Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let's Catch Up...

I am going to try to make this a much more positive post than my last one.  After re-reading that post, I couldn't help but think "what a complainer!", but I was in the midst of my body rejecting all the extra miles I was logging.  We have come to some sort of a truce now, with just a bit of nagging after my runs from my hips and ankle; and occasionally, my lower back.

When I left off last time, I was heading to my doctor to check my ankle.  He decided I had some inflammation of the sheath that wraps around the tendon that runs from my calf to my foot.  No stress fracture!  He sent me to physical therapy where they did ultrasound and electrical stimulation therapy for a couple weeks.  They sent me home with elastic bands to use to strengthen my lower calf muscle. They also suggested using ice massage on it right after my runs.  Well, all that did the trick!  I still have a little tenderness, but it's all good now!

I also had an episode with a lower back muscle spasm a few weeks ago.  It was the Thursday morning before the Labor Day holiday. I bent over, reached into my freezer and pulled out my bag of blueberries and BAM!! I was stuck, pain and numbness all at once.  All I could do was drop to my hands and knees and crawl to the living room couch to pull myself up.  So many things were going through my head, like "what the heck are you thinking?!? You are too old to be doing this!!!" (running, not eating blueberries)   and how all my hard work so far had all just gone down the tubes.  I wanted to cry, but I tend to be a bit on the stubborn side, so I got mad instead and decided I was going to work this out.  I would just get myself to my chiropractor asap! Unfortunately, he was already gone for the weekend.  So, I had to wait to see him on the following Tuesday.  Needless to say, it was a crappy 3-day weekend.  I had to lay around all weekend and stare at all the things I had planned to do, namely paint the outside of my house. I wasn't able to go on my long training run that Saturday, the first one I have ever missed.  The adjustment on Tuesday made a huge difference and I have steadily gotten better.  I have kept running and my core workouts, but have been very careful to protect my back in everything!

On September 17th, I ran the Chico Ten to see how my training is going.  I can do the long distances and I can do the interval training, so I wanted to see how I could do putting them together.  I felt great that day, it really was a fun 10 mile race through Bidwell Park.  I ran with my two running buddies that I train with in the HM program.  We have the same pace that we are comfortable running.  We finished within seconds of each other. My time was 01:40:48.  I had a goal time in my head to come in under 01:45:00 and I did it!  It's great practice to see what works and what doesn't when it comes to fueling during the run.  This is me, Stormi and Leslie after the race and just before jumping in the icy waters of Chico Creek to soak our tired muscles.  It feels so good!  And quicker recovery, too.

I wanted to be sure and mention my shirt I bought from Beth at http://www.shutupandrun.net/. I love this shirt and was glad I wore it during this race.  The race is a benefit for the Chico State Cross Country Scholarship Program.  There were dozens of cross country volunteers out there at the water stations and on the course.  It was so fun to hear them shouting encouragement and "shut up and run!!" from the sidelines!!

I just made a couple new purchases that I'm excited about.  I have been looking for something to replace my water belt with, but haven't liked any of the belts with large bottles.  My belt has two 8 oz. containers and I can go through that in just a few miles, so I definitely need something with more water space, plus I want to be able to carry my fuel blocks and my cell phone.  I finally found the Camelbak FlashFlo! It has 1.5 liters of water storage, is a belt pack, not a back pack, and it fits so secure on the small of my back that I don't even know it's there. The water hose clips to my shirt, so it is super easy to get my drink without having to stop.  Plus I got a brand new one at a super great price on ebay.  And it's pink!! Love it!!

The other purchase is my new CW-X Pro Compression Tights!  Since I am still having a lot of tightness in my hips, I have been thinking about compression shorts or tights, and researching them online.  The CW-X brand seems to be highly recommended, and they carry them at my local Fleet Feet.  I tried on a pair after my 13 mile run last Saturday.  I could feel the muscle fatigue disappear the minute I had them on!  It was amazing!!  So I took those babies home with me right then!!  They were a little pricey, but I had a $25 discount at the store and I really have to do something about my hip tightness if I want to keep running longer miles.  I went with the full length tights for several reasons.  I wanted the extra support for my knee, which gives me a twinge now and then, and for extra calf support.  I don't have trouble there, but have noticed after my last long runs (over 10 miles) my calves are super tight.  I haven't run in them yet, but will this evening on our speed workout in the HM Training.  I can't wait to see how they work.  They are pretty cool looking too! (Although they really leave nothing to the imagination as far as what's underneath!)

Lastly, I want to say what a great long run I had last Saturday morning.  I got up at 5am (super dark thirty), showered (to get really awake), ate my oatmeal, filled all my water containers (including my new Camelbak that I added ice to), and I was out the door.  Got to the Fleet Feet store where we were starting from that morning and everything just felt good.  The route we were taking sounded complicated, since I'm not familiar with all the areas of Chico anymore, but it ended up mostly on city bike/walking trails that I never knew existed.  It was such a beautiful, long, slow run, out and back. 13 miles, 2 hours, 20 minutes, water stations set up along the way with NUUN and water.  Chatted with my friend, Leslie the whole way.  The miles fly by when we are talking (probably why we took a wrong turn on the way back).  It was one of those runs I will think of when I'm doubting why I run.

I found these this week.  Love them!  Will share them as much as I can.

I am totally relating to the one above, with 13 miles last Saturday and 14 miles coming up this Saturday!

I like this one when I am wondering why I am out running early in the morning when most sane people are still sleeping in their nice warm beds.

The last one will be my mantra from now on.  It is so true.  Every time I have had pain from one thing or another, I have kept going, and I have gotten better, stronger and more determined to reach my goal.

Promise to post more often!

Living...  my dream of setting what seems like an impossible goal and knowing I'm going to reach it!
Laughing...  at my whiney, "the sky is falling" self!
Loving...  hearing my daughter say "Mom, I'm so proud of you!"

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