Friday, March 30, 2012

Faith getting me through it

I am big fan of faith right! The old saying of "If God brought you to, he will bring you through it" is strong in my head as I make my comeback.

I am very thankful to be running and training again. My mileage is getting up there and my body is handling the miles well. I am feeling stronger and stronger in my easy runs meaning the asthma & allergies aren't affecting me like they were in the past two weeks. Progress! Although today in my 6 miles alternating tempo, I felt the wheezing in my chest for a good portion of the miles which is sort of a defeating feeling as the paces were conservative.

I know and trust that God is giving me this speed bump for a reason and need to trust it and not let it get to me. Easier said than done. Who am I to question God and why I have this seasonal asthma & allergies? I just have to know that it has a purpose, let God do his work in my heart and let his will be done in my life. I am hoping that by writing about my feelings it comes out and I can take a deep breathe and let go. Know that God is working in my favor.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

One of my favorite places to run - Riverwalk

Today was so nice. I decided to run later than usual as it was the first AM all week that I didn't have to rush out the doors on the heels of my kids departure to school. I didn't have PT, afternoon commitments or a workout that require the cooler temps of the AM. It was nice not rush out the door. AH! I enjoyed a couple cups of coffee, got some laundry in, clear off counters and eased into the day. By 10AM, I knew it was heating up outside but didn't feel in a rush to beat the heat as it was already in full effect so I did a few more emails, household stuff, mixed my drinks ups and got dressed. I decided to take my easy 8 miles to Riverwalk to get some shade as the temps were already 77 at 10:30AM. Oh dear! On my way to the trail, I just had a feeling that it wasn't going to be a sweatfest or end in a miserable run. I was going to enjoy this run despite the rising temps.

True to my thoughts it was actually a really nice run! Thankful for the shade and the wildlife company provided by Riverwalk. It was quite pleasant. I think most runners are like me and truly enjoy nature so to hear birds chipping, watch butterflies flying and lizards scurrying underfeet that is bliss! And by the water there was a cooling breeze that helped keep me cool. And I wasn't wheezing!!

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful 8 miles done.

I love you Riverwalk!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good Things Ahead

Today Rocked! I totally missed that feeling of just loving a workout!! It felt great to be hitting paces again.

We had a nice return to some decent running temp so I easily banged out this workout without issue.

Today was a

3 Mile W/U with 3 mile Tempo followed by 8X2 Minutes @ 5K pace with a 2 mile C/D totaling 10 Miles

Jeff, my coach, had modified the paces on this workout given my asthma issue that these spring allergies have set off. He set everything back 10-15 seconds to allow for the required effort needed without shutting down my lungs. He magically knew what pace I could hit without causing a wheezefest.

I am happy to report all the paces were hit right on target without issue. Phewy!!! Hopefully this trend will contiune if we can keep this pleasant weather a while longer. Summer in March - No fun for Runners!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week in Review

OMG - I get to start doing my week in reviews again. Calf is coming back and every day I feel progress.

Finished out the week with a 12 miler this AM with my friend Kim. Her and I both struggling and did not want to do the run. She has had tummy issues for the past few days. I have had allergies and asthma issues with a bit of a tummy achy. We were both funky chickens this AM. We set out to the run and I can barely manage our 10 minute pace with my breathing and I felt like I had the flu for first 3 miles. In between feverish and clamminess and muscle fatigue and tummy aches will keep plodding away at the miles underneath a sky that turned dark and started rumbling. Mile 5-8 we tried to stay in the woods as the lightening was starting up and frankly it was starting to scare the shit out of me. We pondered heading for the car and cutting it shoirt. I know I declared that I would just do 8 and do the other 4 this evening. Well I magically started to feel way better after taking a gel at mile 7 and so excited to know I would finish out this 12 miler. Kim was not faring as well as her tummy really started messing with her in the final miles. I dropped her off at 10 miles and finished out my 12 when the skies really opened and starting pouring on me. Funny I really loved the feeling :-) Thank you God for Kim for braving this AM and helping me get it done when it was the last thing you or I wanted to be doing. Very grateful to my girl this AM!!!

M - 4 Recovery Miles
T - 10 Miles - 3 W/U 5 X 1 Mile (7:20, 7:10, 7:00, 6:50, 6:40) 2 C/D
T - 9 easy
F - 11 Progression Run -Didn't exactly end up as planned due to heat
S - 6 eassy
S - 12 easy

Total - 52 Miles

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Becoming a Disturbing Element

I was recently chatting with a friend over lunch about my transition to living in the bubble of Baxter. I spent the first 1-3 year after moving to Baxter trying to "fit it". Never before have I tried to fit - not in high school, not in college or even in my professional world prior to mommyhood. I scoffed at the gals in high school that were all trying to be like each and one up each other. In college I was sorority girl that didn't quite fit the mold. In my professional job at AT&T, I was a Corporate recruiter for Legal, Marketing & Finance & Accounting. If my professional dress displayed my uniqueness and refusal to conform. I remember wearing orange flip-flops to work. This was my statement to the world that I was not going to conform. That I am me and that is good enough. I always embraced my unique energy and never thought becoming normal would be a worthy pursuit. Than bam I move to Baxter and the pressure to be like everyone else was intense and without being aware I started to conform. Within two years, I realized it and was very unhappy with this transition away from my authentic self. It has been a struggle to regain myself the way I use to see myself. I offered wonder why I let these people opinion of me drive my behaviors. I have never done it before even with the social pressures of more intense worlds.

It has taken me to withdraw from social circles that were trying to make me conform and put limits on me. I remember once running and a good intention neighbor drove by and made a comment that "do I ever take a break? and they would much prefer a drink on a Friday night to chill than do what I was doing?"..I received these type of comments all the time over the past 4 years. I received the comments on why I do not attend the social goings on of book clubs, LCRs, girls nights, the Friday evening beer drinking & social events of the street/cul-de-sac. For a while, I tried to seem like everyone else but quickly become unhappy. I realized these are not my value systems and I went to work on recreating boundaries, honoring my needs and my family needs, regain my unique energy and sense of self. I like running, yoga and relaxing not beer drinking and hangovers.

One of my sweet neighbors will often say "You Crazy". Ah! This makes me feel like I have finally found myself again. I am now very content at being considered the crazy one for whatever that means.

Becoming normal is not a worthy pursuit. There is no normal - yes, there is ordinary or common but there is no normal. By striving for "Baxter" normalcy, I was boxing in my spirit not being fully me.

So now Baxter just has to deal with the Disturbing Element on their block that dreams big dreams, wear different colors & clothes, dances with her children, does yoga on the porch, runs ridiculous amounts of miles not impress them but to please myself, plays her music too loud, does not and will not join in judging other neighbors, believes in the impossible and cherishes every moment.

Others people opinion of me is none of my business :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting Back at it

This week has been and up & down again which I have come to just think is part of the process of getting back at it.

Some days the run goes off without a hitch and some days that calf tightness creeps back in for a few miles. I think the uncertainty of it is what is the most difficult part of the process. I ask myself and god - I am doing the right thing by running on it when it is questionable. Am I doing enough stretching, icing and therapy or too much? I do know that everything will work out as it suppose so that brings me peace when a run doesn't go as hoped or I am uncertain about the state of the body. I may not know what tomorrow holds but I am certain that is part of the journey to reaching my dreams.

Faith means living with uncertainty - feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark.
Dan Millman

For those of not in the South or Southeast, count your blessings to be enjoying milder running temps. We hit summer hard already. The temps have been in the 80s and humidity has come along with the temps which makes for some brutal running weather especially since just the week before I was running my long run on a frigid 35 degree morning. Shocking to the system....

Today I had a 11 mile Progression Run. When I started my run it was already 72 @ 9:30AM. UGH! I have no idea that the temps would steadily increase to 80 degrees by my finishing time. I hit mile 7 of the progression run and I was struggling. Breathing out of control, tummy aching, I felt like I want to puke and my increased heart rate. I needed to shut it down or possibly suffer heat stroke. I ran it in easy. Not at all ideal but I figured I would end up on a stretcher if I tried to continue at that pace. C'est la vie! At least the miles got done and at this point in regaining fitness that is the most important.

Calf was tight on & off for mile 1-3 but eased up in later miles. Weird how that keeps happening like that.

This weather is going to make me turn to the treadmill for workouts as I do not want to be shutting down runs left and right due to heat & air quality. And it will just get hotter from here...This is why I love training for a January Marathon. You get to take advantage of all the perfect & amazing running weather here in Charlotte in October, November & December.

Okay I think I am going to pick the Disney Marathon for my January Marathon!!! Yippee!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tobacco Road Race Report

I am feeling very grateful for a successful training run/race at Tobacco Road.

After battling an injury for almost a month and not running more than 10 consecutive miles in a month, I went into Tobacco Road with no expectations. Yes, hopeful for a miracle but no idea what the day would bring. Goal was to run pain free for the first time and get in a good measure of my current fitness.

Just 6 days earlier, I had to bail on a workout due to intense calf pain and asthma/breathing issues. And 4 days pre-Tobacco Road, I still had some residue tightness which peaked in my 8 mile easy run. On Friday before Tobacco Road, coach and I made the final decision to run it and see how it went but be ready to back off and run easy if the calf felt restricted.

Race Morning - Kim and I arrive at Tobacco hopeful..She is coming back from hip issues that set in after her marathon. Her goal was to get through the 13 miles without further aggravating her hips and shins.

Temps were gross - Low 60s with high humidity but I thought the rain that had come in hours earlier would bring pollen levels down which would allow for me to breathe but the humididty it brought in just sort of nixed that benefit :-) Took a couple of deep breahtes from inhaler and said a prayer.

Around 6:30AM, I said good-bye and good luck to Kim, headed to bag check, dropped clothes, started warm-up and pre-race stretch. was my lucky day as I just had a slight feeling a tightness that was quickly eased by the mile easy run with some stretching. Bam - I plugged into my ipod and line up with the rest of the sardines.

Race start was corral managment and it was impossible to get a decent location. I settled somehere by the 4:30 pace leader..ugh I knew it was going to be a climb out for a couple miles. I went out at my easy pace for the first mile and was playing dodge'em most of that mile. Finally @ mile 2-3, I was able to start to settle in to a decent pace. I was feeling pretty good and calf was a non-issue so when the marathon split from the half @ mile 3, I decide to drop the pace down into half marathon pace range hitting 7:38 for a couple miles, than 7:32, 7:30, 7:50, 7:37, 7:30, 7:30 and was really feeling good phyiscally although I could tell that my breathing was getting more labored not from aerobic capacity but rather struggling to get air. It was more of my wheezing and chest tightened that asthma brings on and than my chest tightened up to terrific extent that my only option was to back off pace @ mile 10 and let my breathing settle down. I also needed to relax my mind as it is very easy to panic when you feel this tighten up. About the same time, my stomach starting cramping, lovely - double whammy. Mile 10 was 8:49 but I gathered my wits fought back to run 7:50s for the rest of the way in..finished 1:45:00 on the dot. Given that I ran the first 3 miles easy and had that bleak mile 10, I am super happy with the day. Just 10 days earlier, I couldn't manage my 4 mile tempo effort due to calf so to hit tempo pace for 8 miles yesterday is something I am celebrating in my heart.

All I see is more progress head....

Pretty Happy about mileage for this past week -

Monday - 8 easy
Tuesday - 8 with 3X2 mile - #1 (7:38, 7:39) #2 (7:24, 7:22) #3 (7:29 - shut down run due to calf & asthma/breathing)
Wednesday 4 easy
Thursday - 8 easy
Friday - 6 easy
Saturday - 4 easy
Sunday - 1 W/U mile + 13.1 Tobacco Road = 14 miles
Total Miles = 52

Friday, March 16, 2012

What Progressing through Injury Feels Like :-)

Came across this and thought it resembles the trying to get back to training after injury :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Radio Silence

Wow..I can't believe the week is well on its way to an end and didn't write.

Honestly coming back from injury is an up and down struggle to keep your wits in tact. I am more tired than I was during higher mileage weeks. I think it just takes so much more effort to stay positive and focused on rehab & return to full running health. I am always taking about doing the work to get to your goal and rehabbing a injury is no different. My weekly schedule is bulging with rehab & prehab that it leaves just enough room to fit in some runs.

Mondays & Wednesday - PT & AG Running & Hips & Core & Strength Work

Tuesdays - Run & Extensive Post Run Stretch & Tissue Realignment Session (Massage)

Thursdays - Run & Drills & Form Work & Extensive Post Run Stretch

Fridays - Run & More Stretching & Hips & Core

Saturday - Run & Yoga

Sunday - Run & Stretch

I have been doing so much more ancillary work that in portion to time running the ancillary work outweighs the time I spend running. My hope is to get all the weak links worked out so that my form & strength are not issues when I hit the mileage hard in late spring and next fall.

Good news is that my form is on mark. Hitting midfoot with the perfect body lean as well arm swing. My arm swing was a bit off when I started working on form. My left arm was flying all around town. Weird I never knew I was doing this until we had it on film.

I knew that I needed to address form eventually so this happen to be a perfect time to focus on this aspect of my running. The form flaws that you can get away with at 30-50 mpws will cause major issues when you hit the 60-80 mpw range.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Radio Silence

Wow. I hardly believe that I haven't written a thing in 5 days. Struggling to get my body to running health has detoured my enthusiasm for writing and sharing the ups and downs of a running injury.

After my return to running, I had on & off successful runs. One day great, next day ugh not so great and than Thursday came and I was suppose to crank out 4 miles at Tempo pace. I was very hesitate and sort of apphensive from the start and after my 2 mile warm/up, I set into tempo pace and struggled just to hit pace. Within a half mile into the tempo effort, I felt my calf tightening up and feeling way off. By the end of the first tempo mile, it was not feeling better and felt very restricted so I shut it down and run it in easy. Ah - Really struggled emotionally the rest of the day to see the light and to remember that this is was happening for a reason.

I had Friday off and it renewed my spirits when I spent some time at the gym stretching. I went into the sauna to stretch my calves as I thought the heat would really loosen up. It seem to really help but I also spent a good amount time in there relaxing and thinking. I came out feel refreshed and at peace with this process. I know that my tide will soon change and I need to be ready to go. I realized that I embarked on this jounrey I had to embrace every single day of it and let it make me stronger. Every single day on this path is a blessing and exciting to think about it even the tough days are filled with wonder. I think most people and myself included think of a jounrey as this golden path and even with a faithful heart, you will be tested and torn into a few pieces during the journey but in the end if you can search for the growth in the obstacle than I think you can hold tight to when the storm is blowing you around.

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.”
–Mahatma Gandhi

This weekend was amazing running weather and was able to get in some good miles. Calf is not 100% but is getting better and I am feeling bits of progress. Like today when I picked up the pace for my final miles of my 10 miler - the pain subsided and I felt great in the last 2 miles. I was suspect of my leg in the first 5-6 miles and luckily I had great company to help keep my mind from focusing on the leg. Than it really started to ease the longer the run which is a very good sign. Pain that subsides as you run and does not change your form is okay to run through but pain that increases and changes your gait/form is a no-no. I have to remember all the times that I had a ache or niggle that I successfully ran through and knew it would get better. In fact, I was officially injured 2 weeks before Houston but ran through it while rehabbing and guess what on race day all was well. I also had another calf & shin issue in August that I ran through. Runners really trying to push the envelope are going basically playing a risky game with every training cycle. I just to have faith that I will end up on the sunny side of all this.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Focus on What Matters

One thing I took from last week during my struggle with my calf that I needed to refocus on what matters.

I realized that as much I was writing & telling myself that I was going to create the boundaries, I was having a hard to reinstating the flow. I needed that nice safe place I had created in fall so that I can get back to the balance of training hard, loving it and having special time with my family. I think that this is one of the reasons why I was struggling to come to training. I had lost a little focus due to others demands on me and my external world outside of running & family.

I had residual guilt for not being available to other people to cheer on & guide on their running path. I needed to let go of this emotion as it was not serving me or anyone else for that matter. I need to be ok with not coaching people and creating boundaries where people no longer treat me as such. I can not fully serve others if I don't fully reach my own potential. Teaching people how I want to be treated has been a struggle and many people didn't like my boundaries and withdrew friendships. I had to be okay with this.

There are only so many hours in a day.

I cannot do it all.

But, I can do what matters and do it well.

I cannot please everyone.

But, I can love deeply, forgive, give, say thank you and I’m sorry. I can.

I cannot be perfect.

But I can try my very best to be gracious, humble and grateful everyday..

Balance means using what you have and focusing on what matters. It means making choices.

Simplify. Sacrifice. Streamline.

Focus on what matters and just let go of the rest. Will it matter when you are 80? If not, let. it. go.

One door closes so another can open. To find balance, start closing doors.

Make decisions.

You CAN find balance. But, you have to let go of ‘perfect’ first.

Monday, March 5, 2012

5 days in a role of Running - Life is Good

I am steady returning to running form over the course of the past 5 days. I had a successful 8 miler with Kim on Sunday. We woke up early and trekked to our favorite trail. Very beautiful morning with great company! I had slight pain in the initial mile which sort of faded sometime during the run. Big thing is that the foot is working properly. Yeah!

Today I had 5 miles and official back to training this week. My coach gave me a very conservative schedule for this week with the hopes of the patience paying off. And after this week of being careful all will be well and I can run Tobacco Rd Half - March 18th. 2 weeks!!

Coach and me made a big decision this weekend too. No Spring/Summer marathon. Bye-Bye Grandmas..This week off and subsequent weeks trying to get back did set me back a tad more than I would want to admit. Additionally the spring is just so dang busy with spring break, birthdays, spring sports, dance & dance recitals, our 7 day cruise and ya-da, ya-da, ya-da get the drift. Life just forced me to prioritize and to be honest I wasn't exactly fired up to return to long runs. 16 milers are one thing but 22 miler those are beasts - yeah, those can wait till the Fall.

After nailing some things down and realigning goals for 2012, I feel very optimistic about the future.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday is for Running

Today was a great day! I ran 4.5 miles with slight discomfort in the lateral Calf compartment. I was told by ART guy that I would probably have some of that until all the swelling is the tissue 100% subsided. I immediately iced after the run to keep the post-run inflammatory swelling off of the nerve. This is big time progress as now I have complete functioning of the foot again. Last week there was so much swelling that the foot/leg could not even function properly. So I am thankful for an easy stride even though it was accompanied by slight discomfort.

Much gratitude to be running even a little bit this weekend.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chin UP Butter Cup

Life is so very funny! This time last week I was mentally preparing myself to a weekened of cross-training. Than on Monday news came that it might be much longer till I ran again due to the tissue swelling.

Yesterday I am excited to report I ran a total 2 miles pain-free. I am hoping to run 4 miles tomorrow :-) I did notice the swelling & achy a bit today so with some more icing and sticking it should be good for tomorrow.

Oh I just had to tell everyone about my PT appt. We are going to work on some QL issues I have had from quite sometime. I thought I better get on top it because I do not want it to be an issue down the road. Anyway the PT was receiving my intake form asked & about what I did for a living or rather he asked me if I worked - my response was "I work at being Awesome:-)". hehe

Anyway I am hoping that I can still get a little more healed up and be ready to run my Half in 2 weeks. Motto for this past week and coming week - Chin Up Butter Cup