Monday, October 26, 2009

Post Marathon Workouts/Dealing with IT band issues.

I would have to admit that I finally feel totally recovered from the marathon. Yes, it has taken 3 weeks, but I blame it on my new workout video and from being sick, having sick kids and as a result- no sleep. I was terribly sore for about 3 days but by the end of the first week was feeling pretty good. I spent quite a bit of time stretching and rolling my IT bands. That was my main concern. I was frightened that I was injured again and would be starting all over. So I decided to go out for a walk and just see how everything was feeling. I really hate fast walking, I think it hurts worse than running so after about a mile and a half, I just started running. I kept it pretty slow but after my quads started to feel it, I knew I wasn't ready to jump back in just quite yet. Still it ended up being 6 miles and it felt good to get off my lazy butt and do something. And the fact that my knee didn't hurt terribly was a big plus.
The mental part of recovering is still coming. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that I'm just not made for marathons. I know it's a little self pity going on, but when I think of all that time training and then think about the resulting day it just gets to me. I think I was better right after. Maybe the horror of feeling that badly and just being able to finish has diminished and all that's left is that stupid time. I know, I know. But it still is bugging me. And the thought of another one is just not there anymore. Maybe it will change. My husband is sure it will, but if not, it will be o.k. too. I don't have to be a marathon runner to still be a runner.
The last few weeks have been focussed on strengthening my lower half and stretching. I can still feel my knee a bit so I've been icing and rolling my whole lower half. I can really tell a difference. I am refusing to wear my IT band straps anymore. I don't know if they were cutting off my circulation to my calves and that's why I had problems, but I know I was using them as a crutch. I want to get them totally healed and not have to use them anymore. On a vain note: they make my knees look fat.
My friend Raigon sent me a DVD a couple of months ago. I promised her I'd try it out after the marathon. It's a killer. It's no beginner workout and I don't know if it was too soon after the marathon or if I'm just totally out of shape, but the just the warm up about did me in. It's a kickboxing DVD called KickMax. There are 3 main components to the workout. There is a combination section where punching and kicking are put together, a blast section that has plyometrics, and then a leg conditioning section. It's all concluded with a yoga style stretch. It's a really good workout. I've just now been able to get through the whole video though I'm modifying during the 2nd and 3rd sections. I really like it because it's challenging and I don't see myself mastering it for a while. Plus I really like kickboxing and I think I'll try to memorize some of the combinations to do out on my punching bag. There's just something about physically hitting that bag that I like. My body hasn't been this sore in a while and it feels good. The first week I felt like I couldn't even walk or sit down but each day has gotten a little better and I can finally sleep on my shoulders again without waking up with sore arms. I've been able to keep running, although it's been a lot less mileage. I've run 6 miles the last two Saturdays and 3 miles two other days for the last two weeks. It's been just right. Maybe this will be the Saturday for a long run again.

Check out a portion of the video!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What makes abs just as sore as legs after a marathon? Apparently, throwing up does.

What to write... what to write. I sure wish I could write that I had a great marathon, that I beat my time, that I didn't hurt more than would be expected. But no. I can not write that and be truthful at the same time. But, what might seem like a real disappointment, considering all the training I went through, really isn't. And although things didn't go as planned, I am simply grateful to have finished.

You know how when you have a big decision to make and you make those lists of the pros and cons? Well, it seems like that would be a good way to look at the marathon from an objective point of view. If I think about the pain, the objectivity would be taken away and I wouldn't even make it to the pros list. So here goes:

The Cons:
*My IT band decided to flare up at mile four in total injury pain mode after months of absolutely no pain.
*About mile 10 I got nauseous.
*I threw up a couple of times.
*My calves cramped from mile 15 until the end.
*Did not even come close to beating my time.

The Pros:
*I had an amazing couple of months training.
*I had regularly scheduled therapy sessions during those training miles.
*I had the best running partner who stayed with me and truly didn't care about time.
*I got a trip out of this whole thing and was able to escaped the freezing cold weather and go swimming and wear shorts.
*I got to see two of my best friends from high school.
*Mile 22 is when I started feeling better and felt like I could finish strong.
*I finished and it wasn't in an ambulance.

St. George was a great marathon with awesome volunteers and support staff. The country was beautiful and the weather was great. Thanks to all of you who wished me well through e-mails, texts, phone calls and just stopping by. I have a great support staff myself, who are so patient with me and my insanity. Now, when's the next one? Sorry, hon.

Heather, me, Angi, Missy

Man, runners are messy. There were a lot of crazies there!