Sunday, April 14, 2013

So. Much. Food.

OMG, this has been a weekend of eating. I'm a little ashamed. Also, very full. And craving vegetables.

I went out with friends Friday night. Getting seated was an ordeal (despite the signs that said "please wait to be seated, people would seat themselves and the hostess told us that she wasn't allowed to ask them to wait once they'd sat down/let her friends take tables over people who'd been waiting TWICE the time originally quoted) and, as a result, we ended up with appetizers and desserts that we didn't order. I'm not complaining, just sayin' that I ended up eating a lot more than I planned!

Saturday, after skating, there was brunch. OMNOMNOMNOMNOM, Portage Bay. I shared a salmon omelette and their lemon curd french toast with a friend and both were amazing. Later, I had leftovers from Friday night.

Today, there's a 5K that also involves a mini "taste of Seattle." I'm pretty excited, because I'm sure I'll never fork out to go to any of these restaurants for realsies. And, then, seeing a college friend and the ballet!

Tomorrow, it's salads and whole grains for moi. It's nice to know that my brain will kick me back into healthier eating by default, when I've been a little too indulgent.

Friday, April 12, 2013

No Running Week #2

No running week morphed into a second week. And I think it's pretty likely that there's at least one more of these in my immediate future. Le sigh.

I had already given up the idea of running the Eugene Marathon, but was kind of hoping that I might be able to run the half. I saw my PT today for a torture session and his basic advice was: "Yes, you COULD run the race, if you were absolutely desperate to do so. But, it would hurt and it would definitely delay your recovery. I don't think you SHOULD run the race, but that's your decision." With a bit of sadness, I think I'm going to have to take his advice on that one, because I'd rather get healthy than worry about missing one race. When I'm 80 and doing laps of my retirement community, I won't regret missing Eugene 2013 one bit. And there's no reason I can't just run it next year. Or maybe plan on a summer marathon - it isn't like the weather around here is prohibitive for summer training/racing!

I WOULD note that if this had happened last year, I highly suspect that I still would have run London. I'm wiling to take a hit on a race fee, but I'm not sure I would have been willing to take it on plane tickets.

So, what HAVE I been doing with myself in the meantime, since I'm not running?

1) Seeing a PT. I like the guy, I really do, but OMG PAINFUL. Basically, this involves digging into the sore spots on my leg. I KNOW it helps, I really do, but it isn't particularly fun. Today's session also involved the use of a plunger. Yes. Like the kind you use on your toilet. ON MY SHIN. WTF.

He's also taken note of where I have biomechanical imbalances that I can work to correct. Apparently those are called "my back side." I'm working on strengthening my glutes, hips, and hamstrings ALOT now. Yeah, I know: I'm a stereotypical runner - I have very strong quads and nothing to balance them out in back.

2) Strength. I'll admit it, I've rarely been hitting my goal of two strength sessions a week in the gym during marathon training. So, I'm back on that pretty seriously, plus working on my back side muscles somewhere between most and every day(s).
3) Adaptive Motion Trainer. This thing is like the elliptical on steroids. Because the foot pedals are suspended, rather than on a set track, your stride can adjust in length and step height/climb. I like it a lot better than the regular elliptical because it really gets my heart rate & sweat going and because I think it more closely resembles running (but still without the impact). I SAY it resembles running, but I think it's what running feels like if you're running on sand or through a pool of molasses. That thing is HARD and such a great alternative workout. I've made it up to 3.5 miles, but I'm kind of hoping to hit 4 today. Last night, I "ran" intervals on it. ZOMG.

4. JASYOGA!!! This was by far my favorite workout of the week. I'd been meaning to try this forever and I'm pretty convinced that if my life had involved more stretching for the past few months, I might be in better shape today. And, yes, I'm plan to make Jasyoga a weekly ritual (even once I'm back running).

The idea behind Jasyoga, which is a local Seattle company (ahem, "mobile yoga studio"), is yoga for athletes. No chanting, no co-opting Eastern spirituality, no silly promises that breathing properly would make me one with the earth, and no weird homeopathy. I like yoga because it stretches and strengthens me, but that other stuff drives me nuts. I LOVED that my Jasyoga class was about how yoga, as active recovery, can make us better athletes. Have YOU ever had a yoga teacher talk about stretching your IT band before or read a "meditation" out of a sports psychology book? Yeah, that was exactly what my body, especially my poor tight hammies and glutes, and my mind needed! Plus, the class was only 3 people, so the teacher could make corrections and assist with our stretches. I felt amazing afterwards and, the next day, my leg felt better than it had since I stopped running. Yay!!!

5. Planning. Ok, not really. I'm not sure what's next or when I'll be back for running. I'm hoping it won't be too long and hoping that the workouts I'm doing in the meantime will mean that I won't lose much of my aerobic capacity. I'm very optimistic that I'll still be pacing at the Seattle Rock'n'Roll half and then, unless I decide to throw in a summer full marathon, it'll be on to figure out a good plan for training for the Disneyland Half! I want to make that my fall A race and I've never seriously trained for a half before, so that should make for a fun summer!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Pick me, Nuun, for Hood to Coast!

Please excuse (or, you know, ENJOY) this moment of shameless self promotion, loyal readers. Because (*drum roll*), nuun is once again sponsoring teams of bloggers to run the legendary Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon this summer and I would LOVE to be selected! Nuun is a fantastic, Seattle-based company and it would be pretty awesome to dream about H2C while rehabbing this stupid tendinitis (I have no reason to believe that it won't be completely fine long before H2C).

Come On You Quins!

Photo with the Harlequins mascots! BEST THING EVAR.
Nothing profound to say, but I did want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who send hugs and happy thoughts after yesterday's post. :-)

I also wanted to say that the time change makes it really awkward to watch rugby! My beloved Harlequins are in the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup (the best European club teams - it's the rugby equivalent of the soccer/football Champions League), which is a VERY BIG DEAL. But, a 2pm game starts at 6am my time! I think I'll be going back for a nap afterwards, but I do love this sport! I only wish I could be at the match in person - my last match was the day before the London Marathon last year. And, yes, getting my photo taken with Harley and Charlie Bear was kind of the best thing ever.

We're at half time now, so COME ON YOU QUINS!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Slight Problem...

I know I've been pretty silent over here, but my running and my consistencies hadn't been particularly great. I think I was a little disappointed with myself, so I ESPECIALLY didn't want to tell my three readers that I was struggling with marathon training.

I'm not going to pretend that a good part of my struggle wasn't mental: those hours and hours and hours of running were really taking their toll and it was getting harder to get out and run. But, there were other things going on - my lower left leg was consistently feeling sore and off and the calf cramping that I experienced at the Lake Sammamish Half was happening more often and leaving me with some pretty acute pain.

I finally went to see the doctor (there's a pretty long waiting period) and was diagnosed with a gastroc strain in my calf and, far more importantly, with posterior tibial tendonitis in my left leg. When I saw the doctor on Monday, he advised that I take a week off running and start PT. I thought that a week off would heal everything right up and that I'd be good to go. I'm pretty sure that's not the case now, as I sit here on day five of my week off from running.

The good news is that I'll be back to running at some point and that I'll probably be a BETTER runner for figuring out more efficient ways to run and correcting muscle imbalances that I have. The bad news is that it's looking a great deal like I'm not running the Eugene Marathon. I might be able to do the half and that would be cool.

But, the bottom line is that I have to keep an eye on the bigger goal and I do - it's the reason I'm not crushed by all of this. I want to be running when I'm an old lady, to keep me strong, healthy, and active. I've got a family history of death by heart attack and running has ALWAYS been a way for me to try and avoid that same fate. Sure, I'd love to run a PR at Eugene this year, but, ultimately, if it has to go so that I run around my retirement community some day, then I'm quite happy to take that hit.

I also feel like I've gotten a lot out of marathon training, regardless of whether I run the marathon or not. I feel strong, I've lost weight, and I've pushed myself to do things that seemed kind of nuts. I definitely learned this last year, too: marathons aren't about the marathon, they're about the things you learn and do while you train for them. I don't need a medal to show me how much I've gained by going through this cycle of training.

The best news is that I'm only supposed to avoid high-impact things. So I can use the elliptical, bike (in theory - I don't bike), skate (no jumping), and use the gym to my heart's content. Thank goodness. Now, speaking of skating...gotta fly!