Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Since my marathon on April 28th, I've run a total of 3 miles. The week after,  I went out and ran 2 miles straight, but for fear of pushing it, I didn't go any further. The next day I injured my calf muscle somehow. I've been working out on the elliptical and the bike ever since. A week and a half went by and I was itching to get back out there so bad, I tried running on the treadmill but made it less than a half mile and felt the pain in my calf so bad that I had to stop. I moved to the elliptical, despite the pain.

Another week went by and I tried it again. This time the plan was to go out and run 1/2 mile, then turn around and come back. Well, I was feeling so good that I kept going. At 3/4 of a mile I turned around and something I did either turning around or twisting my leg or something caused the calf pain again. It wasn't the sharp Charlie horse-like cramp pain (which wasn't a cramp) but it was slowly increasing intensity until it was impossible to run any more. I walked a little bit, then tried to run again. It wasn't happening. When there was a 1/4 mile left, I was able to run the rest of the way home with some pain.

That was a week and a half ago. Ever since then, my calves have been achy. They feel like I need to get out again and run. I've been using the elliptical but that doesn't give me the good workout feeling that running does. Today I tried rolling my calves out on the foam roller, but that just seems to make it worse. They are very restless right now. I don't know what to do. I want to run so bad, and I feel like my legs want to too, but I think I need to rest them a little more. I don't want to, but need to.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lacing up the Shoes

This morning, I'm lacing up my shoes to try to go for a run. It's been three weeks since my marathon, and I've only run two miles. I was going to rest and let my legs heel, (calf on one leg, Achilles' on the other) but they seem to be worse without running. I've tried the elliptical and biking and afterwards they feel worse than they did while running.

My biggest concern today is not my Achilles', which has bothered me the longest. It's my calf on the other leg. Last time I ran, I got this shooting, cramp-like pain in my calf that almost dropped me to the ground. I've had a little aching in that calf the last couple of days, but I'm hoping that it's my body wanting to get out and run again.

I miss running. I miss how I feel during the run--the calming effect it has on me. The time when I forget everything else that is going on in my life. My time. That sense of peace. Time on the elliptical or the bike does not do the same thing for me. Let's hope that today's run is just the beginning of me getting back into it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Falling Apart Post Race

So, how do I feel post-race? Like I'm falling apart! Honestly, I ran two miles on Wednesday last week and that's all I've run since the marathon. Monday, the day after, I played basketball with the kids and felt decent. Tuesday was good, Wednesday I ran but didn't want to overdo it. When I got home, I played baseball with the kids and injured my calf muscle. I had hit the ball and was running bases when on my way home I felt a shooting  pain in my left calf and almost dropped to the ground. Mom had to be brave around the kids, so I hobbled over to the porch, sat down and tried to massage it out. It almost felt like a cramp, but I knew it wasn't. Once I got inside I rolled it on the foam roller but still hobbled around all night.

Between that and my Achilles' tendon, I figured I should take some time off from running. It didn't last very long. I tried to go out today since the calf was feeling pretty good. I didn't make it a half mile before I felt that same familiar pain in my calf again. I almost dropped again. I stopped running immediately and hobbled over to the elliptical to finish my workout. Unfortunately that hurt too, but I was able to alter my "gait"  so it didn't hurt quite as bad.

Every long race I've done (half marathon/marathon), I've ended up injured or unable to run for a significant amount of time. I really would like to keep up my mileage and go out and run 10 miles next weekend if I want to, but I think I'm going to have to rest it. I'm going to have to find some other sort of workout that will keep my in shape in the meantime. I guess it's an okay thing, since I don't care to run in the summer heat anyway, but it's just a bummer. 

I really want to pick a 5k and clobber my PR right now but I can't do it. I'm hoping just a few weeks will be enough. We shall see..

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Favorite Pictures

This is a sign my sister made for me, but couldn't see until the end. Obviously it came from my blog title.

Photo: All set up at the finish...

I love this one. Again, from my sister... my mantra

Hubby's course map with the stops all mapped out and times he was going to be where. He's awesome! Apparently he sent this to my sister a few weeks ago so she could meet them somewhere with my parents.

Photo: Justin's course map with the times he was planning on being in the different places throughout the course. He's such an awesome cheerleader!

First Marathon--Race Report

So, it's been almost a week since my first marathon. Below is a report of the race day.

The day started of fairly nice. I had on a short sleeve compression shirt, a short sleeve tech shirt and a long sleeve tech shirt on. I was pretty comfortable with that and a pair of running capris. We parked the car on one side of campus, where traffic wasn't horrible. I left the fam and took off on my warm-up run. On the way, I ran into a couple of friends--she was running her first full, he was running his first half. It was nice to see them before the race; it calmed my nerves a bit.

I left those friends and headed for the meeting place of the "Nerd Herd," a great group of training buddies. We were getting together for our pre-race picture and well-wishes, then it was off to the race start. Standing there, I began chatting with a woman who was running her 50th marathon, on the 10th anniversary of her first marathon. WOW! What an accomplishment!

By this time it had started to drizzle. Unfortunately, I  had not brought a hat, so I knew I was in for it when it started raining. But it was too late and there was nothing I could do. Before the start of the race, there was a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. It was pretty amazing to have the mass of people go from extremely noisy to pure silence. Then, during the moment of silence, a plane flew overhead with a banner that simply said "4-15-13." That was awesome.

The gun went off and so did we. The 4:55 pacer was running with the 4:20 pacer so I decided to stay back and insure that I stayed at a slower pace. I wanted to stay around and 11:30 pace, so I kept slowing myself down. I didn't want the race-day adrenaline to make me go too fast. I managed to do a pretty good job and felt comfortable at my 11:15-11:30 pace. The rain wasn't a huge factor, except that I couldn't see. I wear glasses, and can't really see without them (more on that later) but I took them off around mile 3 since I could see better without them, than I could with them. I held on the them until mile 10 when I decided it wasn't going to let up; that's when I handed them off to Hubby.

Speaking of Hubby.... I couldn't ask for a better support team. He and the kids were all over the course to cheer me on. I think I saw them 12 times around the course. I'm not sure I would have that much patience--to get three kids in and out of the car so often, within a timeframe. He is amazing! His parents showed up around mile 11 and were there through the end as well.

Around mile 15, I started to feel like I had to go pee. I really didn't want to stop, but I knew I couldn't wait another 11+ miles. I tried a porta-potta but it was in use. Just after that, I was rounding a corner and saw my family again and they said I looked good. I yelled out that I had to pee, and Hubby's response was "you're already wet, just go down your leg!" That gave me a good chuckle, but I just couldn't do it. As I was rounding that corner, I heard my dad yell my name and say "we're here!" Unfortunately, I couldn't see him or my mom, but I knew he was there. That was awesome, since I didn't really expect to see them until the finish. I remember turning around and blowing them a kiss.

The 15 mile point was a big thing for me. That is the furthest I have ever run straight through. I wanted to beat that, and boy did I ever! After 15, my next goal was to run to 18, then if I ran to 18, I told myself I could do 20...

Mile 16 1/2--I was in a metropark and there were more porta-potties there, so I tried one as my watch was beeping for the lap. It was open! I don't think I have ever peed for that long continuously. Luckily I had checked my watch and noticed that I had gone for three minutes straight. Yikes! That's not good for my time!

Starting up again wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to get my pace back up to where I wanted it. Then I hit mile 18 and my knee started hurting worse that it ever had while running. I started walking for 3 seconds or so then told myself to pick up the pace and push through. I ran another half mile and had to walk again. After the 18.5 miles, it was pretty much back and forth walking/running.

Nothing exciting to report after that (other than all the times I saw Hubby and kids-and had a short run with our oldest), until mile 24. At that point it had stopped raining enough to get my glasses back, so I could see for the finish. Mile 25, my running buddy, M, who had just PR'ed in the half was walking back on the trail--I can only assume, to find me. I got a little emotional when I saw her, then said "let's go" and I started running again to finish. She asked me how I felt and I told her about my knee (the cause for having to walk). I asked her how she and some other friends did and this all took my mind off the pain. She and I walked briefly, then I told her I wanted to get 5:15, and when I looked at my watch, I thought I could still make it. I had forgotten my watch was off on the mileage a bit so I had further to go than I thought. I still kicked it up and ran the rest of the way.

The cool thing about this race is that it begins and ends on the college campus where I went to school. They open up the stadium and have the finish line on the 50 yard line, which is pretty cool. As I was running towards the stadium, I saw my dad taking a picture of me, then I started to round the corner to head into the stadium and saw my twin sister. She lives two states away and came to see me run... after she had told me she wasn't coming! Apparently she was there since mile 15, and I couldn't see her without my glasses! I got pretty emotional but found some new energy. I kicked it up the last 75 yards, heard my name announced, and finished my first marathon in 5 hours, 17 minutes and 56 seconds! I collected my foil blanket and my metal and then looked for my family. Hubby was the first one to show up with a hug. Boy did that hug feel great!

More to come later since this post is really long. I'll do a post-race one and maybe post some pictures too.