Double Digits!

I hit a milestone today. I ran 11 miles. It was a little bit unplanned. I was scheduled to do this run this weekend coming up, but I have plans with Adrienne Saturday and was hoping to do it on Friday. However, the weather isn’t looking all that great for the end of the week and I wanted to have some time to rest on the weekend since I enjoyed a nice weekend with the family last weekend. So after battling a migraine yesterday and not really eating well for the day before a long run and drinking next to nothing I was concerned that today wouldn’t be a good day for this run. When I woke up, it was a different story. For a change, I actually got a decent night’s sleep. I watched the news and the forecast and made a spot decision to go for it. I am glad I did. I had my oatmeal and grapes earlier, took a shower to loosen up and headed out around 10:15 am. I returned home around 12:20. The 11 miles took me 2 hours and 5 minutes. The first 3 miles was intimidating because I knew that I had to run that route 2 more times. I was also stiff then and knew that I had to get into my groove. By mile 6 I was feeling good, but then my mind told me I still had 5 more miles to go. But I kept pushing forward had a packet of Gu and plugged on. Around mile 9 I needed another Gu, had water and made another pass up my long hard hill. I ran out of miles at the end. I mapped it out before I left but ended up doing 2/10 of a mile running around my driveway.

I am so glad I ran this distance today and I don’t feel real stiff. I think running 6 miles on the weekend also helped me stay loose for this run. I did my cold bath and have been stretching out with my roller to keep things from getting stiff. I think I am on target to finishing under 2:30 for my first half marathon. Anything less than that will be a bonus.

Short runs are now 6 miles

I went for a shorter run yesterday which turned out to be 6 miles. What used to be short for me was 2 miles. Now I average from 4.25 – 6. I had issues with my back in the morning so I made a call to my chiropractor and was happy they were open on a Saturday morning. Dr. Jen opened up the compressed area and I was ok to proceed with my run. I went out around 12:00. It was a nice day, close to 50 degrees with a light breeze. My calf muscles were tight in the beginning but as I kept going things loosened up. I need to find a way to really get my legs loose before I hit the road. After my run I did a cold bath, had my lunch and then went for a walk with the kids, my husband and my mom at my parents’ house in their fields. That was a good way to keep my legs loose. As the night went on I felt them get a little stiff. At night I did some stretching with my roller and used a heating pad on my calves.

I am happy that this morning, any discomfort I have is exercise tightness and not injury pain. I might finally be on the road to recovery with my shins. This is encouraging.

Complex calf muscles

So since my long run, I have been struggling with shin splints and decisions. I knew in my gut that the source of my shin splint pain was due to the fact that I am flat footed and to fix that, I have orthotic inserts to wear in my shoes. Since starting to run outside I have stopped using those orthotics. After doing my research on medial shin splints I kept reading that the cure is orthotic inserts. I consulted with my chiropractor and we both agree to start wearing them on my short runs only. I took a walk the day after my 9.5 mile run for about 20 minutes with the orthotics in and hated them. However, I didn’t give up on them because I felt that I needed to give them time. On my short run on Monday I wore them with the inserts that come in the sneakers. They were ok, but having my foot a little higher in the shoe felt funny. For my next run on Wednesday I removed the insert that comes in my sneakers and just wore the orthotics with my thicker socks. I have to say that I do think it is helping. My shins hurt less and my calf muscles are sore. So I think this is because I am adjusting my muscles to adapt to the correct position that my arch should be in. The soreness in my calf muscle is not a pain like a ripping feeling, but more like a pain of being sore from use. I have 2 more runs before my 11 mile run next weekend so I will continue to use them and hope I can use them without issue on my long run as well.

Post 9.5 mile run status

I am having some pain from my long run yesterday. Nothing critical, but enough to write about to keep track of for the future. I have runner’s knee in both knees. It started the day of the run late in the afternoon. I did a few stretches on the roller last night and took some tylenol. During my sleep is when I was feeling the knee pain.

I have to do the roller this morning and really get rid of the waste in my muscles. My shins feel decent. I think the calf sleeves help and I am also going to check with my chiropractor about running with my orthotics in my shoes. I hestitate doing that for the long runs because I am worried that the seam where the orthotic sits in my sneaker is going to create a sore spot in my foot.

The callous area on my toe is a little tender. I have to research how to address blisters and callouses and socks to wear for the longer runs. So all in all, I feel ok, little aches here and there, but no show stoppers for my next long run in two weeks.

9.5 miles… check!

I did it!  After a little nervousness and a few trips to the bathroom before my run this morning.  I did get in my 9.5 miles.  The forecast is talking about less snow than anticipated and warm temps so the roads shouldn’t be bad, but I didn’t want to take the chance of going on during the snow or just afterwards and slipping.  So I worked extra hours in the evenings this week and got my run in this morning.  I went out at 9:30 and returned at 11:15.  That’s a long time to be out on a run!  I ran my normal 4 mile loop and did it twice.  So I ran by my house and all the way up my hill.  That required a couple walk breaks because by 4 miles I was feeling some fatigue.  When I got to the top of my hill I ripped open a packet of gu and had that with some water and started on the downhill run towards the last part of my run.  I felt slow the first 4 miles, but then felt better the second 5.5 miles.  Mentally I think I was intimidated around mile 3.6 becuase I knew I was only about 1/3 of the way there and that I’d be running the same road I was on one more time.  However, the morning was beautiful, it was about 40 degrees, the sun was out and I had cleared my schedule to allow for this.  I had 2 full bottles of water that I wore the entire time and drank them mostly in the last 3 miles.

I wore my calf sleeves; however, my shins did feel quite sore while I was running.  When I did get to my second loop I wasn’t feeling too bad.  I was also working to have a negative split, where my second half of my run was going to be run faster than my first.  I would say I was about even.  Possibly a little slower on the second half.  So I want to work on conserving my energy and running my long runs with a negative split.  In my last 1/2 mile the only worry I had was that my big toe on my right foot was starting to slide around and hit in my shoe.  I have to look into some socks.  I got a recommendation from my friend Shannon about features socks.

After my run I had my ovaltine, a cold bath for 20 minutes, followed by a quick shower and wore the calf sleeves for the rest of the day.  I did take 2 tylenol to take some of the edge off the soreness.  I am so happy I made it that far, I still have to do more long runs, and think I’ll be nervous just the same with each one.  BUT, I am 3.6 miles away from the half marathon distance, and quite honestly, that’s nothing!

This week’s runs

So this week my mileage is supposed to be on the low side in preparation for my 9.5 mile run the weekend of February 11. I did a 5 mile run on Saturday, February 4, a 3 mile run on Monday and a 2.5 mile run today. I was hurting after the 3 mile run on Monday. I was concerned that I didn’t give myself enough time to recover after the 5 mile run on Saturday. I was concerned about running again today, with just one day’s rest between Monday and today. To ease my mind I set my walk/run timer to 2 minutes run, 1 minute run. That was weird cause I never set it that low before. It also freaked me out because when my run was over my per minute mile rate was 11:00/mile. But I have to keep reminding myself that I was only trying to keep up with the miles this week and going out twice between weekend runs and that I didn’t want to add more pain to my leg.

I wore my compression socks during my run, took the cold bath when I got back, then wore my compression socks after my shower for the rest of the night. The true test is to see how my legs feel tomorrow and Friday. I used arnica oil on my left leg this morning, which now feels like a bruise to the touch. I am hoping that with the massage and tonight I’ll use warm moist heat, this will break up the scar tissue I have.

There is talk of a winter storm on Saturday. I am praying that I can get out for the run before anything is supposed to start. I really was looking forward to such a long run and don’t want the snow to hinder me. Sunday’s temps will be colder along with wind so I’d rather get out before having to run in bitter wind.

Running has become so much more to me than just exercise

It is as simple as that.

Running has become an activity that I crave. I think about it when I am not running, I think sbout it when I can’t sleep. I really enjoy it. At first I had to learn to like it. Now I can truly say that I love it. I have been running through all of the seasons and I love the time outdoors. I am so proud of what I have trained my body to do. I didn’t know I was capable of pushing myself to go as far as I have and now it doesn’t feel too much like pushing. It is s good push. I look forward to seeing how far i go. I heard in a podcast that anyone can run a marathon and indo believe that is true for me.

Being outdoors, smelling the air, seeing the change in seasons is therapeutic. I have a nice route that I run and see some people regularly walking or in their yards and we say hello. I love the time alone with myself.

My runs this week are much shorter according to the training plan. I miss the long runs but this is a good time for the shorter runs. My lower leg bones hurt so this is a time for healing and stretching to get stronger for my upcoming 9.5 mile run. I am looking forward to it.