Sunday, September 25, 2011

A New Season

Happy Fall! 

The leaves are turning...

The sweaters are coming out of storage, and the boots and leggings are being prepped...

The hot, heavy, thick air of summer is becoming a distant memory...

Or not.
This is what I get for the first day of Autumn? WTF?

Well, whatever. I'm not going to let the incessant and continued obnoxious heat here bring me down. While it's still Hot as Hades,  it feels better than 7 weeks ago, when I last did my last run outside.

Until TODAY, that is!

--Cue fake running photo (that actually took place *after* the run)--

Photo courtesy of this guy.

Future barefoot runner? Not on the sidewalk though, bub!

I had a glorious 6.1 mile run. It was supposed to be only 5, and I'm waiting to hear back from my coach to see if he's mad at me (hee hee). I was able to catch back up with my awesome running buddy, Kim, so we got to gabbing and you know how that goes. 55 minutes later, I realized I had gone a little too far and a little too fast. According to Kim's Garmin (since I'm not wearing mine), we ran around a 9:08P. She looked down at her Garmin at one point during the run and told me we did an 8:26 mile. OOOOPS! I was shooting for around a 9:30P.

At any rate, I felt fantastic. I'm ready for a new season of running, racing, and leaving both the summer and my injury behind. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Running with the ugly stepsister

Once upon a time, I ran by feel.

I didn't need no stinkin' Garmin.

When we moved to Arizona in 2009, I decided that I wanted to get back into running. As soon as the weather broke, that is. It was July, and I was in no way, shape, or form interested in running in the kind of oppressive heat we have here during the summer. No thanks.

In fall '09, I jumped right into half marathon training. Being an overachiever, I naturally chose Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half training program. No was way I going to do the *gasp* "Beginner" program. Of course, I had no idea how far or fast I was ever running since at that time, I had no Garmin to keep track of my distance and pace. I pretty much winged it. I assumed that I was running around 9 minute miles, so I just went with that. If the plan called for a 3 mile run, I ran for 27 minutes. For longer runs, I assumed that I was running a little slower, so I adjusted my time accordingly.

At the end of January 2010, I made it to the starting line of the Carlsbad Half Marathon. My goal was to finish in just under 2 hours. As the race progressed, I distinctly remember reaching the mile markers way above goal pace. Every couple of miles I'd do the mental math until it became readily apparent that, "Holy cow. If I push it, I can do sub-1:50."

Of course, part of pushing it meant foregoing a pit stop and peeing in my running tights. Oh well!!!

Crossing the finish line of that race is one of the most meaningful moments I've experienced in my running life (career? hobby? whatever). I really did get choked up. I couldn't believe that after running only a handful of times in the previous 4 years, I managed--in 12 weeks--to run my second fastest time for a half marathon EVER. I was so proud! 1:48:54 never felt so good. That time was way above where I thought I'd finish. Truth be told, I was hoping for a 1:58.

What is my point? I'm getting there.

As of today, I've been rehabbing for 6 weeks. On August 7th, I went outside for a 14 miler, took about 7 steps and then turned around and walked back home--pouting. It's been 6 weeks of Alter G Treadmill, elliptical machine and pool running.

Over the past 6 weeks, this has happened...

I spy a dead Garmin in a make-up drawer full of crap.

I'm happy to announce that my rehabbing (somewhat) is coming to an end! Today will be my third attempt at a combo treadmill run/elliptical training workout. The previous two have been totally pain free! I am hoping that in another week, I'll be back outside actually GOING SOMEWHERE on my runs.

Today also marks exactly 5 weeks until the Temecula Half Marathon. I have decided that for the next 5 weeks, I will train with the "ugly stepsister."

Maybe ugly is too harsh. She's the no-frills, functional stepsister.

On any given day, I read through running blogs and it's all about the numbers.

"I ran a new PR mile today! With a stroller too! 5:56!"

"I was off on my splits for my Yasso 800s: 3:14. 3:17, 3:20, 3:18."

"My long run went really well. I finished with a 9:05 overall pace!"

Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers.

Numbers, however, aren't really something a runner should worry about too, too much after coming off of an injury. And I know that if I jump back into training with my Garmin, I'll be worrying. I'll be looking down at that bad boy every 35 seconds checking my pace.

I don't want that kind of pressure. I don't want to compare myself to everyone else right now.

My goal for the Temecula Half Marathon is to run it at a 9-minute mile pace. I feel pretty confident that if I continue to remain injury-free and consistent with my training, I'll be able to do it.

And like I did for the Carlsbad Half, I'm going to do it all by feel.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Candid Camera

We had a great weekend of swimming. Evan set lots of PRs and finished 2nd place overall in points in the 8U division.

He also KILLED his 200-yd breaststroke. That boy has some endurance.

Ok, let's have two cool action shot and the rest bloopers--bloopers of both my oldest boys in action.

Ready. Set. GO!!

Evan in action during his 100-yd IM. 

Don't forget basketball star, Tyler.

A little blurry mom, but I still look good.

Now for the fun stuff. Can you feel the enthusiasm?





Put the damn camera away already.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Heading North

Tomorrow, we're heading 4 hours north to Kingman, AZ for a swim meet.

Can I tell you how excited I am about this?

High of 88 degrees = HEAVEN! I may actually be chilly.

In leg news... 

I went to the doctor on Thursday. It was a big, fat waste of time. She sent me to get an x-ray, which will likely show nothing. She also said no high impact (i.e. running) for 4-6 weeks. Hahahaha! If my leg still hurts at the end of that 4-6 week period of not running (ha again!), then I can maybe get a bone scan.

Thanks for nothing, Navy Medicine!

Anyway, it's almost as if simply calling the doctor was the catalyst for a speed-up in my recovery. My leg has felt GREAT this week. Today, I ran the last 20 minutes of a 1-hour run on the Alter G at an 8:27 pace and 85% of my body weight. I felt ZERO PAIN. Tomorrow is a rest day, Sunday will be elliptical training (if the hotel has one, that is), and next week will hopefully be my last week on the Alter G. We'll do another trial run on the regular treadmill September 19th. Can't wait! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Laborless Day

In my case, that's certainly what it is. Today was my first non-cardio day in a month! It felt really good to relax with an hour of yoga at our local yoga studio. It was a great reminder of the benefits of that form of cross-training and a reminder of how I need to get back to it ASAP. I see some "hot yoga" Sunday night dates with hubby in the near future. He's a big fan of yoga as well.

Anyway... So I had a mental breakdown two days ago.

If you google "mental breakdown" this is one of the images that appears. Haha.

While I didn't shave my head, I had a solid 24 hour pity party sprinkled with a bit of rage. Much of it was about my leg. Much of it was about where I live. Not a fan of the leg or the town right now. The thing to remember, however, is that both conditions are temporary.

If I had to guess, I'd say that I'm about a month away from returning to normal training. At least that's what I'm setting myself up for. Tomorrow, I plan on bolting to the doctor after my class ends at 9:15 am and setting up an appt. to see if we can schedule an MRI... Just to rule out the worst case scenario (stress fracture). Then I'll bolt over to the gym and hop on the good 'ole Alter G for 1 hour (at 50% of my body weight). Afterwards, it's back to resistance training, baby. I have neglected it (as well as yoga), and I need to return to it. Here's a good article on why

Next weekend should have been a nice trip to Oceanside for the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon. Instead, it's going to be a return to Kingman, AZ to watch my 8 year-old kick butt in his debut at the 200m breaststroke. While I can't yet celebrate my own athletic achievements, I'm excited to celebrate those of my boys. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wah wah wah wah

This pretty much sums it up...

I woke up Friday morning and felt too much soreness in my leg. I also noticed that the nodule on my tibia, which had decreased in size considerably over the past couple of weeks, was now enlarged and tender to the touch.

I e-mailed my coach, and we decided that it would probably be best if I hopped back onto the Alter G instead of attempting another regular treadmill run.

Not that the Alter G is jail, but I've felt a little trapped on it lately.

I did, and it was a good thing that I chose to do that. I could only run around 50% pain free.

Coach has also recommended that I try to get back into my doctor to see if I can get an MRI and that I do no more than 50% body weight on the Alter G for the next 2 weeks. We're going to treat this like it's a healing stress fracture. Boo.

And so it goes. Just like my 2 year-old's current attempt at potty training (or lack thereof as of last week), it's one step forward, two steps back.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! I'll be enjoying mine at the pool. Again. With my stylish pool belt.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm Back! Sort of...

I'd love to say that today was a HUGE SUCCESS, but eh.

Today marks the start of Rehab Part Deux.

My workout consisted of:
15 minutes elliptical
15 minutes treadmill (5 minute run @ 10:00 pace, 5 minute fast walk, 5 minute run @ 9:45 pace)
15 minutes elliptical
15 minutes treadmill (10 minute run at 9:31 pace, 5 minute fast walk)

I reported back to my coach that my leg tolerated the workout. For now, that's the right action verb (says the nerdy grammar teacher)... tolerated

So that's that!

Upward and onward.

On a positive note:

*I've lost 3 pounds since I started rehab. I have not had a day off since August 5th. 

*The rest of my joints feel fantastic. I really was feeling quite rickety prior to my injury. 

*Alter G is sending me a free t-shirt!!! 

By the way, these are really good...

Random? Quite. I feel like my blog is boring without a picture though.