Thursday, March 22, 2012

Moving forward

Things are looking up - I have been working on getting more sleep, I have been taking a RLS (restless leg syndrome) pill before bed, and have been taking my vitamins more often. I'm feeling a lot more rested, my legs have not been nearly as tired, and my knee is feeling AWESOME. Last weekend we had a 18 mile run and a 12 mile run. They went ok, on Saturday for the 18 we got going to late in the day, and it was pretty warm, my Camel back gave me rub marks on my back and I drank all 1.5 liters of water before the run was over. BUT, we finished. Sunday's run was better - we got up early, had a 6:45 start - for once I was on time to church. Lots of snakes out we noticed - the weather has been crazy - 80+ degree days and it's middle of march...
Tuesday I ran with Boot camp and for the first time in a LONG time had a, not ok, not alright, not so so, but a GOOD run. it was so nice to feel good. I even joined the "race" for the last mile. I hadn't gone all out as fast as I could for a LONG time, and it felt amazing. I felt like I had wings.  I was a little concerned about how my knee would feel the next day, but it was just fine - guess i'm ready for some speed. It hasn't hurt since the middle of Sundays 12, and that was only for a few miles.
Wednesday Deb came to my house and we did the 6.5 loop - felt good again :) Then this morning we did a boot camp run - 5.3. Felt pretty good for that too, a little tired though, my Boyfriend kept me up to late last night - but i'd say it was worth it.

I've decided to just drink sports drinks for my long runs, it's been working good. I just put the Gatorade powder in my camel pack and it seems to give me enough energy to keep going. I like to water it down a little so it's a cross between water and Gatorade. Working well so far.

Next weekend, the 31st is our First marathon - the "Trail Breaker"
Trail Breaker Marathon map
  in Wisconsin. I can't believe that i'm already running another marathon. I don't feel ready at all. sure, iv'e run 2 30 mile weekends, but it was a 20 and a 10 and a 18 and a 12, not a 26 all together. We are supposed to run 6 miles on Sunday after that too. Should be an exuberance - that's for sure. CA trip is also being booked.
Sky Line to the sea race image
So far we have the plan all set up. Flight booked and the Yosemite park 3 night stay in tents booked. The plan is: Fly down on Saturday, arrive in CA, get car & drive to hotel about half way to the race (30 minute drive) hang out and take it easy that night. Then in the morning head to the race, finish it, run into the ocean at the end. Eat tons of pizza for lunch and hang out in that area that day. Monday morning head to San Francisco, sight see a little, stay the night. Tuesday return the car and ether bus or train ride to Yosemite. Spend 3 nights hiking, taking pictures and hopefully drinking a lot of wine after hiking every night. Friday we head back to San Francisco, sight see a little more, go to a hotel. Saturday take a trip to some Island my sister wants to see, I guess they have lots of sharks and whales out that way and she would really like to see a Great White Shark. THEN head back Sunday. Less than 3 months away - crazy. I think by then I will be ready. with the 2 marathons before the ultra - AND the runs we will do the day after - we also have a few 26 mile training runs before then too - Marathons will not be too scary at the end of all of this. When completed this training schedule will defiantly change my perception of a long run. This Saturday we have 15 and 6 as our easy week. that's 21 miles, used to be a lot.... doesn't seem to bad now though, see? it's already happening.

I'm also looking into some new shoes - I really want a pair of the Newton trail shoes - but haven't been able to find a good deal yet, also thinking about trying another pair of Solomons, the ones I have no are amazing, except for the fact that they give me awful blisters.

 Lastly, I don't believe I ever told the story of my sore knee.

Now that's it's feeling much better i'm feeling more like writing about it. It started with roller skating. I like roller skating, but when it comes to stopping or going in circles i'm just not all that good at it. However, I had been around the same circle about 100  times and was feeling like I was ready to try that criss cross thing the cool kids do around the corners of the ring, well... apparently, i'm just going to have to come to grips with the fact that I am not a cool kid.... I face planted, but my knees were nice enough to help out and break my fall of course, which resulted in 2 very bruised knees, the left one in particular. They were pretty sore, and hurt a little, but really didn't bother me when I ran, I was pretty happy about that, and they were healing nicely. later the next week I wore those nice awesome solomon shoes and got a HUGE blister on my foot, nothing to do with the knee, but something to do with the accumulation of "ouchies" I was acquiring. The next week was my first solo business trip, actually my first business trip period.
My Huge Blister
 I was really exited & planned on making the best of my extra time their in CA -  via Google maps I had discovered miles of awesome trails somewhere right by the hotel I was staying at. I arrived at my hotel Wednesday night & promptly sprolled out on my king sized bed. Later I went down to the "welcoming dinner" it was ribs and chicken and of course beer and wine. I had too much beer and wine. I did make it up in the morning to run, I was going to go outside, but it turned out to be CRAZY windy so I ran 5 on the dread mill. The weather later that day was amazing, it was so nice to be someplace warm, and it was absolutely gorgeous in Foothills Ranch CA. After the meetings were over, we had a hour or so before we were to meet at a bar down the street for dinner and drinks. I decided to find that trail and then walk to the bar, since it was only a half mile from the hotel. I had google maps open on my ipod, and saw the trails... but I couldn't find the trails...
The trails that I FINALLY found

 Finally after walking around with my phone staring at the little arrow that was moving around representing me, I found the trail! the entrance was right down the street in a gas station parking lot. I ducked under the entrance rail and entered another world! I was so exited, cactus and flowers... so I walked away from the mountains, figuring I'd stay close to civilization so that later when I wanted to get OFF the trail I could get a cab and go to the bar. I ended up having WAY too much fun and walking for about an hour, it got dark and the trail got scary, so I headed to the street. Turns out it wasn't an area where cabs were located. I contemplated hitch hiking, but settled for my Google map and walked another hour to the bar. by that time I was absolutely starving and  every one was already drunk. The food was awesome, and the drinks were plentiful. I drank some very expensive shots compliments of TMS. Turns out Crown Royal isn't that bad after 4 or 5 glasses of wine and a shot or 2 of Tequila. The night ended with more drinks in the hot tub and someone giving me "new skin" to put on my blister (which looked HORRIBLE because the patch I put on it ended up sticking to it and popping it when I took it off) for the next day. So I had a fun night. Not sure how late I was up, I ether didn't look or didn't remember, but even that night I was hell bent on getting out to run the next morning because I took off my swim suit, set my alarm and fell asleep. The next morning when the alarm went off I still tasted wine.... I wondered to my self "why did I drink so much last night" but of course I really had no answer except "because your stupid!!) to which I replied "but it's my first business trip, I just wanted to have fun..." It continued of course from their..... I did however KNOW that their was NO WAY my "party night" was going to rune my 8 mile trail run.

So I got dressed and headed out to the trail possibly still slightly under the influence of what ever it was I had drank the night before. I headed towards the mountains this time. Even in my less than optimal condition I was exited to be on the trail. Turns out the park trail I wanted to run on was closed.... but NO WAY was I not getting in. I climbed through the cacti and thorns and wiggled under a barbed wire fence - HA! try to keep me out = FAIL. So off I ran again, it was getting hilly but was SOOOO pretty. I was merrily running along looking at the pretty trees and stuff when bam, flat on my face again before I even knew what had happened. Turnes out my foot caught on a root as I was running down a hill.... And guess what? SAME KNEE!!! OUCH. I didn't think much of it though, picked my self up and kept right on running. I did notice I was bleeding, and I was scraped up a little here and there.... I ended up having a rather hard time getting up those hills, I did NOT feel too well, but it was amazing out their all alone, not a single person did I see....  The view was awesome, from the top of the "mountain" I could see the ocean, it was breath taking. On the way back I discovered running down the hills was almost as hard as going up. they were REALLY steep - had to check my pace otherwise i couldn't make the turns in the trail. When I got back to the hotel I had to pick little pieces of rocks out of my knees, my body was really getting beat up. I had fruit and yogurt and granola for breakfast then SLOWLY walked over to the conference because I had missed the bus limo thing but probably wouldn't have taken it anyway because it was only a half mile and it was SO nice out. as I walked I did wonder how in the world I had managed to run, the way I was feeling... The next day was a rest day, then when I got home Sunday we ran 16 miles. I was hurting a little from Friday night which was casino nigh ton the John Wane boat....awesome food, drinks & they even had a special coffee station where we could order any type of coffee drink, the last question they asked was "would you like to add alcohol to your drink"...   but I made it. later that week my horribly bruised knee started to bother me when I ran & neeled -
My Very bruised knee
 it was REALLY sore to the touch, even my pants leg hurt it.  I didn't think TOO Much of it figured it would heal. Then that weekend we had a 18 mile trail run at Waterfall Glen. It started to bother me even more and ended up really swelling up. It hurt to even walk after that. I decided it must be Bursitus - and I still believe that's what it was. I ended up skipping a few runs, but it still bothered me for at LEAST 3 weeks pretty bad. I discovered that heat helped it, so I started icing and heating it.... Finally I decided that I was ether going to keep babying my knee and not be able to run the race well at all, or not baby it, just try to tough it out, and ether run the race better, or get hurt worse and not be able to run it at all. I gambled and choose to stop babying it. I ran down hills normally, with out favoring my knee even though it hurt pretty bad. I still iced and heated and took ibprofin, but that's it. I refused to limp. AND.... it got better :) Somehow. I'm not sure how. I really thought I would have to drop out of this upcoming marathon, but it hasn't hurt much at all for a couple of weeks now. so YAY. and that's the story of my knee.
Lesson learned: don't try new tricks on roller skates when your training for a race
and: Keep your eyes on the trail.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tired of being Tired

Lately I have been tired. My runs have not been quality. My knee has been hurting. I have not been feeling well. I put up with it for a while, thinking that it would get better.... but it's starting to wear on me now. I don't know how much longer I can do this. 75 pre cent of my runs suck. I do have good runs sometimes, and I LOVE them, but they are so far and few between these days I hardly remember them.  I feel like a shell of the runner I use to be. Where is my passion? Where is my drive? It's just so hard to be driven and passionate when I'm in pain, tired and run down and don't even know why. I have no reason to be, I haven't done anything different... It's actually really depressing.... I remember running hills with Mike, Vicky and Josh before the Dick's Cross Country Challenge. I felt like gold, so much energy, I just dug into the black top and gave it my all - I  felt so alive and exited to be so...

What happened to me? I don't even want to run anymore. I actually don't want to do much of anything.... Except go to walmart, buy all the seasons of Friends and a big bag of potato chips and sit and watch Friends and eat chips. But of course then I wouldn't get anything done and id be fat and un healthy and that would make me even more depressed, so clearly that is not the answer to my problem... I just don't know how to go back - I feel like going solo for a while might help - no pressure to run faster, just run for me and that's it. Maybe I will try that - I could go to the doctor and have them tell me not to run for twelve weeks, but I have a marathon to run in 24 days... I just want a quick fix, I don't care if it's having them drain my knee with a needle, I don't care really what it is or how much it hurts I just want it fixed. and fast.