Trying to get back up to speed

It's amazing what a little bug will take out of you. I tried running on Tuesday and the first few miles felt horrible. I felt like I was totally out of shape -- breathing harder, heart rate higher. I was able to go 7 miles, averaging 8:03, which I guess isn't too bad. My legs didn't want to go any further, though...

Today I did a speed work at the track in Red Wing. 5x600m. After just one of them, a middle school gym class comes out to play bocce ball (is that what it's called? it's the game with the mallets and big ceramic balls)(I think it's croquet...). Made the workout very entertaining!! I got a few "keep ruuuuuunnnning" comments, stares from a group of 3 taller, well-dressed girls every time I ran around, and the gym teacher told me I was "inspiring her class" :). Funny. Was I inspiring them to someday join the track team? Or to stay the heck away from it because obviously only psycho people do it... what fun is running round and round?

That got me to thinking... it'd be really cool to teach a "track" or "CC" course there at some point. I wonder if people come in and do those things? Maybe even XC skiing, but the equipment would be a big hurdle to get over. Might be a cool thing to do :). I think they'd learn something (and I could encourage the quick ones to think about joining a team!). They would probably do more than they did during their 10 minute gym class (which, by the way, they were WAAAY less active in than during their prior recess). I couldn't quite figure out what they were doing. Some were "shot-putting" the ball around (seriously, with the spin), some would try to throw it up a hill, run after it, and throw it down. Some were simply terrorizing other kids with the mallets, screaming and running around. Oh, middle school chaos :).

My times were slow, especially the first two. 2:11 for the first one, 2:08 for the second. Hmmm. My legs just don't have that pop. By the end I did a 2:01 and a 2:03, so at least that was better. My leg hasn't been working 100% lately either. I'm just falling apart!! I can tell it's time to shut down the training for a while :). Just have to patch myself together for another 2 weeks...

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You guessed it...

I read through my last post and realized I was just asking for it... yep, you guessed it, I came down with something on Sunday. I've just been doing too much lately & not sleeping enough.

I'm just getting over it (thank goodness, only 2 days of feeling crummy). It started with a really poor showing on my long run on Sunday. One of the rollerskiers actually commented on it. Funny how there was a noticeable difference even to someone who doesn't train with me often. I must have really looked like cr@p.

Let this be a lesson to anyone reading this: Drink a glass of water! Take your vitamins! Go to bed early!! (please yell back at me the next time you see a blog post like my last!)

Now I'm in the less-than-3-week countdown. Unbelievable. Goals: just a little more speed, get the legs feeling strong and fast, and STAY HEALTHY AND INJURY FREE. :) Easier said than done!

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Runnin' on Empty

Wow, I'm exhausted. I'm trying to recall, but I think there have been just 2 days in the last 3 weeks where I've slept 8 hours. Otherwise, I've been getting around 6-6.5, and I can totally tell... I'm not working as quickly at work (just can't concentrate very well) and I'm easily upset and stressed. Last night on my run I couldn't quite concentrate on how I was running or how fast I was going. I cut the run down to just 7 miles (from 14). I felt really bad about it, but Nate urged me to cut it back. My HR was a bit higher than normal for an easy run, and we knew we'd have to be up late cleaning the house (inspector is coming tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed that he doesn't value it really low...)... uggg.

This weekend we have a 5K on Saturday morning and a long ski/run on Sunday morning. The key will be getting to bed early (which I am NOT good at)!!

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Back in business


Ahh, there is no better feeling than the way your legs feel after a long run. Sore, achy, just all around worn-out. I love it!

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. On Saturday I ran the Trail Loppet 1/2 marathon. Emphasis on "ran". I knew that I had only run 13.6 mile before (since the injury) and didn't want to chance anything. Plus I wanted to get in a long run on Sunday to see if my legs could do a 20+ miler. So, I purposefully ran really relaxed -- at a "threshold"-type pace. It was a lot of fun! Great course (minus a few wrong turns, but that just adds to the fun) & great people.

I won for the women, which surprised me. Elaine Nelson was 2nd, and she's a very talented and fast woman. I passed her around 2 miles or so and could feel her breathing really hard already at that point. Were we going that fast? I didn't think so, but I can't really tell on trails. I ended up beating her by 5 minutes.

Sunday was just as great. I went out for my long run w/ the Vakava team (yeah, chasing after rollerskiers!). My only goal was to try to see how far my leg could take me. I told myself that if I couldn't do 20 miles today that Des Moines wasn't an option. I was a little nervous, just hoping it'd work today...

And it did! I felt really great!! Funny how my legs had a little "spring" in them even after having raced yesterday. I'll take it. I ran 17 miles pretty relaxed, maybe a little faster than I should have. That happens when you're chasing people on wheels :). At 17 miles, I picked it up to marathon pace. It actually felt pretty easy. 6:33, 6:37, then 5:48 (last 1/2 mile I decided to go all-out)(also, this mile was downhill). So, a little faster than my true marathon pace, but I think that's OK -- it's more about teaching your legs to run hard when tired than anything. I then did a cool down back to the car. I had only planned on 20 miles (which would have been to the end of the marathon pace miles), but the vehicle was a little farther away than expected... so, 22.4 miles on the day. WOW.

So, yeah!! I am SOOO excited that I'm back & able to run. I had a smile on my face for most of the run :). It's so fun to be able to cruise & go far. It's also fun for me to think that I'll still have a chance to pull off what I originally wanted to do -- a fast time at a fall marathon.

Now, just need to stay healthy/fit for the next month!

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First hard workout

I was able to do my first hard workout since my injury. It went pretty well, actually! The leg is a little sore now, but I think only because it's re-learning to move quickly.

I got a little lost on my warm-up and never found the track (oops) so I ended up doing my 800m repeats on a random road in Red Wing. Problem is you can't find a flat 1/2 mile stretch of road here! I don't know if it was because of the ups and downs in the road or the fact that I haven't done anything fast in a while, but my times were really slow: 3:04, 3:02, 2:52 (which was goal time, I wanted to do these at 5K pace), 3:04, 2:50, 3:00. One way was obviously more downhill than the other way.

So, hopefully this is the start of getting back to real training. I still have to hold back a bit (I hate that!), but I'll try to push a little more each day. I was able to switch into the 10 mile at Twin Cities and get an entry into the Des Moines marathon. Wow!! How luckly am I??!? I know I can pull myself through to do the 10 mile, and hopefully I continue getting stronger so I can have a shot at Des Moines (on October 18th)!

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Getting better!

Each day is going better than the last, which is really encouraging for me!

This weekend I raced my college alumni 5K race. I wasn't sure how it was going to go; I hadn't run hard in about 3 weeks. I was surprised how strong and fit I felt -- I took it out easy, running in 2nd place through 1.25 miles. My first mile was in 5:52. From there, I decided to go for it. I had good control over my injured leg (adrenaline was probably preventing me from feeling anything), and didn't feel like I was working very hard at that 5:52 pace. So, I went on to chase Laura. I caught her fairly easily and encouraged her to push along with me. She kept up with me through 1.75, but then dropped off.

My second mile was in 5:36; it helped having Laura there to push me. My third mile was in 5:47 (oops, let myself slip a little... wish I would have pushed harder here, I know I could have). I finished in 17:44.71, which is an all-time personal best for me. That's 2 seconds faster than I've ever run -- even on a track!! That's pretty amazing, considering how little I've done lately!!

So, that tells me that I'm more fit/fast than I thought. My previous best 5K on a CC course was 18:20 in college, which makes this run a 35 second PR. I had a thought while running: I don't think I can pull together for the twin cities marathon, but what about the 10 mile? That might be perfect! My leg can handle shorter distances, and I'd like to race this fall so I could take advantage of my training and fitness. Plus, it'd be fun to race a 10 mile and shoot for a PR at that distance!!

On to Sunday: I ran around home with the only goal to test out the leg. It was a little shaky at first, but as I went it became better and better, to the point where there's only a teeny bit of power loss and a hitch in the turnover. Not bad!!! I went 13.6 miles, which is the most I've been able to do since the injury. The best part was that I didn't finish with a leg that felt dead -- it was actually pretty strong and I thought I could go longer, but I want to play it safe and ramp up mileage slowly.

YEAH!! I emailed TCM today to see if I can switch. Wonder if they'll allow that? I haven't heard back from Des Moines yet on their marathon -- if I get a response from that (and the leg continues to get better), I'll decide on that then.

Again, I just have to say it: YEAAAAAHHHHHH!!! :) :)

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Nope :(

I can't run a marathon on this leg.

I'm calling the doctor tomorrow & will wait to see what she has to say. There's no pain anymore and I don't feel out of place any more -- the leg just doesn't fire like it used to. So, does that mean I'm making progress? Is it worth it to try to limp along until the marathon?

I hate the whole guessing game behind injuries. Funny how this started out 2.5 weeks ago as just a really little twinge in the quad and now it's almost totally grounded me. *Sigh*

On a more fun and less boring note (sorry to only blog about my aches and pains!!), Nate and I put an offer down on a house yesterday. It's in foreclosure, but the seller has agreed to the price & is signing the purchase agreement. Now it moves on to the bank... hope it's speedier than they usually take! It's a gorgeous house, we'd be really lucky to get it for the price we offered :).

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I hope, I hope, I hope!!

I ran 7.3 miles tonight! Leg had a little trouble, but it was the best it's been (during AND after) since I started having trouble!!

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2nd appointment

I went in today again. The adjustments they did were much more minute, and I have a good feeling about them. I'm a little sore in parts of my back and butt, which I think is good. Hopefully my body is reacting to being put back in place.

There isn't any leg pain any more. Even the nerve sensation has gotten better. My leg/hip just gets pretty tight after running a few miles and then it starts to lose power and turn around at a different rate than my healthy leg. With the decrease in pain and how she was able to move me today, she said that I should start to ramp up my mileage again, even if my leg isn't working 100% right. I'm skeptical. My leg doesn't turn over well when I know I'm out of place, and I feel like running on that will only cause a different injury. But, I'll trust her opinion and give it a try. Right now I'm dangerously close to the marathon. I'll have to slowly build my mileage up again only to have a mini taper to the marathon. Not ideal in any way.

One of the thoughts I've had is to switch to the Des Moines marathon. It's 2 weeks later than Twin Cities. I emailed them today explaining my situation. We'll see if they'll let me in. I had thought about switching earlier this summer. It was weird... Jenny, my training partner, asked me again about Des Moines (we had discussed it earlier in the year), and I told her I had decided on TCM. She was surprised and suggested I look further into Des Moines. I came home and for the next two weeks felt really strongly that I should switch. It didn't make sense since I already had an entry to TCM, it's local and family were already planning to watch or race the 10 mile because I was running the marathon. So I talked myself out of it. But I just REALLY wanted to switch, a feeling I've never had before...

Anyway, I'm just rambling. What I'm trying to get at is that maybe "someone" is now REALLY trying to get me to switch? Cruel way to do it, if you ask me. But, there's also a VERY good possibility (and almost a certainty) I'm just imagining things and trying to find a reason for this injury.

One other thing I'll comment on: There is no better feeling than being in shape and on top of your game. That "exhausted legs/lungs" feeling is the best... I hope I can always compete/train, in whatever form that may be. I really miss that feeling even though it's only been two weeks, and can't wait to get back & hit the roads.

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Not sure...

I went in Wednesday night to get adjusted. I went up to Motion Care in Shoreview (quite a drive from Red Wing!). I've gone to them before and they're phenomenal.
Kelly taught me how to do a lot at home as well. That's one thing I really like about this clinic. They're not all about having you come back every other day for the next 3 weeks.

I ran today for the first time and there's still some pain in the middle of my butt (honestly, is there even a joint or muscles there?) and the leg didn't feel really powerful... but the radiating nerve pain wasn't there... which is a REALLY good thing! So, I'm hoping I'm moving in the right direction...

P.S. Our house sold on Thursday. Happy news, but also sad at the same time :(

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going in to see someone...

My leg isn't getting better. On my run last night I had to stop 1.25 miles early because I was having pain down the backside of my butt and down my right leg. Nerve pain would start at the butt/hip and move down the right leg. The weird thing is that yesterday my IT band was SOOO tender to the touch -- today it's just a little sore, but the nerve thing is now here. That's a pretty scary pain, not going to lie. I'd much rather have IT band issues.

So, the injury has moved around a little bit -- which leads me to believe that it's an alignment problem. I'd been cracking it a lot lately, and every time it'd be a really loud adjustment with an immediate relief of pressure. I called my doctor and he agreed on the alignment guess (in the SI joint) and pulled some strings to get me in to see someone tonight. It's nice to know people -- without him, it'd be a two week wait).

So, going in tonight, wish me luck. Keep posted for updates...

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