Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Photo Bomb

Sorry for the crappy picture quality!  I'll work on that!  These came in the mail today.  I had almost forgotten about them.  

We Cheer for Beer team costume that I never got to wear. :(

The bad ass tee-shirt that I won't get to rock since I didn't run the race.  The bottom corner is really cool too - it says x12 and there's an image of the van.  It continues to the back of the shirt too.

Last but not least - the super awesome (and heavy) medal that I can't display on my wall of medals. :(

First Physical Therapy Visit

I went back to NovaCare for physical therapy on Tuesday regarding my right ITB pain and right knee pain. 

First, I like that my therapist gets me as a runner.  He doesn't want me to do anything too drastic or tell me to stop running entirely.  My PT session went well and I left armed with some tips and exercies to hopefully clear up these problems.

The exercies were pretty simple:
  • One for my hips, which are super weak - I have to push my butt, back and head up against a wall and bend one leg in.  I then put my heel into the wall and lift my leg up.  He had me do 3 reps of 10 for this exercise.  The first rep felt good, but after a while, my hip was burning like no other and I could barely lift my leg up.  Not good.
  • A balance exercise: I stand on one leg, slighly bend the other and then touch the shin of my slightly bent leg.  I'm not supposed to drop back on my hip.  This exercise is supposed to help w/ the balls of my feet too.
  • Hamstring stretch since mine are a little tight.
  • Foam Roller - he had me go for 3 minutes so I am implementing that at home.
He had me run down the hallway to see if he could spot any obvious issues w/ my form.  He found some.
  • I am a heel striker, which I'm not shocked about.  I've seen pictures taken of me running.  This is not good because the impact shots up my leg and casues issues.
  • My kick is too low.  Instead of going straight back it is slightly going to the side.  Again, not good.
He recommended that I get gait analysis done and there is a guy who is by Union Station who can do it.  I defnitely am going to do that.  My form (or lack thereof) needs all the help it can get!  Also, I desperately need to get fitted for new kicks.  My Brooks Adreneline GTS 11's are approching a year old now. 

We talked about taping my knee and he used his special tape as opposed to my KT tape to tape it.  My right knee isn't moving in the track right either.  It wants to go up and then to the side.  He taped it in such a way that the knee is supposed to be stable and not move around so much.

The taping job - pardon my thunder thighs :)
It hurt so bad on Tuesday when I was trying to sit with my knees bent.  I had to prop my leg up on another seat on the Metra ride home.  But, I figured that I would listen to him and see if it worked.

My homework was to run 3 miles, which I did.

I averaged an 8:24 pace per mile - way too quick probably, but it was hot out there and I really didn't want to be out there longer than I needed to.  The right knee/itb did not give me any issue.

However, I think my left knee/itb is starting to crap out.  I can feel it on the outside of my left knee occasccionally when I run and I can feel it a bit after.

I really hope these exercies will do the trick and solve my issues.  We shall see I guess.  But, at least I can run.  I just worry if the pain will be too much once we really start putting the miles on our legs w/ the marathon training program...  Again, hopefully since we'll be at a 10:00 minute mile pace that it won't be an issue since I've gone faster.

As for the training this week, I was supposed to do 4 on Wednesday, but skipped it since I worked late and had an appointment after work.  I was supposed to run 3 on Thursday, but I did that this morning on the treadmill to avoid the heat.

The treadmill is good for me because it forces me to run at a 10 minute mile pace.  I mean, there are most likely variations with the pace the treadmill says and the pace that I ran it at, but nevertheless, it's better than me going out on my own and running under 9 minute miles and pushing myself.

The run felt great.  I definitely could have run more and faster, but I have 9 tomorrow so I am going to hold off on it.  Dad is going to come to the long run so that will be fun!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Marathon Training Group Long Run #1

I ran with my marathon training group for the first time yesterday morning.  It was a really great experience and I'm excited to run with them again.
Our long runs start at 6:45am and are at Old School Forest Preserve in Libertyville.  Old School is absolutely beautiful.  The group meets in a parking lot by the big sled hill.  I arrived at around 6:40 and there were already lots of people there.  Most of the runners were wearing their hydration belts and I felt like a totally newbie since I literally jumped out of my car, grabbed my keys and put my shoe tag on.  Oops.

There were 8 of us total - 2 group leaders (Dave and a woman whose name I cannot remember), three guys (2 probably in their late 20s to late 30s and an older man probably in his 40s), two women (early 30s to early 40s?) and me.

We were supposed to run 5 miles only, but we ended up running 6 miles.  It was hard for us to keep a 10 minute mile pace since the weather was pretty awesome (mid 60s) and we were only doing 6 miles. We ended up running in 59 something for a 9:48 mile pace.  I tried to stick with my group leader Dave for the entire run and I tried very hard not to run in front of him.  Toward the end of my run other group members just went for it and ran ahead, but I stuck with him.

I learned a bit about the people that I ran with and it was pretty run.  The two guys in their 30s and the woman probably in her 30s (?) had run the Ragnar Relay in the beginning of June.  I believe all three of them were running the marathon for charity.  The marathon will be the women's first.  She got inspired to run it after Ragnar.  She's a teacher and lives in Grayslake.  One of the two men has an injury, but I couldn't detect what it was.  One of them has a wife that is a physical therapist.

One woman is training for her fourth (!) Chicago marathon.  I did not ask where she lives.  The other woman is from Highland Park and she had run a marathon when she was younger and she asked her husband to make sure she never ran one again.  She decided to try for it again this year.

I talked to other group members about my ITB pain, how to fix it, etc.

Toward the end of the run, I talked to my group leader a bit more.  I asked him how he is able to train his body to run at a 10 minute mile pace for miles at a time.  I told him a bit about my running background and he was impressed that I was able to run under 2 hours in the half.  He asked how old I was and he said that I was a "pup" and that I have a lot more time to get faster, etc.  He started running when he was in his late 40s and has since run 9 marathons.  He most recently ran the Big Sur Marathon.  I ran the Big Sur half in the fall so we had a bit to talk about regarding that.  Also, he asked me if I was Filipina and I said that I was.  His ex-wife was Filipino so we talked about the Philippines for a while.

After that, we stretched for a little bit and I ran another two miles with Dave and another guy named Gary who is 59 and has also run 9 marathons.  We chatted some more and I really just was in awe that they had run 9 marathons each.  I hope that I can accomplish that.

Overall, the run went really well.  I was glad to be running with people and I also was not worried about my pace or time since we had a group leader who was supposed to be focusing on that.  I could just focus on the run and enjoy the beautiful sites and scenery.  On the run, I saw a deer twice.  The trails were awesome!  They were a little challenging with some inclines.  I also enjoyed the shade from the trees around us.  And, my KT tape held up pretty well.  I still have to learn how to tape my ITB properly, but other than that, all went well.  :)  The legs feel OK today, but my ITB was a bit tight and pulled a little when I was walking.  I've got to use the foam roller to stretch it out.  

Can't wait for the next run!

Gear:
Total Miles: 8
Total Time: ? (and I'm perfectly OK with not knowing!)
Clothes: Green tempo track shorts and dark gray CARA tee shirts.  
Gear: Brook Adrenaline GTS 11's

Image Credit: http://chicago.blockshopper.com/news/story/800142282-Kellogg_Co_exec_lists_5BD_home_in_Mettawa


Thursday, June 21, 2012

I CAN RUN!

Ha, first of all, I will never look that sexy or happy while crossing the finish line.  I'm drenched in sweat, mouth hanging open, hair a hot mess and just wanting to be done with the race.  If you need a laugh - go to marathonfoto.com and look at my pics from the big races.  Let's just say this: it ain't pretty.  SMH.

And, I won't be in the front so I highly doubt I'll break any tape.  The local 5K that I've managed to win in 2010 and 2012 doesn't have tape for the finishers.  And even then, the dude would break it first.  Unless they held out a new one for me, but that'll never happen.  I digress (again).

Anyway, great news everyone!  Grandma Pony can run!  I will be making it to the start of the Chicago Marathon 2012 after all! 

Drat!  I was really starting to enjoy bonding with my comfy couch and stuffing my face with yummy goodies.  Hey, you only live once, right?

I'll start of this post by saying that if the sports med doc told me that my season was over then I planned on going to the cupcake place (literally next door to their office - no joke) to eat both a muffin and a cupcake to drown out my sorrow in yummy goodness.  That didn't happen.  I ate a mini red velet one though to celebrate my release back to the roads.

Anyway, starting today, I'm going to start cleaning up my act so I can get my rear in gear.  Thank goodness for that because honestly, I was literally running myself into debt.  Let's calculate it:
  • $300 for Ragnar (which I did not run).  The girls are sending me my costume, shirt and medal.  I'll probably pin these to my wall as a daily reminder about how much I suck!  No, just kidding... I'll hide them and hope never to find them ever again.  Such a disappointment for me here.
  • $135 for registration fee for the marathon.
  • $170 for the CARA Training Program
And yep, add that up and that's almost a mortgage payment for me down the toilet.

I saw the sports medicine doctor today and he gave me the good news.  I spent more time filling out the forms (since I forgot to do it prior) and talking to this guy taking down my information than actually being seen by the doctor.  He had me do a few tests and this was awkward because I was wearing a skirt.  He didn't ask me to put my shorts on and I felt super worried that Iwas going to flash the both of them.  Worse of all, I was wearing a thong.  SMH.  FML. 

Anyway, we went through a series of tests (all of which I'm pretty sure I failed) and he writes me a prescription for PT w/ the guy from Novacare who saw me last week.  I asked him if I could run and he goes, "Of course you can run!! You can run so long as your knee isn't swollen!"  *smacks forhead*

So to think - all this time I could have been running.  *sigh*  I asked him questions about using KT tape vs. the knee band.  He said the tape is better and that I should ask my PT about how to tape it properly. 

So yeah, it's official.  I am back.  I will try to lay off on the cookies, candies, chocolate, cupcakes, ice cream, etc.  (If you can't already tell I am a sweet tooth - thanks Dad for feeding me ice cream when I was two!)  It's time to get moving and back in shape for the marathon.

The game plan is this:  I will run 3 miles tonight and then join the group for a 5 mile run Saturday morning.  And, we'll take it from there.

I'll keep you posted on my progress!  Happy running to all you runners & hope everyone is staying cool in this awfully hot weather!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

http://davidrobertsphysio.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/itb.jpg
I haven't run since Tuesday's 3 mile attempt.  The run felt awesome and my splits were pretty even.  9:12, 8:58 and 9:12.  I even made sure to turn around so I wouldn't have to walk too much to get home.

I've been pretty good about using the foam roller and roll both sides 30x each at least once a day.  And, before that run, I spent time warming up (did all the exercises in my marathon training book) and stretching after the run.

However, I decided to lay off on the running since I think my left leg is compensating for the right leg now.  My ITB didn't pull a lot when I was walking to and from the train station to work, but it would pull a little on the way from the train to the car.

Work has a pedometer challenge going on now too.  We have a fitness director at our HQ office and he calculates the average amount of steps you are supposed to take per day based on the 5 day forecast.  For this week, we are to take an average of 8000 steps.  If you maintain that, you will be entered into a drawing for a prize.  If you double and triple it, you will be entered into a better drawing for better prizes (I think).  Plus, our office will start up one on our own too.

See, this would not be an issue at all if I could run.  I checked it online and apparently, there are 2000 steps per mile.  So, I could hit my 8000/day and then some easily.  Now, that I'm erring on the side of caution, I'm walking to get the steps in and so far it's been going OK.

The bf and I have walked almost every night and we walked around the lake by my house for over an hour this morning before volunteer work.  Anyway, I digress.

I took a hard look at myself and thought about my goals.  I want to be a runner long term.  I admire people who can run several races year in and year out.  I admire my dad for being 65 and still able to run three days a week consistently and run races.  That's where I want to be when I get older.  I don't want to run for a few years and be done with it.  I genuinely enjoy all the health benefits that you get out of running.

So, if it means missing out on the marathon this year and suffering a bit of a financial loss (due to not being able to run the marathon or Ragnar) then that's OK because I want to be doing this long term.  Maybe if I get back into shape quick (after the ITB rehab - depending on how bad it is) then I can still train with the marathon group and just not run the race - that way, I'll get something out of it.  And, if I can make it through the 20 miler in September, then maybe I'll just go for it.  I know that if I get to the starting line of that marathon then I will find a way to finish (unless I seriously have an injury and have to stop).

I've been getting a bit of advice from people I know and I'm listening to their opinions, but at the end of the day, the decision will be mine and it depends on what the sports medicine doctor recommends.

I've been told to just push through the pain - that running is mental and that I'm going to hurt during the training so I should just go for it.

My argument to that is this:  1) I did not expect to hurt now or really until I get to the middle of the program when the mileage really kicks up and 2) running through the pain is not necessarily the best thing to do anyway.

I would say that I was in pretty decent shape pre-injury and the distances for the marathon didn't look too daunting since I've done half marathons before.  Granted, I wasn't running 4 days and cross training on the 5th.  But, nevertheless.

I feel like such a SLACKER.  I see people running in 90 degree weather and I just feel like a lazy fat ass.  At least I'm walking to get to my steps for our pedometer challenge, but nevertheless.

My game plan is this: lay off the running until I see the sports med doctor on Thursday.  There's really no need to chance it now and sustain more injuries due to other body parts compensating for the rest.

I'll let you all know how it goes and what the official game plan will be! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

You Always Remember Your First...

In Honor of Father's Day!  He is my Dad's half marathon race recap:
Dad proudly wearing his medal!

After my usual light breakfast of a banana, yogurt, orange juice and coffee at around 05:30, my daughter, my wife and I headed to the race. They were running the 5K race and I was doing my first 13.1. We walked the 3 blocks from the parking lot to the staging area to stretch our legs and to sort of warm up as well. I did a few strides and a slow jug in place to get ready; no need to warm up as there would be plenty of time to do that in 13.1 miles. I got a little apprehensive when I realized that I forgot to take the 60 mg Naproxen pill that would have kept my muscles relaxed so my legs would not cramp up. I would just have to gut it out now, and the temperature has already reached 80 degrees by the time I crossed the start line. "Here it goes!"

I took the first mile at about 10:40, according to the Endomondo app on my iPhone, and I thought that was too fast for me, specially in the sweltering heat. I dropped it to an 'airborne shuffle' at 11:01 on the second mile and kept it around that pace until I hit what I call the "cardiac hill"past mile 5 on Waverly Road. Climbing up that hill on tired legs and a body that seemed to be running out of gas already was just impossible if I were to go the distance. So I walked the remaining 25 feet to the peak until I got to the aid station where I ate my first GU, drank some Gatorade and splashed water on my face.  A few feet after that, I drank from my own water jug; the first of many more to come.

I kept on tracking at just past an 11:00- minute mile pace while singing old Army cadence in my head for another mile or so:
 "C-130 rolling down the strip,
 Airborne daddy's  gonna take a little trip;
 Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door,
 Jump right out and count to four.
 If my main don't open wide,
 I got another one by my side....", and soon, keeping a nice steady jog, one foot after the other.

 "I can run to Saigon just like this..."

When I passed mile 8, my feet seemed to be on auto-pilot that I could not seem to control, and any sudden change of direction to avoid a car or a crack on the pavement threw my gait off. My breathing was good and my rhythm was fine, but I could sense an early onset of cramping on my left calf muscle. I altered my gait by running on my thighs instead of my feet and kept my pace.

By the time I reached Fort Sheridan and the beginning of a 1.5 mile stretch of straight away road without a tree, I could feel the heat draining every ounce of energy I had in reserve, so much so that when I passed mile 10 my calf muscles were on full cramp mode and my thigh muscles were sending signals that they, too were aching. Amazingly, my feet that were on auto-pilot were not about to slow down.

So after I passed mile 11, I slowed down to virtual crawl for about 100 feet before I dropped to a walk. I walked somewhat sideways, favoring my left leg. I kept thinking of the finish line which was barely over two miles away and kept moving forward while trying to ignore the aches and pain on my feet, legs and shoulders. Got to finish this, no matter what.

After a few more feet, I ate my last GU, took more Gatorade and water, and started drenching my head with water from my own jug. Then I started on a brisk walk that turned into a slow strut and then a steady jog again and kept that up until I passed mile 12.

By this time, my shoulder muscles were really screaming of pain, together with my leg and thigh muscles while my feet felt like they were on fire. But there was no stopping now; not with the finish line almost in plain sight already.

That was when I finally realized what a marathon is all about: a true test of physical fitness and mental fortitude.

I made it to mile 13 on pure will power and not much more, and I simply had to drop to walk once again, out of gas and on dead legs.

Then I saw my wife and daughter who have been waiting for me for about 2 hours since they finished their 5K run. They were less than 100 feet from the finish line and were yelling encouragement for me to finish the race and get my medal. So with that and whatever else I had in the tank, I strutted and shuffled all the way across the finish line and claimed my finisher medal for my first 13.1 mile race. All the pain seemed to have gone away as I walked around eating a banana and gulping water like a very thirsty camel. What a relief!

I still cannot believe that I put every ounce of my 65-year old body through that grueling test and survived it. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

They Try to Make Me Go to Rehab...

I called NovaCare immediately after I woke up on Friday morning to try to schedule a free injury screening at the Lake Zurich clinic.  Of course they didn't have anything open.  After a bit of phone tag I finally scheduled an evaluation at the Loop office on Wabash for Tuesday morning during work.  Work was OK with me taking the time off to go to the evaluation since it would only take about 15 to 20 minutes.

My ITB definitely felt worse this morning and I seriously regretted getting a massage and having the therapist work it so hard.  I figured it would be like the foam roller x2 if the therapist worked his magic on it.  Then again, I still have been bad about the foam roller!!  Honestly, I need to make it part of my daily routine - I had been good until about Sunday and then I fell off the boat again.  :(

My ITB pulled a bit on the way to work as well.  Definitely not a good sign!! At this point, I have pretty much accepted the fact that the evaluator will tell me to do a full rehab.  That will pretty much wipe out my plan to become a marathoner this year.  I mean, let's face it.  I'm not going to try to pick up that program in the middle of it and hope to get my ass to the starting line.  That's just not smart.  And, if the world ends in 2012, then I will have lived a life never having run a marathon!  I doubt it'll end, but nevertheless... I digress.

I went over to NovaCare on Wabash which is a short walk from the office.  The facility is small, but has what it needs and the staff was really friendly.

Basically, my evaluation boils down to this:
  • Weak glutes and hips - having weak hips as a runner is bad because it causes pressure to be put on other areas - in my case, my right IT band.
  • We did strength tests, which I failed.  He had me on my side with my leg extended and he told me to try to keep it up as he applied pressure to it. He only had his hand on it for like a second before my leg came crashing down. Not good.
  • I probably shouldn't run in my beautiful Brooks Pure Flows ever again. :(  They aren't supportive enough for my feet since I have flat arches.  I kind of knew this going it, but wanted to give them a try anyway.  Back to the Adreneline GTS shoes I go (if I can run).
  • My right kneecap is not sliding the way it should due to the tightness of my ITB.  I'm not having knee problem now, but I probably will later if I don't fix my ITB.
His recommendation was as follows:
  • Get seen by sports medicine doctor who will do a more through evaluation of my issues and recommend that I get full rehab done.  I scheduled an appointment for next Thursday with this doctor who's supposed to be good.  He's a runner so he supposedly gets the "runner mentality" whatever that means.  And, I can just go to the Wabash office which is even better.  I really did not want to have to get on the Red Line (I hate the El) to get there or make a special weekend trip to do so.
  • Have gait analysis done - which I definitely will if I can run!  The evaluator said that maybe my injuries are coming from my form not necessarily what shoes I wear and maybe I can just fix that and wear what I want.  This, I highly doubt, but only an extensive gait analysis will tell.
  • Be fitted properly for shoes - I've done this before, but I may as well do it again.  I got to visit the Running Institute while I was at NovaCare.  It's located in the same building.  They do a gait analysis program there and they have a running shoe guru who can help you find the perfect running shoes for you.  I definitely have to do that.  I would hope that he's more knowledgeable about shoes than the people at the running shops.
How do I feel?  Well... I kinda knew that this day would come since I hadn't been taking care of myself.  I probably only made it through the 2011 season because I didn't push myself as hard as I could have.  I took some time off toward the end of the season so I could make it to Big Sur. 

It sucks to think that I may not be able to run the marathon this year and that I will lose out on $135 (race fee) and $170ish (training program).  More so, it sucks that the activity that I love very much will be put on the back burner while I rehab.  I hated having to rehab my knee and the fact that it took me out of running for about 4-5 months.  I can't possibly think about what I will do if I can't run.

Running is my passion and my stress release.  I love it so much and it sucks to think that it will most likely not be happening for a while.

But, it is what it is and if I wanted to be like my dad and be running when I am in my 60s then I have to get better about everything and fix these issues so I don't have anymore injuries (if I can help it).

And, maybe I can find some new sports to fit my fancy.  I have always been interested in yoga and maybe I will do that while I rehab (if they let me).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Northshore Half Marathon and 5K Race Recap - Dad's First Half Marathon!

My parents and I absolutely adore this race.  The course is really beautiful and the 5k takes place in a residential area in Highland Park.  Also, today is a special day since it's my Dad's first half marathon.

Let me just tell you about my Dad for a little bit.  He's super freaking awesome and I am SO PROUD of him for running his first marathon at the age of 65 (!).  The fact that he's still able to run 3 days a week consistently and run races and bet people way younger than him just amazes me.  I can only hope to still be running when I'm his age!  He can run a 5k under 30 (if he's having a good day), which is better than some people my age!

I posted a picture of Dad and his medal on Facebook and so many of our family and friends have commented on it.  He finished in 2:41:01.  He wanted to run a 2:30, but he started to feel cramps and had a tough time from the 10 mile marker onward.  But, he finished!

Anyway, I decided to run the 5K despite my ITB acting funky.  I had my mom tape it beforehand.  The KT tape works wonders!  I didn't feel it pulling at all either.  I figured that I'd start conservatively and try to just go under 27.  Ideally, I wanted to go sub 25, but with the heat that might not be possible.

I finished in 24:32.  I was the 5th person out of 91 in my age group, the 80th overall and the 22nd woman out of 610.  I'm a little bummed that I missed an age group prize - especially since I know I could have run faster if it wasn't so hot!  But, at least I broke 25!

Mile 1: 7:39!  The start line was moved up a bit so I felt like we ran around the residential area more before we approached my arch enemy.  Mr. Hill.  There is this sweet downhill on the way to mile one where you can really let it fly.  I "fly" conservatively because again, I didn't want my ITB to snap up on me.  I pick off some people who don't know how to take advantage of downhills.

Soon, I'm at the hill on Egandale Road and thankfully I've seen this hill before so it's not new.  People are walking around me and I'm able to pick off some people who have decided to trot and walk up the hill.  For some reason, I do really well until we are almost at the top.  At the top, I start to lose it, but I'm still moving along at a good pace and most importantly, I'm feeling awesome!

Mile 2: 7:52.  I get to mile two at about 15:30 and I'm pleased.  I know that I can so sub 25 for sure and now, I'm thinking about sub 24.  My course record is a 23:01, which was run last year when the weather was cloudy and in the 60s.  I doubt this will happen now, but so long as I can go sub 25:15 (my last 5k disaster) then I will be happy.

Mile 3: 7:40!  Almost negative splits!  I start to pick it up a bit and try to pick out people in front of me that I can pass up.  I can see packs of people in front of me and I try my best to catch up to them.  There is also a little incline in the last mile, which isn't fun especially when you're tired!!

I could have sworn that I broke 24, but the official results don't lie. I was incredibly pleased with my effort.

I went back to find my Mom and we sat in the shade and ate for a while before we went to Starbucks.  We went back and sat under a tent and made some new friends while waiting for my dad.  I talked to a woman who is in her 60s and has been running since 1981.  She was waiting for her husband, a lawyer, who once ran a marathon in 3:23, but now just runs to finish since he's been injured so many times.  Again, I was in awe of her because at 60, she finished her 5k in about 27/28 minutes.  If only I can be that good at that age!!

I made friends w/ a young man wearing Vibrams and toting a really cute Dachshund Chiuaua mix named Rosie.  He was waiting for his girlfriend who was running her first half marathon.  He was going to run it too, but he didn't feel trained enough and didn't want to risk injuring himself since he teaches dance for a living.

Mom met a friend and we hung out by the road leading to the finish.  Dad texted my mom to tell her that his legs were cramping so he was walking it out, but had less than a mile to go.  We finally see him coming up the way and he was walking, but he was able to trot it into the finish.  He got his medal and we met him to chat for a while.  Again, I was SUPER proud of him!

Gear: Red Nike legend short sleeved tee, black tempo track shorts with red side piping, white Asics socks and white RAM racing hat.
Shoes: Brooks Pure Flow Black & Blue shoes

On Tuesday, I get my ITB looked at.  Hopefully it's not too bad and I can do a little rehab and still run at home with the help of KT tape.  I really want to go to my first long run of the marathon training if I can make it.  But, we shall see.

Happy running to all and hope you are having a great weekend!  Take advantage of the sunny day and get out there!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Ragnar Relay That Wasn't

I Bailed.

So I was so excited leading up to Ragnar. I was excited to meet new friends and do something totally out of the ordinary.

I've become such an introvert if you don't already know. I don't hang out with new people (or people in general) and I would never do something like this.

But the opportunity came up and I took it. I grabbed the bull by its horns and decided to go for it.

Along the way I meet S. We've run a few times and I enjoy her company. I met some other truly amazing women and I am sad that I won't get to know them better.

I was so excited to meet women who share my love of running and do something out of the ordinary.

And then my ITB decided to flare up. And I knew that I was pushing myself way too much and not taking the right measures to keep the injury at bay.

You know how it is. There aren't enough hours in the day to barely get the run in let alone do all the proper stretching, hydrating, strength training, etc. So that all falls by the wayside.

On Wednesday morning my ITB felt like shit. It pulled when I was walking to work and I have not tried to run as not to make it worse. I've done a few strides and it definitely hurts post run.

But I thought that I could push through it. I bought KT tape (which i have never used before) to try to tough it out.

That's because I'm not a quitter (at least not until tonight) and I push through.

For example, I hated track and cross country in high school. Yet, I did it for all four years. I hated band and stuck that out. Same with the AP courses. I stuck out a major in college that I wasn't fond of and so forth and so on.

But tonight, I could not. I felt so sick in the van. I'm not sure if I'm not used to bumper to bumper traffic anymore after experiencing a painless commute. I could not hold down the cookie I tried to eat and I felt like crap.

At the restaurant the stress and anxiety made it even worse and I could not hold food down and I almost vomited a few times.

Maybe it was because I was stressing out about my ITB injury. Or maybe deep down I was too scared to go of my comfort zone and put myself in a new situation with people I had not met before.

For me, I worry about how I'm conducting myself and more importantly, how I am perceived by others. I worry that no one likes me, etc. All this is probably why I have become a loner - sticking to who and what I know - never veering out of my comfort zone for free of rejection I suppose.

Honestly, it is the injury that did me in and not my social anxiety. I'm sure I would have gotten along with everyone just fine. Everyone seemed so cool and I was most excited to meet A. and pick her brains about marathons since she has done 6 or so.

But no. Here I am - sitting in front of a hotel wallowing and wondering about the what ifs and the what could have beens.

I felt better instantly when the team said it was OK for me to drop out and that they'd deal with my legs. It was like this stress had been lifted off my chest. I felt relief and instantly all my bad feelings went away.

There will be other races, other Ragnars and other opportunities to meet new people.

Like running, maybe this becoming social thing is a process. I can't just throw myself into a new situation and expect myself to be a social butterfly and liked by all.

And at the end of the day making it to the starting like of the Chicago Marathon is what is the most important thing to me. That's what the 2013 running season had always been about and will be about.

Tomorrow I will sleep in, maybe take a walk around the lake by my house and get my ITB looked at. I better get on top of it now and take care of it sooner rather than later.

And hey there is always next year and maybe i will be ready for Ragnar. This just wasn't the right time.

To my team - you ladies are awesome! Thank you team captain J. for your generosity and to team captain R. for organizing this. And to S. - thank you for your kind words and hearing me out. I hope we run again soon.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My First Near Accident Experience

So I decide to go on a 10 mile run (first double digit run in a long time) early Saturday morning.  I was moving along pretty well, listening to the tunes that I downloaded on my iPod Nano (which I had misplaced and just recently found) and enjoyed the perfect running weather.

I get to about 7.5 miles in my run and I'm waiting at a fairly busy intersection close to my home.  I hit the walk button and wait for my turn to cross.  As I go to cross, this man in the Honda CRV goes to make the right turn onto the street I am trying to cross.  He clearly doesn't see me!

I literally am inches away from his car and pretty livid and just plain scared out of my mind because HE COULD HAVE HIT ME!!

Ragnar would not happen and most importantly, my dreams of becoming a marathoner would be crushed in an instant.  More importantly, what if I suffered serious injuries and could never run (or walk) ever again.  Needless to say, I was pretty shaken up after that experience and almost just ran home, but decided to run the full 10 miles.

So yeah, to everyone running out there - be aware of your surroundings and be careful!  You never know when drivers aren't paying attention!  And yeah, seriously consider getting a RoadID.  It's worth it.  Check out their offerings here: http://www.roadid.com

Total Distance: 10 miles
Total Time: 1:31:14
Average Pace Per Mile: 9:07
Gear: Nike v-neck purple tech tee, Nike lime green pro tight running shorts (to prevent chafing), Champion shorts over the Nike ones, Asics socks and Brooks Pure Flows (BPF).

Stats for May 27 - June 2:
Weekly Mileage: 18.1
Miles in BPF: 16
Miles in Inovo-8 195s: 3.1 (race)