;^)

    Jill, you must have been running around all over the place back then, because you seem pretty darn active now, based on your blog! I should look into anti-inflammatory eating. I wonder how much turmeric I would have to consume to make up for all the sugar I eat.. :o)

  • Reply jill i October 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Ingunn, unfortunately sugar is an inflammatory food (well, not sure it’s really food, but something to ingest). I have a tremendous sweet tooth, too. There are definitely pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods. Here’s what Dr. Andrew Weil has to say about it: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/PAG00361/anti-inflammatory-food-pyramid.html

    good luck with the training. and yea, I used to be on the go nonstop all over the region, and now some of my blog posts aren’t in real time (I will sneak in a post from something I did a while ago or even over a year ago).

  • Reply Sue November 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Delurking to say I’m sorry about your pain problem. I know how scary and frustrating it can be to feel pain and not have an explanation for it. I have just recently recovered from mystery pain in the groin/pelvic area – the doctors were never able to diagnose it. I ended up trying just about anything anyone thought might help (acupuncture, shiatsu, massage, physical therapy, diet changes). Ultimately after about 6 months it finally started getting better and now (9 months on) it rarely bothers me. So even though it might seem like this has already lasted forever, it may still just take a little more time. For what it’s worth I think that what helped me was swimming, pelvic floor excercises, and reducing my anxiety (meditation). If you’re not already better, I hope you start to feel better soon!

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