Monday, October 5, 2015

Stretch, strengthen, and sit on my butt

Stretch, strengthen, repeat.
There’s not much to report this week, since I took the entire seven days off running to try to let my IT band heal.

I did do my pre-hab (although should I be calling it rehab now?) hip-strengthening moves three times, and did some yoga and stretching three times. I was only partially a lazy bum.

I also got a sports-specific massage Saturday, during which the therapist annihilated my calves and hamstrings in addition to working on my IT band. Seriously, I was laying on the table yelling “Ow! Ow! Ow!” and he just told me to pipe down, that he was barely touching me, and to breathe through it. That’s why I pay him the big bucks, I guess!

I want to try doing SOME movement this week – maybe a few bike trainer rides – but am a little hesitant to try running again quite yet. From what I can tell via Dr. Google, an IT band strain may take weeks or months to settle down. Ugh.

This past week by the numbers:

Pre-hab: Hip-strengthening exercises three times, for about a half hour each, for 1:30 total. This includes resistance band moves, clam shells, foam rolling, etc. I want to work in more glute exercises this coming week.

Yoga: Three sessions of self-guided poses for 1:05 total. I focused on hips and hamstrings.

Total: Six sessions for 2:35.

I’m pretty bummed to be dealing with this less than two weeks from what was supposed to be my A marathon. But I’m not sure what else I can do at this point besides strengthen, rest, and hope that the high mileage I put in earlier this summer is still in my legs, somewhere.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September in review: My running went completely to you-know-what

It started off so well.
I didn't even want to do this review because I am so angry, sad and frustrated with how the month shook out. Worst of all, I didn't hit 100 running miles for the month, for the first time in almost a year. My goal of 1,500 miles in '15 is pretty much out the window as well.
After I threw out my SI joint in August, I was coming back in September much more diligent about stretching, with a new pair of shoes on my feet, and feeling a million times better. I'm not sure if I had altered my stride too much, or if I just jumped back into it too quickly, but after a great speed run and a reassuring 16-miler, my IT band suddenly stopped cooperating.

I cut short a 12-miler, took most of a week off, ran an uneventful 3-miler, and had to cut short what was to be my last LONG long run. Not surprisingly, all of that skipped running led to my lowest-mileage month in nearly a year.

September by the numbers:

Run: 79.75 miles over 12 runs, in just less than 13 hours. I had a good first half of the month and everything just kind of fell apart by the end.

Yoga: Lots of yoga to re-align my SI joint, about 4.5 hours. It is feeling MUCH better. I need to make this a non-negotiable part of the pre-hab rotation.

Weights: I actually lifted weights twice this month, once with a video and once on my own, for just longer than 2 hours total.

Pre-hab: Finally, I am trying to get into a pre-hab routine. I spent about 2 hours over 5 sessions doing strengthening exercises, foam rolling, etc.

Now the plan is to stretch/pre-hab/rest, and hope for the best. (I'm so funny.) I still have no idea what will happen on marathon day in 2.5 weeks. I have massage therapy scheduled for Saturday, so I'm hopeful that will help, too. I just want to get back into my running shoes as quickly as possible.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week in review Sept. 21-27: Ending with another aborted long run =(

I had high hopes after my uneventful 3-miler Saturday that my long run would be just as uneventful. A perfect day would have been to complete 18 miles feeling good. Sadly, I got about 2.5 miles in before the searing pain in my right knee started, and I had to walk/jog back to my car.

I knew it could go either way and I tried to mentally prepare myself for both three hours of running and 10 minutes of running. I didn’t even really want to drive out to a nicer trail in case I had to cut it short; I felt it would have been a waste of time. On the other hand, I knew spending three hours running around my neighborhood would be mind-numbing.

In the end, I shouldn’t have bothered. After the pain started, I knew I was done for. I’d walk for a while, jog for a bit, and walk again when the pain came back. I was feeling OK going slowly by the time I got back to my car, and I briefly considered trying for another few miles the opposite way. Alas, the pain returned just as I reached my car at mile 4. I was pretty much mentally checked out by then, anyway.

So, what next?

My running schedule has been all over the place lately. This past week, I had taken five full days off before the test run Saturday and the aborted long run Sunday. Two weeks ago I had a nice, easy 6.5 miles early in the week, was busy for a few days, and had to cut that Sunday’s long run short, too. Three weeks ago I ran 16 miles with the only sign of a problem showing up in the last mile, and had even run some fast-for-me half-mile pickups two days before! Was it the pickups? Was it the 16-miler?

Five full days of rest didn’t solve the problem so this time I’m going to rest even longer. If not running one step between now and marathon day means I can finish the race, that's what I'm going to do. I'll probably wait at least two weeks and go from there.

In the mean time my plans is strengthen, rest, and hope for the best. There's not much else I can do at this point. The window for putting hay in the barn has passed and I just have to hope it was enough.

For posterity:

Run: Twice, both on the road, for 7 miles in 1:10:23.

Yoga: Twice, both self-guided, for 30:00.

Pre-hab: Twice, hip exercises, for 35:00.

Weights: One session of body/heavy weight moves, for about 1:15:00.

Total: Seven sessions in just longer than 3:30.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I just went for a run...

Three miles. I survived.
... And it went OK.

After I had to limp home 2 miles into my long run last weekend, I rested all week with the idea of a few test miles today. I even bought an IT band strap to hopefully help hold things in place. Not gonna lie -- I was really nervous heading out today.

I survived. I had a few twinges in my IT band, especially when I was going around a curve or hopping up on a curb, but never any actual pain.

I'm not going to get overconfident, but I'm reassured that all this rest did me some good. I'm going to try to get out for one last actual long run tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week in review Sept. 14-20: Ugh and ouch

Not much of anything this week.
It was a discouraging week. Running-wise, I got off to a decent start with a nice, easy run Tuesday evening. But then I had commitments after work Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday. I had a nice, quick run with my crazy dog on Saturday, and after that, believe it or not, lifted some weights!

And then I went out for my long run Sunday, started experiencing searing pain in my knee about 1.5 miles in, and had to limp home, discouraged and frustrated.

I can’t help beating myself up a bit about this. July, I ran the most miles I ever have in a month, and was feeling cocky. But what I WASN’T doing was stretching, my pre-hab exercises, and paying closer attention to my shoes, which I’d run in for far too many miles.

My SI joint got out of whack, and I’m sure as a result threw off my kinetic chain. And now my IT band and I are both paying the piper.

So as of today, coincidentally, I have 26 days until my fall marathon. I have been doing a lot of yoga, doing my hip-strengthening exercises, and obsessively Googling and worrying. I did take the mutts for a long walk yesterday and my knee felt fine. I am going to force myself to take at least the rest of the week off running, and then reevaluate.

Last week included:

Run: Three times, all on the road, for 11.75 miles in just under 2 hours. Ugh.

Yoga: Three times, all self-guided, for a total of just longer than an hour.

Weights: One video immediately after a 3-mile run Saturday (so I skipped the warmup) for about 50 minutes.

Pre-hab: One hip-strengthening session of about 15 minutes.

Total: Eight sessions in just longer than 4 hours.

I’m not happy about last week but I’m trying to stay positive. I’ve actually gotten a lot of cleaning and organizing done, and the dogs are happy with the extra walks, cuddles and belly rubs. Most importantly, I have to remind myself that this is one race, I want to live to race another day, and I need to be healthy to do that.

Monday, September 21, 2015

I had to cut short my long run yesterday. =(

But I had pancakes anyway.
I was looking forward to my long run yesterday. It was "only" a step back week of 12, I had gotten to bed at a reasonably early hour for a Saturday night, and I had bribed myself with pancakes on my return.

I got about a mile in and the outside of my right knee started feeling twinge-y. Was it just tight? Would it loosen up? I kept going, slowly and cautiously. It got worse. I stopped to stretch. It didn't help. I called it quits at mile 2.25 and limped home, defeated. And you're darn right, I ate the pancakes anyway.

I'm not sure what to make of it. Of course I don't want to actually injure myself, but I do want to run this marathon in a month. First thing on the agenda is to rest the stupid thing for a few days. Then maybe try a few easy miles and see what happens. I had run three easy the day before, so maybe I need to be taking at least every other day off running? Maybe it was inflamed from the weights video I had done the day before?

Either way, it's frustrating and I'm annoyed I have to deal with it! Ugh!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I'm alive, but not doing much running

Stretch, stretch, run, stretch.
I'm alive, although I've only run once this week. Not for lack of trying -- I took Monday off after my 16-miler Sunday, and had evening commitments Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday. I really tried to fit in a run around them, but it just didn't work out. Sad face.

Moral of the story: If you volunteer for one committee, you'll be drafted to at least two others. Another moral: Friday night high school football games are fun and you should go to a couple and enjoy them.

I actually got some pre-hab in this week. I bought another set of stretchy bands to keep in my office, like, three months ago and never used them. Between meetings and phone calls on Tuesday I squeezed in a set of hip-strengthening exercises. Hooray!

Now, Saturday morning, I finally have breakfast and coffee in me but it took til nearly 10:30 a.m. I'm off to the farmer's market, and I'll get in my run and hopefully some weights while the game is on. Multitasking!