Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's a big secret....so don't tell

I ran today.

4 miles.

My right foot and peroneus brevis tendon that has been so angry doesn't know it.

I kept it a secret.

I wore beautiful brand new Newton Gravitys.  Squishy. Mushy. Lovely in every way.
DH's new Gravitys and my new Gravitys.  Yes I have one laced green and one turquoise.
That's a tribute to my nephew who used to wear different colored shoes.

It was a whopping 30 degrees outside....with 30 mph wind.

It was cold.

My eyes kept tearing from the wind.

I ran with DH and Sentry.  It's been a very long time since the 3 of us ran together.

It was great.

I'm not telling my foot though and I'm not letting it tell me anything.

We are just going on about our day as if nothing extraordinary happened.

It's been 9 days since my last run.  Since the Marathon.

I know most people with an ouchie take a lot more time off than that. But I truly believe my body can figure this out.

It doesn't hurt any worse than it did before.

Just had to run. It was only 35 minutes!

But it's a secret. So don't tell my foot.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Arizona Rock n Roll RR

Ran 1 mile the week before the marathon because of the weird foot/tendon stuff going on.  Decided against the new red Connects since the issue came up with the shoes (I'm not accusing them, but mentally I just couldn't do it).  Decided to go with my old Connects.  My foot/peroneus brevis tendon was hurting all week. I did everything I could to stay off of it which was killing me.  Mentally I need those runs.

Left to Arizona with DH(not running races yet because of Plantar Fasciitis) and training buddy Doberman (Sentry) on Friday.  My sister and her 3 boys also headed to Arizona to spend the MLK weekend and watch the race.

Picked up Little Brother Thomas at the airport Saturday morning (he would be running also).

My first LOOPMEET at the EXPO....JennyRae.  So happy to meet her.  She has great energy and I loved being able to chat with her after reading all her Bloops.

Worried about the foot.  The shoes just didn't feel good. Standing didn't feel good.  Walking didn't feel good. Can't imagine how running would feel....not to mention, 26.2 miles. Had MANY MANY texting conversations with Wordquota (my biggest fan and mental coach) about how the foot knows it's Go-Time and that it's not like I sprung this on him.  He needs to get his act together and do his job.  Why? Why? At taper? Come on. 

All day Saturday I was crazy nervous. I was so prepared to go fast. To go a best time. But the foot was not cooperating. It was tolerable, but was definitely aching.

Sunday morning. Up at 5:15. Bagel down. Water down. Banana down. In and out of the bathroom a million times. Head to the race. Met up with JennyRae.  A great way to pass the time before the race chatting about her kiddos and future race plans. Headed to Corral 1 with my little brother.

National Anthem always makes me cry. This time it's cause I'm scared of what the next 26.2 will bring.

Race begins. Mile 1. Foot already is achy. Can I make it a 5k? I do. Feeling great otherwise. Legs. Breathing. All great.  Right on pace.

10k is gone already.  I start running with a couple of nice guys around mile 7. I was in some need of distraction. I always race alone, but today was different. I was struggling. I was fighting with myself so early in the race about what to do. Vern was from Canada. Age 39. His wife was running back behind us somewhere working to break 4 hours.  Tim was from Tucson. Age 33.  Mentioned I had gone to school at ASU (where we were headed on this marathon trek) and that I had been a swimmer there.  Tim was a swimmer at Michigan State during the same time period. What are the chances?  These two guys were amazing. Super encouraging. I told them about my foot. They helped me stay positive and strong. They also distracted me for nearly 10 miles. At mile 8, I saw DH and Sentry.  I held out my hand for a high five from my husband and got a quick kiss on the hand from Sentry, the best dog ever.

I'm in yellow, Vern in blue and Tim in orange

At mile 11, I was ready to quit. I could not put my right heel down at all. I was completely running on my toes. The pain was intense. I'm not a quitter. I'm a determined, self-driven competitor. But I was thinking about quitting. 15 miles to go and I couldn't put my heel down. My midfoot strike is pretty good but I knew I'd be toast without being able to push off with my heel. After about 3/4 of a mile it all the sudden went back to the persistent pain that proceeded the intense one. I let the pace slow.  As long as I stayed under 8:00m/m pace then I would post a PR. 

We headed past Camelback mountain and then had a little out and back that was about 3 miles each way on Indian School into Scottsdale.  So it ended up miles 13-19 that we could see those ahead of us headed back and those behind us when we were headed out.  Around 15 I saw my brother Thomas on his 17.  He was killing it. Definitely holding his 6:30s as planned. This was a huge boost for me.  He was having a great race. On his way to break that 3:00 barrier (his previous best was 3:06 missing Boston by 66 seconds).  Around mile 16 we went through an aid station and Vern surged ahead of Tim and me. Then I saw JennyRae coming from the other way. Her headphones out, hollering and waving. Such a pick-me-up.  I pushed on.  Tim hung with me another mile or so and then he surged ahead.  I started working to pass people.  Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. My pace was slowing but I was hanging under 8s.  At mile 22.5 my sister and nephews were cheering. A huge boost.  My 3 favorite little guys ever and my big sister. Cheering and holding a big New Mexico flag sign.  Totally cool.  I cried a little. Miles 22, 23, 24, 25 were all too slow (between 8:20-8:32). They were also hard.  Mentally. Physically.  Why am I doing this?  I am never doing this again. It feels terrible. If I walk it will just take longer to finish and you've made it this far. So darn it, keep running. Many people were stopping, cramping in the hamstrings, dehydrated. More people then I've ever seen like this.  Strong, abled, fit men...succumbing to dehydration in this dry Valley of the Sun. I pressed on. I could see Arizona State. I could picture the finish line. As long as I went under 9:00 on the last mile, I would PR.  It hurt so bad.  I managed an 8:05.  I crossed the finish line in 3:28 (previous best was 3:30) and my brother was there waiting in the secure zone.  He had posted a 2:59.  I was so happy for him.  I was happy for us. 

I couldn't walk...very well. I got my finisher medal and chugged a water. Then I leaned on a huge trashcan full of water bottles...it was a great site I'm sure. Probably looked like I was going to puke in it. I grabbed two more waters and we walked about 10 feet. I wanted to sit for a minute. There was a curb...looked great. It was right in front of the medical tent. They were so nice. "Can we get you anything? Ice? Gatorade?" She helped me sit on the curb and got me a drink. They were also very calm and quiet. Not all bubbly and annoying and excited.  I needed calm. I needed gentle.  We sat a minute then got a finisher photo together. Me and my little brother....how did we get to this point as adults? A marathon is a special thing. To share each one with my little brother (and husband up to this point) is powerful.  I got a Jamba Juice and laid my head on a big recycling bin (another wonderful photo opportunity could've been here).  It felt good. That recycling bin was my friend for a minute or two. We kept going. This secure zone was really long...felt like a mile. Got out and looked to the stadium where we were supposed to meet DH.  He had seen me at the finish but I didn't see him....WAY too many people so we had set up a meeting place. But the stadium was way too far. I looked around and every other person was on a cell phone. I asked someone to use theirs and called DH to meet us where we were.  He came. We started the long, slow walk back to the car. I knew I had blisters from running funny.  We got to the car, and back to the hotel.  DH left with Sentry to the dogpark.  Little brother headed to the hot tub.  I laid on the bed and cried.  My foot hurt. My whole body hurt.  I took my shoes and socks off.  Bruising. Discoloration. Swelling. All settling in. This wasn't good. I needed a shower and a nap and then I'd be all better. In the shower I wasn't feeling so good. After the shower, I was sitting in the bathroom and DH and Little Brother both returned.  DH asked if he could use the bathroom and I stood up (as much as I could on my one good foot) and told him he'd probably have to wait....right at the end of the sentence I puked.

Guess I'd pushed pretty hard.  Guess I needed more food. Guess I might be in a little shock.  No idea.
I ate a banana. And had a bunch of water. I bypassed the nap, we hopped in the car and headed to Smash Burger where I ate a big Bacon Burger with Avocado and a pile of sweet potato fries.  My sister and nephews met up with us.  2 hours after the race, my foot looked like this:
4 hours later...like this:

The next day:
Went to the doctor today.  After poking and prodding, he though it might be a stress fracture so he took some X-rays.  He got 3 really great photos (it was cool to see my own foot bones on the screen).  No breaks.  But what the X-ray did show was a lot of inflammation...a darker color...very thick across that whole area.  He said lots of ice, stretching and rest and I should be good to go.  I just stressed out that attachment big time which stressed out the fascia bands underneath (that eventually hook up with the Plantar Fascia).  He said I could swim or bike or do other stuff to stay active but that I should take a week or so off running (I planned on doing that anyway).  So I will see how I feel in a week but I'm tentatively planning to take 2 weeks off to be safe. Either way, I'm going to wait until the pain is completely gone from that area.  The funny part is that my entire foot is VERY VERY chubby.  Looking at my foot, you'd think I weighed about 250. I can't see my toe tendons at all so hopefully that swelling goes down soon as I can't really wear shoes (and it's freezing outside).
So now I can actually post this as good news knowing that I didn't completely ruin myself by running this race.
A few race photos:

Me and Little Brother
I was going to title this Bloop: "Hardcore or just plain stupid?"  Now that I know nothing is broken or torn or ruined, I don't think I was stupid or hardcore.  Just another runner out there doing what she loves....even if it truly hurts like hell. I certainly proved to myself that I can tolerate and work through pain for 3.5 hours. I'm already focusing on getting better and gearing up for the next race.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Say it isn't so

The last 3 days have been long.

After Thursdays wonderful tempo run, I started feeling like something was a little out of place in my foot...like something was too tight or too loose or just something not quite right.

Friday I got out to do my 7 easy...at 2.5 I was hurting so bad. The push-off of my heel was killing me.  I tried to walk but that was a million times worse.  It was also 17 degrees and I had my dog with me and he was cold too so walking wasn't going to help either of us.  So, I ran home on my toes (which didn't hurt).  By the time I got home, I couldn't walk.  

Did some research, it my peroneus brevis....the little muscle/tendon that runs down the outside of my lower leg next to my calf, then wraps behind the ankle bone and hooks onto that funny metatarsal bump on the outside edge of the midfoot. It hurt right behind that bump on the bottom of my foot, outside edge. Did a lot of icing and self massage on the muscle. I also did the KT tape on it. I have also done a lot of soul-searching as 18 weeks (or 17 since this week doesn't really count) of really hard training is up in the air for a marathon in 7 days. I spent Sunday afternoon at some friends' house playing string quartets.  One of them is a doctor. I asked him about the foot. He said it's extremely difficult to rupture and pretty much the only way is to sprain an ankle or at least roll the ankle.  I didn't do any of that so it's got to just be angry for the running on packed snow (very uneven and it's a stabilizer muscle) mixed with the frozen ground and sidewalk approaches.  Good news is I can run the race on it if I can deal with the pain (so he says) cause as long as I don't roll the ankle, it won't tear, it'll just be inflamed and hurt real bad.  The ice and rest is definitely helping. I can put weight on it today but all the rest is killing me.  I haven't had 2 days off in a row for MONTHS! And today will be the 3rd day off (even though I can walk my instincts and logic tell me to wait another day to jog).  Seriously, does running during taper week really do anything but ease the mind? The fitness is done right? I was reading in Runner's World new marathon book last night and it actually said to only run 4 days the week of the marathon (which is NOT what my Hansons program says but I'm just looking for piece of mind here). 

I'm so ready to go fast...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shoe Porn....and Final Tempo

I have burned through my Newton Gravitys (750-800 miles), my 3rd pair of Brooks Pure Connects, my Merrell Bare Access 2s, and my Merrell Dash Gloves.

Race in 9 days....do I wear my favorite GO-TO shoes? The Brooks Pure Connects? They have a little life in them surely....and they are BRIGHT ORANGE (that means they're fast right??)

Heck no.
I need new shoes...after all I won a free pair at the Turkey Trot (that I have NOT redeemed yet)
And I won a free pair at the Reindeer Romp (that I have NOT redeemed yet).
Time for new shoes.

Love the new Brooks Pure Drift...it's all my loves wrapped into one.  Huge toebox, snug heel cup for my scrawny little ankles, nice fit through the lacing, not too high on the ankle bones.  Too bad Local Running Store only had a 9.5.....just didn't think that would do come race day with swollen feet.  (So I put in an order for a 10).

What to do?
NEW Brooks Pure Connect 2s.  oh yes.  In Red.  I have never had red shoes before.
The progression of Connects for me looks like this:
Green ones...wore them for my second marathon Colorado Colfax (May 2012)
Blue ones...wore them for my PR Half in Ouray, CO (August 2012)
Orange ones...have worn them in training since September
Red ones...what will their story be????

Last Tempo Run tomorrow. Then 9 days of EASY RUNS (I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sound of that right now).  I'm going to wear the red shoes tomorrow.  If there are any issues, BrightOrange could step-up and do the job right.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2 weeks til Rock n Roll

Monday 5.5 miles easy
Tuesday 8.5 miles (speedwork: 4x1.5miles @ 7:28 pace)
Thursday 11 miles (10 miles @ marathon pace 7:38s)
Friday 5 miles easy
Saturday 10 miles easy
Sunday 10 miles easy

This week has proven fruitful.  The nasty headcold is finally subsiding although the snot-rockets have been non-stop on all runs....but at least I'm back to feeling about 90%.

Thursday was the Run Of The Week.  I woke up fully aware that I only had 2 Tempo runs left before the marathon (Jan 20).  I always feel pressure near the end of training to make sure that I push as much as I can through these last few quality workouts to ensure that I am MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY ready for race day.  I set out on the regular river route (it was a whopping 14 degrees outside even though I had waited until 10:30am to run).  One mile warm-up, then the pacework began.  (7:38 is the goal pace).
As mile 7 began, I realized I had a blind flash-spot in my vision....this is a pre-cursor symptom of a migraine for me (I have only had 4 or 5 in my life but they always start with this weird vision thing).  I can't see in my focal point...it's like I have just looked at a camera flash that is in a crescent moon shape.  I couldn't see where I was stepping...over ice, over snow.  I couldn't make out people's faces as I ran past them. It then progresses to weird tunnel vision.
I speed up worried I'm not going to make it home. I'm also confused about what to do. "Just get home."
Do I stop?  It's so cold (still less than 20 degrees out with 8mph wind so it feels like about 10 degrees). If the migraine hits I will be stuck 3 miles from home in wettish clothes incapacitated and possibly vomiting....alone.  I keep saying "Just get home".
I don't have my phone.  Should I borrow one and call home? I just keep running.  I keep telling myself (I'm saying it out loud now) "Just Get Home".

I make it home....somehow....running at VERY encouraging tempo pace.  Vision is a mess.  I get in the door and ask husband to get me Coca-Cola, Aleve and water. I sit down, hoping that won't trigger anything.  I chug the coke (the whole thing...weird....they are usually such a special treat....the Mexican ones made with real sugar).  I chase that with 2 Aleve and water.  I wait. Nothing.  I lay down and close my eyes.  "Please no headache. Please no headache."  I try to relax. I'm still breathing hard and heart is pounding from the run. I wait.  I feel a dull headache creeping in. Maybe I caught it soon enough. I rest for 40 minutes. I feel exhausted.  I have a dull headache and feel super tired but I managed to stay ahead of the complete breakdown migraine (which usually ends with vomiting and fetal position in the dark for a few hours).

Once I was able to evaluate, I realized that if I can run through the beginning symptoms of a migraine, in freezing temps, at faster than marathon pace, at the end of weeks and weeks and weeks of hard training.....then I can rock that RocknRoll marathon in 2 weeks.  I hope.

"Just Get Home"