Friday, May 3, 2013

Ending the hiatus at last

If you've kept up with this blog at all, you may be wondering what I've been doing for the last six months since the Tyler Rose Half. The short answer is: moping. I've been moping and feeling sorry for myself. I've gotten most of that out of my system now. I'll be posting some new fitness and nutrition goals next week.

For a more detailed break down of my six month pity party:

Race Day:

Aka, the "purpose" of this entire blog. It didn't go as planned. During our first 9 mile run (about a month from the half), I had some kind of physical break down where my hip gave out and my guts went crazy. I had to stop running about 6 miles when my gastrointestinal distress became so severe that I feared an imminent pants-disaster. We stopped at a gas station but I couldn't go to the bathroom. So, we tried to run again (because I'm hard headed) and that's when my hip just gave out. I didn't feel anything snap or pop, it just suddenly became loose and wobbly. I hobbled down to the nearest Dairy Queen and made it to the bathroom just in time. Then we hobbled back home about 3 miles. The next day I could barely walk. Awesome.

I made a lot of bad bad decisions that run. Looking back, I should have stopped for good the first time. I should've called a friend to come pick us up. I should've refueled better and eaten more carbs before the run. I should've kept up with my strength training, since I knew my hips were vulnerable to injury.

I basically rested for the next two and a half weeks, and then attempted some 30 minute walks along our normal running paths. Although I still had some serious hip discomfort, I was too bone-headed to give up. By the day of the half, I felt "well" enough to convince my husband that we should walk the half. So we did. It was incredibly cold (like, almost freezing). It was slow going, but my hip and my fear kept us from running. We did end up running the last mile, which was pretty encouraging. All in all, it took us about three and a half hours to cross the finish line... pretty abysmal. Because we got there so late, the race organizers had run out of finisher's medals. Ugh. We did eventually get them in the mail.

They looked like this:

After the race:
I didn't feel like running EVER again. I felt incredibly discouraged, stupid, and worthless (never mind the fact that I had just walked 13.1 miles after training for months, something that should have made me feel proud of myself). It just seemed so pointless. I spent about two months doing nothing aside from some karate and half-hearted walks. Needless to say, I put on a bit of weight. Then the holidays came, and I put on some more weight. Yay!

At some point, I decided to get off my butt and do something. I landed on this strength training program from Kara Goucher, courtesy of Tony Salazar. It's specially designed for runners and it is a beast. I made it through one full round (four weeks of increasingly heavy weights + one rest week), put on a lot of muscle, and felt pretty awesome about myself. During my first week of round two, I screwed up by not eating enough calories (again) which resulted in me almost passing out in the middle of a set.

Shortly after this experience, my husband and I traded various flu strains back and forth for about 6 weeks. Then I got a little depressed. Then, we had this ridiculous month of crazy weather changes that threw my poor joints into a tailspin.

Then I went out of town for ten days for a conference in New York. Then I got sick again.

Aaaaaand now I'm here. Sick and tired of being sick and tired, as they say. Last week, my husband and I started a new round of the Kara Goucher workout. Next week, I'm going to start a weird paleo food challenge called the Whole30 Challenge. So there you go.

Words of encouragement are welcome, as are any hilarious stories of failure that you might have.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Worst timing ever... trucking along

On top of the hip troubles I mentioned last week, I spent the weekend (technically Thursday through Monday) with the worst case of flu I have had in the last five years. It was super adorable. Anyhow, with three Sundays to go until the BIG DAY, it's become abundantly clear that this race won't be what I would consider a successful one. We haven't run/walked more than 9 miles, and that was almost a month ago. I'm just not sure that I have the lung integrity and hip strength to accomplish 13.1 right now.

That said, we're still planning to attempt the race even if it means walking most of the way.

After October 7th, we'll start training for the next attempt (February 3, 2013, Irving, Texas: the Texas Half). In the week after the Tyler Rose Half, I'll write an analysis of what we can do better to train for Irving.

Half-marathon distance, I *will* own you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Temporarily waylaid

Here's a quick and dirty update, since the blog has been kind of quiet.

August 25th, we had an 11.5 mile run planned. It was pretty disastrous, with major blood sugar problems, GI crises, hip pain, and gear issues. Also, the lingering after effects of my spring bout with bronchitis were present today; I struggled to breathe even with my inhaler. I couldn't get my blood sugar balance to a good point. I don't think I prepared nutritionally for the run very well (loooots of church casserole), so I'm going to have to try some different strategies for our next long run. I'm really at a loss for what kinds of food will properly fuel me on long treks.  So, the short description of this run is that it really really sucked.

We ran about 4.5 miles at a pretty slow pace, and then stopped in at the gas station on Loop and Paluxy. My tummy wouldn't cooperate at said gas station, so we started up again but had to stop shortly thereafter. We walked down to the Dairy Queen in the French Quarter parking lot where my tummy WOULD cooperate (in a very urgent way).

About 7.25 miles in, after 4/4.5 running and a couple miles of walking), Matt encouraged me to start up again. It was a pretty pitiful pace, but we did make it almost 2 more miles this way. Although it was miserable, I drew deep on my mental and physical reserves. I think it was a valuable experience. By the end of the run, my hips were screaming. I hadn't been paying much attention to my form while I was hobbling along, and I think I threw something out of whack. The issue is on the outside of my left hip, and it seems to be some kind of inflamed bursa or ITB issue. I experienced a lot of looseness in my hip, if that makes sense, where it kept trying to pop out of the joint while I was walking around during the following week.

I rested and did some light rehab (stretching, core strengthening, icing) for the next 10 days.

On Wednesday the 5th, I attempted to run around the indoor track on my lunch break at UT Tyler.  It started out okay and I kept up a decent pace (for me). However, about 3/4 miles in my hip starting seriously cramping up. I made myself finish the mile, just in case the discomfort subsided. It did not. It got worse. So, I stopped at 1 mile (10:30min pace) and grumbled back to the office.

This last Saturday, the 8th, Matt and I went for a real easy run along our normal 30 minute course. We made it about 2.01 miles in 23 minutes. My hip started cramping up about 1.5 miles in, but I was able to walk it out for a block or so. About 2 miles in, I had to walk again because the cramping/soreness had increased significantly. There was no coming back from this walk break; I was limping and grimacing the whole way home. And now I remember that I forgot to ice it afterwards.

That's where I am today. We'll probably try to run the easy 30 minute course today and hopefully the weather will stay nice. Last Saturday's run was supposed to be 12.5 miles, but we ran approximately 2. I'm not sure what is going to happen to our training plan, or the half-marathon itself.

We are registered for the Tyler Half, and on the suggestion of a fellow Daily Miler I signed us up for the Mellew Four Seasons Challenge. So, even if this first half marathon is a big ol' disappointment (which I reckon it will be), we'll have three more to train for this year. I'll be trying out some new strategies then.

For anyone reading this week, thank you. For anyone who takes the time to ask me, "How's that running thing going?", thank you. For everyone who commiserates with my misery and mishaps, thank you. I appreciate your encouragement more than you know. I'm grateful to be a part of this running community, even if my contributions are pretty pitiful.

Onward and upward, folks.