Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oops, I Did It Again

Hmmmm.... first week back to running: 18 miles including 8 all at once. On Sunday, my calf was SINGING. And not a happy tune. I hoped it would feel better on Monday. It. Did. Not.

On Monday, I met my new personal training client and we ran a few miles togehter. My calf was killing me, but it was my JOB and she was paying me for running with her. I managed to finish the miles and by Tuesday, my calf hurt even when walking. It just so happened that Tuesday night at the monthly Clarksville Running Club meeting, the guest speaker was a physical therapist. She is the only game in town that has this new treatment called ASTYM. It's a SCRAPING treatment for muscles that have been injured and have healed all jumbled up--like cooked spaghetti. Basically, she scrapes this plastic thing down the muscles (it only hurts a little) and it causes inflammation (not unlike deep tissue massage) and the muscles realign correctly. Or something like that. It left me with 7 small bruises, but I have hope that it will work and I can put this injury behind me! The thing about calf injuries is they tend to linger. And linger.....

I have two more treatments scheduled for this week. In the meantime, I can run only short distances, no hills, no speedwork. I tried to figure out if 4 miles was a "short distance." My long run was this morning, so I ran in 1/2 mile increments and then walked 1/4 mile increments through 6 miles. Technically, only about 4 of them were running. I felt pretty darn good afterwards. We'll see how I feel tomorrow!

I think the run/walk thing is going to be KEY to coming back from this injury. The Women's Half Marathon is in 8 weeks. I have to take it easy, but still cover some fairly long miles with my training group. (Again, I'm getting PAID for the job, pretty much need to be there!)

At the beginning of last week, it felt completely better. I had rested, used my foam roller, massaged it, and done all the right things. Then I overzealously jumped into that 8-miler and it flared up again. Oh well, at least now I know what NOT to do.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This Week in Running

I had a nice week o' running. I did 3 miles on Monday with a neighbor in my neighborhood, 4 miles on Tuesday with my running club, and 3 miles on Thursday in the running class I teach. Tuesday's run was on the track at the local college with my running club. It was supposed to be speed intervals, but I'm really working on endurance right now, not speed. I did one 400 meter lap at an 8:20 pace, and after that, I just focused on maintaining a consistent pace. That was harder to do than normal because I didn't have my Garmin. It started to sprinkle, then briefly to rain hard, but I LOVED it! I didn't have a hat, and rain was pelting me in the face, but it was still awesome. I just felt so thankful to be out there at all. This song, Glory to God, came on my mp-3 at just the right moment when the rain started. "Take my life and let it be all for You and for Your Glory, take my life and let it be Yours...." Then the rain stopped and a big ole rainbow came out right behind the stadium. (Told ya it was a neat run!) I remember running on that track with big fat snow falling just a few months ago and thinking how beautiful it was. I love how images like that get frozen in your memory.

Yesterday, I did my first eight-miler since my injury! I started about 30-40 seconds too fast in the first couple of miles. That, of course, made miles 6-8 a little harder than they had to be. I finished strong though. It reminds me of when I was first adding mileage and that extra one mile seemed so hard each week. I think I'm going to stay at 8 for my long run for the next few weeks and just focus on running 8 better before moving on to 9 and 10. The half-marathon is still about 8 weeks away, so there is plenty of time.

I'm enjoying several new running buddies. Our running club membership has soared to over 100 members in the last few months, and I have 19 ladies in my YMCA half-marathon training group. I love meeting new people and sharing my passion for running and fitness with them! I might never have crossed paths with some of these folks were it not for running!

I also have my first individual personal running coach client who found me on the RRCA website. We meet today for the first time. She needs help with passing the running portion of a physical fitness test for her job. (Must be military or law enforcement. I'm pretty sure most employers don't care if you can run 1.5 miles, but perhaps they should?) :-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Slow and Steady Recovery in Progress!

I am running pain-free again! What a relief! The calf is as 95% good as new. Occasionally, the shin splint still hurts, but I ran fine all last week. I did two 3-milers, a 2.5 miler, and a 5.5 miler. All of the short ones were indoors on the treadmill. The 5.5 miler was outside.

Um.... guess what? Recovery is hard! And slow! I think I've gotten too used to the comfort of my home treadmill-- lots of tv stations and DVR'd shows to choose from, SIRIUS music channels, air conditioning, no humidity, no hills. Add in all the days when I couldn't run at all and just walked on the treadmill, and you get a runner with seriously decreased endurance! At the 2.5 mile point on Saturday's hot, hilly, humid run (the 3 H's are a vicious combo!), I was struggling. My legs were heavy and I couldn't breathe. I was running a 10:30 pace by the way. Just 5 months ago, I ran 26.2 miles at a 10:55 pace and now I'm struggling at TWO??? I know I've de-acclimated (is that a word?) to the heat by exercising indoors so much and frankly, I've lost a LOT of my fitness. I think I read somewhere that it takes 2 weeks for every month missed or something. It'll come.

I'm not discouraged or anything. (Well, not much.) I have 10 or so weeks until my next half-marathon. I doubt it'll be a PR, but that's ok.

I'm just so glad to be running again. I have a renewed appreciation for it. I can't wait to build up enough endurance for a nice 8 or 10-miler. There is no sign of burnout anywhere, I'm truly "on fire" for the sport again.

Honestly, this little foray into injury territory will help me as a running coach. I'll be more understanding of what my injured runners are going through. And a little time off made me more on fire for running than I have been since before my marathon! It's all good.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Runner Again?

I ran 3 miles without any pain this morning. So excited!!!! My speed is gone, as is my endurance, but so was the pain. That is a great thing! Speed and endurance will come back. Just hope the pain doesn't!

Friday, July 2, 2010

To Run at All.....

Hello, Perspective! I was so obsessed with being faster and stronger on hills that I injured myself. Now I'd just like to be able to run AT ALL. Even as a "slow runner," I was running 15, 20, 30 miles a week. I really miss that!

A little perspective is good for the soul.

10 Years of Running: Confessions of a Declining Runner

Two months ago, I hit a pretty significant milestone:  ten years of running.  I began in June of 2007 at the age of 36 .   On day one, I tho...