Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On The Road Again!

Today was the first workout of the 5K running course I had signed up for awhile back.

I went to the orientation last night and was really jazzed and ready to try running tonight. The coach had uploaded a simple workout for the 5K'ers to do tonight: Run 5 "easy" minutes then walk 5 minutes (rinse - lather - repeat) for 30 minutes.

Two weeks ago I would have re-enrolled in the 10K or half marathon course if I had gotten that workout. However, with this injury/recovery, I was very grateful tonight for the super easy routine. The coach said I can move up to another training group if/when fully recovered and at speed again.

Tonight was my FIRST time running in 12 days.

I can tell I lost muscle/strength during my recovery period. I guess that is expected when you go from walking 2 to 3 miles a day and running three times a week to hobbling about with a gimpy knee. It also explains the rapid weight loss I had the last week.
  • My max stride two weeks ago was 84. Tonight it was 70. 
  • My quads felt as if I was trying to run with lead feet in mud.
  • My knees felt surprisingly good considering, with only slight tingling on the bad knee during the last set.
  • My heart rate average was 132 with a max of 153 - super easy cardio-wise.
  • I never broke into a sweat (no towel or sweat band required).
Good news is that 2 hours later I still feel no pain. Tomorrow night will be the first GROUP night with the other runners.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Knee Acted Up Today

I don't get it. My knee had been feeling better every day. Today at the grocery store I felt a dull throbbing pain on the INSIDE of my knee. WHY?!?! 

I had no pain there before. 

Then, I got my email from my running coach. I am going to Orientation tomorrow, running Tuesday, running/testing Wednesday, riding bike Thursday, running Friday, and running Saturday.

I sure hope my knee is ready.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cross Training - Bought a Bike

My knee is feeling better every day and my 20 week Training Course is getting closer and closer. Orientation is just two nights away and the first group workout is next Saturday.

A few days ago the coach sent us an email that included instructions for adding cross training to our 20 week course. Since I don't like aerobic classes, and I don't want to have to drive to the snow every time I want to do my cross training, that narrowed it down to swimming, bicycling and stair climbing. First, I had no desire to swim in a public pool, so that narrowed it down to bicycling and stair climbing. After researching which was best for persons with knee challenges, and which would help strengthen the outer legs most, I chose bicycling.

EVERY one I spoke to about bikes recommended Performance Bikes in Portland. Now I know why. First, they have bikes. LOTS of bikes!!!

Second and even more importantly, their salesmen KNOW bikes and they never tried to make a high dollar sale off me. Based on information I read when I got home, unknown to me at the time, he was showing me exactly what I was asking for! They were all great there and the bike is so much nicer than any bike I had ever owned before. It made that Schwinn mountain bike I had in the desert feel like a five ton slug in comparison. 

I can't wait to take it out for a real spin!!! Until then, I am still resting my knee so I can start running next Saturday with my training group.

Fuji Hybrid Road Bike - Absolute 3.0
"The Fuji Absolute series of hybrid bikes are made for commuting, fitness and distance riding"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Demoralizing Week

Can someone please define "Rest"? I am faithfully icing my knee, taking my meds and being a slug. But does that mean not walking a mile at a time at break? I didn't realize how active I was before my injury. I was walking up to 3 one mile walks a DAY on top of my runs. Now? I use my break time at work to prop my leg up and ice the knee.

It isn't comfortable sitting with my knees at a 90* angle for 9 hours a day. My knee feels tight at work. I stand slowly for smooth fluid motion.

I had slight burning today, but was wondering if that was left over from last night when I tried pedaling an exercise bike at Sears that I wanted to try out (stupid me).

Am I right to not be stretching my knee, or should I be stretching it? If so, how? How long? How far?

My running class starts on February 4th. Will I be strong enough to start running again then without causing serious/added injuries to my knee?

How far back are these one and a half weeks going to set me back in my running base? What if I have to go longer without running? Will I be able to run a mile? Two? How long until I am back to three?

I have been taking all my supplements, glucosamine and eating tons of blueberries. I am trying not to gain a ton of weight now that I have cut out burning off an extra 300-800 calories a day.

This is so incredibly depressing. It is so hard to see runners every day, and to remember how it felt and to worry that it might be a while before I am back to where I was.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Love My Doctor!

This is very long and detailed because my brother wrote me today and asked for me to give all the details. Blame him. :)

This morning I went to see the Sports Specialist Doctor across the river. This guy is a younger doctor (well, they ALL seem young to me these days), who is the doctor for several of the Portland Sports teams. I chose him because of his credentials and training. This is what occurred in the two full hours I was there:

  • Full sets of X-rays on both knees
  • Medical history taken and gone over
  • Running history gone over
  • Goals gone over
  • I walked up and down the hall for him 
  • I did a short run showing him my stride down the hall
  • I showed him ALL my photos of me running (I only have maybe 5)
  • I stood before him as he had me do several motions on each knee (while he was feeling my hip movement, my knees, my feet, having me push, pull, etc as well front and back)
  • I laid on my side as he prodded hips and knees, had my legs doing various motions (push, pull, lift, rotate, etc)
  • I laid on my back as he prodded and massaged and manipulated around the knee area (also while having my leg do motions, etc)
  • We went over my X-Rays together
  • He explained the findings patiently, kindly and down to earth.
All in all, the doctor literally spent over an HOUR of individual time with me. He even left for a short time to go give another patient a scheduled injection and came back.


  • My "X-rays are great"
  • I have 'really good' knees
  • He saw nothing that would prohibit me from running again
  • The urgent care doctor was (understandably) wrong. It was NOT my Patellar Tendon, but it was a tendon beneath the knee cap.
  • The injury is not a repetitive type of injury. 
  • The injury is 'most likely' from my Thursday night workout (as I guessed).
  • He agreed my stride is almost more racewalk than run (like I keep saying), but yeah, it is a run. 
  • I WOULD run faster if I bent my knees more, got my knees higher, and got my feet up off the ground more which midsole running would do. 
  • Due to my arches, he does NOT recommend I try barefoot running (but I already knew that - walking barefoot hurts).
  • My current stride will never win races, BUT, if I am content with not winning races, "there is no reason to change" this stride. 
  • Every runner has different needs.  
  • "If it isn't broke, don't break it"
  • No one way is ALWAYS the right way for EVERY one. 
  • Listen to my body.
  • If I do want to try and learn midsole running, he STRONGLY advises against my trying to change strides until after I strengthen my outer hips and IT band more because due to my posture (pigeon toes, flat arches, natural propensity to turn in). There is a real potential for causing injury in the process with my current weakness (as evidenced Thursday).
  • He gave me a prescription for Physical Therapy to learn to/begin to strengthen the outer hips/IT band.
  • The doctor FULLY believes that not only should I be able to run my goal of 'more than 50%', but he sees no reason I can't 'run' the full half marathon by October.
  • It would be okay to replace the Naproxen with Motrin (I was very nauseous and getting itchy rash with the Naproxen the urgent care doc gave me)
  • Apply ice three times a day for 15-20 minutes at a time.
  • Try not to run at least another week or two
  • When I start again, start easy and stop if there is ANY knee discomfort.
  • Call if anything gets worse.
  • Come back in six weeks

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Withdrawals, Fear and Barry Manilow

Sundays are my 'long run' day. It is the day I am either racing or just out enjoying and exploring new routes. They are the days I look forward to the most and here it is today, Sunday, and I am grounded.  It was so hard not putting on my gear and heading out. Instead, I battled another day with nasty stomach cramps and weird itching - both known side effects of Naproxen - took my muscle relaxer alone, and put on my knee brace. The pity party started as I looked out at the road behind our house. The road that leads to all my long run routes, and those not yet run.

Last night I spent a lot of time battling fears - What if the doctor finds something in the X-Rays that requires surgery? What if he says I have gotten all the use out of my old knees that I am going to get with all my running years behind me? WHAT IF HE SAYS I CAN'T RUN ANY MORE? 

Depressed, I went to the store and on the way, Barry Manilow came on the radio singing "Mandy". The drama of that song alone can be emotion-invoking for any one who has ever lost someone (or something!) important to them. What a sad coincidence it happened to play driving down a street I run on, as I saw a lone runner passing to my left. A woman in a blue jacket, black slacks and a light blue runners cap with a nice slow pace. She looked peaceful. So there is Barry Manilow passionately crooning of something lost, me going through runners withdrawals, passing a route I enjoyed, seeing another runner on it.

The flood gates opened and the pity party became a full on Worry-Self-Pity-Sob Fest.

Is the State of Washington filled with runners? They are EVERYWHERE! 

Tomorrow morning I will have my answers. Odds are I will be told I can run again. Right? After all, I have been pain free ALL day today. That has to be a good sign.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Random Pain Spasms on Outer Knee

It is about a day and a half after the workout I hurt myself on. I have been wearing my brace, applying ice, taking my two scripts faithfully . The doctor gave me Naproxen 500 mg tablet twice a day to fight swelling and Baclofen 10 mg twice a day to relax the muscles in the knee area.

Last night I started getting gasp-inciting occasional spasms of pain on the outer right knee.

They are VERY random. They have happened when sitting with the knee bent, and when sitting with the knee extended out on a hassock. They have happened when I awake and when asleep. Likewise, they have happened when wearing the brace and when not wearing it. Once every three hours or three times within a fifteen minute segment.

First one I felt today was in the shower when I turned my right foot inward. WHAMO!

I am very pigeon toed when standing. It is always the right foot in. But when I run I have trained myself to conscientiously keep my feet straight.  HOWEVER - Is it possible in my concerted efforts to lean forward and land midsoled that I didn't remember to keep my foot straight and might have turned pigeon toes when landing midsole????  I doubt it as I was REALLY focusing on my landings, but then again, it was a fast furious pace (jarring) and maybe I turned in enough to have twisted the knee as well as cause jumping impact injuries to the patellar tendon?

Looking forward to getting real answers at the appointment Monday morning (day after tomorrow) but scared as HELL to endure the poking and prodding and testing....and of what the results could be.

UDATE AT 9:27PM:  I haven't had ANY pain spasms in hours now. Also - can you say RUNNING WITHDRAWALS?!?!? How am I going to go 9 more days without running? We drove by one of my running routes today and I felt such as strong pull to get out of the car and take it home instead. NOT running is going to be so hard to do. I hope I don't get too snarky at loved ones and clients.

Friday, January 20, 2012

No Running for Ten Days

I sprained my knees last night trying new exercises and run techniques. I knew it IN the run and went back to my old stride as it was more comfortable....but it was too late. I iced my knees last night and this morning there was a popping going on under the skin with a popping sound on my right knee. SCARY!!! There was light burning but no real pain. I could walk on it. Bending it though was stiff.

I went to the urgent care and saw a doctor who was a runner. I told him my history, and what I did differently last night. Then he examined my knees. He said the right one had some swelling, though light. Then he played with, manipulated, fingered my knee from above, below, the left, the right.

He explained I had a swollen Patella tendon. He suspected that it was a sprain from a combination of both the exercise and the portion of running where I was applying it in my run last night. My typical gait is never that far off the ground and I was feeling jarring impact during both. I never feel jarring impact in my typical gait.

He then said - "No Running."

He paused. I started crying. "No running?! Ever?!?!"

Then he felt really bad and added, "No, no. Just no running for ten days."

He also said NO stairs, NO hopping, NO jumping. No motions that would simulate any of these actions.

He gave me some scripts for inflammation and relaxing the muscles too. He had me fitted for a knee brace (*insert sad face here*) and told me  that obviously the exercises and changes I added last night 'didn't work' for me. He suggested I don't do them again and if I must, not at least for awhile. Maybe do them with my coach instead of alone.

Here is an example of the exercise I did Wednesday and Thursday: Video  Note how high off the ground the legs get. Add my body weight and you have high impact. You get BOTH feet off the ground at once and you land straight down.

Every photo of me running with typical gait will have one or both touching ground at the same time. I don't bounce at all. I don't get high off the ground. I glide. I am literally just a few inches away from race walking when I run. In fact, I can easily transition between the two with minimal changes to my gait.

I am including photos I have found of me running below this blog. See what I mean?

If this knee issue does not resolve itself, I will transition to race walking permanently.

AND NOW!!! Images below are of one of my favorite runners - the #1 WOMAN'S RECORD HOLDER for speed at the Boston Marathon as of 2011 (she beat Joan Benoits long time record last year). I cheered watching her take 2nd place in Houston last weekend at the Olympic marathon trials. YESSS!

If that extended 'check mark' forestride works for her, and she beat the time records of every single American woman runner EVER at the 2011 Boston Marathon, then there is no need for me to hurt myself trying to run in a manner that doesn't feel comfortable to me.

Here are some more world class atheletes

I do NOT believe that any one type of running stride (Chi, Pose, Mid, heel) is best for every one, every time. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Heel to Midsole Blues

I did my mid-sole exercises before running (high knee running in place at a fast pace). Then I ran my custom Interval workout tonight. During the fast intervals in the middle of the run, I practiced midsole landing. Remembering what I saw and heard at the mini-class on form last Tuesday night, I made a conscientious effort to do the flat midsole landing and that worked. I was landing midsole. I told my self with each left foot, "land" and each right foot "flat". I stopped all heel rolling movement.


Am I supposed to be feeling the landings so much? With my rolling gait, I was not going up/down at ALL and there was therefore no sensation of landing. I didn't feel impact. Today, getting my midsole strikes to fall under my center of gravity I was definitely landing. I felt impact. During the exercises I even felt the impact all the way up to my jaw. I tried flexing knees more to cushion but for the first time on the treadmil since I can remember, I felt knees.

*sigh*  I went back to my rolling heel strikes to finish the run.

Checking stats afterwards:

I increased my efforts, and LOWERED my cadence (foot strikes per minute) during the midsole section. I was supposed to INCREASE my cadence.  I was told I would work LESS.

I obviously need to keep working at this. Hoping the training coach can help me when I start the 20 week course.

UPDATE: a few hours later I am ICING BOTH KNEES! I am NOT happy about this. This sucks and I am afraid. I can't remember ever having this much knee burn hours after running, let alone having BOTH at once. There ARE elite runners that heel strike. I watched one at the Olympic trials place #2 in the marathon. I will NOT be trying to change my stride/landing until I have a coach with me. So not worth what I am experiencing right now.

IPDATE #2: This is NOT good. I was cupping my right knee with my hand and an ice pack when I bent it. It felt like I could feel something moving, on the top outer side of the knee cap. I researched this and found this is similar to IT band issues. The physical therapist last month said to take care of mine as it was very "tight". I have been doing exercises she gave me but didn't worry much because I had never even heard of an IT band before then and because I never had a sports injury. Calling my doctor tomorrow and seeing if I can get a referral to a sports doctor/PT. Better safe than sorry.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Half Marathon? Me?

After watching the DVD called, "The Spirit of the Marathon" this morning and after a great "Good Form" course at the local athletic store where I met a few other local beginning runners last night, I came down with a bug.

The most I have run non-stop so far has been 5 miles.

I need to relearn my stride.

But the bug struck! I just signed up for a 13.1 mile run/walk that will be in my area in 9 months.

Sure, I will be satisfied if I can run at least 50% of it, but I am going to train and work towards running all the way to and through the finish line. That is my new goal. Crazy?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Running in Falling Snow

Today was supposed to be a rest day. However, when I looked out the window and saw the first snowflakes of the season falling thickly in my back yard, I thought - "BEAUTIFUL! What would it be like to run in that?"

I quickly put on my heart rate monitor and GPS watch, then donned my warmest running gear: Nike running pants, a long sleeve Brooks tek shirt, a rain-proof cap and my Brooks (thin/breathable) dayglow yellow running jacket.

I stood on the porch and my iPhone MapMyWalk GPS quickly zeroed in on my location but the GPS function of my Garmin was taking forever to pick up the satellite signals.

Off I went into thick snowfall of big fat flakes. I loved it. Then I remembered I had left our two small parrots sitting out of their cages in the house with two dogs and two cats. I made a u-turn and ran back. When I got home, I noticed the Garmin did NOT track ANY of that run but the iPhone did. (YAY!) I put the birds into their cages and then went back out to enjoy the snow.

Things I discovered running in thickly falling snow:

  • No run has been more beautiful or visually stunning to me than today's
  • Snow sometimes comes in sideways and hits eyeglasses 
  • Exhaling out in snow causes eyeglasses to steam up
  • Running in snow you will be hydrating as you ingest snowflakes (LOL!)
  • A running jacket rated for an hour of rain seems to get wet/cold faster when it is snowflakes adhering to and melting on it.
  • Even running in snow, I still sweat. A lot.
  • Even running in snow, I have to unzip my jacket to cool down a little (after a mile or so)
  • My shoes got wet - as did the Garmin shoe pod (but luckily it kept working)
  • Gloves would have been an extraordinarily smart thing to have worn (ooops)
  • There was no ice on the street so running was easier than I expected. Easier than night running in fact.
  • People driving by yell and cheer you on a lot MORE when you are running in snow more than when you run in fair weather.
Distance: 1.95 miles (Just did one lap around since it is a rest day)
Time:  22:33 minutes
Average Pace: 11:33 (YESSSS!)
Best Pace: 9:25 (WOW!!!)
Weather: Thick snow fall at 31 degrees with 2mph winds
Average HR: 171 bpm
Max HR (short but steep 35 foot hill): 182 bpm
Ave Cadence: 75 spm
Max Cadence: 84 spm

Sunday, January 15, 2012

P8 - New Custom Treadmill Interval Program

Last Thursday night, I accidentally deleted my P7 custom interval program. But, over the last three days I began suspecting that was actually a good thing. Maybe it was too fast/too much incline/too soon. At least my body was trying to tell me that since Thursday!

Today I created a custom workout that has a max 10:04 pace. That is several minutes faster than my race pace. Although the P7 had much faster paced intervals (9's) and more inclines more often, it also included intervals of walking. This new program I created has no walking after the first three minutes....at all. The Garmin data below is from the run intervals after warm-up only.

This custom workout I created today has THREE paces after the 3 minute warm-up. A jog, my average race pace, and a speed pace of 10's. The three paces were alternated at one minute each.

Total Running Time: 28:43 minutes

Average pace: 12:46 minute mile
Average max pace in every 3 minute interval: 10:17 minute mile (10:04 being the fastest)
Average heartrate: 167 bpm
Max heartrate: 171 bpm (very good! I would have thought it was nearer to 180 the way I felt)
Average cadence*:   72 spm
Max cadence*:  77 spm
Weight: 173.4 (after days binging on CHEESE! CHEESE! GLORIOUS CHEESE! on everything)

*Garmin foot pod was worn with the forerunner 210 monitor/watch. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

P7 Treadmill Incline Intervals

I did the same difficult workout I did December 30th , "P7" (details of the inclines/intervals can be found clicking here).

During this workout I wore my foot pod and heart rate monitor. At the end, I even ADDED 7 minutes of a very low jog to cool down with.

  • I ran more minutes
  • I had longer strides (per cadence counts)
  • My max heartrate was less
  • I felt stronger,

Then I accidentally ERASED my awesome custom program by trying to add more minutes to it.  NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Salty Gains

Was home sick yesterday. Had not one but two full cans of chicken noodle soup. You can guess what happened this morning on the scale. WHAMO! 171 to 172.8 pounds in 24 hours.

As discouraging as it is to see, at least it is temporary.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Losing Inches!

I have been measuring myself on the 10th of every month. I was suspecting there was a significant drop this month when I found ‎I could wear a smaller pant size comfortably.

LOSSES SINCE 9/10/2011

  • Upper arms - 1/2 " each
  • Under arms/around the back - 2"
  • Chest - 2"
  • Under chest/around the back - 3"
  • Waist fully extended - 3.25"
  • Abdomen - 4"
  • Hips - 2.5"
  • Thighs - 1.5" each
  • Calves - 1/2 " each
  • POUNDS - 11.5
What this is telling me is that I AM building muscles to have only lost 11.5 pounds and yet to have lost so many inches. That feels really good. I can't wait to see what the next four months holds for me!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

5K RACE - More Cowbell!

Foggy morning for the Battle Ground Resolution Run. At 10:00am it was a balmy 31.0 degrees for me and the other runners. The proceeds of this run were for the local Fire Departments cadet programs and what a great event they put on. There was a hot air balloon, awesome live DJ with mega speakers playing classic rock and pop, and a lot of booths and displays. The mood was festive and I felt a bit alone not knowing a single person there. I am hoping that when I begin the 20 week running course I will meet others and then know SOME one at these great events.

The Run: This is the flattest course I have run yet so I was expecting (and got) a PR. However, it didn't come easy.

I somehow lost my head and was keeping up with the Jones's in the first half mile. Then, finding volunteers at the farthest southern/eastern corner of the race route clanging cowbells had me laughing and cheering and running even harder. Then I started getting yelled at by my Heart Rate Monitor waaaaay too soon. I keep it set for a PEAK of 180 to warn me when approaching overdoing it. In the past, I felt ill running at 186-191 so I want to avoid that for now.

The HRM went off a few times in the first two miles but I just backed off my pace a bit and it immediately corrected itself. The one road we took (Parkway) was a rough road with no shoulder and at times, no sidewalk. It also had a slight incline. I was grateful for the water table at the end of that road.

We trudged on and at one corner at 2.75 miles there were more cowbell ringers. There, thinking the cowbells indicated a turn, I followed the runners in front of me onto a road that we weren't supposed to take. We did quick u-turns and got back on course. Coming around the complex it was a battle for me to run smart verses sprinting in (and as I felt a tad lightheaded/dehydrated here I decided to listen to my HRM).

Taking the very last turn I saw the Finish Line route was lined with cheerers and more cowbells!!!

And....the DJ was playing one of my most favorite dance songs EVER - Brick House by the Commodores!  Loud!

I guess it was a lack of oxygen to the brain or something, but I started singing and DANCING my way in to the finish line. THEN I saw a camera man had been taking pictures. *face palm*

I loved the people of this race. I WILL do this one again. After I was done I went and cheered others on before leaving.

Me - Post race

The Good: I broke my 5K time AND my average pace!
The Bad: I ran with a viral infection so this was just a hard one - that should have been easy.
The Ugly: Did I mention lack of oxygen causing uninhibited dancing to the finish line?

  • Foggy and 31 degrees at 10:00am. 
  • 99%  humid
  • No rain or precipitation.
  • Running under winter bare trees, little ice pellets were falling as the ice thawed off branches
  • No wind
    TIME: 38:03 - PR!
    PACE: 12:16 - PR!
    ELEVATION DIFF: 20 feet (felt like more)
    AVG HR: 178 bpm (typically 175-178 per race but 10 bpm more than non-race)
    MAX HR: 186 bpm  (oops!)
    AVG Cadence: 75 strikes pm
    MAX Run Cadence:
    83 strikes pm
    171.0 lbs

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    Gently Running Through Twinges

    Still feeling occasional tightness and twinges in the hamstrings and shins from Tuesday nights over doing it. I was nervous about doing any running tonight. What if I make it worse? What if I should have had a third day of rest after overdoing it Tuesday night? What if I didn't run tonight -would I be ready Sunday morning?

    Got on the treadmill prepared to stop at any time I felt pain. Turned it on to a low speed (4.0) and ran very gently and slowly. Any slower and I would have been race-walking. I paid attention to posture (more than usual) and keeping my hips and knees aligned straight. When I started getting lazy and sloppy I felt the twinges and weakness in my quads and behind the knees again. I quickly realigned and straightened. My guess is I pulled some muscles a bit taking that really steep hill Tuesday night when I was exhausted. I bet I was running sloppy up it.

    Funny. I actually felt better after that 2 mile light run than I had the last two days. Hoping that I made the right decision.

    Did 4 different clamshell exercises on each leg (5 each) after the run tonight to strengthen my outer hip and ITB. The physical therapist I saw yesterday morning for something else threw in a sheet of them when I told her I had knee/ITB concerns.

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Paying the Piper

    I don't normally run on asphalt more than once a week. Never within two days of a street race. And, the street race on Sunday was my longest distance yet. So whatever it was that possessed me on Tuesday night to run asphalt on what is normally a rest night, and to run a very difficult hill for me no less, in the dark...was probably not a good thing to be possessed by.

    I am having creaks and pains I haven't had before. Mild shin splints. Tightness near to pain in the lower quads, and in the calves. Twinges in my knee area. What is odd is the tightness/slight discomfort is worse tonight than last night.

    Looking this up to see if I should run through it or rest another night I found  a lot of articles about DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). "DOMS is associated with the microscopic tearing of muscle fibers during activity that is either more intense or more prolonged than normal."

    Some sites said to take an additional REST DAY to give the muscles a little more time to mend without adding to the strains. Some said to run if you can without limping or hurting more. Being as I had been taking two rest days back to back most of my training since August (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) I decided not to run tonight. I added a second rest day for this week in hopes this will pass on the third day as DOMS often does.

    LESSON LEARNED: No more radically changing my routine with such a big increase in difficulty so soon after a hard/long run!!!

    HOPING: I am hoping I am back to normal Sunday morning. The weather is expected to be great (for a January) and the course is fast and FLAT! I want that fast run without stressing injury.

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Took Andressen Hill tonight!

    There is a hill in my area that I hadn't been able to run non-stop yet. Tonight after work I just didn't feel like getting on the treadmill so I put on my headlamp, reflective jacket and off I went into the darkness for a 2.5 mile lap around my neighborhood. Because of the darkness and heavy traffic, I did spend a lot of time on sidewalks as our streets in the area are very narrow. I tried to land softly but still, my knees and shins felt it a bit. Won't do that again for quite awhile.

    There were three significant inclines tonight (and I took them all without stopping) but taking Andressen Hill made me want to shout and dance!  I took it! I took it!! ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME.

    • Took three steep inclines and still ran an 12:40 average pace (4 seconds faster than my best race pace)
    • I took Andressen Hill (I am going to keep saying that all week - humor me)
    • I only dropped cadence one (taking the first hill, waiting for cars to pass to cross the road). My cadence stayed very consistent even on the two bigger hills)
    • My average heart rate was 168! WOW! How did THAT happen? YAY ME!

    • Too much time on sidewalks pounding concrete. I felt it after and am hoping I didn't cause any injuries. Will take it very easy the next two days at least.

    Weight:  172.6

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    The Day After a Hard Run

    I read a lot of conflicting information from 'experts' last night online. What am I supposed to do the day after a street pounding? Especially if that street pounding was a longer run than usual, and filled with a nasty incline that HURT?

    Most agree that after a 'long' run or race, to make the following day a 'Rest Day'. Then comes the definitions of a 'rest' day.

    • No running. 
    • Light running. 
    • Run/walk combos.

    THE HILL yesterday played havoc on my upper/inner legs and I feel stiffness there this morning. The last time I had any soreness there it didn't leave for weeks so, I don't want this tightness to become soreness! I did a little stretching.

    Today I just did 30 minutes on the Treadmill. 25 minutes were of an iFit Power Walk incline workout (Jillian Michaels level 2) with a max speed of 3.3 and max incline of 7%. Easy enough, but I still got to sweat a bit.

    Weight: 172.6 (a new low!!!)

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    The Randy Ehrhard Memorial Run

    I was very worried about this run long before today. Mostly, I was worried about getting up so early in the morning the day after New Years Eve. You see, my neighbors love to blow stuff up. Last night was no exception. From 6:30pm until long after midnight the neighborhood was lighting off mortar sky rockets. That is hard to sleep through even with Unisom and ear plugs.

    I can't recall any time in my life when I actually ran at 8:00am. Heck, the sun didn't even rise today until 7:51!

    Also, rain was expected for today. So far this year I have not had to run an event in real rain. 

    However, Randy Ehrhard was a local runner who passed away Thanksgiving weekend after suffering a heart attack at the Turkey Trot. I was one of the runners that went by him, saw him, and heard him as he struggled for his life with the assistance of a doctor and others more qualified to assist. I remember hearing a woman asking us to keep moving. But I worried. I saw. I heard. We all hoped for the best as he remained hospitalized but he succumbed to the initial and a second attack that weekend. He left behind a wife and two children. His church put this run on and all proceeds went to his family.

    How could I NOT get up and face the rain to assist the family of this man?  This was the one run I knew I would not miss. Even if I were ill today, I would have walked it. I was going and nothing would stop me. 

    As luck would have it, the skies were mostly clear and Mt Hood was bathed in brilliant red clouds as I neared the church that was holding the run. There was no rain. I was awake. I felt fine. 

    As is the norm for me, my heart rate was bouncing all over even before the start. It was around 106-110 just standing! I really need to learn to control the pre-event hyperness.

    (shakey live shot en route)

    The run started off beautifully. About 150-200 of us headed down a lane that went into a woody area of a suburb. I loved that part. I could have run that all day. But I grew concerned. We were going down hill. That could only mean one thing. Right? 

    The course took us along the 14 hwy for some time and there was a slight incline occurring but that was nothing I couldn't handle. The road then started to veer back towards the suburbs and there it was.  THE HILL.   It looked like trouble from the start. It didn't boost my confidence seeing some very fit looking runners up there walking it. So I took the hill slowly. Timidly. And still, at about the half way mark I had to stop and walk as my heart rate monitor was yelling "TOO HIGH!". I walked/jogged lightly intermittently for 17 full minutes of THE HILL. This hill was a total incline of over 1.7 miles but the worst of it was the section from mile marker 1.4 to 2.2.  It is an average of a 3% grade in that .81 mile section. 

    A very nice young man was walking/jogging this section with me. He told me that it got him before and he keeps telling himself he is going to beat it some day. At the top of the hill he took off but I always had him in my sight. I paced to him and respected his resolve.

    At one point, two strong looking young women and a man came running back towards us, cheered us on and continued running back the opposite of the route we had all come from. It appeared they were going for a 10K! I couldn't help but think that going back down THE HILL would be a lot more fun than it was going up.

    At 2.9 miles it didn't look like the run was ending anytime soon. Where were we? Where was the finish line? At 3.1 I then knew this was NOT a 5K run. I didn't stop running though. I had been wanting to learn to run further. No time like the present! At 3.25 miles I took the turn that lead back to the finish line and I could see everyone there in the street cheering us on.

    I was smart this time. I didn't kick into overgear. I stayed the course and kept it sane. My total time was 43:09 minutes. My Garmin (GPS) sportswatch said it was a route of 3.39 miles and my iPhone MapMyWalk (GPS) app said it was 3.49 miles. I am going to go with the lesser number as the Garmin is usually more accurate. 

    The young man who took the hill 'with' me came up to me and told me, 'great run' and we high fived each other. I told him I would see him next year...and we are taking that hill! 

    I HAD A PR!  Even with my battles on THE HILL, I had my best average pace in an event! 12:44 min/mi


    (me - post run)

    Weather: 36 degrees, 5.4 mph wind, no precipitation, mostly clear