Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Status Update: INJURED

Long time, no blog.

Truth is, this post is about two weeks in the making. Long story short, I haven't been running. And when I so badly want to run but can't, I don't really want to blog about running. It has even become hard for me to read blogs of fellow runners, because although I'm happy reading about your awesome training runs and races, it saddens me just a little because I wish I could be out there doing the same thing!

Why am I wallowing in my own self-pity, you ask? Well, let's start from the beginning...


It all started when I ran all of my workouts at a faster pace than I normally do two weeks ago. I ran my tempo run at 10K race pace, and my easy and long runs at about an 8:40/mile pace (for comparison, I should be running them at closer to a 9:15/mile pace). Normally I'm usually pretty good at reigning in the speed on my easy and long runs, but I was feeling a bit discouraged about my recent race and speed workouts, so I ran my long run faster as a way of "proving myself" to myself.

Do I even need to tell you what happens next?

...Let's just say it didn't work out too well.

I took my first ice bath ever after my long run (10 miles) that Sunday, and I had barely any soreness Monday, which is my day off. On Tuesday I went out for a 3 mile easy run, and right around mile 2 is when I felt it... the all-too familiar twinge of ITBS in my lateral knee. I stopped and stretch for a quick minute, then kept running.

As you might recall, I've had a couple random twinges over the past few months, but it never came back during my next run, so I just attributed it as some sort of fluke. I took Wednesday off and went to PiYo, figuring the ITBS would be gone by Thursday. But when I went out for my easy run that day, it came back- right at mile 2 again. I stretched and then ran home, freaking out a little bit more with each step.

When I got home, I wanted to cry. Pain during two consecutive runs definitely warranted some unplanned time off, but I felt like I couldn't afford to take time off. I haven't gotten in as much quality speedwork as I'd like to, and my longest run so far has been 10 miles. But then I decided I'd rather finish this half marathon (whether or not I make my time goal) than have to drop out of it. So I reluctantly took a 5-day hiatus from running.


I was hoping I had caught this round of ITBS early on enough that I hadn't do too much damage. I was also really proud of myself for making the smart decision to take a little bit of time off (definitely not what my normal type A, extremely competitive self would have done in the past). I went for a 3 mile run the following Wednesday and didn't have any debilitating pain- a bit of tightness, but I figured it was on the mend. I went to yoga immediately after as well, and the next day my hip and leg feel great. I made plans to go for my originally scheduled 6 mile run on Friday, but vowed to take it easy and stop at the first sign of pain.

Initially, I planned to run my 6 mile run in two 3 mile loops, so that if I did need to stop, I wouldn't be too far from home. Once I got 1.5 miles in, I was feeling good, so I decided to be ambitious and run a larger loop. Stupid me... if I would have waited until the 2.5 mile mark, when my ITBS decided to make an unwanted appearance, I would have only been half a mile from home instead of 2 miles. Not only was the walk a mental struggle (some tears may have been shed), but 29 degrees with windchill is also much colder when you're walking, not running.

I've read a lot about ITBS online- research articles, Runner's World forums, you name it. But clearly I'm not an expert, so I decided to seek the help of one. I saw a sports medicine doctor at Mayo this past Tuesday and he confirmed what I already knew. He noticed that my hip muscles were weak (again, not new to me) but he also saw that my right hip is slightly higher than my left, and my right kneecap faces slightly more inward than my left. He thinks that these minor biomechanical issues are the reason I've only had problems with my right IT band. I have an appointment with a physical therapist on Monday and I'm planning on going, although I'm assuming I've already seen the majority of the exercises they're going to show me. I'm hoping they'll give me a routine to follow though, because then I'm more likely to stick to it.

I'm registered for a 10K this Sunday, but I'm planning on dropping down the 5K and taking it easy. I haven't run since last Friday, and I won't be running until the race (the elliptical and I have been spending a lot more time together, though). I'm hoping I can get this resolved so that I can run my half-marathon, which is four weeks from this Sunday. I don't know if I'll be able to make my goal time, but there will be more halfs to register for this summer. Right now I'm taking the pressure off and just focusing on getting back to doing what I love- RUNNING!

What have YOU been up to these past few weeks? Any races?

What is the longest amount of time you've been sidelined for an injury?

Have you ever sought professional help for an injury?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Shoe Problem and the Best Tempo Run EVER!

Saucony Kinvara 2

Yes, I bought them. And yes, I have a shoe problem.

I've been wanting a pair of lightweight shoes for my tempo/speed workouts, and I've had my eyes on these babies for awhile. I knew the Kinvara 3 would be coming out soon, so I've just been waiting and waiting for these to go on sale. And on Monday, they FINALLY did.

I found a steal of a deal at they had the Kinvara 2 on sale for $49.99! Plus, if you sign up as a DSW Rewards member, you get free standard shipping. They also have three other colors available. You have to hurry if you want to score this deal, though- sizes are selling out all over the place! If you do miss out though, the Running Warehouse has them on sale for $64.91, and they have free 2 day shipping.

Mine are scheduled to arrive on Monday, but I'm crossing my fingers that they'll get here tomorrow :)

In other news, this morning I had one of the best tempo runs I've had in awhile (quite arguably the best ever... or at least in this training cycle). After my 10K, I was feeling a little discouraged about my ambitious half-marathon goal. Although I ran a PR, I didn't sub-50:00, and I think I would feel a whole lot better about my goal HM in May if I could do that in my next 10K. I considered not taking a cut back week after my race, but ultimately decided it would be best, and I'm glad I did- my body definitely needed the rest. I hadn't been increasing my mileage before my cut back week because I had two races two weekends in a row, so my mileage hovered in the 19/20 mpw range. This is the first week I'm starting to ramp it back up:

Monday: REST
Tuesday: 3 mi. easy
Wednesday: PiYo, 15 min stairmaster, 15 min elliptical
Thursday: 6 mi. tempo
Friday: 3 mi. easy
Saturday: PiYo or yoga?
Sunday: 10 mi.

Is it weird how excited I am to get back into the double digits on Sunday??

Anyways, back to that amazing tempo run I was telling you about.

My hips and butt were more than a little sore from PiYo yesterday, so I wasn't exactly sure how well this run was going to go. But after my warm up mile I was feeling good. I was aiming for 4 miles at an 8:15/mi. pace.

Mile 1 (warm-up): 8:57

Mile 2: 8:06- Hmmm, maybe I started a little too fast. I could barely hold 8:00/miles for the first half of my 10K, how can I expect to hold 8:00/miles for 4 miles during a training run?

Mile 3: 7:56- I ran a sub-8:00 mile during a training run! This never happens!

Mile 4: 7:58- Another sub-8:00? Is my Garmin broken?

Mile 5: 8:08- Ok, now I'm getting a little tired...

Mile 6 (cool down): 9:03

Total time: 50:09
Average pace: 8:22

After I finished, I realized if I would have ran 0.2 more miles, I could have run a 10K PR... during a training run.

Honestly, I think this may have been just the encouragement I needed for my upcoming races! :)

Has your training been encouraging or discouraging lately?

How many pairs of running shoes do you own? Favorite brand?

Any big plans for the weekend?

What's your favorite Easter tradition?