Forced 3 week running vacation

So my diagnosis is that my feet are fucked up.  I could have told him that.  I guess it’s good to know nothing else is wrong.  I also learned some new calf stretches and was reassured that nothing was wrong with my legs that would need more than custom orthotics.  Next Tuesday is my date with the orthotic man and then in 2 weeks I should have them in my hot little hands.  That means I should be able to get back out there just in time for a couple weeks of training before the KC marathon 5k I signed up for.  Thank god I didn’t sign up for the half-marathon…I would be horribly under-trained.

The hiatus actually comes at a good time…the pool is back open to normal hours and our 1-week vacation to Montana is at the end of the month and no running will take place there…just lots and lots of hiking.

Now I get to fill my weeks with cross training…not bad I suppose but now that I can’t run I’m really itching to do it especially now that the whether is heading for cooler temps at the end of this week. Funny how it works that way.

The pain stops here

I’ve given up.  I’m going to see a doctor.  My run yesterday sucked so bad I don’t even want to remember how awful it was.  Between the pain in my left lower leg/calf/ankle (you name it there was pain) and the soul sucking heat I gave up and walked after 2 miles, picked up running again at mile 3 and ranted to Royce on how sucky that run was from mile 4 to home. 

Made an appointment today with a sports medicine guy here in town.  I’ll see him on Tuesday.  The receptionist wasn’t all that impressive…she sounded like she had had enough of that job about 3 years ago.  Hopefully the doctor will be a bit more responsive.  At least my friend Kim has been there and seems happy with them.  At this point I don’t know what I need…new shoes?  Orthotics?  stride analysis?  taken out back and shot like a gimpy horse?  

Royce said from looking at me run I’m a hard heel striker and my left foot goes out (the opposite of your typical pigeon or in-toe person) which makes some sense cause when I flex my foot and then rotate it to the outside the pain gets worse.  By golly we may be going somewhere with this hypothesis.  But how do you change that?  Many Google searches later and I can only find solutions to people with pigeon toe problems but none with my problem.  To add to my high arches, small feet, history of shin splints and being ‘heavy’ for my height I’m really wondering if running is the sport for me.

I’m going to try my darndest to do my ‘long run’ this weekend.  The heat and humidity are supposed to rise, I have to go into work on Saturday for 4 hours to finish up a review and Sunday is my all day photography class, add to that my responsibilities to get Sir Charlie to the dog park by 8 AM both Saturday and Sunday so that he can run around and play with all the neighborhood dogs and it seems as though my weekend is already over.  It’s going to be really hard to muster the motivation to complete 4.5 miles in the morning on Saturday but I’m going to try…

I love Wednesdays

I love Wednesdays…not only because half my week is over but because I don’t have a run scheduled.  If I do anything at all its a bike ride and some weights while catching up on my podcasts.

My legs are thanking me for the time off today.  Yesterdays intervals were torture (pain yes, boredom yes) and tomorrows short-tempo run isn’t looking much better.  To add to my frustration this heat isn’t breaking so I’ll probably have to do tomorrows run on a treadmill and this weekends long run will have to be alone (sans personal trainer/motivator/husband) and in the wee hours of the morning so that I can fit in my dog walking responsibilites before I head to the office.

Blah.  Some weeks all you can do is just ‘finish the workout’.  It may not be fun, it may not be good.  But it gets done.  

This is one of those weeks.

You know you are becoming a runner when…

The thought of 3 miles on a treadmill seems like a prison sentence.  Ugh…it was the longest 3 miles of my life.  I focused on breathing, I counted with my right foot, I named all the cities I would like to live in, I named all the cities I want to visit, I named my favorite foods, I thought of what I wanted to eat when I got home, I started thinking of the glass of wine I was going to have…you can see where this is going.  It was a looonnng workout.  I wanted to speed up to make it go faster, but this was a short-tempo run and I suck by that, as is easy to do when on a treadmill.  I did vary the pace a little to loosen up the joints but for the most part I kept my short-tempo pace.

Pain…not too bad today.  It hurt when I put incline on the treadmill which I’m sure means something but I’m not smart enough to figure it out so I just put the incline back to zero for a pain free run.  I figured I was already torturing myself enough.

I think (I hope I HOPE!) the weather is turning for the better this weekend.  I have to get my long run in Saturday morning before the Iowa game because Sunday we leave early in the morning for a quick trip to visit friends in NJ and PA.   

Time to go ice my calves and curl up in bed.  Reading “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abby…it’s making me itch for our trip to Yellowstone.

4 miles

Considering my will to run today was below zero I’m proud that I was able to even finish 4 miles let alone run the entire time except for 1 minute used to catch my breath after emerging from the muggy forrest.  This weather is sucking the life energy out of me.  I’m so tired of this heat, the humidity and all out disgusting sweltering feeling that one gets the minute you walk outside.  Its like a wall hits you.  I’m hopeful that if I’m able to tolerate running in this weather, once fall hits I’m going to kick some serious ass.  It will be nice to not have to schedule runs around the heat.  For the most part today’s run was pain free.  I’m starting to feel that tightness again in my calves and its making me wonder if maybe I need to go try out another shoe.  I’ll see how next week is.  I think I’ll skip the speed interval training on Tuesday and do the same workout just slower…

On another note I must praise Royce for pushing me today…getting me out there…and making me run the entire time.  His encouraging words kept me going when I wanted to quit and I’m lucky to have such a patient (and free) trainer!

3 miles

1 mile more than I set out to do.  Only had to walk up 1 ugly hill.  Still finished in 30 mins.  Finished faster than Royce.  No pain.

This running thing is starting to get addicting.  We signed up for 2 races today.  A 5k in Kansas City in October when we are home for a friends wedding, and the half-marathon at the National Marathon in March here in DC.  Now that they have my money there is no turning back…

Stronger than I thought and a quiet night.

Yesterday was my first run after a 2-week hiatus.  It felt, well…great!  And I’m not one for runs that feel ‘great’.  I was a bit nervous…the calves, the mucus filled lungs, the coughing…so I didn’t set my sights too high, as I hate to quit and let myself down.  I figured 45 mins of walk 5 mins/jog 5 mins would be sufficient for me to complete.  So I got my Ipod, my water and set myself in front of the only TV not playing a soap opera (pure torture to watch that crap while on a treadmill) and then next thing I know I’m running 10 mins and bust-my-ass-walking 5 mins cause I want to MOVE!  I did cough a bit, which I think scared some of my dreadmill buddies but my calves didn’t hurt the tiniest bit…after a good stretch and some upper body weight lifting I came home and iced them down.

Tomorrows tempo run will be interesting, the ultimate test really.  I’ll let my body decide if it wants to get up and go in the morning.  Luckily Thursdays are NIH days so they typically let out a bit early.  Maybe I can rope the husband into going with me for a late afternoon jaunt through our flat park route we like.  I find it odd though that for outside runs I can’t stand to use my Ipod.  I find it distracting…I typically bring it along for the warm-ups/cool downs…but I find myself getting less frustrated with my breathing/tempo if I just pull the buds out of my ears during my run.  Royce thinks I’m crazy.  I probably am.

It’s been a quiet night here.  Royce got called in for work so it’s just me and the pup.  TV is crap so I went to the library to pick up some books.  I got a ‘field guide’ to landscape photography I think I’ll take a gander at this evening with a glass of wine…that is if Charlie will leave me alone long enough for me to focus on reading.  I’m really getting excited for our upcoming travel adventures.  Unfortunately they fall at really bad times for me at work so I’ve had to bust my ass to complete stuff almost a month before the due date because me and my boss are both gone for a week back to back.  Oh well…once I’m in Yellowstone I won’t get a rats ass about ixabepilone…until then though, its all I can think about so I think I’ll drink some more wine.

It’s time to get back on the saddle.

It has been almost 2 weeks since my last run, and a painful run at that.  I remember it fondly…intervals in the gym on the dreadmill…having to finally give up and stop because of the awful dull throbbing pain in my calves.  I was planning resting a week, doing some cross training, getting back on the bike, supplementing with Pilates…but then the cold of all colds struck and I’ve been gasping for air in between coughing my face off ever since.

The cough still is not gone…I can still hack until I see stars in front of me hoping to God I don’t pass out.  But today its a bit better, the sinus mess is gone, and although during our hike yesterday I was short of breath I’m hopeful I can finish a run tomorrow.  I’m not going to do fast intervals but I’ll do the ‘interval’ type workout but at a slower pace running for my destined distance and then resting by walking.  Hopefully this way I can still keep my breath but ease my calves back into reality.  I don’t know what my plan is for Thursdays tempo run…it obviously won’t be at tempo and it probably won’t be outside either as the temperatures and humidity are supposed to climb through the week.  God I can’t wait until fall, this weather is a killer.

Tonight I’m starting off with Pilates…hopefully I won’t cough my way through it and disturb all the other students.

On the mend

I’m getting better every day…still coughing a lot but yesterday I felt well enough in the afternoon to pop down to the gym for a light workout.  Did a leisurely recumbent bike ride for cardio and then lifted weights for a half-hour.  When I got home Royce lectured me on working out while sick but I felt OK so I didn’t see the point in taking more time off and it wasn’t like I was doing hill intervals on the bike.  Today I think I’ll do much the same but maybe do some walking on the treadmill to test out my calves.  I think I’ll be A’OK to start up running again on Tuesday.

Tonight we have our Basic GPS Navigation Course at REI to prepare for our upcoming trip to Yellowstone.  Royce is really bad at map reading and I have no sense of direction so this combo could be deadly if left untrained.  Today’s class is a typical classroom type format and Sunday we will go out for a hike and hopefully…not get lost.

A bump in the road but its my birthday week so I don’t care.

I had a very painful run today.  It was interval day and about half way through I had to stop…the pain was unbearable for me to keep at my speed and walking during my ‘rest intervals’ was beginning to get hard.  I felt bad, but I refused to hurt myself too so I decided to stop and lifted some weights instead.  After a few internet searches and a consult from Albert I’ve come to find out I have tight calves.  Yes, my meaty legs are tight…but I digress.   

I’m having some severe calf pain…upper calf pain, dull aching inner muscle calf pain that is exacerbated when (1) I run and (2) when I walk downstairs.  It is all very odd considering I typically have problems with shin splints not my calves.  I hope I can remedy it with some ice, naproxen, and a few tools recommended by Albert.  The good news is he didn’t tell me to stop running (is that good news?  I donno…I’m torn) but to stop with speed work and to have flat easy runs.  That I can do!  A prescription for success if I do say so myself.  Now if that running store down the street would just open so that I could get a massage stick I would be good to go.

Although I’m tempted to just rest and fill the remainder of my birthday week with relaxation, some Pilates, some good food and maybe a couple dog-walks.  My mom gets in town on Thursday so I’m going to try to wake up that AM and get a short flat run in…say 2-3 miles if I feel good.  I may skip the long run this weekend as it is blasted hot here and well…I’ve got company.  

I hope to get some good shopping done this weekend.  Our walls are still in dire need of some decoration.  I’m hopeful that a couple of antique stores and maybe some estate sales can get us all set.  Unfortunately I’m having a hard time finding the wall mounted shelves I so desire, so I may have to just bite the bullet and get them from Pottery Barn.  

That’s all for now.  I’m all full and satisfied from a wonderful birthday dinner at Mon Ami Gabi with mon ami Amy (my friend Amy for those who don’t speak French)…good times…now it is time for bed.

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