Monday, December 26, 2011

a thousand reasons but no excuse

My last post was on December 9th.  I hurt my back on the 8th.  I didn't run for 10 days total, counting a few days prior to the injury that I hadn't run.

I've run just 4 times in the past 11 days, since I determined my back injury was healed.

While it's understandable considering the holidays and craziness that surrounds them.  But it's not great considering I am running my first marathon, 26.2 miles, on January 22.

I have a thousand reasons.

First was the back, so those 10 days were a legitimate break.  I needed to let my back heal 100%.  I was scared to start back too soon and prolong my recovery by re-injuring it.  I ran 2 miles a week after my injury and felt pretty good, which showed me that I did the right thing by taking that week off.

And all of the sudden it was the week before Christmas.  Parties, shopping, activities.  The kids were out of school, we were juggling childcare, I was under some deadlines at work that were stressful.  Late nights.  Three weekend Christmas services I needed to be at.

A thousand reasons.

But honestly, truly, no excuse.  I could have put on my shoes and gotten out there.  I could have taken 30 minutes to just at least keep up the running.

If I didn't have a marathon coming up, I wouldn't be so frustrated with myself.

I planned to do a long run this past weekend.  I slept less than 6 hours on Thursday night, and only 6 hours Friday night and we began celebrating with family on Saturday morning.

I didn't do a long run.

I almost didn't run today.  I had to take my almost 8-year old shopping this afternoon and when I got home, I was so tired.  The little girls were clingy.  But my awesome husband pushed me out the door and I got 4.5 miles in.  My legs felt huge, clumsy and awkward the first mile or two.  Like they each had gained 5 pounds.  Which is entirely possible with holiday eating.

I believe in myself.  Even though I've been derailed, I trust in my training up to that point.  I have not lost what I gained.

On Saturday or Monday, I will do my last long run before I start to taper.  I'd like to run 20 miles.  I know I can run 14-16.  If I'm feeling good enough, I'll keep going.

There may be a thousand reasons, but I will stop making excuses.

Friday, December 9, 2011

silly injury

I had a whole post almost completely typed yesterday in an app I use on my phone. Then the app crashed and I can't get it open now. And my draft is lost inside it.

Long story short...I did Insanity Cardio Abs yesterday. Then I cleaned part of my floor on all four's. Then I was cleaning chairs on my knees and when I went to get up, I had crazy intense pain in my lower middle back and could barely get off the ground.

My best guess is the abwork and cleaning weakened my back and my muscles got really strained. Basically it sucks.

The hubs stayed home today to help out so I could actually take it easy. I can tell I'm slowly improving with rest, ice, heat and medication scored from family members.

It's still pretty tight and weak.

Looks like my 8-10 mile run tomorrow will be postponed. So bummed. But I've learned my lessons.

I MUST make abwork a more regular part of my routine because I do have a weak back, mostly caused by my pregnancies.

Don't do abwork on the same day I'll be bending, twisting etc. At least until my core is stronger again.

I am thankful this wasn't a running injury.

I do not enjoy having to sit around all day. I like being lazy, just on my own terms--haha! But I'm disciplining myself to rest. I know my back will recover faster that way.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to resume some life activities. And you know, training for the full marathon less than 2 months way which is beginning to breathe down my back!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

scared to run?

After yesterday's rough 18 mile run, I'm scared to hit the road for a few miles.

My body is recovering ok, but this is the sorest I've been so far.  I sprinted 20 feet this morning and it didn't feel so great.

But I know the best remedy for a sore body is getting those muscles working again and it may hurt for the first several minutes, but then things will loosen up and the healing process will continue.

I can honestly say though, I've never been scared to run before!

Perhaps it's even most important for my psyche.  I can't be intimidated by this run.  It will not beat me, I will not give up.

I'll be up early tomorrow for a short run and I'll report back.  I will do this.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

they can't all be good runs, right?

It's impossible to pinpoint where today's run went wrong, because it seemed to go wrong in so many places, on so many levels.  Let's just say I was holding back tears a few times, and I am NOT a crier.

I was nervous to begin with, since I knew my run would start after noon and there's no way I was going to NOT be on my feet leading up to that point.  Typically my long runs start an hour or 90 minutes after I wake up.

I ate a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and drank a grande coffee drink from Starbucks for breakfast and I ate a Fiber One Bar about an hour before my run and a few orange slices on the way.  I also drank 16oz of Nuun in the late morning.

As I started out, I felt good.  In fact I went out a little too fast, but slowed down after a mile.  Things were okay until miles 5-6 and I felt myself slowing a lot.  My right hip was really bothering me, I felt sluggish and everything was just bothering me.  Around 7.5 miles I stopped for about 5 minutes and did some really good stretching and regrouped.

By 9 miles, things were only worse.  My feet were hurting and different body parts took turns aching and yelling at me.  My shins, my ankles, hips, lower back, yup--everything.  I started taking walk breaks every 5 minutes or so.  My car was at the 11-mile mark and I was so incredibly tempted to call it a day.  But the walk breaks pepped me up and I kept on trucking.

Every mile seemed to get worse.  I put my Garmin on the "current lap" screen so I could monitor my walk breaks and it helped to not look at my overall time or distance.  Everything just hurt and my feet were the worst.  I miscalculated a bit and thought I may come up short.  I had to push until the very end of my route before I turned around.  And it just hurt.  I wanted to cry

I stopped my Garmin a few times to refill water or take in some nutrition slowly.  I needed every ounce of strength.  I pushed on and sometimes I took walk breaks more frequently, but mostly every 5 minutes.  I texted Bean to give him an estimate of when I'd be at the car to come home.  I felt terrible too because I had been gone longer than I'd hoped to be, leaving him with the three kids all afternoon.  He's fully capable and willing...we just work well as a team together too

Wouldn't you know, I got to my car at 17.5 miles.  I was tempted to stop, but I'd pushed it so far, I had to complete it.  So I ran past .25 miles and then turned around.  Finally---done.  My quads and my feet hurt so bad.

I started out at 10:30-10:45 pace, the middle miles were 11:00 and then the last several were 12:00 and then 13:00+.  It was ROUGH.  I was so disappointed.  My overall pace was 11:50, which is actually better than I was expecting, but quite off on my goal of 11ish.

Most of my runs were great.  What was especially frustrating about today was that last weeks 17-miler was a very similar route and it went great.  I pushed in the beginning, took it slower with my sister and then pushed again the last few miles for a great finishing time.  I ran twice earlier in the week and those were good runs too.

I guess my body needed to be broken down more.  Even though I was so disappointed by my pace, I kept telling myself that during the actual race I will be running for even longer than I did today, so it's all a part of the training.  I can't help my optimism.

There's no doubt the late day start contributed to my troubles.  I will really be working to avoid that again.  I didn't care for my nutrition today---Clif Shots and Orange Slices.  I've been trying a variety of things to make sure I find what I like the most. I am a big fan of Gu.  I think Espresso Love is my favorite although I usually alternate between caffeinated and uncaffeinated.  I also like Honey Stingers. I think that's what I'll stick with from here on out.

I am a little concerned about my shoes.  They were fine last week, but this week my feet hurt so bad.  I don't know if it's part of the breaking in/breaking down process and my feet are still adjusting or what.  I want to stick with them for a few more runs and roll my feet out some and see what happens.

Everything was just off.  This run made me doubt myself--can I really run 26 miles?  Can I really run for up to 90 more minutes than I did today?   I certainly couldn't have done it today.  What a difference a week makes.  Last week I thought "I've got this" and this week, I'm not so sure.

What can I do but just keep running and hope I recover and come back stronger.

Running in the afternoon meant the temperature was dropping by the time I finished and being soaked in sweat I got cold very fast.  I just couldn't stomach sitting in an ice bath.  I've stretched a few times tonight and I guess it will be a good experiment to see how effective the ice bath is in my recovery.

I needed to work this all out in writing in an attempt to help me understand and record my experience for help in future runs.

Any suggestions, advice or personal experience is always appreciated!  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Next up: 18 miles (in the afternoon)

I'm running long tomorrow.  In the afternoon.  Usually my long runs are in the morning, but tomorrow's schedule necessitates the afternoon.  I'm a little nervous about it.  I know how to eat and drink for a morning run, but what do I do when I'll be heading out around lunch time?  I know I don't want to run on a super full stomach.  But I don't want to be super hungry either.

My plan thus far is to eat a decent breakfast and a mid-morning snack and maybe 100-200 calories before I head out--and then I'll just have my running nutrition.  And maybe drink some Nuun in the morning also.

Last week I ran 17 miles and my plan for tomorrow is 18-19.  Next week I'll hit my first 20 and then drop back for a week.  I know I only need to run one 20-miler, but I think I want to fit in two.  We'll see how it goes!  My race is now less than 8 weeks away, so I need to solidify these last weeks of training since my initial schedule got altered.

I am loving my new shoes!  They feel different from any shoe I've run in so far (which has been 3-4 pairs of the same shoe) but it's been good.  I have had less hip/back pain this week than normal, so maybe they are helping with that as well.  Yesterday I pushed the double jogger for 5 miles and felt great.  I didn't use any Glide on my feet and I'm not getting the troublesome blisters in my arches either.

Christmas is going to be here before I know it...and then the race will be right around the corner.  I can't believe it!  I'm excited and nervous, which I'm sure is how I'll feel on race day as well.

I guess I need to start thinking about my next race and goal.  I think I may go for a 2-hour half again and beat my 2:09 PR hopefully.  Strength training and speedwork will be high on my list.

I'll report back later tomorrow or this weekend.

Check out this to see some other stuff I've been up to lately.