Sunday, March 30, 2014

Evolution of an Injury

First, start with one truly exhausted mama.
     It's gotten better in the last week, but for nearly three months I had not been getting more than 6 hours of sleep a night, and that, interrupted.

Next, add in overly ambitious training plans.
     After my challenge went so well I continued with my plans to run an ultra in May, suddenly bumping up my overall weekly mileage as well as continuing my regular long runs.

Don't forget to underestimate the effects of running a marathon distance.
     With my previous marathons I had "hit the wall" by running out of fuel. This, oddly enough, had the effect of protecting my legs as I was forced to stop and slow down significantly. In last month's challenge I had locked in my nutrition which meant I was able to keep pushing - and even speed up - in the last miles. I truly had not expected, or previously experienced, the fatigue and wear that I had after this run.

And then don't make any accommodations for those effects in the days and weeks following.
     All good marathon training plans would have you rest for a least a week and take another two weeks to slowly return to your regular mileage. 

Then, right before you have a long run, eat poorly.
     I wrestled with Girl Scout cookies and sadly, they won. Not only won, but smacked me down and dragged me all around. And then sat on me.

Oh, and get woken up by a youngster for several hours in the middle of night.

But don't change your plans based on how you're feeling.
     No, I was regretting those cookies and made the equally poor decision to "run them off".

And don't change your plans mid-run, no matter how you feel.

Even if you start experiencing shin pain two-thirds of the way through.

Sigh.

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The verdict is out on what this is. Shin splints? Stress fracture? Inflammation? I've seen my doctor and had an x-ray done, which neither of us expect will tell us anything useful, but has to be done so that insurance will agree to the more useful MRI. We're waiting on the results (or rather, non-results) of that. In the meantime, how to treat it? Rest to the extent that I can. Icing seems to be helping. Waiting on ibuprofen (which would help with inflammation) until we can rule out a stress fracture, since ibuprofen impedes bone healing.

I haven't been taking anything for pain (at least, not since those first two awful days) since I have a pretty high pain tolerance and often just don't think to take anything. And honestly, the pain I do have is useful. Does it hurt when I do this? That? It gives me guidance on what I can do since the other option - not doing anything - goes against every last bit of my being. I mean, I will if I really have to, but if I don't really have to...

I am grateful that both of the races I have already registered for are meaningful to me beyond an opportunity to race. I'll be able to take each of them as they come and enjoy them at whatever state of fitness I'm at. And I want to keep that in mind with all future races.

My mother asked if it bothered me to have to reduce my training. I'm feeling really grateful right now to be able to say no. This is just what is going on right now. I'll swim more than I have been and have switched to more strength training, especially leg exercises so that I don't lose too much there. (Hello, squats!) I see this as an opportunity to start over again, correctly, for the long-term goals I have in mind. And as an opportunity to assess more realistically what some of those goals might be. (No worries, Ali, I still want to run an ultra someday.)

And maybe in the meantime I'll work through my stack of mending and actually get started on my next quilt.

Ever optimistically.
Annie

Monday, March 24, 2014

What's Up, Doc?

Note: I don't normally repost from my Facebook groups here, but I just haven't managed to write a post for a while - too many thoughts swirling around when given unlimited space to express them. Sometimes shorter really is better... or at least written. 

Apologies to anyone reading this a second time.

Okay, this is for accountability. I have been doing too much, running-wise, especially since my birthday challenge last month. This was borne out by a sucky long run last week, where I ended up with shin splints.
And it's not just been physically too much, it's been too much in terms of my peace of mind and ability to be fully present with my family. We have a lot of changes coming our way this year and I need to be more ready to flex with them.
So, I'm changing my plans for the year. I've got some fun races lined up (two 5Ks, a half, 15K) and will look to slo-o-wly build up my running base to 25-30 miles per week so that next year I can be in a better position for another marathon and an ultra. And no more personal "challenges" for myself. It was an awesome day and I'm really happy I did it - but it also took more of a toll on me than I was expecting and I tried coming back too fast afterwards. I don't need to do anything more like that this year.
If you hear me coveting my neighbor's ultra, please, smack me. There's always next year.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Marathon Madness

Registration for the Chicago Marathon lottery was supposed to have started this week (yes, that's right, not registation for the marathon itself,  just the lottery for it) but has now been delayed a couple of weeks.

I had not been thinking of doing the marathon again this year and then I was sort of approached about being part of a charity team. (I won't go into why this was "sort of", it's convoluted and involves work.) But of course that got me wanting to run it again, and looking into options. Cue a couple of days of crazy obsessive marathon thinking.

I think I now know what I'm going to do, but I will sit on it for a few days (and talk to The Dude) to be sure it feels right.

Those of you who aren't runners, what gets you obsessed?

Yours,
Monkey Mind Annie

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back in the Pool, Again

Hmph. I went all winter, running on all kinds of crazy snow and ice without any injury, and then in this last week as things start to thaw I slip on a little ice while leaving work and have pulled my lower left calf muscle. And some combination of lugging groceries/child have left me with knots in my shoulder and neck.

So, back in the pool it is!