Spokane Physical Therapist Blog
I had a nice week of training this week. For my short run, I did a treadmill fast pace. My eight mile middle run was a difficult, hot, boring YMCA run. Saturday, I woke up to pouring down rain and wind. By the time I started on the Fish Lake trail, the weather had turned to hail. The Fish Lake trail is a little deceiving, because it is a little bit up hill on the way out from town. I ran at my normal 9 minute mile on the way out, but was able to do 8:20 per mile on the way home. I am a horse to the barn kind of guy, so when you add a tailwind to downhill to almost done with my long run, I tend to stride out a little more. All in all, it was a great week, and I am feeling good going into the last three long runs of training. Next week, instead of 16, I am going to do the Rock Creek Ramble orienteering event. Chad and I are doing the 4 hour version, so I am sure that I will get my 16 miles in.
I know that this is a marathon blog. And when it comes to marathons, I am winning at two at the moment. Marathon Eating and Marathon Talking. I can never lose at those marathons. However, I decided to back down my half marathon goal to a 10K goal, and I'm feeling okay about it. The logistics of training and where I should be at this point isn't happening. I'm a full time student and a full time single mother and feeling guilty about not working out for many hours was more time wasted, and spent, feeling bad. The pressure that I put on myself then spun me into an anxiety attack. I eat to manage stress (I know, I'm working on it...) so it wasn't a very good scene for the last two weeks or so. That puts me up to speed with where I've been in the last few weeks. Finished up winter quarter at school and excited about starting fresh all over again. I've been running about 5 miles a week and biking close to 20. Although I'm not proud of these two numbers, my pace times have gotten better, so I know that I can do this. This next quarter, I will have more time off from school which is a big sigh of relief for finding time to work out. Instead of giving up and freaking out, I just freaked out and tweaked my goal a bit. I think that I bit off more than I could chew at that time, obviously. But it won't be the last of me, this is just the beginning.
Things got a little more interesting this week in terms of milage. My long run was 12 miles, and I ended up doing my medium run the day before due to a stomach bug. I was prepared for the almost two hour run with water and a goo, but it has been a long time since I have run that far. There is big difference between 10 and 12 miles, and I know that from here on out it is going to get more interesting. This is when the test really begins, when I really find out if I can achieve my goals.
Long runs really bring home the concept of the mental challenge. I find myself running along, not really breathing that hard, not really straining the much, but my mind is asking me to stop. I don't stop though because I know that it will just take longer to walk home and I will feel a deep sense of failure. I can't help but think that fear of failure is a major driving force.
There is a part of me that wishes that I had a stronger desire to run. Most of the time, I look at the schedule and run what I am supposed to run because it is printed on the page. I know that if I do what I am supposed to do, then I will have a successful outcome. I can stand on point A and look at the steps to get to point B as a simple linear process. How often in your life can you set a goal and follow a path that is defined with such detail? In some ways it is easy because of the simplicity, but of course it is the following through that is either killing a few brain cells or building character.
I am in need of a much longer list of great running songs. I currently have a half marathon playlist on my iPod, but as you can imagine, two hours of music won’t get me through the Windermere Marathon. Here is my top five running songs. I would love some suggestions in the comments section on what you love running to.
1. Lose Yourself- Eminem
2. Such Great Heights- Postal Service
3. Jane Says- Jane's Addiction
4. Paper Thin Walls- Modest Mouse
5. The Ocean- Led Zeppelin
With the snow and ice, I have been on the treadmill and spin bike over the past couple weeks. I started thinking about nutrition during long runs. It is my opinion that any time you are running longer than an hour, you should have a half to 1 liter of water per hour. For runs longer than an 1 and half hours, you should use a goo or something of the sort. Beyond liquids, I personally like to have something solid, like a clif bar, after the two hour mark. I find that after a couple of goos, I want something more in my stomach. Most people would say that they don't want too much in their digestive system so that blood is not shunted away from the muscles, but I have not had that problem.
There are many different brands of goo, but two of my favorites are Hammer Gel and Clif. Basically, they are sugar and some electrolytes in a thickened liquid. Always wash it down with some water, or you will be tasting whatever flavor you chose for the next mile. There are some alternatives to the goo in the form of shot blocks and the like. They are basically large gummy bear consistency blocks. I don't particularly like them because they get stuck in my teeth for about 5 minutes. They are nice if you hate the consistency of the goo. Some people like to take a half of a goo at a time and space them out over a longer period of time. In this case, especially if you are wearing a water belt, you might want to consider a goo bottle. 5 goos will fit in the bottle, which should be enough for the whole race.
The bottom line is go to REI and buy a few different flavors and types to see which one works for you. Part of your training is learning which nutrition works well for you in terms of taste, consistency, and digestibility.
It has been a good couple of weeks for training. My 7 mile long run last week was a long slog in the rain and wind of Birch Bay. It was great to be on vacation and recharge the batteries a little. This weekend provided weather that really motivated me to push a little faster than normal. It reminded me that I need to work on my pacing over the next few weeks to settle into a race pace that will deliver my 4 hour marathon goal. Cross training this week was riding my mountain bike on the south hill bluff. It was a little muddy, but no snow on the trails. I hope that everyone has had a great couple of weeks of training.
Running takes time. I ran on Monday and my plan was to run again today and everyday through the weekend. Maybe someone out there can help me out with what I'm supposed to do with a four year old while I go for a run? He's too big for a stroller and too small to ride his bike beside me. Whatever the solution, it's no good for me today or tomorrow, since he has come down with the seasonal sickness. This single parent/student/athlete-in-training is nearly logistically impossible. I know that there is a way. I gotta figure it out and fast. I'm leaning towards being a member of the YMCA, then my son could swim and get the free daycare while I get on to mile 4...mile 4...only 9 more after that!
After lamenting about my lack of time and how the heck I am going to pull off this daunting goal, I realized that I need to make every second count. I know that we all hear these "words to live by" and "quotable quotes" about making each moment matter. Bucket lists. "Life isn't measured by how many breaths we take but by how many moments that take our breath away." Isn' that true of running...your breath is literally taken away. far away. My point is this: I don't have the time to run. I know, running is faster than walking. And I do walk. So I've decided to get my running in while I can! I've done pretty good with this new goal of bumping up everyday tasks to be a full 90 seconds of cardio. By the end of the day, I've done my 30 minutes by just jogging around my clinical site. This is the one plus to working in a hospital- there are people that run. Fortunately for me, if someone does give me a sideways glance, I know the lingo. "STAT", I say virtuously breathless. The stairs are another good 20 seconds of cardio. Nothing like breaking into a full pant and sweating like it's Florida from taking 3 flights of stairs. I'm so half marathon ready. When I go to pick something up from the floor, I do a walking lunge. Then I miss whatever it is that I had to get and do a downward dog yoga pose. In celebration of retrieving the Sharpie I dropped, I do a sun salute. Make each moment count. Except when your boss is watching.
Casey is a friend of mine who is planning on running her first 1/2 marathon. I asked her to write for the blog, and she has graciously offered us a taste. You can also catch her at her home blog The Daily Balzy (viewer discretion advised).
I used to run regularly in my 20's...on and off. I have never run more than 5 miles, though, so this is a definite mind blowing idea. I have decided that this year is my year to challenge myself. Times are hard, so I'm sticking with the path of most resistance. A good friend of mine's mother is an Ironman Triathalete. She is in her mid '50's. She qualified for Kona. She is the cat's pajamas. I don't see myself on this level, first because I hardly have the time for a half marathon and second, really? Ironman? But she has passed down the reason why I have signed up for the race (and three others, for that matter...) Kathy stated that if she doesn't have a race set up, she makes excuses to not work out. So, she books herself up, writes the checks, and tells all her friends to keep her in training mode. Coming from a hardcore athlete, I was amazed that she struggled with working out like the rest of us lazy slobs! I find it comforting, inspiring, and making me want to go for a run to work off those dang Klondike Bars and that stupid brownie...
I really don't feel like writing right now about why I've decided to run in a half marathon because my eating today was nothing short of craptastic. Full moon? Nope. Shattered Super Bowl dreams? Don't think so. February is the love month? Perhaps...Regardless of what triggered the chocolate rage that overcame me, I feel equally content and crappy. I'm trying not to feel guilty about my all out binge, because I've been on the straight and narrow for an entire month. In this last month, I've lost around 10lbs. It was 13, but I've giving myself a 3 point spread being that I ate 2 Klondike bars and a brownie minutes ago. I guess I'll start with where I was in my life roughly three years ago...
I was in a decent car accident. Luckily for me, it was in a brand new car that had all the bells and whistles for safety. A girl, whom turns out I went to grade school with, ran a red light and I hit her head on, going about 30 mph. I walked away from this accident with minor trauma, all things considered. I did snag a tear in my cartilage that is in my acetabulum (that's what she said!) The pain in my hip joint was the hardest to diagnose. We went through a check list of "this-not-that" protocol to whittle it down. Numerous MRI's, X-Rays, Arthograms, etc- it ended up an orthopedic surgeon read my symptoms' and diagnosed me on the spot. I finally had surgery almost 8 months after my accident, but the pain didn't stop there. It actually got worse. When I had the tear, I knew how to "manage" the pain. Now, my hip was constantly in pain and I was scared that I did something wrong. awesome. I'm 30 and I have a bad hip. Someone, teach me how to play Bridge, quick! I spent numerous hours in physical therapy (pool and land), getting my butt massaged, and finally biofeedback. The conclusion of my year and a half of treatment is that I understand now how to relax. My body has been on "fight or flight" for the duration of this process, so where the injury was, it was in lockdown. This knowledge was power! I committed myself to understanding my body's signals and to relax. Not to mention, I needed to gain the strength back in my hip. Now with my poor eating habits...that's for another blog!
I would like to be able to write that my runs went great last week, but besides my Monday hill run, I felt like the contestants on the Biggest Loser when they are forced tie the weight that they lost back on and run around a track. I was trying to convince myself that I had not caught a cold, so I ran outside for my second run. I pushed my long run out from Saturday to Sunday, as there was no way I was going anywhere. Long story short, on Sunday I ran on the treadmill in a nice warm building, and made it about three miles out of my planned 7 before I started walking. I don't know what the lesson is for me here. I don't know if I should have pushed myself to run the full 7 miles, or should I have just rested and crossed the day off as somewhat of a failure and try to regroup for this week? I guess I will take the advice that I give many of my patients, "All you can do is what you can do." I just know that 'what I can do' needs to increase a lot this week.