Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Long Awaited San Francisco (short) Report

Photo Version, Text coming as soon as life calms down! Oh, I forgot to add a link to my favorite race photo!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Well, my hips have had quite the week.

I was very sore on Monday after the 5 miler at the Portland Marathon and took both Monday and Tuesday off to recuperate. I decided I needed to run on Wednesday and ran an easy 5 at the Y indoor track. I again always run too fast at the track. It is hard to judge my pace when you have to go around 6 times to make a mile. I tried to lose count and go by time as I did not have my lap counter.

My hips paid for it as soon as I stopped running. I knew right away I was in trouble. It hurt to go down the stairs. I made sure I did all of my stretching and strengthening exercises before picking up the kids from the nursery and games room, but I hurt.

All I could do was take Advil and look forward to my appointment with my Doctor/therapist on Friday. It could not come too soon. Friday I left a bit early and arrived a bit early to my appointment and had to wait a bit. That was okay. I knew relief was on the way. Dr. Doyle is a chiropractic sports physician. I told her how things have been going. She had me lay on my side with my top leg hanging back and my top arm stretched out over my head. She used her Graston tools ( I call this torture therapy) from my ribs to my knee. It hurt really bad in places and I knew I'd be very bruised, but I knew it was going to help tremendously. Same for the other side. Then a little A.R.T or Active Release Therapy (which can also be torturous) and an adjustment of the hips and I was done. I could already fell the difference of not being so tight, and quite sore. The bruises were already forming.

Saturday I was quite tender, but I slept so much better and after a warm up period I felt pretty good on my run. The true test came after the run. I felt good still. That afternoon, during my daughter's gymnastics class I went and did some strength exercises for my glutes, quads, hams, lower back, and core. Still felt good.

Sunday came and I knew the therapy was working. I woke up feeling great. After church I went for a short run and felt great. Things are looking up in my hip world.

I have a massage scheduled for Monday and another Doctor/therapist session on Wednesday. Then it is off to San Francisco on Thursday night. I'll run a little this week, stretch and continue my strengthening exercises and take it easy during the marathon on Sunday. I think the worst part will be the long drive down and especially home on Monday. Keep us in your prayers!

I am looking forward to this trip and pray that all of the ladies will have a fantastic and safe time.

Grace and peace to you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Portland Adventure

So this weekend I was in Portland to run the 5 miler that coincided with the Portland Marathon. It was really hard not to register for the marathon during the expo. It was a fun weekend that included trips to and from Protland with my Y running buddies Michelle, Eric and Rick. What entertaining rides we had!

The 5 miler was really fun. I felt kinda dorky just doing the 5 miler, but Ireally did enjoy myself. Portland is my hometown, well, I grew up 15 minutes south of downtown, so it feels like home. I loved getting to watch the marathoners and even caught Michelle and Rick at their 5 mile point. I decided I'd stick to my own recovery regime of 5 minutes run 1 minute walk intervals. It was tough to do this for a five mile race, but I wanted to continue to give my ITB the breaks it was used to. I finished in 45:30. 11th in the 30-34 age group. It was too fast and my hips paid for it. I hurt the rest of the day. I had planned on at least 50 minutes but Igot caught up in the excitement andrace atmosphere. I did have fun and thats what counts.

I had a blast watching the marathoners finish with Sonja and Patch. So, no regrets for not registering for the marathon, yet anyway.

The reason I registered earlier for the 5 miler was due to the fact that I am Runnning the Nike Women's Marathon in San Fransisco on the 21st. The last time I ran two marathons in two weeks I ended up with super duper IT Band issues. It felt like a burning hot knife was sticking out the side of my knee. Funny, It didn't bother me until a week after the marathon though. Needless to say, I did not want the same thing to occur, so I opted for the 5 miler. I know it still sounds weird, but I wanted to be able to have fun in San Fransisco and then be able to run the Autumn Leaves 50k two weeks after the Nike. I realize this sounds wacko, but it makes sense to me. I am not going for a certain time at either, but if I would have run in Portland, I would have really wanted to best my time from last year and I know my IT and hips would have paid dearly for the run.

So, as I just said, my hips would pay. I am having pain after running and for the next day at the top front crest of my hips. I can tell it is muscular and not the joint. I am told to stretch my quads, hamstrings, and IT and to strengthen my glutes. I am using the big white foam roller which is quite painful as well as the Tiger Tail hand roller. Any more suggestions? I have been trying to cross train more, doing hour long spin classes and run slower. I find that the faster I try to run, the more my hips hurt. So, slow and steady for SF and Autumn Leaves.

Grace and peace to you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Year of Marathons

Two years ago this month (October 26, 2005), I had knee surgery to repair a torn left lateral meniscus. For one year I had to wear a Bregg knee brace, otherwise known as the "bionic leg." I ran with that thing and wondered if I would have to wear it forever. It was supposed to even out the compression of the compartments of the knee so that my knee would not collapse to the left side that was minus 40% of it's meniscus. My recovery goal was to run the 2006 Portland Marathon. My short term goal was the Capitol City Half in May of 2006. I met both goals and I did run the Portland Marathon with that dang brace and swore it off and haven't worn it since for running. I do wear it if I am say playing flag football with my school staff due to the side to side motion.

Anyway, with my knee recovered, I went on to run and run and run. I haven't kept a tally of the races I have completed along the side for no particular reason, but I guess I don't want to brag, or be a show off or whatever. I completed several middle distance races and did fairly well, I placed first in the Steilacoom Resolution run series this year and completed 5 marathons and one ultra. I wanted to do even more, but family duties and a new ITB injury benched me for a while.

Monday, October 1st was my one year anniversary of completing my first marathon and completing my post knee surgery goal. As I reflect on that accomplishment and look forward to the 5 miler at the Marathon this weekend and the Nike Women's Marathon in a few weeks, I am grateful and thankful for the recovery that has taken place and hopeful that my current injury will heal and leave me all the stronger.

It has been a long and trying road to recovery the last few months. Patience is difficult when there is so much you want to do. I found it tough to drive along country roads and not imagine myself running the same route. I felt jealous of those I did see, that I could not join them. It was hard to drive where my familiar running routes were knowing I could not always run them. As I was able to run more and more, it was difficult not to run at the same pace and to be at peace with using the run/walk method to lessen the stress on the ITB. Giving all up in prayer and learning to be patient and to follow the dr.'s orders has led to improvements. I am still getting there, but I feel like I can see the end. I know it will take more deliberate rest and time off, (or cross training ) and I think I can manage the discipline to get there.

Reflecting on my first marathon has taking me through a journey I never thought I'd take and one I cannot imagine living without. Running is so freeing, it provides an intense feeling of solitude and completeness, yet is so intertwined with the people with whom I share the experience. It is difficult to describe.

I run, and I talk and I listen. I take all of the words I hear and tuck them away. They change who I am and maybe I change who they are. I hear what the people say and I pray for them. It is how I offer what I have to others, a bit of me for them, a gift I can give. A moment of my day given to others.

Through running I find peace, through running I find quiet, through running I find companionship and a place to live, laugh, learn, grow and be challenged. Most of all this year I have found these things. Through struggling with my own injury and others', through experiencing the training and completion of not just one, but several marathons I learn the lessons of life's marathon. To just begin, to have a goal, to train, to learn from mistakes, to try new things to see what will work better, to change things that don't work, sometimes to start over, but most of all to persevere and that it cannot happen by myself.

This is the gift of my first marathon. Thank you to those of you who helped me get there. I appreciate you more than words can say.

Grace and peace to you.