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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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running injury

Disney Marathon Training – Week 15

The week that is less of a pain in the butt. A bit of a boring week with zero pictures. Fail.

Monday – cross training. Swim 1600m. The pool was surprisingly full this morning, full of swim team students who were swimming faster than me during their warmup. There were two lap lanes open but I had to ask share, which I always hate doing. I did my warm up and noticed the guy I was sharing a lane with was (unsurprisingly) faster than I was. So, when he was standing and resting I asked if he had any tips. Turns out, he used to be a swim coach! Poor guy probably gets tired of questions like that, but I really appreciated his looking at my stroke and giving me some pointers. He said that for only swimming for 9 months, I “wasn’t doing bad at all”. I’ll take it! I used my new swim paddles for a few laps and tried to concentrate on what he told me. Apparently I pull too much with my arms only and don’t use enough of my body. I also sometimes end up with my elbow in the water before my hand and cross my hand over too far. Lots to think about.

Tuesday – tempo run ride. My butt was feeling a little better but I didn’t want to risk aggravating it again, so I attempted a tempo on the bike. This proved to be a little harder than I thought because of a closed road, slick roads and traffic, but I did the best I could. I did 18:30 s at 17mph, around 24 minutes at an average 19.7 (was hoping for 20 but just wasn’t making it happen) and then a cool down at 17mph.

Wednesday– speed work. 5 x 1200 with 1:30 rest between each. I had been tempted to just skip all the runs till the end in hopes my butt would heal, but my chiropractor said try it just keep the speed down. I did the first set at marathon pace and then progressively got a little faster. Unfortunately, I still felt it. BUTT (ha, see what I did there) the recovery was much quicker than last week, and by the time we got to our recovery drink location, I already felt 90% better.

Thursday – rest day

Friday – cross train. Did 40 minutes on the bike trainer. Interestingly, my butt felt BETTER.

Saturday – long run. 10 miles at marathon pace (8:23 – I ended up doing 8:24). This one went a little back and forth. Overall though, I had discomfort, but not pain. I took my first mile slower (8:55) and then tried to increase speed. Unfortunately, I forgot I changed my watch settings and accidentally ran the 2nd mile 30 seconds too fast (I was looking at what I thought was lap pace but was actually overall average pace). It a pleasant surprise though because I remember running it thinking “dang, this is way harder than I feel like it should be”. Well, it was because I was running a 7:49/min mile. I stopped to stretch and assess a few times. I felt like it was starting to shift from discomfort to pain at mile 8, but strangely by 9.5 it was totally gone. (I did put some icy hot on the spot that is bothersome and have been taking Plexus Ease, which has turmeric and New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel daily for a few days).

Sunday – cross train. 45 minutes of yoga, focusing on hip openers.

The good news? I’ve had zero pain since Saturday. The bad? My right calf started randomly hurting Sunday night. What is this? Injury roulette??

Disney Marathon Training – Week 12

The week where my pain in the butt gets bigger, even after I tried to rest. The goal was to cross train only until my tempo run Thursday, which went fine, and then things started to go downhill….

Monday – cross train. Swim 1600m. I did a combination of laps and drills, with one set of 550m (the distance of the sprint triathlon) in 12:41 (goal is as close to 12 min as possible). Kick drills make me realize my hips are horribly weak.

Tuesday – normally my speed work run day, I took it to the pool instead in hopes to give my glute a rest. My workout was 3 mile repeats at 7:02, so after a 400m warmup at a 2:20/100m pace, I decided to aim for 3 sets of 300m at a 2:10/100m pace, or in 6:30. I apparently picked a good goal (or perhaps overshot a little) because I did the sets at 2:10, 2:11 and 2:12. The cruddy part was, my glute actually felt WORSE after this swim workout.

Wednesday – rest day.

Thursday – long tempo. 12.5 miles @ 8:25 (including a warm up mile). I accidentally scheduled to have a TB test read this same morning, so I ran to and from the docs office, which lengthened the run about 1.5 miles. My glute felt a little “heavy” for the first few miles, but then felt fine afterwards.

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Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 15 miles at 8:27, and this is where the problem started. I got excited that my glute wasn’t bothering me, and didn’t do my usual warm up mile, completing it in 8:25. I felt my glute more than usual through the whole run, but it was never painful, so I figured I’d stretch and epsom salt when I got home. I did, and initially it felt better, but then it started to hurt.

Sunday – cross train. Yoga. I picked a class targeting my hips, and again it felt better afterwords, but still ached the rest of the day, even while walking. I nailed an arm balance though, so I guess that’s a plus.

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This is not good. Well, the arm balance is good. But the butt? Not so much.

Olympic Distance Triathlon Training – Week 8

Though I haven’t technically been following the training plan since the beginning, week 8 marks the halfway point.

Sunday: Ride 2 hours 2 minutes (42.2 miles). I really enjoy having a good group to ride with – they really push me in terms of both distance and speed and I’m finding I can go farther and faster than I thought I’d be able to. I kept up with the fast part of the group this ride and even pulled (led) a couple of times at over 20mph. It wasn’t for a long distance, but it does show me I am capable of hanging with the big dogs!

check out those speeds!
check out those speeds!

Monday: Run 40 minutes (4.25 miles) on the tread mill. Treadmills are still not my favorite but its been so freaking HOT here that I’d rather run on the hamster wheel lately. I felt like I was fighting a cold and my legs were still a little jello-y from the ride Sunday so I took it easy.

Tuesday: Run 35 minutes (4 miles) on the treadmill. 1 mile warm up, then 3×800 at a little less than goal 5k pace (7:03) with a half mile recovery in between, then cool down.

Wednesday rest day. I had planned to take the twins to the track, but at “feels like” temp of 102 at 6 pm, I decided against it. Plus, I didn’t really need the time anyway. I did, however, get the go ahead to swim at my 2 week post LASIK check! WOO HOO!

Thursday– SWIM (!) 35 minutes (1200 meters) and spin class (it rained). My endurance did go down a bit after not swimming for almost 2 weeks. I was more tired after 35 minutes than I would have liked, but I didn’t forget how to swim, so that was a bonus. Best of all, I COULD SEE THE END OF THE POOL!

my camera can see the other end, and now I can too!
my camera can see the other end, and now I can too!

Friday: rest day. The nice thing about a long working early in the week and a shorter week hours wise is 2 rest days!

Saturday: Swim 25 minutes (1000 yards). I did one 600 yard run (the sprint distance) and practiced some sighting. The concept of open water still makes me nervous, but I’m ready as I’m ever going to be.

Tomorrow is the first sprint for me this season ( I got a late start). Wish me luck!

Totals: 

Planned/(Actual)

Swim: 2 hours 19 minutes/ (55 minutes)

Bike: 1 hour 52 minutes/ (3 hours, 2 minutes)

Run: 56 minutes/ (1 hour 15 minutes)

5 hours 7 minutes (5 hours 13 minutes)

Next Week:

Swim: 2 hours 19 minutes

Bike: 3 hours 7 minutes

Run: 1 hour 33 minutes

Marathon Training Recap – Week 9

In my previous training I only wrote about my long runs. This time around I’d like to include a little about them all.

(I consider my training week to encompass Sunday-Saturday)

Sunday – yoga. With toddlers its difficult to get out to run/bike AND yoga, so I practice from the comfort of my living room. This particular week since Bryan’s parents were in town I just took my mat to the front of the house and let them wander around (supervised by Bryan’s parents of course), which meant I was interrupted a few times, but that was ok. Miles loves to squat down while I’m in downward dog, turn his head and say “hi!” and Abby came over for a few hugs while I was resting in pigeon pose. I like them to see what I’m doing sometimes because I hope one day they’ll say “we want to try!”. This weeks practice involved a forearm stand, which I can currently only do with at least one foot against the wall. One day I hope to accomplish this without any help. By the time Sunday rolls around, after the week is over, I’m really looking forward to the relaxation and stretching that comes with Yoga.

Monday – intervals. I did 6 miles total, with a 1.5 mile warm up and cool down. My interval was a 5k at .25 miles as fast as possible followed by .25 miles recovery. I PR’ed my post baby 5k time during this workout! (23:25)

Wednesday – the original plan was another day of yoga and weights, but it was warm enough outside that I decided to hop on the bike instead. I got an early start on a foggy day which turned out to be not very well thought out since it was both dark and, well, foggy. The fog might not have been a big deal if I hadn’t been wearing my glasses that morning. Oh well, lesson learned.

duh
duh

Thursday – 8 mile run. My left hamstring has not been thrilled with me so I took it easy.

Saturday – long run. After I told my chiropractor about the tingling in my leg last week, he admitted it might be too soon for this kind of mileage (decreased range of motion on my joint could be causing some nerve pinching), so unfortunately the training is still hanging a little. My actual “plan” calls for a half marathon this week but I decided I wanted to try to make it a bit easier on myself by making the LONG long runs every other week hoping it would give my back enough time to recover, so I skipped ahead a week and did the 17 miler. My back felt off all week and I honestly thought I’d have to bail early. A neighbor so kindly offered to run 10 with me, and we stopped a couple times so I was able to stretch. We got back to his house at 11.5 miles for me and I felt ok so I decided to keep on with the last 5.5. I purposely hopped up a sidewalk near the end to see what would happen and yup, still tingling, and it happened again when I stopped. It was BETTER this time, but not gone, so I am not sure what this means for this race. Bryan agreed to massage my hamstrings and pyriformis after the twins went down and I’m planning to stretch frequently to see if it will help. For now, I’m paying close attention to my body and am going to keep on keeping on. Since I switched the weeks next week calls for 13, which yes, is still long, but compared to 17 is much more doable.

I’ve rested as much as possible today and I feel a little tight, but otherwise ok.

One day at at time.

On The Mend (Another Injury Update)

Last week I somewhat “graduated” from the chiropractor. Though I’m not completely done, I no longer need the spinal decompression table and visits have decreased significantly from 3x a week to 1x a week with the plan to decrease even further to 1x every 3-4 weeks after a few more adjustments. Slowly the work of keeping up is being taken from him and the responsibility is placed on me to follow the plan of stretches, exercises and incorporating more cross training.

12 weeks post injury and my longest run to date is still only a little over 5 miles. After my broken toe I was back to running 9+ miles 6-8 weeks later. I’m finding myself to be both frustrated at how slow recovery feels (knowing I’ll be lucky to run one or two half marathons this year let alone the 6 I’d hoped for) and hesitant to push too hard for fear of re-injury. A broken toe is a bit harder to re- break (unless I find myself face to face with another fever and late night bathroom trip blocked by a bouncy seat) than a joint is to…displace? re-displace? Whatever.

One of the biggest mistakes I made (though at the time I didn’t realize it) post partum was jumping back into running without consistently working areas like my abs, hips, and glutes. I still have diastasis rectii (split abs) and am not sure if that is something that will ever fully go back to normal. I assumed I’d be able to make a comeback without needing to worry about anything but how many miles I’m logging and at what speed I could run my fastest 5k. I can’t say that I would have avoided the injury altogether – both the chiropractor and I “blame” the weight and effects of a twin pregnancy on my hips and generally small frame.

I’ve reintroduced yoga once a week in attempt to increase my strength and flexibility overall. I’m supposed to stretch my pyriformis after runs and other times throughout the day. I’ve “cut” running from a consistent 5 days per week with occasional cross train to a consistent 3-4 days per week with 1-2 days of cross training (bike, yoga, rollerblading). I’ve been given a set of exercises to help strengthen the left side of my back in order for things to stay as even as possible, for lack of a better word.

I, and other runners too I think, have a hard time thinking outside the running box. Workouts are centered around going for runs, calculating miles and keeping track of pace. It has been a difficult habit for me to break out of and one that I honestly still need to work on. I have been good about incorporating cross training, but sometimes I have to mentally force myself to pull out my yoga mat and not plop the babies in the jogging stroller. I’m consistent about stretching after runs, but not as much at other times. I’m still only intermittently working my abs and if I’m completely honest I can count the number of times I’ve done the shoulder/back exercises on one hand. I can blame lack of time, I can blame the babies, I can blame exhaustion, but really all I am doing is making up excuses. Excuses that will only hurt me in the end. I’m hoping that by putting this out there will begin to hold myself more accountable.

I am no good injured, I need to remember that my body is not the same as it was before the twins and I need to remind myself that in order to stay injury free in the future, I need to be consistent about strengthening other areas.

I’m on the mend, but I could still use a little work.

A Trial Run

It’s funny how an injury can quickly turn a goal of running 6 half marathons in a year to hoping for a 5k in a couple of weeks and maybe the half marathon I’d been eyeing in April, originally planned half number 3 of the year.

So far in 2014 I’ve run 5 miles, and not even all at once.

Let me back up a bit. In my last update I’d just gotten the results and recommendations of the chiropractor and started showing diligently 3x a week for adjustments and time on the spinal decompression table in addition to stretches at home, waiting for the ok to do pretty much any kind of exercise that would raise my heart rate (walks, to me, don’t count). Finally, 4 weeks after that fateful run, I was given the ok to bike, walk (oops), and rollerblade (yes, I own and use rollerblades) with a promise that a run would come “soon”.

Last weekend was my first trial run. As excited as I was to have the ok I was a little nervous. This SI injury has caused way more  pain and discomfort than my broken toe and the fear of re-injuring it is probably going to be ingrained in the back of my mind.  Still, I laced up my shoes in preparation for 1.5 miles, with a promise to really focus on my body and form. It wasn’t long and it wasn’t fast, but it just felt nice to run again.

I still have to take it easy. I’ve run one treadmill mile and 2 outside today and while I don’t feel pain or discomfort, I can still tell that things aren’t back to normal yet, if that makes any sense. The chiropractor says my lower back is adjusting very well and even made mention of spacing out visits soon. Frankly, I’m just happy to feel almost back to normal again.

To be continued, and until then, one mile at a time.

 

** I want to add that while I haven’t acknowledged it yet, I have been nominated for a couple of blog awards that I very much appreciate and plan to post about soon! That, and a new toy/language post, once I can decide on a toy 😉

Doing Some Adjusting (an injury update)

Man. If you’d told me this butt issue was going to turn into this big thing, I wouldn’t haven’t have believed you.

Well, maybe I would have, because that just seems to be the way it goes.

If I remember correctly, I left off after I visited the doc, who told me I suffered from a case of pyriformis (butt) overuse, stretch, take a week of and start back running slowly. If I didn’t tell you that part, well there you go. The problem was that three days after that not only did I not feel even the tiniest bit better, but I was also feeling more pain in my lower back. There is no way I could even think about running as I was still limping around walking. My super nice PT friend agreed to come over Thursday. After my explanation and some butt touching she agreed, gave me some specific stretches and said if It didn’t feel better by Monday to call and set up an appointment with the chiropractors office.

Monday rolled around and things were feeling better. I even had about half the day where it didn’t hurt at all. Then came Tuesday and in my rush to get out of the house couldn’t remember if I had locked the door. I jogged from my car to my front door to check and in that 50 feet my back started hurting again.

At this point it had been over a week since the run and after a couple of days of feeling better this was just frustrating.

6 days later I’m in the chiropractors office and I’m hoping to finally to make some headway. Essentially, my pelvis (on the right side) is tilted and twisted, which is causing twisting further up in my spine. The pain is in my SI joint. It’s difficult to see in the picture of a picture but you can at least see that although I’m standing up straight, it appears as though I’m leaning to the right.

not pretty
not pretty

He’s recommended visits 3x/week for a total 24 visits, with daily stretches and exercises that will increase in type and difficulty as we progress. He also told me I will have to keep up with some exercises (that have not yet been specified) even after things are “fixed” in order to avoid this happening again. Finally, I’m going to have to incorporate more cross training – swimming, rollerblading and biking are supposedly best for SI joint.

In his words, I should be able to get back to exercising “pretty quickly”. It’s the running part  I’m not really sure of. At this point I feel both relieved and frustrated as I just want to get back to being active and of course, running. At this rate I’ll be out  just as long or longer as when I broke my toe a few months ago, only then at least I was able to exercise in other ways after a couple weeks. Three weeks into this injury and I’m still sidelined from all exercise.

Arg.

 

Injuries Are a Pain in the Butt

My age is starting to show.

Kidding. It would figure, though, that in my 10 years of running I’d never had an injury, but in the last 6 months I’ve had two. My broken toe wasn’t caused by running but it sure impacted my ability to do so. This time I’m honestly at a loss as to what is going on. All I know is that my butt hurts. (I wonder how many times I can use the word butt in this post…)

To give a brief background, I did two miles on the treadmill on Christmas as a new shoe test run. During that run my right butt cheek was a little sore. (I feel funny saying butt but the thought of using rear or glute sounds just as silly) When I was done though I didn’t notice anything so I didn’t think anything of it. Thursday I did a 6 mile speed work run. I remember feeling some random tingling twice in my left thigh, but no pain anywhere else. I felt great after the run, but noticed pain in my right butt cheek again later that day – enough to make me limp a little. I took Friday off and stretched well before Saturday’s 9 miler, figuring I’d pulled a muscle or just needed to loosen up some tight (butt) muscles. By the end of Saturday’s run, I could hardly walk, hurting mostly in that same area (butt, in case you forgot) and some in my lower back.

Monday I made last minute doc appt, where he poked and prodded my back and butt (ha) and determined I’d overused my pyriformis muscle – a small muscle (in the butt) under layers of larger ones and that happens to sit right over the sciatic nerve. He told me not to run for a week and start back with a couple miles on the treadmill where I’d have more cushioning, and stretch stretch stretch (stretch what, you ask? my butt).

The problem is, it’s been nearly 6 days later and I still can’t WALK without limping some, let alone run. The pain no longer occurs just in the pyriformis (aaaaand BUTT) area either, but also in my lower back on the right side, especially at the end of the day. Last night I twisted my waist laying on the couch and pain shot through my right lower back (not butt this time). After talking with my PT friend it seems that can be normal both from the tightness possibly shifting my SI joint and overcompensating in other areas.

After posting on my 2013 recap my realization that healing takes time, I still can’t help but feel frustrated that I’m out AGAIN.  This means no Charleston half in two weeks which I had planned as part of my 6 half marathon goal for the year. I’m not completely without a sense of humor about it though. So far I’ve managed to make a number of not really FUNNY but groaner jokes about pains in the butt, butt massages and nipping the problem in the butt. (HA)

So, until another two weeks (sigh) have gone by, expect more posts containing the word butt.

(Butt count: 18…not bad, but (butt?) I think I can do better)

The Virus from Hell (and When Bouncy Seats Attack)

I’ve always thought that if I broke something, I’d have some cool story to explain:

  • I was parachuting, the parachute malfunctioned
  • I was climbing a mountain
  • I was in mile 20 of the marathon, and got hit by a random car (ok probably not)

Or at least something that makes sense

  • I slid into third base at a softball game
  • I was out on a training run
  • I was running up the stairs to get a baby

Instead, I get to explain my very first broken bone with: I tripped over a bouncy chair (or rather, it attacked me).

Bryan had been sick for about 5 days and on Thursday morning I started feeling off and figured it was probably my turn (yipee). By Thursday evening I had quickly progressed from feeling “scratchy” to “nose dripping on every available surface” to “tissue constantly stuck in nose” to “developing achiness and a fever” to “my fever is now 102” in a matter of less than 12 hours. Bryan had sent me to bed early to rest and at about 10:30 came in to take my temperature and give me some water. After that I stumbled out of bed in my feverish stupor, and headed for the bathroom.

That’s when the bouncy seat attacked.

Abby in the offending seat
Abby in the offending seat

What followed was a string of silent explitives, that had I been using my voice (hey, the babies were sleeping) would have been heard through the whole house. I stopped long enough to glance down at my foot and notice my pinky toe was sticking out at an odd angle.

Leanin to the left
Leanin to the left

I hope hope hoped it was just dislocated. I knew it would HURT to pop back into place but also knew healing time would be quicker and I’d still have a a chance of running my half marathon in 4 weeks. A friend came to stay with the babies and we went to the ER, where they took this neat picture:

Yeah, its broken
Yeah, its broken

A trip to the podiatrist the next day resulted in more x-rays, jabbing a needle into various parts of my foot to numb it, and an attempt to pull and twist the bone back into place. Yes, it was just as gross as it sounds. Because of course I not only broke it but also managed to make it super unstable.

I mean, if you’re gonna do it, do it right.

He taped it and gave me the bad news. Back in two weeks. Wear a boot for four. Rule of thumb (toe?) for bone breaks is 6 weeks to heal. Which means no running for 6 weeks, and no more half marathon. In fact since I have to wear the boot for 4 I’m really limited to what I can do. )If anyone has any good exercise or Yoga DVD recommendations, send them my way.)

I am so bummed. And then in a bizarre twist of irony, my jogging stroller showed up at the front door, and I spent the next 5 days knocked on my butt by the worst.virus.ever. Today on day 6 I’m just now starting to feel better, and finally have a temperature below 100. Bryan’s saint of a mom had to come up to help because all I could manage to do was feed them.

On the plus side, nearly one week down. Five weeks to go.

Sigh.

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