Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So excited to try my new...

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself."
Soren Kierkegaard

Saucony Type A4!

Yesterday, I saw Joseph, my PT...and it went exceptionally well. My knee is improving and my cadence is right on.  My foot placement, with my shoes on, was light and forefooted and I felt SO comfortable. When I took my shoes off to run, it was even Joseph said, "I can't believe it, it's even better without your shoes on." Seriously, I was so happy and so excited, as I was feeling great and I love this new way of running. If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll remember that I ran up to 9K barefoot on the beach this winter while on vacation, and I loved it. So it is no surprise to me that I am enjoying this new technique. I told Joseph that I was going to buy new shoes the next day (today) and right away, he gave me a schedule (told me to start at week 7) and  he seemed convinced that I could make the transition from my old shoes to my new racers in about 3 weeks. He then gave me an appointment for next week to check the knee and see how I'm doing with my new racers!! I am super see, I feel so much better with this new running form, I stand up straighter and my feet land so softly, and I love this faster cadence. When I was in my bare feet, you could hardly hear anything on the treadmill!
This is so you can see the thinness of the sole.

Tomorrow's schedule is a 5 minute warm-up walk, 7 X 3 minutes of running interspersed with 1 minute of walking, then a 5 minute cool down walk (total of 38 minutes with new shoes on). Then it goes up slowly from there, until I can run 30 minutes non-stop, after which I can start to do all my runs in them. If I want to run longer, I am to wear my old shoes for now. I'll keep you posted, but if nothing exceptional happens over the next few days, I'll be back next week after my PT appointment to give you an update :)
I cannot wait until tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Socksess!! :) ...and 500 miles : Done!

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn."
Author Unknown

In January 2010, I made the decision to run a half-marathon and then in February, I signed up with Robin and the other turtles to run 500 miles for a cause in 2010. Well dear friends, I have reached that goal with many months to spare.  I am not ready to stop now, so my next goal is to reach 750 miles (or maybe even 1000 miles). I find it truly unbelievable how far I've come :)

Socksess: Having a successful run with only socks on! Sorry...couldn't help myself :) Okay, so today I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill. The first 2K were with only my socks on (123-123-123-123)...then the achilles was feeling a little tight so I put my shoes back on (don't want to overdo it). However, it was long enough for my brain to encode the proper running form and off I went again (123-123-123-123). It is so much easier to run with this cadence while on the treadmill. Basically I just make sure the seconds always change on 1. It went GREAT!!! I felt a very very mild pain that did not stay (like a mini stab) around 4.8K. Could this all be working...seriously, I feel like giving my PT the biggest hug when I see him tomorrow. I really really hope it continues and I can start to do long runs again soon!! I'm loving running at this cadence, I feel lighter (very bouncy) and the barefoot trial has me mostly landing on the ball of my foot. I am beginning to feel that it may have been a good thing to go through this mild injury, as my running form is definitely benefitting from this new technique. Back home again, some ice, some rolling (must remain cautious)...and no pain! Success!

Tomorrow, second PT appointment...I'll definitely keep you posted!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Marathon training - week 5 (modified): Done! ...and an update.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other”
Walter Elliot

First, the cool tee I got from Patrick at The Road [A Multi-Sport Blog]...I love it! Thanks Patrick :)

Here's how things have been going with the knee and the running. On Friday, I did my first bare sock run on the treadmill. I slipped off my shoes and tried to be discreet because I was told that some gyms don't allow it. They never noticed. I walked, then ran slowly, then ran at a closer to normal speed (for me). On the treadmill, it is a lot easier to keep the 3 steps/second rythm, as you have the time right there in front of you. Seriously, I felt great. I was floating along with my little energizer bunny short stride and my bare socks. It was so comfortable and great that even though I knew I needed to be cautious and not run too long...I had to force myself to put my shoes back on when I reached 2K. It didn't take long, once I had my shoes on, to feel some mild pain. After 1K with the shoes on, I thought I'd try to go back to no shoes and see if the pain went away. It didn't work, once the pain starts, that's it. So after another K of running in my socks, the shoes went back on. I stopped at 4.8K (too much pain) and walked until I reached 5K.

On Saturday, I woke up with sore calfs, but good workout sore (they were definitely a little tight after running barefoot). Still, I went for a 4K run outside. I'm getting pretty good at following the 3 steps/second cadence, but I needed to check my watch regularly to make sure I was on track. Sometimes I was a little off and sometimes I was right on. The way I do it is that I start counting when I'm on an even number, I count to 90 steps and then I check back to see if that was 30 seconds. It's pretty easy to do. The pain started at around 3K, but it was still controllable. However, closer to 4K there were a few stabs of pain, still, it remained bearable, but I decided to stop. The cool thing, is that I could feel myself landing much more on the front of my foot and not at all on the heel. In the evening I decided to use the roller on my calfs, just to be sure they don't get too tight. Felt real good.

Today, Sunday, was a long slow run, so we were doing 10/1, which seemed to help. I only started to feel mild pain around 5K. I then went down to 5/1 for another 3K, for a total of 8K.
Ready to go!

Today, we were hooking up with my brother, who was running his 32K
I am so freaking proud of him!!

Back to todays run: The pain remained bearable and was not constant. I'm getting pretty good at maintaining my 3 steps/second cadence, although I still need to do my 30 second check regularly. Sometimes I'm one second off, but mostly I'm pretty much on. I'm pleased :). So far so good with the homework from my PT...healing seems to be going in the right direction. Oh...and I always ice my knee after my runs.

Tomorrow, I plan on trying another bare sock run on the treadmill at the gym. Then Tuesday is my next appointment with the PT...I'll keep you posted!
Hope the racing went well this weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PT visit...I'm happy!

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”
Philipus Aureolus Paracelsus

Let me start by saying that my problem is not with the IT band...and that's a good thing. Two important things happened today to help me with me training.

First, I saw the dietitian and it seems that I'm not doing too badly with the food intake. However, I need to increase my proteins at lunch and my vegetables overall. Also, my snacks are not sufficient, it's not a fruit or some nuts, it should be both. She confirmed that chocolate milk was an excellent recovery drink and even the chocolate soy beverage does the job. Today, she mostly gathered information, but she will be giving me more of a plan next time...I think. One cool thing is that this dietitian is a runner and she gave me the name of a physiotherapy clinic that she got excellent results at, so...

Second, I got an appointment with the PT this afternoon and, according to Joseph (my PT), this is what is going on: He did lots of bending and twisting and tapping with both my knees and then he had me run on the treadmill both without and with my NEW shoes. I told him that the new shoes were the same brand and pretty much the same model (GT2140 to GT2150) as my old shoes. He explained that most companies increase the stability, the cushioning and sometimes even the arch on the newer version to justify the higher price. Can you see where this is going? He also said that my old shoes still had lots of wear in them. The really cool thing seems that when I run barefeet, my running form is pretty close to perfect (his words).  BUT, and this is a very important BUT, when I put my new shoes on and got on the treadmill, even I saw that my legs weren't as straight and my gait felt more awkward. Plus, a mild ache started in my knee.

The verdict: I have three small injuries, but nothing major. The three muscles that link up around the knee cap are inflammed because my new shoes have such a high arch, that they prevent me from landing naturally on my foot and I end up landing on the outside of my foot. Also, my knees tend to go in and almost rub together when I have my new shoes on. So, the knee cap does not stay where it should. He explained that I have a naturally high arch and that I don't need an arch in my shoe...I don't need the stability...and he doesn't feel I need all that cushioning either. He suggested I go back to my old shoes for now, which have a little less of all three, but he basically said that I was a good candidate for light trainers, racers or even vibrams eventually!! He also told me to run more often...yes, you read well, more often, but not as long. Basically, I am to run 6-7 days a week for now, but no more than 4-5K. The most important part of my homework, is that I have to make sure I am running 180 steps per minute (3 steps per second). Seems that when I put my shoes on, I have a harder time keeping a natural running rythm. I was okay barefoot, but I slowed down with my shoes on, which also affects the form. Of course, I asked if I should get some light trainers right away...but, apparently, it takes a while to make the transition (maybe 4-5 weeks) and he's not sure if now is a good idea, since I'm training for my first marathon. He did say that if I want to try, he will help me...and I'm very seriously considering it. For now, I can sometimes run barefoot on the treadmill for a bit :)
I can run and I did 4.5K today!
I wore my old running shoes and counted my steps...I would check my watch count to 90 and see if that was 30 seconds. At first I was too slow, then I started to get pretty close, sometimes a bit fast, but mostly good. It was quickly evident that this helped me with my form somehow. I also made sure to not land on the outside of my foot (if I didn't think about it, I felt mild pain immediately). So, no pain until about 3.5K and even then I could control it with my cadence and my form.  Around 4K it was getting harder to control and I stopped at 4.5K.

I'll keep you posted...Cheers!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Half and half virtual race report + IT fail

"Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits." Robert Brault

First, here is my race report for the Half & Half Virtual Race put on by G of Neurosis of a Stay at Home Mom of 3! I did half of a 10K this morning and this is how it went down.
Weather was pretty warm, but there was a nice breeze, so it felt fine. I was with Uber H and a friend, so the company was good. My IT band was behaving and I was feeling confident, but not cocky. Speed was not the goal as I had 16K planned and it was my first run since I first felt some IT pain. (Can someone tell me what I was thinking running 16K as a first run back!!) 

Okay, so my 5K went really well, considering this area is VERY hilly, but I did it. My pace was slow as I was hoping to run 16K, so it is what it is: 5K in 38m24s on July 17, 2010 - Done! :)

Now, I can hear you thinking to she healed? Was that it? How did the rest of the run go you ask (or not). Well, let's just say that hills, whether going up or down, are not very nice to the IT band...also, 16K is a bit long for a first run back from injury...duh! So by 8K, I was feeling real tight around the knee and at first I thought it was just cramping, but by 10K it hurt and I stopped, stretched and tried again. It hurt, I stopped running and walked another 3.5K until I got back to our friend's home.            
I rolled, I iced, I took two advil and then I took a warm shower. This afternoon, I feel absolutely no pain when I walk or bend or climb stairs. I'm continuing to enjoy my amazing weekend!

The plan: I am taking the week off and will roll, ice, take advil, do different cardio and continue with the gym and yoga. Next week, I will do my short runs and see how it goes. I'm not too worried, as I'm early in the marathon training program. I may try and see a physical therapist or someone who knows about sports injuries and see if there's anything else I can do.

I leave you with a few pics from our day on Prince Edward Island yesterday!  
Confederation bridge - crosses from New Brunswick to PEI over the Atlantic ocean (11 Km)!
With our pals about to eat our amazing Seafood Chowder!
Catch of the day with baby red PEI potatoes and veggies!
Gahan Brewery...Cheers!

Friday, July 16, 2010

IT update and vacation.

"I truly believe that we can overcome any hurdle that lies before us and create the life we want to live. I have seen it happen time and time again.”
Gillian Anderson

Barring uncontrollable circumstances, I pretty much believe in the above quotation. Now, if you read my last post, you know that I felt some pain on the right side of my knee during my last run. Enough that I walked and stretched at least 4 times on my 8K run. This happened on Wednesday and this is where it's at, so far: You all convinced me to buy a roller, which I went out and did the same day. I rolled Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Then we were off to New Brunswick, so we pretty much spent the day in the car...lots of rest. Rolled again Thursday evening. Friday, I had read a bit more on IT and so in the morning, I rolled, I took an Advil, I iced and I didn't run. By Friday evening, that would be tonight...we went out to dinner and walked around and I felt no pain at all. Fingers, toes and eyes are crossed!
Shediac - by the Atlantic ocean
Eating an Atlantic specialty - mussels
Tomorrow, I plan on rolling morning and night, taking an Advil in the morning and then we are spending the day on Prince Edward no running, but lots of walking. Finally, Sunday, I hope to run my 16K long run at a very slow pace (which, would be called walking in someone else's world).  I'll keep you posted and show you a few pics of PEI :)

Thanks so much everyone for your amazing support and advice!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thank you!

"To accept good advice is but to increase one's own ability”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You spoke and I listened!
How could I not get a foam roller...every single one of you advised me to use one :)
In the above picture, I am smiling nicely for the camera...
However, this picture is more realistic of how it felt...ouch!
But a good ouch :)

Thanks everyone for responding so quickly! I'll keep you posted.


100% and what is IT...?

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”
Kenji Miyazawa

My last two runs were not easy, but each for a very different reason. Yesterday I ran my 6K tempo and although I am pleased with my time and I mostly felt good, the humidity was 100% so I felt like I was running in a cloud. I'm not even exaggerating, that really was the humidex factor! Luckily, it was relatively early in the morning and not too hot yet. The great thing is that I got through this run and never even coughed lungs are doing so well with this humidity, which is not how it usually went. Yay for running and my increased lung capacity!

Not so yay...near the end of my run yesterday I felt a very very mild pain on the right side of my knee (oh no, not the IT band). It went away immediately, so I just chalked it up to my new running shoes. Howevah! Today I was wearing a pair of broken in shoes and the pain started almost right at the beginning of the run. At first, it remained very very mild, so I didn't worry too much, I just thought I'd make sure to keep my pace very slow. Slowly, the pain increased and after about 3K I decided to walk a few meters, then I stopped and stretched and then off I went again. No pain...yay...pain again...not yay :( so I did it all again, run for a bit, walk for a few meters, stop and stretch. It's not that it was super painful or anything, but I'm really really trying to be smart about this and not push it...although I still did my whole 8K with the stop and stretch incorporated.

One very cool thing that happened this morning is that I ran into (pun not intended) my super sister-in-law who was doing her 29K long run this morning!!! So I ran with her a bit, which was so amazing. She was on her 25th K at this point and she looked great...I am so proud of her and I can't wait to cheer her in when she runs her first marathon in early September. Go Ju!

Okay, so back to me :) ...I put some deep cold on what I believe is my IT band and will baby it for a few days. No 10K tempo tomorrow and Friday is an off day that will remain off (at least off of running). We'll see how I feel Saturday, but for sure I'd like to do my long run on Sunday, especially since I'll be in Moncton, New Brunswick! Hopefully, I'll be able to take some pics :)

If anyone has some advice on how to prevent this mild pain from turning into full-blown IT band syndrome, please do tell. It doesn't hurt when I walk and after I'm done, only while running for now. Thanks.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Marathon training - week 3 done...and life!

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

How about the good news first. I had my annual blood tests and I am thrilled to report that everything is problems anywhere and my HDL is above average, so all good! Asthma-wise, my lungs have been dealing with this summer heat and humidity like troopers...I have been doing so well, that my doctor agreed to reduce the number of inhalations of Symbicort per day (from 3 to 2 inhalations twice a day)...Yay! I'm very excited...especially since this brings me to the not-so-good news :( 

Once again, after only three days off a twenty day run of meds for this exact problem, my throat is showing new signs of candida (aka thrush) a corticosteroid inhaler side-effect. This seems to have become recurrent, which of course is rare (but, I must be one unique gal, because this is the third "rare" thing I've had to deal with). Anyways, the frustrating thing about this is that it prevents me from rejoicing fully regarding my positive blood work and my happy lungs...but, I'm trying not to let it get to me too much. Should be hearing from the doc tomorrow. So, I agree with Dr. King...I accept finite disappointment, but I maintain, infinite hope :) 

Back to happier I got my new training program at the gym. As Marjorie (my personal trainer) was going through my new program with me, I couldn't help noticing and commenting about how far I'd come. The progress I've made over the last two and a half years is amazing. For example, when I got my very first training program, I had to do 2 X 15 sit ups crossing over...and I could not do it. It was so hard for me. Today, Marjorie had me do my sit ups with no help from my legs, which were laying flat, going slowly and not touching down with my shoulders (2 x 20) and I could do it! This was how it went throughout the session...things felt easy"ish" and doable. After three years of being a member at my local gym, I was discussing with Marjorie my decision to not renew my membership in September. I have some of the necessary equipment to train at home (stability ball and 3lb free weights) and will buy what I'm missing (an elastic and some ankle weights), we will be buying a treadmill for the fall (yes!). Marjorie agreed to change up my program for me once in a while from my home...which will be perfect. From the beginning, she has been an important part of my transition from walker to runner. When I first mentioned to Marjorie (last August 2009) that I hoped to run a 10K in April, her response was immediate and extremely encouraging, "That sounds like a great goal"...and I though, "Wow, it sounds like she thinks I can do this"...which, was so motivating for me. Thanks Marjorie for your continued support and encouragement.  

Finally, I once again missed the Wednesday 8K steady run on my training schedule...but, I did do an extra 2K on Tuesday (just sayin' :)). I'm good with that though, I know this will happen sometimes and that it's to be expected. This week should go well, considering I'm finally off for a much needed vacation for the week...Yay!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter who turns 21 today...I love you so much sweetheart :)

Sorry, no pics...broken camera :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Morning run!

“My path has not been determined. I shall have more experiences and pass many more milestones.”
Agnetha Faltskog

The hot and humid weather persists, so for the first time in a long time ever I was out of bed at 6:10 and out on the road by 6:30am! This morning was a 10K tempo run and it went surprisingly well...considering it almost didn't happen. It is just so hot and humid that I had a really hard time sleeping (no AC) when it was time to rise and shine, that little voice in my head started, "You didn't sleep well, you'll be too tired at work" or " You can go this evening, that's when Uber H is going" know THE voice. Then I though of my super sister-in-law who was up and out the door at 6:30am yesterday morning to run 19K! "Come on Anne, if she can do it, you can do it" "You can rest this afternoon...anyways, you start your vacation at noon!!!" That did it...and I did it. I must do this more often...I ran my fastest 10K tempo ever in training (10:17min/mile pace). I ran mostly by the river, which gave off a nice light breeze and the shade was on the good side at that time. Wish I'd had a camera to show you the cute little squirrel sitting on a garbage can, eating, buffet style :)

Cheers everybody!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Another special day!

"More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse."
Doug Larson

"A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time."
Anne Taylor Fleming
29 years ago today...we said I do!
We had no idea what that would entail. We learned that marriage is not a fairytale, it is something that requires major personal investment. We learned that, being fully invested in the relationship is not always so easy to do...especially while going through the "raising young children" years. There are many amazing moments with young children, but it doesn't make it easy. Most importantly, we learned that hanging in there through the worst of times (which pretty much all couples go through at some point) was the best thing that we ever did...our history together is what makes us so strong today...and now we are experiencing a good dose of the best of times. I love you Uber H and I feel your love for me strongly. Happy Anniversary to us :)

This morning, we started our day with a 13K LSD (long slow distance)...what a great way to celebrate our union. Uber H took a few pics...although he didn't manage to catch the skunk that strolled across OUR street a few feet in front of us!
Being silly for the camera :)
The beautiful bike trail on the canal.
Uber H looking pretty sexy for a 53 year old ;)
Coming around the Fort - by the water...beautiful area to run in.

Happy Fourth of July to all my friends in the United States!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Marathon training - week 2 done...and so much more!

"Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I have 20 I thought I'd give a quick update on my week. Training is going well, despite the fact that life has definitely been too busy to criticize anything. I missed my Wednesday run due to a work emergency. Thank goodness, that is the one run that I don't mind missing as it doesn't seem to affect the overall training. Thursday, I spent much of the day helping my daughter move. Then after dinner, I went for my 10K tempo run in her town...which, happens to be very hilly. It went well though and I was pleased. Friday I went to yoga and suffered through lots of hamstring stretching exercises...then I completed my gym workout. Had lunch with my close friend Miglena and then Uber H and I met friends for dinner and a really great evening at the Montreal Jazz Fest...the weather was perfect and the atmosphere amazing! A fun evening in excellent company :)

Today is a special day...the man who has been there for me through it all (sickness and health, good times and bad times, richer and poorer...etc). The man who is my rock, the one I can ALWAYS count on...the one who built our house and our home...the one who is an amazing father...the one who is my favorite running and life partner...that wonderful man is celebrating his 53rd birthday today! I love you so much dear Uber really are an Uber Husband! We started the day with a nice 6K run together...and we are now off to celebrate. It was also my mom's birthday this week, so it's a big family celebration this afternoon.

Through it all...busy days and fun continues.