Thursday, July 30, 2009

“C’mon Mom – I can run 10”

I registered for the 10 for Texas this week, and as I was doing so my 6 year old son asked to be registered as well. I looked at him and saw that he was serious. I explained the 10 mile route that would be run on the morning using landmarks and streets that he was familiar with and emphasized the fact that we wouldn't be in the car, and that we would actually be running. He turned to me and said "C'mon, I can do it! I can run 10 miles Mom!"

As it so happens, the Community Association that is running the 10 for Texas is also running a One 4 Texas Fun Run for the kids. So I asked Mstr 6 if he wanted to compete in the 1 mile run. I explained the route to him, once again using landmarks and streets he was familiar with. He listened and responded rather confidently "No Mom, I want to run the 10, just like you. C'mon I can run 10!"

Of course he can't run the ten. I am sure that he could run the one if he wanted to. We have never really tried. Earlier in the year when I ran a 5 km trail run, he and his dad and younger brother walked the 3 km walk. There was a kids mile run at that event – but I didn't think he would be into it and didn't want to pressure him to compete so didn't nominate him. We sat and watched the kids run – and they ran. It was great to watch – and all the kids who competed got a medal, and had Mstr 6 (who was then 5) competed he probably would have got an age group trophy.

So – we ended up coming to an agreement. He would run the one and I would run the 10 and he would be waiting at the finish line with dad and younger brother when I finished. Also, he would come and do some training runs with me leading up to it – so he would be "fit and strong" enough, just like Mom. To date he has been pretty good keeping his word. He has come on two runs with me - riding his bike - and has done all the stretching and strengthening exercises that the physiotherapist recommended for me. I am really proud of him.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The ‘all-clear’

Yay! Today I got the all clear to get back into training. Although I see the Doc again next week to get the go ahead, the physio and I chatted today and think that fitting in a few short slow runs before seeing him would be a good idea. I am glad we were on the same page about the Doc as I was wondering what benefit it would have been to see him after three weeks of some physio and heaps of rest. At least after a few short runs he will be able to comment if it is some sort of long term damage or just a run of the mill overuse injury.

I am hoping to get out with the group on Saturday morning for a short 5 mile stroll!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lacking Motivation

The past few weeks have been a little bit difficult. Life has gotten in the way of any fitness regime, and I am still under medical advice not to run. I have been feeling a run down and haven't been sleeping or eating well. Also feeling quite lethargic and lacking self-worth. It is strange that in the absence of exercise –a task that expends a great amount of energy – life can feel drab and leave you feeling with even less energy.

I have forced myself to pick up some books to read in the hope to find some motivation that I can connect with to get me over this hump and encourage me to get to the gym to do some non-running training. In a book that I started rifling through yesterday I found a testimonial that I related to. The following excerpt taken from The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer by David A. Whitsett, Forrest A. Dolgener and Tanjala Mabon Kole and reflects similar thoughts and feelings that I have had and over the past few weeks have revisited.

"… On the brink of middle age and 80 pounds overweight, physically my best years are behind me. I used to be quite an athlete, but until the time I started the training program I hadn't run in 14 years! For me exercise consisted of trying to keep up with the demands of three budding adolescents as a single working mother while finishing the last semester of my undergraduate degree. (It had taken me 19 years to get through college! The only other things I've done that long are wear the same bathrobe and breathe! Marriage, children, divorce, and trying to make a living have a way of intervening, and two decades can pass before you know it.) I work too hard, and play too little. I'm so busy meeting everyone else's needs, I forget to consider my own. I would like to take better care of myself, but most of the time I am just too tired to care. I have dreams, but little energy to make them happen. I usually just take life as it comes, rather than going out after it. And I want more, but I don't make it happen.

"Running a marathon was one of those dreams…

"… My family's lack of initial support had nothing to do with my current situation. I had done it to myself, and I had to accept that and take responsibility for getting myself out of it. In that mental moment, I started my training and vowed that I was not going to let anyone or anything keep me from doing this – including me. I got off the couch. I went outside and hobbled one block. One block – that is where I started! Nineteen weeks later I ran 26.2 miles!"

(The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer, Whitsett, Dolgener and Kole, 1998 pp 11-12)

This book that I have just started reading is based around a marathon training class that the University of Northern Iowa has offered on occasion. 15 weeks long and all who did the course successfully finished a marathon. I am looking forward to delving into the chapter to read other student's testimonials and stories and learn more about the training program that they embraced.

For me – last night I sat down and mapped out my goals for the next 15 months leading up to the 2010 New York Marathon.

  • 10 October 2009 – 10 for Texas
  • 15 November 2009 – San Antonio Half Marathon (NY qualifier)
  • 17 January 2010 – Houston Half Marathon (NY qualifier)
  • November 2010 – New York Marathon

There may be a few other activities between January and November next year, but my initial goal is to train for the two half marathons to run a qualifying time of 1 hr 37 mins that will provide me with a guaranteed entry for the New York race. But for now, it is baby steps to allow my current injuries settle down. Physio and yoga are on the cards for the next two weeks, a prescription for the body and soul.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rest and Recovery

I finally got in to see the Doctor today. It was all rather painless – walked in, filled out the paperwork, had some x-rays and was seen by the Doc.

The good news is that it is nothing too serious - patellar tendonitis and planter fasciitis, both very common and easily fixed with some rest and physiotherapy. The Doc said that overuse was the cause for these. Going from 0 miles to 9 miles in a matter of 6 weeks may not have been the smartest of ways to ease back into running, or fitness in general. I think my program needs to adapted slightly to increase the cross training. Maybe to include more cycling (yuck) and swimming (double yuck). I think I may agree to a few yoga classes and possibly some light weights?

Looks like I will be missing my running groups 10 mile run this weekend. This run was meant to cap off a 12 week program starting from 5 miles and going to 10. Funnily enough I started four weeks into it from 0 miles!! No wonder I am getting some training pains from overuse!! The good news is that I can take a break from this heat and humidity and chill in the pool – even if it is swimming some laps. Three weeks should be plenty of time for me to rework my training program and prepare to get out there!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Training Pains

The 10 Mile graduation run for my running group is next week, July 11 and I am not sure if I will be able to run. I haven't been out for a run for over a week. The hills, or rather the dips on our last 8 mile run caused one of my knees to swell and life hasn't been the same since. The arch on my left foot has a constant dull ache and to be honest I think it is the primary source of the knee pain I am having.

The good news is that I have found a great sports doctor who has come highly recommended and have an appointment to see him next week. I am hoping that it is a simple problem of the wrong sort of shoes or something. With a bit of luck, maybe I will be up to running the 10 miles next weekend. Although the longest I have run to date is 8 miles I think the power of positive thinking will allow me to complete the 10. Injury free is the aim and the prerequisite for the run!!

As I am abstaining from running, I am going to try to do some pool walking, bike riding and swimming to keep up the fitness level. This is the training that I am missing for the week –

Saturday 4 July – 9 miles

Sunday 5 July – OFF

Monday 6 July – 3 miles

Tuesday 7 July – 4 miles

Wednesday 8 July – 60 mins cross training

Thursday 9 July – 3 miles (Dr appointment!!)

Friday 10 July – OFF

Saturday 11 July – Course Graduation Run – 10 Miles