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Friday, September 24, 2010

Cori --- Week 14 Review

Monday....L7.4 (I had to get home and bathe the kids so that last 0.6 got scrapped.)
Tues......R4 (Football practice was over, so R5 became R4.)
Thurs....L8 (No excuses. Actually did 8.)

I think this is week 14. I had my last Physical Therapy session this week. Still ice-ing and stretching daily. Tapering feels good. I haven't even had that "Am I losing my fitness level" panic yet. I was sick of the really long runs. However, when I look at that countdown, and how close the days are getting until the race, I am kind of nauseated. Not scared yet, just a sick feeling because I dread the anxiety that I am going to feel on October 9th---the day before.

So I focus on the mundane: What kind of shirt should I wear? Where can I find cute running shorts with pockets? Can I really fit all of my "gear" into a carry-on? (The Trooper thinks I should not check luggage.) I fought him at first, but it's actually not a bad idea. What if they lost something, like my running shoes? I'm also starting to stress about leaving the kids. I've never done that before. If ever there were a weekend that my nerves could use a glass of wine---this is it. And I can't because I need to be hydrated and at optimum physical functioning. (Sigh.)

Traci pointed out something funny. The after-marathon party starts at 10am. The marathon starts at 7:30am. Um.....2 1/2 hours for 26.2 miles........really? On the flipside of the coin, our husbands ought to be able to eat lunch before we even show up. (Smile)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cori --- Making Life More Complicated...

Let's discuss my running style. (Sorry to be a blog whore, but I've got a lot to say tonight.)

This is how I prepared to run 18 months ago:

1. Put on shoes.

This is how I run now:

1. Tape left foot.
2. Put on heart monitor.
3. Put on very expensive shoes, very carefully, in order not to knock off my dying toenail.
4. Put on Garmin watch. Find satellites.
5. Fill Camelbak with water.
6. Lock cellphone and tuck it in Camelbak. (I have learned that it really is safer to carry it.)
7. Put on iPod if running alone.
8. Pack Gu if running more than 7 or 8 miles.

This is becoming quite the process. Think it will ever be carefree again?

Cori --- Joy

I had one of my "old lady memory" moments tonight. I took Aidan to football, and decided to get in a few miles instead of sitting in the car watching practice.
I ran down County Rd 2. (Traci, can you believe I even attempted it?!) This road has been a thorn in my side. The first time I ever really got "hurt", I was on this road, and then during our 10 mile run, which seems like eons ago, the hills on that road stirred up my IT Bands by mile 3. I swore that I'd never run it again.
But I can't control where Coach Shane holds football practice. (smile) So I took off. I only had about 45 minutes. I ran up and down hill after hill to one of my favorite cemeteries. I love cemeteries. I think it's because I love history so much. But this cemetery is special to me in a way. In the winter of 1998, when I was a very new nurse, I took care of a patient only a few years older than myself. She had gone to my high school. I bonded with her, and her mother. Then very unexpectedly, she died. She was 27 years old. I was off for a few days, and when I came back to work, I inquired about where she had gone, and someone casually told me that she died. I was really affected by that, more so than most of the deaths I have encountered in my career. I have visited her grave at least a dozen times. It just reminds me that there are no guarantees in life, and that I should be thankful for growing older, and the many blessings that I have.
So I ran to her grave tonight. And then I stood there for a moment looking at it, thinking about how much my life has changed since 1998, and how much her life would have changed---had she lived. And then I looked up, and I saw hills, and the setting sun, and horses, and I just realized that life is really good, and being alive is good, and running makes me feel so alive. It wasn't a sad moment, more of a "Wow, life is beautiful" moment. And I'm grateful that I have had 35 years on this earth to experience such joy.

And then I ran back to football practice.

Have I mentioned how much I love to run? Thank goodness we are tapering. The joy is returning. I want you Chicago, and I can't wait to show up, but give me a low-key 5 mile run where I can ponder life any day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Traci - Week #11

I can't forget to post my weekly stats THIS week. THIS week was the first time I actually did 2 runs and 3 days of crosstraining! There is a first time for everything!

M - Ran 5
T - weights
W - weights
Th - Ran 8
F - weights
Weekend - ATE, ATE, and oh yeah, did ZERO exercising.

I just have to say that I love tapering down on the mileage, but 8 still sucks. I forget that sometimes and think, "Oh, 8's not that much." Oh yes it is!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cori --- It's a Learning Process....

This has been a really good week.

Last Friday = L18
Sat = Off
Sun = Off
Mon = Off
Tues = SL8
Wed = Physical Therapy
Thur = Physical Therapy
Fri = L20

There has not been a lot of cross-training going on. The long runs have been so hard on my body that I felt like I needed the rest more than anything. I finished my Medrol dose pack this week, and started P.T. Wednesday we did AStym on the right leg. You can read more about it by clicking on it. It was pretty painful, but tolerable. It also left me bruised from ankle to groin on that side. Thursday was soft tissue massage and Ultrasound. Even on my "off" days, I spend at least an hour ice-ing, stretching, and doing P.T. exercises. I also bought new shoes last week. The Nike Vomero:
Runner's World picked them as tehe #1 Neutral Running Shoe. I have very high arches, so I have to wear neutral shoes. They were about $40 more than my last running shoes, but I was looking for a miracle, and willing to shell out almost any amount.

I also switched my running fuel. I prefer Shot Blox. But I was not eating enough of them to keep my energy up. They are bulky, and you have to carry a lot of them on long runs. I finally switched to Gu, and only for convenience sake.
I find it disguisting, and at times it makes me dry heave to even feel it touch my tongue. But it does the job. My heart rate has not gone above 170 during training since I started using it, and it's much easier to carry 4 packets of Gu in my pocket. I can also eat it more quickly than the shot blox. My stomach is not loving it, though. Speaking of stomach sensitivity, Gatorade can keep me in the bathroom for hours. Once we get to Chicago I am avoiding the sports drink, taking my Gu and water, and bringing chewable Pepto Bismol. I never knew that running was such a scientific experience, but it feels like I'm constantly trying new "formulas" to enhance my performance. (And by enhance, I mean "trying to complete a run without wanting to die".)

L20 was the best run I have ever had. I still can't believe it. For the first time I ran with normal pain as opposed to injured pain. It was so enjoyable. I wanted to cry with happiness. It wasn't easy by any means, but I finally think I can do this race. To God be ALL of the glory for that. I feel like He has led me to the right people, and I'm finally getting on track physically. Better late than never, right?

Best part of the L20? Our Garmins hit "20" miles about 1/2 mile from our cars. Jen's husband was waiting in the parking lot for us. We actually called him and made him come pick us up. Yes, let's reiterate that: We ran TWENTY miles and then made Jen's husband pick us up rather than walk 1/2 mile to our cars. We just couldn't go any further. As Jen dialed she said, "There's no shame in our game, this sister is done!"


Haven't measured this week. Weight is still at 140. I am really happy with that. I feel so much more "muscley" than usual. My skinny jeans are no longer tight. They were even tight when I bought them, so that is super exciting to me. I am nervous to start tapering though, because I am eating everything that's not tied down. Especially meat. I crave hamburgers lately. In the last 8 days we ran 46 miles! No wonder our metabolisms are fast. Now that we're slowing it down I'm going to have to be more careful and weight watcher-y. I fear going backwards, because it's been such a long road to get here. After I gave birth to Cooper, in January 2008, I weighed 210 pounds. That baby made me so fat! (Not your fault, Coop, but take one for the team, please.) I am already thinking about what race I'll do next---full steam ahead. Maybe not a marathon, but something....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Traci - Week #10 "The Good, Bad & Ugly"

The good news is that we are officially done with our long runs until the marathon. You don't even know how exciting that is.

The bad news is that I'm not exactly what I pictured myself when I pictured a "marathon runner." I was supposed to be super skinny and tone. In other words, my measurements and my weight still haven't changed. I don't think running is the sport to choose to lose weight. If you're like me, you'll realize it just makes you eat like a teenage boy.

The ugly news is my feet. After our L18 last week, my feet were in pain. Not just the youjustran18milesonme achy, sore feeling, but a true pain. So, I decided new shoes were a must. I'm so glad I got them because I didn't feel that pain today. My feet hurt like hell, don't get me wrong, but today it truly was just the youjustran20milesonme achy, sore feeling. However, my feet have looked so ugly after runs. They are all red and purple blotchy looking. They really feel fine right now, but they are still ugly.

And lastly, after running 20 miles today, guess what hurts. My jaw. Seriously, it started hurting around mile 5. At the end of 20 I couldn't close my mouth all the way. I have taken 4 Aleve today and when it is in full swing, I'm good to go, but when it wears off I can't close my jaw all the way. Weird, but true.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cori --- Can We Rent Wheelchairs at the Airport?

Well, to quote Elton John...I'm still standing.
I have no idea what week it is, by the way.

I have spent the last week doing my Physical Therapy exercises, stretching, ice-ing, and swimming. Then on Thursday I met Dr. Noland---a sports medicine doctor at KU. (Prince would call him "Dr. Everything'll Be Alright") Love, love, loved him. When I get really anxious and emotional, I sometimes start to cry, and I HATE this about myself. I was worried that I would walk into his office and the tears would immediately flow, "Please take away my leg pain. Give me a cortisone shot. Anything. Just HELP ME." But thankfully, that's not how our meeting went at all. Desperate Cori was present and accounted for, but somehow I pulled off charming and Type A, as opposed to "does she need a 'script for Xanax?" It's a fine balance, people.

First off, Dr. Noland is very friendly, and went out of his way to put me at ease. Then he nicely teased me because I brought a timeline of events for my injury, a list of questions, and a list of suggestions. (No, not arrogant at all, Cori, I told myself. You and Google are free to challenge all of Dr. Noland's medical training.) Before he even looked at my list, he laughingly said, "I can tell, you just want me to bust out a needle." I lit up like a Christmas tree at this, "Yes, yes, I do! How about some Cortisone?" He very kindly said, "No, not in your best interest." But he put me on a steroid dose pack to decrease my inflammation, got me reinstated in Physical Therapy, and then gave me a pep talk that was much needed. He said a lot of kind words, but here's what I walked away with:

"Your knee and your hip are in good shape. Mechanically, there is nothing wrong with you. You've definitely got an inflamed IT Band---and that will hurt. Cori, you are not going to hurt your knee by running, but your knee is going to hurt you. Run until you can't."

He went on say that he believes all runners possess a degree of insanity, and that he does not mean to keep running if I am limping. (At this point, strangely, his voice started to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher.....Wah Wa WaWaWah.....it turns out females can have selective hearing, too!) Everything else he said became my mantra to push on.

And so Friday morning I woke up at 4:30 am and ran 18 miles with the girls. I cried twice. Serious, serious pain. I would rather have a baby without drugs. But I want this SO badly. At this point I don't have a shut off short of physical collapse. I prayed for days that if it was not God's will for me to do this marathon He would tell me "no". And I told Him that I needed it to be a loud "NO!", not a "Hmm...did I hear Him right?" Well, since that moment, I have had sign after sign that it is okay for me to trust Him and proceed. So that's what I'm doing. I am not naive---this is not going to be easy for me. I may be the slowest person in Chicago after the pain kicks in, and I very well may finish alone. And I hate that. I have too much pride. Still. But I'd rather finish dead last than not finish at all.

I know that this marathon is not the most important thing in the world. It's just a hobby. I try to talk myself down everyday, so that I don't get thoroughly depressed if I can't finish. But I think about it a lot. I love this quote:

"It's not like somebody else can run a marathon for you. It's all you out there. Finishing means you can say, "There's not a lot I can't do." --------- Kenneth Feld

That pretty much sums it up for me.

So the crippled girl is rockin' on. :-)

Jen Recap 3 runs

49:23 pace 9:50 this is the fastest I have ever done a 5 mile race! I had a runners high for a week, I know to most that this would be a slower time but there was a point in the race when we where running a 7 min mile and we looked fast too, finally :) thanks Traci for your competitive spirt!

The 14 and 16 runs where great, body felt good, nailed down my water, gu, Gatorade intake...then came the 18 miler. I felt like I was setting myself up to fail because I had two great runs and just knew I had to come down off my high. Well the 18 didn't disappoint! Body felt great until 10 miles and then my right shin started burning BAD! This lead to a foot/ankle pain from running different trying to compensate for the ache shin. Cardio wise I felt good, but my body was broken.

I finally got in the extra runs along with swimming twice, I guess 10 weeks into the training is better than never, right? Trying really hard to buckle down on the cross training and nutrition for the next 35 day. I'm tired of losing the same damn 2 pounds every week, weekends are evil.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Traci - Week #9

All my weeks are clouding up into one. Week 9 started off for me doing the 5 mile Tiblow Trot on Saturday morning. I have to say it was a blast. Jen and I busted it out, horrible hills and all, in 49 minutes! Then Monday I swam 600m and was lazy the rest of the week. Then came this morning, which I guess is technically week 10, but who cares. At 5am Jen, Cori and I ran our L18. And it was L. I felt pretty good for the first 15 miles and then out of nowhere I ran into that new huge brick wall they just built across K32. Have you guys seen it? Well, it hurts. The last three miles my body was done. It was clearly telling me that it couldn't go on. It was all I could do to just lock in, focus and finish. It's over with, I'm hurting, but I can't help but smile when I realize that other than the Marathon, we just have ONE more of these horrible long runs left before tapering off. Best wishes to Jen, Cori, Nickie and Holly as we complete our last week of long runs!