Tuesday, March 29, 2011

20 miler & feeling good

OK, I'm behind again.. I blame it on my head.. I keep meaning to do it... heck, I also keep meaning to call someone to fix the fridge that has been broken for 3 weeks. I guess because we have a beer fridge in the garage... I just don't get stuff done and am still not me. Anyway - Posting what I wanted to last week. I WILL catch up! :)

I saw the neurologist again and he said it was OK that I ran 17 the other day because I was smart in running with the group and at a slower pace. He gave me the green light to increase my workouts as I see fit (he said before he wants me to interpret how I see best since I know more about running than he does). He said as long as I am smart and stop if there is an issue. He also had me scheduled for a brain scan.

Thursday 3/17, I had down 3x1 mile. OK.. this is actually the last track workout I had done.. I had 1 mile, 2 mile, 2x800 that I turned into 3x1 mile with 2x800 when my ears popped and blew off the 800's and made the appointment for the neurologist - so kind of ironic. The pace was the same as what I did before - a hair slower than 7. I started on the first, no problem except I forgot to take my inhaler (ugh! - this makes me breathe harder and can raise my HR which is bad for my noggin). I waited for my friend to finish hers (around 8 minutes) then we did 1 lap rest. I took the inhaler of course, then started #2. My head started hurting on lap 2. On lap 3, my arm went numb. UGH!!! I was well behaved and didn't finish the lap, I stopped after 300 meters of it, then when my friend came back around, ran the rest with her. My class showed so I bagged the 3rd (was going to do at 8 pace) and ran the warm up with my class. They had 400's so I ran all over the field. I ran one with my fastest girl who was going at 7 minute mile pace and woah - that felt like 6 minute mile to me. Workout over, just cooled down.

Friday the doc left a message on my voice mail - no brain bleed, no blood clot, no bruise. So far, it looks like the brain should heal itself in time. I'm a go for Sunday. Saturday I entered the "Masters category". Sunday I headed out to coach the 9:30/mile pace group for their 20. Surprisingly, I spent the majority of it in the front telling them to slow down. It was a really hilly loop. We stop every couple miles and at 12 I noticed my stomach was VERY punchy. That was my only issue. The sun came out and it got very warm. I let them pick it up for the last 4 miles and we ran right at 9 pace. I kind of charged a small hill at 19 and saw my legs still responded. I was dehydrated from doing shots the day before. Bad, but what can you do. Oh, and my feet were in pain when I woke up that morning from wearing high heals from going out. Hey, I didn't plan a 20 mile run the day after my birthday.. I would have slept in.. heck, I'm old. Anyway, the run gave me confidence. :)

When I was getting my brain scan, some woman who was there for a test looked at me and said, "was it a man?". HAHAHAHAHA!!! I looked at her, taken aback and said, "no", she said, "You need to leave him", then I busted up laughing so hard, I said, "no, it wasn't a man". HAHAHAHA!! Heck, it was a little old woman in her upper 80's if not 90 years old! HAHAHA!!! Never even thought about having a head injury and anyone thinking my husband beat me. I now find it important to mention how it happened quickly after someone finds out. HAHAHA!!! I'll post about last weekend soon!! :) hopefully I will have called someone about the fridge by then.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bump on the head

Well, I have a good excuse for not posting in a while...

I scored myself a free entry into a half marathon on February 19th. I was excited.. it is 2 miles from my house.. so run to the start, run the race as a long run and 2 cool down, got a nice 17 miler! Well, worked until 3:30 and got a call at 4:15, by the time my alarm clock went off, I was shaking I was so tired. I took an elderly lady to lunch later that day and was sooo tired, so I was not using common sense.. never stand in the door of the car until the person turns around and reaches for your hand to help get in. UH-OH!! She didn't turn around, she put all the weight on the car door and it slammed on my head. Yes, a tall SUV that lined up perfectly with my noggin! I thought I was going to hit the ground. She has no idea and it was not her fault, I was in the wrong spot.

Well, I ran 12 miles the next day helping coach one of the half marathon classes. It was 9:30 pace, so a bit slower than I normally do my long runs, so no problem at all. Then on Tuesday I went to the track for my workout. 1 mile, 2 mile, 2x800. The first mile was strangely difficult. It was supposed to be around 7:10 which I was right under 7, but still, I always go faster than target on the track days - my speed came back, but at the slower level as I build the endurance. The 2 mile started really being weird - I just couldn't move right. Water was coming out of my eyes like when you are standing in strong wind. My head felt stuffy, everything was off. I stoped at 1 mile, also under goal, right around 7. I took a break and did one more mile - no problem, just making it 3x1 mile and 2x800, I'll still benefit from this. Mile 3 was more of the same. Time was good but something was off. I called it. I needed to head over to coach and I decided I could do the 800's after when I felt better. Yes, that is not the way the workout is, but I wanted to be smart. I called my husband as I was leaving the track. He said it was the most messed up voice mail he has ever heard. As I hung up, my ears popped like I was in a plane reaching altitude. This is not good. I called my old coach for advice.. he has run for many years, I'm sure he has bumped his head and then run - any thoughts? He said I was right to bag the workout - just don't hit my head again. Good advice.

As the days went by, the headaches got worse and my scalp became sensitive beyond belief. If I accidentally scratched my head while at my desk, I was done - unable to work for hours, throbbing pain and I would get stupid. I didn't think the ER was the right spot, I looked for neurologists in my insurance network and found one close by with a 5 star rating (and he was rated correctly!). The nurse found me a slot the following Wednesday and I proceeded to give her my address... well, the house number.. took four tries to figure out what street I lived on. I would just have stupid moments where my brain refused to work. The nurse advised to cut out all hard workouts and that I could do long runs up to 13 miles. The doc was GREAT! He lived in Mass. and gets the whole Boston thing. He ruled out a brain bleed and a blood clot. He asked if I wanted a brain scan. I thought this was for me to not worry. I told him, "whatever you think is best to do - I am fine with - your call". I figured he would say it wasn't needed. He responded with, "well, then let's get one booked". crap - that is not a good sign. He ended up changing his mind and wanted to postpone it - From what he said, it sounds like he wants to see my brain later more than now (and mentioned how many thousands of dollars it costs - glad I just got my bonus). He gave me the green light to run 75% and for me to determine however that is best.

I paced one of my runners in a 5K and felt good, so now I know tempo runs are OK to attempt (although strict rules to bag it if there are any issues in any workout). I have done track work with my runners who have slower paces than me - so it is about a 75% effort. I helped with the marathon class last weekend for a 15 mile run (75% of my 20 miler). They were at 9:30 pace (although they kept creeping up faster) for 9 miles and they had 6 at 8:30 (which ended up being 8:15). I felt great and it is so safe with a group of people and a sag wagon!

Today I paced another runner to a HUGE PR!! YAY!! So proud of her! We ran a 5K at 25:15. It was rather humid out today, which gives me trouble on a regular day, and I started getting a headache during mile 3 and vision was bad after the race. I'm a bit nervous about coaching 17 miles tomorrow, but I already told the other coach about today and he isn't worried. Cross your fingers it rains - the minute it rains, the humidity is a non-issue.. so a light mist would be perfect!

So bottom line - my running continues with yet another hiccup, but I'm still on track for Boston!! I see the neurologist on Tuesday for a follow up. :)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

I'm alive!

Sorry I haven't posted. I didn't run the half.. but have gotten some good runs in. IT is feeling better, but haven't even been able to get away to the chiropractor or my PT.

I promise to post an update shortly. Taking on a lot at work. Good news is, my review was good and should be getting a very nice bonus next month. :D

Sunday, January 09, 2011


I'm trying to decide if I will run the RNR AZ half that I'm entered in next week... Here is what I've been up to..

I didn't get out of the house in time to do my interval workout on the track. I'm trying to avoid the cold mornings as I'm feeling better, so I ran after work. I get a little spooked on the lonely track by myself, it is next to open fields and ponds and I've seen bobcats in the neighborhood on my runs.. heck, I scared one out of my yard once. I went to the group run at the store but instead of doing an easy run, I did my 800's. The interval pace was just under 7, so that isn't too hard to pull off on the road. It was neat to get hills in during it too. All but 3 were under time, the second included uphill, crossing a road and tight turn, I think that is why I missed.. I was prepared after that one and didn't let it happen again. The workout was great.

Saturday, I ran my long run. I got out a little late (ooh, I see a pattern) because I was absorbed in the TV watching about the Congresswoman in Tucson. So awful. I wanted to get my long run in on Saturday instead of Sunday.. the weather was changing. I wore shorts and a thin long sleeve shirt with the arms pushed up and shades... around mile 7, I pulled the sleeves down. Around mile 9 I was putting on my gloves that get warm when you sweat in them. It started raining around midnight, turned to sleet at 9 and snowing since noon. There were 3 inches about 2.5 hours after it started.. I haven't checked lately. I had 15 miles and my goal was for my pace to be no faster than 9:05 instead of going my old easy pace of 8:30 then falling apart because I'm not an 8:30 easy pace runner right now. It is hard to get used to a new pace. I did well, there were hills in the run and I tried out s!caps for the first time (well, I think Bob gave me one when I paced him at JJ100). I think I needed it and I think it helped. I didn't make it to 15, I started having trouble with my right IT and when I started feeling good and wanted to go so I could say I did 15, I felt a sharp IT pain or SI pain and my new coach watches me and would yell at me (oh, I'm my new coach - haha!), I'm way more interested in being healthy than nailing each workout as written in a book. This time I'm being smart. Here were my paces, I went 13.81 miles.
1 - 8:32
2 - 9:05
3 - 9:18
4 - 9:18
5 - 9:28 (uphill)
6 - 9:07 - took s!cap right after I finished this mile
7 - 9:35 at 6.5 I felt the IT tighten, it constricted my stride and my pace eased back.
8 - 9:24 - gu during this mile
9 - 8:52
10 - 9:12
11 - 9:10
12 - 9:06
13 - 9:23 - had to stop for cars & forgot watch wasn't on auto-pause
.81 - 8:42 pace - I felt so good, I wanted to go 1.19 more miles.

OK - I decided my body doesn't know the difference between almost 14 and 15. Since I started back, the longest I have run is 8 miles. Since the car wreck, the longest I have run is 6.5. My legs are sore, especially the tendon that runs behind my right knee and through my hamstring - I think the IT is more to the side.. but I feel this one. I'm going to try to see the PT tomorrow if not, Tuesday.

So - do I run RNR AZ half? It sure won't be a fast run. haha!! I haven't bought a ticket, so that will be pricey. I have a free flight, but I want to save that for Boston so I can wait to book until I'm ready. I've already paid the entry fee, Kara Goucher will be there (not like we will be hanging out or I'd even see her other than when she lines us or maybe the expo), the Barrett Jackson car auction is that week and I wanted to go like usual with my Dad and my nephew was going to join us. The obvious - it is a hell of a lot warmer there. I'm just not sure.. and to line up in coral 1 going out so slow - ack! I just haven't decided what to do.

If I decide not to go (and freeze my slow butt off here), there is another half in Arizona on Feb 20th and it will be cold then - I could still get away for some thawing heat since it will probably be cold icky weather here in Feb. I missed the super cheep prices, but still, it is $70, but it looks like it is raising money for a kid with blood cancer (although doesn't clearly say if they are raising it for him or he raised it in one of their races - they keep updating how he is doing tho) which makes it cool, makes me think of Mary and also my high school coach (I'll post about that later). I think my Dad.. OK, I know my Dad will be disappointed, but the other race does end really close to their house. I'm a bit disappointed if I do RNR Vegas, would have been 3 (AZ, Dallas, Las Vegas) I just can't decide if I go or not. Any thoughts? BTW - my scheduled long run for next weekend is 17 miles, so I would either run the whole thing around 9 pace and add on, or if I picked it up, I'd stop at 13.1 and maybe do a few light miles the next day.

What are your thoughts???

Would suck to run a half that slow... would also suck to not be there.. gosh, I'm so undecided.

PS - If I had another free flight, I'd probably go, but I don't and they are about $300 each way, so that means I'd have to use up my free flight for Boston... I haven't picked out the days for that trip yet and it is really up in the air - I want to see family, etc. and I need to get things ironed out before I buy that ticket.. the free flight I have is a gift from a friend that works for the airline "to do as I wish" but pretty much - to pay for my flight to Boston.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Adios warm weather :(

I'm so sad to say that my last run in Phoenix was on a TREADMILL!!! WHY!!!!! haha! My friend is getting into running and just finished the couch to 5K (did not run a 5K but was awarded with a hunk of weight loss - go Heather!!!) wanted to run on the treadmill. I was in shock.. she lives North of where we grew up - all new mountains!!! SO BEAUTIFUL! That was all just desert when we grew up and now streets and trails that you can get to. Anyway -her gym was nice, lots of people but didn't feel crowded at all and super close to her home. She was very excited about running with me, so I got my hard workout in on the treadmill next to her and when someone thinks you are so great and fast, it feeds the ego and makes the treadmill less annoying. I told her how when I run on the alter-G I daydream that I'm running on the roads there. IRONIC. Anyway - here was her facebook post after the event: "Today I ran with my good friend Emily (who has qualified for the Boston Marathon) and was able to stay by her side for the duration of our run. (Okay, okay... we were on treadmills. But still - it felt like I was keeping up)". hahahaha!!! I love it. She is one of the funnest people and we did the run then the elliptical then some bizarre stretching contraption that I almost fell out of. Rewarded ourselves with Sushi and then played X-Box Kinetc. I was EXHAUSTED after - have you all ever played that game? We did rafting then dancing.. I was dragging by the end. haha!!

Well, I just got home from a 6 mile run. I put the run off and realized half way through the day that I would have already been on the road if I was in Phoenix.. it was just so darn cold!!! I'm doing 6 more tomorrow morning at 5:30 (said in my head as five-freaking-thirty) - not because it is early or dark, but BURRRRRRR!!!! it says it will be 23 degrees at that time!!! That is -1C. BURRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr This stinks. haha!!!

My run today was good, I was going to go longer, but cut it short and am splitting it up because my IT band on my right leg was really getting tight. I need to go see my PT to have it looked at from the car wreck. I still can't believe that car wreck. I also can't believe I just said I would run with my friend Keith at 5:30 in uber cold temps. I'm most shocked since I'm sitting here shaking from my run tonight. burrrrrrrrrrr

OK, I have now thawed out in the shower and put out some things so I can take a hot bath when I get home from the run (warm bath is 3rd choice to 1 - sauna & 2 - jacuzzi to thaw me out). Steam rooms are also nice. I have thought about buying a sauna for the house - they are not that expensive.. just not sure where I'd put it. When I get cold, I just can't shake it, my whole body quivers and I get cramps in my shoulders from them shaking and tensing up. So.. how is the job and house market in Australia? haha! :) Think of me when you think it is too hot out on your run. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Official Training begins!

On Christmas Eve, I went out for 6 miles. I managed to average 8:24 pace, but I was dragging at the end of mile 5. I was happy to miss the traffic light as I left the canal to head to my parent's house. I stretched while I stood there and it made all the difference, I was much better on the last bit. I was going to make sure I hit 6, but ended up going a bit short - I was still dragging and decided this is not the time to push as I'm just returning.

I have noticed my right leg is really tight since the car wreck. If I cross my leg (boy style) with my right ankle on my left knee, I can't get my knee to lay flat.. it is sticking way up by my chin. I'm guessing this is my IT Band? I feel pain in my bottom when I stretch it - and the IT goes from knee to hip... but I'm not noticing really much issue while running. The outside of the quad is very sore even if I just rub it... but OK when I run.

During that almost 6 miles, I was saying hello to the others on the canal and on the way back, the guy fishing (who said he hadn't caught anything - good thing - who wants a fish from the canal - blech!). Anyway - he said, "marathon, right?" and I said, "yep, Boston". Yay - that made my training feel official.

Today, I did my first official workout from the training book I'm going to use. The workout was listed as 1-2 mile warm up, 3x1 mile at 7:11 pace and 1 mile cool down. I was planning to train at the 3:35 goal race, but decided with me just coming back, the speed will be pretty tough on my legs as they are coming back, so bumped down to 3:45 (which is what I ran in my BQ while very dehydrated - so it is what I would say is slow, but still would re-qualify by 5 minutes as BQ times stand). My plan is to decrease to 3:35 goal as my legs regain their speed - that will come back fast.. right?

I ran my workout around a park I raced at in high school. The loop is partially gravel, it has a gradual incline, a nice short downhill, then another quicker incline and then flat. The gravel is just dirt with gravel on it, so you work your ankles stabilizing each step.

Mile 1: 6:59
Mile 2: 7:13
My asthma was bad (wheezing loudly) so I didn't think I would make my time for #3 and had decided to trade the 3rd for repeats up the amphitheater. After #2, I realized I would probably do fine.. but then thought my argument for hills was better. Boston is not flat and the schedule doesn't have hill repeats anywhere and when else will I be at the base of a mountain between now and April? I raced up the amphitheater (as we did in high school workouts and also during races) and then went over the crest and ran down the other side (remembered the difference in running down hill and attacking - this is rocky and washed out in areas from the rain), then I jogged a recovery along the base for another. Each lap was .29 of a mile and I did 4. There were a lot of people out there today and I got some strange looks for running up it! I remember when it was just us running repeats.

I've got pictures of the amphitheater, but not with me - I'll post one later. :)

Adding a picture from Google Earth. The red is the loop I did almost 2 times for 1 mile. The blue is the amphitheater going up the side of the mountain. I went up the part at the top of the picture, and down the side at the bottom.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


GOOD NEWS: I finally broke down and counted as I was on the plane to Phoenix... I had 17.5 weeks until Boston! YAY!!! I have enough time!

BAD NEWS: Lost about a week of training. Ended up in a fender bender (oh gosh, no idea how to even put into words). Anyway, got checked out today. Ignoring the doc because tests look good. I've run 5 miles one day since and the only issue I had was pretty much explained out by the doc visit... so I plan on finally getting a run in tomorrow... 16.5 weeks.

GOOD NEWS: I'm in a dry (well, except the fact it is raining as I type) climate that my allergies and asthma are much happier with. I think I'll be sticking around through the end of the year, so way to start my training! :)

BAD NEWS: I decided to go with the Run Less Run Faster training program... ummmm.... don't have a bike here for cross training and while it is warmer here, not sure it is warm enough to swim laps. I may see about a gym trial membership... or maybe I'll run on the cross training days, but just do very light/very easy.

This is only a hiccup and I still have my full 16 weeks - sigh (of relief). :)

PS - it is nice to be Christmas shopping in shorts again. Cold weather is for the birds! (wait, even they fly South to avoid it!)