|So this is how I've been spending my free time lately. Sitting around with a bag of frozen peas on my achy shin and nothing to do to pass the time but do an illustration of myself sitting around with a bag of frozen peas on my achy shin. Sometimes, just to break up the monotony...I move the bag up to my knee which is starting to ache from all the bike riding I've been doing. Ah, I do lead an exciting existence. I did go out and run an easy seven miles yesterday and while my heart felt like it was racing the whole time, my leg didn't hurt in the slightest.|
Dammit, I was blaming my 5-yr-old heart rate monitor for the bizarre results it would spit out at me, but this morning I tried using the bf's, which works just fine for me when I'm on the bike, and I'm still getting 180+ readings at a slow jog. That's my cadence you idiot gadget! The only way to fix the problem is to stop completely, let an eerie stillness fall upon the land and then it catches on that, oh yeah, there's a heart beating here at....yeah, about 143 beats a minute. It'll stick with the program for a minute or two after that, but then as soon as I've got a good steady rhythm going again, we're right back up in 90% HR territory. I was going to put in a Santa request for a new monitor, but now I wonder if the same thing would happen. Something about being short maybe? Does the distance between the chest strap and the ground keep this from happening to tall people? This has all been discussed here before though and I never did figure out the problem.
Confusing readings or no though, I got in a comfortable seven miles and my shin feels just dandy. I should still get my lazy butt in gear to MRI the cranky tibia, but I'm feeling more and more confident that it was the sudden and unaccustomed sprinting routine that strained the musculature and other assorted tissues of my lower leg. I'm still applying my sack 'o fresh-frozen green peas religiously (Pod-estantism?) and I did another 2 hours on the bike last night (HR145) while watching Enemy at the Gates. It did make my knee stiff and cranky again, so I'm going to have to check out that bikefitting.com site to see what's to be done about that.
Maybe I could have gutted it out. Maybe I could have dug deep and found the strength within myself to catch the first place girl. She was in striking distance for the whole five kilometers, a rare serious female runner in the sea of wannabe she-Rudolphs and kooky Mrs. Clauses. She wasn't out there just to participate in the great cause of arthritis research fundraising...she was out there to win. But I didn't and I'm not altogether unhappy with second place anyway since the therapeutic massage gift certificate would have been a pain to schedule in Columbus when I live in New York and I can use the $50 running store gift certificate online.
19:50. Not a PR by any stretch and not a great harbinger of sub-40 10K's to come, but I'll pull out my excuse list of barely running for two weeks and an extra seven pounds and a stuffy nose and icy cobblestones to explain why it wasn't faster and remind myself that even if I don't break 40 next Sunday, odds are good that it will still be faster than 41:25. There might eventually be photos here, but I couldn't get the page to load from my Grandmother's dial-up connection.
|As predicted, I did run a 10K PR yesterday (Yay!), but did not break 40(Booo!). I really think I was ready to do it three weeks ago, but I lost too much fitness when I reduced my training to almost nothing. I ran a smart race though and felt sufficiently worn out at the end of it to feel like I'd put in a respectable effort. I took the first mile fairly easy in 6:37, which ended up being my slowest mile of the race. Definitely not my usual modus operendi, but it seemed to do the trick as I ran pretty even 6:32ish splits for the next five. The best part though is that my leg feels completely healed, so it really must have been just shin splints. I comfortably ran nearly 30 miles this week, so it's time to start upping the mileage again and see what happens when I try and do a little speedwork.|
Not that any of that happened this morning. I was decidedly sluggish upon waking and between the hours of 7 and 9am rationalized my way down from 9 miles to 7 t0 5 to stretching and crunches to absolutely nothing. This is of course the ideal training strategy required to continue not meeting time goals.
|On an unrelated note (unless you relate it to 'strategies for not meeting time goals'), I've found a new candy to recommend. Somewhat related to m&m's, but I dare say better, Hersey's came up with the idea to candy coat chocolate chips (aka mini kisses), giving them the cutesy moniker, "Kissables". Tasty and potentially very addictive.|
|"Ready are you?|
What know you of ready?" - Coach Yoda
|Welcome to the home of Planet Hoth Running Club! We're looking forward to a great season this year, just as soon as we get in that new shipment of New Balance snowshoes. Most of our top scorers are nearly recovered from recent falls on the ice and we haven't had any wampa attacks in nearly three weeks. Interested team members should sign up right away for our next tundra expedition. Remember, tauntaun-riding is a great cross-training activity!|
|I sort of didn't wimp out this morning. I mean, first I didn't wimp out, and then I sort of did. I made it through five miles around the park drive and somewhere halfway into my slip-slide across the lower end of the bridle bath loop, I decided that my face just hurt too much and my cautious, mincing running stride that was supposed to keep me from slipping was just tiring me out and was likely to end in a painful fall regardless. I tried visualizing that I was Princess Leia, bravely scouting the perimeter of the Rebel holdout and protecting my people from the evil attacks of Vader's imperial forces, but even that wasn't working for me.|
Yeah, I am getting faster, but the problem is, apparently so is everyone else! I did a little race time comparison with this past Sunday's 10K and the same race from 2004. I ran more than a minute faster this year, but placewise was the 35th woman as opposed to 32nd last year and 11th in my age group, where I was sixth last year. Plus, my time from this year would have made me the 27th woman and 5th in my age group. Ah well, no point in fixating on mighta-beens. An encouraging little tidbit though is the fact that the woman who ran my this-year time last year... Sunday, she ran under 37 minutes. She's also like, a decade younger than me, but who's counting.
After the race, my team had our annual holiday party on the lower east side. A couple on our team has a cool loft space down there and they generously host the event every year. Talk about real estate envy... The coach gave out all sorts of silly awards for all sorts of random things and I managed not to win even one! It's too bad because he was handing out boxes of Whippet cookies and I really like those. Even though he left me cookieless, I presented him with a cartoon I'd drawn of one of the running stories he likes to tell about a former team member who cut the course in Boston and pretended to have run under three hours. I was actually pretty pleased with how it turned out and might include it as part of my portfolio if I end up applying to the MFA illustration program that I liked at SVA.
This morning was another cold one and I didn't even try to motivate myself to go outside to run. That might be vaguely excusable if I would at least bike or do sit-ups, but no, I just curled up a little tighter under the comforter and slept another hour. This can not continue. There's only one solution. I need to go find a nice long beach with palm trees and continue my training there.
Alison is complaining today about her lack of motivation and I totally relate, but at least she's still getting in a fair modicum of mileage. I woke up this morning, well rested and fully intending to run and then made the completely conscious decision to roll over and go back to sleep for another hour. It's not a big deal if that happens now and again, I know, but it's been happening a lot lately. I'm trying to to worry about it too much though. It's chilly outside, I've just run a target race, I have a bit of a cold, I'm still not sure what the deal was with my injury...I think it's okay if I spend a week or two in low gear. I just need to make sure that my little hibernation from running is a temporary thing.
As of 4 'o clock this afternoon, the transit strike is supposed to be over, but I don't know how long it will take for all the various busses and trains to actually be in service again. I rather liked the adventure of it all, but then again, I normally walk to work, so it didn't really affect me much. I'm sure I'd have a much different opinion about the ordeal if I was one of those small business owners who was expecting to make 20% of my yearly profits this week!
I think tonight would be a good opportunity to get back on that bike of mine. Even just an hour of spinning might put me in a better frame of mind towards my training. Especially since it will allow me to keep a box of tissue close at hand...ah-choo!
|U.S.(duh) England||Norway Germany||Colombia Italy||Mexico France|
p.s. Make that nine countries, adding in Cuba in May 2007.
I'm still alive, just a little incommunicado due to the fact that the owner of my free internet connection apparently split town for the holidays. More importantly, I actually have been running, though not quite as much as I was before my shin pain showed up. It's just a maintenance thing right now, as I try to keep up some semblance of fitness while letting my body recharge and recover enough for me to start beating it up again. I don't really need to think about racing again for a while, since the next team points race isn't likely to be until the end of February (a 4-miler).
To summarize the past seven days...
Thursday: Took an overpriced "flat rate" cab home after the transit strike had officially, but not really, ended, putting me in a grouchy mood at the outrage of paying $11 bucks to go a mile and a half. But then experienced the serendipity of an abandoned 7-foot Christmas tree on the sidewalk outside the building, thus saving me the anywhere from $30-60 that it would have cost me to bargain for an identical piece of foliage two days later on Christmas Eve. Carrying that thing up five flights and wrestling it into a reasonably stable and sustainable upright position definitely counted as a workout.
Friday: Ran an unmemorable 5 1/2 before work and used my superior physical conditioning to deftly avoid the deranged Orthodox Jew who was standing by the 72nd St Christmas tree market and verbally assaulting female passersbys by yelling at them..."I JUST LOVE THE CHRISTMAS BUSHES! I LOVE THAT CHRISTMAS BUSH!" Decorated aforementioned free tree.
Saturday: Ran nine brisk miles in the morning and started to recognize the early repercussions of not doing my piriformis stretches of late, those familiar sciatic twinges shooting from my lower back and down my leg. Note to self: Stretching is important.
Sunday: Ho ho ho! Woke up early to spooky, beautiful Upstate mountain mists and ran 15 minutes down a hill at a very easy effort and 25 minutes back up it at a very not-easy effort. Love that 17% grade. Opened some gifts and then headed south, back through Manhattan and then out to New Jersey for more familial festivities.
Monday: Morning spent entertaining 3-year-old and very high energy 6-year-old, inducing serious thought about the pluses of avoiding parenthood. Back to Manhattan for nine more miles to shake off residual haunch soreness from the previous day's hill.
Tuesday: Procrastinated past the point of no return on the run, but did finally attempt an ab workout with a grab bag of crunch varieties. They didn't seem that bad, so I did a lot. By evening I was starting to regret that decision.
Wednesday: Woke up with a full understanding of why one might choose to gradually begin an abdominal exercise program. I'm reminded of how my stomach felt three or four days after my hernia surgery...right around when I decided to go off the pain meds. I still managed to shuffle through an easy 5 1/2 in the park though, so I do perhaps exaggerate.