Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Injury Won't Keep Me Down

So, it's been a rough go the past few weeks. This isn't exactly how I thought 2015 was going to end. But here I am, facing my worst running injury square in the eyes, knowing that any time goal and redemption I had for the Phoenix half marathon are toast. My fingers are crossed that I will at least get to walk the half marathon. I'm crazy enough to do that, if the doctor says I can. I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned there. If he says absolutely not, I'll be deferring the race and I'll try again in 2017.

I've shed a lot of tears over this. It's a silly thing to cry over, I know, but nonetheless it's devastating for me. I won't hide that. I think what's frustrating is that I really tried to listen to my body this year. Which brings me to this. This year did not start how I wanted it to, with an injury just as infuriating, and it isn't ending how I imagined, but the middle... what a ride.

This is the first year I've raced. Really raced. And while I'm questioning whether or not that's something I should be doing, I really enjoyed myself. I worked really hard to get where I am. I'm not anywhere close to where I want to be. My all time "desired" goal is a sub 2 hr half marathon. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever realize it, but the dream is still there and I believe that one day, it'll be possible.

In the meantime I've now raced two half marathons, a 15k, two 10k's, an 8k and a 5k this year. Not one of them were easy, but every one of them, absolutely worth all the work and frustration and sweat and pain and tears.

While this injury is knocking me down right now, it will never be able to keep me down. When the bad day passes and I reflect back on the past few months leading up to the stress fracture, I accomplished so much! I have made some wonderful new friendships, lasting friendships, with people whom I genuinely love to pieces. I no longer desire to run alone every time. I LOVE running with friends and look forward to the opportunity to at least ride a bike next to them soon (maybe I can get a new bike outta this mess?) until I can run by their side again. I ran my furthest distance ever! Who just goes out to run 16 miles for the heck of it? Not many people I know, but I wanted to do it. I wanted to show myself, I could. And I did. And it was awful and glorious all at the same time! I've had lots of other great wins this year!

Then in Nov as I began training for the Phoenix half marathon, I told myself that I would really listen to my body this time. If it said stop, I would stop. I would rest. I would make sure I line up uninjured and healthy. While I won't necessarily be lining up in this state, I wouldn't change one single thing I did leading up to diagnosis. After running and PRing my Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (on what I now know was a stress fracture) I rested the whole week leading up to the Hot Chocolate 15k.

A few days into this voluntary rest period, I started questioning the pain I still had. I went to urgent care to discuss it with them and see what they said. After a quick exam, I was told medial tibial stress syndrome and was told I'd be okay to race, just ice and ibuprofen. So I taped up my shin for medial tibial stress, and lined up for Hot Chocolate. At the end of that race my shin was hurting. Very badly. Despite the tape, and despite compression socks. Despite the week of ice and ibuprofen. I think right then, I knew. Something wasn't right. I finished the race, crushed a 9:29/avg min pace, and smiled for every dang picture taken. I had an absolute blast.

A few hours later, while at church, it was starting to sink in. I was in a lot of pain. Not shin splint pain. Real, excruciating pain. I took ibuprofen, I iced, I rested. I did not run one single step. The next week, after the intensity of the pain coming and going, and lots of conversation with my best running friend Brecka, I made a phone call to a sports doctor and took the first available appt. The rest is history (or I guess, my present?)

So while it's not an ideal ending, I did listen to my body. It told me not to run. And I didn't when I realized that something was truly not right. And even though my last two races were run on a stress fracture, I ran the HECK out of them! If I can do that on a fracture, imagine what my body will be capable of when it's recovered and healthy!

I've had a few really hard days in 2015 when it comes to running. I imagine I will have a few more as the months of recovery stretch on, but I know when I'm recovered and healthy again, I will come back stronger, braver, kinder, unstoppable and fierce! I don't know what exactly my goals will look like for 2016 yet with this set back, but I'm trying to listen quietly to what I'm impressed will help me grow.

Thank you to everyone who has followed and shared in my journey this year. Thank you for all the love, encouragement, motivation and support I've received. 2016 is going to be a great year. I'm sure of it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My First MRI and "Results"

So what is it like to get an MRI? I've never had one of those before! Can you believe it? I've been xrayed a bunch, I've had one CT scan of my throat looking for an abscess in my tonsils, I've even had some fancy ultrasound done on my neck looking at my thyroid. But never an MRI! So check that right off the bucket list of things to do!

Okay, not really. That was not my idea of fun. I'm not overly anxious of medical procedures. I mean. I think the normal amount, but I feel like I handle myself well. An MRI had me a little worried. I'm not really claustrophobic, so that wasn't necessarily it, but I've seen video clips on YouTube of how powerful they are! I saw the one where they've tethered a chair and the machine sucks it right in basically. YIKES!!! My husband has mentioned that he wasn't allowed to wear metal in the room! I was not excited about this. I almost canceled, but I had a gut feeling that I needed to see this through, so I went to my appt.

Imagine my surprise  (after checking every single box assuring I had no metal objects on or in me) when they told me to hop up...with my jeans on. And my jacket. And my bra!! They told me to take off my glasses and leave them on the ledge.

BUT WOULDN'T THEY GET SUCKED INTO THE MACHINE JUST BEING IN THE SAME ROOM!!? Wouldn't I get sucked to the top of it and stick by my jacket and pants!!! I won't lie, I was briefly terrified! But the techs were cool as cucumbers, so I practiced my yoga breathing (thank you Liz for taking me to yoga this year!!!) and was able to calm myself down.

After plenty of adjustments and being handed some ear plugs and some little ball thing (think stethoscope pump thingy) to squeeze if I needed them for any reason and told it would take about half an hour, they walked out and I was alone (kinda).

Man is that thing loud!! Thank goodness for the ear plugs! Seriously! I was really lucky. Because my injury is in my leg, my body didn't have to go all the way into the tube. I went in feet first and only up to about my chest at one point. The table got moved about 4 times I think. Each one made my heart race a little, but I would just close my eyes and Savasana ;D myself back down.

It really did last about 30 min. The last 10 or so, I was done. I wanted to wiggle and point my toes and bend my knees. I started looking around more, but because I didn't have my glasses on, it was harder to see, and I knew I couldn't really move much. You can't wiggle when they're scanning you. 

Right about the moment I really had had enough, it was done and they came in to release me from the tube and table. They handed me my films (seriously, let's talk about archaic technology, I thought everyone loaded imaging onto CDs these days) and sent me on my way telling me that the doctor would be calling me in a few days (um, nope. It's Christmas weekend. I'll be lucky if I hear from him by the 23rd). I had already arranged to take my films over to our friend's house and he'd be able to read them for me. Thank goodness for a radiologist living around the corner!

Anyway. I've always wondered what it would be like to have an MRI, and now I know, though I consider myself lucky that I didn't have to go all the way into the tube. I'm grateful to know I will not get sucked in and I won't stick to the top of the machine, never to be released from it ever again!
 Although, I'm hoping to never need one again!!

On the note of results. My friend was shocked to see film, just like I was, but he is pretty dang good at what he does. After looking each one over, and asking a couple of questions, he pinpointed what looks to be a small stress fracture right in the exact spot that hurts the most in my leg. The spot that when I apply frozen rice bags to my leg, aches. The spot that will occasionally throb. He said it's pretty small, but it's there. I can see it too, he showed me. That means no running for at least 6 more weeks (maybe I'll get lucky when the doctor calls, but I'm not counting on being released any sooner). Even he agreed with that. That is not the news I wanted, but I think I knew in my gut that's what I was getting. It's why I just went through with it all. So that I knew for sure.

I'm devastated with the news. I do know that the doctor still needs to call and confirm it with me, and then comes the course of action to heal it. I will be as positive as I can through it, but right now, in this moment, I'm frustrated and angry. And really really sad. I've already cried. A lot. I'm sure there's more of that to come. I kinda wanna throw some things. If you're wondering if I'm a passionate person... I guess this answers your question (or I'm a raging hot head, you decide, lol). I know in the big picture this is just a tiny blip. I know this isn't going to be a big deal on down the road. But right now it's huge and I will allow myself to feel all of the emotions that come with this kind of news and I won't excuse any of it. Please please, I'm not in any place to hear any constructive criticisms, or advice. I'm going to need to ride this wave. I will follow what the doctor tells me I'm allowed, or not allowed, to do. And in the end, I will come out a stronger runner and hopefully a stronger athlete with better control over the mental battle that healing and recovery affords.

Thank you everyone for your kind words already and any advice already offered. I know it comes from a place of love and genuine concern, and I really do appreciate it. Please don't ever think I don't appreciate the help and support I get from everyone. It means so much to me.

So, on a lighter note... who has had an MRI done before? What was it like for you? I really wanna know!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Running Injuries are the Worst!!

Well, unfortunately I don't have much to report as far as training goes. I had restarted with the 21 day fix videos on Monday, but by the end of the day my shin was very sore again. I did the Total Body Cardio Fix and followed the modifier, so absolutely no jumping around. I enjoyed it greatly, but the pain that accompanied it, not worth it to keep going. That evening I was feeling very frustrated and extremely nervous about whether or not I was truly looking at shin splints or if it is a stress fracture. I messaged Brecka and she hooked me up with a number to an actual sports doctor.

Tuesday morning I had snagged up the only appt available before Christmas, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, and decided to lay low until then. It was a good choice. I was pretty sore the days leading up to it.

Thursday's appt didn't go how I thought. My shin was very sore that day. I expected terrible news, but tried to remain optimistic. Xrays were done and then lots of questions and an exam of my leg.

The poor doctor had no idea what he was getting into, that poor man. He started by looking at my left leg. I honestly for a minute thought... um wrong leg. And then asked him if he knew it wasn't that leg that hurt. He responded with an "I know, I gotta look at the healthy one first" to which I responded with "oh gee, that makes sense. I was about to ask to see your credentials!" Hahaha, poor guy, he glanced up quickly to see my wide grin! The intern he had in there kinda laughed too!

These shorts tho! My "parting" gift they said.
The exam continues on and he starts pushing on the shin bones and surrounding muscle asking me if anything hurt. He was pushing hard! My response... "No. No. No. Well, if you push hard enough, sure it hurts!!"

Where is my filter?!!!

Anyway, so we carry on and go through all the walk on your heels, walk on your toes, does any of that hurt? Now hop on your left leg. K, now hop on your right leg.

SCREEEEECH!!! Wait, what!!

I stood on my right foot and mustered up what I could before giving it a go, knowing it was gonna be bad. I barely got off the ground. One "hop". I couldn't do it. I wanted to cry. I knew that was a bad thing.

So here we sat discussing the differences between shin splints and stress fractures and how not being able to hop just "muddied" up my diagnosis. My spirits fell. My xrays were perfect he said, and he was about to call severe shin splints, until I couldn't hop.

Plan of action. Treat it like a stress fracture and take 6 more weeks off of running, or get an MRI and know for certain what we're dealing with and exactly how to treat it. So. I'm scheduled for an MRI at 6:00 this evening.

The frustrating thing about the appt is literally one day later. I could hop. I'm still sore. I've gone back and forth over whether to call and leave a message and see if he'll clear me for running, or just see this thing through, and know for absolute certainty. I think I'm choosing know for certain. Better safe than sorry.

I'm hoping like crazy I get the phone call before Christmas eve saying I'm good to go. It may be wishful thinking, but if I hope and pray hard enough, it can be my Christmas miracle!

How do you handle it when you get grounding injuries? What gets you through the dark days of not being able to be active the way you were, pre-injury?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Recommit to a Healthy Lifestyle

Today I'm recommiting. I may be able to run for long distances, and I can workout for any length of time, but I am not fueling my body in a respectful way. I'm not fueling it to perform the way I want it to. Garbage in, garbage out.

When I work I pick up my old bad habits. I was doing pretty well until work started again. It's not okay. Real life means being busy, but finding time to still take care of nutrition. So today I will do my best to stay on course for the next three weeks. I will put good foods into my body. I will be more strict than normal, but not exclusive, it is Christmas time after all. But I don't need to indulge all the time. A treat here and there is okay, but responsibility is necessary.

I know I'm completely out of control and for that reason I'm turning to a program that I've used a couple of times already, once successfully. The 21 day fix. I don't have the extra shakes and I never follow it spot on, but I eat much better when I follow the basic guidelines it provides and I get results when I do. If I want to have any hopes of lining up uninjured and healthy for the Phoenix half marathon at the end of February, this is where I really need to start. Following a training plan is the easy part. It's the stuff in between that's really going to make a difference for me.

You don't need a new year. You just need a new day. A renewed sense of responsibility. A reminder of what you're fighting for. As for me, I'm fighting for the best version of me!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15k Recap!!

I was slated to run a different race on Dec 6th, but I just couldn't commit in my heart to train for it. I debated for a really long time, and finally made the decision to drop out of it. What's the point of training for and talking about a race that you just can't get excited about? Running should always be "fun". I say it that way cause most of us know, sometimes it's hard, but if it's not fun, we wouldn't keep doing it. At the time, dropping out felt really big. I hate going back on my word, but I just couldn't do it.

A couple weeks afterwards I decided to take a leap and register for the Hot Chocolate 15k! I've had it on my bucket list for a few years, but have been talking about it for at least the past two. I generally don't run on Sundays, but from time to time... and it's one I REALLY wanted to do! And then, running got fun again! I couldn't wait to run it.

Volunteers rock!

The Saturday before, my awesome friend Brecka, picked me up and we headed down to put in some volunteer work at the expo. I had volunteered last year and enjoyed myself, but knew it would be more fun with a friend. Thankfully she entertains some of my hair brained ideas and joined me! Man I love her! We spent 5 hours in the "try on" station. Did you know Hot Chocolate allows you to try on a jacket to be sure you've received the right size, and will swap it out if it doesn't fit, so long as there's one to trade with?! The only key is YOU CAN'T OPEN YOURS FIRST! Once your jacket bag has been opened, they can't be exchanged! What a deal though! Despite not feeling very well, I had a great time hanging out with Brecka there and meeting everyone who came by! I even got to meet one of my favorite ladies from Instagram!!! Hi Carol!!
We are the coolest! Haha
Brecka and I decided we wanted to dress up for this race. Neither of us had done that before, so we were pretty excited about it! We settled on dressing as snowflakes and spent the week leading up to the race preparing our costumes. Because. Priorities. I sewed up a couple of fun skirts and she got a couple of snowflake head bands, we tossed in some blue shirts and blue Procompression socks, and called it good. I think we did a pretty great job!

Flat Runner!
We left pretty early race morning to get there. I had been told on numerous occasions that the traffic is a bear to get through, and neither of us wanted to put up with that. We definitely got there early, but I actually liked the amount of time we had. We were able to walk to the complex for the bathrooms, go back and stay warm in the car until closer to race time, I was able to add an extra strip of KT Tape, all without being rushed. It was great!

As it got closer we headed to the start line for another bathroom stop (there were no shortage of Porta Johns!! I mean really, there were sooo many!!) and to get pictures with our MRTT group! As we walked up, the first person we saw was Carol!! Boy she's a fun lady! Just as sweet in person as she is on Instagram. We snapped some pictures and chatted for a bit before heading off to find MRTT.  I didn't do any gear checks, so I don't know how that worked out for anyone, but it seemed simple enough. You can use the bag your swag came in and check it with your bib number. They put it in a box and have people there to take them from you and give them back as you get ready to leave.

It was so cold! Pic cred: Carol
Shirley, Brecka, Pic cred: Olivia
But for real. We have way to much fun together! Pic cred: Carol
Start line
After getting pictures we finally made our way over to our corral. It was nice to discover we were in a corral without walkers. Mad props to anyone who comes to race. Truly. But it was nice to not have to dodge around anyone. Everyone in our corral pretty much started out at our pace and it made getting out of there so nice! We lined up behind the 9:30 pacer and stayed right with him through the whole race. It started out so cold!! Neither of us could feel our toes! But don't worry, it definitely heated up pretty quickly!

It's still too cold!! And my face??
The announcer sent us on our way, and that's where the trouble started for me! Immediately my left calf/shin seized up and it would not let go! It hurt so badly. For three miles I fought this pain which also turned into numbness. How you have both at the same time, I'm not sure, but it did.

I was so focused on making sure I lifted my foot and set it down right, hoping I didn't roll my ankle or trip on the street, I couldn't really enjoy the first part of the race. I just kept thinking to myself, it's just a training run, it's okay, you can slow down or walk; don't let the 9:30 pacer out of your sight though; don't walk because you might not be able to start again; pick up your foot, set it down; don't trip, don't take out anyone around you; let Brecka know you're hurting, wait, what did she say back to you; pick up your foot, put it back down; point your toe and stretch it; DO NOT ROLL YOUR ANKLE; DO NOT FALL!!

For three long miles this is how it was going! I wanted to cry! I wanted to quit. I was so incredibly frustrated!! How does this happen! I hadn't run in a week due to some other unrelated pain and a cold, but I've never had an effect like this before.

As I was coming into mile 3 I finally told myself, if the pain continued into mile 4, I was going to have to stop. I was going to have to walk. I was going to have to try and stretch it out. It was getting dangerous for me and the racers around me. I was going to do damage to my body, or if I went down, I could hurt another runner! I was going to have to make peace with a possible DNF. I was going to have to send Brecka along her way, who stayed right by my side the entire time. I know she was telling me to keep going, but I don't remember really what she was saying to me, I couldn't focus. I love her guts!! We rounded a corner just before mile 3 and all of a sudden the pain and the numbness was gone. Just like that. Like a snap of my fingers. Gone! I took a huge deep breath and almost cried of joy. I told Brecka the pain was gone, and we surged ahead! We hadn't let the pacer get far ahead of us at all, so we just cruised along right behind him for a bit before we moved passed him.

Mile 3- mile 6 was tons of fun! It was like a Saturday long run! We were laughing and joking and running and waving to our friends as we all passed one another along the course (thanks to some out and backs), thanked all the volunteers, thanked the police and medics, high fived people, thumbs upped people who complimented our awesome costumes... it was a blast!

Thank you Melissa for the capture!
Mile 7 was a different story! The "out" before the "back" had started to get long, and I had exhausted an enormous amount of mental and physical energy during those first three miles, that my tank was nearly empty. I was fading and I knew it. And Brecka knew it. I kept chanting to myself (out loud) that we were almost there, just keep going, you've got this, it's okay, come on come on come on... Brecka was cheering me on by my side. This time I heard her.

Then I focused for a bit on this cutie little girl ahead of us, creaming us, on this course! She was so little, but she was ROCKING it! What an amazing girl, and amazing dad to stay right by her side! (I wished I had asked to take their picture.) Then mile 8 hit and my inhaler had worn off, and we were running into a headwind and breathing was getting really hard. But I had already gone this far and I was NOT giving up without a fight. I knew I had it in me. And Brecka assured me I had it in me. And then we came to the photogs, and you HAVE to smile for them! And it was hard and breathing was hard, but then the finish line came into view and I knew I could finish it strong! We crossed that line together with arms in the air and huge smiles on our faces!!
So so close to the finish!

We made it! Together!
The sun was so bright! And we are wiped!
It was a hard fought for finish and it was an amazing feeling to know I hadn't given up when it got hard. I pushed my body and my mind, but truthfully, if Brecka hadn't been there, I'm not so sure I would've actually finished! She really helped get me through those dark miles. But now I know, I CAN! I can do it! I did it! I spent a lot of time running solo, but since running with a friend, I've been able to push myself more. That woman helped push me forward that day. She assured me what I already knew! I love her more and more each day and I'm so grateful for our friendship. We keep it pretty dang real and I really appreciate the raw authenticity we show one another.

As we came through the finisher chute we hugged tight, misty eyed, out of breath and then we went to party hearty with some amazing chocolate! The finishers mug is kind of awesome, a little rich for me (I struggle to eat much after I run like that), but well worth risking getting sick over it, haha!
Picture snagged from Olivia!
We sat and chatted with other friends as they came by to get their mug, snapped some selfies, I stripped off my skirt to show a friend how it had been made, lol, it was the perfect ending!

Our selfie game is strong, lol!
What a fun morning!! The race may have had some really dark moments, but it was well worth it. I enjoyed every moment, even the hard ones. I LOVE running races with Brecka and I'm pretty certain, we have to do more of that! I also think I've decided that the Hot Chocolate 15k will need to be permanently placed on my "race schedule"! And besides, rocking my hard earned, hard fought for, jacket... that is an amazing feeling!!!
Not too shabby considering what I went through!
I love this jacket!! Hard earned!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Half Marathon Training Week 4

So this week's training looked quite a bit different. My shin is hurting pretty badly, and I'm doing my best to train as smartly as I can this time around. There are so many people who seem to be injured right now!! Why is that? What is happening? In my case, in the past, it was because I wasn't resting. I wasn't stretching. I wasn't taking good care of my muscles outside of just running them. I was pain free until I started this training program. I don't believe it's from the program itself. I still believe it's from beginning to swim again. However, after Monday's workout, I made a very difficult decision to rest this week. It was amazing foresight on my part!

On Monday I woke up not really feeling very well. My throat was sore and I had a headache. I decided to go ahead and swim anyway. It was a good workout. I did a quick warm up and then training called for 20 min of non stop swimming. Then I did a quick cool down as well. I did about half of the swim without stopping, but did need to pause for a brief minute to catch my breath a little. I'm not as strong a swimmer as I once was, and it was tough! I'll get there one day. I still wasn't feeling well when I got home, but figured I'd play it by ear for the following days. I spent the first part of the evening sewing my running skirt for the Hot Chocolate 15k!

Tuesday I was feeling a little bit better, but my shin was still hurting pretty badly. So despite my heart wanting to run, I knew I needed to rest. And so I did. What a difficult decision to make! Why is that so hard to do? Purposefully rest our bodies when they so desperately need it. What good comes of training and pushing through pain, not soreness, pain!! Why do we do this to ourselves? Instead of getting faster/stronger, we get tired/injured and run the risk of loosing out on not just a few days of training, but weeks and sometimes months in order to recover, and then we have to rebuild. I'm desperately hoping to avoid this situation this time!

Wednesday is rest day anyway, so I made sure I really rested. The cold I was fighting seemed to be going away and my shin was feeling a little better, so I was hopeful.

Thursday rolled around and I still knew. I knew I needed to not run. I had a race coming up on Sunday, I wanted to be sure I could run that, so I made another difficult decision and skipped out on my tempo run that day also. That night, before I headed to bed, I started sneezing. A lot. And my body started aching. I knew it! I was getting sick! I sewed up Brecka's running skirt this day!

Friday I woke up miserable! Are you kidding me! Two days before my race, I had a head cold and a sore throat! I texted a friend right away and picked up some doTERRA Onguard throat drops which usually helps to nip all that in the bud! I had planned to lay low, but then remembered I needed to get to the school for my son's award assembly and I was gonna be late!! I booked it as fast as I could, that mile to the school and made it just in time. Then I spent some recess time chasing around one of the kiddos I used to teach. My shin was pissed, but nothing else seemed to be too bad, so I was hopeful the cold wasn't a bad one. By the time evening rolled around though, I knew it was bad. I figured if I could keep it from getting into my chest I stood a chance of being able to run on Sunday without any major issue.

Saturday morning I woke up early to volunteer at the Hot Chocolate expo and felt worse than when I went to bed. I was not winning this battle! I spent 5 hours there helping (more on that later) and then went home to rest. My body was still so tired and my shin was still sore. I laid down for a little while as I was tensing my shoulder and fell asleep for just a bit. When I woke up I knew it was over. There was no denying, the cold was in my chest. I wanted to do a quick shakeout run. In hindsight, I should've rallied and done it, but I chose rest instead.

As you can see, it was a long week of doing virtually nothing. I walked 10,000 steps each day, but that's all I was able to do. Resting my body has been a very difficult thing for me this week. I wanted to run so badly. I was jealous when my friends would post up runs, especially Brecka, who I'm training with this cycle. How silly is that!! I'm really missing running with her right now!! But I knew I needed to take it easy. It helped to have her remind me of my long term goals and to tell me to rest. I want to be able to run for years, not just this race cycle. Resting when I'm sick and injured is important. I am a very blessed girl to have people help remind me when I'm so tempted to push myself in a way that wouldn't be good for me! And watching her kill her runs is pretty awesome too! I'll just act as a cheerleader instead of a training buddy for a couple of weeks!

The next couple of weeks may unfortunately look sorta similar to this past week. I'm still not feeling very well, and after Sunday's race, my shin is really hurting badly. I need time to recover. I would rather miss out on some of the earlier training runs further away from my next race, than miss the ones leading right up to it, or missing my race altogether, from injury. That doesn't mean I won't be doing anything this week though. I'm planning to make it to the gym for some cycle time and some light lifting. Nothing really hard and strenuous. Just enough to get moving a little while I wait for my shin to heal and my cold to get better. While I believe that resting is the way to go, I also believe that sometimes some movement helps to speed things up a little. Just sitting around will make me stir crazy anyway!

Stay tuned though for later this week on how our long run (the Hot Chocolate 15k) went on Sunday!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Half Marathon Training Week 3

Here we are, 3 weeks into the Run Less Run Faster program. Some of the workouts are about to get a little more interesting, but this week was still pretty basic.

Monday I suited up and headed to the pool for an easy kick workout. My shins are awfully sore, but I don't notice it in the pool at all, so I manage through the workout easily. The plan called for 20 lengths of kick and rest 20 sec. I include what I think is a reasonable warm up and cool down. I didn't notice a set one in the book. Maybe I should look closer. I was starting to feel a little bummed about the easiness of the swims, but I glanced ahead at the coming weeks... I'm gonna be pretty busy in the water  starting next week!! Yikes!!

Tuesday was track day of course, but I didn't get to run with Brecka, waaa!! The holiday crazy schedule has started, but hopefully we'll be able to do more runs together than not. I really enjoy them. It took me most of the night, but I finally made my way out for the warm up. My shin was in so much pain, by the time I got to the track and the warm up was finished I needed to go home and put on some Procompression calf sleeves. I needed more support desperately and they always do the trick. I made my way back to the track for Yasso 800's x6!! They needed to be held at 4:05. Due to the pain in my shin and my garmin under measuring a little, the splits were a little more all over the place and not as steady as I normally go for, but they were definitely reasonable. Finished up my cool down on the track, which I don't normally do, but it was dark, so the annoyance of the same sights isn't a problem, haha! Plus it was nice to have the rubber under my feet.

Wednesday has become one of my favorite days. Rest day is something I protect quite seriously. I still walk 10,000 steps as a challenge in one of my local MRTT groups, but it's something I'll probably continue. I like the movement and it helps work out some of the tightness I would otherwise just sit through.

Thursday is tempo day, but since it was Thanksgiving, it was Turkey Trot day!! 6 miles were on the schedule and our little neighborhood trot is a 5k or loop a second time for the 10k. Naturally I ran the 10k. I tried to tape up my shin, but it still hurt pretty badly, so I added some topical creams to help with the pain, took some ibuprofen, iced it and went to bed with hopes that it would be manageable. The plan says 2 easy, 3 @ 8:58, 1 easy, but I decided to go for broke and race that sucker. I wanted a PR if I could get one. And I DID!!! One day I'll have a sub 55:00, but this was not the year for it.

Flat Lovie
Flat Run Like the Winded
My sweet little Lovie has been telling me for the entire year she wanted to do the 5k. I took her out the evening before to walk the course so she knew which turns to make. She said she didn't want me to have to run with her, even though I offered over and over again. She complained of sore aching feet, after glancing down at her shoes, I knew why. We got done and headed to get her new shoes. We even managed to score an early black Friday deal on them. I also hooked her up with her own pair of crops and then Brecka provided us with a replacement top for my handheld water bottle for her. She was set to go! We flat runnered her the night before and off she went to bed.

Cheering in runners!
Just so proud of her. Goof!
Everyone I ran into after the race said she did a great job! They said she looked happy and strong! She finished in 41:10 and I could not be more proud of her. She finished her race and then stood to watch the other racers come in. Her cute little face was the first I noticed as I finished and it made me smile BIG! Boy I love that girl! As we were walking home after, she mentioned that her miles were for Jaylee!! Be still my heart! Later she told me she feels like she accomplished something big in her life...while smiling huge and gesturing big! I believe that was probably the runners high talking, but I'm so happy for her!

Friday is second cross training day, and I was ABSOLUTELY headed to the gym, but woke up with the worst migraine. Seriously! I had hopes, but it just didn't happen.

The resistance was at a 7!
Saturday long run day was to be 10 miles,  easy. If I had run with Brecka I would've done them on the road. Our plans didn't work out to go together, so I opted for the elliptical. My shin really is in an enormous amount of pain and I figured I should maybe reduce the amount of load bearing I put on it. So 10 miles on the elliptical! An hour and forty-two minutes on that thing! You know what isn't very fun? Using the elliptical for that long! Holy heck! I wanted to mimic running as much as I could and figured that was the best way to do it.

I finally got done and decided to pick up the cross training I missed. I really wanted to do it and the plan does say we can double up workouts once in a while, so I did. I decided on the rowing machine and tried to follow that workout. I wasn't clear on what tempo meant entirely, so I just kind of went with it since it was the first time using the rower. That is a tough workout!! My shins were screaming by the time I was done, haha. I wonder if that defeated the purpose of not running. Regardless, I love the rower now and will probably use that as my second cross training workout each week.

Overall a pretty great week three!! I do believe the shin pain will come to an end. I believe it is shin splints and nothing more, but I am trying to be smart about how to handle it. I am rolling them and my calves with my Worm and my m80roller. I even used my tens machine as well. I have a product called Arnicare that I apply and follow it up with doTERRA's Deep Blue rub. I wear Procompression socks and sleeves to add more support. I need to learn the right application for KT Tape as well. I'm sure that would help a lot if I knew how to do that the right way. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I need to start lifting. I really am anxious about it. I almost did a little on Saturday, but I had already been at the gym forever and needed to get home. Will this be the week that I can talk myself into gingerly adding it in?

A preview of my Hot Chocolate 15K costume!  Hopefully I can turn all that cute fabric into two of these cute skirts!