Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I did a no no.

I knew what I was doing was wrong, yet still did it. Have you ever been in a situation like that before? I will admit that this was a far cry from being the first time I've done this and suffered the consequences so I should know better by now, but still...
Last Thursday after I did upper body weights I went for a small 2 mile run, just to loosen everything up. It's hard to just go 2 miles when you feel good and when you get used to running more. So I decided to just add on a half a mile. Just a little .5. Well during that last .5 my IT band decided to flare up. Not just tightening, but that horrid injury mode pain. I tried stretching it, icing it but it really hurt. All day.
Friday I woke up to it feeling good. So I went to my spinning class. No pain at all. I still iced it as a precaution and stretched it really good. But by the evening the pain was coming back. I iced it some more. All the while the real debate was going on in my mind about the next day. We were going to do 18 miles. What to do? What to do?
Quite simply I need running in my life right now. Not only do I physically need it, but it is providing some much need stress relief and time to think. It is a NEED. There are so many things that are out of my control and I'm doing my best to just sit back and realize that everything will work out and I need to quit stressing. But running is what I need right now to help me do just that.
So I woke up Saturday morning and my knee hurt. I got ready and went back and forth in my mind as to whether I should go or not. I really wanted to go. I didn't want to make Heather do the run by herself and more than that, I just really wanted to go. I was excited about the route and the weather. So I decided that I'd go and if the pain got worse, I'd be a good girl and call my husband to come and get me.
18.5 miles later and I was still good. The pain never got any worse and by the end, it was actually feeling a little bit better. I was SO happy! The rest of Saturday was spent icing and stretching and icing some more. It never got any worse.
Now this left me with even more of a question of what to do this week. Should I rest it and ice it and go in and have it worked on? Should I just keep trying it out and stop if it gets bad? The thought of being injured and not being able to run makes me cry. I don't want to make it worse, but I also don't want to stop if I don't need to.
Monday I did my kickboxing video with no pain. I still iced it as a precaution. Then came a scheduled 8 miler on Tuesday. I made me promise myself that I would take it easy and get off the treadmill if it hurt at all. I'm very pleased to say that I made it the whole 8 miles and have never been so happy to go that far on the treadmill. Towards the end I had a big smile on my face and felt great. I iced again as a precaution and rolled it. Even rolling it wasn't too painful.
Today I did upper body weights again and ran 2 miles. Only 2 miles, I didn't want to push my luck. And iced again.
So at this moment, I'm chalking this up to a miracle. I'm being looked after. I think I have an angel on my side right now. I think God knows I need running. With only 4 1/2 weeks until the marathon and only one more really long run, I think I may make it. I'm going to keep praying and having faith that I'll make it to that day strong and ready to run and then stay healthy so that I can start training for the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in June.
As for my speed workout tomorrow... I think I'll make it an easier tempo run instead and see how I do. It's still 8 miles so I'll be sure to warm up for at least 2 miles. Then a hilly 10 miler on Saturday shouldn't be too bad. Keep me in your prayers and maybe this miracle will stick!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quotes and Quotables and Mantras

8 1/2 miles of speedwork simply can not be done without music. I've never even attempted it before. That would be craziness. But sometimes we're forced into doing things we didn't think we could do. Halfway through my nine Yasso's my i pod died. Panic set in and I jumped off during the recovery to try and find one of my children's. I wasn't even concerned about what kind of music was on there, I just needed music. After a few minutes of futile searching, I jumped back on and the reality set in that I was going to have to do this without music. I only had 4 left. My mind started doing the math; 2 miles left plus 1 mile recovery plus 1 mile cool down = 4 miles on the treadmill without tunes. It was almost unbearable to even think about. I plugged through the first one o.k. with a song in my mind that worked pretty well. I discovered that I even have to breath while I'm singing in my mind. Weird. The second one wasn't too bad, I switched songs on the music player in my mind and made it through. The third and fourth (really the eighth and ninth repeat) however were kind of torturous. It may have been that my quads were almost screaming at this point and I was getting tired, but I really think it was the music thing. So I switched gears and went to my mantras. I've only said them out loud once to my husband and felt pretty silly. But they work and they got me through the last part of my workout. This is what I repeat in my mind in a slow and calculated way, "soft, relaxed, smooth, fast, strong." I try to picture myself being that kind of a runner. One who's got a soft step, who's limbs are relaxed, that smooth runner who looks like it's no effort at all, of course a fast runner, and one who is strong and will finish that way. Think it's hard to remember? Well, here's how my brain works: every other word starts with "s" and I can remember relaxed and fast. So today was good practice for when I'm really gonna need it. I try to visualize the last part of a marathon with me repeating those words and having them make me into that runner. It's amazing that when I say those words I feel myself relax even when I'm running fast and everything feels better. I tend to tense everything up when I have to go fast and I know that's not good. I've been practicing this for a while but it's always been underneath the beat of music. Today was good practice without any other distractions.
I also read on this blog a great post about not procrastinating those things which we think are hard to do. For me it's eating good. I'm always saying that I'll start tomorrow and her mantra is I'll quit tomorrow. That's my new plan. I can have that cookie tomorrow.
Here's another good one that talks about how habits are so much better than willpower. That's what I really need to do to permanently change my weight. I need a new lifestyle.
What are the things you do to get you through? What's your mantra?

Friday, March 5, 2010

A couple more 16 milers

A couple of weeks go by and so did a couple more 16 milers. Last weeks was supposed to be a 14 miler but we were both feeling so good after the first one and it was such a good route that we decided to just do 3 of them in a row. Last Saturday was absolutely perfect. Everything just seemed to work well and I was really feeling good. My piraformis has been bugging me a little but rolling it out and stretching has really helped it this week. I also rolled my IT bands for fun (ha!) and found that they were quite tender even though I haven't had any knee pain yet, so I've been rolling them a bit too before I get to that point.

Beautiful weather! It was almost too hot for the vest but it has so many good pockets that I needed it. And it warmed up and then cooled down so I was glad I had it. I kept taking my gloves off and then putting them back on. Today was a completely different story though. It was snowing and pretty cold.

But it is simply beautiful no matter the weather. I love running out away from the city and seeing all sorts of beauty. We saw some sandhill cranes take off in front of us last week and today we saw some gorgeous ducks circling around. I love running in the country!

I had issues with my camelbak again this week and need to get a new o-ring for the front seal. I took my husband's backpack kind again and it didn't work very well this time. I did a pretty hard upper body workout yesterday and knew I'd be sore, but the backpack just made it unbearable. I took it off less than 1/2 mile from home and felt like I'd lost a gagillion pounds. I can't do that again.

I also did 8 Yasso's this week. Eight miles of speedwork really takes it out of you! That was a challenge. Next week is 9. Yikes. What's worse is that I would rather do those than mile repeats. I hate those. I guess that's why they're so good for me.

One last thing... I've been really grateful all week for my legs. Even though they're bigger than I want them to be, I'm lucky to have them. I had forgotten about this until we were running last week and needed a distraction during a brutal 7 block uphill section coming back home. We were passing an intersection where I had been in a wreck about 15 years previous. As I began to tell her the details to distract us from the pain, I realized how lucky I really am. It was a really bad accident that totaled the car and yet none of us were seriously injured. It took the jaws of life to get me out and I got some good stitches on my head and glass dug out of my arms and face and legs, but other than that was o.k. When we went to look at the car afterwards, we couldn't see where my legs could have been. It was completely crushed. I didn't run back then, but I never could have started if I would have lost my legs. I have been pondering all this week how blessed I have been and how lucky I should feel to simply HAVE legs. No more fretting about how fat they are or how they're always injured. I just need to be grateful. And I am.