Thursday, October 14, 2010

Then what??????

I've run a couple times this week....but the times and distances were pretty pathetic, so I haven't felt like posting them.

I'm experiencing a new pain. It's in the "L" of my leg....where my foot curves up into my shin.

I'm good for about a mile, and then I can feel it starting. If I were to stop running right then, stand flat footed, and try to just lift the ball of my foot, keeping my heel on the ground...I'd fail. The tendon or muscle on top of my foot is screaming!!!!! If I keep running, it gets worse...and I start looking like Frankenstein, stomping down the road.

I try doing different stretches every so often...but nothing I'm doing is really helping.

There must be a stretch I can do before, or during, my run that will help. Some exercise that I can do while watching TV that will loosen whatever is ticked off. :-)

I need to get online and do some research.

Self diagnosis, always a good idea.


This weekend's half marathon is a flat lander's dream. The pain comes on flats and hills....but mostly hills. So I should be fine on Sunday.

And...speaking of the half marathon this weekend....

My first ever half marathon is THIS WEEKEND...aaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I've been completely gung-ho about my running since May. I found a training schedule and have stuck to the running bits, almost exactly. I actually enjoyed getting up early and hitting the pavement before work. I couldn't WAIT to lace up those shoes, and head out.

But these last two weeks have been hard.

Really hard.

I can barely get myself out of bed in the morning. My times have been getting worse, not better. And I didn't even DO my long run this past weekend.

The honeymoon period is over...officially. For some reason, the joy of running has left the building.

"Paging the joy of running. Joy of running, please report to the front desk."

I have the same problem when I'm out running. I'll pick an object I know I'll pass along my route. "I have to make it to the _____. Once there, I can walk for 15 seconds." When I get about 20 feet from the object, my body gives up, and I start walking early.

It's 100% mental.

So, I'm guessing that having the half marathon actually right around the corner, within sight, my body is giving up and I'm walking early.

I'm not afraid of the half. In fact, I'm almost jumping out of my skin excited about it.

No, what I'm worried about is what happens AFTER the half. Since May, I've had a training schedule telling me what I need to be doing.

It doesn't tell me what to do after.

Sure, I need to rest a couple of days....and ease back into running slowly. I get that. But what happens then??

Do I need to find another goal....another object to run towards? A spring half marathon perhaps??

And then what?

Do I keep running half marathons, always working to PR?

Do I sign up for a fall marathon, and write a new chapter in my running life?

There is a series of books that I read....the main character gets up and runs a mile or two every am to stay in shape. She's another reason I started all of this. I want to be the girl that gets up in the morning and runs....accomplishing more by 6:00 that most people do by noon. It's a pretty "romantic" notion I think.

I'm usually more of a free spirit. I just go where life takes me. I play it by ear, with as little planning as I can get away with.

But for some reason I crave a goal, a plan, when it comes to running.

Running isn't easy for me. I really have to work at it. I'm slow, I'm weak. I'm never going to win a race, never going to stand on a podium.

And I'm perfectly fine with that. But running is work, and I need something to motivate me to keep going. I go to work everyday, so they will pay me and I can buy things.

I've lost almost 30 pounds running. I've gone down two full dress sizes. I'm healthier, I have more energy, and I'm much much happier.

But, for some reason, a tech shirt and medal is more motivation right now.

It's nuts! :-)


Heidi said...

Well that was all over the place - hahhaa.

First - ouch, I hope you can find some relief for your pain. If it persists you might want to have it looked at by a sports therapist, but that won't do much good for this weekend. Speaking of which...

Second - GOOD LUCK for your half this weekend. Your FIRST half - wooohooooooo. I remember fondly the excitement that came with that. I was bouncing with excitement in my work chair for about a week prior. I also remember the pre-race lack of enthusiasm with running, which brings me to ....

THIRD - I've had that same "are we there yet" feelings before a few big races I was really looking forward to. I don't know what it is, but it's like this big build-up and suddenly you're almost there and you don't realy want to do it anymore. But each time, once I've gotten to that start line, the fire reignites and I'm raring to go. Which brings me to my final point ...

LAST - My advice would be to definitely pick someone else to focus on. It doesn't have to be another half, or a full. There is NO shame in going back to smaller races. Honestly I love a 10K. I love the challenge of a half and one day a full - but a 5 or 10K is fun. I no longer feel a ton of pressure in doing them. They are everywhere and usually not a big financial investment. And you can work them in to any training plan. But they really give you something to look forward to. After my half I was really anxious to start working on improving my pace over shorter distances. Running was fresh again.

OK, that was a novel. :) Have a great time this weekend and GOOD LUCK on your half. I hope whatever pain you are having stays away for it.

Lori said...

I came here by way of Heidi!! I am so glad to find your blog. I run as well. I also like to have a plan. I've done the 5K, I've done the 10K, now I think if I don't move on the the half marathon then what will I do. Winter is looking like a long several months.

I'm also interested to read more about your shin splint story. I have some pain at the moment! I hate pain!

I'm also slow and will never stand on the podium. But I run and I love it and I love reading about others who do the same.

Good luck in your half!!

Brian said...

Your pain problem is likely similar to the causes of shin splints. In addition to stretching your calves, it's a good idea to strengthen your dorsiflexers (the muscles that raise your toes). You can do this using this simple exercise:

You shouldn't feel any pain when doing the exercise, so you may need to rest for a while before starting it. I do it a few times a week as preventative maintenance.

As for what to do after the half marathon, it's up to you. Whatever sounds best probably is. If you need a goal race, then go ahead and schedule one. Just make sure you rest enough to prevent yourself from being injured.

Jamie said...

First, good luck this weekend! I hope what you are feeling are only taper pains and you'll be good to go race day. After you are done and have ample time to celebrate then rest then you can worry about what's next. After races I tend to take a break then research what's next!

Nej said...

Thanks everyone!!!!

@ Heidi - it's nice to know that I'm not the only one feeling and experiencing the same things. That's why I love the blogging community (although, I haven't been able to read all my blogs the last two weeks....they'll be some catching up to do here soon!) :-)

@ Lori - hello and welcome!! :-) I kinda skipped the 5K and 10K steps along the way. Going straight for the half. I did it mostly because I knew that it would keep me motivating and running. I had a date 6 months into the future I was aiming for....and it worked. It kept me going, kept me motivated...and got me out of bed at 4:45 am 3 times a week (weekdays). Amazing! :-) I've dealt with my fair share of aches and pains in the last year or so...some serious shin splints, hip pain, a pretty good wipe out and knee injury...and now this new one. It's always so frustrating when it happens, but in hindsight, I use each situation as a chance to grow stronger (mentally, emotionally, physically). As cheesy as it sounds, I feel more and more invincible and strong with every hurdle I have to climb. I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing some pain yourself. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, that's for sure! If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask. Not everyone's situation is the same...but maybe my experiences can help. I will FOR SURE check out your blog once this weekend is out of the way, and I have more time. And yes, the winter IS looming. I usually LOVE the season to pieces, but now that I'm running, I'm almost dreading it. :-)

@ Brain - thanks! I'll have to read up on that. I have all kinds of strange little stretches that I've picked up along the way, that are really helping. Adding one more to the arsenal works for me!!!!

@ Jamie - Thanks! I'm thinking, that it might sound crazy...but 13.1 miles is a long time. For me, we're talking 2 hours or better. Might be a good time for me to think about the next step. Planning the next stage at the exact moment I'm finishing this one. Almost makes sense.

Although, once I get out there with all of those other runners....tripping over the people in front of me, and trying to make it across the finish line standing up...I'm guessing those thoughts will trump any future planning. :-)

Brian said...

I thought of one other thing that might be causing your problem. If your laces are too tight over that part of your foot, you could be straining the tendon. If you've been running with the same shoes/lacing technique for a while, and this has suddenly come up, it's unlikely, though.

jamie@sweatyhugs said...

New follower here! I'm currently battling some crazy ankle/shin issues so I literally feel your pain. ;) Best of luck to you on your first half! So exciting! (I finished my first this past September.)
As for what's next, I def. plan to do another half next year. In the meantime I'm registered for 5k's and a 10k this winter. FOr me it's about signing my life away to races. THAT'S what keeps me running. :)

Nej said...

Hey SweatyHugs! (aka Jamie)

LOVE that blog name!!!!!! :-) :-)

I've been looking for 5 or 10K's offered in the area this winter, and there just aren't many. I'm signed up to do one on turkey day in St. Louis...will be a blast!!!

I'm so sorry about the ankle/shin stinks!!! I read your last post really quick (I need to find some time to catch up on my blog reading, and read some more of yours!) and it sounds like you've almost got it tackled. Rest is the way to go....even though it's the hardest thing to do sometimes!

Before I started running, sitting on the couch all the time was so easy. Now I feel guilty, and WANT to be out running, walking, biking...SOMETHING!!! :-) :-)