Monday, March 28, 2011

Changes in Attitude....

I haven't blogged much mostly becuase all I have felt like doing is whining. My foot hurts. My back hurts. My knee hurts. I got an MRI and have to pay $750 for it. Once able to run 13 miles, I now suffer through 6. I followed the greatest bike ride I can remember with the realization that my back was injured and I couldn't get off my bike. It's been one of those months.

Yesterday Cindy, my running partner needed me to fill in as the swimmer on her triathlon relay team. I enjoy swimming though am not great so said yes. Race day came along with 33 degree temperatures and I immediately regretted it. I didn't want to go, didn't want to swim, REALLY wanted to stay at home in bed. I felt ill prepared, nervous about the race and if I could do it. Of course it went well.

It was really cold. For those of you who have never seen a triathlon, you swim and then run to the transition area. For me that meant running outside (remember the 33 degrees?) in a wet bathing suit to watch Cindy get on her bike and go. That is the coldest I can remember being with major body parts a shade of blue that was not normal or healthy looking. Cindy had a great ride and Dawn, the runner had a fantastic run. We were happy we did it, cold and we left as soon as were finished, not even sticking around for the awards.

THAT, ended up being a mistake. WE CAME IN SECOND PLACE! I was floored! AND we were less than :40 seconds from first! It was such a great feeling I wanted to run aroudn and tell everyone!

So here's the thing...I know that with training I can do anything. I also know that I am ALWAYS glad after the workout/race/run. I just need to suck it up, continue to crawl out of the bed just as some people are crawling in, and show my body the proper respect by growing stronger and faster. Triathlon season has begun and I have one more relay and then the International Nations Tri in DC. So from now on, no more skipping workouts. I have checked myself before I wrecked myself and I am glad.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

In December, fresh off my half marathon high, I registered for the Southpark Racefest half marathon. The course is hilly, far more challenging than the route I ran in November. There is a 3 hour time limit not only is it harder, but I'd have to run faster. But it was December. I had 4 months to train so I wasn't worried.

Commence pain; knee, hip, back, overall. I took a month long hiatus from running and pretty much all activity. It became the norm to cancel my early morning workouts. I ran 2 miles once in about 3 weeks. The half marathon loomed.

Yesterday Cindy, Doreen and I ran the back 7 miles of the course. My back hurt: I wore my TENS unit on the way there and took a muscle relaxor before I started the run. It was not a good day and I lagged behind them. I cursed myself for getting out of the habit, eating poorly, gaining more weight. Seeing them sprint up a hill made me want to cry. Two miles later I literally did.

I am angry at myself for getting to a point where I could comfortably run 13.1 miles and letting it go. I am disappointed that I don't push myself harder. I am thinking of not doing the half and only doing the 10K instead. This makes me feel guilty and then upset that I feel that way. I told Cindy I was thinking of dropping down and immediately felt shame and a bit of competitive peer pressure. But here is the thing..I am not a professional athlete. I am doing this becuase I have fun doing it. I don't want this race to ruin that for me. I don't want to hate it. I don't want to cry during the race. I don't want to be the very last person to finish, so late that event organizers have packed up and are ready to go home. But will I feel good about only doing a 10K?

I want to be proud of myself again. I have a decision to make.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Electric Stair Lifts Only Cost $2,000

Cindy, my running and accountability partner, told me on Monday that she envied me for being active so soon in life. (She is in her early 50s, I am in my late 30s.) I laughed outright at her. But she insisted that it will improve my agility, flexibility and overall health as I age. I came in from our run (cut short due to stomach issues) and pulled out the ice pack for my knee. As I was stretching I noticed that the cyst on my Achilles tendon has gotten much bigger. This odd, not-toes-but-not-pad part of my foot feels like it is bruised, almost like I have a knuckle that needs to be cracked. How exactly will this make me in better shape when I am older?

I am very, very lucky that I got through my half marathon training with no significant injuries. My heel bothered me a bit, but it would come and go, so I didn't really worry that much about it. I iced regularly. Then in December during a run my knee started hurting, and didn't stop. I was sidelined for a month. I slowly started back running, but the knee has remained an issue. Turns out my heel pain was actually a cyst on my Achilles tendon that is so large now it sticks out over my shoe. I went to my knee doc on Tuesday; he ordered the dreaded MRI. He is worried I have cartilage damage but we are hoping for the "good" diagnosis of arthritis. He essentially said it is my decision: keep running or be able to climb stairs without pain.

It's no secret running is horrible on your body. During a run the foot strikes the ground 70-100 times per minute and the force exerted is up to three and a half times body weight. Think a 700 pound person could walk around without significant pain? Me neither, and yet that is what I am expecting from my body. Rationally, I know this, and yet I still secretly hoped I could train and run a marathon pain free.

I still don't think I like running, but to have my doc tell me that I should stop is a different matter. I don't want to STOP running...I just don't want it to hurt. I can't explain WHY I want to complete an Ironman, but the thought of not being able to even try is absolutely crushing to my spirit. I know I am jumping ahead; I haven't even gotten the MRI, much less the results. But this is not fun.

Sure there are benefits of running. I don't have to worry about bone density because it's a weight bearing exercise so is good for my bones. Cardiovascularly, you can't beat running. My doc told me "I could take a nap between your heart beats" (that's a good thing). I am a big fan of stretching, and flexibility makes life easier. Running is also fantastic for stress relief and generally I attribute running for keeping me sane. But right now I don't feel that way. I am worried, frustrated and in pain. So Cindy may be right, but I think I might start saving money for the electric stair climbers just in case she's not.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

February Music

Title - Artist
Not in Love by Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith*
Jump Into Fog by The Wombats
Life Goes On by Noah and the Whale
Don't Shut Em Down by Flogging Molly
Helena Beat by Foster the People
The Roller by Beady Eyes
Under the Cover of Darkness by The Strokes*
Get Some by Lykke Li*
Second Chance by Peter Bjorn & John*

*Represent favorites for the month.