Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Leaving Bread Crumbs for When I Stray

I read somewhere once that when you run with a positive attitude, you are less likely to experience burn out and injury. Studies conducted in my brain, and on my trail support this theory. When I run with a smile on my face, the pain wanes and my endurance waxes. This morning on our run, I started thinking about my time spent running and how I went an entire year without injury and now it seems like every week there is something new, and aching. Since my tibial stress fractures I have pulled several muscles, fallen, hurt my knee, reinjured my tibias, and agitated my sciatica. Yes, it's true that the first injury is often the "gateway injury," but I think that has to be due in part to confidence levels being rattled.

Much like Goliath was after he was hit by the suburban, I was hesitant even afraid to get back into my usual grind. The suburban took away the confidence in Goliath, like the MRI took mine. We both know that there will always be a threat, only difference is mine wouldn't mean my life.

I woke up this morning at 5am for strength training, and then a four mile run. Strength training was part of my current Gym experiment, even if I'd like to pretend it was me trying to be a better runner. The guilt that sets in when I don't run Goliath, is intense so after that class I came home, immediately snapped on his leash and we went out. The sun was still rising, and my husband was still not rising but we clocked four full miles anyway.

I dropped my phone twice, and one of those times I didn't even realize it until a half mile later. At that point, I was really tired and my legs felt like anchors but I couldn't have ran faster to try and find it. Naturally, Goliath was the only one who didn't mind the extra minutes. He found the phone first, and circled it. He found the phone probably a full thirty seconds before I could even see it.

No, there wasn't anything extraordinary this morning. No PR miles. No giant revelations. No victories. Just a new relationship with a positive attitude, a knee brace and ice.

OH, and strawberries. God, I love strawberries.

Today's Mileage: 4.37
Times: 43:11

Monday, March 01, 2010

An Uphill Battle

I've been really trying to focus on healing, letting my knee get better and all that stuff. On top of my knee, I tore a muscle in the groindular region after my little twist and shout with Goliath during our last run. Groindular is a word I made up, because I would just like to make sound tougher.

You know that muscle that's responsible for picking up your leg? That's what I've torn, and that actually bothers me more than the knee issue. Ice fixes my knee, but that muscle? I use it all the time, it's impossible to rest it. I use it when I drive, when I walk and run, when I stand, when I cross my leg, and when sit and stand.

After, resting since the 24th I gauged the pain and weighed the pros and cons of running. The pain was not noticeable, so I took ibuprofen and we went on our way. We didn't set a mileage goal on the Nike+ kit, because when I put in five miles I have to run five miles regardless of how I feel.

The first half mile to the trail was enjoyable, downhill. The second half mile, not enjoyable-solid ice for a half mile, and also downhill. So I was forced to walk and it took forever to maneuver, but after that little jaunt it was a whole different trail. Night and Day.

The weather was fantastic, and there were a handful of people out walking their dogs or jogging. When I saw a couple running toward certain death, I warned them and they nonchalantly were like "Ohh psssh we've already ran through it" REALLY? I call bologna sandwich. I almost fell tip-toeing through it, and let's be honest I am as crazy as they come when the conditions become less than favorable.

I'm not a tip-toe kind of person. We've discussed this before: I dive in head first, even if it means I'm nose deep in crap. I've got to REALLY learn my lesson, sometimes the lesson needs to be learned a few times before I REALLY understand it, ya know?

So three and quarter miles in, I still hadn't learned my lesson about running on an injury. We took our two minute split at the usual spot. Goliath was, well Goliath. He was running in circles, just getting warmed up. I felt guilty I couldn't run him farther, but I didn't budget the time. Our two minutes, I tried to get quick picture, but someone couldn't sit still:

I felt fine on the split, and even another quarter mile after. It was not until mile four that my knee started feeling agitated. Coincidentally, this is perhaps the time I started getting tired and paying less attention to my form.

Pain deferral is something I have gotten really, really good at but it's also not something I enjoy doing. The annoyance was pretty awful, that I wanted it to be over. I wanted the run over so bad, I wanted to be home in an ice bath. Maybe being in pain is the best thing for speed training, because I pushed a 6:30 mile, my fastest yet.

So a run can be both the worst run and the best run, it all depends on perspective.

Anyway, I am making a concerted effort to take a load off my knees but at the same time stay active. This week I am attempting all the work out classes at the gym. Watch out for the full report.

Yesterday's Mileage: 6.53
Time: 1:02:12

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Teary Eyed Nose Running, Wipe the Snot on my Sleeve

Disaster. Can't a sister catch a break? If there were ever an injury prevention poster child of what NOT to do, I'd be it. We can now add: messed up right knee, to my unending list of injuries. If you were wondering "messed up right knee" is the official diagnosis.

The equation goes like this: solid ice + G-Money on a leash + birds = jolted right arm, twisted hip and knee and face met trail. Ow. Goliath's biggest downfall is how prey driven he is, and it's one of those traits that's hard to knock and out train. I've forgiven him emotionally, but physically I have a feeling this injury will take a while to heal. The ice bath was like insult to injury, it's five degrees today and instead of a nice hot shower I got an freezing ice bath to ward off swelling.

We managed a total of 2.78 miles today of our scheduled 6, but it was mostly walking. The fall occurred early on, and I hoped I could "walk it off."

I like this picture, it's a half woman half dog running machine.

Today's Mileage: 2.78
Time: why bother

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fifteen Percent Concentrated Power of Will

Tons of things to report since last Thursday. And by tons, I mean very few. The weekend wasn't eventful for me, but Goliath? He had the time of his life with his girlfriend Sarai. Sarai is a boxer mix like Goliath, but she's missing the breed that's wired for continual energy. Goliath never gave the poor pup a break, she went from this:

To this:

...after four hours of non-stop playing.

I swear the guy never wears out, and only sleeps out of boredom. So the idea that I need to run him daily is both negated, and supported. He needs to work out, but it certainly doesn't tire him out like it should. While he's already marathon ready, and built for speed I am not.

We set out for our daily miles today, just like any other day except one thing. I really didn't want to. I've been in this wicked funk: eating poopie foods, and not running. Essentially being sedentary. Optimistically, I thought if it got warm I'd want to run but it didn't and I keep skipping training. I even put on my marathon socks to get me motivated.

As usual, however, after the first half mile I renewed my love and pushed the work out.

The trail was solid, solid ice and running on it was more like jumping up and forward over and over as to not slip. If I had used my normal form it would have been akin to running up the down escalator. Goliath was splendid on the ice, and did not pull me. I have this inherit fear of falling terribly, alone and breaking a leg or something. Maybe Goliath shares that fear, because it's as if he inherently knows not to pull on ice.

At our split we took a two minute breather, and by breather I mean: I caught my breath and Goliath sniffed and explored. It was the type of cold today that makes your teeth hurt, and nose ache. My eyes stung, and my face was so dry. This did not make me very happy.

The back end of my run was incredible, I averaged an 8:30 minute/mile and spent most it on grass. Pushing myself felt great, but afterwards I couldn't help be be annoyed with myself. Over the span of a year I have progressed in running a lot, so why am I putting up roadblocks? Why do I need to continue to kick myself to get out there and run? I know full well that the hardest part is getting up and doing it, but I hate starting my runs with resentment-it makes them less enjoyable, and by the time I'm halfway finished I wish I had enjoyed the first half more. My runs are too short and far between these days to be angry at the miles.

I know it's cold, and I know I'm prone to injury but no more excuses, and avoiding the pavement.

Today's Mileage: 5.1
Time: 45:24

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I run my life or is it running me?

It has been so hard not running for both of us. It's easier to run 50 miles a week, then it is to not. Two weeks off. Two weeks of nervous energy in Goliath. The only good thing about taking two unintentional weeks off is the rest was beneficial for my tibias. They feel good, and ready to kick out some kilometers.

Goliath has been the only one logging any sort of mileage, and even his has been sub par. We've tripped to the dog park, but I haven't felt up to walking around too much and there's never any other dogs there for him to play with. It's been bitterly cold, but he needs that little bit of freedom.

We both look a little maniacal, but then again so is going to the dog park in ten degree weather.

I've ceased all pain killers. I can't deal with the dizziness. I'd rather be in pain, and running. So that's what I did. It is unbelievably excruciating to have free time and not be able to spend it running. I think of my time in mileage these days. Like, seven loads of laundry would take me like eight hours or 50 miles. I'd rather run 50 miles. Straightening my hair takes twenty minutes, that's 2 miles. I'd rather run 2 miles. So when I sit on my butt for an hour, doing nothing but catching up on sitcoms, I think to myself: Wow, you just wasted 6 miles.

Not wanting to waste anymore miles, Goliath and I hit our trail. And get this-I was nervous! Like worried I wouldn't even be able to run a mile. Seriously. It was a weird pinned up mental nervousness. The kind you get before a big test, I know I've taken a test before but what if this one's different.

After a half mile, I was flying. Like a bird. My love. Magic. If my fragments aren't enough of a clue, going out today was the best thing for me. For my body, my mind and my pup. We needed this. The miles passed too quickly, I pushed myself and told myself that this is the sport my body was made to do. It's exciting to be back, and I can't wait to start focusing on my diet again.

Tired of water and dog pictures yet? Too bad, my blog.

I've posted this everywhere, so if you've seen it sorry-but this IS my running and weight loss-esque blog. So, here's my newest progress photos:

Today's Mileage: 4.1
Time: 38:43

Monday, February 15, 2010

Couldn't wait to get goin' but wasn't quite ready to leave

Well, we're back! Aspen was beautiful and vacation was needed. The absence from Goliath was nearly more than I could take, I think I might have a little separation anxiety myself. Call me obsessive and crazy-but I love my dog, he makes me smile when no one else can and he goes with me when no one else will.

It's been nearly two weeks since I've laced up the Bowermans, and secured the leash. And I'm really feeling it. It's right about this time where the hormonal low starts to get to me. The depression sets in, and the motivation isn't hard to find. The problem? My health. It's the total pits right now. Without getting into all the gory details, and sparing you photographs I had some minor oral surgery on the previous Friday, and there were complications, and complications to the complications. I'm on high dose pain killers and oral and intramandibular antibiotics for the next three weeks, when I will have hopefully my last round of surgeries.

This couldn't have happened at a more inconvenient time. Of course right after vacation and the dead middle of marat training. I've missed so many days of training, that my fitness level and lactate threshold will be null. I've laid in a bed for a week, I've lost a little over ten pounds. Ten pounds of muscle mass. I'm nervous.

What do you do after set backs? Where you pick back up in training?

Usually, I'd just go out for an easy run to see what I can do. I want to be 100% but I can't wait another day. I don't want to push myself too much too soon, but that's kind of who I am. I've come to accept that I'm an "all or nothing" kind of person, but I've also come to accept that this part of me needs to change. It's why I keep getting injured, It's why I'm considerably more frustrated with my training than your average runner and It's why I've never been able to just relax.

When I'm not pushing myself there's a knot in my stomach that's akin to that rock you get when you feel guilty. It probably is guilt. Guilt because I know I can do better than whatever it is I just half butted.

While I know it's not healthy to be this hard of myself, especially while I'm trying to recover in the first place, I don't really know any other way.

Baby steps I guess.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

BoskyBlog on Vacation!

We'll be offline for a snowboarding trip to Aspen,CO!

Goliath will be at the mercy of my brother, who will likely learn a lesson in exercise and leash management.

Oh and training has been put to an abrupt stop, I know the pain in my legs all to well. It's time to take it easy, which won't be easy with a marathon in ten weeks. Hopefully vacation will distract me enough.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Rome wasn't Built in a Day

There's nothing more motivating then getting congratulated by Lance Armstrong. Just one of the pluses of the Nike+ Sport Kit. I'm renewing the love I once had, I love hearing my mileage in my ear and hearing how much left there is to tread. I love having someone else in my ear, I feel like I can't let them down.

Yesterday, I actually cross trained. Yes, me. I went to a...GYM. I lifted...WEIGHTS. I am...SORE. This morning, I could barely walk. Getting out of bed was the hardest part of the day. Strengthening my core will be a lot, um, something. See, I want to be a better runner but I want to do it by running.

It's hard enough as it is to get motivated to run, let alone when it's freezing and you're sore. My hips felt like there were sand in them, and my IT band was solid. Needless to say, the first half mile was agony, warming up was agony and cooling down was agony. My training dictated a 5 miler with a 3 mile warm up at 11:04. I'm sorry but trying to run that slow with Goliath is torture. We're both miserable, so we sped up and worked in a five minute split to stretch.

We ran this without our yak traks. I overly romanticized running in the snow. Oh, it's so magical and calm. It's quite. Snow is beautiful. These are the lies I tell myself. Really, snow is terrible. I hate it. It compacts into my treads. It gets my socks wet. It doesn't respond to my feet like the trail. Don't worry though, I'll complain about the heat come summer time. But for now, I'll mourn the skin on my legs.

My friend sitting next to me just commented on my pink capris. How sad. Those are my legs. Running without my jamming tights today probably didn't help with the DOMS, but it certainly did make me feel uber hardcore.

I'll leave you on a little less frigid note, pictures from our dog park trip:

Today's Mileage: 5.1 miles
Time: 51:45

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nowhere to Run

Running in worn out shoes can be likened to having surgery without being anesthetized. You might think you're tough enough to take the pain, that your sheer power of will can overcome anything. In the end, you'll regret opting out of pain killers, be in more pain than when you started and only have a long recuperation to face. I learned that lesson the very painful way, and not wanting another semester of pain I invested in new shoes.

The Nike Factory store is like my field of dreams, my candy store. By no means am I label whore-but I am when it comes to Nike, and yes-I know it's not high end. It fits my lifestyle: cheap, and decent quality. I can safely put 300+ miles on Bowermans without risking injury, and I could not ask for more from a shoe that's not custom and under $60. Friday my super-sweet Husband bought me new Bowermans and a Nike Sport kit, since my first kit pooped out after Goliath chewed it up.

Here they are: originally $130, purchases for $49.99:

Snow is on the ground here, again. With new shoes, I know ultimately they will get dirty and wet, especially in the weather I force myself to run in, but I couldn't bring myself to go out on a tempo in them yesterday. Instead, I skipped training altogether to continue with my recent running sin pattern. Although I should be, I'm not worried.

This week, I will be top loading my marathon training because of vacation. I'm well aware top loading can be dangerous in the sense of taking too many days off at the end of the week may lose fitness. Although I should be, I'm not worried.

Goliath and I went out for our tempo run this afternoon, and after running the half mile to our trail we saw eight of so tweens playing on their bicycles in the snow. Not wanting to disturb their little party on the run/hike trail, we turned around and went home, after all the run/hike trail shouldn't be used for running or hiking. I finished my work out on a treadmill, and took Goliath to the dog park for his.

I got sweaty, he got muddy and in the end we both got baths. Speaking of getting clean, I found eleven of Goliath's toys hidden in the lining of my couch. How does he do it?

Today's Mileage: 3.1, 5k (runs combined)
Time: 23:45

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just Like Honey from a Bee

Goliath and I rested today. Well, I rested and Goliath ran around in circles. You can rest easy, I will be fitted for new shoes tonight so our tempo Saturday, and long run Sunday will not be interrupted.

If you know anything about me, you know I didn't gain weight eating carrots. I bake and cook a lot, and on days where I have a full morning I like to spend it researching new recipes and tailoring it to my wants, and my husband's sugar tooth.

After a recent conversation with a friend, and pregnancy like cravings from the Mister I attempted Oatmeal Cream Pies ala Little Debbie.

You are thus warned, that the following pictures contain pornographic material of the food nature:

The recipe was found at Recipe Zaar, and I made slight modifications.
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
1 tblsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Old Fashion Oats
Cream Filling:
2 tbsp HOT water
1/2 tsp salt
7 oz marshmallow cream
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup powder sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1. Mix flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a bowl.
2. Cream butter, and sugars. Beat eggs in one at a time, then add vanilla and molasses.
4. Add flour slowly, beating in. Stir oats in with wooden spoon.
5. Round tablespoon of dough onto parchment paper, and bake at 350 degrees until edges brown. You want the cookie to be slightly moist. Let cool on tray.
6. For the cream filling, dissolve the salt in the hot water.
7. Mix all other filling ingredients for 3 minutes on high, then add cooled salt water and mix well.
8. Spread filling on flat end, press another cookie on top.
9. Enjoy immediately, or set completely in fridge for an hour.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Feel on Top of the World with Ya' Baaaaybee

I've been breaking all sorts of cardinal running sins lately. After yesterday's pain, I decided that I probably should take off until I invest in new shoes. This morning, I woke up feeling energized and fresh-which is rare. I usually dread getting up, but the sun has been rising sooner and I've been having more restorative sleep. Goliath sleeps in his bed for most of the night, and like clockwork he gets up at 7am and jumps in with me. I woke him up and said "Wanna run?" and he perked up from a solid slumber:

I laced up my racers and set out for 5.5 miles knowing that I would have to walk seven miles to work. Initially, I was apprehensive not knowing how this would go and if I'd feel that same pains as yesterday. Between mile one and mile two, there's a quarter mile wind tunnel and when I pushed through I knew that it'd be a good run. With a twenty foot highway barrier on the left and condominiums on the right the wind whips through there like bottle rockets. There's no headwinds or tailwinds, it's just wind in all directions.

These five miles completely made up for my miles yesterday. It was one of those runs, where you feel like you could run forever. I pushed a 7:20/mile on mile three. Goliath noticed my pace picking up, and he was pleased. It's cheesier than Gouda, but it was one of those runs where you feel yourself improving and your body changing. There is literally nothing running wise that could make me happier, except maybe new shoes.

Goliath decided to wade the creek today:

All in all, awesome run today. It felt great: snot, boogers and tears from the cold, all of it. I was so focused, that I didn't notice him cockroach in poop. He's such a Beetlejuice, attracted to foul scents and fan of dirt.

I need to start cross training more, so if anyone has any good suggestions-bring them on.

Today's Mileage: 5.5
Time: 45:23

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This is Me on the Hurtin' Side of Pain

It's time to retire the Bowerman's. They've gotten my through two half marathons, and their training. Today's run, although scheduled to be brief, was excruciatingly painful. From over zealous training, I experienced not just one but TWO tibial stress fractures. During the month hiatus from running to recover I went a little crazy. The mental low from not having the excess endorphins was just added insult.

Driving to work, I'd see runners and get bitter. Normally, I'd wave or give them a chin nod even if they couldn't see me-but there's no camaraderie in injury. Today, I felt the familiar pang in my leg. There are way too many miles on my shoes, and I know better.

So what should have been interval training for four miles, became a two mile jog and a two mile exploration walk.

Goliath swims in this fall when it's warmer, today the frigid twenty degree water swayed him against it.

We got home about an hour after we set out. I think Goliath was still tired from yesterday's run, because he's been sprawled out, passed out since I took off my shoes only waking to see what I was cooking for lunch.

(Cajun Lettuce Wraps)

Today's Mileage: 4 miles
Time: 1:00:32

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Pain that Buckles out Your Knees

Yesterday's run really made today's eight a lot harder. My legs are exhausted, and my shoes are pushing 380 miles. I haven't pushed that mileage on our trail since running the Gobbler Grind in November. It was motivating to remember that the last time I paced through those woods was when I completed my first marathon.

Our scenery improves as the foliage turns green, and the animals come out. When the grass gets tall, Goliath likes to chomp at it and cut his own path. Some days I would be so focused, I wouldn't notice that he'd found some carcass and was proudly strutting it alongside me. Little puppy Goliath found a lot gross things, including snakes. He's such a prey driven dog, that anything that moves along our path catches his attention and needs inspection. The milliseconds where he decides to attack or ignore are priceless. His stance gets wide, and his neck elongates. The ears perk, and twitch like radar.

I get a little intimidated at our splits. My mind gets caught up in the pain in my knees, the muscles that are now bricks and how raw my lungs are. Then the thought of "I'm only halfway finished," enters my head and suddenly I feel exponentially exhausted. Suddenly, I mentally don't think I can do it. Regardless of what the total mileage is, it could be 2 or it could 15, I feel this way.

At 4.1, I collapsed into the grass to stretch. Our scheduled two minute split became a five minute rest. It was laughable: me sprawled out in the grass while he darted in and out of the tall weeds. Smart money says that for every mile I log, Goliath doubles it. I couldn't even get him to sit still for this:

Today's Mileage: 8.3
Time: 1:20:18