Showing posts with label pool running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pool running. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4 Don'ts and Dos for Injured Runners

Been there, run that. I'm the runner who ran a race on a broken toe. I'm the runner who bought herself a road bike and road tested it wearing the boot. I'm the runner who trained for and ran a marathon while battling plantar fasciitis--with my doctor's approval, of course.

We've all got stories. While researching this post, I found multiple stories of runners "pushing their limits", including this story about a runner who was planning to crutch walk the Boston Marathon. I get it. He's injured and can't run. But come on man! These articles portray the runners who do these things as heroes. I'm thinking that this act of bravery could lead to new injuries, including nerve damage to the upper extremities. Brave or foolish? Not to say that any of us wouldn't consider said act of bravery. It is Boston after all!

I also read a race recap where the runner actually walked a half marathon--wait for it, it was the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon--wearing a boot. Foolish? Risky? I've been in a boot and all I can say is wearing it threw off my entire gait. I would imagine there's a huge risk of injury to the unaffected extremity. The author even commented in the post that she regretted her decision to bootwalk the race. But if you are interested in trying this, she has some suggestions how to best attempt this.

Common sense tells us that sometimes, as runners, we have to give ourselves a break. But all runners know that common sense isn't always common when it comes to race day decisions. There's no glory in being sidelined. An injured runner may be longing to participate in an event he trained for. Is the price to pay--more time off the road, medical bills, and worse--worth it?


Friday, July 29, 2016

Runfessions for July

It's that time again...time to runfess! This monthly clearing of the conscience feels so good! Marcia makes it all happen and there's no penance. So come on in and share your deepest, darkest runfessions!


I refer to my early morning pool running sessions as a geriatric happy hour. Usually, I am the youngest person there. Mostly there are the pool noodle ladies and elderly men in speedos. Which shouldn't even be a thing, IMHO. But wait...hello!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11

It's the final countdown to the Big Sur Marathon! One week to go until the race. This was my last full effort. And I am ready!

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11


Monday: rest day. But I did stop on the way to work to steal me some sunshine. And a yoga pose.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11
Reverse warrior
Tuesday: I had 6 miles on the plan, so I went to the pool for some pool running. The lifeguards were very chipper this morning. One of the lifeguards was dancing as he patrolled around the dive well. Apparently earlier this year there was an issue with a swimmer who complained that the music was too loud. Long story short, OSHA came out to check the sound system and found that it was within acceptable limits. So the lifeguards got their groove back.

I didn't get a selfie, though because they were just too observant! I thought maybe I'd get one in the locker room, but all the pool noodlers were in there, getting ready for class. I did overhear this: when asked by another noodler how she was feeling since she got out of the hospital, a lady replied that her "stupid doctor" put her on some heart medication but she's not taking it because she's "mad at him". Don't you love that kind of logic? I wonder how that's working out for her.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11

Wednesday: There was speedwork on the plan but since I'm still taking it easy on my feet, I put my bike in the trainer for another GCN video. This one was called HIIT Intense Cycle Training Workout. It was supposed to be 40 minutes BUT there's a little surprise at the end. The instructor threw in an extra set of intervals. I laughed to myself because the people in the class did not look happy when he announced it. I wasn't either because this is another really tough workout. And dammit, there were ads in this video. One of them popped up right in the middle of that last interval too. That really threw me off. The other thing that I noticed is that there is one girl who is in every one of these GCN videos. I call her RBF because, RBF. She looks miserable in every video. At the end of this one she's talking with the girl next to her and I had the thought that this would be perfect for some bad lip reading. "How about that last interval?" "This guy is a real dick." "Let's go get Starbucks."

There was some yoga, after all that.
Big Sur Half Marathon Week 11
Twisted high lunge
Thursday: I headed to the pool for another hour of pool running aka aqua jogging around the dive well. For almost the whole time, I had the dive well to myself, with the exception of the lifeguards. With about 15 minutes left to go, the pool noodlers joined me for their warm up. One lady, a newbie, asked me if this was a class. I shook my head no, but thought to myself, do I look like a freaking pool noodler? I just picked up the pace and kept going.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11
He moves fast!
Later I went to see Becky for my final session until after the marathon. She had a tough workout planned for me. I pulled the sled, loaded up with plates, down the street. Every once in a while, she had me stop and do KB swings, KB deadlifts, or sidesteps with the resistance band. When she finally let me turn around, she got the idea to have me walk backwards, pulling the sled. At least I could see the cars coming at me before they might hit me, right? There were more KB swings and sidesteps. No rowing today, thankfully. My hips, glutes, and hamstrings were sore. This will be good for those hills of California.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11
This one's for the downhills

Friday: rest day.

Saturday: I had 4 miles on the plan and that's what I set out to do before work. It was a perfect morning for a run. 45 degrees, no wind, bright sunshine--oh my! Spring, where have you been? I took it easy, my legs felt good, and nope, no foot pain. I even picked up a penny for good luck. Could this be happening? 4.31m/8:39m/m

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11
Warrior 2
Sunday: I had eight miles on the plan and I wanted to enjoy them since this would be my last run until Big Sur. I ran to my favorite place to train, the retention pond with the 2 mile loop. I haven't run much there since my injury. Even though it was early, the parking lot was packed. My foot didn't bother me much but the temperatures did. I haven't run in warm weather since Florida, 6 weeks ago. I'm not complaining, but it did make things a little tougher for me! What a great way to wrap up my marathon training cycle! 8.34 miles/8:54m/m

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11
It doesn't get any better than this.
And now the final countdown begins. I'm not planning on running at all this week. Fresh feet is the goal. A little cycling, pool running, and yoga just to keep me from going completely nuts.

How was your week? Is spring happening where you are? Do you pick up pennies for good luck?

Good luck to everyone running Boston tomorrow!!!

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap. It's the place to be. You don't want to miss out, do you?












I'm also linking up with Erin at Her Heartland Soul for her Weekend Snapshot. Got a few of those in this post...

Friday, April 8, 2016

5 Thoughts About Pool Running

As a runner, there will most likely be some point in time when you need to take a break from the road..be it due to fatigue, illness, injury, or just because you want to. If you want to maintain fitness, there are a lot of options. While dealing with plantar fasciitis and training for the Big Sur Marathon, I was really nervous about not running. My sports medicine doctor, as well as several of my running friends, suggested pool running. I decided to jump in and found it to be a worthy substitute for pounding the pavement.

Have you considered pool running as an alternative workout? I'm no expert on pool running, but I've got some thoughts to share with you.

5 Thoughts About Pool Running

Pool running is simple, but it is hard. I don't want to scare anyone off here. Let me just say that it is not as difficult as actual swimming. You don't even need to know how to swim to pool run. For pool running, I wear a floatation belt, but I have read that some people pool run freestyle. That would be really hard. My goal is to keep moving forward, and by wearing the belt, I don't have to worry as much about my form. You want to stay upright, just like you do when you run.

When I pool run, I just get in the pool and literally "jog" forward. With the water resistance, you don't move very fast. That can be deceiving. I try to take short strides and get my legs moving as if I were running. I make sure to lift my knees. My hands are cupped and I move my arms back and forth in the water. I don't stop the entire time. Make sure you are working and getting your heart rate up. Sometimes I'm puffing. My face actually sweats a little bit. When I finish my workout, I'm tired, as if I went for a long run. And I want to eat all the food.

Plan on your pool runs to be the same length of time you would be running on the road.

Pool running is boring.  Like treadmill running, you're not going anywhere for a while. At the suggestion of my pool running friends, I purchased a waterproof iPod shuffle and it was the best money I've spent. Actually, the only money I've spent, except for having to buy a new iPhone after I drowned my previous model when I trusted a waterproof phone case. Trust me on this. Get the shuffle. I listen to my running playlist, which I associate with some pretty great road runs. Those songs really motivate me. Today I had the thought that this would be a good time to try podcasts as well.

Notice the waterproof iPod shuffle clipped to my strap. The earbuds are waterproof as well. Winning!
The benefit to pushing yourself through a boring workout is that it mentally prepares you for those tough miles on a long distance run or race. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Even thought pool running is boring, I had the thought that even more boring would be the lifeguard job. Sometimes I'm alone in the diving well, and I get my very own babysitter lifeguard. They're all young adults who won't take their eyes off me but won't make eye contact with me. It's a little unnerving. Maybe I remind them of their mom. But seriously, how boring to watch me jog in the water. Most of them keep pacing around the pool. I'm sure they'd fall asleep in the chair otherwise.

There's chlorine. When I go home after my pool running sessions, I immediately shower and wash my hair, but I still smell chlorine for hours after. Normally I like the smell of bleach. Being somewhat of a germaphobe, that chlorine smell just feels reassuring. But after pool running this smell stays with me for a long time. I think it permeates my nostrils. When I'm done at the pool, I kind of get a headache and feel a little queasy too. Is it the workout? Or the chlorine? Should I be fueling during my pool runs?

Then there's my skin, which now resembles tissue paper. I liberally lube up my skin with shea butter after a swim but my skin just soaks it up like a sponge. My iPhone doesn't even recognize my wrinkly thumbprint when I try to unlock my phone!

In the morning, there are a lot of elderly swimmers. It's kind of like a geriatric happy hour. I'm usually the youngest person there. While I'm jogging around the dive well, I have to share the pool with the pool noodlers, the elderly women who drift back and forth on their foam noodles. They gossip and talk about all their maladies. I've heard them talking about knee replacements, whose funeral they went to lately, their grandkids...and I think to myself: is that my future? Horrors! But I don't want to be a pool noodler! On the other hand, at least they're moving, right?

5 Thoughts About Pool Running

I'm lucky I get to go pool running. At any given time, there are plenty of injured runners, and I've learned that a lot of folks don't have access to a pool. The park district in my town has one indoor pool, and I feel really fortunate that I get to use the diving well. There are only 2 mornings per week that the diving well is free, and that's when I go. The lap pool is open every morning. I've never done pool running in the lap lanes. I'm not sure how well that would work because it's much shallower in the lap pool and most likely my feet would touch the bottom of the pool. Plus the lap swimmers probably wouldn't be happy with me sharing the lane.

I've been pool running for about 3 weeks and my PF has calmed down nicely. I don't know if it's time off my feet or if the motion in the water is helpful, but whatever it is I am grateful. Most likely I'll be continuing with the pool running for a while after Big Sur. It's not a bad backup plan at all.

5 Thoughts About Pool Running


Here are some links to articles on pool running, if you want to learn more.
Aqua Jogging For Runners
Head For the Pool
Pool Running: Why You're Doing it Wrong and How to Pool Run To Get Faster
A Nine Week Water Running Plan to Stay in Shape While Injured

Have you ever tried pool running? Any suggestions for funny running podcasts I could listen to? Any great body lotion to combat chlorine-induced dry skin?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta for Friday Five. Today's theme is fitness. I'll be fittin' this post right in with the theme... Anyways, Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia host this fun gathering! Check it out!












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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9

I finally settled down into my "new" training plan for the Big Sur Marathon, which involved very little running and a whole lot of cross training. I was pleasantly surprised by the week, and I feel a whole lot more confident heading into the final stretch of my marathon prep.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: I had 8 miles on my marathon training plan. I put on my big girl bathing suit and went to the pool for some pool running. Armed with my new waterproof iPod, I "ran" around the diving well for 70 minutes. I had some company this time. There were 3 "pool noodlers" drifting back and forth across the diving well. There was also a guy hanging out in the middle of the diving well. He wasn't moving, and he was there for the longest time. Not sure what he was up to, I kept close to the perimeter of the pool. Eventually, he got out of the pool and went to the sauna. At exactly 8 am, the lifeguards blew the whistle and I had to get out of the pool. Since it would have taken me about 70 minutes to run those 8 miles, I felt like I had an equivalent workout. Minus the pounding on my feet.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Happy with my "run"! And my tunes.
Wednesday: I had hill training on my marathon plan, so I decided to do intervals on the bike trainer. I found the perfect workout on the GCN channel on YouTube. The Power and Endurance workout consisted of multiple long intervals with varying cadences. The goal was to maintain your same effort throughout each interval. Holy quads! And hamstrings. This was tough and it was good! I was so glad I had my Wahoo Blue SC cadence sensor to help me monitor my cadence as well as my miles per hour. The monitor kept me on track for the entire workout. 15.39 miles/1:04

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Power and Endurance right there...
After I finished, I should have gone to yoga class but instead stayed home and did Rodney Yee's Power Yoga DVD. I've been doing this one for years, and it's a great total body workout. It was a nice substitute for my studio class.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Half Moon on the bench. A balancing act. With wind.
Thursday: It was back to the pool for more pool running. I only planned on an hour today. For the most part, I had the diving well to myself. The chatty lifeguard was there today, and he kept me company for about 20 minutes. The rest of the time I listened to my music. I felt like I finally got the hang of pool running--I felt like I was actually running, not just flailing around the pool. At the end of the hour, I wanted to keep going, but I forced myself to stop. That's a good sign, right?

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Trying to take the selfie without anyone noticing...
Then I went to see Becky for some CrossFit. She hooked me up to the sled and put resistance bands on my ankles, having me monster walk across the gym. I also did sumo deadlifts, leg lifts on the GHD machine, and V-ups with a ball that I passed back and forth from my ankles to my hands. Let's just say my core needs a little a lot of work. It was kind of embarrassing, really. I finished up rowing all out for 3 minutes. Both Becky and I were thrilled to see that my pacing improved dramatically from the past 2 weeks.

Friday: Rest Day. But I couldn't pass up the amazing morning sky, and stopped to grab a high lunge on my way to work.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
High Lunge
Saturday: I had 4 miles on the plan, but decided to run 5. I must have been half asleep when I looked at the thermometer because I sure didn't dress for the actual temperature. It was cold, it was windy, and yes, those are giant snowflakes in my selfie! My foot felt pretty good during the run. Even more remarkable was how great my legs felt. And yes, I've still got some speed in me. 5.23m/8:31m/m

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
Yes, it's snowing! It's spring in Chicago.
Sunday: I had 18 miles on the plan. Yep, it was supposed to be my long run. Although after discussing this with Marcia, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I also discussed this workout with Becky. Interestingly, her idea was the same as what Marcia suggested. Split the run with the bike. So I planned on doing 10 miles on the run, which would take me about 90 minutes, and 20 miles on the bike which would also take about 90 minutes. I checked the weather, and it was supposed to be crazy windy--again. With the wind blowing hard out of the south, I decided to run the bike path, which is about 10.5 miles, and is a straight shot east to west. I settled into a nice easy pace, carrying my Tailwind for fuel. I felt so good that I actually considered just going for it. I knew that would be a bad idea but it wasn't without some internal struggle that I turned around at the halfway point to go home. The foot felt pretty good until about mile 8 when it started to hurt. I was starting to feel tired, and I adjusted my stride to keep from landing so hard on that foot. That seemed to help, and I got home without too much pain. I was really tired though, and not happy that I had to go back out on the bike. I knew that with those windy conditions, it was going to be a tough ride. 10.46 miles/9:04 min/mi

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
10 miles on the bike path
I changed out of my sweaty clothes, drank a protein shake, refilled my Tailwind, and headed back out to the bike path, this time on my bike. Between the wind and the 45 degree temps, I initially needed to do a lot of self-talk to keep moving forward. There were a few points along the ride where I thought the wind was going to blow me over. I've never ridden in those conditions before, and it was a little unnerving. The sun started to come out and it warmed up nicely. I rode to the Forest Preserve and promptly was yelled at by an elderly man who I passed on the path. Apparently he didn't hear me coming and wasn't happy about it. Why are people so angry and confrontational? Everyone else that I passed was friendly. When I got home, I was surprised to see my time: 1:25:58/20.24 miles. If nothing else comes out of this crazy training plan, I am getting faster and stronger on the bike!

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 9
This is actually the same spot on the bike path as my picture above. The sun came out and it warmed up during my ride. Super windy, though!
After this week's training, I'm feeling fairly confident about my marathon. Even though my running hasn't been optimal, I think I had plenty in the tank before I pulled back on the running. I wasn't surprised when I saw my running mileage for March was 57.68. The cycling (there was a lot in March: 166 miles) and the pool running have kept me on track. The long run today was tough, but I got it done. And Kristina promises me that we will run slow (she's going to have to reel me in) and that should help my foot a lot.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for sticking with me. It's been an interesting journey, if nothing else.

Finally THANK YOU to everyone who suggested the pool running and the waterproof iPod shuffle. There will be pool running for a while after the marathon, and I'll be using that thing for a while. I need the music to move me around the pool. Listening to my running playlist summons up those endorphins I get when I'm on the road. The pool running has been a great backup plan.

How was your week? Anyone else training through injuries? Tell me your injury success stories! Snow, anyone?

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap! I love seeing what everyone else is doing. Have a great week!













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