MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 31, 2010

Lady GaGa Hour

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:41

No joke.  When I was at the gym this morning (grrrrr XT-ing) MTV played AN HOUR of Lady Gaga videos.  I was unaware that she had an hours worth of music videos.  Bummer that I couldn’t listen along because, even though I have headphones in my gym bag, the little device that hooks the sound from the tvs on the wall to me is broken.  Well it cuts in and out which is annoying.  And not just on the equipment that I was using but on all the machines.  I think it’s because their old and too many people have plugged and unplugged their headphones.  The same thing happened to my discman (gosh did I just date myself?!).

Anyway I mention it because I know that Sarah (the shu box) would be happy and enjoy that.  🙂

As you probably could tell I did the arc trainer this morning.  I had a little extra time (sleepless night = able to get out of bed early) so I did another 2 hours on the darn thing.  Sadly no one gave me any exciting XT workouts to do sooo I did this:

  • 30 minutes @ Resistance =25
  • 60 minutes @ Resistance = 30 (30 “forwards motion” 30 “backwards”)
  • 30 minutes @ Resistance = 25

It was interesting to see how, on one machine R = 25 felt WAY harder than R=25 on another.  I did the first 30 minutes on the harder machine (because my fav one was taken) but quickly jumped on the fav when it opened up.  I’m pretty sure that on the machine I started on the resistance of 25 was a resistance of 30 on the other machine so if I had just adjusted then everything would have been okay.  But then again, if I hadn’t switched I wouldn’t have been in perfect position for Lady GaGa 🙂

And I’m right there with you guys for going off of HR and perceived effort guiding my workouts rather than the machine readouts.  I just found it interesting that the calories were SO HIGH.  Regardless my HR was around 140 or so the whole time which is typical for me and ~70% my “max”.

For some reason, even though lots of you praised me for being able to handle 2 hours yesterday, the time doesn’t really pass that slowly and it’s not really that boring. I guess I can entertain myself and I have exciting thoughts to think about.  I don’t have an ipod so music is out.  I can “watch” tv but I don’t have sound.  And I absolutely cannot read while working out.  It just doesn’t workout nicely for me. So it’s just me and my thoughts.  And the occasional people watching 😉

I suppose all the not running is helping my shin.  I am pain free for another day and the allure of running proved too much.  So after my Spanish class I laced up my shoes and went on a test run.  Not really a run because it was so short but something just to see if the pain free living would translate to pain free running.

I’m happy to say that YES it did.

I was really really nervous about heading out for this test run.  I think once I succumbed to the no-running mentality it made me feel like I’m really frail and I almost didn’t want to run anymore. Crazy right? I know Jess has blogged a bit about this before, well maybe  not the no running but the scared feeling of getting back into it.  I plan on running tomorrow and, although Thursdays mean tempo, I’ve already decided to nix all speedwork this week.  I just don’t think I’m mentally up to it regardless of the shin status.

Now I know that many of you probably would like to see me wait longer before jumping into any sort of running but I did the test run for a couple of reasons:

  • I’m an even kind of girl.  Meaning that it’s been 2 days.  Waiting until tomorrow means 3 days.  And 3 isn’t happening.  I’d have to wait until Friday to get to the next even number and I really didn’t want to wait that long.  Plus if I waited beyond Friday it would have to be 8 days because I like multiples (or fractions) of 4. OCD much?
  • I have PT tonight so any “damage” (because let’s face it, running and working out causes damage no matter if you have shin splints or are 100% healthy) would be worked out through massage and stretch and stim.

Which I just got back from and it was comical how ridiculously tight my calves are.  Seriously. The faces my PT was making were…well let’s just say my calves are tight.

And she was really surprised at all the edema that is in my (newly affected) shin.  But she was happy that the “old” shin was feeling great.  So now we need to get the swelling down in this guy which I’m confident that we’ll do.  I mean, we did it with the last one.

Off to go do some work.  And maybe get some sleep tonight.  Send some sleepytime vibes my way please 🙂

March 30, 2010

Intervals? Check. Running? Nope.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:20

Jeez Louise! Thanks so much everyone for your support in that tough race Sunday.  If you missed it (and trust me it wasn’t anything I want to relive ha) you can find the Eastern States 20 Miler race report here.  It was amazing to read all your kind words about the ordeal that was every single mile of that course. I feel so loved and supported by all of you 🙂

The rest of Sunday included tutoring statistics, which was an ordeal as I was trying to keep my throbbing leg elevated and yet trying to help a bunch of kids around a table.  Sunday did not include a good night of sleeping.  I think that the physical stress of the race + all the emotional stuff really was interfering with my sleep as I slept terribly.  I woke up at 00:56, 1:33, 03:22 and finally 05:31.  I just laid in bed for a half hour and then got up to study for my exam Monday morning blah.

That night, and every night for that matter, I’ve also been plagued with nosebleeds.  Like everytime I blow my nose (because allergies make me congested) I blow the clot and BAM massive nosebleed. If anyone has a good trick to get this to stop I’d be you biggest fan. For real.

Anyway.  Monday morning came and I don’t think I could have run a step if I tried.  It wasn’t that my muscles were sore.  I’ve never actually been really sore after a long run ever *knockonwood* but rather my tendons and ligaments and skin were sore.  I don’t really know the best way to explain it but it just felt that my leg was so being stretched out, likely from the inflammation.  So running? Yeah, out of the question. I honestly don’t think I could have run if I had tried.

I did some stretching throughout the day and some corework because I had been slacking on that the past few days and I didn’t really notice that the rest day was helping me.  I’m not exactly an instant gratification gal, I can wait forever for things.  But with my running and injury (and Lacey considers shin splints an injury even though I don’t so that’s where the terminology comes from) I do want instant results. I want my body to say “oh you skipped your 0700 run so by 0800 you’ll be okay”.  Ummm I know in my brain that’s not how it works but still.

I wore my compression socks to bed (which I have been since FOREVER) and in the morning I wasn’t as stiff and I could WALK.  Yes, walking was difficult on Monday. Just as I felt every step in the race on Sunday I could feel every step I walked on Monday.  So I was very happy. I even entertained the thought of ditching my arc trainer plans in favor of running.

I quickly nixed that.  See? I’m not entirely dumb.  Plus I had already written out my XT workout for the day and there’s something AWESOME about executing what’s written down on paper.

But today is Tuesday. So it wasn’t just a plug and chug XT session.  I had intervals to do on the plan so intervals were going to be carried out.  Come hell or high water (and with all the rain and flooding high water might just in fact be a possibility ha).

I ended up on the arc trainer (blahhhhh) and used the “hill intervals” program.  I figured that a typical interval running session takes about 2 hours so I did the following:

  • 30 minutes, manual, resistance = 25 (out of 100)
  • 60 minutes, hill interval, level = 5 (out of 10)
  • 30 minutes, manual, resistance = 30 (out of 100)

All in all I guess it was an okay session.  I periodically checked my HR during the whole two hours and it was consistently between 140 and 160, which if you believe the whole Max HR = 220-age then I was around 70-80% of my max. I tried to keep the “strides/minute” around 140-150 because I think I read somewhere that’s a good place to have them.  The numbers really don’t mean much to me.

But arc trainer (or bike or elliptical) miles =/= running miles so I’m not quite sure how this workout fits in.  Yes it was a way for me to keep active today but as far as *training* goes, I’m not quite sure it qualifies. Also, on the arc trainer (not so much the elliptical though) it takes me FOREVER to go a mile.  I don’t know if I’m working the machine right or not butttt in 2 hours I only went about 6.5 miles (the same time running would yield me AT LEAST 12-14 depending on type of run and the same time on the elliptical gets me about 13 or so).  I think it’s the machine and the way it’s designed.  I mean, I guess it terms of fitness the only important thing is that my HR was up, right?

Interestingly I’ve had a toenail that’s been on the verge of falling off for awhile now.  It started with a blister that formed around the whole toenail so it’s been prime to pop off.  I’ve run countless times on it: intervals, tempos, LRs and standard recovery stuff.  And yet it still was hanging on.  Literally by a shard of skin (gross I know).  Wouldn’t you know that the way the arc trainer grips my shoes that the damn thing fell off today? It’s my first missing toenail ever.  And it’s from XT-ing.  Go figure haha.

Also interesting? The calorie count readout on the machine.  Now I’m not by any means obsessed with calories or anything like that but I found it interesting that the readout said I burned 1600 calories over those 2 hours. It was a machine where you get to input your weight so it’s not skewing it thinking I’m a big burly man but still…1600? I find it hard to believe that my workout was the energy expenditure equivalent of a 16 mile run.  Certainly didn’t feel that way. Anyone have any thoughts on it? Just curious because it struck me as odd and there’s only so much “real thinking” one can do over two hours of the elliptical. haha.

As for tomorrow I really am itching to get out on the roads.  The forecast is looking somewhat optimistic.  The heavy rain that has plagued us for the past 48 hours is hopefully going to clear out tonight.  Sure some roads are definitely going to be flooded but I’m sure I’ll manage.  If I don’t get to running then I have no idea what I’m going to do workout wise. So if anyone has any good workouts for the elliptical or the bike (there’s even one spin bike in the gym) I want it! And please email it to me and rather than putting it in the comments section. It helps me immensely to have it in my email rather than here 🙂

Oh well. I’m in dire need of some homework time. LOST is on tonight and I get to watch it with the girlies. It’s become a Tuesday night tradition 🙂 Although I don’ t think ANYTHING could top last week’s.  Richard Alpert = hot. We’re rewatching it before the new one because it was just that good!

March 29, 2010

Eastern States 20 Miler: Operation Get It Done

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:01

So I’ve been hemming and hawing sitting down to draft this race report. [Warning: it’s on the long side even for me]

Race report? You might ask yourself

Yes race report because yesterday was the Eastern State 20 miler that I ran with Lacey. You’ll notice I said “ran” instead of “raced”.  Ummmm that’s because this was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. You can read Lacey’s report here.  I loved reading it because it totally captures the essence of what went down.

In short this race went according to NONE of our expectations.  I didn’t really hype up the race too much because it was a part of the larger picture: Boston.  I figured it would be a good confidence booster as a last run before tapering (as Boston is 3 weeks from today!?!).  Lacey and I had talked a bit about what our goals were and we had two:

  • Finish stronger than we started
  • Maintain a good GMP (~8:00) throughout

As I’m sure you can tell by my tone so far neither of those happened.

To start with, the race conditions were much worse than the weather forecast had led me to believe.  According to it was suppose to be cloudy but with some sun, temps of upper 30s at the start to low 40s throughout.  Well okay, I suppose both of those are true.  BUT the forecast neglected to mention that since we were running along the Eastern sea coast (Kittery ME to Hampton Beach, NH) it was going to be a cold 40* and WINDY.

Luckily both of us had packed tights and gloves so we were okay. And as you can see all smiles and hardcoreness at the start:

Note: All pictures stolen from Lacey!


And despite looking ready to go we actually missed the start! We ended up being, literally, at the back of the pack. Since it was such a small race (no chips or mile markers on the course) it wasn’t the biggest deal but when they say the race starts at 1100 they really mean it!

Wait, was that the horn?!

We eased into the pack and I know Lacey was chomping at the bit to GO! We had talked about race strategy and since one of our goals was to finish strong we held back a little bit.

Full Disclosure Time: I entered the race on Sunday not feeling 100%.  Lacey and I had emailed back and forth and I was considering dropping out of the race and, if this had been a training run and not a race I had already paid for and committed to, I wouldn’t have done it.  I think.  My left shin (the one that I don’t have the PT ‘script for) was bugging me and I wasn’t sure I could do it. Now before you guys start hating on me and bashing me know that I went into the race knowing it wasn’t the best move for me.

The first couple of miles were around 8:45-9:00. Therefore I kept telling Lacey that I knew I was holding her back and that I wasn’t going to be able to hit the GMP and that I was taking this as a training run and going to shoot for 9:00 pace (roughly a 3 hour finish).  I knew that she was trying to encourage me but I just didn’t have it in me.  In addition to my shin throbbing, I was soooo sleep deprived that my body just didn’t want to do it.

Around mile 5 or 6 we saw Elliot, Lacey’s boyfriend, and Kyle, their friend from high school.  They were on picture duty and following in a car and I have never wanted to climb into a vehicle so badly in my life! I told myself that if I felt like shit at the halfway mark I could drop out.  At this point Lacey asked me how I was doing and I had to be honest “I’m just looking to finish on two legs”.  I again told her to go ahead but, bless her soul, she told me that finishing together was more important.  I seriously almost cried.

I can’t tell you how much Lacey being there with me helped. I was in agony every step.  I don’t think I had a pain free step the whole time.  I was nauseous, shin throbbing, groin screaming because it was compensating.  And those were the physical symptoms. I was also worried about slowing Lacey down despite her protests of us being in this together.

Miles 7-16 were kind of a blur to me.  It’s really too bad because I’m sure the NH coastline was beautiful.  But the wind and my body were all I could think about.  My nausea was getting worse.  I don’t know if it was the awkward start time & time I ate breakfast (ie low blood sugar), dehydration (despite the cold I was sweating whenever the sun came out) or pain.

Around mile 14 we saw Elliot and Kyle again and I (successfully) hid behind Lacey when the camera came out because I was NOT feeling it.  It was at this point I knew that I didn’t want to see them again because I for sure would hop in their car.  Which is SO not like me.  I usually take the attitude that I can handle anything.  It’s a point I pride myself on.  Lacey told me that we can walk at any time and I knew that if we did I wouldn’t likely find the motivation to keep going.

But I had to stop a water stop at mile 16 or so and I drank down 4 water cups! And Lacey offered me a gu chomp in order to fight my nausea.  I don’t think it helped much physically but mentally it gave me a little boost.

Which at this point, with 4 miles to go, I kept telling myself that I do this all the time and I can do it again.  Which were the words that Lacey told me at mile 8 when she said “Only 12 miles to go. You can bang this out no problem”

Around this point Lacey was sidelined with a terrible cramp in her abs.  It was awful to see her in pain and we stopped a bit for her to stretch.  She kept telling me to go on without her but I couldn’t.  At one point I didn’t notice that she stopped to walk and I promptly stopped (despite Kyle telling me not too haha) and waited for her to catch up to me. This was around mile 18 and from this point on we faced a tremendous headwind.  Our pace drastically slowed and it felt like I wasn’t moving.  Those last 2 miles felt as long as the first 18.

Ughhhh wind

I really like the way Lacey summed up the race so I’m copying and pasting:

It is kind of encouraging to have someone run with you, see you at your very worst, and not think badly of you. Talk about a tough run. And talk about an emotional ending. The last two miles were right along the beach boardwalk and the wind was PUSHING us back. I mean, it had been windy pretty much the entire run. But the last two miles were something else entirely. It was a wind tunnel and all I could think of was JUST KEEP GOING.

It was a very emotional ending for me.  As soon as we crossed (arm in arm and we told the people recording the times and numbers that we finished TOGETHER) I started crying.  It took so much to NOT cry during the race that I let it all out as soon as we were out of the shoot. It was part pain, part happiness of being over and part pride of actually finishing.

The final stats?

  • Official: 3 hours 10 minutes (taking into account all the walking)
  • Unofficial: 3 hours 6 minutes

Obviously the numbers (while all in all aren’t that bad) don’t tell the whole story.  Like I said, it was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.  It was awesome to have a partner to share this experience with regardless of the outcome.  So thanks Lacey 🙂 And Elliot 🙂 And Kyle 🙂

At some point during the race I told Lacey “I need to say this aloud. No running tomorrow!”.  And it actually happened.  Although I really don’t think that I could have physically run even if I wanted to.  Again, please no bashing here. You can’t possible say anything about how stupid I treated my legs that I haven’t said to myself already. Butttt it’s over. I can’t change what I did.

It’s also taper time.  Thank god.

Whew that was longer than I intended this to be and I wasn’t sure I wanted to post anything on this at all.  But as Lacey wrote, They can’t all be good runs or good races. And when they’re not. Just let it go. That’s what I’m doing. Letting it go. Writing this out was a good step in that process 🙂

March 27, 2010

I Got Nothing. Including Sleep.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:27

Writer’s block maybe? I’ve just spent so much energy this week on school stuff that I am spent.  Not sleeping due to the exam then not sleeping due to Relay = exhaustion.  I’m sure many of you can no doubt relate.

Relay was fun as always.  Since it’s still early in the calender year my school holds Relay in the field house.  Some years it’s a bummer because we do get a nice evening.  Last night the low was 16*.  Smart call planning committee.  I did get there late (annoying because I’m on the planning committee!) but it was still fun.  There are games, contests, performing groups etc.  Very fun.

And yet still tiring.  Since I’m a person that cannot sleep when the sun is up (so no naps for this chica ever) I couldn’t go to bed after the event was over.  So what did I do? Run. Duh.  Or tried too.  The combo of stress + no sleep + week 4 of training proved to be too much and I *struggled* hardcore.  I don’t think that my recent shin tenderness (read: not an injury. Please keep that in mind people) helped too much either.  So I cut the run short.

Not much to say on it .  Very upsetting but I know that so many factors went into this bust of a run.  And my rational brain can know this but my heart aches over it.

I’m sure the biggest contributing factor is the lack of sleep.  I slept maybe 3 hours a night this week (thank you quantum! and thanks for your awesome words about me being done with the exam.  And unfortunately 20+ hours is the norm for upper level physics and math classes.  Which is why I roll my eyes when humanities majors complain haha!) and when I did get some sleep it was restless (thank you allergies!).  I’m feeling a bit crabby and emotional today, just because of not sleeping. In fact, despite not really having a solid relationship with my mom, when I called her about something small and then started balling she decided to drive down and take me out tonight.  And she should be here soon.  So I’m not proof-reading this. Oh well. Such is life sometimes.

But sleep is REALLY important.  So rather than bore you with more woe-is-me tales here’s a little blurb I wrote a very long time ago but never got around to posting, originally titled: Poppies Will Put Them To Sleep. Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

It’s definitely something that most people don’t get enough of.  Between really hectic work/school schedules and social obligations (aka my drinking on school nights during the semester haha) it’s really tough to get in a training regime nevermind unwinding with a good book, bamf television show or unwinding in some capacity. I think I’ve read that the average American sleeps only 6 or 7  hours a night which is a reduction of 1-2 hours in the past 20 years and a more significant reduction compared to 100 years ago (the exact figure escapes my mind).

But sleep is really important.  The average person sleeps for about a third of his or her life! Sleep deprivation is associated with many dangers both psychological and physical (and behavioral.  Who wants to be around a cranky sleep deprived person?!). Sleep is actually an active process and not just the absence of being awake: when you sleep there is all your neurons are firing at full force and hormones being released, so it’s kind of like being awake but the difference is the change in type of activity that the neurons are doing.  Sleep is for the brain and that is reflected in said change in activity.

When you’re awake the important things that the brain directs neurons to do are: breathing, keeping you’re heart beating, digesting, movement.  You know the stuff that keeps you alive. But when you’re asleep the brain directs neurons to heal. The exact reason / mechanism we sleep is unknown but there are a couple of proposals that are suggested such as:

  • Releasing hormones, specifically growth hormone (GH), which repairs muscles and replaces dead worn out cells. This includes the immune system.
  • Allows the brain to repair itself from icky by-products built up during the day that it couldn’t get rid of because it was so busy.  Our muscles, for example, just make new cells to replace damaged ones but the brain doesn’t regenerate itself so damage must be cleaned up.
  • Lets the brain play “catch-up” and restore the energy sources in the brain that have become depleted during wakefulness.
  • Sleep allows neural pathways to regain sensitivity.  When we’re awake our neurons are constantly being attacked by neurotransmitters (NT).  This is a good thing because NTs direct the brain signals to muscles, organs etc  but over the course of the day the neurons themselves become desensitized to NTs and sleep resets that.
  • Learning and memory.  Some researchers believe that sleep is important in allowing the body to accommodate the chemical and structural changes needed to create memories.  For example infants need LOTS of sleep and their brain are in a state of change because they’re growing and older people’s brains are pretty much set up structurally and don’t need as much sleep.
  • Integrating daytime experiences. Life is so complicated and there’s only so much information that the brain can catch the first time around.  Sleep might be the chance where new pathways are connected between information.  “Sleep on it” anyone?

But how much is enough?

The common number thrown around is 8 hours – although there is no magic number.  Like amount of food needed each day and how fast you can run everything is individual.  For athletes more is needed and I’ve heard that for runners you need one minute for every mile per week you run extra.  Personally I’ve always needed 9 hours to function and feel my best.  Unfortunately I *can* get my body to adapt to less (remember those weeks last semester where I was only sleeping 4 hours a night?) but I don’t feel my best and my mental sharpness — while not gone — isn’t quite there.  I feel a bit off.

I’ve read (but never had the time to actually do this) that to determine the amount of sleep that’s right for you is to basically take a vacation, not set an alarm and sleep.  The morning when you wake up feeling refreshed (not sleep hungover like the first few days will likely be) then you’ve found your number.  Unfortunately many of us sleep-deprived people don’t have the time to do this.  Otherwise we wouldn’t be sleep deprived already!

What does this have to do with running specifically?

Well a lot.  If you don’t have enough sleep then you’re going to feel tired.  Duh.  And then you can’t get the maximum out of a workout.  I can’t even imagine running a hard tempo on very little sleep (although I’m sure I’ve done it).

There’s also the little factor of GH, which I mentioned above. It stimulates growth of muscles ie) it increases muscle mass.  As an athlete this is something that we want because when our muscle mass increases we become stronger and can lift more weights or run faster.  And who doesn’t want that? If you shortchange yourself on sleep then repairing your muscles will take a long time and you’ll need a longer bout of recovery time between hard sessions.

The take home message?

Sleep is good and necessary.  By skimping on sleep people are skimping on their health.  For an athlete, not only is health involved but performance is affected too.  Runners are typically very driven people so why allow a controllable factor to handicap maximum achievement?

And check out this giveaway from Evan and one from Sophia

March 26, 2010

Whew. TGIF yo!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:01

Gosh I’ve been a bad blogger! Not only have I gone a couple days without posting but I’ve been neglectful on your blogs. I have been trying to keep up but there have been moments where I just clicked “mark all as read” on my google reader.  Sorry if over the past few days you fell victim to that! I tried to do it as infrequently as possible. But I’ve been turning on my computer as little as possible the past few days.

Because sometimes life is more important than blogs.  Shocking I know 🙂

Where have I gone? You might ask.  Two words: quantum physics.  I got my take home on Monday night and I dropped off all radar for Wednesday and Thursday and this morning/afternoon. It’s been a really grueling exam.  Maybe more time consuming than hard but still.  It wears me down.  Luckily this week was on the light side for my other classes and I was able to dedicate lots of hours to it. Total count? 23 hours.  That’s more than I spend running. Or sleeping for that matter haha 🙂

So what else have I been up too?

  • Foam roller has arrived.  I’m lucky that I had time to hit up the post office and pick it up (plus another pair of shoes. Holler).   Unfortunately I haven’t had the time yet to open the package. (And I’m very encouraged that many of you love your foam rollers and have found it to be a great investment.  Hopefully I can find the time to open the dang package!)

  • PT.  Had session #3 on Thursday.  My right shin’s “bruise” (the only way I can accurately describe the feeling) is less pronounced.  I still don’t really have the range of motion that I want buttttt it’s a start.  The bad thing? I think that the same thing is starting on the left shin.  But I’m in PT so I asked my PT to do a little ice and massage on it so that it doesn’t get worse.  It’s just an inkling (repeat: nothing serious!)
  • Hip exercises & stretching from PT.  Man these are hard! My hips and butt hurt after doing them.

I have also been running too. On Wednesday I went for a recovery run from the Tuesday of intervals.  It was pretty slow but it wasn’t as slow as I anticipated. I went early enough that, while I didn’t see the sun actually rise, I got to still see all the pretty colors of dawn. I also got a good lifting session in the afternoon.  I felt pretty strong doing it which was great.

Thursday was a “tempo” day.  I don’t know what is up with me and tempos but I cannot do one!  I know that there are a lot of factors that go into an “on” day and whatnot and I know that the fact that I’m in Week 4 of training works against me (because I’ve put in lots of weeks.  And many of those weeks have been high miles).  And I think I’m not 100% recovered from my Tuesday sessions on Thursday.

So I recognize that.  That said, I’ve been struggling with consistency this whole cycle with tempos.  I would think that over the course of a cycle there would be a speeding up of the average tempo pace and then, around now, a stalemate or even slight slowing.  All with the same effort level.  But I’ve just been all over the place, and overall I’d say that my fastest tempos (save the tm ones) were in the very beginning of the cycle, so an overall slowing.  I think that after Boston I want to focus on getting a real feel for tempos no matter what distance I end up training for during the summer and fall.

Anyway here’s the data from Thursday:

  • 3.8 mile warm up @ 9:44
  • 7.1 miles tempo @ 7:44
  • 3.8 mile warm down @ 9:16

Total time: 127 minutes 30 seconds
Total distance: 14.7 miles
Average pace: 8:41

Immediately after this run I went to PT. Like I mentioned above, PT is going really well.  I’m not as tender in the right shin (although the left is nagging a bit).  I’m glad that I chose to run before because both shins were sore right after and it was good to get some treatment.

Today was not a good day overall. Well I guess now it’s all good but it was overwhelming to go through.  It started at midnight with me still working on my exam.  And I was being productive but the math was just taking along time.  Eventually I put it away and fell asleep to RAIN.  And I knew that the rain would continue in the morning so I planned on hitting up the gym.  After Thursday with my shins buggin’ a bit I figured the TM would help me baby. So I guess the rain was a good thing in that sense.  Also I was hoping that the rain would help with my allergies.  Nope. Still congested and still lots of bloody noses.  Lovely.

And I’m glad I planned for the TM because it was sleeting when I got up.  Although the weather was so weird: sleet in the early AM, snowy in the late AM and SUN in the PM.  I banged out a fairly quick recovery run (all of my TM runs are faster than outdoors and I figured that with the tempo from Thursday being a bust that I didn’t need as slow of recovery).  My shins were a bit troublesome, mostly the left one (like the one I’m NOT in PT for) but I got to watch the second half of a really cool History Channel special on preserving the Valley Forge National Park and it had cool info about the whole American Revolution.  And then the first part of a “Punishment” special where the focus was on torture.

And then in the PM (clearly procrastinating from the quantum exam) I did some lifting.  I ended up doing my warm up on the elliptical because I was worried about the shin and I’m glad I did because I did try to do some running to warm up and the shins were saying NO.  Nothing to worry about but I knew that it was a smart choice to do something else.  After the warm up and lifting I was able to do the warm down with running 100% pain/tenderness free. So I guess the muscles/tendons needed time after sitting in class/doing my exam all morning.

The rest of my day has been putting in more hours to the exam.  The good new is that I’m done (finished at 19:22 tonight!).  The bad news is that I know I’ve made errors.  But they’re silly errors (like one of my answers is a factor of 2 off and I’m NOT going back and redoing it for something insignificant like that) and I know that I have the process correct of what I’m going to do.  And my professor is fair and has even told me and the rest of the class that the process is the most important and let him catch the small math errors. Fingers crossed that all my hard work (23 hours) is going to pay off!

Whew! That was a marathon of a post.  I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have time to check your email much less blog.  Oh well.  Now I’ve got to go shower because I went running at 0700 and never had the time all day to do it.  It’s going to feel so good to just wash this week off of me.  And then? I’m off to Relay for Life. It started hours ago but my exam was basically my life.  I’m going to slide it under my prof’s door as I head over. Can’t wait until it’s out of my hands!

And check out this giveaway from Racing with Babies and this one from TheHealthNut and this one from Tricia.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday night!

March 23, 2010

Another Interval Tuesday. Mojo = Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:35

Yup.  It’s official: I must have been delusional when I thought that this week would be a nice transition back into school.  And I guess it is if you like trial by fire.  Me? Not so much.

I’m feeling MUCH better about life in general though.  I did another night of “sweat out the cold” and I definitely think things are improving.  I took some benadryl too which I think helped the allergy portion of my ickyness.  If anything it knocked me out fast because I had to sleep with two pillows again. Blah.

I’m also feeling better after reading your awesome words yesterday about comparing.  I know it’s silly to do.  Which makes me feel *worse* because I know that comparing =/= good.  Like many of you said, running is really individual.  Sure people can compete against each other but, and this goes for me, running is about challenging *yourself’*.  I think I lost sight of that for a minute. It’s partly your fault though for running so many amazing races over the weekend 😛

But I got my mojo back speed wise.  Yup. It’s interval Tuesday in MM’s world.  This week’s main course? Let’s check it out:

  • Warm up
  • 2 3 X [4 X 800m] @ 10k pace (7:08) w/ 90 seconds ( .2 mi )recovery between repeats and 5 mins (.6 mi) recovery between sets
  • 3 miles GMP
  • Warm down

I went into this workout thinking that I really didn’t want to do it.  Because of the sickness, allergies, legs, no real sleep etc I was tired to the bone.  After my early Spanish class I really wanted to go back to sleep.  My eyes were just so heavy.  Since it was rainy hardcore today I would have been in the gym anyway.  Plus after a week of running outside it was probably a good idea to use the TM to “baby” my leg.  So I told myself that I could do as much of the workout as I could and then just easy run or elliptical if I was truly tired. Running though has the funny way of giving you energy.  So while I am a bit tired in general from life stuff I felt great for completing it and it totally woke me up.  I had forgotten how running does that to me.

And Whew.  It was quite challenging.  In the past I’ve only done two sets of 800s.  I was tempted to do straight up Yassos but since the workout was on the TM, I didn’t think that it would be useful to me. So I kept those 5 minutes or so in (it probably was more than 5 minutes because, on a TM, I don’t want to have to think too much about when to start and stop the intervals.  I know that 90 seconds is ~.2 miles and 5 minutes is ~ .6 miles so I went with that to make the math easier.  Plus, I’m not going to lie: having extra recovery is not a bad thing so late in the training)

I was a little worried that my body would fall apart after the second set.  Yes I’ve done a hill workout following 2 sets before but hills =/= intervals.  Yes hills are hard but they are a different beast.  Although sidenote: I read in one of my training log books, which includes little factoids, tips and motivational quotes, that one should do hills BEFORE intervals.  Obviously I don’t think my doing it the other way is a big deal but it doesn’t say why that is.  Any thoughts? Pure curiosity on my part.

But the intervals went really well.  I don’t know what it is but the first repeat of each set felt like death but the last 3 were always good.  I suspect that even though extra recovery is nice I probably took too much haha.  But whatever, I wanted the math to work nicely.  I finished the sets really strong.  I doubt I could have done many more repeats buttttt I did 12.  No need to do more!

Even though I REALLY wanted to do hills this week: I didn’t.  After speaking to lots of people (including the sports med doc,  high school t&f coach, PT) it just seemed like too much a risk to push through hill repeats.  I even went as far as to write down the hill portion on my workout piece of paper! And I kept thinking of how to sneak in hills.  I’m just worried that I haven’t done hills the past 3 weeks and I don’t want all that hill-fitness to go be for nothing! As a compromise I chose to do some GMP work instead.

I figured that since the repeats took a considerable amount of distance that I would cut the warm down short (I hadn’t needed that long of a warm up either today, saving some more miles to “quality”) and make the GMP 3 miles long.  These miles weren’t really *for* anything.  I just think it’s important to show my legs and mind that I can handle this pace after a challenging workout and the distance of 3 miles is arbitrary.  No offense to those who consider ❤ miles a run but I don’t.  I’m too much of a mileage junkie for that.  3 miles roughly a 5k so that seemed good enough for me.

The pace felt really easy (and duh after running so hard in the intervals) which is good.  Yes they were coming off faster work but it could have felt sooo hard if my legs were exhausted.  Clearly this wasn’t the case and is another pat on the back to me. Yay.

Also a couple of you mentioned a foam roller. While I resisted shelling out the $$ (I honestly don’t know how I’m going to pay for it when I get the bill) I finally caved over break and ordered one.  I think I got it for $25 (including shipping) so it’s not toooo bad but I’m hemmoraging money over here with co-pays and bills! *LeSigh*.  But I was happy when my PT suggested I get one and I could tell her that I had already ordered one.  Hopefully I find the time to use it and maybe it’ll jump start an overall stretching routine.

I also have purchased little ice packs.  You know the kind that you put in kids lunchboxes? I figured that a lot of days I’m not going to have access to an ice machine right after a workout (aka the weekends or any outdoor run) so this will be a makeshift way to keep the icing up!

Okay. I’ve sufficiently procrastinated on this quantum exam for long enough (and I doubt many of you have read this far since I write so much haha!!) Gotta get some work on it before LOST comes on.

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

March 22, 2010

Congrats to Racers & PT Session Numero Dos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:36

Hey guys, it’s been a busy busy day in MM land.  Going to try to make this quick as I just received a quantum take-home exam and I am going to have to devote all the time I can on it!

The first day back from break has been well so far.  I didn’t have any work over break, so there was nothing to procrastinate from and therefore as soon as I clocked out of tutoring last night at 2100 I promptly went to bed.  As you may recall I hadn’t been feeling so hot.  Although I am not one to discount allergies or dehydration as the culprit I’m suspecting a cold of some sort because after drinking more water than I care to think about and popping a benadryl I still (and pardon my language here) felt like shit.

So sleeping it off was my solution.  I don’t think there’s any validity to this approach at all (not the sleep but what I’m about to say next): I also turned my heat WAY up to “sweat out the bad”.  When I was little my dad always used to say that the cure to not feeling well was / is to curl up in a warm blanket and just sweat out the toxins.  Maybe it’s a mental thing but 3 pairs (!!) of pjs later and I’m feeling back to normal. Well kind of. Still a little congestion but THAT is likely allergies.

Good thing that my dad’s “trick” worked because, as I opened the post with, I had a busy day that started off with a run.  I was secretly hoping that my feeling better would translate to a good Monday run — at least time wise.  I did feel really good physically while running but wish that my pace had shown that.  I ran the miles in 9:28.  Eh. I’m going to chalk it up to sickness related and just move on.

I’ve been really hard on myself lately with how “fast” I am.  I know I shouldn’t be but I am. And I’m falling into the trap of comparing myself to others.  Especially when so many of you raced this weekend and put up STELLAR times.  A huge congrats to Sarah (washingtonranhere), Sarah (theshubox), Sarah (skinnyrunner), RunDateEatSleep, Nick (midpack runner), HurdlingHam (corre! run! run like a llama!), Erika (DrTriRunner, Flo (Girl in Motion), Lizzy (Healthy Bites conquer Athlete Appetite), Pen (penatpeace), Amy (secondcityrandomness)Mel (tall mom on the run), Kristen (therundown), Heather (with a side of sneakers)

So you can see where I’m coming from: these peeps are awesome! (Although I should have linked to their RRs where appropriate. Oops. But y’all are smart kids and can figure out how to show them some love!) Hopefully I didn’t forget anyone.  So many of you!! But such inspirational to read 🙂

Luckily I don’t have to wait the 4 weeks (!!) until Boston to get my race on.  I’ll be able to do that next week with the Eastern States 20 miler (with Lacey!)

But yeah.  So I wish the run this morning had been faster.  I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t just because of all the race reports I’ve been reading lately buttttt whatever. The weather was even close to perfect: upper 30s/low 40s, cloudy, a little damp (like you knew rain was coming).  Really nothing too taxing.  *LeSigh*  As you can see I’m failing miserably at not dwelling on it haha

I went to go hablar some espanol and I realized that I missed not speaking it for the week of break.  I’m going to need to find someone post-G day to keep talking to me in Spanish! And since I wasn’t lifting today (did the circuit yesterday) I was able to take a long hot shower before heading off to my second PT appointment which was cool.

Since I remembered to pack shorts, socks and shoes in my big ole bag of a purse (since no PM lifting = actually getting to wear real clothes!) my PT was able to get me on the TM and video my running.  It was interesting to say the least and in the interest of time here are the conclusions from the tape:

  • Yup the right shin in a-hurtin’.  I knew that it was “slapping” around but I guess I didn’t know how loud it was until I hopped on the TM and became very self-conscious about it
  • I’m a heel striker
  • My right hip is weaker than my left one, although both are pretty weak
  • My IT band in both legs are tight
  • I tend to rotate in my trunk more to the left than I do to the right
  • I have “chicken wings” when I run

While cool the video wasn’t really all that informative for me, I probably could have told her that before doing the video.  That said it was nice to see the evidence.  As a scientist I love having proof to back up my claims.

So after that we went to work on exercises for my hips.  And we stretched my legs.  The PT also massaged my (still) inflamed ankle as well as my IT band and calf.  It felt amazing.  No tenderness anywhere but I can tell (and obviously so could she if she broke out The Stick for my IT) that stretching hasn’t really been a priority for me lately. That’s going to have to change!

I left after some icing and e-stim (which by the time we got to this step it was past the time my appointment would end but I *really* wanted it so I decided that it was okay to chance running late for my PM class!) with printouts of the exercises and stretches.  I knew that if I didn’t request physical copies than I wouldn’t do them!

And WOAH it is later than I want it to be! I’m going to leave you with that.  I had wanted to delve into nutrition a bit but it will have to wait until another day later this week (yup I’m a tease 😛 ) and assuming I remember haha.

Also I have some intervals tomorrow to do.  I’m on the fence as to whether or not to do hills.  I’m leaning towards no.  The last time I did them (3 or so weeks ago) was a bit irritating to the shin/ankle area and my PT advised me against them and I’m inclined to agree with her.  I’m just hoping that I can fit another hill session in before Boston.  I’d hate to think that the last time I did hills was 7 weeks before race day! I’m sure that I have enough “oomph” in my legs to handle Boston’s hills but I still worry. Haha!

March 21, 2010

Circuit Time & Relaxation on Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:08

Hope everyone is enjoying Sunday.  Finally a Sunday for me that is relaxing.  Granted it’s the day before classes start up again and likely the last relaxing one for the remainder of the semester but still. Relaxing = good.

Kind of.  I’m a firm believer that staying busy (and dare I say it stressed?) is a great way to avoid being sick.  Yes I know that stress = taxing on the immune system BUT during the moments of craziness I can keep the germs at bay.  And since my spring break really wasn’t all that relaxing I expected the typical “break illness” to be avoided.

But damn you nice weather and relaxing all afternoon yesterday! Now I’m not saying there is a direct link between relaxing and getting sick buttttttt I find it suspicious that after 48 hours of relaxing I’m battling congestion, aches , headache (although I suspect this is from drinking practically nothing after a really hot LR) and a sore throat.  Nothing to knock me out (yet at least) but enough to make me feel slightly irritable.

I think the nosebleeds I was having Friday night is related too.  I get “seasonal” nosebleeds.  None of them are ever serious but I know that winter is on it’s way when I start getting them in the fall.  Same with the spring.  Maybe it’s related to the changing of the weather? I don’t think that the congestion I’m dealing with helps any, and probably makes me think that there’s more blood that actually present because my snot is coming out too.  But I don’t want to alarm anyone (and I think a couple of you were worried) and the nosebleeds that night are, while I don’t want to say normal because nosebleeds in general shouldn’t be normal, they’re….typical? Annoyance? In any case I mean not serious.

Also: I’m definitely sticking with PT.  My insurance covers something like 15 sessions per RX and  I plan on using all of them.  I mean, after G-day in May I don’t think I’m going to have insurance so I need to take advantage now.  The co-pays are going to kill me though.  I don’t know where I’ll get the cash-monies to do it.  But I plan on keeping up with PT because I want to fix the root cause. I’ve also been doing the stretches that my PT has already given me.  I haven’t noticed a difference yet but I like that I’m following a plan even though I was already doing these stretches, albeit intermittently. My type-A personality likes having a plan 🙂

So now that I’ve taken care of questions / updates onto today.

I woke up a little stuffy and felt sooooo hungover.  Last night with my friends I didn’t drink a drop.  Of either alcohol or water.  And hangovers = dehydration. Lucky me, I get the after effects without the raging glory.  Not that last night was out-of-control.  But still.

I wasn’t sure how my body was going to feel during a run but I knew that I wanted to take advantage of cool-ish temps. The past two days, despite running first thing, I’ve been hit with ~70* (mid-60s Friday and in the 70s Saturday) and according to this morning was suppose to be low 40s.  Lies but I’ll still take mid-50s over 70 anyday 🙂

The run felt slow and creaky.  I’m not sure how much of my aches were due to the LR, dehydration or sickness.  Maybe a combo of the three.  I took it easy and I know that, despite not having a garmin, I was going no faster than granny shuffle.  My feet probably didn’t even come far off the ground! I was about to turn around and just bag it when I started getting some fluidity and…not quite “pep in my step” (as I still felt semi-geriatric) but my feet started clearing the ground so that I didn’t have to worry about tripping over an ant hah!

I finished the run at a very respectable 9:33 pace.  I guess I wasn’t as slow as I thought.  Given the stiffness of the early miles I was thinking I could walk faster.

When I got back I knew that, since spring break had messed with my lifting sessions, I wanted to get something done in terms of strength today so that I had 2 sessions on the week.  Plus my lifting session tomorrow is canceled due to my scheduling a PT appointment during my usual lifting chunk of time.  And I didn’t want to go Wednesday to Wednesday with my lifting.

Since the gym is closed (spring break hours, gotta love ’em) I made up a circuit as I was eating my breakfast to do later in the afternoon.  Something to tackle the major muscle groups but not be very time intensive.  I don’t think I got as good a workout as my typical lifting but it was a good “placeholder”.  Not that I need to be working on gaining lots of strength in the next few weeks.  It’s all about maintenance.

Here it is (it’s pretty much the same thing that’s under the circuit link on the right side of the screen):

  • Russian twists (ab work with 12 lb weights)
  • Lunges (with 12 lb weights)
  • Push-ups (real military ones)
  • 90* legs (ab work with 12 lb weights)
  • Squats (with 12 lb weights)
  • Bear Push-ups
  • Supermans (back work)
  • Dead Bug (ab work)
  • Calf Raisers
  • Dips

I worked through this circuit 3x.  Each exercise was :45 and essentially no rest between the exercises (probably was like :05 or something).  I also took ~2 minutes between each set.

All and all it was a good workout.  I doubt I’ll be sore tomorrow as most of the exercises I’ve been doing all along.  Maybe a bit in my arms.  I liked the circuit and I had forgotten how nice it is to mix up workouts.

I also did quick warm up/downs and I did them SANS watch! I figured that since these miles don’t count in my mileage totals or pace calculations then why bother tracking how fast I’m doing them? It was very freeing.  That said I know that I will NEVER go watchless for an actual run (way too much of a numbers junkie here.  I really do like to keep track of all the data in my notebooks) but it was fun today.  Although I did try to “stop” the watch when I was done hah!

Alright. Time to get back to “relaxing”.  Hopefully lots of water + backlog of magazines = less headachey MM.  Hope y’all are enjoy your Sundays.  With the sun shining and the temperature just shy of 60* I know I am 8)

March 20, 2010

Long Run Before Breakfast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:30

What a beautiful way to welcome spring in New England. Sunny, slight breeze, 78* (according to my car).  Well maybe 78* is more like summer but considering that this time last weekend there were gale force winds, rain and overall yuck I’m not complaining. It was so nice to take a blanket and book and read outside in the campus dimple.  Makes me want summer 🙂

In fact, when I got done with my run at 1100 it was already 68* out.  What?! Crazy! I’m glad I went out first thing, my body is definitely not ready yet for that kind of weather.  It needs time to acclimate and figure out this thing called sweating and regulating body temperature efficiently ha!  Too bad Mother Nature wants to play games with my heart, tomorrow is suppose to be a high of 54*. It’s going to feel freezing as temperature is all relative.

Like I mentioned I was up and at ’em this morning with the running.  Partly because I couldn’t sleep.  I was having unsettling dreams and nosebleeds all night so after awhile it just feels pointless to just lay there.  I had to sleep with TWO pillows under my head and line the pillows so blood didn’t get everywhere soooo it felt extra pointless to stay in bed.  So I got up and knowing that it was going to be a warm one decided to just go for the LR immediately and try to beat the heat (oh how I hate that phrase! haha).

I wasn’t sure if that was going to be a smart move or not.  See, and I think I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but my stomach is really finicky with what I can and can’t eat within a couple hours of a run.  Namely nothing 2-3 hours before, so I knew that eating breakfast was out of the question. My rumbling stomach, however, had a different idea and I settled on a tiny apple — the kind that they give out to kindergartners at lunchtime hah. It was a good compromise: it quieted my stomach but didn’t make me want to puke during the run.

The run itself was a bit unremarkable.  The pace was 9:22 on average.  Slower than I aim for (9:00).  But it was about 60 seconds off my current MP and 82 seconds off my GMP.  So not that bad per se. But the “upsetting” thing was that I was way off my game: my MO is to start slow and finish strong.  Week after week you’ve heard me “complain” of that: my first loops is turtle speed and then I pick it up.  Not today I could actually feel the last few miles slowing down.

I think it was party due to not having breakfast before going.  This is the first LR EVER (!) that I haven’t eaten beforehand.  Sure I’ve done runs up to 13.5 or so without fuel but I think that’s my limit for a comfortable run. I did have a hearty bowl of oatmeal with some canned fruit last night before going to bed but after tossing and turning all night I suspect my body burnt through it.

Another component? The weather.  Last week the pace of my LR was bad because of horrid winds and driving rain.  This week my body wasn’t ready for the 70* temps. As Sarah mentioned earlier today temperature plays a huge role in pace and that the increase in temp would likely slow it down.  I’m really glad I read that when I was done with my run today because I was getting pretty angry with myself for a perceived failure as to where I like to keep my pace. Thanks girl!

As for my shin/ankle, I think that PT didn’t really make it better haha.  After being touched so much yesterday it was a little more tender today than usual.  Nothing major or anything but I could tell going to bed last night that the area was “exhausted”.  Again, no pain but I had been avoiding doing anything to it (like working through ROM stuff) and I think that it was tuckered out last night.  Even though that might sound discouraging I’m actually excited about it because it means that the ultimate goal of PT for me (to increase ROM and reduce inflammation) is going to work.  Clearly the area has issues and after day 1 I can already feel it changing stuff.  Not instant gratification but encouraging to me.

So I think you guys lucked out on a short post (well short for me ha!). It is Saturday night after all.  I think a couple of my friends who are student teaching (and therefore didn’t get spring break, although don’t feel sorry for them as they got February break and will get April break!) are going to watch a movie.  Who knows what it’ll be but it’ll be a great way to end a day of long running and laying in the sun.  After all that excitement I am beat! 🙂

Oh and I sooooo want to show you guys pictures of my toes and feet.  Actually I want to show everyone I come into contact with.  But I’ll refrain and just say I have:

  • 1 black toe
  • 1 popped blood blister on my big toe
  • 3 regular blisters that are becoming calluses
  • 1 toenail that is so soft and malleable that I’m scared to even poke it for fear of it falling off

Oh such lovely feet I have.  The funny thing is that I’ve heard that it’s possible to train and have none of this happen.  But I wear it with a badge of honor and definitely wouldn’t change anything about it 🙂

March 19, 2010

PT Eval and Nice Clothes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:34

Well I got back to school safe and sound last night.  There are surprisingly a lot of people on campus, although I suspect that many of them are seniors thesis-ing. It’s not T-9 weeks until G-day.  So even less actual school time because the week before is Senior week and 2 weeks before is finals.  So wait, I have only 7 weeks left?!

Moving on before I start to cry or something…

The nice weather continues to stay with us.  Mother nature must be wanting to get on the good side of us New Englanders after the monsoon over the weekend.  It hit 71* today as I was driving around on errands!!

Since I had my PT eval, as well as a PM informational interview, today I wanted to get a run in beforehand.  A run is always the best way to start the day.  Especially when it’s already mid-40s outside when you get up.  Holllleeeer! I wasn’t sure what to expect from the run as Fridays are technically recovery days but yesterday’s workout wasn’t “hard”.  At least GMP isn’t supposed to be as hard as tempo in my mind.  But with my body finding the workout challenging in the moment (and running for 60 minutes at 7:59 should be I guess for me, even though I want to keep that pace for 26.2 come April 19th. Sheesh haha) I had mixed feelings about what to expect.

I wanted today to be a little quicker than it was, even though I was running ~9:16s the whole time.  Amarathoner wrote about this idea yesterday, that as training goes on the question becomes when do you increase the “easy” or “recovery” pace.  I suppose the answer obviously lies within your own body and I should let mine dictate that.  But on the other hand, I read about elites who say that there is no such thing as too slow for a recovery run and routinely clock theirs in around 9 or 10 pace.

But the point is that I think I should stop being shocked at “pulling off” 9:15 or so recovery runs. The past 2 or so weeks this has been the norm.  Of course now that I say that this upcoming week is going to have my recovery runs be slower than molasses.  Such is life 🙂

Onto bigger and more exciting things.  I know you’re probably all dying to hear about how my PT session went.

I have the diagnosis (from the sports med doc on Monday) as periostitis, which is the inflammation of the connective tissue that surrounds bone.  My goal from PT is to reduce the swelling in my ankle so that I can get a better range of motion.

So today was just an evaluation so my PT (who is the PT I shadowed in the fall of ’08, so I already knew her) just did a battery of “tests”, like watching me walk, do squats, leg lifts, calf raisers etc. as well as taking measurements of my range of motion in my ankles, knees and hips. She gave me some calf stretches to do and then iced me down and I got e-stim.  I’ve had stim on my back before and it’s amazing.  Basically it’s electric pulses that break up the gunk in the area it’s applied to; the “buzzing” you feel is awesome.  Probably the best part of the session haha!

The consensus? That my problem cropped up NOT because of muscle imbalance but because I have incredibly tight joints in my ankle and knees and hips.

In one of the next sessions (because I scheduled about a half dozen or so) she wants to do a gait analysis because she thinks I’m a heel striker (I honestly couldn’t say myself as I’ve never paid attention to that before).  This would lead to my problem because when my foot strikes the ground my ankle can’t dorsalflex enough to properly absorb the shock, and neither can my other joints.  The muscles and tendons then absorb extra shock.  And when it can’t take anymore inflammation occurs.

Over the course of the next few weeks the goal is to reduce inflammation so I can be in tip-top shape to toe the line at Hopkington.  Right now when she was trying to bend my right (affected) ankle it would barely rotate.  Beyond that I’m going to want to keep working with her (as long as insurance will allow) to work on my biomechanics and possibly loosen up my joints a bit.  Not sure how much that is possible but looser joints will mean less stress is forced upon my muscles every step I run.

After my appointment I had to dash immediately off to an informational interview.  Not a job interview but a brainstorming session with an alum from my school who the career center thought would be beneficial to talk to. She’s not in the field I want (medicine) but she’s a manager at a company who consults with companies who want to market medical devices.  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from this meeting but it went well.  It was more like a conversation and she complimented me on my ability to stay calm and actually carry a conversation.  I’m glad that I looked like I wasn’t nervous because I totally was! I also dressed up all professional too which made me feel all amazing.  After a semester of living in gym / running clothes I’ve forgotten how nice it is to put on my “nice” clothes

Sorry for the blurriness! And that it's sideways haha!

As for tomorrow (which is the first official day of Spring!!!) I’m not quite sure what I’ll be tackling running wise.  According to my plan I have 15-19 to do.  For the first time all cycle I think I’m going to, not only be within the range, but on the low end.  I think I’ve tried to do it before but failed on it and am always on the upper end.  I have a 16.6 mile route that I think I’m going to tackle (it’s one big loop) but we’ll see.

Too bad the monsoon on last weekend couldn’t have been this weekend to keep my in check haha! The weather is suppose to be even nicer tomorrow than today. It’ll be all about the mental aspect of running and a huge challenge to stick with that number.  I’m okay if I go to 17 because it’s smack dab in the middle of the range but I’m hoping that I can just do that route and be satisfied.

Send some luck my way 🙂

Alright it’s pretty late to be blogging on a Friday night (although spring break = no concept of days of the week).  Since none of my friends are back yet I’m going to catch up on some television and READING.  Today when I was getting e-stim I was able to whip out the book I’m in the middle of and I realized how much I miss reading for FUN.  Stupid school work getting in the way 😉

Have a great Friday night y’all!!

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