Thursday, August 26, 2010

seven weeks to chicago.

First off, I started this post last week and want to finish it, even though it's only six weeks to Chicago. I'm behind, and I DO WHAT I WANT. That's it.

So just like everyone in the world, my life has been a bit hectic between work, starting back up with teaching for the fall semester, family and life in general. But probably, unlike most of the world, I've also done a bit of pouting lately thanks to a new bestie who made a home in my OTHER calf. The right one. I un-affectionately named it "Mongolia." Yes, that's right. China in the left, Mongolia in the right. My calves are plagued. And so I did what I do best when it comes to my calves. I pouted. Let me tell you, that did absolutely nothing to help the situation.

I suppose the good news is that while I pouted, I was able to refrain from totally flying off the handle and doing what I like to call FREAKING THE F OUT. Maybe I'm just a pro at handling the whole injury during marathon training thing, or maybe I'm just growing up and realizing I don't always get my way and life doesn't always go how I demand it to go. Either way, there was pouting and some venting, yes. Freaking out, no. I am giving myself a gold star.

Here's the thing. I came to the conclusion after Mongolia reared it's ugly head so furiously that I couldn't run from a week ago Thursday until last Tuesday that there had to be an explanation as to why my calves had been viciously evil the past two years. Yes I could attribute it to running too fast (pretty sure that isn't the case this summer), or hitting higher mileage, or the heat and humidity. The list of 'could's,' is potentially endless. And yes something on that list should include how I once again wasn't taking the best care possible of my calves (and self) the past few weeks. Aside from all of those, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling lately that there is something bigger going on. There HAS to be a reason my calves are the bane of my running existence. I'm not sure I've found the conclusion, but in stopping and really thinking things through I came to a bit of a theory that I am currently testing (yeah i'm a nerd, i love theories and testing them, i may even make a spreadsheet).

Orthotics. I got mine after a series of hip issues and a second metatarsal stress fracture on my left foot. Wait here is a short aside: my hip issues that landed me in PT originally I am now certain didn't come from running, but from going to yoga classes where instructors weren't concerned with the safety of the students. Lesson learned. I found this out by going to a yoga class I used to frequent during my hip problems and the next three days after that class I had a lot of hip pain. Culprit found, problem solved. Aside complete.

During this revelation about my orthtics, it literally just randomly popped in my head one morning while pouting, I whipped my orthotics out of my Mizuno's (MIZUNO!) and looked them over. On the bottom was the date they were created, it said 11.08. Right around the time when all my awful calf issues started. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not. I could delve further into my thoughts on this, especially since I just read Born to Run, but I won't. I'll leave it short and sweet. I decided to try running sans orthotics for a few days. Run No. 1 sans orthotics, my calf hurt a bit but after a few miles it seemed to loosen up. Run No. 2, even less calf pain even though I hadn't run for nearly a week and ran six miles the morning before. Very surprising. Very happy.

For now I'll just save the rest for my next Chicago post and share that I do in fact think the orthotics were causing calf issues. That said I've also been getting daily leg massages and taking better care of myself overall. That's it on that issue for now. Like I said in my last post I had a good running week, then a bad running week thanks to the calf (i.e. i barely ran) and then this past week was pretty successful running wise, but again that's another post. For now, the breakdown of the previous two weeks of running.

Week 8 - Chicago Training
Tuesday - 5 miles
Wednesday - 6 miles
Thursday - 8 miles
Friday - 4 miles
Sunday - 16 miles

Total = 39 miles

Week 9 - Chicago Training (mongolia showed up)
Monday - 3 miles
Wednesday - 3.27
Friday - 7 miles

Total = 13.25 miles (ugh frustrating, but i'm taking it as a very unplanned super rest week)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

best part of my day.

Running six miles, nearly calf-pain free (yeah that's a different blog post) in 56 degree weather early this morning with some pretty fantastic running buddies. Fall isn't quite here, but Kansas is finally cooling off a teensy bit, for now anyway. It's glorious. That is all.

I have my Chicago training post in the queue, I've been lax on updating my runs on Garmin and on my online mileage tracker so I wasn't sure what my mileage was. Plus I was pouting over my calf and didn't want to post another week of training fail. I had a good week, a bad week and I think I'm back to a good week again this week. But more on that in the next post.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

9 weeks to chicago. and knocked down.

I got knocked down last week, big time. I ran less last week than I have since early May. Last Monday night the inklings of exhaustion and sinus issues settled in. By Wednesday it had turned into a full blown sinus infection, by Thursday I was so pitiful that I couldn't even take myself to the doctor. I can't remember the last time I was that wiped out and knocked down. My suspicion is that life/work/teaching/training/allergies all caught up to me in the same week.

So remember in my post last week when I told you to hold me to running seven miles even though I didn't feel 100%? To spare myself humiliation? Yeah, I ran five miles. They weren't pretty. I gave up. Of course when I found out the next morning I had a sinus infection I didn't feel so pitiful about the running.

Instead of festering and getting PISSED that I couldn't run, I vented a little, let out my frustration and simply allowed myself to rest. And I won't lie. It was pure bliss. I can honestly say I needed it. I can only go for so long before I need a break. From everything. Yeah I'm one of THOSE.

I ran a whopping 15 miles last week! Most of those miles were either done in near tears or in a dazed and confused state and it was awful. But after a big fat dose of sleep (i think i slept more in four days than i did the entire month of july), rest and medication (that I'm pretty sure was delivered by God himself to my doorstep), I woke up Monday morning after a full week of feeling terrible, hopping out of bed feeling fantastic.

There are still 9 weeks to train. I'll still get three 20 milers in. I'll still surpass my monthly mileage PRs, so I have no worries. I needed a break. I've already run twice this week and I'm feeling great. Sometimes breaks are good. Even during marathon training.

Week 7 - Chicago Training
15 Hazy Miles

I leave you with a picture of my Chicago training buddy Shelley and I doing what we like to call 21st Street Yoga. After our long runs we whip out our towels and plop down in the grass alongside a very busy street to do some yoga. A little pigeon, maybe some downward dog. We are shameless.