Sunday, September 23, 2012

Change of plans

As a newlywed, I often get asked if anything changed once we got married; our typical response is that nothing changed.  But now I'm admitting that being married and in our 30s means we have to consider really settling down and the whole procreating thing; quite honestly, that scares the crap out of me.  Now is the time to push to make some personal and professional goals happen; my hubby is working hard at some professional goals that seem more important now that we are married.  What on earth does that have to do with running? It means that our plans for going for 48 hours at Across the Years are looking impossible; we planned on running it together but have been working too much and devoting so much spare time to pursuing professional goals that running has been on the back burner.  Story of this year....

As of last night, we are 90% certain we will scrap ATY because it's doubtful he could be ready and my school and work schedules might mean severe deviations from the training plan I devised (yes, I finally did a training plan for a race...and just spent several minutes deleting most of it).  I still plan on getting back in ultra running shape but will try to be patient in getting there, instead of ramping up quickly and seeing how my body responds.  I no longer have a deadline of next summer for checking off some ultra bucket list items as I am getting the itch to make some major life changes.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I "love" A.R.T.

I have a strong love/hate with A.R.T.  Over the past 4 years, Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) has been very effective in breaking up adhesions and getting me back to running.  Dr. Scott Neubauer is a phenomenal doctor and, though he makes me almost scream in agony as he tortures treats me, is my go-to person when I am injured or a "niggle." After last week's DNF, I immediately scheduled time to be tortured by him.  He can work magic and, best of all, is a top athlete who understands me.  I highly, highly recommend him to anyone in the OC/northern San Diego area...well worth the drive to Lake Forest, CA.

Monday he confirmed what I knew - the plantar fascia was extremely inflamed, so much that the inflammation extended below it into muscles.  Awesome.  He dug and discovered knots deep in my calf and found the ones I knew were in my hamstring.  After an hour of his digging into my muscles and I was thankful because I knew all the pain I felt during the session would bring relief in a couple of days.  He told me to ice my foot a lot because it was so swollen (yes, I am soooo relieved I DNFed last week) and gave me other instructions, all of which I have been following.  PF is flaring up in my left foot so I am babying it also.

I spent the week icing, cross training, and wearing super supportive shoes all the time (aside from when sleeping).  I went out for 2 miles on Thursday and Friday and felt "okay."  Today I did 6 slow miles in the scorching heat (temp of 96 but felt like 103 thanks to sunny skies).  I am very questionable for next weekend's ultra as I know I need to get through this latest bout of PF and get my hamstring back to "normal"  I ordered a Rumble Roller and am eager to test it out on Tuesday, the day it's scheduled to arrive; I'll post a review of that torture device as soon as I see if it's worth the hype.

Run on!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Do nothing foolish

After posting yesterday, my hamstring felt increasingly worse and the tightening in my foot (plantar fascia) got worse.  Before the concert and between acts, I used a pillar to stretch it.  The show was so awesome that I could not resist being on my feet and I bet that did not help any.  I decided to sleep with my Strassburg sock on, a device that keeps the calf and foot stretched and typically helps with plantar fasciitis.  Around 5:15am, I awoke to a shooting pain where the arch and heel join; I took of the sock and tried rubbing it but the pain did not go away.  I contemplated bailing on the race but knew Billy and another running friend, Rachel, were going to be there and I love doing races where I can see them.   I decided to make the drive and try for at least a half marathon; normally, taping my arch helps with PF so I did that routine but felt no relief.  Walking around I knew I was not 100% but I started the race hoping things would change.

The course was hillier than I anticipated.  It started in Dove Canyon and that horse trail connected to a trail in Casper Wilderness Park.  I love trails so much that I kept trying to convince myself I could do it but by mile 2, I knew I'd be lucky to do 13 miles.  Around the turnaround at mile 3.25, the pain got worse and I decided to DO NOTHING FOOLISH (DNF) since I was not wise enough to "do nothing stupid" (DNS).  The course was an out/back and the pain got worse before I completed the 6.5 mile route.  I told Billy I was dropping and that I would run errands and come back to hangout.  The walk down the hill from the start/finish killed and that intense pain got worse as I drove around taking care of errands; I realized I had to come home and start icing.

I think that too much stretching may have torn the PF more (apparently PF is microtear) so I need to stay off of my foot so that it can heal; I'm so happy I work from home instead of being on my feet.  I remember when I had PF before it was intense pain when walking but cannot recall how it felt when sitting; so, I do not know if this is better or worse than that bout with PF.  I scheduled a visit with my chiro/ART guru, Dr. Scott Neubauer, for tomorrow and I'm hoping he can help resolve this hamstring/PF issue.  It's crazy that the hamstring issue was caused by overstretching a tight hammy and today's intense pain was probably caused by overstretching my foot.  Apparently, too much of a good thing results in a bad thing.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New trails means no taper

Before I signed up for tomorrow's trail marathon, I committed to spending today hanging out near where my husband is taking a prep class (getting ready for engineering exams).  We are attending a concert tonight and it was the only way we could avoid his leaving the class early to drive home and pick me up for the show.  I realized his class was near one entrance to Chino Hills State Park and jumped at the thought of running most the day...then I succumbed to peer pressure and signed up for a race.

Since I have zero expectations for the race, I decided to go ahead and explore trails today.  I parked at the Discovery Center entrance to the park and picked up a trail map.  I intended on running between 7 and 10 miles and figured I would do an out/back or a loop; I thought one loop would be about 7-10 miles based on a quick glance at the map.  At about mile 3.5, I realized the park is much larger than I realized.  I turned to go up to a peak and started going down a trail to make a loop; two large deer flew across the trail in front of me, initially freaking me out because I did not see that the first was a deer!  The trail was more technical than the one I took on the "out" and I decided it would be wise to turn around and just go back the way I came.  I ended up with about 8 miles and loved being out on the trails! 

I took the pace very easy but know tomorrow will be rough.  Last week I pulled my right hamstring stretching and it flared up again Thursday; I hoped two nights of deep tissue massage (love my hubby) would cure it but today proved it's not getting better. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kick in the butt

I realized I had to give myself a kick in the butt in order to get back on track for my 2012 and 2013 race goals.  My longest run since May was a 20 mile trail run at the beginning of June.  Some days I've been too busy and some days I have been too lazy; I let my "obligations" prevent my getting out the door and then heat becomes an excuse.  So, naturally I decided I have to do something to get myself ready for the Noble Cayon 50K that is less than 3 weeks away.  One of my runner friends posted on Facebook about a small, local trail marathon taking place this weekend.  To me, that sounded like a great way to prepare.  Naturally, I signed up and then thought about what I did.

I am no way prepared for a marathon, much less a potentially hilly one.  The weather forecast keeps looking better and better (imagine my voice dripping with sarcasm); the projected high when I signed up was upper 70s and now it's upper 80s with heat index making it in the 90s.  I know I am up for a personal worst so I am planning on making the best of it.  I did a 10 miler on roads with my husband on Sunday and 13 miler (part trail/part road) on Monday; I'm going for a trail run on Saturday so the reasonable part of me will keep that one shortish.  Sunday shall be interesting...