Sunday, October 28, 2007

Blisters and other fun things!

I have been sidelined, at least temporarily. By what you ask? A blister. The (very expensive) inserts that I bought for my running shoes have given me two blisters on my left foot.

The arch of one of the inserts was really rough so it rubbed on my foot. I ran three miles on Friday night. I felt it rubbing and probably should have stopped, but I didn't. I put duct tape over it to smooth it out, so hopefully that will fix the problem. Duct tape fixes everything, right? I tried to put a band-aid over the blisters and go to the group run Saturday morning, but that didn't work. I ended up running two miles and then turning around and walking the two miles back to my car. And my right knee was killing me! I guess I can't do anymore back-to-back runs. Learned my lesson. The big blister has gone down significantly, but I don't want to run again until it's completely gone. The Vulcan Run 10k is this Saturday. I don't think I'll lose a lot of fitness in one week, but I haven't done the 10k distance yet. I guess race day will be the first time I do the whole distance. I think I'm going to ride my bike today with Eric so that I at least get some exercise in, even though I really hate biking. The good news is that my knee is feeling much better. I'm not sure if it's the new shoes that don't fit correctly, or the increase in mileage, or running during the evening and then immediately again the next morning. The pain I had was different than any pain I've ever had, which made me wonder if the bone spur the doctor said I was developing is causing the pain. I guess I just need to take it easy this week to make sure I can participate in the race on Saturday.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Eight days until the Vulcan Run 10k. I'm getting kind of nervous about it. I've missed a day of running this week and I'm going to try to make up for it over the weekend.

I didn’t get any running in last night, but I did go by Academy and buy some winter running gear. It’s getting kind of cool here, and that’s normally when I slack off because I don’t have the right kind of clothes. I spent $200 last night, so that in itself is motivation to keep me running. Don’t want all of that to be a waste. I got some gloves, a headband/earwarmer thing, running tights, compression shorts (not really winter, but I’ve needed some for a while), a short-sleeve and a long-sleeve running shirt. That should be enough to tide me over for now.

I also found out that I need new running shoes. I just bought some a few weeks ago at the Trak Shak in Homewood. They looked at how I walk and told me which shoe to buy. My arches were hurting though when I ran in them. When I was in Tuscaloosa running witha friend, we went by a running store there to see if I could get some inserts. The guy there actually watched me run on a treadmill. I was still overpronating with the new shoes so he got some inserts and watched me run again. Even with the most corrective inserts, I still am overpronating a little bit. I’ll probably go get new ones once I’ve gotten a few more paychecks. I can keep the shoes I have now for walking and working in the yard I guess. I’ll be going to Tuscaloosa to buy my running shoes from now on. Apparently I have really bizarre feet, but that’s not really anything new.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Well, it's been a week since the 5k race, and we're gearing up for the Vulcan Run 10k. Today we ran four miles and next week it's going to be 5 miles! I'm still a little nervous about increasing distances. I better get used to it because I want to run a half-marathon in February.

We met at Five Points downtown. I took Linus with me and he was very excited since it's been a couple of weeks since he's been running with me. We ran on the course for the Vulcan run. Part of the course is a small gradual hill, but it's so long that it gets to you. My legs started feeling like lead so I had to stop and walk for about two minutes. I really didn't want to, but I didn't feel like I could pick my feet up anymore. After we got to the top it was downhill for about the last half mile which was nice. I was feeling pretty good by the end, and might have even been able to go longer.

The schedule for this upcoming week is:

Day 1: 4 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 4 miles
Day 5: 5 miles

I will try to actually post during the week, but we'll see how that goes.

I'm just now getting a chance to post about the 5k.

I got up really early because I didn't want to be late to my first race and I wanted to get a good parking spot. I got downtown around 7:15. I went by the Birmingham Track Club tent and got my registration packet. I still haven't looked through all the stuff, but I got a race shirt, a long-sleeved t-shirt and coupons and things like that. At 7:30 all of the "Couch" group got together with our coach for a picture. After that my mom called and said she was there so I made my way to her. There were so many people there so it took awhile. Over 10,000 people signed up to race, and that doesn't include all the spectators. I hung out with my mom a bit and gave her my camera to take pictures.

Pretty soon it was time to line up. We got about 100 feet back from the starting line so that we wouldn't be mowed down by all the elites. I think we stood lined up for about 10 or 15 minutes, it took awhile for everyone to get organized. But soon we were off. I didn't cross the starting line until 2:00 after the official start. My group and I started off slow. My main goal was just to get through the thing without walking. The second goal was to do it in under 40 minutes, which was pretty generous. During the first half, we had to dodge and weave through a lot of walkers. They're supposed to get in the back, but inevitably there are always some who want to be up front with the action.

After about a mile, we rounded a corner that was at the top of a hill and I could see thousands of people in front of me just filling up the road. It was pretty amazing. Part of the route went under the interstate and a trucker honked his horn as he drove by. There were also a lot of spectators along the route cheering us on. I almost cried a couple of times. Kind of ridiculous, I know, but I couldn't help it.

As we got close to the finish line, the number of spectators grew. As soon as I saw the finish line used a little burst of extra energy and ran as fast as I could. My official time was 37:13, so I made both of my goals. I ranked 454 overall, and 228 out of the females. My average pace was 12:01 which is pretty darn slow. But I finished it!

My next race is November 3rd, the Vulcan Run which is a 10k. Eep!

Ok, here are the pictures:

All the serious runners up front

There's me! Looks like I'm just strolling here. Notice my pink running skirt? I love it!

Nearing the finish!

I made it!

Me with one of the guys in our training group

# 1024

Me and my mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dr. update

I went to the doctor two days ago for my knees. They took some x-rays. He told me that as young as I am, I've got some really bad knees. Even with the dancing and running I've done, it wouldn't have done as much damage as I have. He showed me the x-rays where he can see the arthritis starting. My femurs are squared off on one side instead of being rounded. I've got the beginnings of a bone spur on one the right one (I think). My self-diagnosis of chondromalacia was correct, I've got softening of the cartilage under the kneecaps. I'm going back today for the physical therapist to show me some exercises to do at home that will strengthen my quads and help stabilize my kneecaps which will hopefully cut down on the pain. I asked about the running, and he said that I could safely continue to train for the 10k and even a half-marathon, but that I might want to reconsider running marathons. He said my knees were only going to get worse, but he couldn't say if it would be in 5-10 years or 20-30 years. I have a life goal of running at least one marathon, so I think I'm going to do that, and then maybe cut back depending on how my knees feel. My boss here has bad knees too, and he's given me a lot of homepathic things that he has used with success so I'm going to try some of those too.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Yesterday morning was a trial run for Race for the Cure. We ran the 5k course in downtown Birmingham. It's a pretty flat route, so it wasn't that bad at all. I'm getting pretty excited for my first race. I'm going to have to make sure that I get there pretty early since there are going to be a lot of people downtown at the same time. Parking is going to be kind of tight.

My husband is going to be out of town on a business trip so I've got a friend of mine and my mom going with me to cheer me on.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A rant

For those of you that don't know, I've had knee problems for a few years now. Come to think of it, I had knee pain growing up, but the doctor always told me it was because I was growing so fast. In the past four or five years, my knees have started to make a crunching/grinding noise. They hurt when I go up and down stairs and do squats or lunges. I went to my general pracitioner about a year ago and she did x-rays of my knees. She said that I have the early signs of arthritis and gave me some neoprene braces to use while exercising.

Now on to my rant. My mom went to an orthopedist yesterday to get her knees looked at. She's had knee problems for many years now, much worse than mine. The doctor said that there is 100% chance that she will need a knee replacement within the next 10 years. She told the doctor about my knee problems and he told her that I needed to stop running immediately, or I would need a knee replacement too. How can a doctor diagnose me without even seeing me?

So, I talked to my running coach, and he gave me the name of a runner-friendly orthopedist. I'll quit running if that's what I really need to do, but I have heard so many people tell me that I shouldn't run, because it will kill my knees, or something else like that. And most of the people who tell me this are people who never exercise at all. Because sitting on the couch watching tv and stuffing your face is sooooo much better for you! From researching online, it looks like I have this: Chondromalacia Patellae. This website describes my symptoms exactly. I'm going to the doctor next Wednesday so I should know something by then. I really hope that it can be treated with simple exercises and surgery won't be necessary.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Today was a group run at Spain Park High School. There's a really nice running trail there that is 3 miles long. It goes around a pound, under the road and into the woods. It was really pretty, but by the time I got to the woods it was getting dark. That was kind of creepy. The very last part of the course is a really steep hill. I kept going though and toughed it out. I have a feeling that I'm going to be pretty sore tomorrow.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Another week of running begins. Today after work the dog and I ran three miles. I ran the whole time without stopping and made pretty good time. My first official 5k is on October 13th. It's the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. My mom has had breast cancer twice, so I think it's neat that this will be my first 5k.

Runs this week:

Day 1: 3 miles

Day 2: 3 miles

Day 3: 2.5 miles

Day 4: 2 miles

Day 5: 3 miles