Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 By the Numbers

Running (and Walking) miles: 814.5
Cycling Miles: 342.73
Swimming Miles: 30.99 

I also clocked 42.46 miles on the Elliptical in the month of December, and countless hours of Yoga, Rolling, and Stretching at the end of the year due to my IT Band Injury.

I'm sure next year will have far fewer running (and walking @@) miles, but that's OK. Gotta get - and stay - healthy!

Madness

It was a rough 24 hours or so. I woke up on Friday morning just feeling awful. My legs felt so weak and tired. And I felt exhausted to the bone. I made the decision to skip my cross-training workout, but I think that ended up making it worse. Knowing that I would be at Disney in a week really freaked me out. I spent the whole day intermittently breaking into tears. I was full of such fear and doubt. Can I really even attempt to participate in this Marathon Weekend when I've barely been able to train? Am I going to be all alone again walking like I did in Savannah? Was it even worth it to get up at 2 AM for two days in a row and try to finish? And I was lamenting my achy, weak, and tired legs. WHY are they so sore??  When is this ever going to be over?!

I woke up this morning feeling much the same way. I had planned 5 miles on the elliptical, but I was having a hard time wondering what was the point. But, as I have for too many days in the last two months, I got up and did my stretches and rolling like a good girl. My husband made the mistake of asking me what was wrong and I ripped his head off. NOT my best moment. I burst into tears yet again, and then cried all the way to the gym.

Thankfully the first couple of songs on my playlist were just what I needed to hear - praise songs, including one that I mentioned a few days ago. It was enough to remind me that I don't need to face this weekend with my own strength. It was also enough to remind me that I should have been praying more this week instead of sinking into misery. I texted an apology to my husband. I wish I could text one to God as well. :(

I don't know what next weekend has in store for me. It's very disconcerting. I'm a planner and I don't know what will happen. It scares me. I am very, very scared. I need to get over this so I'm not a party-pooper at my happy place!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Who woulda thunk it??

Today was my weekly appointment with my massage lady. And it was heavenly!

Yes, it's happened. The woman who doesn't like to be touched really loves her sports massage! She has only bruised me two more times since the original time - and only very small amounts. I don't know if it's just the timing or if it's really helped this much, but since I've been going to her every week, my progress has really taken off!

Today she started off by laying a warm compress on the nape of my neck. OMG!!! I think I actually fell asleep! LOL And it's not like she's gentle... she was actually quite intense today. She really worked my IT Bands and the front of my knees (once I flipped over). But it's so relaxing, despite it being intense.

I believe I'm going to be sad when I'm done with Goofy and don't have an excuse to go weekly! LOL

Monday, December 26, 2011

And this makes two!

Two pain-free runs, that is!

I ran this morning with my usual routine: 5 minute warm-up, 30 minute run of 1/1 intervals, and 10 minute cool-down. I was a little worried about how it would go because my legs were quite tired from Saturday's 10 mile escapade on the elliptical. But with Marathon Weekend a mere 10 days away and this being my second-to-last run, I didn't want to put it off. So I wearily stumbled out of bed (Christmas really did me in!) and got to stretching.

I didn't do my regular full stretching routine this morning because I wanted to see how my legs would hold up. On Marathon Weekend, I will be waking up at 2 AM to do some stretching and rolling before getting on a bus at 3. I estimate my wave won't take off until 5:45 or so. That's a long time to wait. I will be able to stretch again before my wave takes off, but it won't be my regular routine. So I wanted to test it out.

Everything went pretty well. It was cold outside, and I wore my CW-X Stabiliyx capris and my IT Band Straps. This time I wore my Nike shoes instead of the new Brooks ones. I am having second-thoughts about wearing the new Brooks shoes since they haven't been tested on a long run. I think I will wear my Nikes for both days - perhaps using the ones I trained in for the half (since they have only around 200 miles on them) and the new Nikes for the full. I thought I felt a twinge now and then in my right knee, but sometimes I wonder if I'm imagining it. Overall, everything felt great!

I was able to think through my strategy while I was running. Even though I have successfully done the 1/1 intervals during these last two training runs, I think I might back down to a 1/4 interval for the races. I am really under-trained because of this injury. I am definitely on the road to recovery, but I haven't done a long run in months. I have done 8 and 10 miles on the elliptical, but I don't know how that translates to time on the road. I really do not want to aggravate my injury! Even though I don't want to walk the majority of the races, I think that's going to be my best shot at completing the races with the least amount of irritation to my IT Bands!

I can't believe the races are less than 2 weeks away! Oh my!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Goofy Challenge Training - Week 3

This is the last of the "big push" before Marathon Weekend! I felt good all week! My left thigh has been a little tight the last couple of days but I think that's because of the increase in the mileage that I've been doing.

Monday - 30 minute run; 15 minute warm-up/cool-down walk
Tuesday - 1600 mile swim
Wednesday - Yoga Conditioning for Athletes
Thursday - 60 minute elliptical; Daily Yoga
Friday - 30 minute recumbent bike; 10 minute cool-down walk; Daily Yoga
Saturday - 10 mile elliptical; 10 minute cool-down walk; Daily Yoga
Sunday - The Athlete's Guide to Yoga (planned)

I also did weights on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Just a little bit to help with the leg strength for the IT Bands. I'll do more weights after Goofy. I had my Weekly massage on Wednesday and I think that's really helping. She still bruises me now and then, but that's more because I bruise easily and not because she's too rough. 

Now I will institute a taper of sorts. I have been feeling really good and my recovery seems to be going very well. I think it will be a good idea to take things down a notch or two and rest up the legs before the challenge! I don't think there is anything else to be gained from pushing more at this point. I'll rest up, keeping moving daily, and see how it all plays out!

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Holiday everyone! :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Joy

Tuesday morning was rough. I woke up sad and dejected. I didn't want to go to the pool to swim. I was worried that my arms were going to hurt like they did the previous week. I was messaging with my poor husband at work and I was sobbing. I was tired and I was frustrated. My husband encouraged me to go ahead and go - he knows me well enough to know that it would probably make me feel better.

As I was getting my swimsuit on, a song popped into my head: "Trading My Sorrows" by Darrell Evans. It's a song that my husband used to play a lot several years ago, but he hasn't done it at this church. Some of the lyrics include:

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord.

and from the chorus:

I'm pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for His promise will endure
And His joy is going to be my strength.

The song ran through my head all day, and really into Wednesday as I woke up singing it in my head! When I posted it on my Facebook page, a friend replied with the name of the verse that pertains to that song. I went hunting it down and this is what I found:

“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10 NLT

A light bulb went off in my head!! This will be my focus verse for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend! Disney World's theme recently was "What are you celebrating?" and I intend to celebrate while I'm there! I may not complete the Goofy Challenge, but I'm going to have a great time! I'm going to feast with rich foods and sweet drinks and have a great time with my friends! I'm not going to be dejected or sad, because my joy comes from the Lord and that is the source of my strength! (I will admit that the "sacred day before the Lord" part is a bit of a stretch - not sure how sacred any half marathon or marathon would be, but maybe it's sacred in a way because it means so much to me?)

The more I considered the song and the verse, I recalled that another of my favorite songs uses the same line, "For the joy of the Lord is my strength"! And, as if to put an exclamation point on the whole thing, I remembered that my Word of the Year for 2011 has been JOY! I really don't believe in coincidences - I truly believe this was a whisper from God!

And it could not have come at a better time! It's now a little more than 2 weeks until Marathon Weekend, and I've been feeling sad and scared and frustrated and overwhelmed. I want to do my "best" during these races and I really want to "Go Goofy" but I don't want to set back my recovery. I've worked SO hard to get to this point where I am starting to have pain-free days, and my first pain-free run! I don't want to have to start all over again, and really I can't because I can't afford to go back to physical therapy. So I have to play this smart. But I am a planner, and to not have a plan - and actually to have my "plan" get completely derailed - has been unbearably hard. And it makes me so sad.

But God knows what I'm going through and He is there for me. And He used this song to let me know. And He used this verse to give me my plan: Go. Celebrate. No sadness. His joy will be my strength.

Good plan! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

At long last...

Yesterday, for the first time since early October, I experienced A PAIN FREE RUN!!!!!

Now, granted, it wasn't very far - a mere 2.42 miles doing 1/1 intervals - but it was completely pain free, even afterwards! I clocked an additional 1.28 miles of walking before and afterwards and it was pain free as well! :)

I'm not sure what the difference was yesterday. It could have been the CW-X Stabilyx capri tights (but I don't think it was that alone because I got them before the marathon and they didn't help at that point). It could have been the Cho-pat IT Band straps that I wore WITH the capris. It could have been the fact that I decreased by interval from 2/1 (2 minutes running, 1 minute walking) to 1/1. It could have been a combination of any of those (I did throw everything but the kitchen sink at it yesterday LOL). Or it simply might have been the right time in my recovery. At this point, I simply don't care! It was simply wonderful to run and not be in pain! I wish it could have been a longer duration and a lot more running, but I will need to be patient (again).

Beyond being encouraging, yesterday's pain-free run gives me a base from which to build now. I have been keenly interested in Jeff Galloway's advice on recovering from ITBS, and he emphasizes staying under the threshold of irritation. So now I know where my threshold is, and I need to work from there. Now, while Goofy is still on my radar, I will simply stay where I am: same intervals, same duration, etc. And hopefully, I can do enough walking during Goofy to keep it from being irritated again. Then I will rest for a few weeks to recover from Goofy, and then I can begin to rebuild my endurance. Slowly.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goofy Challenge Training - Week 2

I ramped things up a bit again this week! Since my run went well on Monday, I decided to push the legs a little with the bike and elliptical and see how it went. The schedule below does not include the obscene amount of stretching and rolling I'm doing.

Monday - 30 minute run (2/1 intervals); 15 minute walk (warm-up and cool-down); 
Tuesday - 1000 meter swim; weights at the gym; Yoga Conditioning for Athletes
Wednesday - Daily Yoga (25 minutes)
Thursday - 60 minutes elliptical; daily yoga
Friday - 45 minutes recumbent bike; weights; daily yoga
Saturday - 8 mile elliptical; 10 minute treadmill walk; daily yoga
Sunday - The Athlete's Guide to Yoga (49 minutes)

I am actually spending MORE time working out now than I did at the peak of marathon training. Who would have thought it would be more work to recover and rehabilitate an injury?!? It's exhausting! I stretch twice a day, roll 3 times a day, and then yoga every evening before bed. That's in addition to the other workouts I have planned. Once I'm through with Goofy weekend, I have to do less. It's just too much time involved. If that means my recovery takes longer then so be it. :(

I cut my swim short on Tuesday because my arms were sore. It was unexpected because I hadn't done the weights on my arms since Friday, and it worried me. I do not want to lose being able to swim, too, now. So I took it easy and also didn't work my arms at the gym this week. But my arms are still sore. Last night during yoga I think I got a clue as to what could be causing it - yoga! I think it's all those darn downward-facing dogs! LOL Anyway, we'll see how Tuesday's swim goes. Hopefully it will be much better. I am also planning to do the yoga conditioning workout for swimming tomorrow evening and see if it helps. 

I am anxious to see how my run will go tomorrow. My legs are pretty tired from yesterday's 8 miles on the elliptical (I assume) and today we were on the go all day for Christmas, including a lot of time in the car (one place that still aggravates my knees). I only got to do yoga and stretch once and roll twice. I am planning to take it easy and do a 1/1 interval for my 30 minutes running, and if I feel more than a twinge, I'll walk more. Assuming it goes well, I will do 10 miles on the elliptical next weekend before beginning a 'taper' of sorts.

Just 3 more weeks. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

So sad

All of my friends who are training for WDW Marathon Weekend are peaking in their training this weekend with 20 milers (or more). I am so happy for them, but I have this big heavy spot in my chest right now. It feels like I can't even breathe right.

That should be me. I was supposed to be doing my last 'double' this weekend - 10 miles on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. I was supposed to be getting my body and my mind prepped for the challenge that is a mere 3 weeks away.

But I'm not. Things didn't work out the way I had planned. Nothing has worked out the way I had planned for the last 2 months.

I should be getting in my last push of training so I can go into Marathon Weekend confident that I can handle the task that lay before me.

But I'm not.

And that makes me so very, very, very sad.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gym Girl again

On Tuesday morning, I joined a different gym.

I was a gym girl back in the day... in college, then when we first got married, and again a few years ago. I dropped my gym membership in 2008 when my husband lost his part-time job at our old church. I decided that running was surely cheaper than that gym membership. Yeah, maybe it started out that way! LOL

Anyway, with the need to do more cross-training, I decided to try out the gym again. I got a free month trial at a local gym and they were very nice, but ultimately they were more than twice the cost of a no-frills gym, and they had a one-year contract (not having a contract on non-essentials is very important to me in this economy). So I made my decision, and I went over to the no-frills gym to join up. I couldn't wait for my free month trial to be over at the other place because the hours I could visit that place while I was a visitor were not convenient for my schedule.

I got up to do my stretches before heading to the gym. It was still dark when I arrived so it was nice and uncrowded. I was to do the elliptical machine today and there was only one of them being used. The music was loud and not my style, so I hooked up my mp3 player and pulled up an old playlist. I really had forgotten how tedious the elliptical can be, but I guess running in the neighborhood is the same way - and in the gym I don't have to worry about bad weather, sleepy drivers, or stray dogs! LOL

I did a 5 minute slow warm-up, and then did 45 minutes at my target pace (5.5 mph) and that did a good job of keeping me close to the target heart rate as indicated on the machine. Then I did a 10 minute slow cool-down. I ended up going 5.35 miles in all, which isn't bad. I did a few stretches afterward and then did two of the leg weight machines. My legs were still pretty sore after Tuesday's weights, so I decided to take it easier today. I figure that I can go hard on the strength training after Goofy. After the legs, I did some core work. I'm not sure that these are called, but one thing you climb up on and hang your legs down then lift them to your tummy. Another machine you lay over and raise yourself up in the front and on the sides. I will just call it "core work" until I learn what it's called!

The gym was much more crowded by the time I was finished, especially the treadmills. And the sun comes in through the front window (they need some sort of window tinting or blinds), so I'm glad I came early. I'll be hitting the gym a few times a week, alternating between the elliptical and the recumbent bike! Once I'm recovering from Goofy, I may add in the treadmill, and I can foresee using it during the summer when it's dangerously hot outside. Or when it storms. I've never run on a treadmill before, though, so that will an experience to write about for sure! :)




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Running (mostly) without pain!

Yesterday was my weekly run. It was a bitterly cold, windy, and damp morning. As would figure, the coldest day in the forecast for the whole week. My BFF told me that if I want to run in the sun, I may have to be more flexible with my schedule! But it took a great deal of planning to get my training schedule worked out, and I am hesitant to mess with it! :D

I did my 5 minute warm-up, but I should use that term lightly because I was definitely not 'warmed up' by the time it was over. I think the next time if it's cold I may walk for 10 minutes. Then I did the 2/1 interval again which had been successful last week. This time around, I had no twinging at all until around 24-25 minutes into the 30 minute session! That was more than twice as long as last week! In fact, I was considering going an extra 10 minutes, but then I began to feel some twinges and decided to stop at 30 minutes as planned. I did a cool down walk for 10 minutes after the intervals were done. I didn't get any discomfort at all until I got back home, and then it went away quickly once I began to roll and stretch. I had a little twinge of discomfort a couple of times during the day in my knees, and for some reason part of my right quad was twinging as well, but nothing bad.

I was incredibly tired yesterday, though. Not sure why it was so bad, except maybe all of the work I'm doing in the gym is starting to catch up with me. I've not done much in the way of cardio work except for swimming for the last month or so. And then I added running, walking, bike, and elliptical all at once. I hope that's the case. I'm only going to add a little distance/time this week to the elliptical in an effort to be a little more prepared for marathon weekend.

I'm trying not to be nervous. I'm doing all I can do prepare myself. :)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Goofy Challenge Training - Week 1

I guess since I'm at the gym and on the roads again, I need I can officially call myself "in training", huh? 5 weeks of training for 39.3 miles over 2 days? Sure! No problem!!

Here is what it looked like this week (assume PT stretches 2 times per day and Rolling 3 times per day):

Monday - 30 minute walk (2/1 interval); 15 minute walk
Tuesday - 30 minute recumbent bike; weights
Wednesday - Physical Therapy; 40 minute elliptical; weights
Thursday - massage; Yoga Conditioning for Athlete/YCFA (60 minutes)
Friday - 1700 yard swim; weights; YCFA 
Saturday - 1 mile walk; 3.1 mile walk; YCFA
Sunday - YCFA

So I'm starting to ramp up my intensity again and I will need to monitor myself very carefully. I want to be able to train without aggravating my injury. That's going to be tricky. I think the temptation will be to do too much, too quickly - and that will be a mistake. This is a very precarious time in my recovery

My massage went much better this week. Instead of feeling sore and achy, I felt like my legs were very loose and relaxed. It was great!

I'm seeing little signs of progress every day, which is nice. I know that recovery does not take place in a linear manner, so I will need to remember that if I have a twinge or some pain in the next week, it doesn't mean that I am going backward - though it will be wise to take a break and see how it feels the next day.

A friend gave me some very wise counsel when I mentioned to her that I don't want Marathon Weekend to be a waste. Basically she told me that it will be what I make of it - whether I complete Goofy, or part of it, or none of it at all. And she is so right! I'll be at Disney with friends! It will be a wonderful time! :)

I guess I need to start thinking about what I'm going to wear - and start a shopping and packing list! ACK!

Race Report: 2011 Jingle Jog for Autism 5K

This race holds such a special place in my heart because it was my very first 5K back in 2008, and it's the race my big kids ran for their first 5K in 2009, and because the money raised goes directly to support autistic individuals in the local community! When I was released to run, I was really glad that it was in time to participate in the Jingle Jog. But after discussing with friends who have successfully recovered from ITBS about how to balance training and recovery in time for Goofy in 4 short weeks, I decided that I needed to walk this race. It was a hard decision because this year, for the first time, I was planning to really see how well I could do. 2008 was the first time I was racing, 2009 I ran it with Riley, and 2010 I had already done 7 miles before I got there and my legs were tired. I really, really wanted to see how fast I could do a 5K now. Alas, it was not meant to be. But I was OK with it. If I've learned nothing else over the last two months, it's how to put aside a short-term goal in favor of a long-term one!

Since I wasn't going to be running, I decided to get busy with the cute costume! I wore my green sparkle skirt (that was purchased as part of my Ariel costume for Princess 2012 which I will not be attending) and some cute socks I found on clearance at Target. I wore my new Injinji toe socks that I got at the MCM expo underneath the cute socks to prevent blistering. The santa hat topped off the ensemble, though I think a cute bell or something around my neck would have really made the outfit. Will have to check Target clearance this year and see what I can find for next year!

My BFF decided to walk with me, since she had already done 11 miles of her scheduled 16 miles earlier that morning. We met up with a lady from the Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics group and one of her friends, and we all walked the Fun Run together. I had asked if that would be OK so BFF could get closer to her scheduled miles, and they said it was fine as long as I didn't win! Yeah, no worries! LOL We walked the entire mile at a pretty good clip and my knee didn't even twinge at all!! YAY! I stretched it out a little while waiting for the 5K to begin, but it really felt fine. BFF and I walked the 5K just the two of us

The course was slightly different this year due to some issues with permits, I think. Overall, I like the course better, except for the fact that there were a couple of places where you have to share the trail with folks coming back on their way to the finish and you have to go single file on the path (or go into the grass/dirt). If there were slower people (and surprisingly there were, even for us!) you had to slow down and wait until you could find a good place to pass. Had I been running for time, I would not have liked that one bit. But since I wasn't, it was only a minor annoyance.

My official time was 44:30, which works out to less than a 15 minute mile - SO awesome!! Even better is the fact that I didn't have a single bit of knee pain at ALL!! It was fantastic! It was really hard not to try to run, just a little bit, even though I felt good. But I kept thinking of my ultimate goal! :)

One other best part of the whole experience was the race shirt - back to long sleeve again this year and the theme is PENGUINS!! And the colors are my shades of blue that I like so well! I'm not sure they could have made it more perfect if they had consulted with me beforehand! Isn't it great?
It was a great day and a great race, even though I didn't break any land speed records or run a PR or win an age group award! The weather was beautiful; I wasn't in pain; I got to catch up with my BFF for the first time in a long while; and the shirt rocks!! Can't ask for much more!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weak legs

Today after my swim, I stopped by the gym to do some more of the leg workouts that Steve set up for me. He wants me to do 2 sets of 30 reps. Now, maybe it's just me... but that is a LOT of reps. I knew I was going to have to go down low on the weight to make that many reps. But I was shocked at just how low.

The adductor machine (I hope that's correct - it's the one where you push IN, I'm not supposed to do the other one) wasn't too bad. I did about 60 pounds, and I can see going up soon to higher weight.

But the leg curls? The ones where you sit with knees bent and lift up, or the ones where you sit with legs out and press down?? 10 pounds!!!!

No, that's not a typo! 10 pounds. And I was hurting at the end of each set and having to take breaks. It was pathetic!!

Steve told me that IT Band trouble is a combination of a lack of flexibility and strength. Wow.  It's amazing to me that my legs can run so much and still be so fundamentally weak. :(

Time to remedy that!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jump Rope

"Up - Down - Up- Down - Up - Down - Up - Down- Yeah! It will get hard. Remember, life's like a jump rope."

That's the chorus from one of my favorite band's songs! And it reflects well on my state of mind lately! I posted a few days ago that, "When my mind is clear..." I am able to keep all of these struggles lately in perspective. But, unfortunately, I struggle with keeping my mind clear. This is one of my major character faults, but it has gotten better. Some days are just harder than others.

This week on Tuesday I joined a gym. I had a free month coupon on my grocery store receipt at Thanksgiving and figured this would be a good way to test out a local gym near my house. My receipt was so long that there were actually two of these free month coupons on it, so I took my BFF with me so I wouldn't have to walk in alone!It's a nice place and the manager is very sweet. I did the recumbent bike the first day, and the elliptical the next day! I did arms and abs that first day as well, and legs yesterday. It was great, but a little weird to be in the gym after so long. But this will be good for me to get in some cardio without aggravating my ITBS. I think unless something goes wonky during the next few weeks, I will join this gym so I can keep up cardio while I am in my two month hiatus from running.

Yesterday I had my last PT session. I can't say enough how much I appreciated that entire place - the whole staff was so awesome and especially my PT, Steve. He gave me a lot of stretches to do, and some exercises for the gym machines, and told me to stop by after the race and let him know how it went! He also told me that he thinks I'm ahead of the game as far as my recovery, which was encouraging, considering how slowly this seems to be going for me.

Bib numbers were released yesterday for Marathon Weekend, and I learned to my dismay that you wear the same bib for Goofy on both days! So everyone will know I'm trying for Goofy, and it will be embarrassing like it was at Savannah when I had on a full bib but did the half course. UGH. None of this is turning out the way I had envisioned. I guess that's life, though. :) It's like a jump rope!

Four weeks from today I will be waking up at Disney World!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Goofy Training Run #2

This morning I went out for a second run since Steve told me last week that it's time to run again. I was really not looking forward to it, and had a rough time sleeping last night in anticipation. But I got myself out of bed and did my rolling and my PT stretches, and was grateful that it was around 50 degrees this morning instead of in the 30s.

I found a page on Jeff Galloway's site that is related to dealing with IT Band injuries. He talks about staying below the threshold of irritation. So, since my last run was discomfort doing a 3/1 interval, I decided today to do a 2/1 interval. It seemed to work! I didn't feel any twinges until around 12 minutes into the 30 minute workout. And then it didn't really even get to a level of discomfort until about 24-25 minutes. That's really great!

I came in and stretched a lot and rested a bit and it seems to be OK. It's a little stiff and cranky, but I think that's because I've been sitting down for awhile. Once I get moving around again, I hope it will go back to normal. I'll do some rolling and stretching again today, as usual, and that is sure to help!

One thing that amazes me is how tired my legs are after such a short run. I don't know if it's all the stretching that's making my legs so tired. Or what is going on. But you'd think I ran 10-15 miles or something the way my legs are feeling! I guess I've lost a lot of fitness. :(

Sunday, December 4, 2011

IT Band Recovery - Week 4

This week has been such a hectic one for our family that I can't really even remember if there was something important to say or not! LOL Oh well, here is what this week of recovery looked like:

Monday - 60 minutes Yoga Conditioning; PT stretches; foam rolling
Tuesday - 1600 meter swim; PT stretches; foam rolling
Wednesday -70 minutes Physical Therapy; PT stretches; foam rolling; 60 minutes Yoga Conditioning
Thursday - PT stretches; foam rolling
Friday - 30 minute run (3/1 intervals); PT stretches; foam rolling; massage
Saturday - PT stretches; foam rolling; 60 minutes Yoga Conditioning
Sunday - PT stretches; foam rolling; 60 minutes Yoga Conditioning

If you're thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of Yoga" you would be correct! LOL Steve said I could substitute Yoga for one session of the PT stretches now, and since Yoga is a lot more fun than just holding and counting, I took him up on it! Tonight for the first time, when I finished the yoga DVD, I actually felt refreshed and comfortably stretched out. Previous times the feeling was more like I had been stretched by some medieval torture device! ;) I particularly like this DVD because it's for Athletes, and he hits on the areas that are most affected by sports, especially the hips, which is where my IT band issues originate. But I think I'll need to check out a few more from the library just to keep from getting bored. I like the Yoga for the Warrior by Bob Harper, but right now it feels more like a strengthening workout and my purpose is flexibility. I will do Warrior on the days where I need a workout but don't run or swim or something like that. 

My last PT session is Wednesday. I'm supposed to run tomorrow morning, and then we'll discuss plans after that. Marathon Weekend is only 5 weeks away!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On a clear day...

When my mind is clear and I'm able to think rationally with the proper perspective (and fewer raging emotions), I truly believe that this injury has been the best thing for my running career. The timing has been horrible, that is true. And it's been very expensive (therapy, doctor appointments, massage therapy, meds, etc) which will impact the number of races I can do in 2012.

But I think when all is said and done, I will come out of this a stronger runner and a stronger person.

I needed this flexibility and strength training more than I realized. I never knew it was so important, and now that is a lesson I will keep with me. I simply must make time for yoga and stretching and strengthening exercises.

My body needs a break from constantly pushing forward to more and more distance. Since I started running 3 years ago, I have constantly been adding more distance to my training. I have never had a significant plateau time. This year, I was in heavy training from April until October. My body needs rest - maybe more rest than other people, and maybe more rest that I would prefer. My body needs an off-season. I'm not sure that I would have done that on my own. .

Most importantly, though, I have learned am learning that I can get through what seems like the most overwhelming disappointment and trust in God. I am getting to live out my Bible verse for running that's on the top of this blog!! I am trusting in the Lord and I am finding new strength. And one day - hopefully within the next 5 weeks from now (aka WDW Marathon Weekend) - I will run and not grow weary, and I will walk and not faint.

And my knees won't hurt! ;)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Could it be?? Progress??

This morning, with much trepidation, I took my first training run for the Goofy Challenge. Ok, so it was only 30 minutes, but it was the first run since I was told I need to get back to training. I cannot begin to describe how nervous I was. Yesterday I was encouraged by the fact that, for the first time in more than a month, I had not had a single twinge of knee pain all day. I got up this morning, stretched and rolled, and faced the cold (my thermometer said it was 31 degrees).

I planned to do a 3/1 interval, but my dear PT, Steve, told me that I needed to make sure to walk for 5 minutes before and after I did any running. So I did so, even though it was so cold. I felt the discomfort begin right at the usual spot, but it never got to be painful. The walk breaks definitely helped and there was no pain when I resumed running. I think I may switch to a 2/1 interval the next time and see if that helps even more.

I did  my 5 minutes of walking afterward and came inside to stretch. Just like during MCM, when I stopped moving, the pain started. I kept patient, though, and I stretched and rolled for a good 30 minutes. I sat down to update DailyMile, and my knees really hurt. I whined to my DailyMile friends list that I must be the only person never to recover from ITBS. But then I stood up to get a shower and there was no pain. And then I sat down, and then I stood up, and there was no pain. It was like that for the rest of the morning and into the early afternoon. I think maybe I felt a twinge once or twice! I think that's progress! Last time I ran (11 days ago), I felt the same discomfort during the running, but I was in pain the entire rest of the day.

I also went for my second massage today. I decided to get a massage membership and I will go once a week through Goofy, and then once a month until May. My massage lady, Trina, was horrified to learn that she bruised me. Two weeks later, you can still see the worst ones, so she could tell that it was bad. She apologized profusely and said she would be easier on me today. And she was... I nearly fell asleep, I was so relaxed. Of course, then she hit my "spots" and that woke me up in a hurry! But I noticed when she was moving my leg around today, there was no twinging like there was last time! I could do the entire rotation without feeling anything unusual. I have been feeling a little something in my knees since I got home, but I stretched a bit and it has helped.

The plan is to run again on Monday, like Steve told me to do. Then Wednesday, I'll see him for the last time and develop my game plan. I don't know what he has in store for me, but I feel confident that his suggestions will be in my best interest. 5 weeks from this weekend is Goofy. That's not a lot of time, but I can only do my best!