Sunday, September 29, 2013

I'll get to meet Hal!!!!!!

I just saw on Hal's facebook page that he'll be at the Chicago marathon expo! Hurray!!!!!! He says:
CHICAGO MARATHON: I have now confirmed my appearances at the expo. Friday, I will be at the Marathon & Beyond booth between 12:00 & 2:00 and at the Rodale/RW booth between 4:00 & 5:00. Saturday I will be at M&B 10:00 to 12:00 and RW 2:00 to 3:00. We hope to have print copies of 4:09:43 to sell.
Happy happy happy!!! I wanted to do a local 10k on Saturday morning, but meeting Hal puts me on a timeline that won't allow for a morning race. Obviously meeting Hal trumps any 10k. It's HAL!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This makes up for the hideous shirt

I still stand by my opinion that the Indianapolis Monumental's shirt is the ugliest one I've ever seen. Their medal, however, goes a long way toward making me not care one iota about the shirt. They finally revealed it today:

It's posted next to the 2012, for comparison of its massive size. Even better... it's a spinner!!! I don't have any yet! "2013" is on the back of the spinny part. I really really like it :)

Disney posted the ribbons that go with the medals. I didn't like the medals when I first saw them. I thought they were generic looking and kind of blah and meh. The more times I see them, though, the more I like them. Both the Disneys and the Indy though are flat bar hangers, and I prefer the v-hook style for my hanger. Ah well.

Wouldn't I rather wait and be surprised by the medals when I finish? No, not at all. I want to see them and envision them around my neck and hanging on my wall. Eyes on the prize baby!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My left hip doesn't like running? Too bad!!!!

In 2010, my left knee ached all summer and I couldn't walk from here to there. After many tests to rule out possible diagnoses, the doctor gave me Salsalate (anti inflammatory medication) and it fixed everything. I've since considered the strong likelihood that my knee was perfectly fine, it was my hip that was messed up.

Fast forward a few years. My left knee was twinge-y for a lot of June and July. It wasn't necessarily in pain, just felt stiff and like it needed to be popped.

In September the pain jumped down to my ankle / lower calf and there it sits. It hasn't responded to any home treatments - heat, ice, epsom salt, rest, ibuprofen, nothing works! I can run and it only hurts when I poke at it, but how it'll fare during a marathon is a concern. Just because I can run 1 hour doesn't mean I can run 4-5 hours.

It's affected more than nine consecutive runs - which somehow became my benchmark - so I went to see a sports medicine doctor. I didn't want a doctor to say "If it only hurts when you run, stop running." Nope, not valid treatment.

They took x-rays and everything was fine. I had pretty much already diagnosed myself and outlined the course of treatment, and the doctor agreed with everything. The pain is right where the muscle and tendon meet, but he doesn't think it's a tendon issue because I'd feel that throughout the arch of the foot. He said I can get an ultrasound if I want to look at the tendon, but he doesn't think that's it.

I mentioned the 2010 issue, and that a little hip problem changed the whole alignment and functioning of my leg. He agreed. I took in the empty pill bottle I used successfully in 2010 and said I would like that again. He agreed.

I mentioned the races several times, and at no point did he discourage me from doing them. I didn't even necessarily need a cure today, just some pain management and if everything goes how I expect, I'll be managing quite well :)

Meijer didn't have the med, but they ordered it and I should be good to go tomorrow. In 2010 it took twelve days to kick in, but my pain was much greater then. I'm hoping for a few days and I'll be as good as new :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A 10k medal I REALLY want

Darn Jeff at Detroit Runner! If he hadn't posted this, I would never know about the race, but now that he made me aware of it, I want to do it! This race has quite possibly the funniest medal ever:

I've been pretty clear with my disdain for 5k or 10k medals, yet if they're this awesome, I WANT ONE!!!! hahahahahaha "Fra-geeeeelay....must be Italian..."

The details are that it's a Cleveland race in December, which is not a place I necessarily want to visit (unless it's to see the Tigers play at Jacobs). I especially don't want to go in the winter, not to mention it's awfully far to drive for a 58 minute run.

All valid arguments, yet the race organizers tempt us further with a "virtual" option. Runners doing this option sign up and run the distance at home, or wherever, and the race folk mails the shirt and medal. It's $45 plus shipping, which is way too much for a 10k, but have you ever seen a funnier medal????

Friday, September 20, 2013

This post has nothing to do with running

Last week was Star Wars night at the Tigers game. Whee!!!! Best game of the year :D

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hokum or hope?

At lunch I did a quick search for "tendinitis treatment." One of the links that popped up was SaveYourself, a Canadian site that offers "sensible advice for aches, pains and injuries." I'll try anything.

For tendinitis, he recommends "friction massage," or rubbing perpendicular to the growth of the tendon. In a leg massage, the normal tendency is to rub up and/or down, but he recommended rubbing side to side. 

He says:
Friction massage basically “scrubs” the fibres of the tendon, theoretically aiding recovery, and it doesn’t really have to be particularly “deep” (intense). If it works, the mechanism is probably just mild stimulation of natural tissue repair mechanisms. Friction massage is well worth trying, because it’s quite safe, basically free to experiment with, and makes a fair bit of sense even though it’s far from scientifically proven.
The action of friction massage is simple and well-suited to self-treatment, as long as you can reach the problem. Just rub gently back and forth over the inflamed tendon at the point of greatest tenderness. Your strokes should be perpendicular to the fibres of the tendon — like strumming a guitar string. 
Use gentle to moderate pressure with the pads of your fingers or a thumb. Strong pressure is not required or wise, particularly for self-treatment.  
Even gentle friction massage will cause discomfort — you are rubbing an active case of tendonitis, after all! The pain should be clear and a bit burning or sharp — however, the discomfort should be easily bearable. 
If the frictioning is painless, or the pain is dull, you are probably in the wrong place, or you don’t have tendonitis. If it is too painful, either you are pressing too hard, or the tendonitis is simply too serious to easily treat in this fashion. 
The complete treatment should take about 3-6 minutes, and should be done at least once per day, and a maximum of three times per day. If it’s going to work, you should feel immediate improvement in symptoms following each treatment. It may not work for you! This is no miracle cure. It is worth trying, but it fails in many cases for all kinds of reasons.
One of the basic principles of healing is that tissue must not be disturbed while healing, and this is particularly true of tendonitis, where stress has already exceeded the capacity of the body to adapt. And yet some stimulation is still a vital component of tissue health and healing, and it’s important to avoid tissue stagnancy. A sick tendon needs at least some moderate stimulation in order to move tissue fluids and to induce connective tissue repair.
In the case of tendonitis, excessive pulling on the tendon is precisely what caused the problem in the first place. If we “stimulate” the tendon with more pulling — more normal activity — this simply constitutes continued irritation to tissue that has already told us it “canna take it any more, cap’n!” 
Thus, the friction massage technique provides a method of stimulating the tissue in a new and different way. In theory.
It sounded like complete and total hokum, yet when my healing is on a deadline, anything seems reasonable. Yes, I tried it...

By the time I got out of my car at work, I had a spring in my step and I was walking with purpose, and without limping!!! What did Bob Seger say? "My walk had purpose, my steps were quick and light." 

The real test was going from the 3rd floor to the 2nd, using two big big flights of stairs. No pain!!!! Yes, I can cause discomfort by rolling my ankle pretty far to either side, but forward motion, stairs, and weight bearing steps are working again without pain!!!! Who knew??? Happy happy happy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Status update :(

Saturday was absolutely perfect weather wise - low 60s and sunny. Hal wanted me to run 12 miles, but I had the good sense to say I'd run what I could. It started off great! My quads felt light, my feet felt light, everything was REALLY GOOD!!!!

First mile was good, second was good, third was good. Fourth mile my left ankle started hurting a little. I got through seven miles and my ankle felt so-so, not great. I iced it that night and it felt so-so.

Sunday it felt worse and was causing me to limp when I first got going. After 10-20 steps, I could walk right, but I was definitely limping at times.

Went to Target and bought some ibuprofen. Took a hot bath. Massaged it.

It feels so so.

Work just changed our insurance and to save $ on premiums, I opted for the high deductible plan, and I just don't feel like spending several hundred dollars for a doctor to say "nothing is structurally wrong with you. If it only hurts when you run, stop running." I can tell myself that for free...

It's not swollen at all, it's not red, it's not hot to the touch, so my home diagnosis is either a stress fracture of tendinitis of the posterior IT band. Which is it? It doesn't matter. The remedy is the same for either - rest.

Chicago is in 4 weeks, which is a good amount of time. Mid-week running is out. I'll bike or elliptical, neither of which is anywhere close to comparable, but they're cardiovascular, which makes them better than nothing. I'll try Saturday runs, depending on how I feel.

I have a massage appointment this week anyway. Bill's friend recommended acupuncture. I read a story in Runner's World that sums it up perfectly: "... judgement takes a hiatus if a runner hears that a product will get him back on the street fast." Yep, exactly. Common sense also takes a hiatus when your recovery time has a deadline.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yeah, I run like a girl

I don't post photographers' race picture previews on here because I respect their intellectual copyright. Yet, if I pay for the pictures, I scan and post at will.

I wasn't necessarily planning to buy any since Columbia City, but the two from The Legend trail half turned out well and they were cheap ($3.25 each) so Bill surprised me and bought them.

Here they are:
My arms look a little wing-like, but look how thin they are! The best part - my quads look sick!!! I really like that my raised foot is actually off the ground  more than 2 inches :) Maybe I'm looking at my watch, I don't know. If only we could digitally remove the people sitting on the ground behind me! I like how the trees are blurry. This picture has great artistic composition :D

I really like this one. I look like a runner!!!! If the shirt looks a little darker than normal, it's because it's completely drenched in sweat! Ewwwww!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Upcoming goodies

A few more pictures were posted of upcoming goodies for my races.

Here is the front of the Free Press shirt:
I like the red, I like their style with a small design on the chest and the name of the event on the sleeve. I like that each of the four races has its own specific shirt. Past experience says the sleeves will be too short.

Here, however, is the back:

Ummm... Bill and I looked at it for several long long seconds, trying to figure out what exactly it is. A chair? A gun? A loveseat? The dashboard of the USS Enterprise? I finally realized it's the course route. Cute idea, but I'm not loving the actual design. Just the word Detroit would have been great, although what's up with the Ts???

And here are the Disney medals. I'm not impressed, especially for what they cost. Everyone who saw them at the expo at Disneyland said they're really nice in person. The marathon one is bigger than the half, which makes sense, but it's also bigger than the Goofy. Kinda weird. No photos yet of the Disney shirts.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Friday runs are OUT

I started Hal's intermediate I plan on June 9, and after 13 weeks (of 18), it's time to downgrade to the novice 2 that I've used successfully so many times.

It seems the main feature of novice 2 is to rest on Friday, so you're ready to do the long run on Saturday. It makes sense and I've always done yoga instead of total rest the day before. It's worked. I've been slow, but Hal's goal is for runners to finish.

The idea of intermediate 1 is to run on Friday so you're tired on Saturday and it forces you to get used to running on tired legs. It makes sense and it's worked so far. Well, "worked" in the sense that I'm exhausted and whiny on Saturday but I've gotten through the miles.

I can definitely run through tired legs, but my ankle / lower leg started hurting on Friday, and now it's Tuesday morning and the inside of my lower left calf is still tender. My plan all along was to follow Intermediate I as long as I could, then go back to the novice 2 plan. I've reached that point. The risk of injury seems greater now than does the benefit I could garner from a few extra miles the last two big weeks (the last three weeks are tapering in both plans).

The mid-week and Saturday mileage is the same in both plans, I'm just ditching the Friday run. With the fewer miles, I can now spend Thursdays doing speed work. Intervals are hard, they're miserable, they just suck! But, they work so it's time to work on that.

Successfully FINISHING four fall marathons is tons more important to me than one potentially faster finish. Four finishes is my goal and I'll take slower times if it means I'm not injured. It's not like I'm anywhere near qualifying for Boston and would risk injury to hit the qualifying time. Besides there was no guarantee I would be noticeably faster with the new program. Then if I got injured at Chicago, the other races and travel costs would be a total waste and I can't throw away that much $$

Monday, September 9, 2013

Injury? Fatigue? Overtraining?

Friday was hot and sunny. Hal wanted me to run 5 miles, but around 3, my left ankle started hurting. It wasn't even the ankle per se, but the connectey thing (ligament? tendon?) between my foot and my leg on the outside. There was also a water main break at home, so I made my route go past McDonald's to refill my water, then finished 4 miles and was done.

Went to yoga that night. My favorite teacher doesn't work there anymore and the woman who took over is nice enough, but it's not the same. Class did nothing to make my ankle feel better.

Saturday Hal wanted me to run 20 and I had plans with Kelly who was running 16. We did an 8-mile out and back route from Willow MetroPark to Lower Huron MetroPark. The first 8 miles were really good. My ankle was stiff and sore, but after 1/10 of a mile, I could run on it without pain.

The second 8 were awful! I was really dehydrated by that point and the rolling hills appeared more like mountains. Every time we stopped to walk up a hill or to get a drink of water, the pain came back and lasted longer. We got back to the car at 16 and I was done. Forget 20 :(

I did every home remedy that afternoon: I soaked both feet / calves in ice water, then soaked in hot epsom salt water, elevated, compressed in knee socks. Nothing seemed particularly helpful, but then again, those are remedies for swelling, and I didn't have any, just lingering pain.

Sunday I could move forward and back just fine. Moving laterally was painful and going down stairs was really painful. Going up stairs was fine.

Now it's Monday and Hal wants 5 miles. It's a beautiful 64 degree cloudy day, which is GREAT for running, but I need to rest it. I can roll it outward without any pain, it's only rolling the ankle inward that causes pain on the inside of my calf.

My plan is to wear sturdy shoes - no flip flops or heels! - and rest another day or few until the pain is gone.

Ugh this sucks >:(

Friday, September 6, 2013

That's more like it!

The Veterans Marathon in Columbia City posted a photo of the jacket participants get. Looks great!!!!! No ugly t-shirts here :D I already wear my 2012 pull-over jacket with great frequency. I can see this joining the rotation. Lookin' good!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Run for CHUM race review

Bill and I definitely knew we wanted to go on a trip for Labor Day, but we weren't sure where until the last minute. Originally he wanted to go to Ludington to participate in a disc golf tournament. I knew he'd be gone most of Saturday with that, so I decided to find a half marathon I could do to run the 13 miles Hal prescribed.

He decided to skip the tournament, but I kept with my race, which was nowhere near Ludington, but in Dansville between I-94 and I-96 west of Chelsea. It was a Monday race, so everything was fine.

I had no real reason for wanting to do another race, but it was convenient that it was the same mileage I would be doing anyway, and someone else would worry about the route and I would have water without wearing my water holster.

The race was a fundraiser for CHUM - Children and Horses United in Movement. I picked up my packet on Monday morning 15 minutes before the start, but Sunday evening pick up was available, and included a free spaghetti dinner and the opportunity to meet the horses :D

By the time I picked up my packet (which was only a shirt and number) I probably could have gone back to the car and ditched the shirt, but I didn't want to rush to the start, so I wore the shirt over the shirt I was already wearing. Isn't that as bad as those people who wear the shirt of the band they're seeing at the same concert????
Anyway, it's a nice enough shirt. I like the front. The back - meh, all sponsors, but it was a really cheap race and it's for charity, so I'll cut them a little slack. Something great was their website said the shirts run large, so I requested a smaller one and it fits great. 
The course was mostly streets and a few dirt roads. It was insanely hilly though! Gah! Good training, but a real pain in the butt! The only times I saw people were at the 5 water tables that all had both water and orange Gatorade, which was a great change from the yellow every other race uses. 

A house along the course had a wagon next to the street with a cooler in it filled with water and a sign: "Water! Help yourself to one. From the Russell family." I wish I had a picture of it, but my camera battery was almost dead and I had forgotten my little carrier belt. Oh well.

Rather than volunteers, each of the intersections was patrolled by a police officer, directing the correct route. The sheriff repeatedly drove the course in his car and he asked me at least five times if I was ok :)

The race ended at the track at the high school, then the field house was open for bathroom access and volunteers or CHUM employees were using the kitchen facilities to make scrambled eggs and pancakes. They had huge containers of coffee too. Awesome post-race food!

I finished faster than at The Legend, still not what I wanted, but I also did it on a whim at the end of vacation. It served its purpose as a training run and I accomplished the miles.

The medal is ok. It was a fund raiser for a horse charity, so I wonder....why isn't there a horse on the medal???? I have two thoughts on this - 1. it was probably tons cheaper to buy a generic medal and just add the text, rather than design a completely new medal, and 2. the medal clips on to the ribbon, so they probably bought a thousand medals the first year and keep using the leftovers each year, just changing the ribbon. Again, it was a cheap entry and a fund raiser, so it's ok.