Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Last week recap

Oh hi there...I know, I know. I'm fired! Wait, can you fire me from my own blog? I realize it's been 7 days. Here's what I've been up to while we left summer...

in our wake. HA! Get it?...Wake?...

Do I hear groaning?! 

I'm sorry but all of you are going to have to deal with it. One big thing that happened is the The Husband has resumed grad school and The Bird (more on him in a bit) doesn't get my humor like he does. Not that he thinks it's funny, just that he says, "I GET it..." after I elbow him and say "heh heh" about fifteen times.

Bye, bye driving out onto the beach...

Anyway, don't hate me, but I am kind of looking forward to fall. It's like a reset button. I feel more like New Years Eve is on Labor Day and the New Year starts today. Maybe it's because, if you add the years from pre-school up through my second degree together, I've been in school for 23 years. TWENTY THREE! That's many years that began right about now. Who doesn't love the smell of pencil shavings? Oh hey, now would be a time to give a shout out to all of my teacher friends who have recently gone back (some just got kids in today). You rock! I truly know the effort that goes into teaching. Really! For those of you that don't know me well, it might have even been my first degree. Ha. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.


The hurricane came through and we were spared here in our teeny little apartment. Many huge trees went down in the city, one right behind our apartment, but we didn't even lose power. I am very thankful that the worst of it for me was being really scared for a few hours of the trees banging our window and the sound of our skylight sounding like someone was trying to vacuum it out. Many people I know were without power for an entire week, had their homes damaged, lost possessions. The little sister of a friend had a close call when her car was swept off the road in an unexpected flash flood in western MA and she held onto a tree for 4 hours while waiting for the fire department. She is one tough cookie and I'm so happy she is ok! My aunt, in central VT, has to drive wayyyy around to get to work and I'm sure many places she loves won't ever look the same. Who knows when it will get better for all of them up there. When hurricane season winds down here, snow will start. Please be safe! Same for all of you in other areas of the world (hello person who checks in from Germany!). 

Ok. I'm off my soapbox. Really, I'm not a weather paranoid person, but I am fascinated with storms. The Husband made me walk to a restaurant at the end of the hurricane just to pry me away from The Weather Channel. More evidence in "Jillian is really 80."

Workouts....oh boy-eeeee....

Last Sunday was supposed to be a 10K. Since there wasn't one I wanted to do, I was instructed to pick my favorite route and just run it like I was racing. Then the hurricane hit. I paced my apartment feeling enormously guilty that I wasn't running. The hurricane wasn't all that bad here, but the wind would gust every once in a while, and the sound of the 4 story tree being ripped out of the ground of back was quite eerie! Each time I was about to be like "F it! I'm going!" the news would show a huge tree that had just fallen on one of my routes. It was pretty crazy, but each time I though, "ok, well I'll just run here instead," the news would show that exact place. Yeah...I probably watched too much news that day.  But I was safe and wouldn't know without hindsight that I may have been ok if I went out.

Monday I was supposed to have strength, but my trainer decided she wanted to do intervals on the deadtreadmill. I had managed to smash the back of my right calf just above the achilles on Saturday and it made walking hurt a little. It was swollen, but not exactly bruised. Running was the last thing I wanted to do. I ended up doing 400, 400, 800, 400, 400, 800. For once I kept my 400 pace at or above 7mph the whole time and barely dipped below that for the 800. I even finished my last 800 at 7.8! At one point, my trainer was super excited at how much faster I was and how paces I hated before, for being uncomfortable, were not pretty normal for me. I used to run a 2:05 400 and the have to slow wayyyy down. It was the exception. Now it's kind of normal for me. I love it! I never thought I'd be comfortable at that pace. Is it fast in general? No. Is it fast and the result of a lot of sweat and tears for someone who routinely ran a 5mph pace? Sure is! I did a little bit of strength after and that was it. I made sure to ice my shins when I got home: 

You know you're a runner when...you pride yourself in your ability to prop up ice packs in your freezer to form a curve that matches your shin bone. That takes a lot of shin splints my friend. Now, please meet: Saltybird! He is 17, loves my husand more than me (even though he's really my pet) and likes to crawl up on my toes with his creepy, creepy bird feet. Also, blocks the Red Sox game. Maybe when he starts saying more than swear words and screaming his own name, he can guest blog.

Tuesday...work was one of those days that happen so when you have a routinely annoying day you can be like, "Oh, well at least it's not like TUESDAY..." I got home at 9pm. I started at 6am. I was exhausted and it was too late to run 4 miles anywhere near where I live that late. The rest of the night went: shower, food, faceplant.

Wednesday (after agonizing for 12 hours over telling my trainer I skipped the run) I had more strength training. She was understanding, but also worried about making my mileage without killing me. This week we're in right now has a total of 27 miles. If I missed any days last week, I'd be almost 10 miles below what I'm doing this week and risking injury with the jump. So I also had to run 4 miles Wed. I took it slow, focused on form and was fine.

Thursday was intervals. I took them a little slower because I was concerned about the multiple days of running I was doing in a row. Most were around 2:15.

Friday. 9 miles. Dun dun DUNNNN!!! I wasn't so much nervous and just really not feeling like taking 90-120 minutes to run before I had to pack for our long weekend away. Pack AND leave the house alone to pick up The Husband at school. I have MAJOR problems getting out of the house when we're leaving for more than a day. I have this dread that I will leave something on, plugged in, running that will burn the apartment down or that the bird will be able to escape. So I need to check everything at least 15 million times. The run went well. It was a breezy, sunny 68ยบ. Miles 1-2 were the usual internal screamfest of, "quit...quit...quit, quit, quit, QUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT". It takes a log time to get into my grove... 3-6 we're great and I ran the fastest then. 7 was painful because my hip flexors felt like someone had been punching them. At 8 I could "smell the barn" and picked it up just so I could be back sooner. I'm super proud of mile 9. I am someone who never runs a two loop (or more) run. I will never do that second loop! I just don't have the willpower. I run a big loop or an out and back because, before I know it, I'm halfway through and I have to turn around complete the run to get home! I couldn't find the place where I was supposed to exit my loop and run a 1/2 mile our and 1/2 mile back to add a mile onto last week's 8 mile loop. I was SO annoyed! I decided to run my 8 mile loop and at the end run the 1/2 mile path in the park and then back. Super risky because the path is way to close to home. I did it and I ran it at about an 11:20 pace. Not super speedy at all, but I was REALLY trying to not run myself into the ground. I'm also proud that I couldn't even get that as a 5 mile race pace last year and it's this years easy long run pace.

It all comes at a cost though. This weekend we went away to visit family in Maine and I had one short run to do. It was supposed to be a "shake out" easy run after doing my 9. It was pretty, easy and scenic (minus a killer hill) and I felt good. Until about 5 hours later. I was walking around Camden and my left foot started to feel weird. Then tight. Then it HURT. Sometimes my feet will get little stabs of pain that come from nowhere and then go away completely. This didn't, this felt exactly like what my right foot felt like when I was doing half marathon #1. Right before I kept running on it and ended up with a swollen black and blue foot and ankle. (Don't run through pain!) I couldn't believe it. I stretch. I listen to my body. I take rest days. I ice. I strength train with my trainer in a very strategic manner to fix the imbalances that have caused pain before. Why? What else should I have done? Is this it? Game over? I refuse to give up but I refuse to hurt myself. After HM #1 I couldnt run for months and, wouldn't you know, life handed me a basket of things I could have used running to work through. It couldn't have come at a worse time. It would be like someone not being able to use a trusty journal to work out their feelings. I needed to run. I needed to do something so unlike my old self, because one day in  2006 I found myself standing in a park, staring at runners and knowing I had to. If you were around me this weekend and I seemed sad or far away. This is where my mind has been.

I still owe all of you a couple of posts. Two fun ones (my trip from this weekend and a recipe) and two more serious ones. The serious ones are 2008-the fateful half marathon at the end of 09 and then 2010 to now. 2009 will obviously end in an injury, which I will get into then. I know a lot more about what my deal is now, thanks to doctor visits and trial and error. I have some major tightness in my calves and my quads and its causing a chain reaction down my leg to pull on tendons in my foot. The tendons inset on the calf muscle on the outer portion of my leg and then loop down around my outer ankle and attach to my outer foot about halfway down the side. Then pain is just as it's always been, right in the middle of the outer edge of my foot. All the tension is just pulling on it and I didn't get to it before it hurt me. I'm hoping a few days of rest, ice and working the knots out will help. The race is 5 weeks from this past Sunday and I have no idea how this will pan out.

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