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I'm worried

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This weekís long run is 26 miles. On the day I finished the 20 mile long run, I just knew that nothing could stop me now. I was wrong.

Three weeks later when I attempted the 23 mile long run, ITB pain struck my left knee at mile 16. Being headstrong and stupid, I finished as much of the run as I could (21+ miles) and strained my right knee. That knee has been tender ever since. For the last two weeks, even my dance session has caused knee pain. Iíve been icing it, cutting back on training, taking all my scheduled rest days and then some.

A visit to the podiatrist early this week provided some explanations of the cause (see earlier blog), but I still need to deal with the current situation. My knee is tender, and Iím facing a 26 mile run in less than 48 hours. Yes, the podiatrist said I could continue training.

Iím a mess of conflicting emotions. I want to be able to run that marathon in November and finish it. I donít want to be embarrassed by my time. Iím really proud of how far Iíve come. Iím frustrated that Iím running more slowly now than when I started running. Iím thrilled that I have been able to accomplish so much.
Iím really irritated at my bodyís limitations. I could go onÖ.

Iím going to be there at 2 am Saturday morning, ready to go for 26 miles. Iím putting you on notice, Universe; Iím looking for a little kindness. This WILL get done!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALMTREEGIRL1 9/30/2010 6:05PM

    Girl, even if you have to crawl over the finish line, you can be proud of any time you make it in! Go for it even if you have to walk!

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LEONALIONESS 9/30/2010 5:49PM

    Wow. I'm surprised that you're going up to 26 in training runs. All the plans I've seen top out at 20-22. I guess it takes four weeks for your body to fully heal after any run over 18 miles ... make sure you leave yourself a good taper so your body is healed and as strong as possible for the actual race!

Me, I ran my 20 miler four weeks ago and promptly felt what felt like a stress fracture the next step back week. I had to stop running for three weeks. I'm now easing back into it and my marathon is on Oct. 23rd. I'm a bit worried that the down time means I'll have a harder time doing the marathon but I refuse to jump into trying to prove myself wrong by attempting a long long run of over 18 miles. Taper is too important, especially coming off an injury. I know I can do it. I'm just letting myself overthink and doubt. I've got the guts and endurance - those last six miles take grit more than anything else and I won't know I have it until I'm in the thick of it. But I think I'll be okay. ;) You will, too!

Be really careful. Honestly, if I were you, I'd not be doing that run at all. You've definitely got the stuff to do the real race. Your base is there, you've gone over 20 miles. It's all guts after that and you've got them. Continuing to do longer runs, especially if you're like me and they are over 3 hours, isn't going to help your stamina, muscles or speed. Doing shorter runs and focusing on speed training, hills, etc. would do you more good. This is just my non-professional opinion, of course.

Also, you're in the danger zone of training. Once we get over 18 miles there isn't enough time to really fully heal before the next long run. Most marathoners start to notice injuries around the 20+ mile runs. Which is a double whammy 'cause it's usually close to the actual race which means the recovery time is limited by race day approaching. If you injure yourself really badly now you run the real risk of missing your race. I'd rather ease off now and run the race, personally. You won't lose endurance by taking a break from running and resting the injury. I biked a lot to keep my cardio health and running isn't harder now that I'm back to doing it again. I always seem to come back stronger after an injury forces me to rest.

Good luck! I know how frustrating a pre-marathon injury is! I'm still worried about my dang foot. Every run I'm holding my breath waiting for my foot to break or something and really make it so I can't run the race. :(

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TUFFYBIRD 9/30/2010 3:51PM

    You sound exactly like I did when I injured my back last fall. I hope the run this weekend goes well.

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JLITT62 9/30/2010 2:08PM

    You have worked so hard for this, you absolutely deserve it. But you deserve to run a long time too! So make sure to listen to your body.

I hope you get to do this marathon, and that it's awesome. But if not? There will be more!

Good luck on that long run this weekend. I'm an early riser, but frankly you couldn't get me out of bed at 2 am to run 26 miles! So you are a winner just for that.

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ANMRUNNER 9/30/2010 2:03PM

    Lots of marathon training groups only train up to 20 or 22 miles, so you're way ahead of the pack! I'm running a marathon next month and still haven't gotten to 18 miles so your accomplishments are AMAZING! Rest if you need it... This is my second round of training for a marathon because I got injured last year and couldn't actually race. THAT was embarrassing and annoying and all those other negative emotions...

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DEE797 9/30/2010 1:17PM

    Your body will let you know if you can continue with your training run or not. Better to do less on the training run then to not be able to do the marathon in November at all due to injury. emoticon emoticon

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KEAKMAN 9/30/2010 12:20PM

    Is this a training run or a marathon on Saturday? If it is a training run, give yourself permission AHEAD OF TIME to stop early if you need to. Between now and November is plenty of time to heal as long as you don't push it too hard. Relax and take it easy on Saturday, and if you only get 23 miles in (or 21 or 19) it's really no biggie!

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LUV4CHOCOLATE 9/30/2010 12:18PM

    If you do end up running it slower than you planned (to prevent injury) there is nothing to be embarrased by. You are running a MARATHON and that is an amazing accomplishment in itself!!!! You rock!

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LIBBYFITZ 9/30/2010 11:48AM

    emoticonAll you can do is prepare and do your best. All the best for the big day! emoticon emoticon

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LOURON 9/30/2010 10:50AM

    Good luck but do be carefully So easy that to not embarrass yourself you hurt yourself emoticon

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THEEXERCISER 9/30/2010 10:47AM

    I am sorry that happened to you. I hope you feel better real soon. And please listen to your body. If something is telling you that it is not feeling right stop and taken care of you first.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/30/2010 10:41AM

    I certainly understand how you are feeling.

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ROJAKHAN 9/30/2010 10:17AM


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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/30/2010 10:15AM

    Just vow to do your best on that given day and don't worry about it. It's not worth permanently injuring yourself for. There will always be another race when you are healed. Good luck to you.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 9/30/2010 10:06AM


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HAPPY_AS_IS 9/30/2010 10:00AM

    I hope everything goes okay. Good luck w/ your run!

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 9/30/2010 9:57AM


With YOU, all things are possible! You are unstoppable!

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Grumble........I just accidentally deleted my blog!

Monday, September 27, 2010

It was nothing but odds and ends, but still......Very frustrating.

So, just the highlights:

Saturday's long run was OK, because it wasn't too long. 7 miles with hills (parking garage ramps.) No ITB problems, but the right knee a little swollen.

Saturday afternoon the movers delivered my mom's furniture - no advance warning beyond a phone call 1 1/2 hour ahead of arrival. Fortunately my bank had a branch open until 3pm so I was able to scramble to have the cash required to retrieve my delivery. "Movers" turned out to be one scrawny kid, so I did a lot of helping.

Sunday was spent unpacking the boxes. I'm happy to report that all the Meissen china arrived in one piece. These pieces had been purchased by my parents from escaping refugees in Shanghai in the late 1940s, and have now landed in Houston after stays in Paris, Geneva, Chevy Chase, Frankfurt, Bangkok, and Mayville NY. I wonder where their next stay will be, although I know that my eldest daughter will be the next recipient. I wonder where their original owners are, and wish I could tell them or their families that their treasures have been treasured by my family.

Have you ever taken those quizzes to find out what your decorating style is? I could never successfully do those because I liked so many different things. But I was never comfortable with my surroundings as an adult. Now that my parents' items have landed in my house, I've discovered that my style is antique Chinese eclectic. My house finally feels like home, and not only because these are the items I grew up with. I realized that I didn't select any of the European antiques, and let my brothers go after those. No, I'm at home with the Chinese antiques. I should take pictures.....

Today's my middle daughter's 25th birthday, so I invited her to have dinner last night. When she was unable to decide on what kind of food she wanted, we headed for Whole Foods where each member of the family selected items she wanted to eat. This was particularly helpful to the youngest who is a vegetarian. So we came home and had quite a feast! Some of the selections: a huge salad, macaroni and cheese (for the birthday girl), Italian salami, stinky French cheeses, four types of olives, and a rustic baguette. It wasn't nice of me, but I sent all the leftovers home with my daughter. Actually, her friends will take care of eating all of that, and it won't land on her hips either.

And last but not least, I finally went to the podiatrist today. I picked one that I knew to be a runner (I had known him socially 30+ years ago), and had to laugh when I saw the pictures in the exam room. His wall was plastered with pictures from race finishes. The hallway was plastered with pictures of him with various politicians. Well, at least I know his political leanings now.

So, it turns out that, just as I suspected, my right leg is slightly shorter than the left. But that's not the problem. My feet are very asymmetrical, and my gait is full of idiosyncrasies. My right foot wobbles all over the place, and my left tries to compensate. My weight is balanced on the outside of the right food, and the inside of the left foot. Who knew I was such a mess? Fortunately this can be easily rectified with orthotics, and I was told I could continue running with temporary orthotics. Let's hope they'll do the trick this Saturday when I have a 26 miler scheduled. I have to wait 3 weeks for the other orthotics.

That just about wraps up this session of odds and ends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALMTREEGIRL1 9/28/2010 8:57AM

    How could we live before orthodics? I'm loving the Power Steps but I might have to get something more 'fitted' because my heel is still dinked. 26 miles!!!! WOW!

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ZELLAZM 9/28/2010 5:39AM

    Thanks!...your post was a kind of wake-up call. I have a slight leg-length differential and wore orthotics way back in my 20's but haven't used them since I started running again a few years ago. May be time for a trip to a good ortho!


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LIBBYFITZ 9/27/2010 8:03PM

    emoticonIsn't that frustrating when you accidentally delete something, especially a well thought out blog! The 2nd edition was great!

Good to see that you are getting your feet sorted. Hope the temporary ones do the job for you. Must be the season for orthotics as I go tomorrow to have one made for my left foot. I have mild scoliosis so I think that affects posture over time. emoticon

The dinner sounds scrumptious.

Have a great week! emoticon emoticon

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TUFFYBIRD 9/27/2010 5:08PM

    I'm glad you were able to get some real answers around your feet/leg length issues. You have come so far; it's nice to know that you should be able to continue without further injury.

You'll have to post pictures of your Asian antiques - if they could only tell their story. I don't own anything with that much history emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/27/2010 4:56PM

    I'm glad your podiatrist got to the bottom of your problem. I'm sure your gait problem stem from your body's compensations for your leg length differences over the years.

By sheer coincidence, this turns out to be exactly the problem that was diagnosed for my running companion who has been out for some weeks now. She was back on Sunday and told me that she had leg length differences too. In her case, it caused her to scrunch up the instep on her short leg (I did this too I discovered) and land on the outside edge of her long leg. This led to muscle imbalances in her hip and lower back. Ironically, she initially went to her doctor because of a painful Achilles (also connected.) Isn't the body amazing in the ways it "adapts" to keep you moving. In addition to orthotics, her doctor prescribed several strength training exercises to address the muscle imbalances before he let her run again.

I feel so fortunate that my trainer noticed my problem before I did a lot of long runs on it.

Good luck with your 26!

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SHARONSPARKLE 9/27/2010 4:30PM

    I hope the temporary orthotics help for your 26 miler on Saturday. That's a full marathon!!! You go girl!

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JLITT62 9/27/2010 3:58PM

    Ooooh, Meissen china. How wonderful! I looked at it in an outlet store the ONE day I was in Dresden last year, and couldn't even afford one little piece! You are lucky.

My mom has some china-style furniture -- no, can't say as it moves me. But it's always good to know what moves you.

26 miles. I still think you're crazy. My leg is protesting with just a slight increase in distance. At least I think that's what it's protesting, not really quite sure.

Your daughter's birthday dinner sounds divine -- and a great way to do it. Not that we have a Whole Foods anywhere near.

Good luck with the orthotics -- hope they help!

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    I'm a former interior decorator before I became a nurse so your decorating style is very interesting. The china sounds wonderful.

The birthday dinner sounded great.

I hope the orthotics work well for you.

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BABY_GIRL69 9/27/2010 2:11PM

    I just HATE when that happens! I'm normally 1-2 paragraphs & its a good one & POOF! Its gone. . .So I started to "control a" & then "control c" which is to select all & then copy it, just in case. . . . You know we have similiar names except mines is spelled "Detria." I love yours cause people always end up calling me by your name. lol

God bless & continued success!


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DEE797 9/27/2010 1:59PM

    sorry you lost your original blog. Glad the furnishings and dishes arrived safely. Would love the see the pics of your Chinese eclectic and that you are feeling at home with them. Love your idea of the bday goodies for all. Also happy to read that the podiatrist was able to figure out the problem and they can be corrected.

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Jack of all trades and master of none

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I tend to be a generalist. That has stood me in good stead as far as work is concerned, I suppose, as I've been able to adapt to various types of positions and companies within the insurance industry.

But dabbling isn't working for me in training for a marathon! I thought that signing up for another session of Power in Motion this fall would give me a different type of experience which would help me build strength and fitness. If nothing else, I like running with others so thought this would be a good option.

It's like Couch to 5K, but there are options for those of us who are already running. After the time trials two weeks ago I found myself having moved up several categories since last spring. What harm can come of running, right?

The first week was easy, we were running 4/1s. Last week, we moved on to 6/1s, but the group took it at quite a pace, much faster than I'm accustomed to and much faster than is appropriate given the heat and humidity. I was huffing and puffing at the end but thought it would only help me get fit.

So during the week when I'm doing short runs, I'm following the PIM program, not Galloway. This morning I headed out for this week's long run since I missed the group run yesterday. I started out with the 6/1s for 3 repeats, then switched to 2/1s. By mile 6, the left knee starts to hurt again. I immediately switch to 1/1s since I was able to do this the last time this happened. No go.

So I switched to 30/30 seconds, and this worked better. Now I don't actually run so much as I shuffle. My feet don't come up off the ground much. It just feels more economical that way. But the knee was hurting. So I started lifting the knees a bit more and somehow this relieved the pain while I was running. In fact, I didn't feel pain. So I finished the last mile this way, which was exhausting but relatively pain-free.

I walked another half mile to cool down, and during that time decided that deviating from Galloway was contributing to the pain. So I'm going to stop that other training program and just focus on what I've been doing successfully up until now. I'm going to continue experimenting with lifting my knees more.

Interestingly, that last mile was my fastest pace of the run.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALMTREEGIRL1 9/28/2010 8:51AM

    I agree, why fix the program if it works......

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HALFFAST 9/21/2010 7:35PM

    I am almost done with C25k and am interested in the Galloway training next, which is how I think our paths crossed ;) But anyways, I wanted to recommend the Pose technique of running which has you lifting your knees more. I have a little video blog of it (my adaptation of it anyways) but if you google the Pose Technique you can find much better videos by "real" runners. Hope this helps a little, and I hope your knee feels better soon!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/21/2010 5:12PM

    I hear you! It's hard not to be impatient. I think Galloway makes running easier for those of us training for our first endurance events so that we tend to forget that we haven't been running very long. That other program may be just the thing for you once you have a race or two under your belt and a year on your legs.

I'm sorry to hear that you are still having problems with your knees. If you still suspect that leg length differences could be part of the problem, I encourage you to address that root cause. It's amazing how many nagging pains disappear once you do. For me, it was a simple matter of putting a flat insole under the heel (Spenco brand, cut up.) I didn't need to do the entire foot.
emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 9/20/2010 2:40PM

    I've read several running books by now, and I'm always struck by how each one has found "the" program.

The truth is nothing works for everyone, and everything doesn't work for everybody.

Sounds to me like you've already found your answer. Do what works for you. When you listen closely enough, your body tells you what it needs. Good job on listening to it!

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DEE797 9/20/2010 8:14AM

    I agree with stay with what is working for you. Do take care of those knees. emoticon

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TUFFYBIRD 9/19/2010 11:22PM

    Yes Dee, do take care of that knee. It's such a fine line between doing too much, and doing enough to stay on program! I still struggle with that (around my back injury).

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LIBBYFITZ 9/19/2010 10:33PM

    It is important to stay well, so keep to what works for you. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/19/2010 10:18PM

    It sounds to me like you are adapting well.

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Owning it

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yes, I'm depressed.

The loss of that client really hit me; it's like a bad divorce, one in which you haven't worked through the issues, have no idea why things ended.

Yes, I'm worried about my job, because I feel that I don't have enough to do, don't contribute enough. Times are tough, and now this makes them tougher. I hate not being busy, not keeping my mind occupied.

I'd like to go out and run it off, but my knees hurt, so I'm taking it easy this week. I laugh when I realize that a year ago it would never have occurred to me to go out to run in order to deal with stress, pain, whatever.

This past weekend I started painting the bathroom - my daughter had wanted it deep red, but finally got tired of it. So I started with a coat of primer, which is almost done. I realized afterwards that I had done what my mother used to do: when stressed out, she painted walls or scrubbed floors. When a family friend of ours was found murdered in Prague when I was a teenager, she and I repainted several rooms over the course of the weekend, as we waited for more news about what might have happened. There's just some magic about doing something productive while you suffer and wait.

Her birthday is on Friday. This time last year (as long as I'm wallowing) I went up to see her in the hospital. I just ran across a picture of her sitting outside in a wheelchair, oxygen tank at her side, looking gaunt. A living skeleton at that point. I didn't let myself see that at the time, all I saw was the fierce spirit struggling to get better. She never gave up.

I guess I'm my mother's daughter.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    The economy is a mess so most of us can relate to your job situation. Wall painting sounds like a good stress buster.

My mother was the same - a valiant fighter. She left me in 96. I still miss her.

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PALMTREEGIRL1 9/16/2010 2:01PM

    I remember sending one of my sisters a birthday card that said "We've become our mother". So true. You, like her, are a fighter - keep your dukes up!

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TUFFYBIRD 9/15/2010 5:57PM

    I do exactly the same thing when I'm stressed out ... can't sit still anyway, and getting involved in something distracts me.

I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time this week; I hope you feel better soon.

emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 9/15/2010 4:21PM

    emoticonMy thoughts are with you my friend. So sad. emoticon

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DEE797 9/15/2010 1:30PM

    I am sorry you have hit a rough patch. Do hope your knees are on the mend. Painting is one way to get your mind off of things. We do eventually become our Mothers or so they say. You definitely have her drive and determination. emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/15/2010 1:09PM

    I'm so sorry that you are having such a tough week. I hope the leg is on the mend so that you can leave your worries on the pavement soon.
emoticon emoticon

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BAILEYS7OF9 9/15/2010 12:24PM

    Hang in there. It's tough out there for sure.

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JLITT62 9/15/2010 9:44AM

    I sure wish I channeled my stress as well as you do!

It's always tough to lose a client. And with your responsibilities, I can understand the worry. But I have no doubt you will get thru this. I wish I had half your drive!

They do say we become our mothers . . . yet I don't see that in myself. I'll have to ask DH!

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DESERT_BIRD 9/15/2010 9:26AM

    I am so sorry you are going through rough times.


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DAWNDMOORE40 9/15/2010 8:51AM

    emoticonHang in there! Just take things one day at a time and it will all work out! Remember you have emoticonthat do care about you and we are here if you need us! emoticon emoticon

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VIRGINIAGRETA 9/15/2010 8:50AM

    You (and your mother!) were right... painting is therapeutic! Hope the new coat of paint will make you feel refreshed and lighten your spirit.

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A bad start to a new year

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Jewish New Year found me in bed with a fever and chills. With a normally low body temperature, the slightest elevation in temp really affects me. I got up and went to work several times this week only to head back home after a few hours. By Friday, though, I was able to make it the entire day.

Midway through the morning, I got a call from my eldest who was on her way to services (she's a rabbi.) What started out as a social call quickly turned to tears as she recounted the tribulations she's encountering with regard to the senior rabbi position at her congregation. She's applied for it, a vast majority of congregants are very supportive, but there are underlying political moves and changes afoot unknown to most of the congregation. She's in a tough situation, and unfortunately she's got her mother's disposition: an unwillingness to be confrontational. I did the best I could but it was the blind leading the blind.

Not an hour later, I got a call from my largest client, informing me we were fired. A new CEO, an old relationship, and we're out the door. That one was out of left field, totally unexpected. I'm stunned and speechless.

Which brings me to Saturday's long run. You didn't think you'd get by without something to do with running, did you?

I got to the meeting place in plenty of time to start the 23-miler at 2:15 AM. We headed out first for a 3 mile run, then back to base. Then a 10 mile run, and back to base. I was feeling fine, and having no difficulty. We headed out for the last 10 miles and I got to the first SAG. We started up again, and when we got to what was mile 16 my left knee suddenly started hurting. The group leader told me to go back to the SAG and I would get a ride back. I declined. Foolish in retrospect but here's the thing: I had had no control over what was happening to me and my family, and here was something I thought I could control. I really thought I could tough it out

I did - went on for another 5.5 miles but took a shortcut that would get me back to my car. I normally do 1/1s, but found I could run about 50 seconds and then the pain would make me go back to a walk. So that's what I did. I shouldn't have.

I know everyone has a bad run now and again, and that was my first really bad one. I get that, and I can accept that.

What upsets me is not knowing what happened. I still don't understand what caused the sudden pain, so I'm not sure what to do to fix it. Because of the strain, the other knee started hurting as well, but not as much. The pain is on the outside of the knee, but doesn't extend above or below.

One of the other runners was running behind me for a bit, and when the pain started she helped me stretch. She's a podiatrist and commented that my gait seemed fine and the shoes I have seem to be what I need. She recommended the exercises from the October Runners' World issue, so I'll try that. I decided strength training was probably a good idea, so took myself off to the gym this morning.

So, four days into a new year, and I'm being confronted with challenges right and left. I don't know whether to burst in tears or find a way to fight back. OK, the truth is that I'll do both. I always do. I can't help the tears, but I never quit fighting.

It can only get better!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALMTREEGIRL1 9/14/2010 7:50AM

    Man! You were hit with the proverbial frying pan! I know that you will rise to every challenge and come out on top - you go girl - kick life in the butt!

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    I totally feel for you. Enough is enough. I'm sending hugs too. This week has to be better!! emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 9/12/2010 4:02PM


Big, big emoticon

That is just no way to ring in the new year.

Crying is good. It means you're not stuffing your feelings inside. Have a good cry, then go get those boxing gloves on! Wish I could give you one of those hugs in person.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/12/2010 2:14PM

    I had this happen to me and it was caused by a tight IT Band on my short leg side. The pain shows up on the side of the knee because that's where muscles attaches and the tendon is being stretched at the joint. But the cause is really higher up, in the muscle. Try foam rolling the IT band and the quad and see if that helps. Also the inside of the upper leg.
emoticon emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 9/12/2010 1:42PM

    Oh, for crying out loud! When it rains it pours, right?!

Well, I will offer that your experience is being taken to heart... I am being so over-the-top cognizant of every twinge I feel in my knee... my hip... my back... my ankle... and I promise to stop when I feel something wrong... I swear I won't try to "run" through ANYthing...

Now... about this New Year trying to kick your butt... I am over here in Mooville warning it for you...

You better watch it, 5771... D. is tougher than she looks and she is COMING for you!!

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38BABYGIRL 9/12/2010 12:35PM

    I am right beside you in the challenges department. Can't help the tears either... and I keep going... even when I don't want to. Hang in there and Happy New Year!

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LIBBYFITZ 9/12/2010 11:39AM

    emoticonYou will get through it. sorry to hear about all your news. hope things improve. emoticon

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DEE797 9/12/2010 11:15AM

    You are a very strong woman. emoticon to you and your daughter during this difficult time. I do hope all works out with her congregation and your company. Glad you were able to get some advice for your knees. emoticon

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