it's all about the distance
Sunday, April 04, 2010
Sorry I've been radio silent! Between work, working out, and trying to have a bit of a life in there, I sort of dropped the ball on my Spark blog (well, and my regular blog, to be fair). I think that being busy and not making progress as quickly as I would like makes it harder for me to want to blog. It's so much easier to post about happy things! Not that I have anything sad, per se, it's just that things could be better, faster, stronger.
Anyhow, onward and upward!
So, this last week was a little challenging. I am three weeks out from my next HM, so the distances are getting longer. I was to start the week with a 12.5 mile run. I changed into my running gear before leaving work to make it less likely for me to put it off. The weather was perfect for a long run, warm enough to run in a tee shirt, but cool enough to be comfortable running. I started out, and was having a pretty fantastic run. Then, at around six-and-a-half miles, my left hip and knee started tweaking out a bit. I paused to stretch everything out again and did a bit of massage to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be, and started off again. I felt much better until nine-and-a-half miles. The thing was that the hip pain was really just annoying, not enough to stop me or to be dangerous. It is the kind of thing I run into periodically because of my awesome back problems. However, the knee was brutal. It felt like it was going to collapse sideways. No amount of stretching or massaging was working. I could walk, but the minute I tried to run, it made me stop. The biggest problem was that I was still three miles from home. I was determined to finish this thing. So, I started walking. I tried not to think about how much faster I would get home if I were running, and to concentrate on forward motion. About one mile from home, the walking started to become problematic. I looked at my watch, and was also concerned I wouldn't make it home before the hubs had to leave for his karaoke gig. With a half-mile left to go, I hear a voice call my name. It was the hubs. He was worried I would be left without dinner, so he was going to pick me up something before he had to work. He also offered me a ride home, but I declined. After making it 12 miles, I figured I should just get the last half done with. Probably not the smartest move, but I did it anyway.
Tuesday, I went to the gym to do the recumbent bike. I've found that when my joints are grouchy, this really helps get everything loosened up again. Between that and some serious stretching, I felt human again! I was able to get myself cute and go out with my hubs to celebrate his birthday. We had a fun time, but later in the night I started to feel sick. By morning the nausea had turned into severe stomach pain. Boo. I know from experience, unfortunately, that there is nothing to do but wait it out. I tried to go to work, and made it an hour before being sent home. Thursday was more of the same. I went to the chiropractor, and thought I would be up for a run, but it was a no-go. I did eat real food, though, and was feeling somewhat better going into Friday. I made it to work for a full day, yay!
The reason all of this was especially frustrating, was I had a training run Saturday (yesterday). It was a preview of the half course (and the 10K), sponsored by the organizers of the race. This was a fantastic opportunity, since it is a new course. All week I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it! But, I felt pretty good yesterday, outside of major nerves about finishing, given my week. I got to the park early, and there was a somewhat small group. It seemed to be mostly the elite runners, as evidenced by their serious running gear and long lean bodies. I got a map of the course, and was pleased to see that a large portion is actually my training route! I kissed the hubs goodbye with a meet-up time, and headed off with the pack. There was a group of guys coming up behind me to pass, and I overheard a bit of their conversation. "It's all about the distance. Just worry about the distance, not the speed. Especially if you run in a loop and still have to get home." I chuckled to myself. So true, especially for me right now! The day was gorgeous, and I was feeling pretty fantastic about my run. Most of the way, I was on track to hit a personal best! I was feeling pretty elated. After the turnoff for the 10K route, the group thinned noticeably. Then, an even bigger chunk turned around to make it a ten mile run. I was still chugging along. I was now past my regular route (I come from quite a ways east, so I don't need to go quite so far south on the path to hit my distances). The hip starts giving me grief. Grrr. I am still feeling pretty good about the run. Then comes the turnaround. I am now running into the roughly 16mph wind, uphill. The hip was not happy. I had to slow down, and eventually take a couple of decent walk breaks and stretch. Grr!
On the bright side, I finished with exactly the same time that I did at the Princess half. So, despite not being able to run for the majority of the last year, I've managed to at least get back to where I was. I got back to the park and met the hubs, where I told him, "I'm pretty sure I was dead last. But at least I finished!" So, I now know that over the next three weeks I need to do some more hill work. I am also going to see if I can get some tips from the chiropractor for keeping my hip and knee in check. Additionally, since this was a preview run, it was on paths and trails instead of on the street. Being on the road will help immensely as I won't have to deal with the sharp left to right banks on the trail, which exacerbate my hip and back issues. Finally, this Saturday I have that running clinic with JEFF GALLOWAY! I think all of these things will help me lots and lots before race day.
Whew! That was a lot. I need to get back into doing this in small doses!!!