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

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

4 Don'ts and Dos for Injured Runners

Disclaimer: This is an updated post from 2017.

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 a 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 comments in the post that she regretted her decision to boot walk the race. But if you are interested in trying this, she has some suggestions on how to best attempt this. I'd probably stay away.

Even elite runners aren't immune from running while injured. Sarah Crouch ran the 2019 Boston Marathon with a 'stress reaction' in her femur. You know how this ended, right? She hoped to be the top American woman finisher but instead developed a fracture in her femur during the race, finishing in 60th place.  She and her coach received a lot of well-deserved flack for this. However, I think we runners all understand her determination to push through injury.

Common sense tells us that sometimes, as runners, we have to give ourselves a break. But common sense isn't always common when it comes to race day or training 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, or worse--worth it?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

How to Deal with ITB Pain

Disclaimer: The information in this post is purely informational and is not intended as a substitute for seeing a medical provider. 

Now that's a pain I haven't felt in a long time...

For about the past month, I've felt a little nagging pain in my right hip. Even as I write this, I've got this aching running down my outer right thigh to my knee. No, it's not RA. It's not joint pain, even though the pain is originating in my hip. I know this pain. Even though it's been a long time since I've felt it, it's a pain you never forget. Because like plantar fasciitis, once you've had it, you never want it again.

Have you ever experienced iliotibial band tendonitis aka ITB pain? If you have, you know of what I speak. I need to get it on it stat! before it gets out of control. Here's how I'm dealing with the re-emergence of yet another sleeping beast.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Loving...Not Loving

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

It's time once again for another edition of Loving...Not Loving. This is the where I talk about the things I love but whomp, whomp...there's something not to love.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

8 Ways to Cope When You Can't Run

I've been doing really great, I think, since my diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis in December. I've run a 10 mile race and 2 half marathons. This summer, I came in 1st in my age group in a local 10k. While I haven't been symptom-free, I've had relatively mild symptoms. Any flare ups have been short lived and easily managed. I thought I had this thing in the bag.

Until I didn't. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Don't Poke the Injured Runner: 10 Dos and Don't That Can Make or Break Their Recovery

Runners, can I get an amen? If you've ever had an injury, you know what I'm talking about here.

Technically, I'm not injured. Technically, I'm dealing with a chronic illness. Technically, it's the same page from a different book. You get me, right?

I've been injured many times throughout my many years of running. But oh my word--the things well-meaning people say to us runners when we are hurt. It usually has something to do with knees, doesn't it? The funny thing is, now that I have RA, I'm getting that same advice! Along with all kinds of assorted well-meaning voodoo I need to try.

I've gotten to the point where I have to bite my tongue, count to 10 and then respond. My increasing crankiness reminds me of that expression: Don't poke the bear. 

I think we all know that wouldn't end well.

So, as a public service to your family and friends, I wanted to offer a few suggestions of do's and dont's when approaching or speaking with an injured runner. If you're the one who is injured, you may want to hand them a copy of this blog post. You can thank me later. Your loved ones might want to thank me as well.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

But Can I Still Run?

This week I attempted to find my footing, literally and figuratively, as I worked on getting my head around my new diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. While I don't want to be known as the "arthritis runner", I wanted to share what is ahead for me--both in the doctor's office and on the road.

I'm still feeling overwhelmed and reeling with the shock of this diagnosis. I was also surprised that in spite of completing a 5 day course of high dose steroids (prednisone), I continued to have significant pain and stiffness in my hands and feet. It's like aliens have taken over my body. That is exactly how I described it to my new BFF, my rheumatologist, and she agreed. "It's a shitty diagnosis," she said.

I couldn't have said it any better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A LIfe Without Running...

Imagine if you will, a life without running.

Maybe you can.

I've given it some thought. I've had a tough go of it this summer. I've finally conceded to this relentless PF and pulled back on my mileage and my pacing. By doing so, I've lost a lot of fitness. Combine that with the heat and humidity of summer and my runs have been really tough.

I miss those easy 8-10 milers that I normally run on the weekends.

I miss the fast paced 5-6 milers I bust out during the week.

I miss training for a race.

Right now, I'm happy if I can finish 4 miles without stopping to walk.

I blame the weather and PF but is there more contributing to my problems with running?

Is this the inevitable slowdown that comes with aging? Can I accept that? Should I just hang up my shoes?

People do stop running as they get older. The proof is in the numbers. When I moved from the 45-49 age group into my current old lady group, the drop in the number of participants was dramatic. Arthritis happens. All that wear and tear on the joints takes a toll.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Runner's Gotta Do...

I came home from work Monday and told my husband I was "this close" to a nervous breakdown.

Life 1, Wendy 0.

How do non-runners deal with stress?

I'm pretty sure I have some ideas about that. All of them tempting. None of them healthy.

I've been dealing with this latest flare of PF by taking time off the road. This latest break has lasted 3 weeks. I did run that 10k a few weeks ago, but other than that, I've behaved myself.

Normally when I take time off from running for injury, I'm ok. But this go round? I'm struggling. Probably because this injury has lasted so long. On Monday, I hit critical mass.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sole Food: A Week Off the Road

It's been a week of ups and downs. After facing reality and realizing that I needed to take more time off running than I thought to calm this latest PF flare, I immediately felt my willpower muscle start to atrophy. Maybe it's because I trained through injury all winter--who knows--but I'm just not feeling it right now. I'm not feeling sad or anxious or guilty--really, I'm not feeling much of anything at all.

If I had to pick a feeling, I'm feeling kind of free. In a footloose and fancy-free sort of way.

Like those pay-as-you-go wireless plans, I have no long term contracts. No commitments. No obligations.  Really, the only thing I'm working on is recovering from this injury. Yes, I need to maintain fitness, but there's something to be said about shutting off the alarm and rolling over to get a little more sleep. 

Yes, I did that this week. More than once.

I don't know this person but it feels kind of good. In spite of a less than productive week, workout-wise, I'm feeling pretty ok right now.

First, the lowdown on my workouts. Spoiler alert: there's not much to share.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Revising My Fitness Goals for the Rest of the Year

Oh 2016, I had such big plans for you! I was going to travel and run all over you. Even though I started off the year with that pesky foot issue, I worked through it and got to the start lines of my 2 bucket listers, the Sarasota Half Marathon in March and the Big Sur Marathon in April. I returned home from California full of hope and ambition! I felt euphoric and fulfilled. I set my sights on a few half marathons for the rest of the year.

Naturally, fate had other plans for me. My son broke his leg and we got a new puppy. I could roll with that, but after a fall on a rock last week, my plantar fasciitis flared badly. It has yet to calm down. As you read this, I'm getting an x-ray and spending the morning with my sports medicine specialist. No matter what the outcome of that visit, it's clear to me that a revision of my goals for the year is in order.

What's a runner to do?

It isn't as if I haven't been in these shoes before. Literally and figuratively. Does it even matter what's wrong with my foot? No matter what the diagnosis, I'm still going to have to take some time off. Again. So I took a look at the goals I set for myself this year and made some alternative goals that will keep me in shape and ready to run once I can hit the road again.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon

After every marathon I've run, I like to evaluate my performance and my training. What went right? What went wrong? What did I learn?

Do you do this?

This marathon was particularly challenging for me. I knew going into the Big Sur Marathon that I would need to prepare myself for hills. Lots of hills, uphills and downhills. Living in the Chicago area, there just isn't a lot of opportunity for hill training. With my coach Becky, we worked on a solid training plan that would get me ready.

And then a major flare up of plantar fasciitis. So painful, I couldn't walk, much less run. I was forced to alter my training plan significantly. Along with my mileage, my confidence took a nose dive. Was I going to have to DNS this bucket list race? And if I was able to get there, would I have to DNF? I had to dig deep to get myself to the start line. Could I put my fears aside and run? Would my desire, determination, and past experience with the distance be enough?

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon

You all know the outcome of my marathon. If you haven't read my recap, you can read that here. Still feeling so grateful, I've started easing into running again while I continue to recover. I've had plenty of time to reflect on this training cycle and my race. I'm proud that I didn't shy away from the challenge ahead of me. It would have been so much easier to DNS than it was to continue to train through injury. But I don't give up easily. Fortunately this was an injury I could train with. I was determined to run this thing, even if it meant training with time off the road and in the pool. Putting all my doubts and fears aside, I crossed the finish line triumphantly.

What did I learn from this experience? I learned that all those mantras we lean on have a lot of significance.

It's not about finish times, it's about finish lines.

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon

Technically, Big Sur is a tough course. That's why you don't see any world elites here--there won't be any world records set at Big Sur! Believe it or not, this course is a Boston qualifier. For me, this isn't the course I'd want to push for a BQ. Besides the technical difficulty of this very hilly course and the famed headwinds, there is the beauty of running in one of the most amazing places on earth. Who wants to breeze by all that is Big Sur? In addition, I was running this marathon on sub-optimal training. I was just happy to be there and wanted to savor every moment of my bucket list race.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon

I do 99% of my training solo. Races too. This was the first time I ran a race with a friend. When Kristina and I decided to run together, we knew we were going to make lots of stops for pictures and to take it all in. When my PF flared, she told me she'd carry me across the finish line on her back if I needed it. Thankfully I didn't need that, but she gave me the emotional support I did need in those tough middle miles.

If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough. 

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon
Pre-dawn pre-race
In my recap, I wrote about that pre-race panic attack I had in the middle of the night. I always have a little pre-race anxiety but I've had nothing like that since my first Chicago marathon. I could have skipped the race, right? And let Kristina down? Let my husband down? And me? I talked myself down. I reminded myself of how badly I wanted this dream to come true and how bad I'd feel if I bailed. When it was go time, I put on my big girl panties and got on that bus to the start line.

Step outside of your comfort zone. Nothing good ever happens there.

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon
This is hill training when you have no hills to train on...
Once injury struck, I was determined to get to the start line. My revised training plan was so outside of my comfort zone that I just figured I had nothing to lose. After I was forced to take time off the road, I had to get comfortable training in the pool. I felt really foolish when I first started "jogging" around the diving well, so much so that I had to explain to the lifeguards what I was doing. When I crashed my bike on a training ride, I sucked it up and got right back on the horse, because what else could I do? It's not like I could run, right? After a couple of weeks, my foot felt better and I was able to try running, slowly, and was pleasantly surprised how much fitness I had retained through my cross training. This helped my confidence going into the final weeks of marathon prep. I learned that you can prepare for a marathon without a lot of running, but it isn't something I'd recommend.

Never limit where running can take you.

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon
Or yoga. Warrior 2 on the rocks of Big Sur.
Destination races present a whole new set of challenges for the runner. There's all the travel logistics, getting there, where to stay, and navigating an unfamiliar locale. But to me, the rewards of running in a new place far outweigh the challenges. That's really the beauty of running. You just put on your shoes and run.

I can do hard things.

Lessons Learned: Big Sur Marathon

This was the most technically challenging race I've ever run. Let's just say it. It was really hard. But thanks to Becky's ingenious training, I was much better prepared for the hills than I realized. For me, dealing with that nausea in the middle of the race was tougher than any of the physical challenges this race presented. Mentally, I had to dig deep to push through those miles while feeling sick. Even though I entertained the idea of quitting, I would never have done that. What would be the point? So I kept moving forward. I can draw on this experience in the future, both on and off the road.

I like to think that running the Big Sur Marathon has made me a little more fearless. Every race I run makes me stronger. I never want to go through life afraid of a challenge. I don't want my life to be limited by my fears. I want to be strong. I want to be brave. I want to be confident.

I can do hard things.

It's a work in progress. I still need to figure out that middle of the marathon nausea thing..

What lessons have you learned from a race? Do you think running makes you more fearless?

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word is fearless. Check out what makes all the other bloggers fearless!

Also linking up with Coaches' Corner! When the Suz asks, you don't say no! Check out posts hosted by Suzlyfe, Coach Debbie Runs, Running on Happy, and Crazy Running Girl!

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...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10

It's getting real. Only 2 weeks to go until the big show. The foot continues to stay quiet and I'm feeling more excited than nervous! Here's how the week went down.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10

Monday: I went to yoga at the studio. The entire class was done at the wall, which really helped me get into my hips. I was a little sore after my long run/long bike the day before, and the class really helped loosen me up.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
Triangle pose with a bind
Tuesday: I had an 8 mile run on the plan, so I pool ran for 73 minutes. I know, it's not an even number, but the lifeguards kicked me out of the pool at 8 am so the pool noodle class could begin.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
Someone asked for a video but I just don't know how I could pull that off. Those lifeguards...
Wednesday: With hill repeats on the plan, I put the bike back in the trainer and decided to do another GCN class. This one was called Extreme Fat Burning Workout. It was a spin class with tough intervals. Even though it was only 50 minutes long, it was 50 minutes of hell. I was a drippy, sweaty, tired mess after this one. A worthy substitute for those hill repeats.

Hero pose. Feeling infinitely grateful for all that I can do, even while injured.
I did yoga at home after that, doing my own Post Run Yoga workout.

Thursday: It was back to the pool for 60 minutes of pool running. The weather has been awful this week--it was snowing this morning--and I'm not minding my indoor workouts at all. No selfie from today's swim. I think the lifeguard is on to me.

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
Oh my gosh is this fun! But oh my gosh was I sore the next day.
After pool running, I went to see Becky for CrossFit. She changed things up a bit today. I was excited to see her pull out the slider board. So fun! She also had me do some hip work with the resistance bands. Then there were Romanian deadlifts. Followed by an all out row for 3 minutes again. I continue to improve on my pacing with that.

I met Marcia and Sara for lunch and we talked all things running. Sara's running Boston next week and she has been killing her training. I'm pretty sure she will BQ again. Marcia, who has run Boston a few times, gave Sara some last minute advice. And both of them listened to me moan and groan about my PF. We forgot to get a picture, but trust me, it really happened.

Friday: Today was a rest day but I had another runner meet up, dinner with Michelle, Penny, and Debi! We had never met Debi before but knew her from her FB page, Girls Run the 901. She was in town for the Lakefront 50k. Isn't it great meeting FB friends in real life? It's like we all knew her. She has the cutest southern accent and is a nice as you would imagine.

Michelle, Debi, Penny, and me
Saturday: I had a six mile run on the plan. I woke up to snow. I also woke up to my oldest son's wrecked car parked in the driveway. After I woke him up and learned what happened, I put on my shoes and headed out into the bright sunshine. As sometimes happens on a run, I processed this latest bit of mama drama while taking it out on the road. I had to keep redirecting myself to reign it in, and in spite of wanting to push it, I think I did a good job managing my pace. I also found myself singing out loud to Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name. Complete with fist pumping. I hope nobody heard me. Or saw me. 5.55m/8:39m/m

Big Sur Marathon Week 10

The day got better, though. I watched my youngest son compete in an area high school invitational gymnastics tournament where he placed 3rd out of 42 boys on the high bar. I may have cried. And he let me hug him. His team placed 3rd out of 14 schools. What a day.

There he is, 3rd place. On the podium! I'm so proud!
Sunday: Even though I had a 12 mile run on the plan, I cautiously decided I would run 10 and call it a day. It was blustery and cold, with some rain. I headed out to the bike path which would keep me from running directly into the wind for most of my run. My legs felt surprisingly loose and my foot was quiet. I paced myself around 9 min/mile and did a great job keeping my splits consistent. By mile 4, I made up my mind to do the whole 12. I was smiling and singing along to my playlist, but not pushing my pace at all. This was a really enjoyable long run--and I haven't had one of those for a long time! I stopped once to take a picture and that was it. My 12 miles took me right to my driveway and when I stopped, I was still surprised to feel minimal pain in my heel. 12 miles/9:08m/m

Big Sur Marathon Training Week 10
The hay's in the proverbial barn!
I thought to myself that this is how you should feel when you've trained for a marathon. You've done all your work--speedwork, hill work, tempo runs, long runs--and 2 weeks before the race, you should feel loose and ready. What amazed me about this run is that in spite of very little time on the road the last couple of weeks, I feel ready. Is it the pool running? The cycling? The weight training and CrossFit that Becky has been doing with me? Whatever it is, I'll take it!

How was your week? What's the weather been like by you? I'm so ready for spring!

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap! It's a great place to catch up with everyone and see what they've been up to.

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 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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