Monday, November 29, 2010

Forced Break Is Over- Back To Training!

I used to think the most difficult part of training was running slow and for distance. Nope. The most difficult part of training is recovering from an injury, and not being able to do any running. Last week SUCKED. I know I needed to rest my back and let it heal, but my legs kept wanting to run. The chiro said swim or use the lower impact machines for cardio work. Oh whatever. I know they are great, but I just want to run. I was still in plenty of pain most of the week, and it was pretty busy anyway from the holiday.

It was the worst possible week to have to not be so active- so much eating. I managed to at least maintain my weight rather than gain a bunch, so that's good. I went out a couple of times and ran. The first time I made it to a mile and it was still pretty painful. Yesterday I went two miles and it felt really good. Started to get a little tight in the lower back, but the great part was when I stretched after I recovered really fast- more so than in the past week. I also finally had a chance to try the new shoes- and I LOVE them. So light and flexible it's like I'm not even wearing shoes. I did notice that I was putting my weight on different places as I ran, but it wasn't painful. Just different. I'm really glad I didn't wait until after the half-marathon to switch.

So, now that I'm at about 80%, I decided just to continue where I left off in my training plan. Only this time I will keep stretching, no matter how good I feel!

Key Run #1: Repeats: 1k, 2k, 1k, 1k, 400m rest intervals
Key Run #2: 5 mile medium tempo run
Key Run #3: 8 miles (we'll see how the back is doing by the end of the week).

In other running-related news, I might have had too many slices of pie this week, because I joined a challenge over on Daily Mile. Going to try and run 125 miles in December. Crazy? Not if you love to run!

Time to get moving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I thought my knees would be my big problem being a runner. Sure, I've had minimal knee pain over the months, but that's been the least of my problems compared to my back. I've got this lovely curve in my lower back that has always caused me some sort of problem over the years. If I stand too long, the pressure is too much. Walking stretches it out nicely, but even if I walk too much it gets tight and I need to sit or stretch or both.

So I start running a year ago. More impact, more pressure. My chiropractor has helped greatly since I finally went back (no pun) to her in May. She has actually been 1/3 chiro, 1/3 physical therapist, 1/3 personal trainer. If you are in the East Valley, I recommend this place a hundred times over. They also have a massage therapist on staff now that is fairly inexpensive, and I will be utilizing her very soon.

The hip and legs start feeling great, overall I'm feeling stronger, and I get lazy. Stop stretching as much (if at all) before runs, yet with the half-marathon training I'm adding a lot more distance to my runs. Cut back on icing areas whether they hurt or not.

So what happens? I tweak my nerve. Last Wednesday I got through a mile, then had to stop because rather than the pain working itself out like it usually does during a warmup, it became sharper and more annoying. Been sidelined ever since. The pain goes up and down. Over the weekend it started feeling better while I was at PodcampAZ. Monday morning however I was on the phone hoping I could get in to see the doc.

The back is such a sensitive and large area, you don't realize how it all connects until a connection is broken. Even just raising your arms straight in front of you takes lower back muscles. If you're tight, you're going to hurt something.

It's been a rough week- taking the time to heal is like doing the longer, slower runs. You want to do more. I took a walk the other night and it took GREAT willpower to not try a little jog. I argued with myself the entire time. Probably mumbling to myself so I also looked like a crazy person walking down the street. On the upside, I bought new shoes. No, they are not 5-fingers (sorry Tyler), but they are a lot more minimalist than what I had. My training partner and her husband wear them. She said most of her arch pain was gone after a couple of runs. They feel like a water shoe, and are really light and flexible. We'll see how it goes- I can't wait to try them out!

So what have we learned kids? Stretching and ice should be an extended part of training. Just put it in the routine. Even if you feel good, because by the time you hurt and feel it too much damage has been done.

And you're sidelined.

I miss running.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm a freakin' genius!

Ok, not really. However, this year at PodcampAZ they are doing something new- Genius Panels. For some insane reason they stuck me in one. I guess after 4 1/2 years of podcasting I know a thing or two. So if you want an informal setting to ask questions about podcasting that you have always wanted to ask but never knew where to go to ask them- then this weekend you can.

It's not just Podcasting, either. There are Genius panels for Video, and for that Wordpress stuff that clearly I don't use if you're reading this blog entry. Here's the breakdown:

11:30-12:30 Video Genius Panel
1:30-2:30 Podcasting Genius Panel
2:45- 3:45 Wordpress/SEO Genius Panel

9:00-10:00 Wordpress/SEO Genius Panel
10:15-11:15 Video Genius Panel
11:30-12:30 Podcast Genius Panel

All panels will be in the main auditorium.

I certainly wouldn't call myself a genius, but this is a genius idea. I'm honored to be a part of it- so join us this weekend! The entire speaker line-up is now available if you scroll down on this page, so you can plan your attack accordingly. It's not too late to register (for free, in case that was holding you back).

See you this weekend- and if you see me before I see you, you'd better say hello. I take stuff like that personally, so don't disappoint me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

You're Not Supposed To Be Fast Until The Race!*

... and it's a good thing too, because it sure wasn't happening with me this week. Training is definitely a two-step forward, one-step back situation. I had a step back this week. First, the stats:

Miles: 15.62 Comments: 2
Time: 05:02 Motivations: 0
Calories: 2672 Among Friends: 4
Workouts: 5

The week started out good. Really good, in fact. Doing 12 quarter-mile repeats was FUN. When it felt too easy, I upped the speed. The second 6 were definitely more difficult than the first 6, but that's how it goes. I noticed quite a difference in these repeats from the first time I did them, in the very first week of training. Which shows me that indeed I've made progress over the past 8 weeks.

Unfortunately I screwed it up a bit. I was trying out some new ab exercises, and one of them included a lunge. So all day Wednesday my quads were extremely sore. Like, didn't even want to walk up and down the stairs sore. Thursday I was still hurting quite a bit, so when I got to my run it was a disaster. A lot of walking, and a LOT of stopping. Just pathetic. It was probably one of the worst runs I've had since I began training.


Sunday's run should have happened Saturday, before I attended a friend's birthday party and enjoyed a few glasses of Sangria. And enough cheese cubes to fill my water bottle. AND a slice of pizza. I may be diligent on the physical training end, but the diet end? Not so much. I didn't drink enough to constitute a hangover, but I was definitely dehydrated and digesting bad food. The whole run that morning was just disastrous, and my hip all the way down my right leg was really hurting too. I couldn't even kick myself for eating so badly, that's how much pain I was in. Just tight everywhere.

We'll say two steps forward, one and a half steps back this past week. But, no reason to dwell on the past so let's just keep chugging forward. The plan this week:

Key Run #1: Repeats: 1 mile (400m Rest Interval) 2 miles (800m RI); then 2 at 800m w/400m RI
Key Run #2: 5 mile run medium tempo (11:45/12:00)
Key Run #3: 6 miles half-marathon pace +30 seconds.

The long run may not happen this week. Podcamp AZ is this weekend, and I just don't see myself getting up before it begins to run. I especially won't be running afterward, that's for sure! Unless I go Sunday evening, but that's a wait and see. A BIG wait and see.

Until next week!

*Thank you Tyler for providing me with my blog title. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Attitude Is Everything

I'm well into the 9th week of training, and I have to say I am having a blast! Last week was another good week in my training. When I went to my chiropractor this week I realized it was the first time I said I felt HAPPY with how things were going and how my body was feeling. My mental attitude also did a complete turn-around:

Miles: 18.91 Comments: 0
Time: 05:35 Motivations: 1
Calories: 2877 Among Friends: 4
Workouts: 6

Last week the six half-mile repeats were difficult, but I got through them. Making sure I give myself enough time is key, because if I start feeling rushed by the clock, then it starts to go downhill. That's what happened on my second key run of the week. I was feeling good, feeling really good actually, but had to cut it short due to time.

I noticed some other positive effects as I modified my training. I stopped the cross-training on my off days. Giving my body a bit more time to recover in-between key runs has definitely helped my performance. AND, I lost a few more pounds too, which also contributes. I think that is going to continue to be my strategy until the half-marathon. The most important thing is to take care of my legs and feet! I got some other tips from this great blog post from a more seasoned runner. I was also happy to find that I am incorporating several of these things all ready. It's good to have affirmation that you're doing something right.

So, as I said I've all ready completed my first Key Run this week, which were quarter-mile repeats. 12 of them! Looking back, the very first week of training were the exact same sprints. After re-reading how I handled them the first time, I'm happy to say I've definitely accomplished a lot in 9 weeks. I can jog or walk through my rest intervals, and I had a REALLY difficult time doing that in the beginning.

The rest of this week is a medium tempo run for approx. 7 miles, then an 8 mile long run this weekend. I will keep giving myself more rest between key runs, but I tell you it's not easy. I like being out there and active. Have to keep thinking long-term however. If these results keep up, it will be very easy to do.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Remembering I Love To Run

What a difference a week makes, when you put your head in the right place and have a whole new attitude! It was a great week of running, and at the end of it I made another distance goal.
The stats:

Miles: 24.27 Comments: 1
Time: 07:37 Motivations: 4
Calories: 4057 Among Friends: 2
Workouts: 8

The miles are higher than normal because Saturday I was feeling restless, so I grabbed the family and we went on a bike ride. But I digress. Let's go back to Tuesday.

Changing the name of "sprints" to "repeats" was probably the best move I could have ever made in my training. It made all the difference. I may not have run as fast, but I ran more of each repeat. Therefore I think I had a better Key Run because of it.

My second run of the week started out all right, but my knees were bothering me a bit more than usual. Time was also becoming an issue. The longer the distance, the more time (naturally), and I'm all ready a slow runner so I stopped at 5 miles instead of going the 7 I had planned. Lots of ice later on that day.

The long run of the week was my best run this week. 8 miles was the goal. I completely expected to do a lot of walking. I don't mind it on the long runs however, because knowing what the distance feels like is important to me. But- I ran WAY more than I thought I would, and my time was only a bit slower than my 7 mile run the week before! How's that for progress? My leg and hip felt really good, which I know helped. It also helped that I hydrated a bit more prior to running than I usually do. It was a really great run- and you know what the best part was? I enjoyed myself. I love to run, and this week reminded me that this is not work- it is fun. My knees were still hurting though, as well as the back of my knee. I've been making sure to ice and stretch and rest my legs a lot today.

So, the plan this week- 11 weeks left!

Key Run #1: 6- 800m repeats with 1:30 rest intervals
Key Run #2: 5 miles at medium tempo
Key Run #3: 6 miles half-marathon pace + 30 sec./mile

It's a tapering off week, one I feel I have earned! Go me! ;-)