Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All I want for Christmas is... a torture device??

Yesterday I made an appointment to see a knee doctor- thanks Erika for the info!  They can't see me until a week from today.. bummer.  Oh well.  I'm glad that I have it set up though.  Jon jokes that I'll be all better by then... fat chance!

So, want to know what else I did yesterday??  I bought my own personal torture device to help me with me IT-band issues.  A foam roller. I've used it before at the gym, but not for IT-band issues.  Holy crud... it is so painful!!  I had to watch videos to make sure I did it right- haha.  As long as it helps me heal faster, it will make up for the fact that I bought myself a torture device (I hope).  This week I also went out and bought new shoes... so hopefully this will all help!

PS: don't mind the awful picture...  


I'm still debating the January marathon.  I've gotten so caught up in all of this, that I forgot that I was doing this all for fun.  I don't HAVE to run it.  I won't be made fun of if I don't because I'm injured- I'll probably be more consoled more than anything. My husband will probably sigh a breathe of relief to himself haha.... this isn't me saying that I'm not running it, but I know it is possibility.  I just got so excited that it's on New Years Day and it's on a Saturday!!  That's a small part of why I'm so disappointed at the possibility of not running it.  We will see though.  It all depends on how I am feeling this week and what my doc says.  Cross your fingers!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Knee,

Why couldn't you wait until March 1st to get injured?  Could you at least heal up for now and then give out then?  I'd really appreciate it. 

Love,

Crystal

That's right folks... I'm pretty positive that my  problem is my IT-band.  I am hopefully going to get contact info for a doctor this week and hopefully they can help me out more.  I am doing low-impact stuff and icing.  I just can't afford to stop running.  I have a marathon on January 1st and I really really don't want to be a no show to that.  I would be completely heart broken.  I had to be a no show for the 10k on Thanksgiving.  I've never ever not shown up to a race before and it was a real ego hitter for me.  I just lost so much hope.  It's just pain that I cannot run through and it is really frustrating.  If I could change things, I wouldn't have run San Antonio.  I just wish I could have foreseen all of this. 

Welp, off to ice the knee. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What to do now?

It has been a little over a week from the San Antonio Marathon... and I have bad news.  My knee is still hurting.  The voice in my head says I probably have ITband issues... and I just don't want to believe it.  However, lets be honest, did I really believe I'd come this far without getting an injury?  The last time I had an injury was in Feb. 2006 and that just completely rocked my world. I had to have foot surgery and I had to put my love for running in the closet and it took me a very long time (2 years) to find it after I recovered.  I really don't want to go through that again now that I have found my groove!

I am going to a friend's for lunch today and she said she had some good doctor recommendations.  I just hope this is nothing serious. Hopefully he'll just tell me it's my shoes (like he told her).  I wish!

My gut tells me that I might not be running the marathon in January... or the 10k on Thanksgiving :-(  I wanted to earn my turkey this week too!

So, for those of you who have encountered this type of injury- any advice??  It doesn't hurt when I walk- only when I run.  I can't even make it a half mile before it's a very sharp pain right on the outside of my knee.  Then I stretch and walk and it feels better and then I go again and same thing- pain.  This isn't a pain I can personally run through either.  I can do the elliptical with very little problems and I can bike for the most part too.  So, my hope is that I can still cross train enough while still being able to run the marathon in January (that's a high hope...)

Question is... Do I rest tomorrow and go ahead and run the 10k on Thursday and still plan on the marathon in January, drop out of the 10k still plan on marathon, or drop out of both of them?  Decisions.. decisions...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rock N Roll San Antonio... Train Wreck!

Alright, so I realize that I have left you all hanging for a few days now without a race recap, however, right before the finish line I thought, "I wish I didn't have to blog about this".  So, that's your warning, this might get ugly.  For those of you who don't want to sift through it all, just know I finished- check back for better pictures.  For those of you who will read on... just focus on the fact that I did finish :-)  Iy yi yi... where to begin...

Well, I'll start on a happy note- we left from Houston to San Antonio Friday afternoon.  Our friends, the Philips were so generous to let us stay at their pad.  I really cannot thank them enough.  We had a lot of fun catching up with them and their family.  Food was good and company was even better. Thanks guys!  See ya soon!

Saturday hubby and I headed down to the expo.  I was so excited.  I was feeling confident and felt like I could strut my stuff I at least sort've belonged there.  Does that sound weird?  Anyways, I picked up my packet and my coral #.  I was in #6.  I was expected to break 4 hours this time around.  I was so psyched.  This marathon had about 30 corals and about 30,000 runners total (marathon and half).  So, it was craziness!  I picked up some swag and we looked around and had fun.  We headed back to the house to get ready for our bloggy dinner meet up.


We met up with Tricia, Adam, Dawn & Leah at an Italian restaurant right in San Antonio.  They were all really amazing. It was so fun to meet everyone but dinner ended too quickly. I wish I could've spent more time talking with y'all.  Make sure to check their race recaps too! Congrats you guys!

Sunday morning.  Where to begin.  Jon didn't want to drop me off at the listed "runner drop off" because he didn't want me walking through "the ghetto" alone.  I told him I'd be fine and the park I had to walk through was right by the race.  He insisted to bring me to the shuttle.  So, we went there and I shuttled in.  It was a little chilly, I won't lie.  All the corals made an L shape on two streets.  It was absolutely madness.  I am glad that I got there early to beat the last minute port-a-john lines!  I dropped my gear bag off and headed to the coral.  I was excited and confident.  I wasn't nervous like I usually am.  I was in it to break 4 hours.  It was going to be tough, but I knew I had it in me.

We had a staggered start which was going to help reduce congestion on the roads.  I finally got to the start and we were off.  There were still a ton of people and it was hard to get into my pace for the first mile, but I knew it would all balance out so I wasn't worried.  I had my music, muscles were getting warm and then we rounded a corner and I saw the very front of a freight train pass and hoards of runners just standing there.  I was in shock.  Seriously?  A TRAIN???  It was still cold out and my body was starting to cool off.  We hadn't even hit the first mile yet.

A runner in an article I read yesterday said it best, "..She says while she waited, she had to overcome some mind games inside her head. "It's tempting to go ahead and push and compensate for that time, but that might have consequences late in the race when you start cramping."  This was me in a nutshell.  I was freaking out.  I was playing every mind game I possible could.  I was totally sabotaging myself and I couldn't see it. We stood there for about 5 minutes.  During that time- the amount of runners felt  like it had doubled. 

Once the train passed runners were yelling "Go!!" and it was madness.  It was like I was at the start all over again- but with 2x the amount of people.  I felt like I had to make up time so I was going way too fast every time I got the chance to pass people up.  That was a very bad idea.  I repeat: very bad.  I pulled a few miles at sub 8mins! Seriously!  What was I thinking??  Hence the title: train wreck.

Once I hit 13.1 I knew I had a problem.  I knew my body shouldn't be feeling the way it was at only half way.  My legs were tired, I was ready to kick the bucket.  I knew I had to finish so I just kept on.  The areas of the race were really ghetto and just run down (scary stray dogs..).  I would never walk these streets by myself.  Want to know the most disappointing thing?  I knew we were running by the Alamo (I've already seen it before) but I didn't even notice it when I passed it.  Ridiculous.  Around mile 18 I was still on track to break 4 hours, but I was slowly getting away from it.  Then, my left leg decided it had had enough.  I was cramping up (enter girl's thought from the news article) and I felt all sorts of "tugs" in my left calf.  At one point I almost fell over because my leg just locked up.  Heh, nice.  I headed to the side of the road and stretched out.  This happened multiple times after that.

At mile 22 I began the walk/run.  I was just dying.  I had no more gas.  I felt defeated.  I was balling my eyes out (how pathetic).  At mile 24 I tried to kick it into gear because I just wanted this horrid thing to be over.  I wanted to find that train and spit on it or something.  I was just beat up and bitter. I was even more upset that I couldn't use all of this stress/anger to help me keep going fast. I think some runners were feeling bad for me because a few kept trying to take Gu from their belts and give it to me... I still had some.  Sadly, this wasn't something Gu could fix- thanks though!  I felt pain I've never felt before comparing to my last marathon and all my training.

At last I got to the finish.   I pushed all the way through the last mile and got through it.  I crossed the line, got my phone out, called hubby and started to cry my eyes out.  If you saw some pathetic little person in the Susan G Komen tent crying her eyes out while her husband was helping her put on her compression socks.. that was me.

Okay so really, was I being a bit over dramatic?  Yes.  Do I feel like I had carte blanche for acting that way?  Also yes.  I was really dreading writing about this marathon.  But, looking back on it- the main goal always is to finish.  I did just that.  I finished!  Also, before you think I'm crazy for not jumping up and down about my results... remember what I set out to do.. break 4 hours.  I didn't do that and that's why I was so down and out.. BUT!  I did get a PR by about 20 minutes.  So, that should count for something, right?  I'm still working on that.

The other reason for me doing this is in memory of my mother, Carolyn who lost her battle to breast cancer 14 years ago, I was only 11.  I kept thinking about her during the race and trying to tell myself that the pain I was feeling in my legs couldn't even compare to all the surgery, chemo and radiation she had to endure.  She is truly my hero and I hope that the fundraising that I was able to do will help others.  Thank you to all who supported my fundraising.  It really is an amazing thing to be apart of.



I have another marathon under my belt and I learned some hard lessons. Unfortunately they were learned during the race, but what can you do?  Next marathon is January 1st in The Woodlands, TX (Houston area).  I can do this.  I'm going to just shake off what happened this weekend and give myself a clean slate and go out there and give it all I have. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Are you KIDDING ME???

Okay, so this morning I decided to look at the projected weather for Sunday (RACE DAY!!).  It said 87 for the high and like 10% chance of rain.  A little hot... but I have been running in HOUSTON all summer long- so bring it on.  So, I was gearing up in my head that all will be okay and that I can do this and the weather would be great.  Sunny skies, no rain... smooth sailing for me.

Five minutes ago... this is what I saw.

High of 64 degrees
Low of 50 degrees
40% chance of rain



Seriously??  That's quite a DRAMATIC change!  I know that usually the projected weather changes and you can sort've get an idea of what to expect... but I didn't expect over 20 degrees different!!  I know, I'm being dramatic... but do you blame me??  Cold rainy weather = gross. I know I used to live in NH and let me tell you, if you haven't experienced a New England winter- thank your lucky stars.  I was spoiled these last 7 years in Utah- winter was a breeze... no pun intended.  It snowed, it was a little cold... BUT! It melted!  And  now... I am in HOT-STICKY-HUMID-HOUSTON, TX.  Okay, now I'm getting off track...

So, there won't be any snow in San Antonio this Sunday, but if the weather stays where it's at- I am going to be one cold wimp woman.  I know what  you're thinking- 64 isn't bad and is pretty much perfect for racing.  Which is true and I completely agree- but! 64 is the high and it may or may not make it there.  I'm more concerned about the temps before and at the start and I'm most bothered by rain. To think... I was getting excited today about the possibility of not having to bring a throw-away long sleeve... Humph.

4 days left... Still hacking up gunk, but feeling good.

Note to self: remember to pack a trash bag and cut armholes in it... I hate running in the rain during races :-(

To all those who have now read this and concluded that I am completely ridiculous- I'm sorry.  It was just hard to gear myself up for 80 degree weather and now have to change it all... it's a mental thing.  :-)  The more I re read this post the more I feel silly about being so bothered about something that may or may not happen... haha... Can you tell I'm tapering??

Monday, November 8, 2010

6 DAYS??

Only 6 days left until the Rock N Roll San Antonio Marathon!  I remember signing up for this when we had just moved to TX this last May.  I remember because I felt all sheepish to ask the hubby if I could spend money to do something he thinks is crazy :-) 

My worries:  I still have this blasted head cold.  I am going out to buy LOTS of vitamin C stuff today.  I went to bed at 9pm last night in hopes to kick this thing in the fanny.  I feel alright, no fever... but my head is just stuffed.  Allergies maybe?  I've never had allergies so I don't really know.  However, my understanding is that allergies don't come with swollen tonsils and a sore throat.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  I vote it's a sinus infection and I'm just bitter.  All those who have been following me since last time.. we all know I was recovering from walking pneumonia and my hubby caught it too (apparently walking pneumonia is contagious... says my doctor) and I was up the ENTIRE night before the marathon because he was so sick.  Any advice for NOT getting sick before a marathon... anyone?

Other mental worry:  this isn't so much a worry.. but more of fear of the unknown I guess?  I trained for this marathon a little differently.  My last marathon training I hit 28 miles in my long runs (yes.. I said 28).  This time, I got up to 22.  Am I a little nervous about that?  Yes.  However, I have hit a lot of race PRs this time around.  I've run a few 5ks and a half marathon and in both- I will go ahead and say I rocked them. 

The good:  I am feeling confident that I will feel better this week.  I am feeling like I can do this.  My body is feeling good (other than my head...) Another good thing: I at least know half of my outfit.   Marathon for The Cure sent me out a race tank that I will need to run in- so I at least know that.  I have run in it twice now and I am feeling good about it.  It is a little long on me but that's not a huge problem.  I just have to figure out what bottoms to wear, whether or not to wear arm warmers, hat/no hat, fuel belt or not.... decisions decisions... oh and to clarify- bottoms aren't an optional thing like the rest of it :-) 

This weeks plan:  I have 16 miles on the docket this week.  5 today, 5 on Wed, 3 on both Fri and Sat and then the big ol' 26.2 on Sunday!!  AH!! 

Other plans: 
-Drink 3-4L of h20 every day.  I cannot stress enough about how important water is (even when you aren't running)
-Eating healthy.  Cutting sugar out of my diet this week.  Lots of fresh fruits and veggies and gotta have carbs.  Although, I may be the only person I know who can't eat pasta the night before a race.  It = bad race day. Lots of gas... haha.  Speaking of eating the night before, there is an exciting bloggy dinner meet up that I am going to.  I am excited to meet up with everyone!
-Get enough sleep
-Start getting my race bag ready early- I don't want to forget anything at home.  3 hours is a long drive.
-This one isn't about running.. but I need to figure out to do with our cat.  We will only be gone from Friday night to late Sunday night... That's a little too long for her.  She has a lot of separation issues.  Anyone want a kitty to play with this weekend??

I know this is long, but one last thing.  Who wants to guess my time??  Maybe I'll send you a pack of Gu if you get close :) 

If you want to guess my time here are recent stats:

Half marathon: 1:52
5k: 24:11
22 mile LSD training run: 3:24

Monday, November 1, 2010

Huntsville Half Marathon race recap

I apologize for the delay on this race recap- but I got hit with a head cold/flu.  It had been going on for a while but it hit me hard the Monday after the race... so I took some well needed rest time.

I was getting worried about this half because the race description talked about the course having tough hills.  Since leaving Utah... hills are hard to come by here in Houston. Anyways, on the Friday before the race I went to the airport to pick up hubby from the airport.  He had been in Chicago for work.  Then we drove up to Huntsville (a little over an hour away).

First impressions of Huntsville: hardly any street lights, small town feel, and LOTS of scary hills...

We were told to pick up our race packets at a church.  We found the church but it was a serious ghost town!  No lights or anything.   I was scared that they packed up early.  I won't lie- I was a little annoyed about the whole thing.  I ended up calling the race's contact # and left a message asking where I needed to go and whatnot.  After circling around the church and trying every single door... we found this random building with some lights and cars outside it.  It wasn't apart of the church... but there were lots of boxes outside.  Lo and behold- it was packet pick up.  Random.  This was my only beef with the race- really bad race pick up location... if you are going to have it in a building not attached to the set location- at least have signs for out-of-towners like myself.

The next morning we headed over to the start around 7am.  It was warm.  It was around 75 by the time the race started at 8am.  I was hoping for a sub 2 time but decided that I just wanted to run it and feel the pace.  I started off and picked out people who I thought I could pace off of.  There was "sports bra lady and her husband", "bandanna man" (he had a sweet mustache- complete with handlebars) and "cool socks guy". 


I was keeping up with SB lady and husband and bandanna man.  I was feeling really good.  However, around mile 4 I passed bandanna man.  Then at mile 5 I passed SB lady and her husband.  I was getting nervous that I was going too fast.


Then as I thought about my pace I saw that I was keeping it under 9mins and was mostly around 8:30 and I figured I would try to just give it my all.  For the whole second half I was with cool socks guy.  When we reached mile ten I yelled out "5k left!!"  I at least got a smile out of him.  The last 2 miles were mostly all up hill.  It sucked.  It was hot.  I just wanted to be done.  So, I bucked up and kicked it into gear.   I was feeling strong and speedy.


I turned the last corner and saw the finish and I just let loose and ran as fast as I could.  I finished in 1:52:56!! That was a PR by 10 mins or so!  I was so excited!  I even placed 2nd in my age group!  Never expected that one!  Woohoo!



This was an amazing half marathon.  It was a 2 loop course.  I usually hate those, however, I was glad that I knew about the last 2 miles being uphill.  I was mentally prepared for it- so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  The aid stations were well placed and always stocked with water and a sports drink.  I'm a water girl during races- sport drinks give me problems.   I would so run this again.  It was also a nice small getaway for me and hubby.  The hotel we stayed at was nice and affordable too!  I will be doing this again :-)


 I am now mostly recovered from my sickness and am approaching my last LSD before the marathon.  I will be doing that tomorrow.  Ah!  Then I will be entering the taper weeks.  I am so nervous!  I just want this to go better than SLC.  My goal is always to finish, however, I think I am setting the bar a little higher for myself.  I really feel like I can pull a 4 hour marathon.  I felt amazing after the half and even wondered if I could've gone faster.  Don't you hate it when that happens??  Bring it on, San Antonio!!