Sunday, January 31, 2016

feeling better; 6K

I'm feeling better mentally & physically. Mentally, because I'm working on the stuff I need to work on to get ready for Perth. Weight management, doctor visit, getting organized so others can help around the house, etc. Physically, because for whatever reason my pain in the butt is feeling better.

I did 6K today was icy. I'd have been slow anyway, but the ice slowed me down probably another 10-15 seconds/km. It wasn't icy everywhere but over maybe 10-20% of the route it was dicey. It was beautiful though, and I took a bunch of photos in Liberty Park and a few from our front porch when I got home. It snowed about an inch or two last night and it was just gorgeous on the trees. I'm not a fan of winter, but I'm trying to enjoy the parts that are nice, and it IS beautiful.

6K at 7:04/km with ave HR 137, pain in the butt only 0-1/10, some slight pain in left knee (3rd day of this; better today than Friday) on the medial side when extending the knee (it kind of "pops" a little and hurts, not all the time, but sometimes).

Saturday, January 30, 2016

cross-training; Weight Watchers

Today I woke up pretty sore in the hamstring - I think from sitting a lot at dinner and the symphony last night. In addition, it was snowing outside and the roads were a mess. So racewalking was pretty much out of the question. Instead, I did the elliptical for 40 min and then went to my Weight Watchers meeting, as I had outlined in my plan to get ready for Perth this October.

It was good to be back at Weight Watchers. They have changed the food plan a bit but it's simple enough to do the new points system with the app for my phone. The new meeting place in Foothill Village is very nice and quite an improvement, plus it's closer to my house. I am planning to attend weekly until I get back to my goal weight, which should only take a month or two if I am diligent. I posted the Perth 2016 poster on my fridge to motivate me and keep me out of trouble :).

In other news, we put up a basketball net for Grace (and the rest of us). I think we might have to wait a bit to use it though...snow!

Friday, January 29, 2016

8K; doctor visit

This morning I did 8K, slowly, but with very little "pain in the butt". The pain was maybe 1/10, and though I went slowly, I enjoyed myself and felt better than yesterday. I took both dogs, and Powder was a bit skittish and sometimes slow, but mostly behaved herself. They need the exercise, so it's good to take them out. I didn't try at all to push my pace, but I did do my glute exercises before starting and thought a lot about using the right muscles and having the right posture, for what it's worth. Garmin data here. 6:58/km with ave HR ~138 according to my Fitbit (forgot to wear my Garmin HR strap).

At 8:45am I had my doctor appointment. Dr. Powell (sports medicine doc) remarked that it's been 3 years since I've seen her, and congratulated me on staying out of her office :). I had to admit that it was mostly because I haven't been able to train hard because of the fatigue/muscle soreness issues. Oh well. Anyway, she examined me and said she thinks it's one of 3 things: 1) proximal hamstring tendinopathy (what I think is most likely), 2) bursitis (there is a bursa near the ischium), or 3) stress fracture. The treatment is different for all three: 1) run clinic, 2) cortisone shot, 3) rest. So she has ordered an MRI to see which it is so that we can get moving on training again soon. The MRI is scheduled for next Wednesday, so stay tuned. Hopefully I can get this behind me quickly, pun intended :).

Thursday, January 28, 2016

game plan; 6K

I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself. It's time to take action.

New game plan:

1. Visit sports medicine doc tomorrow at 8:45am (already made the appointment) to get a referral to the run clinic to treat my persistent pain in the butt.
2. Go to Weight Watchers meetings on Saturdays at 10am (that should work for most training, even the longer ones). I have to get my eating back under control.
3. Write a schedule incorporating the yoga for runners DVD as well as some strength training; it'll probably start with my PT exercises when I get them.
4. Already discussed this with Loren and told him if we were going to prioritize going to Perth/Australia on vacation as well as for the WMA competition, then I need his help a bit more around the house so that I have time to train, do PT, Weight Watchers, etc. I am also going to draft a schedule for the kids so that they know when they have to help clean, do dishes, etc. I'm sure they won't like it, but too bad. They are old enough to help out, and last time I checked they wear clothing, eat our food, and dirty the house.

Meanwhile, yesterday I did the elliptical and this morning I did 6K racewalking; forgot to restart my Garmin at a stoplight and lost a few minutes, but I was slow, at just under 7 min/km with ave HR 139. I focused a lot on proper technique. My pain was at most 1/10 so that's good. I'm planning on racewalking again tomorrow morning so that I have recent and detailed info to report to the sports medicine doc on where the pain is. I do feel it's been better this week since taking last week off; of course I've also been taking my anti-inflammatory on a regular basis too. Maybe I should ask the doc for a prescription one again...hmmmm.

I was feeling so motivated and excited about things that I cleaned the fish tank at work :). I hope the feeling of motivation sticks around for a while, but also that as it fades I can still keep my long-term goal in mind.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

slow is OK; fast not so much

I racewalked outside today, very slowly. When I tried to push a little faster, even for short periods of time, it started to hurt more, so I backed off. Slowly, at 7 min/km, it was OK, with pain not exceeding 1/10. That's something, anyway. It seems like it's been so long that I wonder if I'll ever feel "normal" again. It's hard to even get out there and walk, knowing that it will probably just hurt and leave me discouraged. I want to get ready for Perth and build a good, solid base. I want to do a marathon or a 50K again.

Oh well.

Today's slow walk: 7:06/km with ave HR 135; only did 4.45km. It was cold at 19F (-7C) with wind chill of 9F (-13C). The dogs both came along and Powder actually behaved herself :).

Monday, January 25, 2016

not much is up

Haven't blogged much because not much is happening. I've been resting my sore rear end, doing elliptical daily (except Sunday, when I took a day off for the first time in 2 weeks), and hoping that the tenderness would improve. Mostly. On Friday our lab played tennis and went to lunch for our post-holiday holiday party :). The tennis was fun, but I did strain my injury site a bit.

After ART last Tuesday, I think that my hamstring tendon near the top is the pressing issue at the moment. That's bad news because it's hard to heal (not much blood supply) but good news because the ART practitioner says it's a very small spot, about the size of a quarter to half dollar coin. Either way, I needed to rest it, and as of this morning it felt a lot better. Better enough that today I decided to try a little racewalking. I hopped on my treadmill at home (icy outside, and I was worried that the turns on the gym track might be aggravating it - maybe not, but maybe?) and managed 30 min pretty much pain-free. I stopped a couple times to massage just to be safe, but it felt decent.

The rest of the day it didn't bother me much, so I'm going to try to walk outside for 5km or so tomorrow; maybe 6km if the mood strikes. I will probably take the dogs... :). It's going to be cold in the morning, at 21F (-6C) but 5-6km is not so far, so if I dress warmly it'll be no biggie. Here's hoping I can do it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

trying to stay positive; 5.5km

Yesterday: Well, Sunday evening my pain was definitely worse even though the 6K itself was pretty low pain. Had Loren massage it but I think that might have made it worse? So yesterday I just did 40 min elliptical.

Today: I really wanted to RW and the pain was better so I went and did it. Pain levels were 1-2/10 (as they have been) while walking and so far it doesn't feel worse afterward (it's lunch time now). I don't know if walking on it is a good idea, but I can't stand not walking. On the other hand, if it's slowing my recovery I shouldn't do it. I just don't know. I am going to the ART guy again today and that should help.

I was kind of slow today, but some of that was due to icy conditions. It was deceptive. It looked fine out there but there was a lot of black ice. For those in warmer climates, black ice is icy spots on black pavement, and you just cannot see them. It's very dangerous when driving and also when walking. It was slick enough in a lot of areas that I didn't have good toe-off. Otherwise it was OK; if I'd have known I would have walked indoors but even with the ice it was good to be outside. It was 30F (-1.1C) so it wasn't horribly cold and that helped. Of course I was also only out for 40 minutes or so.

Total time 37:56 for 5.5km for 6:53/km with ave HR 142.

I'm feeling a bit down. First world problems, I know, but...still problems. Pain in butt, can't train, cold icky weather, weight gain, eating too much. I should work on the food because that'll help me feel better long term, but it's challenging and more so when I'm feeling down because I tend to comfort eat. I probably need more sleep, too...hubby's alarm clock went off at 5:30 am (he forgot to turn it off from Saturday when he had to get up early for Calvin's First Lego League competition) and that was annoying. Arrrgh.

OK...what can I do to help? 1. Eat well. 2. Sleep well. 3. Do some Pilates and/or my Yoga For Runners DVD. 4. Try to go easy on myself. 5. Think positive and long-term instead of negative and short-term.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thursday - Sunday

3 steps forward, 2 steps back, 3 steps least I'm moving forward.

Thursday's workout, which I expected to be great, was not. I wonder if it was because I was still sore from the ART? I felt OK, but when I started to RW it wasn't good. I stopped every few laps to roll on the ball/foam roller/get the kinks out, but it wasn't really working. After 46 minutes of walking slowly, I gave up. 46:14 for 6630m; that's just under 7 min/km, and with pain level 1-2/10. Bummer.

Friday and Saturday I did the elliptical and just tried not to think about it too much. I will admit to being discouraged.

Today I took advantage of the nice weather - it was 46F this afternoon (7.8C) and it felt so warm in the sun. It was lovely!!! I was glad I hadn't gone in the morning. I took Sugar around Liberty Park and it was awesome. My pain level was 0-1/10, and though I was a bit out of breath (geez, losing fitness...) I felt pretty good. I feel like the technique is starting to gel - the changes I've made are starting to become more natural, slowly. I still have to concentrate, but it's better. I felt good for 4k, then a bit tired for the last 2k, but the pain in the butt wasn't too bad. Whew. These things take a while, and I know that, but it's still hard to get through.

I did 6K in 38:40 for 6:27/km with ave HR 147. I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

5K, elliptical; ART

I did 5K this morning on the indoor track. It was OK; nothing special. 17 laps, and stopped at laps 6 and 12 to massage with my torture ball. 4974m in ~32:40 (had a watch error - didn't stop it while I paused when my headphones got unplugged!) which is a bit over 6:30/km (6:35?). Pain level was pretty tolerable, at about 1/10. That's good I guess. Then I did the elliptical for a bit to get in some extra exercise. That doesn't hurt at all :).

Was very happy to get my ART (Active Release Technique) therapy today. I had Derek check for any back involvement and he says there is none. He is impressed by my flexibility (go me!) and says that in general things are pretty darn good. I have some tenderness in my left TFL and a little in my adductors; piriformis is surprisingly not too tender - only in spots - and what seems more tender and bothersome is the sacrotuberous ligament, but just the part near the attachment at the ischium. He was extremely thorough and checked everything out, and said that really my problem isn't too severe, which was a relief to hear. I mean, I guess I knew that on some level because I can still RW without horrible pain, but it's hard to be objective about oneself which is why you have a coach, a PT, an ART person, etc. He also checked my hamstring and pronounced it 100% fine (whew). I made another appointment with him for next Tuesday and will probably keep going on some sort of regular basis for a tune-up until I'm 100%. Even then I think I might go monthly to keep any problems at bay. I must say that it's nice to have someone work on you for an hour, even if it is somewhat painful in a hurts-so-good way. touch base with my coach and make some new plans.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

resting up

After my icky 10K on Saturday, I decided I had to do things differently.

I took a rest day Sunday (which I usually do). Then I got a cold :(. I still have the cold, and have been making it to work but have had to nap every day to get through things. Fortunately I'm 30 hr/wk so I get off early on M-W and can take a nap w/o taking sick time.

But I still have been exercising. Monday I did 30 min elliptical and some casual walking, and today 35 min elliptical and casual walking. Plus taking naproxen and sleeping extra. My piriformis is still tender but is a lot better. Go figure.

I made an appointment with Derek Parkes of Salt Lake Sport & Spine, who does ART (Active Release Technique). He fixed my piriformis very nicely last time it was like this, and he can also check my back for any issues, as my coach wonders if there's something going on there.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

icy and sore 10K :(

It was icy (but not too cold; about 32F/0C). My butt hurt. Kelly was nice company for the last 7K. I was supposed to go 15K, but after 2K knew I couldn't do that today. I could only do 10K at 7:12/km. Stupid piriformis. Part of it was the muscle soreness; part was the icy spots. I have no idea why it's flared this week but it is just not letting up. I'm discouraged. I ate too much tonight :(.

Maybe I shouldn't even try for Perth. Geez. I'm really bummed. I probably should go to sleep instead of staying up late blogging. I'm sure I will feel better in a couple of days. First world problems...

Garmin data here. 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

9948.6m indoor track

I drove to the JRP at 6 am this morning to meet Kelly to RW. We couldn't even WALK on the sidewalk because it was covered with a thin film of ice. The asphalt path was a little better but was still very, very slick. Um, nope! Bummer. So we agreed to meet up at the U indoor track at 1pm instead.

That worked out much better. As boring as it can be to do lots of laps, it beats the heck out of the treadmill or trying to walk on ice. I did my glute activation exercises and started walking, and my piriformis was quite tight today. I don't know why it was more bothersome; all I did yesterday was elliptical, but I felt I did a good amount of sitting yesterday, and that was annoying in a painful way, so maybe that was it? I don't know. I do know that a bit of elbow from Kelly was a huge help - stopped for massage at lap 10, lap 20, and at the end (lap 34). OUCH! But the good kind of ouch :).

I did OK. 1:05:07 for 9948.6m = about 1:05:26 for 10k which is 6:32.5/km or thereabouts. I had to sit in lab meeting after and that was a bit painful. Hoping a cross-training day will set it right before I try to do 15K on Saturday.

Garmin data here. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

better today; 5x585m

Today I woke up feeling better. I definitely think the x-c skiing was the culprit behind the problems yesterday and Friday. What a relief!

I was going to meet Kelly at the Olympic Oval this morning, but last night I remembered that then I'd have to do more counterclockwise laps, and that the track at the U would be clockwise today, so I texted her to see if she could meet me there. It's a longer drive for her but she very nicely agreed after I bribed her with the promise of a homemade latte after the workout.

So we met at the U and did glute activation and some elbow (ouch! Kelly has a sharp elbow!) on the piriformis, then 5 laps warm-up, nice and slow for 3 and then gradually speeding up. I did some dynamic stretches and got going on the speed work. 

I was to do 5x2 laps (585m) at 85% effort, concentrating hard on posture. I did that, but I think my last 2 or 3 were probably a harder effort. Sorry, coach....of course, Kelly was there and it helped to have her watch my posture; she ran while I RW and so she could concentrate to check it. She looked very critically at my hips to make sure there was no anterior tilt, and she said it looked good. HA! Still holding it. I can tell, too. I was a bit sore but the discomfort was mostly a 1/10 on the pain scale, and the elbow afterward helped too. 

I wasn't fast but it wasn't terrible either. I'll take it for now. Times for 2 laps were 3:21.0, 3:22.9, 3:24.2, 3:24.0, 3:24.7 (tired on the last one!). Those are equivalent to 2:51.7-2:54.9 for 500m, so not too awful, all things considered. Still, this is 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. Would be nice to make even progress for once, but I guess I will take what I can get!!! I'm relieved to be feeling better and no more x-c skiing for now. Not until my butt is 100%.

Edited to add: Garmin data here. Notice HR at 170 on the last few. Darn it. A bit of fitness lost...oh well!

Monday, January 04, 2016

7900m indoor track; tough going

This was tough going, but I got it done.

Saturday I did the elliptical for 30 min and walked the dogs in the neighborhood. Sunday I cross-country skied with Calvin for 1 hr 20 min; he is not fast yet so we only did 6K, but it was fun. I do think that it fatigued my glutes though, because they were tired today. Well, as long as I can still get my RW workouts done, it's OK I guess. Though I probably won't do much skiing for a while since we're back to school/work/etc. and I won't have time.

Today my legs just felt "off" for the first several laps, and my piriformis and other muscles were particularly whiny in my left side. It wasn't acutely painful; maybe 1-2/10 at most, but it did bother me no matter what I did. I concentrated very hard on my form and went really slow, so that much was good, and it doesn't seem to be any worse now for having done it. But I will admit I'm concerned that it's not feeling good today. If things aren't feeling a good deal better by the end of the week I may have to consider taking a few more days off RW to let it heal up, though like I said it may be exacerbated by the x-c skiing, so I want to give it this week to get better first.

I felt pretty down when I realized that my injury was still nagging so much. I tried not to let my mind wander but will admit I kept thinking that I might have to rest for 6-8 weeks like last time I hurt my piriformis. I really hope that doesn't happen. I need to just keep my mind in the present and try to let the rest go.

With stopping for massage and glute activation exercises, I managed to get through the 8K without a significant increase in discomfort. But I was slow. Oh well.

Total time: 7900m (27 laps) in 54:05 for 6:51/km. Geez. Sloooooowwwwww. Oh well. It's better than nothing.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year! New Year's Revolution Run 2016

On the first lap I knew this was going to be a tough day. I don't know why, but my left piriformis/other muscles were quite annoyed today without any racewalking. My best guess is that the cross-country skiing I did yesterday afternoon with the kids aggravated it? I didn't feel it hurting but who knows? I did fall once going downhill, 'cause I stink at skiing :). But the fall was gentle and I didn't have any pain afterward. I'll probably never know. 

I really, really wanted to do the half marathon though. About lap 20 (of 47, in lane 2 (448.3m/lap) - that's 21.07km but I did walk one lap slowly at the end to ensure a full half haha!) I thought maybe it wasn't gonna happen. But with massage and glute activation every 9-10 laps, and stopping briefly to grab snacks in the latter half of the race (ate a Gu and also some cheez-its (yummy! and no tummy problems!), water, gatorade) I made it. If the pain got bad I would have stopped - but it never really got bad. It hovered at about a 1-2 of 10 the whole time, pushing a 3 at the end, but not enough to make me stop. Some of the discomfort, honestly, seemed to be in my glutes themselves, as I know those muscles are adjusting. 

I am sure I had really good posture and used my glutes for the whole race. I worked very, very hard to concentrate and hold it, which I am sure also contributed to the difficulty. This was my slowest half marathon ever, but I did the whole darn thing. 

The kids did great too - Grace did 5K and Calvin did 10K, running some and walking some. My friend Sarah did a half as well, and Diane and Nancy were there too. Diane did a half, and Nancy went farther, doing 15.87 miles (over 25K). Go Nancy!!! She looked good, too. She's been working hard on her form.