Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Challenges

"I have a dream that one day..." I will run again.  Out of the depths of despair and injury, my feet will rise up and jump over roots and rocks and pavement.  I have a dream that my doctors are full of phooey and will eat their words about March 3rd being an aggressive date to start running again.

I had a dream that I was running through the streets of Seattle.  The streets were crowded but it felt so good to run!  And then I awoke.  Stupid dream. 

Some people who are injured use that time to take it easy, laying off completely from strenuous exercise.  Do you really think I'm one of those people?  My old self; yes. Now?  Might I suggest a full body restraint to keep me from exercising?

It's been nearly three weeks since I've run.  How is that possible?  I'm starting to have thoughts like, "26 miles!  I don't like to drive 26 miles!"  My non-running friends' thoughts are invading my brain.

During the past nearly three weeks, I have relied upon P90X for the majority of my exercise.  I have avoided the plyometrics and cardio workouts but have done the Kenpo, Yoga, Core Synergistics as well as all the upper body workouts.  I had been noticing gains in strength and, being the non-competetive person I am, challenged myself to a 50 push up duel (with myself!).

50 push ups from the toes without a break.  I'm not talking about the modified push ups (if you are thinking "girl" push ups, I may come over and level you with my newfound upper body strength).  I am doing the plank-style, from the toes push ups.  Along with doing the P90X workouts, I have added sets of push ups to aid in my quest.

A friend suggested doing sets, building them up as I go along.  The first was a series of 6 sets of 15 push ups.  That is 90 push ups.  Hello!  I have gotten through those and am on my second day of 4 by 25 push ups.  I will admit that my arms were shaking like jello in an earthquake on the last 25.  The good thing is I KNOW I can do 25 pushups without a break. 

Here are pictures taken of my bicep.  The first is a picture taken in early January before Insanity.  Two things you should know:  do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your own bicep?  And second, do you know how vain it feels to take a picture of your own bicep?  I'm doing this only for scientific purposes.  I wanted to see if I am making improvements in my muscular size and I think they are slightly more developed since I started Insanity. 

Before Insanity

P90X and push up challenge.

I have started another challenge in the last few days:  drink one gallon of water daily.  I stocked up on toilet paper before beginning this challenge!  The first day, the water and I had a face-off and I really thought it would take me down.  Just before dinner, all water had been consumed!  I actually found that I normally drink a lot of water.  A gallon looks intimidating but I've been able to consume the whole jug daily as well as my coffee and Shakeology. 

I can't run?  What will I do with my time?

My challenger!
I'm ready to take on the challenge!
I started physical therapy last week and my calf is extremely sore!  I had to do a lot of heel lifts and that is the most work my calves have done since I've run.  I'm hopeful that I can begin running soon!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Week Three- Now what?

Two weeks of not running!  I haven't had a panic attack, yelling fit or pity party (well, not a big one).  Each day I have found a workout to do, mostly from P90X.  My upper body has been getting quite a workout these past two weeks.



After- it was full of writing utensils that may or may not have worked.  Ta-da!  Now they are separated :)  Small victories.

Kitchen:  I have cleaned out two junk drawers!  Not much, but it's two organized drawers I didn't have before my injury.  The kitchen still has a lot of work and I have a goal to get at least two more drawers or cabinets organized and decluttered.

Push ups!  I have done so many push ups in the last two weeks I decided to make a challenge for myself.  My goal is to do 50 push ups from my toes by mid-March.  I know I can do 25 without pausing and have been doing sets of push ups to improve my strength. 

Physical therapy begins tomorrow and I am not excited about it.  I will do what they tell me and pray that I am close to complete healing.  I feel great walking and feel like I could run right now.  I actually cannot figure out what hurts anymore.  I would like to find out more about my injury.  The peroneal tendon and gastrocnemius appear to be strained. 

I will update next week on my injury status. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Week Two - The meltdown

February 7th-
Monday - today's 17 mile run (to make up for the run I didn't get to yesterday) was a disaster.  Mile 3, I felt my right ankle or achilles area start a dull ache.  As I progressed through the run, my form disintigrated into a flat-footed, guerrilla style run as I attempted inclines.  Walking down stairs on part of the run, I felt a stab of pain and contemplated calling my husband to rescue me.  Instead, I decided I could run the flats and I would walk the uphills. 

I got to mile 12 and faced 1/2 to 3/4 mile of gradual uphill.  I walked all of it and tried to remain composed.  Finally reaching the top, I attempted to run again but my ankle felt extremely stiff so I called home and said I wanted a ride home.  And then I said, "nevermind".  I only had 2.5 miles to go!  I made it another tenth of a mile and called home again. 

I have been icing, elevating, wrapping and crying.  I do not have time to get injured.   I know, nobody does.  Of course I didn't get to do my Insanity workout either.  And my kitchen project?  I did do some dishes.  My emotional state was not its best.  A doctor's visit on Tuesday will hopefully give me some answers.  I'm praying my injury is very minor and with a little rest, I will be able to run again soon.  I feel like my world has come unglued.  It's time for me to focus on cleaning the kitchen.

2/15 - Awaiting the MRI results.  I have an appointment Thursday.  It "seems" like it's healing.  I have a boot I'm supposed to wear but don't wear it very often.  It's annoying!  I have to wear a heel on my other foot.  If I don't, my walk is very lop-sided and actually hurts my hips after awhile. 

Obviously my plan is out of whack right now. The only thing I can work on is my kitchen.  My freezer is clean!  Woo-hoo!  The oldest item I found was a frozen chicken from 2005.  Please, I don't KNOW how that stayed hidden in there for so long.  I do know that I qualified for Boston in 2005 and have been training like crazy since.  So that's my excuse.

In place of running and Insanity, I have been doing P90X (modified) workouts, including:  Back and Biceps, Yoga X, Kenpo, Chest and Back, Shoulders and Arms, and Chest, Shoulders and Triceps.  My upper body is getting a workout!  Even with these workouts, my weight is creeping upwards and I need to focus on nutrition even more than usual. 

And just in case you don't believe me about the freezer, I'm attaching gross pictures to show you what I haven't been doing while I was out running.


Exploding orange juice can in the freezer...yuck!

ALL OF THIS was tossed.  Some old, some ruined from prior power outages this season.

It's clean!  Happy Dance :)

Next Project:  the "what the %$#@! is in here?" drawer

Monday, February 7, 2011

18 week Marathon/Life Plan - Week One

He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)

I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.

Mia Hamm

The Goal:  Run Fast, Get Strong, Get Organized
The Plan:  Train Smart, Complete Insanity, Follow Flylady (sort of!)

Goal One:  Get Fast!
In an effort to keep myself accountable with a "real" training plan, I will be chronicalling my training leading up to the North Olympic Discovery Marathon set for June 5th.  What happens on that day will be the result of my planning or lack thereof.   After watching my race times slow last year, I determined to set a goal other than just finishing races this year.

For those "just" finishing races, my imaginary hat goes off to you!  I'm only saying "just" to compare it to finishing in a certain time range.  Finishing races without goal times is a huge accomplishment and please know how much I appreciate all the training and effort that goes into finishing races.

Many friends have been curious as to how I train (or not train) so this will be a glimpse into my daily training goals and what actually happens.

Goal Two:  Get Strong!
I have completed Month One of Insanity while still running daily.  The last week of Insanity was also the first week of my official Marathon plan.  I have noticed gains in strength since I've started!

Get Organized:
Reality check!  My home suffers from my training schedule.  It's not that I don't have time; it's more that I put things off around the house because I'm either tired, busy with family stuff, or just am being rebellious and "don't wan't to."  I do love a clean house.  And sometimes I enjoy cleaning house.  Most of the time, however, I get a little snarky (I've been watching Doctor Who) about having to clean AGAIN!  It's an endless, mostly thankless job. 

Flylady has helped me in the past and I'm relying on her FREE motivation to get my act together at home.  She has different "tricks" to help you get some cleaning accomplished without feeling too overwhelmed.  The house is divided into "zones" and this week it's the kitchen.  Every day you check the list and do the assigned "chores" in those room.  In addition, you can add 15 minute "declutter" sessions. 

My goals breakdown for the week:
Get fast, Week Two:
Total Miles: 68
Yassos:  8 x 800
Strides: 10 x 100 in an 8 mile run
Long run: Fishline 50k (long run only needs to be 18 miles this week)

Get Strong:
Insanity Cardio Core & Balance Recovery week.  Group workouts T/Th might be the harder workouts.

Get organized:
15 minutes daily of focused decluttering of current "zone"
Follow Kelly's Daily Missions
Detailed Cleaning Lists for Zones

Summary of last week:
I did nothing to get organized last week.  Moving on!

Completed my first week of marathon training with 54 weekly miles.  I didn't get in my 17 mile long run as I slept 12 hours Friday night and woke up late in addition to just feeling crummy.  Managed a slow 6 miles Saturday.  Sunday was all day soccer and the Superbowl.  Another 6 miles.  I should have had 64 miles.

I finished the first month of Insanity with a whimper.  My last two workouts were about 80% effort as my body just felt like it needed to sleep and sleep.  I hope this week has me feeling stronger!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cedar River 50k

January 30, 2011

Free!  I love free!  Free samples at Costco, buy one get one free, free applications and downloads, but especially I love free races! 

The Yours Truly Cedar River 50k is a free marathon and 50k event associated with the world wide Yours Truly event.  After the Yukon Do It Marathon on December 31st, my plan was to have unscheduled running and start Insanity on January 10th.  I decided to become a Beachbody coach this year because I love helping people and love being healthy.  It was a perfect fit.  Here is My Beachbody Website if you want to see what I'm up to with Insanity.

I ran every day in January, keeping my "streaker" status alive.  January 15th was the Capital Peak 17 mile trail run, my longest run of the year.  My unstructured running schedule was nice break from the constant "how many days/weeks until...race".

February 1st would be my first official day of an 18 week training plan leading up to the North Olympic Discovery Bay Marathon.  I have other races planned before then but this is my "goal" race.  Wow, do I want to race well on June 5th.  Somehow I have managed to come in 2nd overall three years in a row.  Last year I had given up my quest about mile 16 as there were four women ahead of me and I was struggling.  In the last couple of miles I passed three women and secured 2nd place again with no room to spare.   I realize that race day can present circumstances out of your control like weather, illness, injury and having someone super speedy show up you weren't expecting.  My goal is to run my best and be happy with the outcome regardless of place.

I finished 3 weeks of Insanity workouts, ending with plyometrics and an easy 4 miler, the day before Cedar River.  I contemplated taking an "off" day from Insanity but then read about my running friends running a 50k on Saturday and the Cedar River on Sunday.   And another friend who ran 41 miles on Saturday and another 41 on Tuesday, all under a 9:00 minute pace.  I decided 40 minutes of jumping around was doable.

I had everything laid out the night before, and after an uneventful morning, left at 6:30 a.m. and was at the Landsberg trailhead by 7:45 a.m. 

Exiting the porta-pottie, who should I see but the infamous Annie Thiessen and her friend, Danita Erickson.  If you asked, "Who?", you must not be from the Northwest or you haven't followed local racing results.  I've met Annie before and she's as sweet as she is fast.  I hadn't met Danita but have witnessed her running prowess at the races.  As we walked toward the start together, the Sesame Street song,   "One of these things is not like the other..."  Really?  Why does my brain tell me things like that?

The race started very casually as we meandered by the trailhead and began running when we were ready.  I started a few minutes after 8:00 am. after getting my music set and clothing adjusted.  The course intermittently ran next to the Cedar River, allowing runners a visual distraction.  We crossed over foot bridges and ran through underpasses.  The trail was wide and a dirt/gravel surface, making it very easy to run without any technical aspects.  It is a well-used trail within the community with many trailheads from residential neighborhoods.  I saw numerous families with strollers, bikes, walkers, runners, and potential trouble-makers sitting on a cement wall. 

After the turn-around on the first out and back, I caught up with Brian Pendleton aka The Programmer and we were able to distract each other with stories about work, family and training.  I hadn't met Brian before and it was great to finally put a face to the name.  I finished the first out and back in 2 1/2 hours and my legs were not happy.  The trail was easy, little elevation, so I have no excuse other than I haven't been running longer mileage consistently.  I accepted the pain as a reminder that being consistent with longer runs is necessary to improvement.  With my long runs limited to the Seattle Marathon in November and Yukon at the end of December, it wasn't surprising they felt so heavy and tired.  This is all part of the process.

The second out and back was slower and I found myself taking some walk breaks while I contemplated heading back at the marathon turnaround.  I convinced myself that if I was going  that far, I could keep going, even if I had to walk.  I saw a lot of runners already heading back to the finish and wished that I had been able to keep up with their pace. 

The amazing Mel Preedy (photo by Takao Suzuki)
I made it to the 50k turnaround and about 6 miles to go, Mel Preedy was heading toward me and I asked him how he was doing.  He gave a thumbs up and declared, "I'm about to start my sprint to the finish!"  What a guy! 

I finished the trail run in 5:23 approximately.  My Garmin said 5:20 but my Garmin had stopped during the run but thankfully I noticed it not too long after having looked at it.  I knew it hadn't been off very long.  My Garmin map shows a straight line along a curve on the trail, making it look like I swam in the river part of the race. 

Brian's wife was a the finish and helped me get some food as my hands were frozen and I couldn't seem to get them to work properly.  I visited a little with Steve Walters (finished his second 50k in 2 days, 4:36 and 4:31), Marie Zornes, and Betsy Rogers.  I needed to hurry off to get to my daughter's soccer game. 

I would definitely recommend this trail system as it is easy to get to, easy to run on and difficult to get lost.  There are a lot of trailheads and if you have a friend who likes to bike while you run, they will love it as well.

First half of Cedar River 50k (photo by Takao Suzuki)