Posts Tagged ‘injury’

Three Things Thursday

1. I came into work today to find an email from our CEO closing the office tomorrow! It’s a Labor Day miracle! Wes has already agreed to take the day off with me. This year I pushed my vacation back to September (well, and November and December, and maybe another small one in January), and I’m feeling BURNT OUT in a big way. But this long weekend will be just the thing I need to power through to the the end of the month, when I will get a week’s worth of rest.

2. My good hip is bothering me. I know, right? I’m going to blame it on my intense ramp-up in mileage (0-20) and back down a bit and go from there. The good news is that I’m running as fast as ever, and I’m still 10 weeks from my race!

3. I tried to sign up for drum lessons this week, but then I found out they were in Chantilly. Chantilly is far, son. But if anyone knows any drummers who give lessons in the close-in DC area (ok, Maryland is out too), let me know. And in other music news, almost all my favorite bands are releasing CDs in the next few weeks. That includes Ben Folds Five! I cried when I found out about that. Ben Folds Five is my absolute, A#1 favorite band of all time. They are the reason I love music, and I think you could argue the reason that my life partner is a musician. My biggest regret is never getting to see them play live (I was too young–and as the oldest child my mom wouldn’t let me have any fun), so I’m hoping that they decide to play out a few more times now. And now, before this post gets too weird and I tell you how I chased Ben down the streets of NYC, I’ll stop.

Three Things Thursday: Back at It

1. Today I went on what I consider to be my first training run for the next marathon cycle. Even though I don’t think I’m going to run it to my full potential, I’d still like to do the Eugene Marathon May 1 to “practice” running marathons. That being said, my run this morning was rough. I went with some of my favorite partners, and we did 3 miles at about 9:30 pace, but that pace was challenging, and I was huffing and puffing–and hurting–the whole way. Something tells me I shouldn’t have gone for a run 12 hours after my chiro worked over my entire upper right leg with the dreaded Graston. (I had banned Graston from my treatment plan, but desperate times call for desperate measures.)

2. I’ve joined DC Tri in the USA Triathlon National Club Challenge something something! It’s like all the contests bloggers have, except you only get points for swimming, biking, and running. And each month has a different focus: December is swim, January is bike, and February is run. I’m going to try to take advantage of the swim incentive and get my butt in the pool almost every day. And I need to start swimming less-embarrassing amounts of yardage. 800 meters isn’t going to win me any prizes.

3. Today I’m having a root canal, but tomorrow I leave for Key West!

Taper, Taper

It has begun.

The taper. And I’m SO ready for it. Lately I find myself missing all the other things I used to do–swimming, biking, weight lifting–all things I let lapse during my last three weeks of marathon training when I just ran, ran, ran. In hindsight, I think it was a mistake to let the other things go, but work got crazy, and running 50 miles a week got exhausting. In my next marathon life, I’ll be as dedicated to cross training as I was for the first 4 months of training–I’ll also probably only spend 4 months training, because I’m feeling burnt out too.

So before I was too tired to do other activities and now I’m too tapering to do them. I’m scheduled to do some pool running–coach’s orders because my achilles and peroneals aren’t fully cooperating–but all I want to do now is go for a bike ride! And then swim after the pool run! The swimming I will do, but the bike ride will probably have to wait until my commute tomorrow.

Just 11 more days!

Bah!

So all I’ve been doing since I last blogged is running and working. Running and working. I’ve been running 50 miles per week, which is amazing, but it just doesn’t go too well with working at the office and keeping up a normal-ish social life. I have a hard time saying no, so last week I worked 45 hours (I usually work 37.5!) and had an activity just about every night. It finally all blew up Thursday, when I skipped a casual engagement party to work and get to bed for my tempo run. Then it was out to dinner with friends on Friday, awesome 20 miler, out to dinner with friends on Saturday, 6 miler on Sunday that started out pretty rough. With all my working last week, I’d let my right leg just get too tight, so I had to come back and stretch and warm up a lot before I could run. But by the end of the run I felt good.

Can you guess where I’m going? Yesterday I had a great yoga class and a restful-ish day (only biked to work and yoga), and although I was feeling really mentally run down this morning, my body was feeling good. My legs were swinging, and I felt strong. We were scheduled to do Yasso 800s, and I was never feeling the workout, but it wasn’t that bad. I got through 4, and although I was running a little bit too fast, I figured I could just hold on to my 3:25 pace and finish up 10 after all.

But on the 5th repeat, my achilles started talking to me. It sent me a little stab at 100 meters, then another at 200, and then a great big one at 350. I really let out a yelp with that last one, and Beth turned to me and yelled, “Stop!” She was right, of course, although I’m now pouting up a storm about how I didn’t get to finish a workout I didn’t even want to do.

At least now I get a mental and physical break. My second gym membership is finally paying off–I’ll be able to hit up a YMCA while I’m out of town this week and do some easy pool running before attempting a tempo on Friday. And if that doesn’t work I’ll head back to the pool and make the weekend long-run call then.

I’m not really worried or freaking out right now. As every single running expert I’ve talked to in the past week has said, “The hay is in the barn.” I have no idea what that means, but I think it has something to do with the hard work being over 😉

Begin at the Beginning

Before I can convey exactly how big a deal my race was this weekend, I need to give some background. So here’s part one of my race recap.

Coming in to this marathon season, I’d had a bad year. I started this blog in April 2009, right after I finished a half marathon dragging my leg along the course. I had piriformis syndrome that I’d left untreated since September 2007, and it had finally caught up with me. I wasn’t allowed to run for almost a month. My second blog post is about how hard my 16-minute run was.

I had to stop doing everything with that injury–I couldn’t bike or go to my beloved weight class. And I dropped out of the San Diego marathon that May.

But slowly, very slowly, I crawled back to some fitness. On my first day back to the track I rolled my ankle while waving to a friend. Steps are tricky. And then, just as everything was falling back into place, I fell off my bike. It was days before I could walk again, two weeks before I could walk without the aid of a cane, and 10-12 weeks before I could run.

I was in some major denial after that. I DNF’d my first triathlon, a race I should never have started. And I just kept signing up for more races, trying to force my body into recovery. It kind of worked. I got some races in there, got my 5k down to about 24 minutes, where it had hovered for years before my break through in 2008, and my 10k to 50, and I started upping my mileage and doing track workouts again, but it was pretty rough going.

I registered for the Tucson half marathon in December 2009, and ran it despite some quad problems. But the downhill course, combined with the plane ride resulted in a fairly serious strain to my calf. I was out again. This time I couldn’t run for 3 weeks. And, oh, I see I’ve already written this post once. 2009 sucked, but I wasn’t done being injured!

In February, I started training for a spring triathlon, but I was still registered for my favorite race of all, the National Half Marathon. And there I just completely blew up. Yes, I was heavy, having put on some pity weight the year before. And yes, I was out of practice, especially given the insane amount of snow we’d had, my calf strain, my year of hell, and all that.

It turns out that my leg was swelling when I ran, so I made my second visit to the ER in 9 months. I took some more time off, and the swelling, which to this day remains unexplained went away and hasn’t come back. At that time I still had Cherry Blossom and the American Odyssey Relay on my calendar. I made a deal with my body: I would take it easy, and if it got me through those two races, I would start taking better care of it. Why it took me a year to realize that I needed to treat myself better, I’ll never know.

But my bod came through, and I got through Cherry Blossom in a healthy 1:27, and the AOR. That month I also got Carmela Sherbert, the love of my life, and I really think that she let me keep up my end of the bargain with my body.

I threw myself into triathlon training on my new bike. I followed their schedule exactly, running only when it called for running, not worrying that that only meant about 15 miles a week. And slowly, I could feel myself getting back into shape.

In May, I made another deal with myself. It was time to get serious again about training. I had a few weeks left before the tri, and cross training was going great. I registered for Marine Corps, and on the morning of my birthday I got up and went to the track for the first time in months. And I kept going. I started losing weight again, and I started doing core work and weights again pretty seriously.

I did the tri. I ran 24.5 miles the week afterward. It was time to start training for MCM, but this time I swore I’d do it differently. I’d listen to my body. When it was tired, I would rest, and I would learn to take easy days easy, and I would just trust that, if I trained like George told me to train, the results I wanted would happen.

So after a disappointing finish in a Portland 5k that wasn’t even timed, the Philadelphia Distance Run was going to be my test race. My last half marathon PR was at that race in 2008, so I had two years of training resting on it. Would my body bargain pay off? I was nervous. So so nervous. After feeling like I may never run again, let alone run a marathon, after not setting a single PR since December 2008, I was finally getting a chance to set one again. Could I do it?

Well, you guys know how it turns out. But now maybe you know a little bit more about how I felt going into it. Tomorrow I’ll talk about the race itself. Thanks for letting me vent 🙂

Just Another Saturday at the Giant

Soy milk was on sale!

That’s 32 pounds of ice for my post-17-mile-run ice bath. I was scheduled to do 50 miles last week, but I’m nursing the start of a shin splint. While I (perhaps unwisely) insisted on going through with my planned 16-17 miles on Saturday, I promised myself that if I didn’t break my leg doing that, I’d take it easy today and for the rest of the week.

So today I hit the pool treadmill at my gym for about 4. My leg still felt weird, but there was still a lot less pounding. And I ended up with about 46.5 miles total.

I’m headed out on a 10-day (!) vacation, and I’m doing a 5k on Sunday, so this was going to be a light week anyway. I’m looking to run as close to my PR as possible at that race to gauge my training so far. I’ll try to squeeze in 10 miles for the day with a warm up and cool down, but it’ll be an easy week otherwise. My attendance at Tuesday morning’s track workout is still TBD, but I have a feeling George would tell me to take it off…

Ramping Up the Mileage

So you know things are going well when you show up at the chiropractor, and he’s all, “How do you feel?” And you’re all, “Pretty good. I did 44 miles last week, and I’m not sore or tight anywhere.” And he’s like, “Whhhhaaaaaaatttt?”

(My chiro is awesome, by the way, and he just opened his own practice. Check him out: www.wispc.com.)

He couldn’t believe that I had gotten over my injury hump so completely, and while I was tempted to let him think it was a miracle possibly brought on by his intervention, I know full well what happened. As of April, I didn’t have any more races on my calendar. Whereas before, I kept trying to come back in time to do a half marathon–not a 5k or a 10k, mind you, a half marathon!–and shocker, I kept getting hurt. It was September before I could run again after my late-July bike accident last year…was a December half marathon the best idea? How about the one in January? Oh wait, couldn’t do that one because I pulled my calf. Or the one in March where I hit total injury rock bottom?

Now, I think there were also some shoe problems going on in there, but that, coupled with racing goals that were well beyond my current capabilities spelled disaster. Over and over and over again. I thought I was done running forever.

Enter triathlon. I actually think the triathlon was a brilliant move on my part. (Good job, self. I’m really modest too.) Because it allowed me to train as hard as I wanted, without pounding the hell out of myself through running. Which meant that when it came time to switch back to running, I was in pretty good shape.

So, for my week of 7/26-8/1 in review:

44 miles for a total of 7 hours running (most weekly miles in almost two years)

14 miles for a total of 1 hour biking (booo! Need to get more in!)

1500 yards for a total of 1 hour swimming (Have I mentioned that I hate swimming lately?)

We’re what, 12.5 weeks from MCM, 6 weeks from Philly. Am I ready for PRs? I have no idea. I’ll just keep plugging along with my fingers crossed.