Saturday, July 17, 2010
I know that I've been MIA lately, but I am just determined to provide an update on what's been going on with me...and take a look through a bunch of Spark Pages today to see what's been happening with all of you. I hope that you all have been doing well. For me, there has been some good news and some not-such-great-news. So let me get right to it.
The Good News:
1. I have continued to remain on my nutrition program (although I did have a couple of days around the 4th of July where I did overeat somewhat...though not disastrously so). In my last 4 weigh-ins at Weight Watchers, this is my record:
June 23 - down 2.2 lbs
June 30 - down 1.8 lbs
July 10 - down 1.2 lbs (changed meetings this week so a 10 day result)
July 17 - down .8
So my total is 58.8 lbs down from November 12, 2009. I still have about 25 - 30 lbs to go, and those will likely be some hard pounds to get off...but at least I feel like a human being again, and not just an nondescript blob, simply existing in limbo from my own life.
2. I ran the Peachtree Road Race, as planned, on July 4th. I did not run the entire thing as I'd originally hoped...but I finished, and that was the main goal, especially since I HAVE run 10K on the treadmill a few times now (in my 68 degree basement - not in the 95 degree Atlanta streets). In the end, I ended up doing this:
Miles 1 thru 3 - ran the whole way
Mile 4 (AKA "Cardiac Hill") - ran the beginning of this mile (to about the 3.3 mile point), but in the end walked most of this mile, which is pretty much all uphill and is regarded by all to be the toughest mile of the course. Mostly walked, but jogged a bit here and there - especially through the cold water showers (I went through every single cold water shower on the course, even if I had to cross Peachtree Road through the crowd to do so - they felt GREAT!)
Mile 5 - ran part of this mile, but walked most of it as there are more uphills (are there any DOWNHILLS on this frakkin' course????? )
Mile 6 - ran almost all of this mile, I think (although to be honest, this mile is kind of a blur).
Mile 6.2 - The Big Finish (as close to a 'sprint' as I could muster for about the last half mile of the race, really)
So anyway, I finished, and got my second coveted Peachtree Roadrace Finisher's Shirt. Odd that the years on them are so far apart - 1996 (the summer after I moved to Atlanta from Anchorage) and 2010. But I got 2010, and that makes me happy.
The Bad News started in the hours after the race, however.
Except for the heat, I actually felt okay during the race. My Achilles were fine, and even though I was running in the morning, I didn't feel queasy or anything. My lower back began to stiffen up a little toward the end of the race, but not any moreso than during my everyday running, and I stretched as well as I was able after the race, considering the crowds in Piedmont Park, the fact that there is NOTHING to lean against to stretch (it's a completely open field), and the fact that I was actually MOST interested in getting re-hydrated and standing on line for the port-a-potty, both of which were rather urgent objectives.
They were passing out free fruit to the runners, and I sat down on the grass to eat a peach and a banana and drink my water bottle...but the longer I hung around the park, the more I could feel my back tightening. And there was really nowhere to sit, in terms of a bench with a back on it or anything. Only the grass. So I decided that I'd just get out of there and walk to MARTA.
Well, the walk to MARTA, which I think must have been about 1.5 miles or so, was by FAR one of the most painful walks I have ever done. My back was getting tighter and tighter...and I actually had to stop about 3 times and sit on people's front steps with my head down - trying to stretch out my back. But nothing really helped. It felt good to get on the bus at the 10th Avenue MARTA station because of the air conditioning, but by that time, the fact that the bus seat (and later, the train seat) had a back on it didn't even matter - I was WELL past the point of getting help from a chair with some back support. Once I finally got to my Jeep at the Sandy Springs MARTA station, my driver's seat made it a little better...but not much. By the time I got home, I was in serious pain and had to take muscle relaxant pills for the horrible spasms I was having in my back. It was terrible. I took a hot shower and spent the rest of the 4th of July in bed, zoned out on pain pills. I wasn't even awake for anything like fireworks and such. And I can't even remember what all I ate when I woke up here and there...but I know that it wasn't healthy!
Of course, after the race I had actually planned to take a couple of days off from exercise, as I'd been pretty hard-core for about 3 months before the race, really pushing.
But then the back popping started. I first noticed it on the morning of the 5th, when I took the dogs out for their morning walk. With every step I took, my back was popping - like bone against bone. It didn't really hurt, but it just felt and sounded gross. And I figured that bone against bone COULDN'T be a good thing. The rest of the day was like that...and Tuesday as well...so I decided at that point to take the rest of the week off from exercise and see if that helped.
So Tuesday of this past week, I went to the doctor.
Bottom line - she said that my bones are okay (great news) but that the muscles are so tight still that that is what is causing the popping & cracking. So now I have back & core exercises to do a few times a day (can't really afford physical therapy - still no job) and I can walk for exercise, but no running for another week or so. Bleh!
The funny thing is that when she said I need to do core exercises, I immediately thought of Tony Horton and asked her about Power 90/P90X...and she told me that I really needed to get on the ball with Tony. That running is great and that I can keep doing it, once I get past this...but that Tony needs to be my best buddy, because I need to get my core in better shape to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
So there you go, P90X SparkFriends. I guess that if I want to KEEP RUNNING, I actually need to spend less time running and more time JUST PRESSING PLAY.
I still have never ordered my reward for 50 lbs lost (although now it's almost 60!) because I have been really trying to save money, given that I still have no job. But it might be time to order P90X - job or no job. Because now, my running is at stake as well...and I have worked so hard to get that back, I simply can't risk losing it again.
I guess that in my 20's and 30's, I could run almost exclusively, and that would be enough. But now, it seems that I need to do almost as much work in order to KEEP running as I do simply doing the running itself. Sucks getting old. It really does.
So anyway, that is what's been up with me. Sorry this has been so long...but I really felt like I owed you all a real update - especially all of you who were such a support during my time leading up to the Peachtree.
Still no job...and the job search/going to networking groups is taking a TON of my time these days....but I at least wanted you all to know that I'm still in the battle and am thinking of you all often.
So now I'm going to go read some SparkPages!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Okay, so over the weekend, I met the goal that I had originally scheduled for THANKSGIVING 2010! - ran 6.2 miles (10K) on the treadmill.
True, it took me 90 minutes to do it (I used to routinely run a 10K in under 55 minutes, back in the day), but I did it. And I'm really pleased about that.
That's the good news. I have now actually met all of the 2010 running goals I set back in January, when I could barely run for 60 seconds without stopping. And it's still early June! So that is a great success. Especially given my ongoing Achilles problems, which limit my training somewhat.
The bad news is that, based on the 'trials' I have conducted running outdoors in the heat, there is no way I will be able to run the entire 6.2 miles outside in the heat on July 4.
In the past week, I have run outside 3 times, and all three times, the heat did me in at about 3 miles. There is a loop I do in my neighborhood...and while I made the 3 miles okay, there is NO WAY I could do the same distance twice (which is what I'd need to do in the Peachtree) without passing out or getting sick from the heat. No way. Even doing 3 miles, during the last 10 minutes or so, I start to feel sort of 'out of it' and just want to get home and throw cold water on myself as quickly as possible.
If this race was being conducted in the winter months when it would be about 45 degrees instead of 95 degrees, I would be golden. I like running on the roads, and the hills are not an issue (there is a large one in my neighborhood, plus a couple of smaller uphills, and on a 3 mile run I do all three of them 3x each). But the heat is absolutely debilitating to this Alaskan. 15 years in Atlanta...and I still just wither. I feel great during the first half of the run...but during the second half I go downhill quickly...and the last half mile is just barely there and all I can think about is getting home as quickly as possible.
So I do not think I should chance forcing myself to try to run the entire distance of the Peachtree. If I do that, I fear I will end up in the medical tent - NOT because I can't run the distance (since I now already have), but because I can't take the heat and will end up with heat stroke.
I still want to do the race. But I'm not sure if I should just walk it, or do a jog/walk combination of some kind. I don't really know what to do, because I've never actually walked in a race. Should I jog as long as I can, and then just walk? Should I do X number of minutes running and then X number walking? Should I just walk for a while around water stations? Or should I just walk the whole way just for fun and take the pressure and concern about the heat completely off of myself? I don't know what to do.
In any event, I'll continue with my long runs of over 6 miles on the treadmill...and will do these outside once the weather gets cool. And I will do some of my short runs of 3 miles or so outside, even in summer, just for a change of scenery and the feel of the road.
But I guess I will just have to face the fact that I will never be a hot weather runner. Or a hot weather PERSON, for that matter!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
It's been so long since I spent a lot of time running outdoors that I completely forgot about the first rule of summer running in the South: You can breathe through your mouth...but keep your front teeth together. Ottherwise, at some point you are bound to suck in a bug.
Tonight, I remembered.
And I won't be forgetting again any time soon.
PKTrekGirl's summer running face:
So in other news, yesterday I ran 5.7 miles on the treadmill. With 4 weeks to the Peachtree (10K), I believe this was a reasonable length run. Of course, it was in the cool of my air-conditioned basement....while tonight's 3 mile bug-eating extravaganza was outdoors. But I'm feeling better about the race than I did last week, when I pooped out at the 5 mile mark.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Well, I haven't posted about this in a couple of weeks, so I thought I'd write something down.
My goal for May was to, by month end, run 5.5 miles without stopping or walking. I did this on May 22nd, so I met my goal. However, this past week I have been plagued with back problems in addition to the ongoing Achilles problems...and was not able to replicate that distance this weekend. Ran 5 miles yesterday...but just didn't think I could make another half, so quit at 5.
Because of the upcoming race, I am really unhappy with the 5 miles yesterday. But I'm trying to keep it in perspective - on January 1st, I couldn't even run a full minute without huffing and puffing so much that I dropped it down to 30 seconds in subsequent workouts and for a couple of weeks actually ran 30 seconds/walked for 4 min 30 seconds!
I've come a long way since then, and I should be proud of that...but now all I'm doing is worrying about this race, the heat, etc...and worrying about increasing my mileage every week....and looking at even the smallest 'setback' (if you could call running 5 miles a 'setback') in what was a VERY aggressive plan to begin with as a 'failure'.
And I really can't train any more than I am, because this Achilles issue is giving me fits - really cramping my style. Only ran about 11 miles this week because of my back issues (took 4 days off completely)...but have been running about 18 - 20 miles for the past couple of months....which is about all I dare subject my Achilles to.
Anyway...I'm just not sure I'll be able to run the whole 10K in the July 4th heat. If I was in Alaska, I wouldn't be worried - heat would not be an issue and if I could run 5.5, I could run 6.2. But in the Atlanta heat, all bets are off.
I'm certainly going to try...but I might have to walk part of the way. I'll make the 6.2 miles...but running the whole way? Less confident about that bit in the heat.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Well, my two dogs fit that commercial perfectly.
Me: "Bad 509!"
Juliet: grrrrr....grrrrr (scampers away quickly and continues destructo-dog behavior with whatever item of mine she happens to have in her mouth at the time)
Me: Who's a good 745? YOU'RE a good 745!
Rygel: (rolls over on his back) "Rub my tummy! Oh, oh OH that feels so good! RRRUUUUBBBB MYYYYY TTTTUUUMMMMMMMY!!! OHHHHH!!!"
So from now on, my new nicknames for my dogs will be '509' and '745'.
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