Feeling a little better!!!

Huge smile on my face: I think I'm getting better!!!! I'm going in again tomorrow (thank you, Jim) & hope it improves just as much as it did from Thursday's visit. I'm going in early tomorrow morning.

Oh, my GOODNESS, I would be SOOO happy!


I'm really hopeful!

Long day today...

Went in at noon to see my primary doctor. After a lot of strength tests and pushing on random bones (and a lot of eyebrow scruches), he determines that:
1. My hips are still out of alignment, and significantly
2. It's not the piriformis muscle or a disc related issue
3. It's probably not a stress fracture (note the probably...)

He also commented on how musclular I was. Guess he's used to seeing the USA Team MN members, who are all probably 5-10 inches taller than me and a whole lot skinnier :)

He still thinks the best option is to get back into alignment. I'm skeptical -- the last 4 days have gotten worse & I'm hobbling when I walk now. Can this much pain come from just being out of alignment?? He does point out that in the last week I haven't ran/done anything with the hip and it hasn't gotten better. If it was muscular, you would have thought it would be at least a little better with rest, not getting worse. Guess there's some logic in that.

I tried to set up an appointment right away at Motion Care in Shoreview becuase I was already up in the cities, but no luck. So, I drive back to Red Wing and think to myself: if it's just an alignment issue, wonder if I can call up Jim Patterson in town? Nate and I know him from XC skiing and he's a local chiropractor.

I call him around 2:00. He's working from home, but asks if I can meet him at his office at 3. Sure!! He brings me in and after 2 (very loud!) adjustments I'm moving a lot better. We talk about meeting again on Monday -- he pauses and says, "Well, for an acute injury like yours, it's best to get seen every other day for the first week. How about calling me Friday night to set up something for Saturday?"

Wow! What a nice gesture! Turns out he's also the corporate chiropractor at RWSC's manufacturing plans, so I could actually see him anytime during the week for FREE. This is EXACTLY what I need. I've determined through this injury that I need to see someone on a regular basis during those high mileage weeks. Being able to drive just a mile or two and see someone once/twice a week and for free -- gee, that's absolutely perfect!! Otherwise I know I'd limit the number of times I went, constantly thinking "well, this week is only a 70 mile week. I probably don't need to go"

Anyway, my back muscles are pretty uncomfortable right now. I'm actually excited about this. The last time they felt like this was after a Motion Care visit a couple of years ago when I had another injury... and after one visit and a similar uncomfortable back feeling, I was on the road within a week...

SOO, I don't want to get too excited, but I'm really, really hopeful that Jim did something just a little differently & that it'll finally fix the alignment issue. Keeping the fingers crossed!! :) :)


Going in today

My doctor was abroad for a conference for the first part of this week, so I haven't been able to get in until mid-day today. Looking forward to what he has to say.

Over the phone, he basically said that it's either a muscle pull or a stress fracture. Muscle pulls take 6-12 weeks to heal, stress fractures 6-8. I'm on week 3, and it's not feeling any better. What does that say?

So... stay tuned!


Patiently waiting

Still can't run! The last two days have actually been more painful than earlier in the week. Wish I knew why. Guess I did walk a little more -- but it's hard to say if it's that, or if it's the 15 minute bike I did yesterday, or something else. Hmm.

I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow. Maybe I need to get some sort of scan done -- did I tear something? Is it just a whole lot of inflamation? Stress fracture? I think it's just inflamation, but then wouldn't feel a little better? It's been 2 weeks since I've run any sort of distance.

At this point, I think it's unrealistic to run the full at Fargo. Bummer. That race is in 4 weeks. Based on how I feel today, I think I'd be pumped to be running a mile in 2 weeks. Much less racing 26.2 in 4 weeks.

I will say that this is the first time that I haven't freaked out over an injury. I've been really patient with it. Can't run today? Bummer, but oh well. Can't race at Alumni or Fargo? Let's look for another race to target. I'm pretty confident that once I'm over this, I'll come back pretty quickly and can still have a very good shot of the sub-2:50 goal by the end of the year. At least, I'm really, really hopefull!!


Mentally a little better than yesterday

I've tried to remain really positive through this injury. Yesterday was my first breakdown.

First, missing the Alumni 5k this weekend. I honestly had been picturing myself gunning for that stadium record for the last month, hugging my coach afterwards, etc. I'm not going to be able to race, but because Nate's going to run the Alumni mile, I'll be down there anyway. That's the hardest: showing up to a race that you know (and want!) to rock out at, and just watching from the sidelines.

Second, I think Fargo is in a little jeopardy right now. I feel terrible about that, since I've signed up everyone in my family to run a race there with me. My mom and dad are running a 5k (their first EVER!), my brother is running the 1/2 marathon, Nate and HIS dad are running the 1/2 marathon, Nate's mom is running the 5k... all because I've convinced them too. Definitely could have picked a location a little closer to home for everyone -- so I feel bad having them drive all the way up there.

Plus, I just really, REALLY miss beating my body and pursuing my crazy goal. That's my "purpose" right now, and I absolutely love it. Now I feel purpose-less, if that makes sense.

But, today I've decided that 1. I'm OK with just cheering at the Alumni meet. Yes, it sucks, but it's not the end of the world, and 2. Maybe I could come back and race a good 1/2 marathon at Fargo. Hate to start my contingency plan so far out, but I only have 4.5 weeks to Fargo (I doubt I'll be able to run much in the next week, and getting back up to speed will probably take another 1-2 weeks... leaving me with 1.5 weeks to train and taper. Grandma's might be a good option? Again I feel bad dragging my family all the way to Fargo, but they all have their own goals there -- so it's not like they'd be travelling the distance just to watch me. and 3. The whole "goal" thing still bothers me, and will throughout the healing process. But, I can focus on my work, Finn Sisu, my house, quilting, gardening, etc -- all the things you miss when you're training hard. Just have to make "goals" around these things as well.

*Sigh* Who would have thought?



Running isn't an option yet. Bummer. I was PRAYING that today would go better. But, alas, I can't even run a minute. I limp pretty badly & am not doing myself any favors by trying to run.

So... gee... what should I do? I actually think the hip/spine are in place now. Small success today: I could stand on my injured side to take off my sock without pain. Before that was painful and my balance muscles weren't working properly. Steps in the right direction, I guess.

I took the time to stretch every which way to try to reach the sore area, and think I found a good one. I also read online that it helps some people to roll the tender area with a tennis ball. Helps break up the tightness. Add that to ibuprofen, and hope that leads to a speedy recovery.

Tonight I'm going to try the bike and see if that movement aggrevates the glute area that's tender.

Gosh... I'd hate to think that this would keep me from Fargo? But at this rate, I'm likely to miss more than a couple of weeks of training/long runs...


Healing process?

I may be overly optimistic, but I think the pain is beginning to get a little better. I went in again last evening for an adjustment. There wasn't a ton of big pops (I told her I feel like I need to have someone pull down on my hips until you heard the LOUDEST pop, not these little weak pops here and there :)). But that night the pain was smaller than what it had been earlier in the day and at night I wasn't as uncomfortable as I have been in the past.

I hope I'm not imagining things. It's still definitely there, but as long as it's slowly healing, I'm happy :)

Today she suggested a walk/run. Based on walking around the house this morning, I don't know that I'm going to be able to do it... but as long as the pain is less than during the run on Friday, she said that I'm moving in the right direction and should continue to push it a little. Argh, isn't this the worst part of an injury? Knowing how much/little to do and when?

BTW, my college alumni race is this Saturday. I am beyond bummed on the timing of this injury. Guess it could be worse, it could have been the week before the marathon, but... I would really, really, REALLY like a shot at a new 5K PR and potentially (on a good day!) to set a new stadium record (currently 17:33). That's probably not feasible now, which makes me a little bummed.


Going to try to get in tomorrow

I'm going to try Motion care again tomorrow. They've always worked for me in the past. I'm a little more skeptical this time, becuase before I've only had to go once or twice... and the times I had to go twice, I at least felt partially better after the first visit.

Still keeping my fingers crossed and attitude positive!


Stupid Hip!

I tried to run today. I ran 1.5 miles in pain, hoping the pain would subside with a warm up. Both doctors I have seen just think it's an alignment issue & that I won't do damage by running through the pain.

But at 1.5 I turned a corner and literally had to hobble to turn. The pain is really sharp. I stop. I'm with the GAC assistant coach, so I'm embarrassed to have to turn it in. I've been looking forward to doing a hard workout with SOMEONE so much! Plus, its embarrassing because it's my first/only workout with him. But I honestly can't run. We tried to pick it up, for about 250 feet, but I stopped & had to turn around to run back to campus. The 1.5 miles home was excruciating. Pain every step. I'm limping. Not good at all.

Walking to the car after the run I felt nauseous from the pain. Seriously.

It's gotten worse throughout the day. It's such a sharp and stabbing pain! I limp pretty badly & can't really put weight on the leg. I cringe when I have to think about walking.

I feel like my hip or leg bones are pinching or hitting on a muscle or nerve they're not supposed to. At least I hope-- if I can get myself back in place, hopefully all this pain will go away?

My gosh, PLEASE don't let it be something serious. How does something like this come up so quickly? Honestly, the beginning of this week my hip was just tight & felt out of place... and now, not able to put any weight on it? And how sad that it hits me & takes me completely out so quickly?????????

Unbelievable -- just have to hope that there's a reason for everything...


Adjustment Needed

My hip has been bothering me more each day. I'm going in tomorrow mid-day to get adjusted... hope it helps, and quick! Today's run was cut to just 2 miles; I walked the last 1/2 mile to home. Not good...


Less than 6 weeks to go, and feeling good!

Well, feeling good is relative -- I'm actually pretty achy, tired most of the time, and my hip/lower back have started to hurt.

But, behind all of that, I can feel that my legs are getting fast. It's a really fun feeling, and I can't say I've had it often. Brings a half-smile to my face when I'm out there running & makes me really excited to race on somewhat fresh legs!

This weekend we went down to Rochester for their 20k road race. My training plan had a 19 miler this week, the last 12 miles at marathon pace. It's probably the hardest workout in the entire plan because 1. your legs are already really tired from a big mileage week and 2. mentally, it takes everything you have to both start the workout (yuck) and to continue after 2-3 miles when you're telling yourself you "just" have 9-10 left to go. So, I was super excited to have found a race to help with the workout.

I did 7 miles before the race began, and then began my marathon pace work! Gosh, it's no fun to hold back, though... from the gun two ladies started out really strong. I held to my 6:30s, but in the back of my mind I was wondering, "if I did a few 6:15s now, would it even matter?" :) After a mile, though, I had caught and passed both of them. I was glad for that -- otherwise the whole race I would have been fighting my plan, questioning whether I could go for it, etc :). Just too competitive for my own good!

After that I threw it into auto pilot. I looked at my watch fairly often, but didn't allow myself to react to the times I saw. I was surprised how even I ended up being -- averaged 6:30s exactly throughout the entire race! (that equates to a low 2:50 marathon, which is faster than the real goal, but my college coach suggested I do my marathon pace a little faster than goal so that I have the opportunity to go faster on race day if I'm feeling it)

The race is an equalizer, which is pretty cool. The guys start 12 minutes after the women. At 6 miles I saw the men, and the lead man looked like he was really booking it. Hmm, wonder how soon he'll catch me? At 10 miles, there's another turn around. I see the 2nd woman and think she's pretty close. Then I see the 1st man. Getting a little nervous! There's $150 for the overall winner, which is a huge incentive :). The next water stop one of the volunteers tells me I have the win. All the women I'm passing (they haven't doubled back yet) are cheering, which is pretty cool. It is a pretty big battle of the sexes, after all! So, sweet, I'm thinking to myself... until one man I pass yells, "Don't let her pass you!". Oh, no! Has she really made up that much ground?

I try to find another gear (I told myself before the race started that the last mile I could kick it in), but really couldn't. 6:20 mile pace was all I could get. I ended up finishing first overall (yeah!), about 4 minutes in front of the next woman. I thought about the random guy's cheer: what a cruel thing to say!! Guess it did get me to kick it in, though :)

Overall, a great day. The butt and quad muscles burned 1/2 way through, but with 4 miles to go they found a 2nd wind. Good to practice running through that feeling, sticking on pace, and realizing that sometimes it does get easier. Perfect race simulation.

So now, another 90 mile week. Wow. I think if I wasn't working, 90 miles would be just fine... but when working 2 jobs, 90 miles is a little over-the-top. Good thing it's the last really high week.

On a not as good note, I have been having a little pain in my hip/lower back -- same pain I had before Des Moines when I hit high mileage. Except then I ran through it & it basically took me out for 4 weeks because I wasn't smart about it. I'm getting in on Thursday (hope that's soon enough).


Mileage comparisons

Double click the image -- it'll give you a readable version. The "week" column is weeks until race day. So, week 1 is the week before the marathon. I don't count the week of, since I don't count mileage then & instead basically just do whatever makes the legs feel good. I'm currently on "week 6" on this. So, the rest of the week 5 and up are my goal training miles for this cycle. And just to note, times for each were: Fargo 2009: 2:58.15, Des Moines 2009 2:55.53, and my goal for Fargo 2010 is sub 2:52.

My legs have had a harder time recovering during this marathon cycle than I remember from the others. Nate suggested it was because I'm doing more consistent mileage -- that during Des Moines I was up and down a lot more (because of injuries, sickness, etc), and so far for Fargo I've been at a higher mileage level for a longer time.

So, decided to take a look. I was surprised to see my weekly totals for Des Moines. Guess I thought I put in bigger weeks before that marathon? First, my 100 mile week was pretty far out from the marathon. Maybe that was because I was supposed to hit 100 a couple of times, this was just the first -- I can't remember. I was injured shortly after that big week, so the following weeks really suffered. In the month that followed the 100, I only averaged 42/week.

Another reason for tired legs this cycle is that I didn't have as good of a base as I did before Des Moines. For Des Moines, I had been training since the previous March. For Fargo now, I did a few bigger weeks during the winter, but didn't turn over to full-time running until after the Birkie (beginning of March). So, hopefully it'll just take a little while & my legs will get stronger & start recovering a little quicker.

Hopefully putting more mileage into that "meat and potatoes" part of the training cycle will really help. I haven't been very high yet -- averagining 66mpw the last month, but I'll bump that up closer to 90 in the next few weeks. I was hoping that the 66 average would be higher, but I guess that's a good number. It's coming off of a ski season, and the first 3 weeks of that I had to take 1 day off a week just to recover. The recovery days I needed to do fewer miles just to allow them to recover as well. There's no way they would have recovered from a 9 mile day (which was my "easy" day this week).

So, interesting, for what it's worth. Doesn't tell me a lot, other than I need to keep up the training for the next 6.5 weeks!


Our sleepy house

I've been tired ALL the time the last couple of weeks. Is this normal? No idea, but it's not very cool. I don't feel like I should be this tired... my mileage isn't that high, and I haven't had a ton of intensity lately. I've been around 70-75 (9.5-10 hours) for the last 3 or 4 weeks, and this week will be up at 90 (12 hours). I haven't even hit the 90s yet... does that mean this is going to get worse before it gets better?

I was glad for the weekend, which gave me the chance to sleep in. Even with that, though, I was just TIRED. Saturday Nate & I went out to run an errand. We pulled into the parking lot & I literally asked him if I could just stay in the car and nap in the back seat. He looked at me like I was crazy. This was our only errand to run. I didn't, but really, really wanted to and maybe should have -- I walked around the store following him in a half-daze. I didn't even put up a fight when Nate threw a bag of Mike & Ikes in the cart.

I'm not the only one sleeping a lot lately. I took Ellie with me for 12 of my 19 miles yesterday. She immediately ran inside, drank for a while, and then came out & fell over. Hahaha! She didn't even make an effort to gracefully lay down. She just FELL over. For the rest of the evening, she didn't get out of bed. Even today when I came home over lunch to get a short run in, she didn't make a sound. Just slept soundly (she never allows me to run without her if she can help it!). So, guess my running is wearing out more than just myself :)

So, starting NOW, I'm going to get better at going to bed at a decent hour.


Do not eat a full meal and drink pop before a tempo workout!

I couldn't resist though -- I came home hungry & my husband had a wonderful meal (spaghetti!) cooked for me. I had way too much, but I had only eaten breakfast... so eating a full meal felt wonderful.

Then, of course, I became really, really sleepy. Nothing like a big meal to do that to you! So, decided to crack open a diet coke. YUM. I know it's not good, but I've really come to enjoy carbonation. Ice cold, too.

Then I proceed to waste time around the house. I know I have a tempo run, but if I waste enough time, maybe I won't have to do it! Good thing I have Nate around, he reminded me it was dumb to keep putting off the workout... the more time wasted before the workout, the less of a Friday night I'd have. It's already 8:00 at this point. Where did the day go??

Today's workout: 4 miles at tempo (6:15) with warmup and cool down. We do a 2 mile warm up over to the high school. My stomach is SOO full. We start the tempo work. It's amazing how good this pace feels now! I feel strong and smooth. After 1 mile, though, I could tell that it wasn't going to be my lungs or legs holding me back. I have an awful all-around stomach ache. Grr, don't let me eat and drink so much right before a run!! I made it through 2.75 miles, and then HAD to stop for the bathroom. Bummer. We started again after the pit-stop, another 1.25. We made this pretty quick : 5:57 pace for the last mile. Again, it feels pretty easy, which is a fun feeling.

Another bathroom stop after that, and then we made it a short cool down back to the house. Ug. My stomach felt upset for the rest of the evening. But, I did it!! Learned my lesson, that's for sure.