I was a swimmer all my life, not a runner. When I decided to start really running, as opposed runs I would do just to get some cardio in, during breaks in weight training, I decided it would be good to get the help of a personal trainer, who was also a marathon runner. This was about 3 years ago and before I became a trainer myself. I set my goal to run a 5K. One day, when I had just started working with her, a few of us were out and I mentioned that I was running at a slow pace of 12 at that time. She made a comment that I can't remember now and laughed at me.
Has anyone else ever had anyone look down on them for being a slower runner? It can be very discouraging. Having had many swimming coaches, I've dealt with all kinds and so I just filed this under the knowledge that this was not a person to go to for motivation or inspiration and soon moved on. I also learned what kind of trainer I did NOT want to be.
So...... I am currently reading Hal Higdon's book, Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. Mr. Higdon writes, "Slow running is not necessarily easier than fast running. For one thing, you're out in the sun longer." He goes on to quote 4-time Boston and New York City Marathon champion Bill Rodgers, who said this about those in the back of the pack. Bill Rodgers, who I grew up watching with my dad, said, "I can't even imagine what it's like to run for 5 or 6 hours."
I am hoping to run Newport, my first marathon, in around 5 hours. It won't be easy to be out there running that long. I wish I could thank Bill Rodgers for understanding that and for telling all us slower runners that we, too, are working really hard and accomplishing something huge.
Now, where am I at? I ran 16 miles today with no walk breaks. I forgot how good it feels to run in cooler temperatures. All my long training runs have been in temps over 80 until today, with some over 90. My knee was complaining but I pushed through. I picked up some new stretches to do every day for my IT band, have ordered an IT compression band (will it help?), have a new strength training program, focusing on maintaining as much muscle upper body as I can and on balancing out the leg muscles (strengthwise) and have an appointment to see my orthopedist on Thursday.
It's looking like this just may happen! :)
Posted on 8/26/2012 by cPT_Helice
Good Morning MFPeeps,
It is a beautiful weekend here in New England - so nice and cool. I'm still nursing my left knee and trying to be patient with it. Yesterday was long run day. Since it is a cut back week, it would have only been a 13 miler, something that I would never have considered an easy week not so long ago. Still, I decided to let my physical body and not my mind determine how far to go yesterday. It was rainy and 63 degrees and I was annoyed a little that it wasn't a 20 miler day with my knee feeling like itself, rather than a cutback week with a recovering knee. Murphy's Law - right?! I ran nice and slow, which was still almost a minute faster than I had been running (pace-wise) through all the hot days. The first 4 miles were smooth. I switched to the right side of the road, since our roads slope down on the edges and my left leg never hits flat. I was 2 miles from home, thinking maybe I could do the full 13, when my left calf started to tighten a little, almost as if to tell me not to push it "Or else". I slowed it down and just lightly jogged my fifth mile, back towards the house, and about the time I hit the start of mile 6, the pain began and I could feel it starting to swell again via the tightness in the joint. I stopped and walked for a few minutes until it eased up, ran a little more until I got to the last 0.25 mile, which is almost straight downhill, and knowing that downhill is the worst thing I can do to my knee, no matter how nice it may be to open up and soar down the hill, reluctantly walked down the hill and home for some serious stretching.
I didn't push it. My mind would have liked to have. But, I listened to my body. I also finally got my mind to look at the real facts, which are that I would much rather be sitting home after a 6 miler, wishing it was 13, than sitting home packed in ice, on the day of my first marathon.
Today's scheduled 3 mile run was not done. And it's ok. I've got a new weight training program put together, with focus on strengthening the muscles around the knee joint as well as my poor typical runner's underdeveloped hamstrings. I've also picked up an additional Spin class to teach for Monday's. So, I will be taking my training/running program and reevaluating what and when and putting it all together overt the next few days. I'll also be incorporating my Yoga.
The key is patience and listening to your body. It's a little easier this week because it's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and I don't mind chilling on ice (no pun intended) in front of the tube.
Have you ever had to pull it back due to an injury? How do you distract yourself, if it's NOT Shark Week. ;)
Posted on 8/19/2012 by cPT_Helice
Not having the best day here.
First, I want to say this and to be clear.... while I am a personal trainer, I am NOT a doctor or a licensed medical professional. What I write in here is what works for me and what doesn't and what I am trying out. I will share what others with MUCH more experience share with me and let you know where it comes from but I am in no way telling anyone else what to do or giving any advice to be considered medical advice. Also, a lot of times I push through pain and finish a run. This is not the advice I would give someone else. Listen to your body. Know the differences between sore, tired and injured muscles. My condition with my knee is such that it has been this way since i was a child - possibly from birth. I have ALWAYS had pain and if I didn't run on it, when it hurt, I wouldn't run at all. Rest will not cure it. It is not an injury. I know where my limits are.
That said.... today I pushed past the limit. Sometimes this happens because I get stubborn and just want to finish up my run. Or, because I just get bull headed and don't pay attention and don't get in enough recovery time. I ran my first 20 miler on Saturday (previous blog) and was good for the first 19 miles. I picked up the pace on the last mile, half of which was uphill, and that was a bit too much for my knee. Normally, I would have rested or done a short 2-3 mile very easy run on Sunday. I had not really checked my calendar and agreed to cover Spin the next morning, I planned to go easy. But, I felt really good and so went all out. Monday was my recovery day and I hit the weights. That's all fine and good but I added in squats and lunges on an already shaky left knee, which I just wasn't paying enough attention to. Last night was my regular Spin class and I taught it as a strength class, same as Sunday's, and then got up at 5am to run 6 this morning. Again....... not the norm. I have made it a point to run in the evening, after i teach the night before, so as to give myself more than 10 hours between. But........ I have a meeting at the gym tonight with the director to set up to do some small group training. So, I figured it would be fine to run this morning.
So, as you can see, it wasn't one mistake. It was a pile of no-no's that lead to my knee collapsing right when I hit 5.9 miles this morning. Don't get me wrong, it hurt before that. I tend to run through that pain, push through it, as it ALWAYS hurts. But, this morning it hurt more and I DO know my body and I DID know i should stop and I just DIDN'T. It was just STUPID! And because I opted not to stop of my own free will, my knee stopped me and gave me no option. I limped home, cursing myself for ignoring my body's days of signals, the worst of all was not stopping on my own. Bad, bad, bad on my part. (I feel the need to repeat again here, please do not do as I do)
I got home and entered my room. There were my crutches, leaning against the wall in the corner of my bedroom. They looked a little like Tiny Tim's did just up against the wall in the scene in A Christmas Carol, when the ghost of things to come shows Scrooge the future. Reluctantly, I took them out of their brief retirement and they are right here next to me as I type this. I'm working from home and living by RICES today: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate, Stabilize... (actually not really compression - replace that with Advil for me today)
I'm not logging food today. I am just eating healthy and trying to get in lots of healthy foods and plenty of water.
So, there you have it... my first mid-week update - my don't do what I do blog. I hope to be back out on the road for tomorrow morning's run, even if I have to cut it short. If I am at all sore, I will skip it and rest the knee. Better to miss some training days than to miss the marathon due to injury.
Hope everyone is out there kicking a$$ and taking names this week! Burn some extra cals and run a mile for me peeps! :)
God Bless and Stay Safe on the Roads!
Posted on 8/15/2012 by cPT_Helice
Hope this finds everyone having a great day. I am pleased to say that I did my very first ever 20 mile run yesterday. It was so much easier than last week's 18.5 mile run, in that, although the humidity was up around 90%, it was much cooler (high in the low 80's) and the sun was hiding behind the clouds most of the time. In addition, I chose a fairly flat route, which is not the norm for my runs at all. I have to say it was, for the most part, really, really nice.
I read a few articles about running in high humidity, before starting out, and decided to walk 1-2 minutes for every half mile run. After the first mile or so, I realized that this was too much walking for me and I changed it up and, still following the advice of taking walk breaks in the high humidity, decreased the frequency of my breaks to about 1-2 minutes every ~2 miles, give or take a half mile. This worked very well for me. At the very end, I ran straight through the last 3+ miles (remembering a seasoned runner once told me to ALWAYS finish strong), taking on a steep hill for about 0.5 miles before the last mile and then increasing my pace from an average of 11.5 to under 10 for the last half mile.
I really like having a number on long runs to try things out during (and before) and have so far settled in to drinking my water with Celtic Sea Salt (which I will not have in the marathon, as i will not carry my own water) and my Clif Bloks gels for electrolyte replacement. I have used these for about a year on my long runs. Last week I started adding in Gatorade at the halfway mark and it really helps me (no gels with Gatorade). I will have my son and parents with a bottle of gatorade for me at the halfway mark of the marathon. This week, I added in some wintergreen lifesavers and it was a nice little sugar rush and tasty. Breakfast has become a half a glass of green tea, strong, and 1/3 of a cup of Pumpkin & Fig Granola with blueberries and almond milk about 60 minutes before my run. I still have plenty of time to tweak this. But, for now, this is working well.
It was so nice to run a new route and not just go around and around on the same loops. The Nathan water vest has allowed me this freedom and I love it. Last week i ended up with awful chafing from the vest on my ribs. The cuts are still there now. A friend told me to put the Glide Stick on all seams of the vest, as well as on my body. I hadn't thought of this. It worked wonders. Thank goodness.
Well, let me get a little bit into my personal life here, as it is going to effect my training. I was told back in May that my position in the lab (I am a research chemist) was being phased out and I found out Friday that this is my last week of work. They are giving me some severance, which will go towards my son's tuition bill, and next month I will apply for unemployment, if I haven't found anything full time. Now, I have picked up another Spin class to teach and am taking on a small group to personal train. Also, there is a possibility I may go full time as a trainer at one of the gyms I teach at. So things are in motion in various directions. I am asking for prayers that something will come up, knowing it will in that God has always taken care of me and my kids.
OK...... now on the bright side.... I will have much more flexibility in my training schedule for a bit and also will be able to get back to some strength training. Though, I will wait to focus on body building until after the marathon, as the 2 can not be done at the same time. (Contrary to what some may have us believe, you can not build muscle while in a calorie deficit). But..... that's a whole "nother' blog and will not begin until after October. :)
So, this coming week is a cut back week and my long run will be 13 miles. I will check in here, though, and maybe find something fun to share.
Have a wonderful week and, as always, I sincerely appreciate all your comments, your "thumbs up"s and your support!
Posted on 8/12/2012 by cPT_Helice
Thank you, thank you, thank you MFPeeps who have been following my blog, motivating me and believing in me. Thank you for getting me through today's run in the awful heat and ridiculously high humidity!!!! You guys rock!
I started out feeling strong today. I had on my brand new Nathan Hydration Running vest and I now have the huge chafe marks on my ribs to prove it - YOUCH!!! No matter how many places you put anti-chafe, there's always a new spot you just didn't think of. But, I digress..... where was I? Oh yes.. I started strong, vest on, water filled, frozen gatorade in one pocket, gums and gels and cell phone in the other. My iPod was nice and fully charged and out the door I went. :)
Today was the Pan Mass Challenge and my road and the roads on my usual route are also on the Pan Mass Riders routes. So, I ran alongside the riders for a good 3 hours of my run. AND IT WAS AWESOME!! I live on a windy country road with no sidewalks and so I stayed very close to the wooded sides of the roads as hundreds and hundreds (probably thousands) of bikes were passing.
Now there were two incidents..... strike of the idiots! One rider almost hit me and I had to jump into the woods because he was TEXTING WHILE RIDING!!!! WTH? Later, there was a rider broke down and they had the event van over helping him. This clogged the road a bit, combined with the riders taking up the other side of the road. Cars were backed up a bit. One driver didn't feel like waiting and so tried to push me off the road with his car very slowly, rather than waiting for me to run up past the van. I had to move into the woods a bit, so as not to get scraped by his car inching through, and then took my hand and slammed the back of his car. (Road rage?) A group of riders on the other side of the road saw this and gave me a shout out: "Go girl!!".
Now, did I mention it was hot? It was hot, hot, hot and New England humid, >90% when I first set out. Awful, awful, awful!! Still, I think it was all the excitement of the bikes that pushed me along. And I kept my pace very slow. After about 8 miles, I decided that I would walk any real hills and not kill myself as if this was the actual marathon. I have had to work to actually convince myself this is not cheating during training. It's not! It's training! And it's hot and I have got to allow my body to cool best it can sometimes and not overheat even more on a hill. This worked for the first 16 miles and then I hit a wall, a very hot wall and my water was warm (note to self - add more ice next time) and I had to take more walk breaks to make it through. The sun was getting higher and the temperature going up more. A few times, looping around, I had run by a guy with a hose, which he used to spray the riders, as they went by. Just at the right time, I was coming up to him one last time. I crossed the street to his side and asked if I could please get sprayed. I seriously don't remember the last time ANYTHING felt so good. I set back out and, passing a few straggling riders here and there and finished up my last 2 miles, ending right at my house!
So, yes, I done did it and I owe so much of it to you all, because so many times today i wanted to stop and I thought of this blog and how I do this SO THAT......
Next week my training plan calls for 20 miles on Saturday. I will do it. And if I can reach these goals each week, so can you. I am doing this for a number of reasons but the one that keeps me going is so that you will know that you can keep going, too. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, reasonable, attainable goals, one by one will get you to that big one one day.
Now, I'm going to rest and ice. :) Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless!
Posted on 8/04/2012 by cPT_Helice
Good Morning MFPeeps!
I just got in from a 5+ mile run and it is brutal humid out there, even at 6am, which is when I started out. Ugh, ugh, ugh!! Normally, this would have been a lifting day for me. But, after my crawling through humidity run on Wednesday night, my body said "NO" upon hearing the alarm go off at 5:30 yesterday morning for my usual Thursday run. So, listening to my body, so that it will also listen to me, I took a recovery day yesterday and ran today instead.
Now, the challenge ahead is my 18 mile run tomorrow and I'm a bit shaky as far as my confidence goes for doing this one, especially in this humidity. I woudl love to know I have your support and also that I have you all to "answer" to when I'm done. I'm a big one for using the mantra "so that", when I run. I'll explain the origins more in another blog, when I have more time. But tomorrow it will be SO THAT I don't have to post that i failed. and SO THAT I can show those that haven't done it yet that it can be done. and SO THAT I can say that setting reasonable, attainable goals will lead you to success. Based on the work I have done, this is a reasonable and attainable goal. I WILL DO IT!!
That said...... what do you all think about when you run? Or, when you swim or bike? I find that my mind goes all over the place. I often times talk to God during my runs. Sometimes I am thinking Him and sometimes I am askign for the strength to go on. Other times I just think about my day or the next day or work, cause why not stress myself out WHILE I run, I even think about bills. UGH! Well, this morning I was thinking about what it would be like if we lived on the moon, what it would be like to run on the moon and diet on the moon. See... I don't know how to just quiet my mind. yeah, I know.......YOGA. I do it and it helps but, peeps, I fear i'm a lost cause on this.
So, when I got home and was getting ready for my shower, still contemplating life among the stars, I came to the realization that if I lived on the moon, I would never need a bra! True? No more bras on the moon..... or would we need them to keep the girls down? Hmmmmmm...... that thoguht lead me to the effect on men and on that note I didn't want to visualize any more!! And...... in the words of Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that!".
Have a great day! :)
Posted on 8/03/2012 by cPT_Helice
|Join MyFitnessPal today
and lose weight the healthy way. Get your own 100% free diet blog and calorie counter. Put away your credit card - you'll never pay a cent."
join now for free