Friday, March 30, 2012

Battling the Ego

This morning I was feeling well enough to try a run. I got up early like I usually do so I could roll and do my body looseners (from the Chi Running book). This morning, I faced a battle with my ego. It went something like this:

Brain: "I should probably do 1/1 intervals this morning. My leg isn't 100% and I don't want to hurt myself."

Ego: "Are you KIDDING ME?? We are doing 3/1 intervals now, remember?? It's time to get this show on the road... there are races to be run!"

Brain: "Yes, but we don't want to get hurt again and not be able to run at all, remember? 1/1 is better than nothing."

Ego: "Whatever. You're a wimp."

Brain: "We also did the leg workout at the gym yesterday. We've never run the day after doing the leg machines."

Ego: "Who cares?!? Lots of other people (insert their names here because, yes, I was comparing myself to my friends! LOL) do leg workouts and run!"

Brain: "But we're not other people! I'm supposed to do a better job of listening to my body. We don't want to end up back where we were in the winter!"

Ego: "You're such a wuss!"

So it went back and forth like that for a good 30 minutes! I was still debating what to do when I finished my 5 minute warm-up walk! LOL I clicked on my Garmin and pulled up all of my interval workouts...and selected 1/1 intervals!

Yep, my brain won out! I'm so proud of me! It was a rough workout, too, so I'm really glad that I chose to do the shorter intervals. I felt like I was working so very hard, yet when I got home and viewed my Garmin data, I saw that I averaged a full minute per mile slower than I usually do on a 1/1 interval! LOL My legs were completely dead today.

Dead, yes. But there was no pain while I was running. And that's what really matters: staying beneath the pain threshold, like Jeff Galloway says

I am taking the entire weekend off, even from yoga. My body needs a little bit of a break and I have a crazy busy weekend ahead of me, which will make it much easier to take the time off. I will do my stretches as usual, but that's all! :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend... and if you're racing, I hope you have a wonderful time!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aren't you tired of injury updates from me?

If so, that's good. I'm tired of giving them! LOL

So today was supposed to be a run day but I decided it was probably best to give the legs one more rest day. So I did. I think that was a very good move because my leg feels much better this evening. I think I have narrowed down the pain to something related to tightness in my hamstrings. I feel this pulling sensation when I do the foam roller and it's in the exact same place. Very hard to describe. But I did a lot of extra stretching and rolling yesterday and it really seemed to help.

I decided to test out my aching shoulder at the pool this morning. I swam only 4 laps at a time and then rested in between sets. I also tried out new strokes to see if that helped any. It didn't really hurt terribly bad but I could most definitely feel the shoulder. I stretched and iced it when I got home and while it feels "worked" it doesn't feel that much worse than yesterday. I will probably wait and swim again late next week if it feels OK.

On the way home from the pool I stopped off at the gym and did my leg workout. I did a different machine for my hamstrings... one that I think will be kinder to my knees. It's the one where you lie down face down and curl the legs up behind you. It felt much, much better than the one where I had to press the legs down from an extended position in front of me.

I'm going to attempt to run in the morning if I feel good when I wake up! :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Here we go again.

My left shin/lower knee has begun to hurt. It happened on Monday evening. I'm not sure what happened. It felt better yesterday morning so I went to the gym and did my cycling and weights. And then last night it started hurting again. And it hurts this morning still.

I don't know what's going on... I didn't have any pain during my run on Monday or during cycling yesterday.. I hope this is extremely temporary because I'm really, really tired of being injured.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rehab: Week 10

This was an OK week for training, overall. My husband suggested to me on Sunday that perhaps I was taking my recovery "too conservatively". At first, I was a little offended, but then I decided that he worst that could happen was that I'd start to feel twinges in my IT Bands and I'd back off to a shorter interval. It seemed to work well!

Monday - 31 minute run (3/1 interval)
Tuesday - 40 minute bike ride (real bike)
Wednesday - 60 minute Yoga Conditioning for Athletes
Thursday - 30 minute run (1/1 interval)
Friday - rest day
Saturday - 31 minute run (3/1 interval)
Sunday - 49 minute Athlete's Guide to Yoga: Flexibility

My arm/shoulder is still bothering me. I had a massage scheduled for Thursday, and I talked to my massage therapist about it and she worked on my arm quite a bit. She said it seems like the tendons in my rotator cuff. She suggested rest, stretching, ice, and then strengthening. It feels better since she worked on it, so I hope that this will solve the problem. If it's not better by the middle of April, then I'll go to the doctor. I am a little concerned that I can feel/hear a crunching in my shoulder when I rotate my arm forward and backward. Though I have to admit that I don't know if it's always done that! LOL

The 3/1 intervals went well and I will do all of my runs that way this week, assuming that each one goes well.

I am hoping to do a 5K in April and another in June. And I would really, really like to be able to do a sprint triathlon in July... if I can get all of my body to play together nicely! :D

Friday, March 23, 2012

Race Report: Fallen Heroes of Georgia 5K 2012

I woke up at 5:30 for this race and realized that I had forgotten how it feels to get up at the crack of dawn (or in this case, before dawn) for a race! LOL I rolled a bit and then got dressed. Even though it was going to be unseasonably warm, I decided to wear my CW-X compression capris because of the hills at Lake Lanier where the race is held. I didn't want to risk injury for sure.

I parked easily and headed over to the building to pick up my bib and race shirt. I walked back to the car to get everything pulled together, and as soon as I reached my car it started to sprinkle. I knew there was a chance of rain but I had hoped we could avoid it. Um. No. LOL I pinned my bib on and decided to walk back to the building to wait for the race start, in case it started to rain harder. I asked a lady parked near me if she would take my picture and she obliged. I left my camera and Garmin in the car so they wouldn't get ruined. 
I sure am glad I made that decision because the rain started to come down more heavily and did not let up during the entire race! In fact, they had to delay the start of the race while they brought the PA system inside the building for the pre-race ceremonies. I tried to find a quiet spot to do my "Body Looseners" but unfortunately everyone was inside the building taking shelter. So I had to do these weird motions in front of the entire world and half of my church. I'm sure they thought I was crazy. I tried to look completely nonchalant about it, but I was actually quiet embarrassed (for reference sake, one of the body looseners makes me look like I'm trying to belly dance, and another makes me look like I'm trying to imitate Elvis LOL).

After the names of the fallen soldiers were read, and my pastor prayed for us all, and the most spectacular rendition of the national anthem had been sung, we all made our way down to the start. The corrals were set up on an honor system, and I think that's a great idea, but corral 3 is 27:00-44:00 and that is a HUGE pace difference. Those are people who are really running hard to those who are jogging or walking briskly. I think the corral standards need to be changed next year.

I lined up towards the back of Corral 3 anticipating that it would be hard to start walking 1 minute into the race and I was right. Many of those 9 minute mile racers were taking off hard and I found that I needed to keep going so I didn't impede their progress or get run over. And since I didn't have my Garmin to BEEP at me every minute, it was hard to keep track of my intervals. I did pretty good, though, even with all the rain to distract me. I felt really good the whole time, with the exception of my right hip being pretty tight (probably because I had rolled nearly 3 hours earlier). I missed my interval a couple of times, but I decided that I was feeling so good that it probably didn't matter too much. I just listened to my body and tried to remember to stop running after a minute, but I didn't stress over it, either.

I crossed the finish line at 34:16 and felt really excited. I had expected to finish in about 36:30, judging by my average pace at home doing a 1/1 interval. But I guess skipping the intervals affected my finish time. It cracks me up that I finished faster during this 5K doing a walking interval every minute than I did on my very first 5K in 2008 running as hard as I could! LOL My how time changes things! :) 

Due to the rain and the fact that I had Riley's birthday party right after lunch and the race had started late as it was, I grabbed a bottle of water and headed back to the car without getting any snacks. I had a banana in my car and I ate that on the way home. I cleaned up and did the traditional race shirt picture:

The names of the Fallen - 10 more names this year than last year. :(
The shirt is so great and normally I'd be thrilled to have a long sleeve tee, but we are having a really warm spring so I won't be able to wear it again until the fall. But that doesn't mean that I won't be thinking about those folks and honoring their memories all year long. When you have an almost 16 year old son, and you see that some of those soldiers were 19 when they died, it really brings home the sacrifice.

The 2013 date for the Fallen Heroes of GA 10K/5K/1K will be Saturday, March 16th. See you there!!

Rehab: Week 9

So sorry for disappearing off the face of the earth!! Last weekend was incredibly busy with the race and my daughter turning 13, and then this was a crazy week and I played 'catch-up' the entire time. But today is the birthday girl's official big day (she got a FB page and everything LOL) and we take off birthdays from school, so I figured that it would be a good time to catch up on my blogs! So, today I will do my training recap first, and then do a full race report for the Fallen Heroes of GA race.

Here is what my training looked like last week:

Monday - 30 minute run (1/1 interval)
Tuesday - 40 minute bike ride (stationary bike)
Wednesday - 60 minute Yoga Conditioning for Athletes
Thursday - 30 minute run (1/1 interval)
Friday - 60 minute Yoga for the Warrior
Saturday - Fallen Heroes of Georgia 5K
Sunday - 49 minute Athlete's Guide to Yoga

The running last week went quite well! I am ready to start increasing my run intervals now as I build back in to running. I'm really, really looking forward to doing more running than walking soon! 

My shoulder is still bothering me. I did some arm weight machines on Tuesday and pumped up the weight, and it really bothered my arm/shoulder for the rest of the week. I put myself on rest from swimming and upper body lifting until it starts to heal up. And if the rest doesn't help in a week or so, then I will go see the doctor. 

Did I mention that I am tired of things hurting on my body? ;)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Why did I sign up for this?

Tomorrow  I have a 5K race.

I should type that as "race" since I won't be racing it. I'll still be doing my 1/1 intervals. And therein lies the problem. I have all these raw emotions running through me that I wasn't expecting:

1. This race has a 5K and a 10K. I have set a new 10K PR at this race in each of the last 2 years. But this time I will be doing the 5K, not the 10K.

2. 5K - i don't even sign up for 5Ks anymore because it seems like a waste of time and money to drive somewhere just to run for 3 miles. At least, that is how I felt before my injury. And I don't even really warm up until 2-3 miles into a run so 5Ks just don't make sense for me. But now... that's all different. This time I won't even be running the whole 5K.

3. This race is sponsored by my church, and I am embarrassed that I will be run/walking and only doing the 5K and that I won't be racing all out in front of my church friends.

I have found myself all week wondering why I signed up for this.

And then I remember what this race is called: Fallen Heroes of Georgia. The course will be lined with signs and each sign will list the name of a man or woman who has been killed in action since 9-11, along with the age and rank of that individual. Sometimes, there will be a parent or parents standing next to the their child's sign, holding a picture. Many of the ages listed are only a couple of years older than my son!

It's not about me. It's not about my vanity. It's not even about running, really. It's about honoring the memories of the individuals who gave their lives to ensure that I have the ability to live my life in freedom. It's about raising money for charities that support the families or memorialize the fallen soldiers. It's about showing the families of these soldiers that we appreciate their sacrifice.

No way would I miss this while I have the ability to make it across that finish line - 1K, 5K, or 10K!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pumping Iron

Thanks to some "friends" talking about the results they got, I decided to start reading The New Rules of Lifting for Women. I find the premise quite appealing. I have been "lifting weights" for the last few years as part of my overall fitness plan. I use 5 pounders, though they are very easy. I could go up to 8, but I've always heard that women need to do more reps with lighter weights to sculpt the arms and not bulk up. I didn't want that!

According to this book, that is absolutely wrong!

I'm only a couple of chapters into the book, but the author advocates that women up the weights and stay away from the "Barbie weights" (love that) and do some real weight-lifting moves like the guys do. He claims we won't bulk up, but we will look sleek and toned and fabulous. He also recommends that women eat more protein (well, he says to eat more in general, which was another shocker!) to complement the harder training.

Yesterday at the gym, I decided to test the idea of heavier weights. I'm not following the program yet, obviously, since I haven't finished reading the book! LOL But I have been doing leg exercises from the PT and some basic arm machines. I decided to go up on the weight and see how it felt. It went surprisingly well! Today may be another matter - my arms are SO sore! My legs are fine, except for the glutes which were a little sore during yoga today.

I'm supposed to do weights again tomorrow but I'm not really sure that's going to happen! I guess I'll have to see how I feel! Stay tuned for more details on my progress to get a more toned look going on in this middle-aged body! ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rehab: Week 8

Hard to believe it's only been 8 weeks since Goofy! It seems like it was forever ago! I just got my Photopass picture CD and it really just feels like it was forever ago!

Monday - sick
Tuesday - Yoga Conditioning for Athletes (60 minutes)
Wednesday - 30 minute run (1/1 intervals); 15 minute walking Warm-up/Cool-down; 8 minute Yoga
Thursday - 45 minute bike ride; 7 minute yoga; leg machines
Friday - 1200 yard swim; 8 minute yoga
Saturday - 30 minute run (1/1 intervals); 15 minute walking Warm-up/Cool-down; 8 minute Yoga
Sunday - Athlete's Guide to Yoga (49 minutes)

Workouts went OK last week once I felt better. I added some weight training back in and it felt really good, but I'm not exactly sure when I should be doing it and how much. I am also going to read The New Rules of Lifting for Women and see if that will help me to figure out the "what", "when", and "how much" for adding in some strengthening. 

I'll be taking some time off from the pool. My right arm/shoulder has been bothering me for the last few days. It only hurts when I am rotating my arm and only in one particular part of the movement - think the "coming out of the water" part of the freestyle stroke. My guess is that I did too much, too fast when I switched abruptly from swimming a broken 1000 m to a continuous 1200 m. @@ So I will rest from swimming, and when I do go back, I will swim my broken sets again and build up slowly into a continuous set. Like a smart person. I'll also be more diligent about stretching my arms and shoulders before and after I swim. And I'll be sure to do some more strength work for my upper body. You know... like a smart person. Because I'm tired of things hurting.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

5 months ago today... IT Band injury happened.

FIVE months. That's a long time!!

I woke up in a bad mood this morning thanks to this "anniversary". Well, not just that one... in 4 short weeks from today I turn the "age-which-shall-not-be-mentioned". Just NOT a good day.

But the weather was beautiful today, and I had "bike" on my schedule. I decided to dust off Frankie (my beloved Frankenbike) and got the bike rack out of the garage as well (no small feat!), and decided to head for the park. The park where I did all of my long runs for the marathon. The park that I haven't been to since the middle of October. I put on the Never, Ever, Ever Give Up shirt that my mom bought me for Christmas, and tried to stop feeling sorry for myself.

It worked! I rode around the parking lot for a little while so I could remember how to shift gears and made sure all the bike parts were still working well, and then I headed for the trail. Near the end of my first lap I saw a cyclist coming towards me. It wasn't until she was nearly passed me that I realized it was my BFF! LOL She hadn't been on her bike in a long while, either, so she decided to meet me up at the park! Unfortunately, I am not comfortable turning around on my bike on the narrow, little trail, so I kept on going and planned to wait for her near the lake where I could stop, turn around, and see her coming. Sure enough, just as I arrived, I saw her coming and we did the rest of the laps together. It was nice - and our first workout together in months!

It felt really good to be on the bike again and we ended up doing a little more than 9.5 miles! It wasn't fast, but that wasn't the point. BFF has another marathon on Saturday and I didn't need to push things on my first time out - besides, the park was crowded and we had to dodge walkers and runners (and squirrels!). But it was nice to be outside and active again - and I wasn't nearly as sad at being at the park as I was afraid of.

I've got to stop looking back and missing what was... and start looking forward with anticipation at what is yet to come.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

And I ran...

I'm feeling much better now. Actually, I was feeling much better yesterday, but I follow the "Bobby Cox" program for injury/illness rehabilitation. I watched an interview with Bobby maybe 10 years ago, long before I was ever active, and he said that whenever an injured/sick player comes to him and says he feels better and is ready to go, he says, "Great! Take one more day!" So that's sort of how I try to judge my rehab... if I feel good, I give it one more day/week to feel good at that level before I take it up. So yesterday I did yoga to give myself one more day. I'm glad I did, too, because it was really cold yesterday.

All in all the run went well. It was colder than I had expected for the temperature (maybe humidity and/or wind), so I was shivering a good bit. It's harder to maintain form that way. I only felt a twinge now and then, and I took those times as an opportunity to check my form and realign. It seemed to work. I followed up with rolling, stretching, and a little running-specific yoga, and all feels good.


Emotions are running a bit raw today. It's registration day for the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon. I can't help but remember this day last year when I was so excited to register for my first marathon, and to reflect on how it didn't turn out anything like I had envisioned. And then I look at me now and see how different things are from this time last year. Last year, I felt invincible. I felt like I could do ANYTHING I set my mind to. I felt STRONG.

Today I feel broken. And weak. And old. And sad.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rehab: Week 7

Well, this week was a complete bust. Between the "mystery pain" on Monday and being sick Friday - Sunday (and into today), I wasn't able to run 3 times again like I had planned. It was such a bummer, especially with my first 5K coming up in 2 weeks.

Monday - rest (mystery foot pain)
Tuesday - 1200 meter swim; swimming mini-yoga; leg weights at gym
Wednesday - 60 minutes Yoga Conditioning for Athletes
Thursday - 30 minute run (1/1 intervals); running mini-yoga
Friday - sick
Saturday - sick
Sunday - sick

Oh, how disappointing!! I was really looking forward to running 3 times this week, and that was immediately destroyed by Monday's foot pain. So then I was hoping for 2 runs, but that was destroyed by coming down with this nasty cold/sinus thing. Usually if the congestion is only in my head, I will run anyway since I have to breathe through my mouth to run. But this stuff has a horrible headache component to it that held me hostage all weekend. I couldn't even do my stretches on Sunday because it hurt too badly to move!

For what it's worth, Thursday's run was glorious! It felt so good and I really felt strong and didn't have but just one or two twinges the entire time! One thing I did notice on Saturday, is that I didn't really feel ANYTHING in my left knee while I was driving to and from my daughter's birthday party (which I felt OK for, actually, but it was at an ice-skating rink and when I got home I was oozing from every opening in my head so I think the cold air made it much worse for me). Lately I hadn't been feeling pain when I drive but I felt 'something', so this would be cool if it means I am able to kick out the last of the ITBS pain. Who knows, maybe these 4-5 days off will end up making a big difference?!

Regardless, now I will have to adjust my expectations for the next two weeks leading up to the 5K. I am going to try to get in 2 runs this week. If I can, then I will shoot for 3 runs next week, with the 3rd being the 5K race that Saturday. And I will stick to the 1/1 intervals for the 5K, even though I was hoping to be doing a 2/1 by then at least. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Excuse me while I have a little temper tantrum. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Pooh. Pooh. Pooh. Grr. Grr. Grr.

Ok, all done. :) It's just a little setback.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


This recovery interrupted by being so totally sick!! My head is all stuffed up and I feel dreadful. I took off yesterday and today and will take off tomorrow as well - maybe even Monday, depending.  I haven't slept in 2 days because I can't breathe... and I'm just miserable. My almost 13 year old daughter told me that I should have done the Zombie run today - as a zombie. I can't argue with her because the black circles under my eyes are just horrible. Even my mom said she's never seen me looking so badly.

On a good note, my legs seem to have appreciated the rest. I didn't notice any twinges or anything at all today, not even when I was driving. :)

Now to get some more tea and honey, and pray that I am able to sleep tonight for a change.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 2012 - By the Numbers

Run/Walk - 23.03 miles
Bike - 33.83 miles
Swim - 3.36 miles

Yoga - 776 minutes (12 hours, 56 minutes!)

 Looking forward to March! BTW, my feet both feel fine! Not sure what happened on Monday!!