Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

I love ya... Tomorrow!
You're only a day away!!!!!

And when I say "you're," I mean:

A regular treadmill

After 18 (19 counting tomorrow) days of Alter G and 6 hours, 45 minutes of pool running (3 straight weekends of it), I am doing a test walk/run on a REGULAR treadmill on Sept 1st. Bring it!!! 

Disclaimer: I realize that my 3-1/2 weeks of rehab is NOTHING, but in Runners' years, it's like 6 months. Right?

Please send me strong, healthy leg vibes for Thursday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Patience and a New Plan

I'm continuing to chug along in rehab mode.

This week, I've been cautiously optimistic, and I've hoped to get to 80% (or more) of my body weight on the Alter G.

After thinking that I maybe overdid it a bit yesterday on the AG (residual soreness), I managed to eeeek out 80% today for the final 10 minutes of my 50-minute run. I felt pretty good. I'm sure part of that had to do with my brand new shoes. With this pair, my triad of shoes to rotate is complete.

Finish Line had a sale last week on these Saucony Shadow Genesis. I  paid $73 total (including tax and shipping). How could I resist?

Yesterday, I officially CANNED the Heartbreak Ridge Half. Not like there's anything really *official* about that. Did I have a press conference? No. The fact of the matter is that I won't be ready. Not even to treat it as an easy training run.

I did sign up for the Temecula Half Marathon though. It's a small (capped at 200 peeps) race in Southern Cali's version of Napa Valley. It actually takes place at a winery (Mount Palomar Winery). It's on October 23rd, so there's time for me to get healthy and ready to race.

My fingers are crossed that I will be back on the roads by September 1st. I've been busting my bum on the Alter G and in the pool (on weekends), so I'm hoping that I've only lost a little bit of fitness. Time will tell!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Latest and Greatest

Two of my boys started school last week:

Precious Catholic Schoolboys... If I do say so myself.

I started back to work as a part-time community college English instructor. It has been ROUGH getting to class by 8:00 am. In fact, I was late 3 out of 4 days. I suck. I gave my kids free passes this week for being late. Can't be a hypocrite. I just couldn't get there in time though with both hubby gone and having a friend (who had a rough week too) take my older two to school. 

Speaking of hubby... he actually came home early with this:
Maybe not the "rupture" part but definitely the diverticulitis part. You can google it if you are interested. It's NASTY. Poor guy.

My 36th birthday is today. I had this to celebrate:

Cold Stone Cake Batter Delux cupcake. DELISH.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday to see about my leg. It's not likely a stress fracture. Hell, it's not even shin splints. She's thinking it's a severely strained calf muscle. I'm still Alter G-ing it. My coach is having me do 15 minutes elliptical and 45 minutes Alter G each day. It's working for me. My leg is healing. I went from feeling BLAH at 25-35% of my body weight 10 days ago to doing a few minutes at 70% today and feeling pretty good. If only I could get the head personal trainer dude to STFU and leave me alone with his daily lectures on how I am continuing to injure myself... SO OVER his unsolicited advice. Yada, yada, yada about your hamstring injury when you were a sprinter years ago and how it took months to heal. I. DON'T. CARE.


I'm doing Alter G in both my Brooks Launch and in these:

Saucony PowerGrid Cortanas. LOVE. $$$ but so far, so worth it. I'm pretty sure my Brooks Glycerins have been part of the problem with my recent injuries. We've had a love affair for 2 years, but it's officially over. More on my new 3-shoe rotation later...

I'm remaining cautiously optimistic that this is my last weekend of pool running, and next week will be my last week on the Alter G. Not sure if I will be able to run my Sept. 10th half marathon. At this point, I'm simply hoping that I can do it as a nice LSD training run. We shall see.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Adventures in Aqua Jogging

Gotta be honest.

Ever since I bought this on Wednesday:

I was not looking forward to this on Saturday/Sunday:

But, I'll be damned if I sit around on my hiney and lose all of the endurance that I've worked so hard to gain this summer (and spring... and last winter). So an hour of pool running it was for me today (and Sunday) as per my coach's instructions.

My AWESOME friend Kim was so very kind to play with/watch my munchkins at the pool so I could get it done.

It really wasn't so bad. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was "fun," but it was ok. Evan excitedly volunteered to start timing my intervals (2:00 fast/1:30 rest) after a 15 minute warm-up. My heart rate got going on those intervals. It got up to 170. I could feel the work in my feet (butt, hips, etc.) as well. Pool running has to strengthen the dogs.

Love my boy but he SUCKED as a timer. I fired him after he disappeared to go take a shower in the locker room during interval #3. I'm pretty sure about 4 minutes had gone by and there I was, still sprinting and close to cardiac arrest. I yelled for him, and he finally reappeared all confused about the ending time that we had discussed. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Gimme my damn watch. 

All in all, it was a successful workout. I even managed a smile.

Look Ma! No hands!!

Coach wanted me to try pool running for 5 minutes at the end of the hour without the flotation belt. Yeah, right!! I sunk after the first minute. He tells me that's because I have more lean body mass than the "other stuff." I'll take it!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


It's been a crazy past few days.

Mike went away on a detachment to South Carolina. He doesn't get home until August 21st. Boo!

My dad came to visit. He's gone, and now I am back to being a single mom. BOO AGAIN!!

Tyler started basketball tonight. HILARIOUS.

He's the little fella in orange. The one posing on the floor right in front of the coach. I see NBA written all over him.

School for Evan (3rd grade) and Tyler (Kindy) starts Friday!!! (Today by the time most of you read this).

My leg is, well...

Let's just say that it's not getting worse thanks to the Alter G. What a blessing that machine is.

Granted, it's a trade off... It's almost incapacitating to be hydrated on that thing. Pretty much feels like your bladder is in a vice grip. By the time I get to 30 minutes (I'm only allowed to use it for 45 minutes each session), I'm DYING. Can't think about much else other than a TOILET.

See, it's not like I can just hop off, go do my business and then hop back on like a normal run of the mill treadmill. No, I'd have to turn the treadmill off, wait about 2 minutes for it to depressurize, unzip myself out of the damn thing, take off my super sweaty, super funky space britches/drysuit, then go to the bathroom. Oh, and then I'd have to call one of the authorized personal trainers to help me back onto the Alter G. They treat it like it's a newborn baby, and they don't want you messing with it by yourself.

This pretty much sums it up.

Currently, I am able to do 35% of my body weight at 6.9 mph (8:41 pace) without any leg pain. Tried 40% today and it was a bit "iffy" so I backed down. I think this honestly is a day-by-day process. My running coach has been a coach for 29 years, so he has all kinds of experience with various running injuries. He's thinking it's one of three things based on the symptoms/pain I've described to him:

1) Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
2) Periostitis (inflammation of the bone sheath)
3) Early stage stress fracture (Please don't let it be this.)

He also asked me how much milk I drink. Uh.... Doi!

That actually crossed my mind as well. I'm pretty sure that I don't get nearly the amount of calcium that I need to keep my bones healthy and strong. I have a glass here and there but not much. He recommended that I drink at least 32 oz. of non-fat milk per day.

Tonight, I had a glass of this as an alternative. I forgot that I bought it the other day. Duh.

Pretty tasty and has 45% RDA of your calcium as opposed to 30% in 8 oz. of milk

So my new plan is a glass of milk with every meal + a glass of this before bed. I'm not a huge cheese and yogurt fan (unless it's frozen), so this is where it's at for me.

Regarding medical treatment: The soonest I can get in to see my primary care doctor is August 16th. I'm going to see if I can get an MRI, but I'm dealing with military medicine in a very small town. Not feeling incredibly optimistic about it. If I have to go to San Diego to have it done, I'm not sure how exactly that is going to fit into my crazy schedule.

In the meantime, it's Alter G and me. And the elliptical machine.

This weekend will be my first experience with pool running since the Alter G is not available on the weekends. I can't say that I'm really excited about it, but I suppose it beats sitting around on my ass and losing my fitness.

In other news, did you hear about Kara Goucher? She has a femoral neck stress reaction. Yikes! While I hate that she's injured, it makes me feel good to know that everyone gets injuries, and everyone has to work through them. Even (especially?) the elites. It's just part of the game. She seems to be bouncing back wonderfully according to her latest blog entry. A HUGE part of her rehab has been on the Alter G!!!

So... Any advice about pool running?!?!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You're Welcome

Yesterday I said, "Thank You."

This morning I went out for a 12-miler and made it 10 steps before my leg said, "Nope. Not gonna happen." When you know, you know...

I turned around, went home, and e-mailed my coach about Plan B.

Plan B = 30 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes stair machine, 30 minutes elliptical

Alrighty then. Let's stay positive. At least I can still workout. Just got some new songs on my iPod. It's all good.

You can imagine my thoughts when I walked into the Marine Corps Base gym and saw two of these:


I was grinning from ear-to-ear.

If that's not God's way of saying, "You're welcome," I don't know what is!!!!

I mean, come on! Yuma doesn't even have a Macy's. Or a Chik-Fil-A. Or a Chipotle. Or even a Costco! 

But lo and behold the day that I hang it up and decide it's time for cross-training, I find that the gym now has two anti-gravity treadmills.

So I got my brief on how to use it and jumped right to it after 30 minutes on the elliptical. 

I was able to do 7 miles at about 40% of my body weight comfortably. I went up to 45% and my leg got a tad achy. After talking to my coach and describing my symptoms, it sounds like I may have posterior tibial tendonitis. I've been WAY too aggressive about changing my footstrike. I was a moderate heel-striker, and I think I actually got a little carried away and changed up to practically a forefoot strike. Too much. And now I am paying for it.

At any rate, what's done is done. I'm going to be re-habbing on this guy + elliptical + stair machine. And icing. And calf raises. And finding a comfortable footstrike.

And continuing to say THANK YOU to the man upstairs.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thank You

I'm not a terribly religious person. Mike and I both grew up Catholic, and our two older boys go to a Catholic school.

However, we *never* go to mass as a family. I know. Shame on us (Catholic guilt).

We tried a few times last spring, and it was just awful. Perhaps there are 2 year-old little boys who will sit quietly in pews, but we do not have one of them. Since we don't have a church nursery, Mike and I had to take turns with Colin in the atrium. Oh, Tyler was there in the atrium too. The little ones get the older ones all riled up... You know how that goes.

Or maybe you don't?  

SO painful.

At any rate, I still believe in the power of prayer and believe that cultivating a relationship with God is important. I do want to make it a goal to attend Friday morning mass when school starts. Each week, there is a 9 am mass that all of the children at Catholic school attend. Parents are welcome to attend too. I think it would be nice for Evan and Tyler to see me there.

Where am I going with this?

I'm battling yet another injury and instead of asking God to fix it, I've decided to just thank Him for allowing me to still be able to run.  

I'm frustrated.

Things were going so well. I was building some solid mileage and increasing my speed. I was feeling really confident about breaking a 1:45 in my upcoming half marathon (5 weeks from today).

Now I feel like that's kind of slipping away. I have to listen to my body, and right now, it's telling me that right around a 9:30 pace is where it's at. That's it.

Cue pouting baby photo

It is what it is.

During my run this morning, I did a lot of positive self-talk. I kept telling myself how great it was that I was still out there running. How great it was that I was still able to do it even though it didn't feel particularly great. I kept telling myself that sometimes, this is just part of distance running. Perhaps there are people who are fortunate to never be injured, but I don't know... I've read enough running blogs to know that more often than not, that's not the case.

I told myself that with time and TLC, this calf strain/shin splint/whatever the heck is going on will go away.

And at the end of my run, I thanked God for allowing me to still be able to run. I thanked him for still taking care of my body and allowing me to do something that I love.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.~ Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, August 5, 2011

Daddy-o at the Pool-io

Dumb title, but I had nothin'. Brain is fried from excessive heat.

Yesterday Mike competed in an intramural swim meet at the Marine Corps base. Truth be told, he was thinking it might be a little stupid, but he actually had some pretty good competition!

The guy to Mike's R was a swimmer in college.

Darn! Teeny Speedo Man is just a smidge ahead of Mike at the wall!

And, that's about it for sports photos. I had to deal with this:

Taking a dip in my clothes? Don't mind if I do...

The young, concerned Marines right behind me probably thought I was the worst mom in the world. See, Colin just learned how to swim. Now, I'm not going to go make myself a sandwich while he's in the pool or anything, but I don't panic if his hand slips off the side and he goes under. He totally understands the concept of taking a deep breath, holding your breath while under the water, paddling to the top, and repeating the whole thing all over again. 

So when he went under and one young Marine semi-panicked and said, "He went in!" and jumped out of his lawn chair, I reassured him that he knows how to swim. I walked over, helped guide Colin to the wall and that was that. No need to panic. If your kiddo sees you freak out, what do you think they're going to do? We've always been VERY calm with the kids in the water, and that's probably why they are so comfortable in it.

Sometimes they are too comfortable, unfortunately, so we *do* have to watch Colin like a hawk.

Meanwhile, Tyler was...

Preparing for the Warrior Dash? Survivor auditions? Who knows?

Overall, it was a solid showing for Mike. He sort of killed himself on his first event: 50 yard free (29 something seconds) and took 1st. Then he got overconfident on his 50 yard fly, thought he was ahead at the turn (not) and Speedo Guy beat him right at the wall. Shoot! 

Results: 1st in 50 free (29.XX), 2nd in 50 fly (33.XX) , 2nd in 50 breast (34.XX), 2nd in 200 free (2:52). 

See the trophy? He ended up winning 2nd place in Team Points. So VMFT-401 with it's ONE competitor takes second place in the competition. Who said there's no "me" in team? 

Congrats, Honey!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mind/Body Connection

I'm no wimp.

I gave birth twice without any pain medication.

I made it through endless hours of killer, take-your-breath-away contractions.

Look at my husband yawning while I am suffering through a contraction. Bored, honey?
He's lucky my eyes were closed. I might have punched him in the face had I seen this.

Demon spawn. This must have been after a good contraction. I look too happy.

I survived the "ring of fire." You know, the excruciating moment that the baby's head comes out and you feel as if your crotch is going to spontaneously combust? They don't call it the ring of fire for nothing.

Oh, and how about when the doctor starts punching your stomach and then reaches up your hoo-hah to yank out the placenta? That may have actually been the worst part now that I think about it.

And yet here I am, over 2-1/2 years post-birth finding that my body is breaking when I reach the 40 mile per week mark. It kind of happened during marathon training as well. Something about 40 mpw, and my body is all, "Hey, hey, hey... Whatcha think you're doing?"

During marathon training, I had slight ITB issues right around my peak week (40 miles). I panicked and went straight to my chiropractor when it happened, and we were able to stave it off.

Then came post-marathon L hip flexor issues.

A couple of weeks ago I was convinced that I had osteitis pubis (My coach e-laughed and told me he was surprised I even have a pubis symphysis after pushing out 3 kids! Ha!)

Now a R strained calf (right around 38 miles).

What the heck?!?!?!

It's frustrating when you are so strong in mind but seemingly weak in the body.

I will say that I'm powering through. My calf seems to be getting better after almost a week of much slower mileage, lots of icing, stretching, foam rolling and new shoes. Miss Zippy was cool enough to leave a comment on my blog suggesting that I use a calf compression sleeve. I ordered one, and hopefully it will be here for my 15-miler on Sunday.

I'm hoping I can sail through this like I did my ITB issues in the spring.

Perhaps the body is made for birth but not for pounding the pavement day in and day out?

Do you have constant nagging injuries and/or aches and pains with your running?

Is there a certain mileage that you reach where your body starts thinking of going on strike?