Back at it.

Ack.

It wasn’t my intention to desert this space.

But Owen, Jeff and I spent the week leading up to Christmas on a Caribbean cruise with my family to celebrate my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary.

Anyway. I’m back now.

I didn’t get to work out much on the boat at all. The first few days the seas were rough enough that it made walking difficult, and I couldn’t imagine trying to run a treadmill.

The third deck had a contiguous loop which you could walk, but they didn’t allow jogging.

I managed to walk about 5 or 6 miles last week, though, which is better than nothing.

Especially since when I got back I was able to run a 4 miler yesterday without ANY ITB pain.

I need to start training for my half marathon on 2/26. The OCD chick in me is already starting to worry that I’m a bit behind on the training.

Which, you know, I am.

However, this race will not be about setting a PR. This is going to be the start of building my mileage back up – this time without getting hurt. Hopefully.

I found a good beginner’s half marathon training program which has a 3 day a week running schedule and two other days of crosstraining. One of the days I’ll do my PT exercises – essentially strength training – and the other I’ll swim.

It’s hard to look at how small the mileage is. I want to run MORE. I want more miles, more time on the road, more more more MORE!

But I also want to be smart about this and train intelligently. I don’t want to get hurt again.

Because I want to run more marathons. For many more years.

Advertisements

Rehab update and 2012 goals.

So I’ve been working with a physical therapist now for three weeks. And last week he was so impressed with the rate of healing of my tendonitis that he gave me the okay to try a run.

So I went out on Sunday morning and ran three anxiety-filled miles.

The whole time, I could feel it simmering under the surface. I kept running, just waiting for it to erupt into the stabby, omg-I-can’t-even-WALK pain.

It never did though.

I finished mile three giddy, as if I had just won the lottery.

I was stiff and sore that night and on Monday morning, and it’s twingy today, but there’s no PAIN.

Apparently I’m getting better. Which is really good.

Because I’m signed up for a half marathon at the end of February, and I only have a couple more weeks before I need to start a new training regimen.

Clearly my goal for this race has changed from a couple of months ago. Back then? I would have told you that I wanted to aim at a sub-2:00 finish, since my last half I clocked in at 2:02:47.

But really, I’m starting to learn that I need to change up my training regimen in order to make it so that I don’t get injured again. I need to add strength training, as much as I hate it, and make the time to stretch after a run, no matter how long I’ve been out.

So I added a weekly barre class, which is a core/pilates/dance/yoga class. Works all the muscles I DON’T have, since I’ve never actually done a crunch in my life. Or a plank. Or a push up.

It sucks and when I’m in the class I hate every minute but it’s EXACTLY the stuff I need in order to strengthen and avoid injury again. And I can tell myself when I’m in the midst of the suck that it’s important for my running.

Really, my goal for the Hyannis Half is to get through my training without re-injuring myself. And if that means I end up running this half at 2:15?

Fine. Whatever it takes.

Because I DO have goals for 2012.

I want to:

  • Run 1000 miles for the year
  • Finish a half marathon in less than 2 hours
  • Finish a 10k in less than 55:00
  • Finish a 5k in less than 26:00

All of these are absolutely within my reach, even WITH having to start off slowly in order to finish rehabbing my ITBS.

It’s so funny. Because just before my marathon, I posted a note to my dailymile friends, telling them I was worried that I wouldn’t want to get up in the dark and run without the fear of a marathon looming over me.

Truly, it wasn’t that long ago where I NEEDED a race to keep me motivated.

Maybe it’s because I’m injured and WANT to be out there, or because there’s been some shift inside me, or exercise truly is my addiction.

But I find myself really looking forward to another year of training without a huge event on the calendar; to run because I love it and I miss it when I can’t do it and it’s my zen.

In the meantime, I just need to keep trucking along with the crosstraining and physical therapy and testing the running waters out.

Here’s hoping that by January I’ll be back in running form.

Mishmash.

So apparently not running is not just hard on me, but on my blog posting as well.

Um.

I’ve been doing PT now for a little more than a week, and I’ve definitely seen improvement in the pain in my knee. My ITB is still super tight, but the rest and stretching and heat and ice seems to be helping it.

Thank goodness.

I still haven’t attempted a run. I’ve been pain free since Thursday morning. And though I am completely OBSESSED with the WANTING to go out for a run, I’ve forced myself not to. Because I want to heal.

So instead I’ve been swimming. Which, truthfully, I enjoy. It’s not the elation of a good strong run, but it’s a good substitute because I can push really hard and feel the burn in my lungs and muscles. Only without the pain running has given me in the past month.

I also tried a Barre class at a local studio Sunday night. Which was NOT the dance class I thought it was.

It was about an hour of Core Hell.

Pushups. Planks. Thigh and butt and hamstring kicks. Lower ab work. Oblique work.

Now see here. The abs I have? I got them from my long runs. At the end of a run, when you’re tired, and your form is suffering, apparently THEN is when you feel the core work.

I’ve never done a plank. The last crunch I did was in high school – back when they called them situps.

I totally SUCKED at them. And they hurt. A LOT.

(Especially yesterday. Ow!)

But. I’m going back on Saturday morning. Because now it’s my personal challenge to get BETTER at this damn class.

And I have some hope that when I DO get back to running, it will be better because I’ve got a stronger core.

Or something.

Other than that? I’ve been hanging out with my kid. Who is RAPIDLY becoming my Favoritest Person Ever.

I’m not sure what happened last week, but all of a sudden, he’s starting to CREATE things with legos and sticks and other toys. He’ll line up his stuffed animals and call it a “traffic jam.” He’ll built a log loader truck out of legos (and seriously, it LOOKS like a log loader truck!)

He’s currently obsessed with airplanes, and so before bed every night I pretend I’m his copilot. And he orders Jeff to stay in the other room (in the COACH, Daddy!) while he and I go to the cockpit and fly the plane.

And he’s really starting to grasp the concept of time, too.

Like today, when he woke up and asked me where his daddy was. When I told him that Daddy was at the gym and then at work, he stopped for a minute and said:

So it’s a school day?

I mean, I know all parents think their kids are brilliant.

It’s just that my kid IS brilliant. 🙂

Now, of course, on the flip side… the focus on play and learning means he doesn’t want to stop what he’s doing. Like ever.

Which means he doesn’t want to eat.

It also means he doesn’t want to stop and use the bathroom.

(Okay, so maybe not THAT brilliant.)

But I love watching how he gets so focused on something new and immerses himself in it. I love the obsession, the way he can be in the moment, FULLY in the moment, without really thinking.

I wish I could be like that.

Therefore I love spending time with him.

It’s a nice reminder – that sometimes it’s okay to stop thinking for a moment and just be.

Illiotibial Band Friction Syndrome.

Met with a physical therapist this morning, who confirmed what Dr. Google told me last week.

Illiotibial band friction syndrome is essentially a tendonitis of the band on the side of your thigh – the tendon that connects your hip to the tibia.  It’s caused by overuse, mostly in runners – so much so that it’s also known as “runner’s knee.”

That’s what I have.

The good news is that mine is relatively mild. I had NO pain last week, and this week the worst of the pain was on Tuesday after my failed run. It’s pretty much faded at this point, too.

So the PT told me that maybe my ITBS was mild enough that I’d have to abstain from running for a couple of weeks, instead of months.

Weeks.

[Bracing self]

Okay,  so I overdid. All I did from May to October was RUN. I didn’t stretch. I didn’t do strength training. I just ran, because it’s what I only had time for.

Well. That’s what I told myself, anyway.

Except that apparently it was sort of like the running equivalent of eating only brownies for a month. And now I’m paying for it.

Irony: I run my first marathon in October, all in the hopes of showing how far I’ve come since LAST November. It’s awesome. And then I get injured.

And now I likely won’t run at all THIS November. You know, when I could actually USE it.

Ha.

The thing is, I HAVE come really a long way from last year. I hit rock bottom in the winter, and have been climbing up out of it since then.

If this happened last May? I’d probably be a neurotic mess. And maybe, okay, yeah, I AM a bit of a neurotic mess right now.

But I haven’t run nearly at all in the past three weeks, and I haven’t killed anyone yet.

That’s pretty good, right?

Anyway. The plan.

I won’t even THINK about running for a couple of weeks. I’m thinking December before I even attempt a run.

In the next two weeks, I’ll do physical therapy twice a week and a daily regimen of heat, stretching, exercise, then ice.

I will also keep doing yoga twice or three times a week, and swim for the other two days.

I have a plan and a treatment schedule. And maybe I’ll only be out for a couple of weeks.

I can handle it.

I think.

It Didn’t.

A mile into this morning’s run, I knew I wasn’t going to make the 4 miles. My knee was tight and hot.

Two miles in, I was walking – and in tears.

I spent six months focused on training so that I could finish a marathon.

And I did.

But I can’t run now, when I need it the most. This month, of all months.

It’s not the end of the world. I know this. All things equal, this is a minor injury to my knee which rest will most definitely cure. I can swim and do yoga in the meantime.

Gah.