Monday, August 28, 2006

Scared to Death

First off. The 15 miles went as well as can be expected. My ITB gave me little trouble and I felt pretty good. Sis did really well the first 8 miles or so, but really, really faded in the end. She was really slow. I kept having to stop and stretch while she caught up. She said she just didn't have anything in her legs.

All-in-All, it took us 3 hours 45 minutes (garmin was stopped during bathroom breaks too, so we're not counting that).

We're gonna pack some power bars in addition to the sport beans--we got pretty hungry and hope maybe that will help things. We were happy that we finished it and felt pretty good afterwards.

So...why am I scared to death?

I went to the Nike Women's marathon site today and now it's plastered all over that we have to finish the marathon within 7 hours. I thought we had 8 hours--I remember specifically reading that! I was really hoping we'd finish the marathon in 6 1/2 hours (including all the bathroom breaks etc) and that was going to be a push. And we still had an 1 1/2 hour buffer. We'd be able to finish the marathon within the time limit...easily....

But now?

I feel pretty comfortable with this time constraint, but I'm not sure if sis will be up for it. She's been slacking a bit on her weekly miles and she's just had a baby 4 months ago.....It's too late to switch to the 1/2 marathon...I don't know if we would even want to at this point. And I really don't want to run it at our own pace...we've been training together for 3 1/2 months either we finish together or we both get the DNF and no tiffany bling.

Well....we have 2 months left....still lots of training to go....

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Shhhhh! Don't Tell Anyone!

I'm posting from Work!

The 10 miler was fine--It was actually our fastest per mile time ever! Sis had the idea of running slowly the first 3 miles before we started on our intervals to warm up our bodies. It worked well for us. I felt pretty energetic the entire run. We'll try it again Saturday and see if we get the same results.

My ITB started acting up again around mile 8--it didn't get very bad, but that twinge got me thinking that I really need to work on those strengthening exercises. I stretched really well after the run and felt no residual pain/soreness afterwards--so that's a good sign.

I'm doing 29 miles this week, including a 15 miler on Saturday. This is 5 miles more than what I've done. And it only gets worse from here.

I'm gonna order some Biofreeze today and carry it on my Saturday runs. A.Maria swears by the stuff.

The more I can feel prepared, the better!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Need Audio Book Suggestions!

I'm almost done with my current audio book and for some reason I'm really at a loss on what to listen to yet. I LOVE to read and I'll read nearly anything. What I'm looking for is a good book that will work with listening on the run (sort of speak).

I book I'm finishing up right now is "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. I made it a resolution of sorts to read one "classic" every 6 months and why not combine this with running?

I understand now that 19th century books really don't work well with running. It's just way too much commentary.

So what have you?

Today is our 10 miler, then going to the hippy Solfest with a friend.

Should be fun.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Vineman

Our 13.1 miler was uneventful. We did the distance and my ITB wasn't nearly as bad as the week before. One word of note: Chalk Hill Road is the devil....Cambered surfaces like you wouldn't believe--no wonder I was in pain last week!

A funny thing happened during our run.

We saw bicylists...Hundreds of them....and they were racing...and they had numbers written on their arms.

The were riding the same route as we were running by coincidence (on our part). They were very friendly "morning ladies" they often shouted to us. They were encouraging "Good job". Once I was stopped and stretching, waiting for my sister to catch up when one gal encouraged me to "Keep Going".

And these guys were fit! OMG were they fit! I knew I was witnessing a tri--but didn't have any idea until I got back home that it was the full Vineman.

While I had showered, had a huge lunch out with sis, took an hour nap, the tri-athletes were still at it. I realised at 6:00pm that if I left my house then, I could drive to the finish and cheer on the athletes finishing around the 12 hour mark. Little did I know at the time that I would stay at the event cheering them on for over 3 hours!


I saw a woman cross the finish-line into the arms of her husband and young children. It was her first Ironman and she finished 11th place women's overall. She just couldn't believe it. She laughed and cried and her family along with her.

I saw a guy complete the race, sat down on a chair to receive his metal and to get help getting his timing chip off, only to realise that he couldn't get back up. He couldn't stop shaking. He was carried to the medical tent.

I saw another gal cross the finish line doing a cartwheel!!!

I walked a 1/4 mile along the side of the course and met up with a man that had already finished the race and was looking for his wife. He asked me who I was waiting for. It was nearing 8:30 at this time over 14 hours since the tri began and most of the spectators have left. I told him I was waiting for no one, that I was just there to cheer people on. He just smiled and told me that he appreciates people like me that just come out for no other reason but to cheer strangers on and in the later hours....
His wife soon appeared down the road. Her husband took a couple of photos and then she started running faster calling back to her husband "He won't be able to catch her". "Ooh, Baby" was his reply.

It was getting late and I had to pick up my daughter at her friend's house. I told her about the tri and about those still coming in to finish in the dark and she wanted to go. So we went back, parked and walked near the finish. We cheered on a few finishers and my daughter looks at me,
and said..."I want to do this some day!".

We shall see.....

One thing is for sure though. I am going to volunteer to help out for next year's Vineman!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Feeling Better

Thank you ALL for your great suggestions.

I spent the week nursing and stretching my ITB. I haven't had any pain to speak of since Tuesday. I did a gentle 3 mile run on Wednesday (scheduled 6 miles) with no problems, and did a 3 mile walk on Thursday. I skipped Tuesday's 3 miler altogether. This was a good time to take it easy. I was out of town for a work function for a couple of days (boy, these guys know how to party when they are out of town...and away from wives)--so I wasn't really feeling much like running anyways.

I've been pretty religously stretching, icing, ipubrofin'ing. The only thing that I haven't done was get new shoes---but I will this weekend.

So tomorrow's 13 miles--a 1/2 marathon. We are going to stick to flat roads for the most part. The only hills we might do is a soft trail run at a nearby park.

I'm carb loading tonight. I picked up linguini with red clam sauce with a nice salad at Cafe Citti (one of my favorite restaurants in my tiny town), and I'm enjoying my feast.

Wish me luck tomorrow!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Stupid ITB! Why can't I Just Have a Great Run!

Yesterday we had to run 12 miles. The conditions were perfect. We were both well hydrated, nurished, rested from our vacation. The weather was very mild, and most importantly, we were motivated!

The first 5 miles were uneventful--actually I would call them great. We both were running very strong and faster than normal (about a 11:00 per mile pace) and we were pretty peppy during our walk periods too. I even remember thinking that there was nothing that I would be rather doing than running this 12 miles (except maybe being on a tropical vacation). I even commented that this might be our fastest, and strongest run yet! JINX!!

Around the 5th mile we had to climb this hellacious hill, that went okay, but the running down the hill seemed to go on and on (actually it was over a 1/2 mile according to the garmin). We both agreed that we would not try to run back up this hill as we didn't want to poop ourselves out for the remaining miles. At the 6th mile turnaround point, I started feeling a twinge and stiffness on the outside of my right knee.

I ignored it.

The twinge turned into a dull ache and would stop completely during our walking breaks. I tried to stop and do some stretching (touching my toes) and though it felt good, it really didn't do anything for the ache that began when I started running again.

We continued on...The dull ache turned into a mild pain......

Around the 10th mile (just 2 miles left) I started doing the marathon shuffle. My pace was no better than 13:30 per mile. The pain kept on coming and actually started to shift upwards to my hip.

The 11th mile was greated with a really sharp pain in the outside of the knee. I stopped running. I could still walk without pain so I just tried to "walk it out". We did one more 3 minute run (wobble) and finished the distance with walking....

The most frustrating thing about this run is that everything else felt great. I still had TONS of energy and motivation to keep running; sis did too. If it wasn't for this damn pain this would've been the BEST run ever. It turns out that our time was still great (about a 14:30 mile average) for us, but it just didn't feel great.


After the run and shower, I felt pretty good. A little stiff but no knee/leg pain. Back home, I searched my running books and the internet and it appears that I have the beginnings of ITBS.


I tried some of the stretching exercises and I definately felt the twinge again. I also found some
strengthening exercises too. I stupidly did them yesterday (leg lifts and such). Today my ITB is sore...from the running and the exercise. I'm trying to gently stretch it today and I'm also trying this self massage therapy that I found on Rainbow's Blog. I'm also taking 2400 mg of ibuprofin a day to get the inflamation down (if there is any). This all might be overkill for one occurance, but I don't want to take any chances.

Other things I'm gonna do:

1. Get a new pair of running shoes for my longer runs. I have about 300 miles on my present pair and maybe they are starting to break down. I'm also going have FleetFeet evaluate my gait on my mizunos and make sure that this is still the best kind for me.

2. Stretch after my runs. I never have before but I think this is way overdue.

3. Ask for advice from fellow running bloggers. Have you had ITB problems? What is your best advice for nipping this one in the bud???

Today is crosstraining day. I was thinking about doing some yoga, but I'm worried about over-stretching. Maybe I will just go on a lovely long walk.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Back to reality

My trip to Colorado was nice. Lots of visiting, eating, and R&R.

True to my word, I gained 3 pounds on the trip. Too many late night eating binges with sis (we always get into to trouble like that)

It was very different traveling and living with 2 children under 3 years--I enjoyed them for sure, but I was also thankful that I am over that bit with raising younglings. My daughter made the best of her time there--even though I knew she would rather be home.

I swear my mom never appears to age. She's 67 and still looks great. Her key to youth is that she is VERY active. She's up at 5:30 every morning and after coffee and the internet (yes 21.6k connection still), she's out on her little ranch feeding the animals. She's always been extremely physically active. Not an exerciser, just a do'er.

And the running? Well, we did do all our scheduled miles and it was hard. Why you ask?

a) My mom lives surrounded by dirt roads that are not packed down well. Most of the time it felt like running on top of 2 inches of sand. The soil there is like dust--and very hard to run in.

b) It was also very windy most of the time. At worst, we were running against a 30 mile per hour headwind. We felt as though we were running in place. We were laughing at the absurdity of running in this wind.

c) Humidity. It was humid. Not used to that at all.

d) Hot. It was in the 90's most days. Although we tried to avoid the heat peak, the lack of shade and the reflective surfaces made us hot!

e) Rattlesnakes. Never saw one, but Mom gave us a stern lecture to watch for them on the road--we were always on guard

f) Scenery, or lack of one. It just all looks the same. The only thing that changed was the sky (which was pretty dramatic)--so I just kept focusing on the horizon.

g) Elevation. From 50ft above sea level to 4500. Don't know if it made a difference in our runs, but it did psychologically.

I did a 6 miler this morning (back home) and it was nice to be among the mountains and the trees. Can't say I ran the whole thing...Let's just call it a scenic stroll.

We've got 12 on Saturday. I'm trying to re-hydrate, re-nutritionalize myself for it. The weather promises to be mild and hopefully it will go just fine.

Can't wait to catch up on all your blogs!!