Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back at it...

Went to Hawaii - Kauai - for a week and a day. Took my running shoes and all my running cloths with me, intending to do my runs a few times. Didn't even take my shoes out of the suitcase! No worries though, I did plenty of hiking and snorkeling and Kayaking to keep me sweating hard.

Got home and right back at it! Spent an hour on the treadmill Tuesday morning. It felt great to actually be running again. Thursday I spent another hour on the treadmill. Really starting to feel like my sore shins are heeling and I'm back to normal. Still, I am going to go one more week inside before feeling like pounding the pavement again. My Physical Therapist has told me that I don't need to come back - until, or unless I really need them. I hope I never need to visit them again - because that would mean I'm hurt again! So, they are confident that I will be fine. That helps a lot.

This morning, instead of going on a super long run, or spending two hours inside, on the treadmill, I took a long 21 mile bike ride. Way different muscles getting used, tired, and ON FIRE! But it was a great workout. No pounding, no impact, and yet lots of sweat and got my heart rate up for two hours. Awesome. Some people say I'm crazy. I might be, but what does that mean anyway?

Saturday, July 31, 2010


After spending several dollars and many hours with my PT (physical therapist) I felt like my training was about to get back up to speed today. I rode 20 minutes before a scheduled 8 mile run. At about mile 4 my legs were throbbing so bad that I didn't dare go any farther!! GRRRR. So frustrated right now! I'm also feeling a little discouraged too. I am NOT ready to throw in the towel. In fact, I have a PT appointment on Tuesday and will be having a real "heart to heart" with Steve.

"Is this thing bigger than me or not?" That's what I am going to be asking him. Some people are only cut out for short distances. I don't want to be one of them!!!

I think my problem this morning was the fact that I didn't hold to the exercises I have been instructed to do in order to change my stride length. I didn't work on counting my strides in a minute, because I thought I was running the longer distance at a slower pace. I did, however work at keeping my body tall. And I did work on keeping my arms swinging. Just two things alone felt good while I was doing them.

Man, this is such a mental game.

Okay, Monday morning I will do nothing but work on my stuff! I will look silly for the first, fifth, tenth - and so on - minutes, while I swing my shoulders. I will count my strides for the second minute, sixth minute, and so on. I will concentrate on running on/in a line with each step for the third minute, seventh minute, and well... I think you get the picture. I will work on that this whole week, as well as the next two weeks, until I make it my own!!! (I'm told that it takes 21 days before a thing becomes a habit.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A work in Progress...

Yep, I'm still here and still training for my marathon! I have definitely had my share of challenges in the last week and a half. Last post was regarding my painful legs. This one is about what I am doing about that issue.

I had a visit with a Sports Medicine Doctor. He x-rayed my legs to make sure I didn't have "stress fractures." I don't - thank goodness! But I do have "shin splints." He sent me to a Physical Therapist who is teaching me to shorten my stride and rotate my hips more. (I can't help but think that Spencer W. Kimball must not have been talking about running when he told us all to "Lengthen our stride.")

My first run with a shorter stride did not go very well. I was still in constant pain all day after words. The icing, stretching, and resting didn't help at all. But I think the 16 mile bike ride on Saturday was a brilliant way to vent some of my frustration. Because my run this morning went way better than I expected. Not even a twinge of pain in either leg today. Tomorrow I will go a little farther and then see the PT again in the afternoon with good news. Hopefully he will have some new fun thing I can try on my next run - maybe even some great training advice for the future.

I am a marathon runner and this is my story...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not as bad as it could be

Had a visit with the Dr today regarding my leg pain(s.) Its not stress fractures, which is really good news! But it is pretty bad and will take some time to fix. I have "medial tibial stress syndrome." Also known as shin splints.

All my life I have dealt with these stupid pains! Every time I run a lot. In high school it was during basketball. But this time I am going to be smart about how I treat it. I have already made an appointment with a Physical therapist to fix the problem once and for all. He is going to be able to help me with what ever is causing the problem: ie, my "gate" or stride, or the way I place my foot (Pronation/modality,) he will even evaluate my shoes - that I just got and paid a grundle for. I will have to take a week or two off running but I will replace it with biking and or roller blading - fun huh? I hate that I won't be up and out side in the mornings, enjoying the cool morning air, but I want to run my marathon and so I have to do what I have to do.

Stay with me on this...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Hills

There was a TV show called The Hills. My daughter watched it all the time. It was a "reality" show about some very wealthy people who were always complaining about the fact that their neighbors Mercedes was bigger than theirs - or something really dumb like that. As if the very wealthy really need to worry about much... but I digress...

My post today is about running hills! Do I love them or hate them? Do I look forward to running them? Should I even care? Well, the marathon I am training for has plenty of them. I do love running down hills - who doesn't - they are easy and I can get a little more speed, plus catch my breath because I'm not working as hard. Down hill is my favorite! Its the UP hill that is my nemesis. (I live on top of a hill - a very large hill. Every where I choose to run involves some sort of down hill and then back up on the return trip.)

This mornings run was a short 4 miler and I was pretty confident that I wouldn't have any trouble. The 4 milers are now common place and I can do them pretty easily - I know, crazy, huh? But that wasn't the case as soon as I started into my run. There was pain. Normally the pain goes away after about a mile, so I kept on running, and hoping. After two miles the pain was not gone. The pain starts in my shins and works its way up to my knees and then sometimes even my hips. I kept running. Well into about mile three I couldn't stand it any more so I slowed to a walk. The pain didn't go away even at that pace. Then I turned the corner... There it was, the bottom of the hill. I had to go up that hill to get home. I started to run up it. The pain sort of went away as I leaned into the hill and put my head down. One foot in front of the other, slow steps, up, up, up. About half way up the hill kind of levels off for about 100 feet or so. I kept running. Then the next part of the hill - this time much steeper and longer. Again I leaned into the hill and put my head down. I wasn't quite sure how much farther I had so I looked up and saw that I had almost crested it. I was almost there - at the top! (Even on good days I have never run the entire length of the hill with out stopping!) After I crested the hill I just kept running. By now, I was only about 1/2 mile away from home, so I just kept running. It's these small little victories that give me strength to keep going. I CONQUERED THE HILL!

By the time I walked in my front door, I could barely stand. The pain was unbearable. I downed a few 100 milligrams of ibuprofen and lay on the floor for few minutes. After my shower, the pain was nearly gone and I felt human again. Even now the pain is just a memory, but the fact that I ran the entire hill is just that - FACT! And believe it or not, I didn't hate it. in fact, that remains the best part of this mornings run. I hope some day - soon - to be able to say that I LOVE running up hills.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Run, Run, Run...

Six miles seems like a long way when it's traveled on foot. The Pioneers of the 1840's usually only traveled that far in an entire day. This morning however, I ran that far. I did it in a little over an hour too. Yes, it seemed like a long way! When I got to my half way point, I was still feeling pretty good. I was even doing pretty well after another mile, but I started to get anxious to get home and be done by mile five. In other words, my mind was not where it needed to be and I was tired. But I did finish my six miles this morning and I get to take tomorrow off - but only off running. (I have a tee time at 8am and a couple of softball games in the evening.)

I often wonder if I am too old to be starting to train for a marathon. I mean 26.2 miles is, like, forever! Then when I finish a 10 mile run, and even six mile runs, and am still able to do all the stuff I have to do in a day - in other words "it doesn't kill me" - I realize that forty-eight is NOT too old to do anything. "I can do anything I set out to do!" Kind of like, " a man thinketh, so is he." I have learned in the last few weeks that my state of mind creates my body's reality. When I say, out loud, that I love to run, I usually feel like I love to run. When I say,"this hill is hard and I hate it." Well, I never quite make it up the hill with out stopping!

I am actually having a great time with my running. It's been fun to see what I am able to accomplish. My muscles are usually sore EVERYDAY! But if they weren't, I would just need to work harder.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am a marathon runner...

For several weeks now I have been running again. I say again because before I had kids I considered myself a runner. I used to run three miles a day and then once a week I'd actually run five miles. I loved the feeling of being able to just get out and run for 30 or 40 minutes at a time. I was not fast, but I was consistent. I loved the "high" that running gave me.

When I had my first baby I thought that my Doctor had done something wrong during my episiotomy! I was furious with him. I thought that maybe over time and by doing "kegal" exercises things would get better. They never did! Especially not after my second baby. That's when I resigned myself to bike riding and roller blading. Those were the only ways I could achieve that same runners "high."

Now its been 24 years since my last run, but three years ago I had a hysterectomy and a bladder sling! (I know, too much information...) So, at 48, I want to be a runner again. I've started reading Runner's World, and buying expensive running shoes, and running cloths, and energy foods. Heck I even enter 5k's and Tri-althlons. In fact, I am entered in the St. George Marathon, in October this year! (28 years ago I had trained for this marathon and had to quit because of an "over training injury" - also called shin splints, but I have always wanted to run a marathon!) I stumbled across a book called The Non-Runners Marathon Training Guide. As I read the first few pages I realized that I could be a marathoner. So I am following the training program that this book recommends and by the end of September I will be ready to run a marathon. Why not run the St. George? (The St. George marathon is a lottery entry so I had to enter and then hope I got chosen; which I did.)

Two days ago I ran 10 miles for the first time in my life! Well, let me back up, four weeks ago I ran 6 miles for the first time in my life. The next week, I ran 8 miles. I run 4 days a week now. The distances vary from 3 miles, to 4 miles, to 5 miles. Each week I increase my milage by 2 or 3 miles a week. Because of where I live, I have to ultimately run hills every time I run, but I am getting to where I love the challenge they provide. Each day is like a new victory for me.

I am 48, I have asthma, and a bad knee, but I am a marathon runner! Follow me on my runs - I am going to start to log my journal here, on my blog.
Tomorrow I run 6 again!