Saturday, August 30, 2008

Top of Utah 1/2...Finally!

Wow, I wish I would have written this right after, but things were kind of crazy and for once, I didn't have any pictures!  Jodi shared hers with me, so photos are thanks to Jodi and her husband, Dave.  
It was a whirlwind of a decision to run it in the first place.  I ran 5 miles the Thursday before to see how my knees would do.  Before I hit the two mile mark they started to hurt, but I just ran through it to see if it would get much worse.  It really didn't so by Friday I had decided that I'd regret it if I didn't just do it.
Saturday morning at 5:00 a.m. we set off to find an address in the dark that neither one of us had ever been before.  Luckily for us, we found it.  I was shocked at the number of people there.  I guess it makes sense though, it was a great training run for the whole marathon which is in a month and with it being the middle miles, the sweet part of it.  The weather was perfect, cool with a slight breeze at our backs.  It was only 66 degrees when we drove home.  

After our sweet smelling visit to the porta potties we tried to get a place in the line.  However, it was like being squeezed in like sardines and there was no moving to the back like we wanted.  So the gun went off and we were pretty much mowed over by all the fasties trying to get by us.  Hey, there was nothing we could have done different.
I knew I had started out too fast, but just tried to keep it up, knowing I'd have to slow down.  I got a side ache and so did Jodi so there wasn't much conversation going on during the first bit.  I distracted myself with all the fishing places Janz and I went to while we were dating and I eventually settled  into the pace and it wasn't as uncomfortable as when we first began.  My left knee started hurting before mile 2 and I just kept on going.  About mile 5 the right one kicked in and for some reason, went away after a couple more miles, though the left one just kept on a hurting.  We ran the whole time, stopping briefly for drinks and orange slices that were WAY good!  Mile 11 we actually stopped to drink and my left knee completely locked up.  I wished I had never stopped.  Starting again was pure torture and I limped ran for about 10 steps before it started to loosen up.  I was really worried about the finish and stopping for good and the ride home.  Around mile 10.5 we started the uphill portion until about mile 12 and that was a killer.  However, my body didn't ache like it normally does at the end of a race.  I can usually feel it in my hip flexors and just general achiness, but not this time.  I do think I hydrated really well the day before and maybe that made all the difference for me.  Or maybe my knee just hurt so bad that it was blocking out all other pain.  

It was great to see where the finish line approximately was and when we pushed it for the last bit, I kept looking for where it was because my lungs were just not going to make it much further.  At last I saw the timing marks on the road and missed seeing the clock.  I didn't wear my watch, I didn't want to even know my pace or where I was because it was just for fun, so when Jodi said that it was 2:02 I was really shocked!  Stopping wasn't as bad as I thought it would be on my knees.  Good thing.  We got drinks, bread and more oranges and headed for home!  What a great run!

When I got home the family was getting ready to leave and wanted me to come along, so I took an ultra quick shower, stretched and then iced my knees on our way to Ogden.  The soreness didn't kick in until later that night and the next day and it was pretty much all in my hamstrings.  But by Monday morning I was walking normal and felt pretty good and all ready for more pain from my stupid bellybutton hernia surgery.  Up and running the next day, my foot!!!  I've really gotten good rest though for my knees because I haven't been doing much of anything.  Today's the first day I've felt mostly normal.  I'm not even going to try running for a week because I can feel my knees just sitting in one position for too long.  But I think I'll be up to balancing on the roller next week and back to lifting weights at least.  Even if I had to wait for a month, it would have been worth it.  I don't know if I'll ever have another race like it!  It was a great course, absolutely gorgeous scenery, great weather, I had the best running companion, it was simply the perfect race.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Top of Utah Half Marathon

Just a quick note to say that I ran it and it was great!  Beautiful course, perfect weather, the best company and an overall great day!  Jodi and I finished in 2 hours and 2 minutes!  I was in pain the whole way and it's a good thing I have two weeks off for these knees of mine to recover but it was worth it!  Race report and pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I can run!

I ran today!  3 whole miles with only one twinge of pain and it was towards the end.  I've really been going stir crazy around here.  I made it through 11 days of eating pretty good and then some brownies showed up at my door and it all went out the window!  Brownies are my ultimate weakness.  Along with chips and dip and cookies and pie.  I was also pretty ornery the last 5 days of those 11 days of eating good.  Do you think there's a connection there?  I was able to add to my weight routine and did it 3 times during the last week.  I was sore pretty much everywhere all last week and into this week.  I tried to jump rope but it hurt my knee about 5 minutes in.  

I've been using the foam roller that I got and no one prepared me enough about the pain.  I've had to use it in small intervals because it just hurt so bad.  But I've been very faithful using it.  I jumped rope for 20 minutes yesterday until I felt pain and then stopped.  So last night as I was using the roller, I noticed that it didn't make me want to cry.  I started thinking that maybe they were getting loosened up.  It had been a whole week, so I decided I'd try and run the next day.  I even had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so excited to try it.  I even had the crazy idea that I could run the Logan 1/2 marathon this weekend if all goes well.  I know, I'm getting carried away.  I've had some tightness today since running (I should listen to my body!) so I'll keep rolling it and try for a slower 5 miles tomorrow and see how it goes.  The only real reason I would consider doing the 1/2 is because on Monday I'm getting a little bellybutton hernia fixed and won't be able to run for 2 weeks.  So I'd have all that time off for my knees to recover.  Anyway, hooray! I can run! 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You know you're pretty bad off when your 9 year old daughter asks if you need to go for a run.

Yep, the title pretty much says it all.  I'm ornery and can't even run it off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update on the knees

After blogging on Monday, I cruised over to Tall Girl Running to see what kind of humorous run she'd had lately.  She's always got a good one.  She talked about her IT band problems she had right before the Ogden Marathon.  Her physical therapist told her to get a foam roller and work her IT bands that way.  The chiro had told me about them and suggested that if I kept having problems, I might want to invest in one.  He gave me a temporary one that's just a piece of a floaty noodle, like the kind the kids take to the pool.  You lay on it and roll over the affected area.  Anyway, after reading Tall Girl's success story, I ordered mine.  No one really knows the pain or the frustration of IT band problems unless you've been through it.  You can't run through it, and if you try, you just prolong the time you're out of the game.  4 years ago I was so frustrated not being able to find someone who could fix me.  I was frustrated with the surgeons that were so willing to give me cortisone shots and not really fix it or just offer to fix it with surgery if I didn't get better.  So when someone has been through it and gotten it fixed, I listen.  I found out about ART therapy with chiropractors through a yahoo group for people with IT band problems. 
I had an appointment to see how the knees were doing so I tried the 2 miles again just to see if it was any better than Monday.  After a mile they were still doing good and I was planning to add on a few blocks at the end.  Just as I was planning where to go, the left knee shot pain that stopped me in my tracks.  I stretched, but it just wasn't helping.  So I walked home.  I stretched really good and then got in the shower and headed down for my appointment.  

As we talked about how I was not any better and how this was the worst pain I've been in since 4 years ago, he told me that he didn't realize how bad it was and that he turned me loose too soon and it was probably going to take longer than he'd hoped for.  Last year I could feel the tightening and some pain and he fixed it relatively quickly.  This time it's much worse.  He worked it really good and they did ultrasound and ice.  I'm not supposed to run for 7 days.  There's a new guy there who's interning and he's been working with me as well.  He has worked at the Iron Man competitions for the last couple of years and has seen it all.  He wants to watch me run sometime to see if there's anything in my form that's contributing to my problems.  That should be interesting.  Can't you just see that!  Maybe I should try Jessie's wild running technique when I do that!  I'm still o.k to do weights and anything that doesn't aggravate the problem, which last time it was this bad, was pretty much everything.  So I'll keep on working on my eating and concentrate on lifting weights and see how it goes.  Today is day 5 of eating good.  I've had this gorgeous peach pie around since Tuesday.  Normally I would be eating it for breakfast with a multivitamin but I'm doing good so far.  I had a bite of Janzen's last night and a bite the night before.  Remember I said eating good, not perfect.  The cravings kind of set in yesterday when I went to the store hungry.  I'm pretty proud of myself for doing good.  It's not too often that I have this kind of self control.  Maybe I'm making up for the lack of running.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Being Forced to Shift Gears

I haven't blogged for a while for 2 reasons.  First; I was at Girl's Camp last week and had a fabulous time!  If you're super bored you can read about that here.  We went on a good 5 mile hike on Thursday and just getting to the cabins (I know, I know, cabins can't really be called camping!) themselves was a hike!  So I sure didn't feel like I was lacking on any exercise.  But before I left for camp I wanted to get my long run in for the week because I knew I'd come home exhausted and not really want to do much.  I was going to try it on Monday, but I had done a lot on Saturday with running and stairs and decided to give it another day.  I went 5 miles on Monday and felt so good!  It really loosened up my calves and I was excited for Tuesday.  
Tuesday I went with Jody early.  It was the perfect day for my long run.  I already had a partner for some of it and I was up earlier than normal so it wouldn't be as hot.  However after about 3 miles in, my IT band in my left knee started really hurting.  I have only had problems with the right knee in the past and for the past year I got to where I could feel when it was tightening and could usually stretch and ice and work it out before I got to any real pain.  But I didn't get any warning with the left knee.  It went right to the stabbing pain and I was more than worried.  Jody and I usually sprint about a block to her house at the end and I knew I wasn't going to be able to do it.  We picked up the pace but I ended up walking and kind of limping home afterwards.  I got home and grabbed my knee bands and decided to just try a little more.  I was feeling so good everywhere else and really wanted to do 15 miles that day.  I know I should have just stayed home but I'm stupid.  That's all I can really come up with besides stubborn and dumb.  I did another 5 miles alternating walking breaks when it hurt.  I did run the last 2 miles home with no pain and it took all the self control I had to stop and not do another loop.  I was feeling so good and it really was killing me to think that I wasn't going to be able to run.  I got home, iced it, and called my chiro who helped fix it last year.  I was able to get in and he worked it good.  I think that doing two longish runs too close together plus a lot of extra stuff like stairs and jump rope just pushed my knees over the threshold.  At least I know where the line is now.  And I probably favor my right leg since it's always been the injury prone one.  So that left leg probably gets the majority of the work.  I still can't believe I didn't get any tightness warning before I'm at the horrible pain.  I made an appointment for after Girl's Camp and he said if I was doing fine, I could just cancel it.  I had pain at camp only once going downhill on the hike so I kept the appointment just to be safe.  But real running was going to be the real test.
I ran 2 miles today as per his instructions.  I felt the pain at the end of the first mile.  I stopped, stretched, and walked a bit and tried to run again.  After doing this about 3 times it seemed like it was working and I could run home with little pain.  Still...2 miles?  
I came home and spent extra time lifting weights and doing 1 legged squats and lunges.  I was pretty bummed at first.  It seemed like I was just getting over everything and really starting to love running again and I was getting excited for progress, and now this.  I have decided that maybe it's a blessing in disguise.  I'm always using running as my excuse not to eat good.  I know it should be the opposite, but in my head I think, "I can eat that because I ran 10 miles today."  I know I should be thinking that I need to feed my body good things so that I can recover from that 10 miler.  I'm always worried that if I don't eat enough my running performance will suffer.  So now maybe it's time I started making better food choices and focussed on strength training a little more.  I'm sure I'll be better soon.  Maybe it's the kick in the pants I need to get my eating on track.  Then I'll just have to keep it up when I'm better and be smarter.  Plus, the lighter you weigh, the faster you can be.  I need all the help I can get with that.  
Going through this injury once before taught me that I need to have patience with my body and give it the rest it needs.  I want to run so badly, but I also know I will prolong my healing and then be sidelined completely.  I think it's easier to deal with this time because I know I will get better, because I did before.  I did get new shoes and insoles because the miles were starting to pile up on them and they were just trashed on the insides.  I'm o.k. and I'm sure everything will turn out alright.  I just have a new focus for a while.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My calves, oh my aching calves!

I knew that my calves would probably hurt after all that jump roping, but to be honest, since I started really focusing on my weight training this week, they were pretty much the only part of my body that wasn't in pain.  Well I changed that in a hurry!  I ran Friday my old 5 mile route backwards and down Main Street for part of it so that I could go past the drinking fountains.  The first two miles is all uphill and my calves were screaming, but I knew the middle 2 would be downhillish so I made them keep going.  It was one of the best runs I've had in a long time and didn't really need to stop and walk at all.  And I felt like I was pushing it a little.  Too bad those days are few and far between.  I finished with lower body weights but ran out of time for the upper.  

Today I met Holly and I ran while she rode her bike along side me down to the high school to run stairs.  I don't know what I was thinking.  Last time I ran stairs my calves were sore, so I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment this week.  We ran stairs for 30 minutes using 1 minute run/1 minute rest intervals.  Then I ran home and she continued on her bike ride.  By the time I had gotten a few blocks down the road, I started feeling pretty good so I decided to take the longer way home.  It ended up being a little over 8 miles in all.  I saw Jodi going out when I was almost home.  We talked for a while and I was wishing we would have coordinated a little better again.  I got home and finished my weights for the week.  It's been a good week.