Sunday, February 26, 2012

I was radioactive!!

Friday was foot bone scan day which required me to show up in radiology at the hospital around 8.30 in the morning they could inject me with a radioactive substance and then take some pictures of my foot.  I then got to go back several hours for more pictures.

The thing is, I really didn't realize what a bone scan was exactly so when the tech took me to the nuclear medicine room I had a bit of a shock.  I just went with it but had a funnier reaction when after the first set of scans, he told me I was free to go but I needed to stay away from pregnant women and small children.  My look must have conveyed a slight bit of confusion because he then said to me 'well you are radioactive'.  Apparently that was exciting to me on Friday because I said cool!  He told me I was one hot lady which totally cracked me up.  I also found out that what they put in me was the same thing that made the Incredible Hulk incredible.

The things running teaches me.

Cross training and I just aren't friends.   This is going to be difficult but I'll keep trying.  I did take a spin class on Tuesday morning and liked it a lot.  It was certainly something like a million times better than just time on the bike.  But I didn't make it there on Thursday morning (I knew it would be difficult), didn't realize there was a Friday morning class until yesterday and missed yesterday's class by showing up 10 mins early and it was already full.

Clearly I've got some stuff to figure out still.  I should be able to make spin T/Th/Sat this week -- I've got it all managed (for one, show up 20 mins early on Sat).  I did ride the bike on Monday and Saturday. But really, Mon - bike, Tues - spin, Sat - bike.  Eh, that isn't really going to do me much good.  I'm two weeks down so I'd really better get more serious.

Foot still pretty sore and now my ankle is getting more sore by the day.  I think because I'm probably compensating some way with my walking so I've taken to wearing a cheapy ankle brace from the drugstore and that helps a ton.

I really have no patience for this.  Oh well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Plan B

I am officially the owner of a 24 Hour Fitness membership.  I know I talked about it for awhile, but with the very dry winter we've had, I've been able to stay out of the gym.  This was a good thing for me as I've never been a gym rat -- the music it too loud, the temps are too controlled, I'm a dork when it comes to trying to figure out the equipment.  I find it all sorts of intimidating.


At first I thought the rain would send me in to a treadmill but no, it is my foot sending me in for other contraptions that I'll just have to get over my intimidation.  Later today I'll go figure something out.

One nice thing is that there is a spin class on Tues/Thurs mornings at 5:30.  I've never in my life taken a spin class but I think having the class will make me sort of obligated to go.  It might be fun.  Who knows.  So tomorrow I'll go early and talk to the instructor and attempt to take a spin class.

I do believe this foot/ankle thing is a sprain -- all signs have pointed there.  I can walk on it mostly pain free (a little sore) but the second I put pressure as in running, it is pretty painful.  There's just no way I'm running right now.  And based on all the poking around the internet I've done, a sprain takes 4 to 6 weeks to heal.  I'm not even quite at week 2 so doing the math, I'm pretty darned sure Eugene is out as a marathon.  If it wasn't the first and I was more confident, maybe I could do it.  But it is the first and I've no confidence so I've been thinking about what I should do if I don't start running for anther 4 weeks or so.  And I've got a plan!

1.  Attempt to view this set back as an opportunity to do more than play lip service to strength and core work.  Work out an actual plan I can stick with during marathon training instead of the haphazard, no focus stuff I have been doing.

2.  Embrace cross training.  This is hard -- I've never liked to exercise.  I've liked to run.  Sounds funny but obviously I need a back up plan.

3.  Still plan on going to Eugene -- just drop back to the half.  I should have plenty of time to bet back up to speed for the Half at the end of April.

4.  Pick new marathon!  I've gone back and forth.  Do I just pick one in May/June -- and continue on with training?  Do I go later out in the year?  Fall?  When in Fall?  CIM?

This was trickier -- my first inclination was to go for something in the May/June time frame.  But from the little poking around I've done, nothing grabbed me and I'd have to travel for most anything out there. I did think about RNR San Diego -- but I know the crowds would make me all nervous and such. Plus, I'd be back to travelling and then possibly be by myself.

So, I think I've tentatively decided on San Francisco which is at the end of July.  At first I wouldn't consider that one -- it is hard from what I hear.  But then it is just hard because of hills -- and so what really.  Hills slow me down but  it may also make me to forget to have a time goal and just focus on finishing.  Since it is just up the road, no travelling is be involved and I'd probably be able to take a cheering squad with me (my local runner girls).

The more I've thought about this, the more excited I've gotten.  This could work -- when I can run again, I just start slow again, then just start over with the training plan towards the beginning of April.  That will take me nicely to the end of July.  I can be smarter about racing during the training and I'll have a better plan in place regarding strength and core.

So unless I wake up in the next couple of days with a miraculously healed foot/ankle I'm on to Plan B.     

Friday, February 17, 2012


I'm doing what every runner does when they can't run, shop for running goodies.

Well, I've no idea if every runner does this or not quite frankly.  But I'm doing it.  I'm also going to talk about my struggle with the finding the perfect shoe.  Not that it matters since I can't run.

But first, foot/ankle update:  There is no update.  I was supposed to have the bone scan today but had to postpone until next Friday.  I'm fine with this as I don't think it is a stress fracture at all but rather a sprain of some sort as it is getting better mostly.  I was able to walk without limping today and that was terribly exciting.

Sigh.  But I'm starting to get sad.

Oh well.

On to shoes.

For a six month period before I started running, I was doing a ton of hiking.  In fact, that is what launched me into running.  Some friends of mine signed up for the Big Sur 21 Miler as a walking event and I thought it sounded like fun so I signed up too.  So we spent every Saturday from Oct to April climbing up local mountains in preparation.  I loved loved loved that time as we'd work hard but also go out for breakfast afterwards.  It was all wonderful for this rather sluggish woman who hadn't spent a lot of time in her life exerting herself.  Oh but I had a heck of a time finding the right shoe.  After what felt like zillions of $$ spent, I was fussing on the trail one Saturday morning about my sore feet and my friend's hubs said that I should try the Nike Frees -- he had gone through quite the bunch of shoes and settled on those.  Loved them.  I tried them as was sold.  Walked 21 miles in pure Free bliss.

It was natural then that when I started running, I'd just keep the same shoe on my foot.  And that is what I did.  Ran half marathons in them. Ran up and down mountains in them.  Ran 10ks in them  All was fine.

It would seem there was no problem right?  Not so much -- the half marathon distance was fine but by the end, my feet would sort of burn.  Maybe everyones feet burn at the end of 13.1 miles.  I'm not sure.  But it seemed that possibly another shoe was out there waiting for me.  Plus, if my feet were on fire at 13.1 miles, how in the heck were they supposed to go 26.2?

So that leaves me with what I've tried so far.  The Sacouny Kinvara's and the New Balance Minimus.

The Kinvaras are out.  I'm still running in them because I bought them and I have to get my money's worth and for a run under 10 miles they are fine.  Well, sort of fine.  They seem to rub a hot spot between two toes that never callouses so it hurts every single run.  And recently they started to hurt the outside ankle of my left foot.  I did run the half in them the day after Christmas and my feet were not pleased at the end.  So they aren't THE shoe.  The'll do  for short stuff but that's about it.

When I first put on the Minimus - my feet thought they were in heaven.  Actually, whenever I put on the Minimus my feet feel like the are in heaven.  But then I start to run and the shoe is pretty stiff.  It feels like running becomes a bit more work in these shoes for some reason. I think they'd be awesome at a track where there is some give but on the streets and sidewalks I feel like I'm working too hard. Which is weird for a shoe that is so light weight it is hardly there.

Anyway, I can't imagine it going the full distance (which darn it, I will run -- may not be in April now but I will run it THIS year.  just sayin').

Anyway, my quest continues for the perfect shoe.  I like a light weight minimal shoe -- since I'm already there.  I think next on my list is the Brooks Pure Flow

It is pretty -- and I like what I hear about it.  But possibly I need to go back to the Frees full time.  I ran the The Half Marathon of Death in Frees.  Usual results -- but maybe I just need to get used to that.  

I want to have a shoe. A shoe I love. A shoe I call my own. I want to say "I run in_____".  I'm not so certain why this is important to me but it is.  

Of course, right now I'd settle for "I'm running again".  But whatever.  

And I am taking donations to my 'find the perfect shoe' fund.  

Happy Weekend.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Foot Update

Foot?  Ankle?  It is really  hard to know at any given time what is actually hurting.  :)

Anyway, I visited the doctor this morning and after feeling around my ankle and foot it seemed to be a foot problem, not an ankle problem.  Who knew -- clearly I'm not so good at locating the cause of pain. But heck, it all hurts when I land on it!

Anyway (again), he sent me in for an xray and no stress fracture shows up -- which is good news.  However, I apparently fit the foot stress fracture profile (again -- who knew there was a foot stress fracture profile?) so he is sending me in for a bone scan to make sure there isn't an teeny tiny stress fracture starting to form.  And if not, then I've just sprained some muscles and will be able to carry on my merry way once they heal.

Today my foot feels much better actually so it is probably just a sprain.  I can walk without limping (such progress) so that is exciting.   I probably should have just waited it out a bit -- because now I've got to do the bone scan and let me tell you, that is no small process (inject something in my foot, 30 min scan, leave for three hours and then come back for hour scan!).  Silly me -- but I was worried about making it worse so I went in.

Verdict is still out on Eugene -- we'll see what happens and what I think I can pull off.  It will all work out somehow.  Plan B and Plan C are worked out in my head in case I need them.

Bone scan Friday.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Well, this is a bummer.  It seems I've done something to my ankle.

On Thursday as I was finishing up my run, I started to feel a pretty strong pain in my right heel. Luckily it was during the last half mile so I  just struggled on home.  I spent the rest of the day trying not to walk on it and read everything I could about foot pain.

At first I thought it was heel pain -- so bone spurs and plantar fasciitis were the first things I looked up.  No go really and as the day wore on I realized it was more ankle and upper foot related.  I took Friday off of running as an extra rest day (this week Saturday was a rest day as well) so this morning I got up and my foot felt okay -- a little sore but i wasn't limping so I headed out.  I got about a half mile away from my house when I realized this isn't going to be something that just goes away after two days rest.

I'm sad.  But I've got a plan.  I've already got the number of a doc who I'll call tomorrow and hopefully get into quickly.  A friend also gave me a month's pass at a small gym.  I'll stop there on my way home tomorrow because I figure I've got to get on a bike.

Then we'll just see what is wrong.  I figure it can't be that bad because I can still walk on it.  I just want to make sure I don't make it worse in some way.

Off to hobble through the grocery store so then I can just come home and stay off of it for the rest of the day.

Grumble grumble.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Eugene Week 4

I should be in bed relaxing in anticipation of sleep.  I spend a lot of time in bed for someone who doesn't sleep much.  But I'm ever hopeful!  I want to get this down before we're done with week 5.

Eugene Training Week Four (Jan 30th to Feb 5th)

Which means 12 weeks to go.  That's kinda hardly any, right?  Or is it a ton, just relax?

You saw how I feel apart on Sunday -- relax is just not very often in my vocabulary.

Alas, lets get onto to it.  Another relatively easy week (not counting that silly Half Marathon I ran well and complained about).


Monday Jan 30 -  Rest

Success.  Though really I want to be doing some yoga and stuff on the rest days.  I'm getting there, slowly.

Tuesday Jan 31 -- 15-20min warm up, 4to5 times 3 minutes at Half Marathon Pace (8.42) (which is a smidgen faster than my actual one of last week but lets not pay attention to that), 2 min recovery jog between, 10to20 cooldown.

So what did I do?  Pretty much that.  Training plans are such wonderful things for rule followers.  Here's the details:

Avg Pace

Looks like I got a bit excited on lap 6 (or the third repeat) but I'll call this a success.  Though I wonder if you go faster on the speed work than the prescribed pace if that is bad.  Oh well -- I just can't worry too much.  Fairly short work out and it is dark.  I can hardly see my watch and I'm mostly worried about hitting the lap button at the correct time.  Pace suddenly becomes second to when I can slow down.  HA.

Wednesday, Feb 1st. -- 30 to 45 mins easy

Ran 4.5 miles in 44:48 mins for a 9:57 pace.  I thought I was supposed to be running 35 to 50 minutes (like last week) and was shooting for 5 miles.  But felt a bit sluggish and remembered it was suggested my Mr. McMillan that this week I should use as a step back week so I cut the run short and then checked the plan and I'd run at the top end anyway.  Oh brother.  Please note, suggested easy run pace is 9:40 to 10:10 - I ran 9:57.  Following the rules!!!

(oh and I just checked my comments on daily mile -- felt exhausted, dizzy and light headed when I got home and commented that work stress might be getting to me.  yeah, maybe.  but first lets run a half marathon and see)

Thursday, Feb 2nd -- 40 to 50 mins easy

So today I did 5 miles in 49:11 minutes for a 9:49 pace.  Still following rules!!

(oh and today's comment on daily mile was that I overslept and thankfully my running friend texted me when she left her house and not when she was sitting in my driveway so I had enough time to jump up and get dressed before she got here -- I'm sensing a tired theme for the week)

Friday, Feb 3rd -- off


Saturday, Feb 4th - 20 to 30 mins easy

Ran 3 miles in 28.40 mins for a 9:33 pace.  I apparently stopped following the rules on Saturday.  My daily mile comment says my legs wanted to run.  They wanted to run on Sunday too thankfully though the rest of my body was pretty much over it.

Saturday, Feb 5th -- Race Half Marathon

A total success -- how can I call it anything but.  A 40sec PR with a time of 1.56.16 and lovely even splits.  Next time maybe I'll enjoy it more.  Or at least complain about it less.

Lets call week 4 good and be done with it.  I've rearranged week 5 all to pieces to accommodate recovery from last Sunday and being gone this Saturday.  But it is all good.  Tomorrow we fartlek again.  10 times.  Yikes.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Happy Monday

I meant to write this first thing and it is now after 7pm.  Goodness, the days.

Anyway, it is amazing the restorative powers of a solid 10 hours of sleep.  What had me so worked up yesterday because I was in so much pain was the thought that I'd done something permanent (or long term) and that would mess up this marathon thing I've got going on.  I have never hurt so bad at the end of a race before and honestly if they were all like that, I'd just run for fun.

But alas, after falling dead alseep at 8pm and sleeping almost all the way to 6am with only two quick potty breaks (unheard of!), I felt great!  I got up and did the Sportskool yoga for runners and while deep in my hip it still hurt and my knee felt a bit wonky, I was overall perfectly fine.  Tired still, but all my worries of ruining my training were for naught.

Silly me.

So then I looked back over my splits and wow, I probably ran my best race to date.  I mean, it was the best time sure but it also had the best splits.  Sad though that I just couldn't enjoy it while I was doing it. The race the day after Christmas was just the opposite experience -- a very good race split wise and I enjoyed the whole thing.

Reinforces the fact that I need to make sure I de-stress other areas of my life as much as I can.  I'm firmly convinced my January just did me in.

Also, as I was in the shower this morning I had a thought that this possibly was the dress rehearsal of how I might feel after the full in April.  If so, yuck. But what is good is that I won't panic.  I already planned on staying in Eugene until Monday and if I might be completely taken down, then thank goodness I did that.

I'm still postponing the speed work until later in the week -- and I've got a funeral to go to in LA on Saturday so it will be crazy for a bit.  But overall my disposition is MUCH better today (always easier to be happy when not in pain!).

Yay.  And didja see those splits? ;)

Sunday, February 05, 2012

SF Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon

So today I was up bright and early to run the San Francisco Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon -- a nice run through Golden Gate Park and then out and back on Hwy 1 along the beach for the last 6 miles.

The end result, a nice 40 second PR for a finish of 1.56.16.  As I mentioned to XL, I'm the kind of runner who inches her way to PR's -- you will never get a big blasting PR out of me, that's for sure.  In this case, I didn't even set out to get one because of where I am in marathon training and as I sit here in bed at 6:00 with a bum hip and achy knee, I'm a little sorry I did.

But alas -- it was a beautiful day and a freakishly hard run.  But it shouldn't have been a hard run at all:

There is absolutely nothing about that elevation that indicates hard -- even the down hill really is only 300 ft over about two miles -- certainly not quad busting at all.  That little incline at the end is just plain mean but if everything was going well this should have been a breeze.

Two things I had reinforced today:

1.  13.1 miles has the power to kick your ass no matter how many times you do it.
2.  Other life stress really does matter and impacts performance

Because everything else was perfect -- weather (52 and sunny at start), easy run, well organized race, etc.

Bear with me while I fuss a bit -- hate to do it because I did PR but there's a couple things I just need to work out.  I spent the hour drive home thinking blog posts complaining about how I couldn't get my act together at all during the run -- I never found my groove, was out of whack, couldn't hold pace to save my life, too many people around and I wasn't slowing name it.  Then I got home and downloaded my splits and this is what I saw:

And I thought, well dang, I ran a pretty good race....yeah, a little fast up front resulting in a little slow at the end.  But overall this is not bad at all.  I'm proud of this -- this, for me, is very good.

But this did not look one little bit like the race I felt I ran.  And by feel, I mean the fact while I was running I was having trouble holding any kind of a pace.  It seemed I was always a bit faster than I wanted to be up front and couldn't pull back for whatever reason.  I couldn't settle in and get comfortable at all.  And then at the end my body was just plain not happy.  After finishing the Half at Christmas so strong, it was such a let down to be in pain for the last 4 miles today.


So anyway, I stared at the above, kind of perplexed at how what I perceived was so different from what was presented and then I happened to glance to the right on my garmin page.  Aha, now here is the race that I ran:

Now I know these are usually all over the place like this but usually I do a better job than what I did here.  I FINALLY pulled it together from miles 10.5 to 12.5 -- but lord, I just couldn't settle in.  My groove went missing today that is for sure.  

I went into this race a little worried -- I'd had a crazy January.  Started off the month sick, missing about a week of running, then had some crazy social obligations which were tons of fun and I'd planned my training schedule around them but they also wore me down a bit and required some recovery time.  Then work took a turn for the stressful resulting in well, stress and the related non sleep that seems to happen to me.  Work stress is going away and social business is waning but I knew as of Friday, today might not go well.  In fact, if I was feeling as I did on Friday, I would have had a DNS.  But I did get a great night sleep on Friday night and things were looking up so I said what the heck.  

The thing is -- I'm more exhausted from this today than I have been over any of the last several half marathons I've run. This one seems to have taken me down -- I had a mile walk to my car and was limping by the time I got there.  The drive home was excruciating - - my entire body hurt and I kind of wanted to cry.  My lovely piriformis has decided to make my rear numb and send little throbbing pains down my right leg.  And my right knee -- I never have knee pain and suddenly I know my right knee is there.  Even when I'm not moving it.  

I will be SO mad at myself is this isn't more than a couple day thing.  I didn't have to do this race and certainly not at the expense of screwing up marathon training.  So I sit here in resting -- and changing my training week to postpone the speed work until later in the week and hoping that this will all be fixed by a good nights sleep.  

Apologies for fussing on a PR race.  I'm just a little anxious, nervous and mad.  And only me to blame.  

But lets leave on a happy note -- who says I don't live in paradise?

Yes, it was that blue.  

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Eleven Questions

Anne over at Run DMZ tagged me for the 11 Random Things post.  Since I've already posted my Eleven Things I'll spare myself from having to think up 11 more (it was hard for some reason) and just answer her questions.  Here goes:

1. If you could trade bodies with any animal, what creature would it be? I answered this last.  I don't know -- I can't decide on a real answer and I can't come up with a flippant one either.  The problem is, I like being human.  The whole opposable thumbs thing is one reason.  There are a few choices (scroll down on the link) but non of them seem particularly appealing.  Geeze, I totally get stuck on the creature question.  HA
2. Coffee or tea? Coffee all the way.
3. What are the coldest conditions you've ever run in? I'm a Calif girl -- but it does get to freezing here.  
4. What do you tell someone immediately after they DNF? I've never had to do this -- but I think I'd try the positive self talk.  Or cry with them.  Guess it depends on who and how they react and why.  
5. What is your favorite comfort food? Mac n' Cheese - - from a box.  Pathetic.  
6. Why do people think Scarlett Johanssen is pretty? I think she's pretty in a non classic way.  Her sleepy eyes and kind of a sweet look.  Why others think she is pretty?  Who knows -- maybe the same or maybe it is her boobs.  
7. How many stitches have you accumulated over the years? Zero
8. If you were a wine, what type of wine would you be?  I would be a Pinot
9. What was your favorite class in high school? Algebra II/Trig and Pre Calculus - yes, I was a nerd. 
10. Do androids dream of electric sheep? I've never pondered this quite frankly.  
11. And do you know the movie question 10 is based upon (without using Google, Yahoo or Bing, please!)? I do now  ;)

Thanks Anne!