Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's been awhile...but only 11 days til CIM!

It's been awhile since I posted on here... not because I didn't want to, but just because it's been getting a little busy. Sure, I have free time after getting off of work at night, but trying to type a blog on an iPad is not my idea of fun. So, I finally sucked it up and went to the hotel business center and decided I'd recap the past few weeks of training as I head to California in 9 days for the California International Marathon in Sacramento.

I decided after Milwaukee that I was going to clean up my eating (no cookies, crackers, fruit snacks, alcohol, candy, etc.) until CIM. While it is tough, I really see benefits in my workouts and energy level. Plus, I'm totally splurging after CIM so that gives me motivation to stick to it:)

Once Milwaukee was done, Coach Cari had me take some time off. I went and saw Earl Gunther (http://www.rmsphysicaltherapy.com/) who really nursed my hamstring back to health. The last time I did Physical Therapy was in college for my many stress fractures (2 full-on stress fractures--one that almost turned into a broken bone--and 4 stress reactions, which is basically the precursor to a stress fracture). Earl knew my goal was for the Trials, so he really worked with me to get back fast....I was only able to bike Monday-Friday, but when I ran on Saturday all I felt was soreness! NO pain in my hamstring whatsoever. Earl is a PHENOMENAL Physical Therapist and everyone at RMS Physical Therapy is so friendly and welcoming. Earl also came up with a strengthening program for me that really works on my weaknesses (which he of course ran by Coach Cari first!) and I honestly feel like my body is a lot stronger than it was before going into Milwaukee.

My first real week back was the week of the Chicago Marathon. Ryan, along with many of my running friends and my brother, was running it without doing any long runs or real training. I was very nervous for him, especially with the potential heat factor. But, not surprisingly, he rocked it. I mean ROCKED it. He ran a 2:29:11! On no training! It was such a great race to watch and just cheer on my friends, but it was hard just spectating.

The rest of October was just getting my mileage back up to the 50-60 range again and throwing in some tempos to make sure my hamstring felt okay even at marathon pace. It was so nice to finally be back "in shape" and ready to get after another marathon!

NOVEMBER thus far:
My long runs and workouts started to pick up more in November:
-11/6: 18miles
-11/9: 30min @MarathonPace, 20min@MP, 10mn@MP with 5min between. WOW.
-11/13: 20miles with last 8 at Marathon Pace...this was that 22mph wind day....let's just say the treadmill and I became pretty good frenemies that day
-11/16: 45min tempo

...and I'll stop right there. I had a flight to Kansas on Tuesday the 15th for work. I was pretty disgusted with all of the coughing and sniffling on the plane, but made sure to grab a green tea (as I had been drinking the rest of the month) right as I got off the plane. Unfortunately, I was probably already getting sick. The morning of 11/16, I woke up to cough up some green mucus. I decided that I would do my workout in the afternoon then since that just didn't seem good. I took some Mucinex to hopefully clear that mucus out. Well, on the warmup, the wind wasn't very nice (12-15mph), but I told myself it could be windy at CIM so I might as well just do what I can and go on feel for the 45minute tempo. After probably 10 times of spitting out green mucus, I decided that running in 40degrees and 12-15mph winds probably wasn't helping my cause, so 2.5miles into the tempo, I switched to the treadmill. It was still pretty difficult to breathe on the treadmill, so I slowed my pace down a few times from the 6:18/6:22 (marathon goal pace is 6:20 but that option isn't available on the treadmill, so I alternate between the two) to a 6:31/6;35. It definitely helped and I was able to cruise the last 1.5miles in at 6:15/6:18 pace, but WOW was it hard.

I finally caved on Saturday and went to see the doctor. After 1.5 hours of waiting, his diagnosis was "the beginning stages of bronchitis." Perfect. I have a marathon in 15 days and I am getting bronchitis. Thanks, Doc. He couldn't give me any Sudafed either as I would probably test positive for steroids if I was to get drug tested. So, I'm on the zPack and MucinexD.

I definitely feel a lot better than I did a week ago, but my breathing is very labored and if I really take a deep breath, I start coughing hard.

SO. The game plan has changed. I was supposed to do a 40minute tempo today, and 10minutes in, I was already breathing pretty hard. I adjusted the 6:18 pace to 6:31 and was able to keep going for another 10 minutes, but again I was breathing pretty hard. I knew in my head that the right decision would be to stop the workout. Why risk prolonging my sickness? I was pretty much in tears as I texted Coach Cari the news. She called me and reassured me that my fitness is still there, but we really need to work on getting me healthy. I just felt so defeated. She also brought up that, by the time I have completed this marathon, I will have been training for a RUNNING event for 14 months. I hadn't done that in three years. My body is probably tired. That plus the bronchitis probably brought on the almost breakdown.

Now, I'm just going to California for FUN. Ryan just booked his flight, so instead of caring about hitting a specific time, I'm going out there to have fun and PR. I know that I could have run a 2:48 at Milwaukee (yes, I realize that wouldn't have qualified me for the Trials, but I know I was capable of at least that, and if everything had gone right, maybe even a 2:45xx). My sickness set me back a bit, so instead of going for a number, I'm going to get the finisher's medal. I'm going so that Ryan and I can have a nice vacation, just the two of us, in a place we've both always wanted to visit.

I have to give a TON of credit to the runners out there. How runners solely train for running is now beyond me (which is strange since that's all I used to do until 3 years ago). This stuff is hard!

11 days until California International Marathon. I am VERY excited to see a lot of ladies qualify and can't wait to see that finish line!

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