Monday, November 13, 2017

Nov. 6-12: I have nothing to review.

My training is not in a good place right now. After a long run a few weeks ago my left knee was a bit tender underneath my kneecap, and it would hurt off and on. After a speedy run a week and a half ago the tenderness turned to pain, and “off and on” turned to on, all the time.

Yesterday I was in the kitchen, literally minding my own business, when suddenly I couldn't put weight on or extend my knee. Well, this isn't good. I rested it for a while, hobbled around some more, rested, hobbled, and went to bed. This morning it was fine, and then it wasn't, and then it was fine again.

Magically, I could get into the doctor this morning, and she confirmed something was going on. I didn't get X-rays since it's obviously a soft tissue thing, but I did get a referral to an orthopedist that I should make an appointment for now; I can always cancel later if it stops giving me trouble. I'm in a bandage now and getting around OK as long as I don't have to bend my knee too deeply.

As a result, my mental state isn’t in a good place, either. Between the not running, the knowing something is wrong, and the cold front that moved in last week I am the Queen of Crab. There has been a lot of lying around and moping. To be fair, there has also been a decent amount of cooking, errand-running, and crocheting Christmas presents, so not all is completely lost. But still – I am not happy.

I’m signed up to run a race next week and I have no idea where I will be running-wise tomorrow, let alone then. A silver lining is this race does allow transfers, so if I can’t run there is a good chance my money won’t be wasted. But *I* wanted to do this race.

So I don't know what will be going on for running and anything else in the future. I'm going out of town Thursday and I'm going to try to enjoy myself, even if I do have to hobble and limp around. Hopefully I'll have good news soon.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week in review Oct. 30-Nov. 5: I “knee”d to evaluate

Nothing special this week.
Well, this is why I can’t have nice things.

I ran my first double-digit run in a while two weeks ago. Since it had been so long, it was a little tough, and I had some soreness afterward. But I didn’t think much of it, since it seemed to be typical post-long run stuff.

I noticed that my left knee, the one without any real cartilage, was still tender a few days later. Maybe I should have taken a few days off, but… I wanted to hit my running mileage goals of 1,000 for the year and 100 for the month. So I stuck to easy runs of no longer than an hour, and it felt OK. Maybe a bit sore the day after a run, but it was always fine by the second day.

Friday was going to be my last after-work run in daylight before Daylight Saving Time ended, and it was a perfect night for running. The air was crisp and cool, the sunlight was waning, the trees were still red and orange. I clicked off mile after mile, hitting about goal marathon pace minus 10-15 seconds (!!!) and every one felt easy (!!!!!!!!). I started to think that maybe I could pull off a spring marathon.

Then… bam. Knee pain. I’m not sure if I pushed off funny, or if 6 miles really is the threshold, or if I was just running too fast for my joint fitness, or what. I walked for a while and tried once or twice more, but I was done doing any real running.


So, long story short, I didn’t do as much running as I would have liked. Saturday and Sunday ended up being filled with friend and family stuff so I just wrote them off as rest days.

Run: Four times, 3 on the treadmill and once on the road, for just longer than 22 miles in 3.5 hours. (This included a short run on the 31st to make 100 even for the month of October.)

Bike: Once on the trainer for an hour.

Total: Five workouts in 4.5 hours.

I'm frustrated, mad, and a little depressed that I am going to have to alter my goals for the rest of the month and year. I might get on the bike or in the pool later but right now I am just going to be grumpy that I have to take an enforced running break. Boo.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A look back at October (finally)

Ugh! It has been a busy week. My life has been work, squeeze an hour of something active, cook, shop, pay some attention to my husband and dogs, and go to bed way too late. It's been exhausting.

When I finally had a chance to add up my October totals, it was pretty obvious I haven't had as much time to train as I would like. This was my smallest volume month since March, when I took it easy running after a weekend of 30+ miles in late February. I really only made two of my goals, both running-related, and didn't accomplish much else.
Running was my priority for October, but I didn't do a whole lot else.
By the numbers, it was:

Run: 16 times, for 100 miles in a bit longer than 16 hours. 100 miles was a goal for me, so yay! This included a fun 5K as part of the Detroit Free Press Marathon weekend.

Bike: 4 trainer rides for 5 hours. I rode once early in the month and had a good last week of the month and that was it.

Weights: 2 heavy/body sessions for about 2.5 hours. Ugh. Not even a once per week average.

Yoga: 3 times for a bit less than an hour. Again: Ugh. Not even a once per week average.

Total: 25 sessions in about 24.5 hours. A solid month for running, but blah for everything else.

In addition to making my 100-mile running goal, I also surpassed 1,000 miles for the year later in the month. It's only the fourth time in my life I've done this, so I'm thrilled. 

But none of my other goals got accomplished. I didn't lift twice per week, I didn't start using a TrainerRoad program, I didn't even get into the pool once. Ugh.

I'm doing the best I can with my limited free time, and I'm still getting in a few solid workouts here and there, so I can't be too mad. Let's see if I can't make some improvements for November.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week in review Oct. 23-29: Some running, some football watching

A decent week.
Hey, it wasn't a terrible week. I did a decent amount of running and got on the bike and on the yoga mat twice each. This includes taking a full day off for football and another for a trip to the vet, so I'll take it as a victory.

This week marked the first real cold snap and I've been crabby about it all week. Monday I was on the trainer the day after a long run, and Tuesday I grumpily took to the treadmill as it rained outside. I had to work super early Tuesday and had to take my car to the dealer (again) Wednesday, so my schedule was a bit screwed up, but I still managed another trainer ride after I got my car back home.

Thursday one of my mutts was limping again. She had been limping off and on a few months ago, but we thought whatever it was had cleared up. However, she is a total brat, and figured out that when she sits in front of the pantry with her paw raised, she gets extra treats and attention. So was it really an injury or is she just playing us for suckers? I mean, we are suckers, but an X-ray revealed that she has developed arthritis in that paw these past few months. So I did feel bad, but gave her extra treats and belly rubs. I didn't get in a real workout that day so....

I got up super early Friday and got on the treadmill before work. Friday and Saturday both were filled with football (my husband's high school Friday, his university homecoming on Saturday) and I didn't work out at all on Saturday. Sunday I was able to rally and run a solid 8 miles in the cool air. It wasn't THAT bad once I warmed up, but I was wishing my hat was about an inch longer to cover just a bit of my ears.

So all that was a very long way to say:

Run: Three times, twice on the treadmill and once on the road, for 20.5 miles in about 3 hours, 20 minutes. This included hitting 1,000 miles for the year.

Bike: Twice, both on the trainer, for 2 hours total.

Yoga: Twice, both self-guided sessions, for about 35 minutes total.

Total: 7 sessions in a bit less than 6 hours.

Nothing exceptional, but a decent week. It works out to almost an hour 6 days, which is nothing to sneeze at. Considering everything that happened, I'll take it.

I hope you're having a great week so far.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

1,000 running miles for 2017 and I ain't a spring chicken anymore

Today on my run around the neighborhood I hit the 1,000 mile mark for 2017. It's only the fourth time in my life I've ever done this.
Yay me!
I ran 1,000 on the nose in 2014, so I'm already at my third-highest yearly mileage of my life. I hit 1,141 in 2015, which I will probably surpass. I did 1,313 in 2013, the only calendar year I've done two marathons, and I don't expect to exceed that.

It hasn't been the best year running but this is a big accomplishment for me, and I'm proud of my hard work.

On the subject of hard work, I ran my first double-digit run in months a week ago. My knee is STILL bothering me a bit.

I don't have any real cartilage in my left knee after a freak trampoline accident when I was 15 followed by years of playing tennis and then running. I've been to an orthopedist, and he said I don't need surgery or a scope or anything, so the best thing I can do is keep my leg muscles strong. Running and lifting weights usually keeps me pain free, but I overdid it last week for sure.

I only ran a couple times this week but I was definitely feeling it after mile 4 or so. Today I went out for 8 and was mostly fine, although I was definitely being very careful with form.

I turn 38 in a few weeks and I can't keep pretending that I'm 22. Sigh.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week in review Oct. 16-22: Finally, some stuff other than running

Great running, a decent bike session, a decent weights session.
Although I had to take two days off my regular training last week, I still managed a decent showing. Not only did I get in lots of good and long running, I also managed a Saturday trainer ride and weight lifting session. It wasn't a WHOLE lot of stuff, but I was feeling pretty badass by the end of the week.

My in-laws were in town Monday and I had to catch up on food prep, since the Freep marathon a week ago Sunday meant I couldn't do my usual grocery shopping that day. And on Thursday I took a kung fu self-defense class, which, while very interesting, wasn't a real workout (at least for me). I made up for lack of training those two days with solid workouts the other five.

It worked out to be:

Run: 4 times, all on the road, for 32 miles in a bit longer than 5 hours. Tuesday and Wednesday were nice, easy runs, which felt pretty effortless in the cool air. Friday's run felt even more amazing. I ticked off multiple miles in 9:09, which is the pace needed for a 3:59:59 marathon, my ultimate goal. It was enough to get me thinking, hmmm, are there any spring marathons coming up? But marathon training in the winter... ugh. I also went up and down the sledding hill a total of 14 times that run, one more than the time before.

Sunday I went out for 12.5 miles, my first double-digit run in more than three months. I wasn't 100% sure I could do it, so I stayed close to home, just in case. The first hour felt good but I was starting to feel it in my bad knee and my hips. I considered heading home, but decided to try to tough it out. I was hurting more by mile 10 but there was no way I wouldn't finish the two hours and I did. I was glad to see I had those miles still in me, and I got to see some beautiful trees changing colors.

Bike: Just once on the trainer, for 1.5 hours on Saturday while watching college football and catching up on my magazines.

Weights: Another badass alert. I just did one round of my usual home body/heavy weight workout. But for some reason I was just ON today. I can do a few standing pull-ups and a few standing chin-ups, but the hanging versions have eluded me. I've had to use bands for an assist... until Saturday. I managed two sets of two hanging chin-ups and two sets of one hanging pull-up, and made it halfway up on the third go-round for each. I was thrilled! I also managed to bump up weight for a few other moves and bang out 10 pushups with my feet up one step. Woo!

Total: 6 sessions in almost 8 hours.

Not great, not terrible, a few gains here and there. A solid week and nothing to complain about. I'll take it.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

So, I went to a kung fu class

There have been a few attacks on female runners this past year or so, so I started running with my phone more often and have been keeping an eye out for self defense classes. I signed up for one at Detroit Kung Fu Academy this past week. I've gone to one tae kwon do class at least 15 years ago, so I had no idea what to expect.

It was ... interesting. I expect every self-defense class to start out telling us to be aware of our surroundings, as if we don't know that already, and there was a little of that. We went through a form routine a few times, and then learned a few moves. We learned how to sink our body weight down so we could leverage it to throw someone off balance, and how to punch and block.

I don't know that I need ANOTHER gym or studio membership, so I probably won't train there. But I wouldn't say no to the occasional odd class, and it's always good to learn something new, right?

And just because I didn't get any good pictures: