Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 12: The end of spring training

Yesterday was officially the end of the 12-week "Spring Training" portion of our marathon prep. From week 1, our weekday runs have increased from 1.5 miles to 3 miles, and our long runs from 3 miles to 6 miles. Supposedly we are now ready to begin the down and dirty 18-week "Marathon Training" program that will take us all the way to the MCM on October 28th. I sure hope so!

In other good news, we have now raised $625 for Fisher House (of the $1000 we need before 9/21/12). We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the family, friends, and online community (Ravelry rocks!) who have donated to our cause. We think of you all every time we hit the road for a run, because we don't want to let you down.

Oh, and my back feels much better this week. :-)  It was very hot here though, so we were up at 630am getting our runs in, and I am not a morning was a challenge but good to mix things up for a change.

Weekly stats:

Tue 6/19  2.82 miles in 29:53  (we got caught in the rain and cut things short this morning)

Wed  6/20  3.32 miles in 32:07  (made up for the shorter run yesterday)

Thu  6/21  3.05 miles in 31:32

Sat  6/23  6.11 miles in 1:04:21  (pretty run along the beach in CT)

Total:  15.30 miles

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 11: I spoke too soon

Last week's post was all unicorns and rainbows about how good and healthy I was feeling; I should have known it wouldn't last. Last Friday I had another massage; my legs and feet were in good shape but I had a lot of tension in my arms, neck, shoulders and back. Especially my lower back--she found some terrible knots in my sacroiliac joints that almost made me jump off the table. Even so, the next day we ran 5.5 miles with no issues, and then took two days off.

All was fine until after our run Tuesday evening. As the night progressed, I started feeling a little soreness and twinging in my right lower back, just over the SI joint. It hurt a little to bend over, and it ached to turn over in bed.  (I have had this pain before, though never while training for a marathon; it has always resolved on its own within a week or so.) Wednesday morning it was a little worse, but I stretched and iced and the pain abated. I noticed throughout the day that I felt worse after sitting for a time than I did walking around, so I decided to attempt the run. Lo and behold, I did not notice any pain at all while running! After I stopped, however, the achiness returned, albeit to a lesser degree. I continued with my stretching, icing, and foam rolling.

Wednesday night I slept much better and woke up feeling pretty good, though over the course of the day the twinginess increased. I decided to run again, as long as I had no pain while running, and again, I was fine aside from one or two twinges. We had driven to do a run with a local group, and as soon as I sat in the car, everything seized up--I felt it in my lower back, my hamstring, my hip flexor, and my inner thigh. As soon as we got home, I walked around for a few minutes, and everything relaxed and felt better. I was very glad I had Friday off, and was prepared to take the weekend off if need be.

Friday I felt better, and Saturday even better---but the pains never completely went away. I continued to ice and roll and stretch through Sunday, still unsure if I was going to do the scheduled run of 3 miles. I felt good enough by Sunday evening to take the chance; we went slow and while I did feel a twinge or two, a quick reset of my posture took care of it.

Today (Monday) I think I am improved. While my lower back and sacrum still feel sore and a little tight, I do not have twinges or tenderness over my SI joint and I am able to bend over and twist side-to-side without pain. So hopefully this is on the way out.

I have looked into causes for this; they include leg-length discrepancies, a "locking" of the joint, an over-flexibility of the joint, or a biomechanical problem with stride and form. I don't know what caused it for me, except that it wasn't necessarily anything running-related as I have had this problem before in a total couch potato phase....since the activity seems to help, I am planning to keep running through, albeit as gently as possible. I will also keep up the ice/stretching/rolling. I really hope next weeks' post will be more unicorns and less Debbie Downer (waah waah).

Our weekly stats:

Tue  6/12   3.17 miles in 30:20

Wed  6/13   3.07 miles in 31:04

Thu  6/14  3.06 miles in 31:35

Sun  6/17  3.05 miles in 31:59  (I would like to add here that Chris and our eldest son B also ran the Warrior Dash this morning, covering 13 obstacles in 3.8 miles in about 45 minutes. Then he ran 3 more miles in the evening with me, all on Father's Day. Awesome!)

Total:  12.35 miles

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 10: Only 20 more weeks to go!

Ten weeks down, twenty to go--and though we haven't even managed a 6 mile run yet, I feel like we have made great progress. We are still running, still committed to our goals, and feeling much healthier and tougher. Many of our aches and pains have disappeared (or at least abated) and while our longer runs are challenging, they are not exhausting. For the most part, rather than limping around the day after a run, as we did at the beginning of training, we feel pretty good! That said, I know there is probably a tipping point where we will feel wiped out again, but for now we are just enjoying the sweet spot.

Our weekly stats:

Tue 6/5  2.14 miles in 20:09

Wed 6/6  3.13 miles in 30:19

Thu  6/7  2.61 miles in 25:16

Sat  6/9   5.56 miles in 59:13

Total miles:   13.44

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Week 9: Racing for a great cause

In the past few weeks, we have run quite a few races, and all of them have been for good causes. For each race we pay an entry fee (usually $15-$20) and at least some of that money goes to a charitable organization. We ran a 5k to erase polio from the planet; another 5k in support of a local aphasia center; a 5-miler to raise money for artificial turf and a cinder track in our high school stadium; and most recently a 5k to support community cancer patients and their families both emotionally and financially.

Racing adds a nice social element to training, and when you can contribute to your community in such a fun healthy way, it is an added bonus! Of course, we also never forget the reason we are training in the first place--to run that marathon and raise money for Fisher House. While our military presence in the Middle East is rarely in the news anymore, we cannot forget those who are still there, as well as all those who have come home with injuries. Many of these soldiers are struggling with life-changing amputations, burns, brain injuries, and PTSD; the support of their families is crucial to recovery and Fisher House makes this possible.

We thank everyone who has already made a donation to our LoveLife fund; if you would like to support our own very good cause, please click on the link in the upper right corner (Team LoveLife). We appreciate your support!

Our weekly stats:

Tue 5/29    2.08 miles in 20:42

Wed 5/30    3.07 miles in 31:35

Thu  5/31   2.58 miles in 25:45

Sat  6/2    3.1 miles in 29:37  (The JesVic 5k--a wonderful race in support of cancer patients--we had wonderfully cool weather in contrast to the weekend prior. Though my time is not at all fast for a 5k--the winner finished in just over 16 minutes--I somehow managed to place 3rd in my 40-44 age group! I got a medal and everything. Chris won a blinking light to clip on his clothes for night running as a door prize. As usual, he ran slower than he could have to stay with me, but it is always fun to finish together...a great morning all around.)

Total: 10.83 miles

We also ran a total of 52.4 miles in May.

Thanks for reading!