Monday, May 23, 2011

Not a Stress Fracture!

So my appt. with  the ortho was today and basically what came out of it was:
- not a stress fracture
- most likely a strain that I aggravated a lot
- should take 2 more weeks off
- can get back into training as long as it doesn't hurt and I do so slowly (after the two weeks)
- should be good for a fall marathon (thinking about philly)
- should think about triathlons

OK so I am not ready to give up marathons and don't totally by that final bit of advice from the doc.  (not because I don't want to do tri's but because I don't think training for marathons are a bad thing for my body...if I listen to it)

I'm so glad it's not a stress fracture, but I did leave feeling like, "Am I big baby? Why did it hurt enough for me to drop out of a race? Should I have stayed signed up for Vermont City?  What am I going to tell people...that it's nothing?"  Injuries are so bizzare and I know I need to trust pain and know when it is pain and not soreness.  I know this has been pain; it through off my gain completely and had me limping.  However, it does make me feel like a big wimp!

In other news, I did start biking again on Saturday.  I went for a 20 mile bike followed by a 2300 yd swim.  The bike is so foreign to me.  It leaves me with many questions:
- How fast do I need to be able to go in order to do a tri?
- How much does having a hybrid vs. road bike slow me down?
- How much harder is it to ride a road bike (i.e. will I fall)
- How do I go about explaining that the lock on my bike needs to be cut off because I forgot the combo and that I did not steal it.
- How do I ride with one hand?
- How do I stand up?  (i think my behind would really appreciate if I figured this one out!)
- How do I get over being so scared to ride in the road?
- Do they even make good bikes for girls that are 4'11" (oh and poor).

3 years ago I did my first and only (to date) tri.  I was the first girl out of the water and then I got on the bike.  It was a very humbling experience.  I did end up winning my age group, but it was a very small showing for my age group.

I'd like to get back into tris and though I don't need to place or even get rock star times, I certainly don't want to be asked to leave a course because I couldn't do the bike in the amount of time allowed. 

Any advice for a truly newbie biker!?

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Report and then some

OK, so this is really late.  As in I promised this report 3 weeks ago, but alas, it's not one I'm excited to write.  Therefore, I will keep it brief. 

Nashville was amazing.  I loved the city.  I loved that at 10 a.m. you could go downtown and every bar.  EVERY SINGLE ONE would have live music.  all day. all night. all live.  It was just so cool.  I'm not a huge country music fan, but for the past 2 months I've been listening to the country stations on my satellite radio for my drive into work.   You see,  I really was prepared for this race (at least 6 weeks out).  I even wanted to be prepared for the post-race living it up, so I could sing along. 

We, our Team in Training group from CT, arrived in Nashville on Thursday for the Saturday race.  We had a fun time at the expo.  I got a spi-belt knock off and a t-shirt from Brooks that says I heart Nashville, but the heart is a group of runners.  I had such a great time getting to know the group of TNT members.  We hadn't really trained in the same locations but got along right from the start.  I'm looking forward to meeting up with them all again soon.  

On Friday we went to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  This was really exciting, because really so many people got their start in Nashville.  Many of them by playing at those bars I mentioned earlier.  We were on our feet a big longer than I would have wanted to, but I was not counting on much from my legs in the race the next day.

Although I had had a great, fantastic, fabulous, dare I say perfect training cycle for the first 12 weeks, the last 6 panned out differently.  (particularly the last 4)  I had trained through one of the worst winters in CT.  I hit MP run after MP run.  I had my tempo runs down and had some awesome LD runs.  Everything was going better than I could have dreamed.  6 weeks out, I hit a 18 miler with an 8:20 pace and I was practically writing my BQ blog post in my head. 

Then my leg started to act funky.  It started right at the end of my peak week.  It didn't hurt, but it just wouldn't move the same way I wanted it to.  My pace slowed, but it was peak week after all.  My 23 miler went off without a hitch and I was ready for 2 more weeks before taper.  But my leg only got worse.  Soon my hip was just plain painful when I ran.  I pushed through it and ended up doing a 17 miler the next weekend; right on schedule.  I split that run 7 miles easy then a 10.5 mile race (on the hiliest course I've seen).  This might have been a bad decision.  My purple age group award, though awesome, was not worth what happened next.

I'm not convinced the race was the end of this cycle for me, because I think the damage was already done.  However, that ended up being my last long run before the race.  I just couldn't bear the pain I'd feel when I was running.  I think I totalled about 70 more miles in the next 4 weeks, taking the week before the race completely off.  I decided not to decide whether to do the full or the half until I toed the line at the start. 

My legs hurt at mile one, but really my hip felt fine throughout the race.  My coach would later note that I was favoring it like crazy, but I honestly didn't notice.  At mile 9, I decided I would stick with the full.  I was going very slow, but faster than I had been able to do in a long time.  I was enjoying myself and the TEAM atmosphere.  Plus it was my first BIG race and that was exciting too. 

Mile 17 was a long, long long, uphill.  It was gradual, but tough.  In my mind I was using this race as a training run for Vermont City, so I figured about 20 miles of running would be a sufficient training run.  After that hill I started a sort of run/walk method.  I would run 4-5 songs then walk 1.  I usually ended up not walking the whole song, because something would get me excited: a downhill, another TEAM member, etc. 

I honestly did enjoy myself on this run, but was completely humbled by my time of 4:39.  This is the same time I had for my first marathon 7 years ago.  The marathon where I had not trained at all except for by using the eliptical for hours at a time.  The marathon where I had run maybe one time a week, my longest run being an estimated 15 miles (but I was not measuring mileage at that point).  The marathon where I didn't know about nutrition, or hydrating or any of those things (not to mention tempo runs, MP runs, etc.)  It was certainly a hard dose of reality for me.  Especially after such a great training cycle.

However, I figured, I'd get back on the horse and nail the Vermont City Marathon.  However, the hip, though it didn't hurt during the race, was worse anytime I tried to run afterwards.  Vermont is out, it just wouldn't be smart or fun to pull it off.  I went to the ortho and had an MRI.  I'll get the results on Monday.  Though I don't think it's anything major, I'm almost scared to find out that it's nothing.  Could all this just be in my head? 

In the meantime, I've been swimming again and I'll be biking tomorrow.  I've gotten back into spinning more than once a week and I've been making the most of this all.  But, I miss running!!!

Sorry this race report went way off on a tangent...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Country Music Marathon Report Teaser

Well, it certainly wasn't the fastest marathon or the prettiest, but I finished!  After 4 weeks of practically no running and absolutely no running under a 10 minute pace, I had no ideas what was going to happen.

I made it TN with the rest of the CT Team in Training group on Thursday and we had a blast, but in the back of my mind was,"which race are you going to do; the half or the full?" I didn't decide on Thursday or Friday; I didn't even know at the start on Saturday.

I was sore from the first step; my body could tell it had been a long time since my last run.  I did loosen up; but not much.  However, my hip was virtually pain free!  I knew at mile 11 (where we separated).  I decided at about mile 18, that I was definitely in it for the long hall.  (That's where we passed the finish line...).  It was definitely tough and I wasn't in it for speed.  I treated it as a training run, so after mile 20, I went for the run/walk method.

Final finishing time: 4:39...A definite personal worst and about an hour off my goal time.  However, I held under 10 minute miles for 15 miles and I hadn't done that for 2 miles in the month prior to the race.  I guess beggars can't be choosers.  Regardless, it's still hard to forget that 6 weeks ago I did an 18 miler and held under a 8:20 pace. 

I'm writing this, still a little sore, but mostly pain free!  Vermont City Marathon is in less than a month and hopefully I'll be in speedier shape for that one.

Full report, with pictures, to come!!!

p.s. Doing an event with Team in Training rocks!!!!