Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's talk about Hamstrings....

A few years ago, while doing hill sprints - I severely strained my right hamstring. All my injuries happen on my right side. I must be imbalanced on that side. It never healed completely right. I tried to do all the right things - backed off running, saw a Doctor, went to PT, actually did the exercises the PT gave me... I even resorted to a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection. I was about to do a second round of PRP when I got pregnant with my second and continued to exercise, but not really run. The time off was good, but my strain had turned into tendinitis at the attachment point and it has been something I just try to work around. I ice when I start to feel it and pray that I don't re-injure myself. After the Half on Sunday, I started to "feel" it again, which means it is more sore which could turn into more - so I cut my Tuesday run short and have been icing like a mad woman. I did a google search to get some ideas for cross training and found this article which I really found interesting.

I haven't really been working on strengthening my Abs and Obliques as much as I should- and certainly don't stretch my quads when I start feeling the tightness in the hams.. so I am going to focus on some of the things in this article and see if that helps. Just thought I'd share in case anyone else out there struggles with this too.

When you are running more, you are just a bad run away from an injury. If you don't listen to your body and push when your body is saying as politely as it can, please back off today, I need a rest to heal; you end up in the horrible spot of having to take 6 weeks off. Which is something that feels devastating. Raina over at Small Town Runner wrote a great post today about how hard it is to do this. How it is easy to tell other people this great advice, but as runners - we hate to do this ourselves. Sometimes the best thing we can do in our training is just to take a break.

A good friend posted this on our group training page and it is a great quote to remember;

"I constantly remind myself that resting takes confidence. Anyone can train like a mad man but to embrace rest and to allow all the hard training to come out takes mental strength." -Ryan Hall

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Heartbreaker Half - new PR, and a redemptive run.

I did it! I did it!! Second Half Marathon completed and even though it was a MUCH harder course (about 5 miles uphill and then last 3 miles downhill) I was able to finish strong and improve my time by 17 minutes over the previous race! I was super conservative and kept the pace pretty slow for the first 5-6 miles average between 10:30-11:30 min/miles because I knew that miles 5.5-10 were all uphill. Once we hit Chart House- I was so excited - the last 3 miles were fast and fun. It was a great experience. Michelle (my friend that ran with me) and I were just looking to have a good time and finish - and looked at it more as a training run so that we both could redeem our "bad half marathon memories" with a injury free run. My hip was tight and sore, a few times and I had to stop to walk briefly and stretch, but overall a much better run that when I did Girlfriends last October and my IT Band starting hurting at about mile 4.5. So much of running is mental. I woke up several times last night and honestly, was nervous. Even though it was more for training and I said I wasn't racing this.. which for slow me is kinda funny to say I am "racing." I was nervous. The memories of my IT Band flaring up full force last time were all too present. I am so happy I did this race so that going into Rock and Roll Half in May, I will be bad-memory free and looking to beat 2:22.30! One of my goals this year is to run a 2:15 Half.

I have to thank my sister-in-law for her mantra "It's time to dig deeper" which I have shortened to just "Dig Deeper." It is what I kept saying as we tackled hill after hill...after hill.

I am enjoying a Ninkasi Total Domination IPA right now, since I abstained from alcohol since Tuesday to prepare for today. Yumm... They are one of the sponsors for Ladybug Run (I'm so excited!) Have you signed up yet? Register right now!

I actually feel pretty good. I think I hydrated and fueled up well pre-run and during. Ate a protein bar right after the race and have been drinking lots of water so I am hoping for a quick recovery. A little tight and sore, but the happy outweighs it all. Love the sense of accomplishment you feel after running 13.1.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why is tapering so hard?

I did it. I signed up for the Heartbreaker Half Marathon which is THIS Sunday. Even though I am not going to be trying to 'race' it, I still thought tapering a bit this week might be a good idea, especially since I don't want to hurt myself. My hamstring has been a little achy post-runs so I have been icing a lot more, and making sure to stretch and foam roll daily.

The longest run I have done now without my orthodics in was 2.5 on Monday. I actually love the feeling of running without them in since it makes my shoes much lighter. Feet are a little more achy post run, and a few aches and pains as my body adjusts, but nothing too bad.

Monday I meant to only run 3, but I was running in a new area and then my GPS wasn't working, and I ended up running almost a mile over... Tuesday I cut back from my usual 6, taking today off - had meant to do a strength work out, but the day is so busy I don't think I will be able to squeeze that in, tomorrow I will just do 2-3, and still trying to decide if I should just walk for 20-30 minutes on Saturday, or run a super slow easy 2. Thoughts? It is so hard for me to cut the miles back when I want to continue running the same miles I always do. I understand why it's better for you physically - but it is just so dang hard mentally.

I forgot to post about Saturday's Run for Sherry- 8 of us met at the waterfront and ran varying distances in memory of Sherry. Joining thousands of other runners across the world all choosing to honor this woman who had been murdered by evil men while out on her morning run. Such a tragedy - but I couldn't help thinking of Romans 8:28, how God does work all things for good. Her legacy, what people do in her name, in honor of her - that is what God will work out of a horrific act. Evil will not win.

Wish me luck.. All I want for Sunday is to finish strong. Walk less than I did in the Girlfriend's Half (IT Band pain), and beat my time previous Half time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ladybug Run - Website is live!!

I am just giddy!! The website for Ladybug Run went live last night and it has been just so exciting to see our friends posting it to Facebook to help us get the word out. Amanda over at Runninghood posted about our run on her Facebook page and I felt like a celebrity had tweeted about me. I may have a running crush.
So please register, get all your friends to register, and start planning your ladybug costumes!! Don't forget that the best men and women's costumes will be getting a prize.

I think I decided to sign up for the Heartbreaker Half... I got my long run mileage back up pretty quickly and ran 12 miles last weekend with Coach Jim's group. If you are looking for people to run with - I highly recommend his running group. They have all different pace levels, running all sorts of distances. A lot are training for Eugene Marathon and Boston, but then you have people getting ready for Shamrock, Rock and Roll, or folks who just like to run with others. I ran with the 11min mile pace group since I wanted to save myself for the Terwilliger Hills that were on the menu for the day. Since the route followed much of the route that the Heartbreaker will be covering, and I was surprisingly NOT all the sore after the run, I think I can do it. I am going to do it slower, more at a training pace so that I don't injure myself.. but I think it will be a fun one. My other motivation is that I really like the medal and I am hoping for some redemption after Girlfriends Half (since my IT Band started hurting early and forced me to walk ALOT more than I had planned). Even with all those hills, I should be able to improve my time.

I had an appointment with Dr Ray McClanahan (Podiatrist) over at NW Foot and Ankle for some runner/foot issues (he was recommended to me by several people) and am now on a plan to break myself from my orthodics and eventually move into minimalist running shoes. This guy ran a marathon in Crocs. I was pretty impressed by all his knowledge and his approach (definitely going to be slow) . He did say that for a "woman my age" (snort, chuckle) my feet were pretty healthy (which means your toes aren't all squished together when the foot is relaxed). I guess the last few years of working mostly from home and not wearing pointy shoes have been good for my feet. Now it will be a matter of wearing shoes with a wider toe box that allow my feet to do what they are supposed to. I'll keep you all posted on my progress. Yesterday at 2.5 miles in, I stopped and took the orthodics out of my shoes, re-laced and ran .6 miles. It felt fine and I don't have any pains today. This will be a gradual process. I am also breaking in the Correct Toes during the day - and will eventually transition into trying to run with them... that may be a stranger transition.