NYC Marathon Training – UPDATE

August 29, 2011

So last week, I pretty much had to trade these:

For this:

Because my knee has looked like this:


Compared to my regularly scheduled training, last week’s workouts seemed non-existent!  I went to the gym 3 times and got in two really good pool workouts that left me feeling “worked” even though I wasn’t running.  The pool has also been a really nice change of pace and I have to admit that I kind of enjoy it 🙂

My knee is feeling MUCH better and I may sneak out for an easy 4-5 miles this afternoon before I head to the chiro (ssshhhh don’t tell them!)  I figure if I’m crooked after my run at least they’ll crack me back into place 🙂  Hurricane Irene decided to knock out Internet service at our office so I’m happily working from home today — which gives me the opportunity to head out for a nice run in GORGEOUS weather 🙂  I’m nervous to run but I need to get my head back into the training game (even if running is still limited).  I fear that if I’m too complacent, that I’m going to lose sight of my goal and NYC will be an epic FAIL.

If I have to keep up with the pool workouts, I’ll just have to accept it and do my best to stay in shape.  Besides, Arthur agrees that pool workouts are fun:

Omar, on the other hand, suggests I rest and keep weight off my knee:

(yes, this is how he sits)

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I don’t fall off the training wagon! I love running, but if I’m out of the game for too long, it’s REALLY hard for me to get back into it!


Just keep swimming!!!

August 25, 2011

yeah….that’s what I’ll be telling myself for the next week!

Turns out my hips were more out of whack than I ever thought they could be.  I’ve been to the sports chiro twice this week with two more visits on the schedule and another 3 next week (ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching….whatever, I’ll worry about the expense of all this later!!!)  I’ll be honest, when I saw the x-rays of my hips,  I was surprised that I didn’t feel pain sooner; also shocked that I’m not ridiculously injured either.

My left knee is also out of alignment and we’re working on getting everything functioning properly again.  Yesterday after some ultrasound, cold laser therapy and PT — I got fitted with some super cool kinesio tape (oh yeah, now I’m hard core) and sent on my way.  I must say, my back, hips and neck are definitely feeling better — my knee is still pretty sore 😦  What does that mean?  It means no running for at least another week!  Ba-humbug!

The good part?  I’m allowed to swim and bike 🙂  So I chose swimming!  And I’m counting my lucky stars that I have access to a super awesome pool.  I’m also happy that I have an amazing chiro that belongs to the same gym that I do 🙂  She was kind enough to meet me at 6 a.m. this morning to show me some water running techniques and other exercises to build strength in my core and hips.

I’ve also spoken to my coaches and they are confident that I’ll be fine for marathon day – I just have to heal and focus on running with proper technique (using more of my core instead of my hip flexors).  My chiro also said that I will be a much more efficient runner once I get straightened out — score!  Because my hips were so off and my knee was rolling to the side, 100% of my energy was not being used to propel me forward…..makes sense.

So for now, I just have to keep swimming to keep my cardio up.  I had an excellent workout this morning and surprised myself with my swimming endurance 🙂  I think this injury was a good thing that opened my eyes to an awesome form of exercise that I would’ve never mustered up the confidence to try it I wasn’t “forced” to.

hooray for new things 🙂

NYC Marathon Training Week 11: Complete

August 22, 2011

Another week down and now a set back 😦  On Saturday I completed my longest distance to date: 16 miles (well 16.56 miles to be exact!) and I was feeling GREAT until about mile #11 where things kind of went downhill.  It’s really my fault, I knew that my right hip was “out” and I should’ve gotten adjusted this past week…..but I didn’t.  And now… left knee is all swollen and painful 😦  I really hope I didn’t really mess it up!  I was obviously compensating for something and now I’m probably going to have to lose a couple days of training while all this gets sorted out — major bummer!

My plan was to do my long run on the boardwalk.  I chose this option because #1) there are plenty of other runners out at the ungodly hour, #2) there are plenty of bathrooms, #3) there are plenty of places to refill my water bottle.  I really wanted to get there for sunrise but I realized that I forgot my Garmin about 10 minutes into my drive and had to turn around!  Once I got going on the boards, the energy of all the other runners/walkers/bikers was contagious and I was feeling fantastic.  There was a cool breeze off of the ocean and low humidity so it was perfect running weather for late August.  I had a quick bathroom stop at mile 3.5 and then had to slow down after mile 6 to open my HammerGel — it seriously took like 2 minutes and all of my strength to get it open — I think I tried to open it a little lower than where you’re supposed to and that was a huge mistake!  Oh well….lesson learned.  After my gel, I was feeling strong and just cruising down the boardwalk through all the towns.  There was a 5k race getting organized in one of the towns so I’m glad I was able to get to my turn around point and back through the mass of runners before gun time.  Then around mile 11 my left knee started to tighten on me 😦  I slowed to a walk and tried to bend and shake it out but it just didn’t seem to want to go away.  I ran another two miles and then it really started to bother me even more so at mile 13 I decided to walk for about a 1/4 mile to see if the pain would subside — it didn’t 😦  I was still 3.5 miles away from my car so it’s not like I could’ve just stopped where I was.  I decided to just do a jog/walk strategy for the rest of the way and that worked until mile 15….at mile 16 I was slowed to a walk and pretty much walked the rest of the way to my car.  I’m disappointed that my knee decided to give up on me; especially since everything else felt FANTASTIC.  I spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday resting and icing my knee.  Today (Monday) it’s feeling better but I still get a twinge of pain every now and then; I plan on icing it more today.

I’m super bummed that this “injury” has me sidelined for pretty much the whole week (I can guarantee that!) and I keep trying to tell myself that I need to let whatever is bothering me heal so that I can be healthy for November 6th.   Even if I take this entire week off – I still have 10 weeks before the big day so it’s not going to totally kill my training.  It’s just really disappointing 😦  I have an appt. with a sports chiro tomorrow morning at 10 to straighten me back out!  I think for the remainder of my training I’ll have to see him 1 or 2 times a week to make sure that nothing like what I experienced on Saturday happens again.

Here’s what my training looked like for last week:

  • Sunday – REST
  • Monday – 2 miles elliptical and stretching (just wasn’t feeling right)
  • Tuesday – 5.37 miles (AMT Hill workout – 60 min.)
  • Wednesday – 5.5 miles outside (first 2 with Arthur, last 3.5 hauling ass as fast as I could go)
  • Thursday – 3.5 miles elliptical (this was less than 12 hours after my hard workout)
  • Friday – 5.3 miles AMT (rolling hills workout – 60 min.)
  • Saturday – 16 miles outside (gnarly knee pain at mile 13)

As I look back at this week I could really kick myself because I knew something was off — I only ran 1 time and used the AMT or elliptical all the other workouts.  I just hope my stupidity doesn’t have me sidelined for longer than a week!

This training stuff really messes with your head!

August 18, 2011

Geez!  I never thought the mental aspect of all of this training would weigh more on me than the physical aspect.  Perhaps it’s just my hypochondriac self that is petrified of injuring myself before the big day.  After all, the most important part of this whole thing is to get to the starting line happy, healthy and injury free, right?

But  I just can’t help but to compare myself to others.  That’s life – we all do it at one time or another.  I feel that for a virgin marathoner, I’m doing pretty darn good with my training given that my peak mileage so far have been in the low to mid 30’s over the past few weeks.  My long run coming up this weekend is 16 miles….not too shabby with 11 weeks to go before the big day.  Okay….”go me!”.  But then all the unanswered questions and vindictive phrases start bubbling up from deep within my psyche….

The devil in me:

  • are you really giving it your all during your mid week workouts?
  • this training day calls for hill intervals – using the AMT for hills doesn’t count!
  • come on slowpoke .. get those legs turning faster!
  • do you REALLY think that 4:20 is a realistic goal?  the rate you’re going you’ll be lucky to finish in under 5:00!
  • you’re tired after 2 miles? get with the program!  on 11/6 you’ll have 24.2 more to go!
  • MY GOD you are SLOW!!!!!!

The angel in me:

  • keep up the good work!  you really gave it your all last night….it’s okay to be tired at the gym less than 12 hours later
  • this is your FIRST marathon after all, no need to get your Nike Tempos in a wad because you’re not going “fast enough”
  • take it easy on yourself, you’re not skipping any workouts and you’re making modifications to prevent overuse injuries
  • trust your training!  All will be well on 11/6 and you’ll have a fantastic time no matter what!

This sounds so absurd, but I’m afraid I’m going to be disappointed on marathon day if I don’t finish in under 4:30.  I’m being dumb right?  I’m putting too much pressure on myself 😦

I just want to be good at this!

NYC Marathon Training Week #10: Complete!

August 14, 2011

I can’t believe I’ve got another week down in the books…it went so fast!!!!  I’m pleased with how my legs held up after the long run last week.  I thought for sure they’d be kind of “dead” afterwards and my weekday workouts would suffer, but overall I felt pretty good.

Our training this month will focus on lots of hills! Since I don’t live in a particularly hilly area, I’m going to make sure I incorporate two workouts on the AMT each week from now on.  The hill workout on that machine is pretty hardcore and will try to find hillier areas for my long run on the weekends as well.  This may involve driving somewhere to run, but that’s okay as long as I’m getting a decent workout in.  I don’t want to make the mistake of running all the distances on flat terrain and then have it come back to haunt me during the marathon!

My long run yesterday was supposed to be 13 miles but after 11.5 my legs were starting to get stiff.  Instead of gutting it out and finishing up, I decided to cut it short.  It’s not worth being super sore for my workouts this week for a measly 1.5 miles! I noticed that I needed my gel earlier in the run yesterday (at mile 5) and I kind of wished I brought along a second gel to have around mile 10.  I think I may have been able to finish the entire 13 with the extra energy boost.  The fatigue I was feeling in my legs was definitely because of “lack of nutrition/hydration”.  I knew I didn’t drink enough on Friday and that became clear during my run.  I drank my entire water bottle by the end of mile 7 but thankfully I was on a path that has water stops (I made sure to include this portion in my run because of them) so I was able to refill my bottle and have plenty of water for the trek home.  As these runs get longer — I have a 16 miler planned for next weekend — I’m going to have to start toting my iPod along to break up the loneliness!  I was definitely getting “bored” towards the end of my run yesterday as well.  I know that it’s building up my “mental endurance”…but I don’t want to get bored running by myself with no entertainment of any kind each weekend.  My best friend is training for the Nike Women’s Marathon this year so maybe we can even coordinate a long run or two together.

Here’s what the training looked like this week:

  • Sunday — OFF
  • Monday — 5.37 miles AMT hill workout (60 min)
  • Tuesday — 4.10 miles TM hill workout
  • Wednesday — 4.1 miles outside
  • Thursday — 4 miles AMT hill workout (45 min), 1.25 miles TM Sprints
  • Friday — 3 miles outside (with Arthur)
  • Saturday — 11.5 miles outside (included some hills)
  • WEEKLY TOTAL: 33.32 miles

And just because I haven’t included some pics in a while, here are a few  to keep you entertained….

This is the first picture of Arthur we ever took 🙂 First day home from shelter.

Many moons ago when I used to complete in TaeKwonDo tournaments.

How about a wedding pic!

Right after the ceremony 🙂

And one more of Arthur for good measure!

Off to go enjoy my rest day!!!  Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

NYC Marathon Training Week 9: Complete! (and a few “firsts”)

August 8, 2011

Aside from my midweek mental meltdown, I kept strong with my training and actually banged out a great week with solid workouts.  My long run for the week was 14 miles … the first distance that I’ve run over 13.1 and the longest distance I’ve run since April.  I didn’t get out of bed as early as I had hoped but was out pounding the pavement by 7:45 a.m.  (by that point I was hoping to be more than halfway done with my run but what can you do!)

Since I knew it was going to be hot and humid, I took my water bottle and froze 3/4 of it so that it would stay cool for most of my run, that proved to work out great since the water wasn’t warm by mile 3!  This training run also had me experiencing many “firsts” that I’d like to share:

1.) I employed a run/walk strategy since the training schedule recommended doing this long run at a slow pace.  I also figured this would work out well since it was REALLY getting warm out.  After each mile beeped on the Garmin, I slowed to a power walk, drank some water,  took some deep breaths and set off again. I found this strategy to work out GREAT and it not only kept me “entertained” but I was able to maintain an average 10:15 pace the entire time.

2.) I ran a new route.  No plan, just ran 🙂  I figured all roads would eventually lead me back home.

3.) I tried a gel for the first time.  Now that I’m starting to dive into the longer distances, I knew that I’d have to start bringing some fuel along.  In the past I’ve tried chomps and sport beans but they’ve left my tummy in knots.  So on the recommendation of FlyRunner I decided to try HammerGel as she noticed that it didn’t give her any tummy troubles.  I tried the chocolate gel halfway through my run and am happy to report that I didnt have any crampage at all.  I think this may be my new fueling strategy.

4.) I peed in the woods.  LOL!  Hey when you gotta go, you gotta go!

5.) I brought a couple bucks with me in my waist pack.  I don’t know what it was, but I’ve never done this before and right before I headed out, I took some money just in case I needed it.  Boy am I glad I did!  After mile 13 (and roughly 1.5 miles from my house) I ran out of water and I knew I would need more to finish my run, thank goodness there was a RiteAid about .25 miles away from me so I stopped in really quickly and bought an ice cold Gatorade.  Best blue gatorade I ever had 🙂

I finished up my run about a half mile from my house and used that last half mile as a cooldown hobble walk back home 🙂  Very happy with this run and the only “complaint” I have is that my right quad is a little jacked up and sore so my form must have come unglued at some point during the run.

Here’s what the training looked like this week:

  • Sunday — OFF
  • Monday — 3.75 miles AMT and .25 miles on TM
  • Tuesday — 4.15 miles (mile repeats on TM)
  • Wednesday — DOUBLE! 3 miles in the a.m. and 4 miles in the p.m. (both outside)
  • Thursday — 60 min hill workout on AMT – 5.25 miles total
  • Friday — 2 miles Elliptical and 20 min on arm cycle
  • Saturday — 14 miles
  • WEEKLY TOTAL: 36.4 miles

Who’s idea WAS this anyway?!?!?!?

August 3, 2011

Oh wait….it was mine! ::insert mental breakdown::

Warning to the 5 people that may actually read this blog…I’m having a bad week and I’m in a bad mood!

I knew that training for a marathon would be hard and time consuming – and I was prepared for it. What I wasn’t prepared for was being super busy with work and my “home life” (aka – all the mundane daily chores and taking care of the dogs). My husband is barely around anymore since he’s so busy and lately all the domestic responsibilities have fallen upon my shoulders – which includes the daily entertainment of my animals.  Now before anyone is quick to judge – I know my dogs aren’t “children” and raising an actual human being is much harder — but gosh darn it, taking care of their needs is stressful and time consuming when you live in a tiny townhouse and you want nothing more than to just relax after being “up and at ’em” since 5:15 a.m.

Each dog has his own personality:

  • Arthur (the weim) — is like velcro…to the point where I’m either knocking into him or tripping over him every.single.minute.  Coming home from work involves walking in the door, putting down my gym bag and going straight to pick up the dog bowls to prepare dinner for them. Otherwise he will bark relentlessly until he’s fed.  Then, since he refuses to go to the br in the backyard, I have to walk him –> which is okay because this is part of his entertainment.  Arthur is like a needy toddler who is never content….he’s a constant whiner and a constant pacer –that’s just his breed and I get that.  But it’ll grate on your nerves that’s for sure!
  • Omar (the dane) — is a happy puppy that patiently sits on the couch wagging his tail until I go a pet him (which is usually while dinner is warming for fatty Arthur).  He doesn’t need to be in my face all the time but appreciates a walk and some fetch.  He knows how to entertain himself to a certain extent — if we neglect to “entertain” him one day — we are sure to find a ripped up piece of paper on our bedroom floor showing his disgust.  He likes to be social and he goes to daycare every Wednesday to hang with his doggy friends.  When it’s play time – he plays … when it’s chill time – he chills. He certainly has his whiny moments and couple that with Arthur’s personality and you want to jump off a bridge!

Since the hubs is so busy during the evenings – I am forced to come home from work and deal with animal feeding and entertainment.  I think what’s really starting to wear on me is the fact that I don’t sit down (literally) and relax until 8/8:30 p.m.  Which leaves approximately 90 minutes to chill before it’s time to go to bed and do it all over again.   I love my dogs dearly….but after being pulled in 50 different directions at work, I want to just come home to a calm house and relax and not have a slobbery dog toy shoved in my face while trying to do so!

Meal planning? forget it!  After said dog entertainment, the last thing I want to do is prepare homecooked meals every night!  I’m trying so hard to maintain good nutrition during this training, but it’s tough and I find myself reaching for “quick and easy” things like sandwiches, eggs or pasta for dinner.

I will say that I am a bit of a clean freak so laundry and general house cleaning/straightening up happen on an almost daily basis.

I strive for perfection and I know that while I’m not “perfect” I aim to be the:

  • perfect wife
  • perfect dog mom
  • perfect business consultant
  • perfect runner

and when things aren’t falling into place …. I start to get upset that I can’t make everything work like a well oiled machine.  C’est la vie!

Looking forward to 2 days off next week — I desperately need them!!!!!