Monday, May 31, 2010

Still Here

Just been in a bit of a "blah" frame of mind lately and haven't felt much like posting.  The pelvic pain is gone so I am cleared to run again but I am having trouble getting myself ramped up and back in the running groove.  I need to get on that ASAP because, as a friend of mine likes to say, that half-marathon isn't going to run itself.

In addition to the "blahs" I have had quite a few things going on that may or may not get blogged about:  volunteering at Girls on the Run 5K, silent movies at SIFF, some fabulous new touches to the house, some wedding plans, upcoming vacation and various and sundry other things.

I hope to start tomorrow morning with a run and a fresh green smoothie to kick start a new mood and renew my focus on weight-loss and running and not being so off my game in every possible facet of life.  Ahh...the healing power of produce.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

Apparently there is a part of your body called a pubis symphysis.  I was completely unaware of this until today.  You usually only find out about new body parts you have when something goes haywire with them and my new found knowledge of the pubis symphysis is no exception.

Starting last Friday I was having fairly strong abdominal/pelvic achiness and discomfort.  I went for a really crappy run Friday after work ( seriously, like two miles) and then spent the rest of the evening bent over every time I tried to stand up.  It was still pretty uncomfortable on Saturday but by Sunday I was feeling better if I didn't press on the area so I figured I was good.  I went for a really fabulous run on Sunday night and then it hit me again when I got back and tried to stand up from a sitting position. Other than a vague discomfort a good portion of the time it is really only painful when I go from sitting to standing. 

So I went to the doctor today and she said it was a strain or inflammation of this piece of strong cartilage, the pubis symphysis, that holds your pubic bones together.  She has no idea how this happened but between what she said and the magic of internet self-diagnosis I am guessing running played a part.  It can be considered an overuse injury in runners, albeit a fairly rare one.  Now I would hardly call a peak mileage week of 26 miles overuse but maybe I weakened it in Eugene and the runs I went on last week (my first since the race) were enough to send it over the edge.  Either that or the speed work I did Wednesday night did it and I should take it as a sign from the running gods to banish speed work from my training regimen.  Apparently, the ligaments and whatsits attached to this thing can get pulled and tight and can cause the problems with this cartilage.

The upshot of this is I am sidelined for a week.  No running.  No training for Rock 'N Roll.  I just have to sit around and atrophy.  If it doesn't hurt when I run next Tuesday I am clear to go forward; if it does hurt I don't know what the next step is.  I am not pleased with this in the slightest but I also know that it hurts enough that I don't want to continue to mess with it.  I will take my rest week and cross my fingers that I am all better so I can start training again.  If I have to take any serious time off and I lose all the fitness I have gained over these last few months I will be one pissed off woman.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What's The Meaning of This?

For my birthday I received this drawing from a friend of mine clipped to some cash.  Sure, the safe assumption is that it is meant for a massage but my mind went somewhere else entirely.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

No News is Good News

Since I have had a few people ask recently I thought it was time to give a quick update about Dad.  There really hasn't been much to talk about.  He is plugging along and actually seems to be doing better.  He has been a little chattier and has been moving around a little bit more the last two times I saw him.  In fact, his oxygen sats increased from 92% to 97%.  Don't ask me how someone who is on hospice and, according to his doctor in February, had two months to live actually increased his O2 sats.  Mysterious.  He still sits and watches TV all day and barely moves but that is pretty much what he did before his cancer diagnosis so things really haven't changed much at all in that regard.

I am trying to go down about once a week for visiting and chores with a main chore day scheduled every three weeks.  They have housekeeping help from hospice now so that eases the cleaning chores on my brother and I a little bit. 

Because he is on hospice they can't get any sort of tests done to determine what the tumor might be doing.  So everybody is in a "sit tight and be glad he is seeming better" frame of mind.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eugene Half-Marathon Race Report

It was the best of times, it was ....well, hell, it was just the best of times.

Heading into Eugene I had one goal in mind: Beat my previous PR of 2:37:22 from the Eugene half in 2008. But as the months of training wore on I realized that a PR wasn't going to be enough to really satisfy me. I knew I was capable of more so I set my mind on a new goal: sub 2 hour 30 minute finish. By the time race day rolled around I had a sneaking suspicion that even that might be low-balling but I wasn't confident enough in what I could do so I kept my goal sub 2:30.

Bright and early Sunday morning, my friend Todd, my brother Matt and I left our hotel and walked the five minutes to the start line. Kevin was along with us but was acting as our race photographer and chief clothing holder for this race. Booking that hotel in November was one of the smartest things I have done. No dealing with shuttles to or from the race plus extra time to sleep in the morning. Score!!!

We milled around the start line for a while before all scooting off to our respective pace areas. I looked for The Cilley Girl but wasn't able to spot her in the big crowd to wish her happy first marathon. Having been at this race since it began four years ago I have seen it grow quite a bit and you could really tell that this was their biggest group yet. More people each year which is good for the race.

The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny, temperatures in the 50's, no wind. Really, you couldn't ask for better conditions as far as I was concerned. It was a little chilly in short sleeves at the start line but by mile 2 I was warmed up and stayed the perfect temperature for the remainder of the race.

The gun is fired and we are off! And why, oh why, are there people walking in front of me right at the start line? Do the pace signs mean nothing to them? The first mile running is always hard for me. I need at least a mile to feel warmed up and get myself physically and mentally in the groove for running. In mile two I started to get that groove and was just cruising along and enjoying the run. Somewhere around mile four I realized that my pace was better than I thought it was going to be and that I had a really good chance of not only beating my PR but beating the 2 hour 30 minute mark. But it was only four miles in and I didn't want to get too cocky so I tried to slow it down a little just in case I needed some reserves later in the race.
The miles kept clicking by and I kept feeling strong. I kept looking at the Garmin and my pace was hanging out right about 10:45 the whole time so I felt pretty confident that I could, at the very least, hold my pace to a sub 11:00 if I just didn't try to push too fast and just let myself hold steady.

Mile 9 is where the only major hill is and I notched my slowest mile of the race but I ran the whole thing and passed people on the way up which is always a fabulous feeling. In fact, I didn't have to take a single walk break the entire race which means this was also the furthest I have ever run continuously. OK, I did walk briefly at water stops but that was a matter of a few steps and I don't count that.

After Mile 9 I saw Kevin, who was busy taking pictures. I told him at that time that I thought I might have gone out too fast because I was starting to feel tired. I could feel my pace slipping a little but I was pretty certain the wheels weren't going to come off or anything.

Mile 9 is also where they had a banana station set up. Now, bananas and running are a good thing nutrionally but banana peels on the racecourse just seemed like a bad cartoon moment waiting to happen. There was also a dancing sub sandwich at this particular stop which, had it been later in the race, might have made you think you were hallucinating.

The last few miles have you running in the beautiful Alton Baker Park but it looses some of its beauty at this point of the race. I am tired and have been running for a while and frankly would just like to get the hell out of the park and get to the finish line. I tried to increase my speed a little at this point but my legs were going about as fast as they could.  There wasn't anything left in the muscles to push the pace but there was plenty to just keep plugging along.  We cross back over the Willamette and start heading out of the park where you can hear the excitement of the finish line. I enter the gates of Hayward Field, and what a thrill to run on such a fabled track, and enjoy the crowd in the grandstands and the soft, cushy feel of the Hayward Field track and push to the finish line. I crossed in 2:21:56, which is a PR of over 15 minutes which even my non-running friends can figure out is pretty huge. Yes, the bar was set incredibly low but it was still a lot of time to cut off my total.

Here are the splits:
Mile 1   10:46
Mile 2   10:35
Mile 3   10:36
Mile 4   10:43
Mile 5   11:00
Mile 6   10:29
Mile 7   10:13
Mile 8   10:34
Mile 9   11:09
Mile 10  10:45
Mile 11  11:09
Mile 12  10:57
Mile 13  10:48
.10           9:39

I trained hard and really focused on performing the best I was capable of at this race and I believe I achieved that. Can I train harder? Absolutely. Can I pay more attention to cross training and nutrition? Absolutely. Can I improve my time? You bet. But even with those things I am satisfied with my time last weekend. I wanted to go to the starting line feeling ready and have a race I could be proud of and I did that. Also, I had to remind myself that when I began training back in January that I was my heaviest weight ever and was running about six miles a week. Considering how far I came in four months I am extra pleased.

By the way, the boys also had great races. Todd cut more than seven minutes off of his half-marathon PR and my brother lopped just over nine minutes off of his marathon PR.

Matt, Todd, statue of famed Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman and me

Bowerman and the "good job" fist bump

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Best. Week. Ever.

OK, it was more like nine days instead of a week but let's not quibble.

So the week went like this: 
  • Sunday: Solid 5k PR
  • Wednesday:  Hit and exceeded 10% goal at Weight Watchers
  • Friday:  39th birthday and a baseball game
  • Sunday:  Serious half-marathon PR and good times in Eugene
  • Tuesday:  Got engaged
Seriously, outside of winning the lottery could that week have been any better? 

We have jumped into some wedding planning just because the place we want to have the wedding books up far in advance.  For those of you not familiar with The Edgefield check it out and cross your fingers we can make it work.  If we can't have it there I think I would rather just elope.

with engagement flowers by Poor Farm sign

Eugene Race Report on deck!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Brief Recap

Just the quick and dirty on the half-marathon on Sunday.  We all had a great time and I set a new PR by over 15 minutes finishing at 2:21:56.  All the months of training really paid off and I couldn't have been much happier crossing the finish line then if I won the dang thing. Todd and Matt also had significant PRs this weekend so we were quite the happy group on Sunday.

Kevin and I are relaxing for a few days near Portland drinking wine, sitting in the soaking pool and tomorrow I get a massage.  I will post a full race recap with photos when I get back home.  I can't wait to start training for the Seattle Rock 'N Roll Half-Marathon in June.