Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Princess and the Pea and her running shoes

We all know the story of the Princess of the Pea. Her soon to be Mother-in-law (MIL) didn't believe she was good enough for her son so the MIL placed a pea under the Princess' bed to ruin a good night's sleep. The Princess woke black and blue and proved her MIL wrong, the pain proved she was for real. They lived happily ever after, I'm not sure what happened to the MIL (hehe).

How does this relate to running? Hello, lets make the princess a runner. Name a real runner, someone who runs hard and hasn't been injured. The MIL didn't believe the Princess because she didn't look like a princess, I don't look like a runner. There are plenty of us who run with more heart and determination than with speed. We are real runners, doesn't matter if you are a front of the packer or back of the packer. The injury, strains, sprains, fractures, tendonitis, plantar fascitis, pulls, tears, and whatever else sends us to the disabled list are proof. In the fairy tale the Princess healed and went on to live a normal life with her new man. In the runner's tale the runner will heal and go on to run that next race (it may take several hundred dollars in new inserts, countless visits to PT and a steady stream of curse words). The goal may be to win the race or maybe just to finish, but we don't let our injuries stop us. So from now on don't call me just a runner, please call me a running princess!

Days till NYC: 38
Miles trained today: 5 miles

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So I'm back on track after the calf injury. THings have been feeling good, but I want to take it slow from now until 11/1. My plan is now 3 runs a week with the 4th run being a long run. I got to admit I was having a hard time getting motivated this week. I don't know what it is, but moving in the mornings hasn't happened. Tonight we were lucky enough to be invited to Cranston for our 5 miles. If we had to meet someone else, we would be more likely to run!

It was a nice night when we started and we had plenty to talk and laugh about. The first 2 miles flew by. Joe and Jessica are both slightly faster than me and Joe runs faster with Jessica than with me. So it wasn't long before I felt the pace picking up. I went along with it as long as I could, but knew better than to get involved with the two of them. There is a thing that happens with them about jockeying for the lead. Joe won't let her pass him and she gets pissed and they just push each other till the end.

By the time we hit mile 4, I had fallen behind and didn't mind. Reminding myself that all that matters is that I stay healthy. I started to count down the 10th of a mile to go. Before I knew it we were at 5 miles and not stopping. What the hell?!?! I only signed up for 5. They were too far a head so I just kept going and going and going and going. They didn't seem to notice, probably too involved with trying to get ahead of the other. Meanwhile I was beginning to worry that we might be lost. It's one thing to go over on a route you know, but Cranston might as well be another world! The run ended up being 5.5, not a huge distance, but each step over 5 seemed like forever. Finally we finished, and the best part...NO PAIN!!

Days till NYC: 39
Miles trained today: 5.5

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Getting there, slowly

So finally today, I ran with no pain and hit the double digits again! NYC here I come! It's been close to 3 weeks since my last long run and I would be fibbing if I didn't admit to looking at how to defer my entry until next year.

Today was the test, at least in my mind it was. I had no great expectations, my 2 three mile runs didn't feel great this week, so how was I going to be able to go further. We had planned to start at 5:30am and were shocked by the temps, it was in the upper 40's and made the very tough decision to go back to bed!

Starting again a little later in the morning, things felt good right out of the gates. We hit the 1 mile mark and Joe asked if I wanted to stop and stretch and we just ran by it. This had been the spot for weeks where I would have to stop and deal with the building tightness in my legs. No need for that today! My garmin was out of battery so we didn't have an exact idea of our pace, but kept up the conversation as a way to keep ourselves from going to fast. My legs felt very rested, which is great, just what my confidence needed.

The first 6 mile loop was smooth and before we knew it we were back at the car. The 2nd loop was a little tougher, no pain, but my legs haven't done this in a quite a while. The pace was much slower but I kept my form in check. Decisions, decisions, marathon training is built on long runs. Do I suck it up and go for the full 18 or play it safe and stop at 12? To be honest my feet made the decision for me, the last mile of the 2nd loop was fairly uncomfortable. My pigs were pissed off, they thought we were done with this long distance thing. I can't complain though, 12 miles with no leg or calf pain!

It's hard to be flexible with the training, if you only could see the pages of logs and calendars and printouts I have from day 1 planning the whole thing out. I just want to follow it to the T, but that's not going to get me to the starting line. There is still time for some more double digit runs and I need to keep myself healthy and keep the confidence high.

Days till NYC: 42
Miles trained today: 12

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missing my auto-pilot

Running always requires a little effort, especially when we are tucked into bed and the alarm goes off! Some days are more effort than others but for most runs there is a point where auto-pilot turns on. I stop thinking about moving my legs forward, stop thinking about making sure my arms are swinging at the right height, stop thinking about my breathing. My body just does what it has done for countless miles. When this happens my mind just wanders. It's these runs that are really enjoyable, before I know it I find that I'm running faster and further than planned and just enjoying being outside. Today that didn't happen. I'm still monitoring for any calf pain. It was like I had a scanner behind me focused on the calf. Every few steps scanning from knee to ankle, scanning for signs of pain, scanning for anything that is going to prevent me from running the marathon. Luckily nothing was found during the 3 miles of scans and I finished my second run of the week with no pain! Fingers crossed for Saturday!

Days till NYC: 45
Miles trained today: 3

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

De-conditioned together

Tonight I was headed out for another test run. My calf is still not 100% and after my run on Friday that left me limping for half a day I've been taking it easy. I had strict instructions, not too far, not too fast and no pain. Easy enough. The good news was, the weather has turned so my partner has come out of retirement. This was Mia's first day on the roads since the beginning of July. I tried to lay out the same rules for her, go easy, not too fast and keep it short. Well, like her Mom, she's stubborn and didn't listen. If she could, she would have been clicking her heels the first few steps out the door. She was ready, or so she thought. I noticed that after a mile and a half I had no pain, didn't want to get to excited. I also noticed that the old lady had pooped herself out. She wasn't struggling outright, but looked like she normally did at the end of a faster 5-7 miles. Mile 2 is where the pain set in on Friday and we passed that point with no problem. Things were looking good, we ended the run after 3 miles, and good thing. It was only a quarter mile walk to home and Mia wanted to crawl. At one point Joe stopped to congratulate both of us on our successful run and she looked like she was going to take a nap right there in the middle of the street. I'm glad there was no pain and am going to continue to take it slow over the next few days and Mia is going to use this slow period to amp back up.

Days till NYC: 46
Miles trained today: 3

Friday, September 11, 2009


So I went out today hoping for a pain free 3 miles, I shouldn't complain, I almost made it. The first 2 miles felt great. They should, I've been resting since Monday. We ran early, right from home. It was the first run with a long sleeved shirt of the year, although I could have gotten away without it. Part of me fully thought I would have no problems, I've been doing everything I've been told. Icing 2-3 times a day, not running, no heels, limited walking. Still here I am, weeks out from the marathon and stuck on the sideline. The other issue, this is my cursed running weekend, in the last 3 years I've had an injury this weekend. I should have planned it into my schedule. Always something different and never serious enough to keep me out of whatever long race I'm planning for, the first was the Bristol 10 miler, the the Breakers last year and now NYC. If history repeats it's self I'l be fine for m race, it's just a pause. I'm told not to worry, it's still too early, I've built a good base. But the seeds of self doubt are setting in, this is the 2nd long run I'll miss. There is nothing I can do, I'll give it more rest. I'll take the vitamins and the supplements. I'll swim in the pool. I'll stay out of my high heels and we'll see how things feel later in the week. I know I can run the distance, and can finish the training, but I'd like to finish strong with my dignity intact, I just need to get my legs on the same page and I'll be ready for the marathon.

Days till NYC: 49
Miles trained today: 3

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's all semantics

So we finished our run today and Joe asked "how was it". Well, were to start..

We started with Jessica and Sue. This was our first run after a 4 day break. What a nice break, I didn't think twice about not running, it was glorious. After the track workout on Wed, I just couldn't shake my leg aches and pains. Things just didn't feel right and I knew I needed a break. I expected today would feel better.

In the beginning it felt great, we felt down Elmgrove. Until .8 miles in, things started to feel familiar, and uncomfortable. I stopped and tried to stretch it out. Jessica and Sue took off, thought we would catch up with them. When the pain didn't subside by mile 2 I shooed Joe off and stretched some more. This continued for all 5 miles. I would get about a mile before needing to stretch, after stretching things felt better. Why did I continue to do this? I'm stubborn and will only take so many days off. I did finish the 5 miles. It was a good run because my pace at 9:30, much faster than my goal. Awful, because how it felt and I was only moving so fast to end it quicker. Good, because it's over.

So as I sit here and ice the bottoms of my feet, calf, shin and achilles I'm not sure if it was good or bad but glad it's over. Need to get my act together before 18 miles this weekend...

Days till NYC: 54
Miles trained today: 5

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tempo, tempo, tempo

Of all the workouts, the tempo run is my least favorite. I don't know why, but it always intimidates me. For a tempo run you start running for a few miles and then push it hard for a few miles. My problem tonight is that I misunderstood the workout, I thought it was only going to be 5 miles but Bob had meant 7 miles. Now I ran 3 miles from work to the track already so a 7m tempo would be too much for the day. We compromised and jogged with the group to the Blvd and waited for the rest of the group at Butler.

The goal was a 10 min pace for the entire Blvd (3.4 miles). Here's the problem, I suck at checking my pace, especially for tempo runs with Bob. I get so worried about falling behind on my times that I run too hard. And of course that's what happened tonight, our first mile was 8:59. Joe tried to slow me down, but I just felt that I needed to run hard or I wasn't going to make it. That and coming back up to the Blvd there is a slight uphill so I wanted to build a little cushion. For mile 2 I tried to back off the pace but had to just push it and broke away from Joe for a while. You know it's a hard run when you are drooling and snotting all over the place, gross, but the truth. I knew we had it after turning the Blvd, there was less than a mile to go, at this point I was going to be able to hold the pace. Joe stopped yelling at me for going to fast and just ran. We hit the 3 mile mark at 27:36, HELL YEAH!! That was all I needed for the .4 back to Butler.

Stopping was another story, it took several minutes to convince myself not to puke but we got things under control and jogged back to the stadium. Not too shabby for a Tuesday night and a workout I wasn't really looking forward to. I'm sure tomorrow is going to suck, but I'll deal with that then. Here's hoping it was the workout I needed to work the kinks out of my legs :)

Days till NYC: 59
Miles trained today: 7.5

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2 Months and counting

We are getting close, very close. There are only a few more long runs to go, the longest ones are still on the to do list. Travel plans have been arranged. I've been checking out the marathon merchandise, waiting to buy the perfect jacket (maybe one for every day of the week). THere is still much running to be done and the legs still aren't 100%. It's going to be a long September, I've known this for a while, but now it's really here. I have to stay focused, running has to remain the goal. I must stay free of injury, sometimes I feel like I'm dancing on the cusp, just don't fall in. We were out there tonight and it was a beautiful night for running, the Blvd was packed. I wondered how many others out there tonight are realizing that the change in the calendar, the crispness in the air, are all signals that we are almost there. We beat the summer, the rain of June and July, the heat and humidity of August. Hopefully the weather is going to push us to the starting lines. I can't be the only tired one, and Joe so nicely pointed out that I will likely be tired until the taper (October). We've trained for longer than we have left to train. We've trained for this month.

Days till NYC: 60 (oh shit!!!!)
Miles trained today: 7