Thursday, July 30, 2009

So You've Completed a Marathon... Now What?

We're going to Disney World.... LOL

Yes, it's true. I've made the commitment to run the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge on January 9 and 10, 2010. That's a half marathon on Saturday, January 9 and a full marathon on Sunday January 10. And my husband didn't even blink when I said I wanted to do it.....LOL

I've heard about the Disney races and the goofy challenge and always thought it'd be fun to do one of them 'some' day. Florida in January isn't bad and the course is more or less flat given that Disney World was built on a swamp! Friends who ran there before say the only elevation on the ramps between the parks so really not a hilly event at all. So 'some' day it seemed like a fun idea. I never really contemplated doing the Goofy Challenge though.

Then I heard that a few other (7 as of last night) members of my pace group at USA fit/Philly fit were planning to go. That means training partners between the Philly Half in November and Disney. It also means knowing other in the race although most of us will run our own race when it comes right down to it; still having runners to meet up with before and after is nice. Then I asked Dave you want to go to Florida in January? Then I asked my sister, who lives in Orlando, if she could put us up and she said yes (Thanks Kate!) so suddenly 'some' day is looking like now.

The race fills up fast - in fact I heard it close and then re-opened for this year - so I had to make a decision now. That works better for me anyway. Being extremely budget conscious if I pay for it I'm going to make sure I go. Having said that, this Challenge is actually a two fer for me. The challenge of preparing and running the race but also taking the plunge and registering before I've worked every minute detail of the trip...... not like me at all. But hey, that'll give me lots to work on while I'm out on training runs.... I'm committed now (and probably should be) and excited.

Today I ran my long run for the week - 10 miles - at Ridley Creek State Park. I'm headed to the Shore tomorrow so I knew there was no chance I'd 10 miles on Saturday. Despite it being humid again today I failed to follow my advice from earlier in the week (to walk first). And lo and behold I struggled... but I finished. The circuit at RCSP is hilly. It is a long slow hill around 3/4 of the route and then a very steep hill the rest of the way. I don't like the steep hill going up or down so I decided to stay on the long slow side. I ran 2.5 out and back, then 1.5 out and back and then 1 out and back... talk about boring! But it's done and now I can go on vacation!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I really suck at humidity

Today was probalby the first really bad humidity day for running this summer. The summer has been pretty mild so far. I set out for 4 miles and I finished but I did not run all the way.

I thought about it while I was running. What can I do to get better. I probably should try to acclimate better. It doesn't help that I spend the day in air conditioning at work. I don't want to sit around at home waiting to 'warm up' to the humidity though. I'm afraid I'll end up not going out at all.

My solution is that I will go out and walk first. Instead of running right off the bat, I'll walk for 1/2 to 1 mile and then run. I'm going to try that next time and see if that helps.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thoughts after a 12 mile run

This was my first long run since turning my ankle 2 1/2 weeks ago. So I was nervous today. I also new that on this run I had to work on fueling in addition to hydrating. This is my second year running and I think I have the hydration thing pretty well under control (I've not experienced any issues at least) The fueling is something that I struggled with last year. As for drinking, I do all water. Gatorade upsets my stomach (even diluted) and I do not like the taste of others I tried. So last year I discovered electrolyte capsules and that seems to work for me. I drink a few sips every 2 miles or when I'm thirsty whichever comes first. I take an electrolyte capsule about mile 5 and then roughly every 5 after that. I adjust up or down depending on the heat and humidity but for a day like today that works.

As for fueling, well like I said there is defeinitly room for improvement. I am feaful of trying gus or gels.. I'm afraid the consistency will bother me. So last year I tried fruit snacks and fig newtons. Fig newtons were too dry. Friut snacks were not enough. I needed so many of them to make a differnce that I couldnt fit them in my pouch on the longer runs. Plus they take a lot of chewing! I did some research and found that a serving of raisinettes (1/4 c) equals 190 calories, 32 g Carbs (27 sugar). Two gels have 180 calories, 44 g Cargs (4 suguar). Raisnette also have 8g of fat where the gel has none but I didn't think that was too bad in the long run (pun intended) Besides I knew I liked the consistency of Raisinettes. So that's what I tried today. A little awkward to handle. I had them is a ziploc and managed not to spill by only opening it part way. I brought two bags each with 1 serving but only used one. I took them at intervals and I think it worked out energy wise. I am determined to try a gu or gel on our next run over 10 miles though. I think I have to just bite the bullet and at least try. If nothing else they are more convenient.

Physically, I was very conscious of my ankle today although it felt fine. I talked to myself on the drive over today reminding me that walking was ok if I needed to it. Don't misunderstand, I know that walking is always ok but sometimes when I walk I lose mental momentum and have a hard time getting up to the run again. So I decided this would be a good exercise in overcoming that mental thing. I did use a few short walk breaks today and managed to pick up running again just fine. Yay me! My muscles are tired (but hey it was 12 miles). I'm not feeling in desparate need of a nap (a problem last year) so the eating did help I think. The inside of my right ankle (the one I hurt) is sore. At first I wondered if I was compensating unconsciously for the ankle (which felt fine) but I did the math today and I think I may be getting close to new shoe time. I'll keep tuned to that this week and see.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2.5 miles

Today I ran 2.5 miles in a misty rain. No ankle pain. I adjusted the brace better and had no 'extra' pains in the knee or shins. I noticed a slight groin pull that actually started yesterday at the gym. And actually that got better the longer I was out. So I better watch out for that. I'm excited now about the long run on Saturday. I will walk part of it if I have to but I'm looking forward to it.

This is a 12 mile run. So I will be experimenting with fueling on the run. I did not do this part well last year and I'm sure that's one of the reasons I bonked on the marathon. Hoping to do better this year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gym Day

Back to the Gym today. I decide to simulate speedwork on the elliptical machines. I am fearful of the pounding my ankle would take if I did it on the road. I'm sure the purists out there will tell me it was not good enough but I'm not a purist... at least when it cames to running. I got a good aerobic workout from this and my ankle feels fine! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back on the road again

Well I did it. Today I ran again. I was so happy to not have a headache or a pain in my ankle I couldn't wait to get out to run. I put on the ankle brace and headed out carefully for a 4 mile run. I felt good, took it easy and was more than halfway through before I experienced any pain. It wasn't in my ankle though. The ankle was fine all the way through and still is.

I had slight twinging on the outside of my right knee and on the inside of my right shin just above the ankle. It was very slight but it was definitely there. I think it may have been because of the brace. The part that goes under my foot was bulky. I suppose that is to absorb some of the pounding but I think the thickness of it was altering my gait. I'm guessing here but the twinging went away within mintues of finishing my run. I iced it anyway just in case.

Tomorrow the plan is to go to the gym. On thursday i'll have to figure out what to do about running outside again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Disappointments and new things!

I planned to give my ankle the test with an easy job after work today. Unfortunatley my head had other plans. I'm pretty sure it's sinus related but the migraine I developed during the day today kept me home. Nothing seemed to help. I tried eating, I tried sinus meds.... both managed to dull the pain for a short period only to return almost stronger than before. After dinner I took a Tylenol and a nap and the pain has started to subside. I apologize for being such a whiner lately... seems like if it's not one thing it's another.

I received an invitation today to join the coaching team as an assistant for the red group at USA Fit Philly. I so enjoy this running group. All the support I recieved last year really helped me get to my goal of finishing a marathon. I had hoped to offer back support and encouragement others this year. Here is how the invitation read,

"You've been such a valuable member of the group donating your time and your kind words to the boards every week, I think you'd be a great person to fill in for her. The job is pretty easy --- just keep on doing what you've been doing all season long."

The 'her' I'm filling in for is getting married and the wedding and buying a new home proved to be a huge drain on her time. No surprise of course. I'm happy to have this opportunity and really flattered to be asked.

Now if the hammer in my head would go to sleep so will I!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This morning I went to the gym.

10 minutes on the elliptical. 20 minutes on core and arm exercises and finished up with 10 minutes on the bike. I had the ankle braced and knew that if I felt pain I would stop. I did not. :)

On the elliptical too I alteranted between holding on and keeping my hands at my sides. Not holding on required more balancing with my ankles and I wasnted to see how that would go. I could always grab the handlebars if I needed to. I didn't :)

I mowed the lawn when I came home. A small yard so it only takes about 45 minutes or so and it's pretty flat.

After all that I iced it.

The thing that really bugs me now is that when I wake up in the morning it aches. After I walk around a bit that goes away. Annoying.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

As of yesterday I could go up and down steps without pain. So today I put on the stronger support grabbed my backpack and 'granny cart' and walked to CVS and the ACME and back home (duh!). A total of 2 miles walking not counting in the stores.

The ankle felt good and so did I! I took the support off and iced it. Been up and down the basement stairs defrosting the freezer and doing a load of laundry or two and for the most part it is holding up well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gym workout

30 minutes at the gym today. I'm behaving myself with the ankle. The new support made a big difference in how it felt at the end of the day. Very little pain in the ankle or either shin. It's still rounded though and the brusing is darker.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keep smiling

Although I walked on Saturday and it didn't hurt while I did... it does now and has more or less since Sunday morning. Obviously the walking on Saturday was a mistake. I'm also getting pains higher up on my shin on both legs, probably from compensating. So, I'm going all out conservative now and I dare anyone to call me a baby.

This morning the ankle acutally had some definition to it but by the time I got home from work that was gone. So I purchased a daytime support for it and will wear that during the day until the swelling is completely gone. No activity on the ankle beyond what I have to do for work for the rest of the week. I will try to fliex it as long as it doesn't hurt. I'll try to get some activity at the gym on anything but my ankle. If all goes well, when the pain subsides I'll try the elliptical first before running outside.

The good news, if I can call it that, is that I had already committed to half marathons this year in September and November. So even if I lose a few weeks of training, I'll still have time to be on track for the two half marathons.

Until next time.....I'll keep smiling anyway.. moving is a bit limited.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Time on my feet

That was the phrase one of my group used today to describe my effort today. I like it. It fits.

I was going to skip the group meeting today. In the end I decided to go and travel with the walkers. The neat thing about Phillyfit is we have groups for all and they are very fluid. You can move between them as you need to. And todya I needed to not run so the walkers were perfect for me.

I wrapped my ankle in an ace bandage and headed to Valley Forge. Our meeting time was 7:30. We had a seminar on nutrition before during and after runs first and then took off. I finished 8 miles. I had to slow down from time to time as I felt a pull in my ankle at those times. All in all it felt good though. It's a little stiff right now and - after finishing up a few Saturday chores - I'm taking it easy the rest of the day and more or less tomorrow too.

I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and picked up a stronger support for my ankle. The ace bandage worked well at work on Friday but not for an 8 mile walk. It shifted around too much. Yet if I had wrapped it tighter I would have circulation issues. I think it's just too stretchy.

On Monday, assuming all continues to go well, I'll go out for a run/walk thing if I can. I tried to jog a few steps today and after three steps I knew the ankle wasn't ready. I intend to be just as conservative on Monday and for as long as it takes. I don't want to be a baby about this but I also have to acknowledge that I'm almost 50 and I intend to still be walking/running when I'm 70 or more!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Rest, ice, compression and elevation. And if no improvement in 5-7 days come back for an MRI. That was the doctor's advice. So here I sit ice pack on my ankle, pillow underneath feeling rather cranky.

Update: By the time I went to bed last night I had iced it three times yet the swelling did not seem to be much better. I had to crawl up the stairs. After a few false starts I managed to find a somewhat less painful position to sleep and did manage to sleep through the night. But getting up this morning at 6 am I did not feel strong on it at all. So I opted to skip work and make a doctor appointment which I was able to get for 1:20.

The swelling had gone down some overnight. I can walk on it but I'm not doing and one legged stands. The thing that bothers me is that every so many steps, when I take them, my ankle yells back and kind of gives way. After some gently prodding and twisting the doctor decided on the 'conservative approach' (his words) and leave it be for a week. He said the more I can rest it the better and faster it will recover and if not better in a week to come back for an MRI.

Blood pressure 104/62 and heart rate 67. At least there is plenty of wiggle room there for when the crankies hit because I shouldn't run or walk distances until this is better. Running and walking are what keep me sane. I can be as lazy as the next one if the mood strikes but I also have to be able to get up and go when the mood strikes. *Sigh*

Doc also checked out my other bumps and bruises (palm, shoulder, head) and agreed with me that they were nothing serious. A litle sore but I'll survive.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Well today I headed out to a warm up jog before doing a hill workout on 8th street. At the end of my street is a park that I cut through. I usually run on the paved path. The paved path is cracking up and so I thought I'd try the grass. I took a couple of steps on the grass and realized it was too long. I couldn't see the any dips, holes and other obstructions so I decided the paved path was safer. At least I could see where the breaks were. Unfortunately in the two steps to get back to the path I twisted my ankle.

I fell pretty hard. It is my right ankle. My left hand went out to stop the fall. My hand at the base of my thumb hurts almost as much as my ankle does. Maybe more. My head for the most part hit my arm except for a small piece on the side of my head which hit the pavement and is slightly bruised. Thank goodness for my arm taking most of the blow to my head because despite that my teeth rattled and I can't imagine what would have happened if it hit the pavement that hard.

Anyway I limped home and iced it twice before Dave arrived home from softball. I just iced it a third time a little bit ago. I've resisted aleve just yet. I'll take that before bed, for now I want to feel the pain and know what's going on. I'm pretty sure it's just sprained. I can put most of my weight on it but it is not happy about bending. I'll see how it is in the morning and then make a decision about going to the doctor.

So needless to say I did not do my hill workout today. I really needed a run today, too :(. I was feeling frumpy and clunky and running makes me feel better. Now I feel broken, frumpy and clunky. *sigh*

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ok so it was only 5 miles

From where I see it, the point was getting out after 4 days off so I'm happy with the run. Tomorrow I'll be off; Hill workout on Wednesday; Easy run on Thursday; 9 miles with the group on Saturday.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Taking the long weekend off

Friday was a planned no workout day. It usually is. However, by Saturday I wasn't feeling any better. In fact, despite an effort to get up early to meet my running group I ended up sleeping until 10 am on Saturday. Not like me at all so something is up. I did manage to take a walk but that was it for any exercise. Still feeling groggy at bedtime Saturday night I opted right then to skip everything until Monday.

So I've plotted out 6 miles around Media for Monday after work. 6 was the planned distance for Saturday. I'll run Wednesday and Thursday (Tuesday we are headed to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game and there won't be time) and try to get back on schedule on Saturday, the 11th.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

10 mnutes and back to take a nap

For the third day in a row Iwoke up tired. Yesterday was day two. I did manage 2 miles easy as the schedule called for yesterday. That actually made me feel better (as did my workout on Tuesday). So I decided to try again today. Today's workout called for 30 minutes total with Tempo in the middle. My plan was to warm up and cool down with a half mile easy and do two miles tempo separated by another half mile easy. I think some (I don't know who exactly.. but I've read it) would say a tempo should be at least two miles at once. I knew that wasn't going to happen though so believing that tempo is sustained higher pace at a distance longer than speed intervals I went with a mile.

However, my body had other plans today. I avoided the temptation to go right for the couch when I arrived home. I headed out and after the first half mile I was still feeling really sluggish (usually by that time I'm starting to pep up a a bit) So I changed my strategy to finish the planned 3.5 miles at an easy pace.. easier than usual even if I had to. I made it barely another half mile and stopped. I wasn't any more comfortable and my brain would not focus on anything but how I tired I felt. I walked back home, cleaned up and now I'm headed to my couch for a nap.

Tomorrow is my rest day for the week. I'm probably going to keep it and then meet some Phillyfitters on Saturday for an unofficial run on the Valley Forge Loop. Stay tuned....

Edit (later that evening...) ok now I have a mild sore throat and really dry eyes..... so maybe there is a reason for the tiredness that isn't just old age..... The first thing I will do tomorrow is not get up early.