Friday, August 31, 2012

August Rewind

Miles Run - 67.08. This is just about the least number of miles I have run. Ever.
Races Run - 4 (2 half marathons and 2 5ks). I dropped out of a third half marathon.
PR's Set - None, unless you count the most miserable race ever, and I think I finally have a race where I felt worse than New Hampshire.
Minutes of Plank - 40? I tried to get a bit better about these this month, but I still just haven't been having the motivation/dedication.

So this was a craptastic month.

My knee is a TON better than three weeks ago. I ran four miles last night, but they were super slow and sluggish. Just been feeling really tired lately. Optimistic about the exercises/stretches they have me doing at physical therapy. I think I'll continue to go once a week for a while. Also wondering if they can suggest something for the tight calves. I was going back through my race reports and the problem was first brought up in January/February of last year. Um??? I thought it had "only" been bothering me for a year. Either way, it is certainly NOT normal and I need to tackle that next.

On the horizon for September... Well, it is really all dependent on how this weekend at DISNEY goes. If I am able to get through it with no issues, then I will leave my schedule alone for now. Still am really considering dropping the Bear Chase. Not completely, but my longest run outside of racing last month was 5 miles. And that was only one run. Two four mile runs, everything else was less. That does NOT bode will for training for a 50  miler.

Anyway, optimistic that September will be a better month!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Retro Run Pics and The Knee

If you missed my recap, you can read it here.

They might not have had water, but they had photographers at a few points on the course:

Start Line
Start Line
Between Mile 1 and 2
Mile 3
Mile 3
The Knee

I had PT yesterday afternoon and the woman was MYSTIFIED at my pain. She seemed annoyed that I couldn't better pinpoint it and that certain tests weren't hurting when she thought they should. My "homework" until I go back on Thursday is four different exercises designed to strengthen my hips/gluts. FYI, I can definitely TELL that I'm weak there as just doing these simple things were pretty hard. Huh. So there you go.

In other news... I ran TWO WHOLE MILES last night on the treadmill at my regular(ish) run pace - 10:17 and my knee did not hurt. (I had permission from the PT to run - she suggested I do all my runs for a while on the treadmill if at all possible). I'm waiting to hear back from my coach on where we go from here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Retro Run (Race Recap)

Denver, CO
Sunday, August 26
A's 7th 5k
Weather - Sunny and HOT HOT HOT

I received a Schwaggle that made this race about $14, so we all decided to do it. Even though it is HOT and in August... why. Why do we do this? For whatever reason, Denver likes to have the 5k's start SUPER late. This one didn't start until 9:30. 9:30!!!

We left the house around 8, hoping that would give us enough time to drive there, get a parking space, and pick up all our stuff. The lots at the lake were already full, but we parked on a side street not too far away. It was plenty of time.

We took some pictures by the lake of what we "thought" were some super awesome 80's outfits. I should have taken  more pictures of people there, as we were by FAR some of the most underdressed people. If you can believe it.

We missed out on the awesome group warm up, and lined up in the back. You know, since we had 2 kids, a stroller and a dog. There was supposed to be music at all the mile markers, and we assumed that there would be at least one water station. You know, since it was already 80 degrees. Nope.

A's a bit grumpy at mile 1 - no water!
The course was fine, I'd actually never run at Sloan's lake before. It was crowded, and obviously we were behind the super slow folks. It wasn't at all a big deal, I really just wanted to get in some light jogging so I could test out the knee. Good news! I didn't have any pain at all! Of course, I was totally moving at a snail's pace.

Around mile 2, A decided she wanted to walk with J and Chopper. That was fine, I planned on jogging until mile 3 and then turning around to walk in with them for the finish. Somewhere around  mile 2.5 I hear "mooooooommmma!!!" and I turn around and A is sprinting towards me. She said she felt like she was ready to run.

When she decides she is ready to run, she can RUN. I had a hard time keeping up and was worried about the knee, but it was fine. We managed to pass L, who had been jogging with H in the stroller, and crossed the line. She booked it the entire last half mile, and her final sprint was 7:33! We saw no water and headed back to meet up with J. We walked him up to the finish line.

A and I finished in about 45 minutes, and the course was just a bit short. Even with all my "back and forths," I measured 3.02 miles. L measured around 2.9 miles.

The Good:
  • People had a LOT of fun with this race. The costumes were awesome!
  • The free sunglasses were a nice, fun touch.
  • The live band was really good.
The Bad:
  • No water before or after the race - it was over 80 degrees when we started at 9:30. Not cool!
  • No food after the race. NOTHING. We didn't get done until about 10:15. A little snack would have been nice.
  • No volunteers on the course except for at mile 2. There were some chalk arrows on the ground, but obviously we must have missed a turn somewhere, or the course was just really short.
  • No timing of any kind (we did know this in advance).
I cannot imagine paying $50 for this race. I would NOT have been happy. Having spent only about $14 a person, it was pretty good.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Five Things Friday

1. The Knee - The good news is that after a second opinion with an orthopedic surgeon, it is NOT a torn meniscus, but is ITBS. That is good because if I play my cards right, I won't be out of commission for too long, but I will have to take it easy...

2. Taking it Easy - What does that even mean? Well, since my disastrous race last weekend in WV, I have not run. Not at all. Today is day 6 of no running. My knee doesn't hurt at all. What have I been doing instead? Two days of cycling. That is it. 90 minutes of exercise. That might be the least I have done. Ever.

3. Rehab - Well, according to the doctor, there is nothing I can do "myself" to fix the IT band. I kinda think that is a big lie. Regardless, I have been icing every night and foam rolling. The foam rolling hurts like crazy, so I must be doing something right. Hoping not running for a week will also help. I've been sorta stretching, and I am getting instructions from my coach today on stretches and a new schedule. Also, I have physical therapy on Monday. I'm sure that will be thrilling.

4. Retro Run - I am "running" another 5k with A on Sunday. In somewhat related news, J and the dog are joining us. Good thing I'm crippled, I foresee this as being a catastrophe. (That, and J refuses to costume up and wear short shorts in celebration of mile 3, the 80's. He is NO fun.)

5. DISNEYLAND/CALIFORNIA - I still plan on doing the half since I can walk if necessary. A and I leave next Friday. STUPID EXCITED.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Knee, Part 2

Today is day 4 of no running. I have been icing. I have been (sorta) foam rolling. I have an appointment at lunch tomorrow for an MRI. Cross your fingers my chiro is wrong and it is nothing serious.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Knee

I tried to get in to see a chiropractor as soon as possible after GTIS when my knee gave me all that trouble around mile 10. Unfortunately, the soonest I could get in was the following Thursday, the day before I was leaving for West Virginia. The initial exam was just taking some x-rays and "scans" and just an initial diagnosis. No treatment was done. As you probably know, the knee got WAY worse during the half I did in West Virginia. I had already made a follow-up appointment for Monday when I got back.

The news is not good. He is about 95% sure that it is a lateral meniscus tear:

What does this mean? Ugh. First step is to stop running. Not permanently, of course. He didn't necessarily SAY I need to take the week off, but that is what I am planning on doing. He seems to think that I can continue to "try" to run, I will just need to stop as soon as anything hurts. Which, lately, has been about three miles. So instead of pushing it, I'm going to do some SUPER BORING cycling and elliptical this week - maybe 2 days worth. I will not even TRY to run until my 5k with A on Sunday. Again, I can walk that if necessary.

After that, well, I'm pretty screwed. Obviously, I have always had a pretty full race schedule. First on the chopping block is likely the local half marathon I was going to run on the 8th. Next to go will likely be the Bear Chase 50. I've run less than 150 miles in the last 2 months, and will likely not be healthy or healed enough to run that distance in less than 6 weeks. Tentatively, I might have to drop to the half or completely miss RnR Denver. Other than those races, I have Disneyland half in two weeks. I plan on still doing that race as I can walk it if necessary. If I can take it easy, I may still be able to finish state 50 in Vermont in mid October. The future of the Palo Duro 50k and Marine Corps? Up in the air.

Basically, no one can really predict how long a tear will take to heal. It may not heal completely at all, which means I will have to have surgery. That is obviously the worst case scenario, as he said that a surgery for a meniscus tear is WORSE than an ACL reconstructive surgery. When I had that on my OTHER knee, I was out of commission for months.

Depressed. Sad. Mad. This freaking sucks.

On top of that, my right leg is apparently longer and I have scoliosis in my next. My calves are still ridiculously tight, although the chiro is putting that concern on the back burner while we worry about everything else. My body is super out of alignment. I'm practically falling apart.

Anyway. Treatment is a crapton of foam rolling, icing, and not doing anything other than RESTING. I loathe resting. I don't even know how to rest.

The end.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

News and Sentinel Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, August 18
Parkersburg, WV
Half Marathon #67
State #49 (!!!)
Weather - Foggy and cool at start, mild at finish

Originally, West Virginia was supposed to be our final state. However, due to insane airfare costs, we had to postpone our Vermont race in July. We had managed to coerce Kim to join us for state 50 (or 49 as it ended up being). We were NOT looking forward to this race. We were anticipating heat, hills, and humidity. NONE of the things I enjoy. Then, a few days before we left, I checked the weather and saw the highs weren't even going to break 80. What, what?? I can totally deal with cooler temps. MAYBE, it won't be awful.

Rewind AGAIN. K and L booked their flights in May. Due to my traveling to Peru, I didn't have the money at the time, and by the time I had the money to book a flight (mid July), their flights were going to cost me close to $600. FOR WEST VIRGINIA (Actually, flying to Columbus, OH - flying directly into West Virgina is even MORE). I ended up booking completely separate flights - meaning my flight out of Denver was at 6:00 am - 4 hours earlier than theirs, yet I'd only land about a 1/2 hour earlier. And the return flight was similar, with my flight leaving 3 hours later. But I did book for about 1/2 of what their flights would have cost. Anyway.

The News and Sentinel half marathon was pretty much only picked for 2 reasons. It fit one of my criteria (needing to have a medal) and we weren't already committed that weekend (since racing in August should be banned anyway). So off we went.

K flew in Thursday night and stayed at our house so that she could be on our same flights. As I said, I had to leave a few hours earlier, so at 4 am Friday, I was headed to the airport. My flight to Atlanta was on time, and then I had about 3 hours to kill in Atlanta. With no free WiFi. Boo. Flight to Columbus was also on time, and I landed around 3:30 pm. None of the monitors in the Columbus airport had arrivals, so instead of meeting them at the gate, I waited for them at the rental car counter. It wasn't a long wait.

L managed to rent a Jeep Liberty for the same price as a compact. Probably not as good on the gas mileage, but it was a bigger vehicle and I enjoyed being driven around in it.  We stopped on the drive to Parkersburg for Dairy Queen. Best idea ever.

You know what's delicious? The M&M brownie blizzard. I only got a size small, even though I really wanted a bigger one. Considering how much weight I've put on lately, this was probably a good call. The drive took a bit longer than we expected thanks to the Friday afternoon traffic out of Columbus. We arrived in West Virginia with no problems.

Parkersburg wasn't that far over the border, and we didn't get lost finding where we needed to go. Parking downtown was $5. Unsure if that was a cost incurred because of the race or the awesome "homecoming" festivities. Either way, there was a carnival-esque atmosphere with food and a live band. We found the packet pickup with ease:

We got our bibs and packets, and K scored a pair of her discontinued saucony shoes. Then we decided to check out the FREE pasta dinner that was being hosted down the street. BEST THING EVER. The walk to the dinner was fun and the downtown area was super cute and quaint.

I totally could never LIVE in a tiny town, but I think they are super cute. And THEN, we saw the awesome finish line:

Somewhere there is a picture of me and K running (in slow motion) across the finish line. We found the place for dinner, and it was PACKED. We shared a table with a nice lady and her two kids. She gave us some hints on where to find our West Virginia souvenirs and was super friendly. Dinner was pretty great also:

After dinner we headed out to get our souvenirs, since we were not going to have time to after the race. We ended up going to the nearby mall and picking stuff up there. Relieved to get that out of the way. We arrived at our "motel" just before 9:00. Pretty great deal for $60, outside of the ridiculous outlet situation:

We headed to bed around 10:00 pm, after eating delicious cupcakes we had picked up after dinner.  Well, L and I ate our cupcake, K dropped a lot of hers on the nightstand and floor. Sadly, no pictures of that either. I'm slacking.

Race Day

K got up first at 6:15, and we got up about 20 minutes later. I had slept surprisingly well, and had "saved time" by taping my knee and putting on my compression socks the night before. FYI, the "pro" KT tape DOES stay on tons better than the original. Not sure about the 5 day promise yet.

We left the room just after 7:00, and we were parked less than 10 minutes later. Another $5 parking charge, but we were close, so that was ok. We used the port-o-potties by the stage and there was no wait. Score. A few minutes later, we were at the start line, with about a half hour to kill.

Outside the Oil & Gas Museum
L, K, Me - Start Line!
Cycled through the bathroom lines just in time to watch the underwhelming wheelchair start - only two that I saw. Ten minutes later, we were lined up and headed to the start line. The interesting thing about this race is the separate race walk division. Also interesting - they line up close to the front, even though the race in chip timed.

Flag dropped for the Star Spangled Banner
I did not go into this race with any expectations, since my knee is still being a punk. Main goal - don't die. Secondary goal - don't fuck up my knee any worse. Gun goes off and the race starts. Mile 1 wasn't even that congested. I was feeling pretty good the first mile - the ONLY good mile of the race.

Cute house in the historic district
My calves started seizing pretty much right after we passed the first mile marker, and were super tight until mile 2. Then my knee started acting up. It sucked. I'll summarize how I felt during the race with this. DAMN IT. From about mile 2 on, it was a painful run walk. I only ran at all so that we had time to take quick showers before the drive back without anyone missing a flight. Honestly, I would have preferred to have walked the last half. The flats were the least painful. Uphills were sort of awful. The downhills were not even runnable. By mile 12 I could barely move. Even walking hurt. With that said, enjoy a few pictures I took on the course.

Around mile 4?
Every mile marker has a permanent street sign!
Mile 10.5ish  
Mile 11 or 12?
The Good
  • Pretty much everything outside of the running.
  • WEATHER - I was psyched to see temps in the low 60's for most of the race. That's much more bearable than what I've been running in, and certainly better than I expected to have in AUGUST.
  • Parkersburg is SUPER cute and everyone was very friendly. The family that we had eaten with at dinner were on the course and they did a loud "GO COLORADO" cheer for L and I when we ran by. How cute is that??
  • Most of the course is closed to traffic and there weren't any super narrow areas
  • 17 (or 18) aid stations. All had water and gatorade. Most also had ice. Two had sponges. No GU or food, or medical that I saw. At least 4 or 5 had port-o-potties.
  • The medal is REALLY nice
  • The free pasta dinner and free pizza lunch (although we didn't have time for the lunch).
The Bad
  • Calves - but at least that was minimal since it only lasted about a mile.
  • The "rolling" course was super painful because of my aches and pains. On a normal day, the hills were not NEARLY as bad as I had been anticipating, so that was great. Around mile 11.5, there was a substantial hill - the "13th Street hill" - but even that wasn't very long.
  • MY DAMN KNEE. Honestly, I thought the "worst" thing was getting slow and sluggish running. No. This is pretty much my first injury since I started racing and it fucking sucks. I felt GREAT outside of my knee and I could NOT run because every step was excruciatingly painful.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the whole experience of the race. If you have a half to run in West Virginia - pick this one. For real.

Everything is more fun with a friend!!
Bib #80
Official Time - 2:42:46
Official Split - 1:13:27
Official Pace - 12:25
Overall Place - 710/786
Division Place - 42/49
Garmin Time - 2:42:48
Garmin Distance - 13.19 miles
Garmin Pace - 12:21
Mile 1 - 9:56
Mile 2 - 10:54
Mile 3 - 13:09
Mile 4 - 11:26
Mile 5 - 11:53
Mile 6 - 12:23
Mile 7 - 12:10
Mile 8 - 12:13
Mile 9 - 12:27
Mile 10 - 12:47
Mile 11 - 12:54
Mile 12 - 14:04
Mile 13 - 14:04
Mile 13.1ish - 13:05

So yeah. You can see what went wrong and where. I'm bummed that I felt so shitty, because everything else was so good. Next blog I'll go more in depth about the stupid knee stuff.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, August 11
Idaho Springs, CO
Half Marathon #66
Colorado Half #13
GTIS Half #3
Weather - Mostly overcast, Nice

This will be a fairly short recap, as this will have been the third time I had run the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half marathon. Thanks to my recaps from previous years, I knew exactly how early to get up, when to leave, where to park, and how much "stuff" to have with me at the start.

Our friend Ruth decided to join as at the last minute, so the only unknown was how long race day registration would take. Answer - not long AND we were able to use indoor bathrooms we didn't previously know existed. The line for the bus was long, but as in previous years, moved quick. We were up at the start line probably about an hour before the race. We cycled through the bathroom lines a few times, and I had to still get my socks and skirt on. Dropped my bag maybe 15 minutes before the start.

Start line
L and Me
I didn't take any pictures of the course at all. I've run it a few times, so I honestly didn't even think about it. Check out my recaps from 2010 and 2011 if you want to see course pictures. Anyway, we lined up with the 2:15 pace group, and headed out. I was REALLY hoping to NOT have the calf tightening that I have been having lately. It's been BAD. So we started out slow, and my main goal was to not have to walk.

The start is super crowded, and the 2 miles through Georgetown are also packed. Didn't have to walk at all during that section - improvement over last year.

I wasn't looking forward to the downhills (unfortunate, since there is a LOT of downhill in this course) because my knee has been whack the last few weeks - pretty much since mile 19 of the San Francisco marathon. Three miles in and we were "cruising" and I was feeling pretty good.

We really lucked out that it was overcast - the last few years were pretty hot with the sun beating down. Ruth left us somewhere around mile 3 and we maintained a pretty good pace. Honestly, this part of the race was uneventful.

Maybe around mile 6 I started feeling tired. No wonder, I really haven't been running that much over the last few weeks, and certainly not 6 miles without a bunch of breaks to walk/stretch thanks to my stupid calves.

Nothing of any interest happened the next few miles. We caught up to Ruth at mile 9 while she was waiting for a port-a-potty. I mentioned to L that my knee was starting to twinge a bit and if it got worse I might have to take some breaks. Made it to about mile 10.3 before I got some shooting pain up and down my leg, originating from stupid knee. The last three miles were essentially run for .3-.4 miles, then walk for a minute. SO FRUSTRATING. Ruth hung out with us until about mile 12, then she took off for the finish line. L still stayed with me.

We were running down Colorado Blvd (aka, the longest chute EVER) and the 2:20 pace group was just ahead of us. Man. I really really really wanted to get in front of them. We sprinted and literally crossed JUST IN FRONT OF THEM. So out of three years, this was my worst finish yet. 2:11ish in 2010, and 2:16ish last year. I am really tired of not feeling good running :( But - my sprint sorta rocked:

Bib #3198
Offical 10K - 1:04:04
Official Time - 2:20:09
Overall Place - 1821/2559
Division Place - 186/270
Garmin Time - 2:20:12
Garmin Distance - 13.12 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:41
Mile 1 - 10:36
Mile 2 - 10:49
Mile 3 - 10:08
Mile 4 - 10:15
Mile 5 - 10:23
Mile 6 - 10:32
Mile 7 - 10:07
Mile 8 - 10:24
Mile 9 - 10:44
Mile 10 - 10:56
Mile 11 - 11:21
Mile 12 - 11:42
Mile 13 - 11:14
Mile 13.1 - 8:12

Medal is shaped like a bowl!
We had seen the kids right before the finish line, and they met us right after we got our (optional) medals. I am happy to have spent the $10 for this medal - I think it is pretty unique. My Dad got this picture of us before we wandered through the finisher area to get all our free stuff:

H, L, A, Me, Ruth
I'll likely run this again next year, and I'm down to only one real complaint, and it is the same as last year. The 3 oz cups are too tiny for aid stations. In order to get any reasonable amount of fluid they are overfilled and I end up with liquid all over me. Although, they did better having lots of water at the finish line, but again, the tiny cups don't make sense.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I Run CO 5k (Race Recap)

Denver, CO
Sunday, August 5
A's 6th 5k
Weather - Sunny and hot

I received a Schwaggle for I Run CO 5k, which made it only $17 per person! The shirt is REALLY nice, and I knew I would be able to talk A into doing it with me. Plus, I actually had the weekend off from racing, ONLY because my coach talked me out of doing the midnight run in Utah (sad face).

The race didn't start until 9:00, and only about a 20 minute drive from our house. We left by 7:30 only to guarantee we got the right size shirt. Picked up our packets and some goodies at the start line, then we walked back to the car to drop everything off. After a few trips to the bathroom and some pre-race pictures, it was time to line up. We lined up towards the back since we would be running A's pace.

It was a HOT day. L's phone supposedly said it was only in the mid 60s. LIES. Anyway, A did great the first 10 minutes or so, but it was downhill from there. She happily posed for a picture at mile 1, but then she sorta lost it. Tired and really whiny. In her defense, it was pretty hot, and I didn't want to "race" either. My knee was still hurting (the pain is now running up the outside of my leg).

Mile 1
Mile 2
We were in a "rush" only because we wanted to finish in time to watch L's daughter do the kid's run. Nothing much else to say, other than we looked awesome and got tons of complements on our sparkly skirts.

A's Results
Age: 6
Overall: 508/540
Gender: 314/337
Division: 11/13
Chip Time: 49:28
Pace: 16:06

A was happy when she was DONE and said she had fun overall, but that it was just too hot. I get that. Unsure how to approach our next 5k at the end of the month.

While waiting for the kid's race to start, A took some pictures of the gardens at the park. Pretty!

H had a great time doing the kid's race. And look at the picture A managed to get of her!

A and H at the finish line:

Later in the afternoon, A and I got pedicures. Her first, and she loved it. I was getting tired of looking at my ugly runner feet.


Also, I'm fundraising for my 100 miler in May. If you can, please donate here.

Week in Review (June 11 - June 17)

Tuesday  (13,780 steps) - Work in the office. Took Olive for a walk after work. Nothing else? Went to 4 Noses. Wednesday  (15,137 steps) - W...