Saturday, September 26, 2009

Running Recap

Funny title, eh?

I actually did no running this week, no actual physical activity at all for the first time in 17 weeks. Becuase I'm sick. Great week to take one off.

And I still have a bum foot.

The official diagnosis is that I have irritated a ligament on the outside of my right foot--and I have permission to run when it feels like it can. And although the pain is better today than it was at the beginning of the week, my foot aches after I have been walking on it too long and my limp becomes quite obvious. I have serious doubts as to whether I will be able to run 26 miles in 21 days. Maybe I will be able to get to 10 or 12 miles again before the race, but I don't want to ruin my foot over this--it has been hard enough to get around this past week.

I don't know what to do. Part of me says that I should keep going and try and run and then keep shooting for the marathon. Part of me wants to throw in the towel because I would rather not run the risk.

And I am not even sure what and who to trust for words of guidance. This week will be the telling week. The Dr. said that I could get on a bike anytime that I wanted to to keep my physical level up--sure, can do and that I could start running as I felt I could do it without pain, Is three weeks really enough time to allow a ligament to heal? This is question that I don't know the answer to. And honestly, it would be emotionally easier to back out now and shoot for next year instead of starting the race and having to pull out halfway through for a hurt foot.

But then again, sometimes I think too much.

And I think that this is one of those times.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So it's off to the Dr. I go tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon to get my foot checked out, perhaps even x-rays.

I fear it's a stress fracture, but will know tomorrow afternoon.

I will either be very relieved or very sad.

We'll see which one tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ACK! Four weeks and counting. . .

This post comes to you in a time of frustration.
1) I am sick enough to not want to do anything at all, but not sick enough to lay around all day.
2) I am dealing with some sort of foot injury.
And that is really, really crummy.

This past week, I had a couple nice runs and ran 18 miles on Saturday morning. That was really cool. It started quite early--6 a.m. The stars were still out. I saw Orion, the dippers and other stars I haven't seen in quite a while. I watched the sun rise over Reed's Lake. It is phenomenal to watch God paint the sky and start a new day with his creative palette. I saw the darkness turn suddenly to light when the sun crossed the horizon. That was fantastic.

The run went pretty smoothly. I took a little aspirin before my run and I felt no pain from my knee (which I now know not to do). That was fabulous.

What wasn't fabulous? Well, I didn't have enough food with me and when you run for three hours, you are in need of real food. The granola bar that I had with me was not nearly enough. I didn't have the chance to buy a super protein/calorie bar, so I had to make do with one of the kid's cheap ones. Don't be fooled, there is a definite difference in quality and ability to fuel an athlete.

I was doing pretty good until I was on the backside of Reed's lake (again) I had covered about15 miles, had less than 3 to go. And the mental game got to me--I was hungry, I needed a bathroom in a desperate way, and I didn't know what to do. I called Eric and seriously considered having him come and pick me up. I wanted to quit. For real. But I didn't, I kept going, I found a quiet woody place in a park, and found the gumption to make it home. But then found out, I was just a hair shy of 18 miles--I mis-remembered my run route.

In the end I am pretty proud of my time for my 18 miles--just over 3:30 (3:34 to be exact) and think that with the lessons that I am learning, I could make a pretty good first showing at the Grand Rapids Marathon (less than 1 month away!)

But that's if my foot heals.

Starting Sunday afternoon, I noticed it hurt to walk. By the end of the day I had a noticeable and significant limp on my right side. I can't figure out what is causing the pain--it's probably an overuse injury that requires rest to heal. I hope that it is not a stress fracture. And this is my conundrum: I don't want to quit too easily chalking it up to a bum foot, but I also don't want to injure myself in a more serious way. I am giving my foot a few-day break and am shooting for a short run on Thursday. If that goes well, I am scheduled for a 20 mile run (my longest before the marathon) with the Grand Rapids Running Club on Saturday morning.

But right now I am frustrated. I have come so far. I don't want to quit--but I am also not a big fan of persistent pain that I don't know where it comes from or how to get rid of it.

I am hoping that this is one of those bumps that turns into a turning point/motivational lesson/God's provision that propels me through to the end. We shall see. . .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Running on Empty in Utah

A quick minute to tell you about running in Utah.

It SUCKED! It was really, really, really, really hard.

5,000 feet in altitude change and running in the foothills of the Wasatch mountains really makes a significant difference.

I took two runs--a 3.2 miler and a 10 miler that turned into a 6 miler. (I have never quit that early in a run before) Yeah, so first I ran up hill for a long time, then I ran across the hill for a while and then I went back down the hill. That was three miles. Add some extra ups and downs and then you have the 6 mile.

My lungs weren't working right, my heart was pumping out of my chest and my legs felt like lead. And I was so tired from the running. The change in oxygen made a real difference. I am looking forward to a run tomorrow to make me feel like Super-Runner.

Because that often happens.

For those who might wonder, the rest of the trip was fun. Josh and I hung out--with my family, in the mountains, at Toys-r-us, at the zoo, and at a working copper mine. (Guess which part was Josh's favorite?) But we are definitely both glad to be home.

Oh, and this weekend we are gearing up for 18 miles.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Running Recap

Qucik, before I run out the door to catch my flight to salt lake with Josh, I thought that I would catch up on the running stuff.

Yes, I am still running and I am heading into the final stretch. Although my run for this weekend is supposed to be 18 miles, I will soon find myself in an oxygen depleted environment (My parent's in Salt Lake live about 5,000 ft), so I don't trust my ability to do that much.

So, Saturday will find me running about 10 miles up and down the Foothills. As I map my route, I can picture most of it and find one major problem--severly limited access to public restrooms and/or heavily wooded areas. This could be a major issues, so I am continually rethinking the route in my head. Lately it's been an issue even for my 3 mile runs! Yikes.

Other than that, running is well, if just a bit undertrained. Yep, I'm averaging 2-3 runs a week, most of them short mileage--2-4 miles and the one big run. In the past week I've run

tuesday--2.75 miles (26:53)
Saturday --9.5 miles (1:45)
Wednesday--3.2 miles (34:30)

Plans are for 3-4 miles tomorrow (Friday) morning to adjust to hills and altitude, 10 miles on Sautrday and another 3-4 on Monday before coming home and prepping for 18 next Saturday (19th) and 20 the following Saturday (26th). We're almost there! These distances are mind boggling and I am slow, but I am confident that if I plod along, i can do this!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Canning, Camping & More--The end of summer edition

Wow, I can't believe that summer is over already. I think I am echoing many other sentiments when I say, it was a good one. I have so much to post, that you should get to see/know, that this is going to be largely a visual edition. So, enjoy.

Canning: been doing a bunch of that lately, some even with kids help. Here, they are helping me peel tomatoes that we can to use during winter months. In this job, they were truly helpful!

And just some of the bounty. This is tomatoes and bread n butter pickles (a first for me!). Also included in this year's bounty is peaches, pears, 4 kinds of salsa, and lots of preserves. After I finish up the pears and peaches tonight, I am on canning hiatus until apple season.

I will say that all the canning I do gives me great respect for food and food processing, specifically in how much and how hard it is to prepare like this. It makes me much less willing to take the convenience of our food systems for granted, but also to realize how "expensive" good food is. (Also, for those of you who care, all the food that has been preserved is locally grown and purchased from local farmers, except for the pears, because they were picked off someone's tree!)

School: Yep, we're three weeks in and are getting the hang of school. My house, on the other hand, isn't really in the rotation yet! Anyway, last week, we focused on a book about Japan and had a great week learning all about Japan and Japanese culture. We topped the week off with a Japanese lunch, complete with sushi, green tea, edamame beans, tofu, ichiban noodles, sticky rice and these great little chewy candies. Great fun and food was enjoyed by all!

We finished our summer off by camping with some great friends. And it was an adventure. Our pop-up was first stuck in the mud and then it wouldn't pop-up. Our first official night of camping we set up in the dark because it ws past 9 p.m. when we finally got it up and the battery on the camper had died and consequently, we also didn't have any ability to add extra heat--and it was cold that night! We suffered through 5 bee stings and a few owies here and there. But it was a great time! There were dunes to climb, a lake to play near, roads to bike on, trees to mingle with, friends to talk with and a great fire to sit around. It was a great first camping experiece--I hope we have many more in the years to come.