Monday, April 4, 2011

My Roller Coaster Weekend

Sunday has sort of become my blog day off.  So in hindsight, here's my weekend in review

The theme this day was "WHEN!"

I headed out on my long - six mile - run.  Chelsea had told me earlier in the day that she had to cut her long run down to four miles because of knee issues.  I was kind of happy that I was going to pump out my full run; I almost thought about bragging about it.  I hit a downhill and decided to walk.  My knee felt a bit tense, so I thought I'd avoid ruining my knee.  As soon as I started walking, the knee tensed up even more and OOOOOOOOUCH!!!  I think my knee is a spy for Chelsea's team.  I made it down the hill and down the street before I decided it was time to tell myself "when."  I pulled out my phone and called for a ride. 

It seems that it's my right leg ITB that got overly tense.  And don't worry, once I rested it and applied some heat, it felt fine. I was just lucky I had taken my hydration pack with me (yet another reason to get used to wearing it out on runs); I wouldn't carry my phone otherwise. 

This day's theme was Redemption!

Sunday, the Hartford Marathon Foundation held a free Triathlon Expo.  It started with a "fun run" 5k at 12:30pm and if I hadn't gone with Chelsea, the extreme running enthusiast, I might have not run due to what happen on Saturday's run.  The run wasn't timed, so no real race pressure.  Plus, they added a competition in that it was a Poker Run.  While we ran, we had to pick up five separate playing cards making our poker hand to win prizes; makes it interesting, right?

Anyways, Chelsea and I headed off and she kept telling me "go on ahead and run, don't stay back with me."  I told her "don't tempt me" because I really would and it'd probably tense up my knee again, ruin me, and I'd be on the injured list (not a good plan).  That didn't last long.  After a mile, she got the better of me and I jetted off to see if I could catch up to the leaders.  (I heard a few people say things like "holy cow!" as I zoomed past them a mile into the race; not gonna' lie, I love that!)  I ran the first mile with Chelsea in 7:30 and then finished the 5k in 21:00, making the last 2.1 miles a 6:25 pace; I had redeemed myself.. But the best part?!, my knee didn't tense up, nor did I have shin splints.  In fact, my shins were pain free the rest of the day!  I think my cure is sprinting.

Back in high school, my swim coach would always say "You know what's good for that?  Sprinting." to whatever ailment we had.  Stomach bug?, sprint!  Sore shoulder?, sprint!  Cramping?, sprint!  He may have been right all along. 

During the race, I rediscovered a reason why I love athletic races.  Think whatever you will of me, but the pickings get much better at a race than at the grocery store, a bar, or wherever else you choose. "How did I relearn this?" you ask.  When I jetted off, I would have loved to win the race (who doesn't love a crazy win from behind), but I really just wanted to chase down the girl in 4th place.  *wink*wink*  Cheers to motivation - and many more greats sites at races to come!

After that race, Chelsea and I walked around the expo, talked to some people about races, some protein drink/bar products, and injury prevention.  The injury prevention people threw us both for a loop.  I approached them and said that I'd been having shin splints.  We talked about details - when, where, how often, etc. and they proceeded to show me how I should roll smoothly from your heal to your forefoot while running; a non-smooth roll (or slap) will cause a type of whiplash in your shins.  We both sat there thinking "why are you telling us to heel strike?!"  Obviously, we just said "ok, thanks" and walked away.  I wish I had had time to press them on the issue, but they were also telling me to get arch support inserts, so I doubt it would have ended well. 

Instead of pursuing that interesting conversation, we opted for the pool because who doesn't love the pool?!  The expo had a coach giving one-on-one swim technique analysis and despite both Chelsea and I having extensive competitive swimming experience, we figured we could at least jump in the pool and have fun.

First off, that pool was easily 85 degrees.  NOT a pool to swim laps in.  Second, the coach actually did have tips for us.  I have a short stroke and I need to extend my reaching arm further by working with paddles.  I also bounce a little.  Both are issues that I knew from before, but he brought them to light again and now I'll make sure to work on those in the pool.  So the pool was a success.

That, my friends, was my weekend.

1.  How did your weekend training sessions and/or races go?
I'll be caught up with everyone's weekend blogging soon.

2.  Has anyone else had to call for aid during a workout?
This was my first time having to call for help. 

3.  What unique aspects about races and/or training pushes you to go harder?
I know Katie @ Run for the Bikini boosts her pace when she runs past the school; I certainly do the same, especially when any sports teams are out practicing (I see girls lacrosse quite often).  



Coy Martinez said...

I could reply tons to your post. Sorry about the call for a pick up! I too called for a pick up. It was on a 17 mile run which was suppose to be 20. My last long run before my last marathon I ran. I was in tears but I didn't drink enough and it caught up with me.

I was suppose to run a half last weekend but since my IT Band is wreaking havoc I volunteered at a water table and HAD A BLAST! I think my friends loved me cheering for them!

What makes me push harder is the idea that I know deep inside me that I can shave time. I'm always competing with myself to cut corners to get better. Tweak this and tweak that.

Great blog!

Richelle said...

Once you read my latest post, you'll know that I had a weekend of little activity and a lot of food. I think parents have a gene that pushes them to feed their offspring to no end, haha!

I don't think I've ever had to call for help during a run, but a few months ago I should have when my knee was acting up. Oh well.

I strive to be a faster runner. I like breaking old PRs and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.

Anonymous said...

There is something to be said for trying to be smooth in your gait. There's no real science either way.

You may want to check out Steve Magness' website Science of Running. He just wrote a really interesting post on Running Form.

TriGirl said...

You are one fast runner! As for the heel strike issue, for me in particular: I was running on the balls of my feet all last year which led to some very painful tendon and muscle issues. My PT actually had me use a (gentle) heel strike and lengthen my stride. That, paired with orthotics, has made for no foot pain and faster run times! All that to say that I think you have to take into account your own body mechanics when working on your gait.
I am not surprised that you find better pickings at races. Those are the women that are into the same things as you, and value the same things as you do (health, fitness, etc...)

Colleen said...

Holy smokes that's fast! Great job!!! And maybe you are right... sprinting heals everything!