6.24.2012

7 Weeks In...15 Weeks To Go



Seven Weeks Into the New Season and Things Are Going Great! As I sit and write this there are exactly 104 days 19 hours and roughly 45 minutes until the big day! Since it's been so long since my last blog post I'll limit this to the top seven things that have been going on with my training since the marathon ended in March.

1. LAZY TIME
After the marathon ended on March 18th my body (more like my legs) felt like they hated me and thought I was a complete idiot for signing up for another race. It took me about a solid week to finally stop hobbling around and walk like a normal person. I decided to give my legs a little longer of a break and committed to a two week break of being a lazy bum and doing absolutely nothing physical.

After about 2.5 weeks of this...

I (with the prodding of my super athletic husband) finally decided it was time to get off the couch and start working out again. I attempted to go on a few short runs but those were not successful. I pathetically got about 1/2 a mile away from the house when my knees/IT band started hurting so I quickly would turn around and end up on the elliptical for about 10 min until I was once again in pain. Needless to say, my legs weren't quite ready to start running again so I finally took up Adam's offer to give swimming a try.

2. Swimming
Dynamo Swim Club - Masters is the swim program Adam regularly attends and he's been trying to get me to go with him since I moved down here last year. Realizing that this may actually help my legs and be much more enjoyable than running I caved in and joined him one Monday night. I was pleasantly surprised with how nice swimming felt on my legs. In addition there were some TNT tri team alum in my swim lane so it was great having their support while I "learned to swim". I had grown up going to the pool but I had never really learned how to properly swim and Coach Maria did a great job helping me along!  I continued to swim a few more times and finally decided it was time to start running again.


3. Orthopedic Appointments & Physical Therapy
May 2nd...exactly 45 DAYS after the Publix Marathon it was time to lace up those shoes again and really make an effort at running again to get ready for Chicago. I decided my legs were going to be a little tight but I should be able to do a nice easy two miles. I felt pathetic knowing that just two months prior eight to ten miles seemed like nothing and now going two miles seemed like a marathon. Unfortunately I only got about a mile before the pain in my right IT band began to hurt again. After having Adam analyze my leg it we decided it was time for me to go in just to make sure I hadn't broken anything and that I'd be cleared to begin training again.

A few days later I got an appointment with Dr. Mason over at Emory and luckily he agreed that I hadn't done any permanent damage; however, the significant pronation in both feet combined with my bowed legs weren't the best combination for marathon training. He suggested the following:
Nike Structure Triax 15 

Green SuperFeet
Physical Therapy
Adding the high inserts into my already supportive shoe plus four to six weeks of PT was his suggestion to help correct the pronation in my feet and alleviate the pain in my IT band.

Me: "Am I okay to start running again?"
Dr. Mason: "Of course, but it's going to hurt a lot" (with a slight chuckle in his voice)

4. Base Milage
Sure enough Dr. Mason was correct and running was not pain free. It took some time to get use to the inserts but with less than a week until the first GTS (group training session) I had no choice but to start easing back into running and get to the point of being pain free. My PT decided one of the reasons I was having so much pain was because my hip alignment was off and so we had to work for a while on correcting that, not to mention we figured out that one leg is a cm longer than the other. All these things kept signaling I should be doing half-marathon distance, not the full thing but my determination to complete a full marathon & enjoy it continued to outweigh the cons.

Chicago TNT - 2012
Adam helped build me a training plan for the first few weeks and it called for seven days of running which I thought was CRAZY! I was use to running four times a week not all seven days!! His argument was I needed to build a solid base & not ramp up as quickly this time so most days my run wasn't longer than a mile & a half. Since the fall TNT season officially started, I have stuck to the schedule pretty well but have added a few extra miles here and there and overall my legs have been feeling great.
Here was my training schedule for the past week:



5.  Track Workouts
This season the TNT coaches are hosting Tuesday night track workout which have been super beneficial. While I missed a few of the nights, it has been great getting to train with the team and learn how to become a more effective runner. 

Strides - This season we are working to maintain 90 strides per minute. 

According to Jack Daniels in Running Formula:
The main disadvantage of this slower turnover is that the slower you take steps, the longer you spend in the air, and the longer you’re in the air, the higher you displace your body mass and the harder you hit the ground on landing. When you consider that many running injuries are the result of landing shock, it’s not surprising that experienced runners tend to turn over faster than beginning runners do.
This has taken a little getting use to, but I think it is improving my running. 

Breathing - Maintaining a 2 or 3 step per inhale/ 2 or 3 step per exhale breathing pattern up hills, on flats, and on down hills. A 2:2 breathing rhythm enables you take about 45 breaths per minute, which is perfect for steady state, tempo runs, and marathon pace runs.

Pace - During last week's track workout we did our first timed mile to get a good idea of what our pace should be. This wasn't like gym class where you go balls to the wall and try and get the fastest time possible; rather, this was the pace you felt you could confidently continue to run for many more miles. I ended up running the mile in 9:20 which I was pleased with considering when I first started running about six months ago I would have been lucky to have consistently ran at a 10:30 pace. 


6. Adventure Thursday Runs
This past Thursday a few of us decided to do the Thursday Adventure Run which is hosted every third Thursday of the month from RoadRunner Sports in Atlanta.

Basically you go out and they have booths set up with various vendors and different gear that you can try. The had Garmin watches, Asics shoes, compression socks, fuel belts, and other pieces of equipment for you to use during the run which was pretty cool.

The group before the run
At 7:00 on the dot the map was released and we were off. The goal was to collect as many raffle tickets as you could within one hour and return to the start by 8:00 when the raffle prizes would be given out. We took off to the farthest location (BWW & Urban Active) and were able to collect the 7 tickets at each location and round back and collect at the other stops along the way.


In the end collected a good number of tickets, had a great time, and hoped we'd win some good prizes. They were giving out numerous store gift cards, $160 GC's for Asics, compression socks, Garmin watches and various other items. While we didn't win anything it was still a fun evening and we hope to continue to do it throughout the rest of the summer.

7. Fundraising 
First of all THANK YOU to the following people who have donated so far and helped me reach 27% of my fundraising minimum ($2,650). I couldn't do this without your support and I greatly appreciate it!!
Rodney Mirabal
Troy Henry
Alexis Lim
Ken Ishida
Mike Ricci 
Morgan Griffin

1) BRAND NEW iPad Raffle - If you haven't gotten your raffle ticket yet for a new iPad I still have about 25 remaining. Details are below in my previous blog post.

2) Fall TNT Fundraiser at Fado's: $10 gets you a pint glass with one beer ticket, appetizers, and a raffle ticket. It should be a great time to come out, get a drink, and support a good cause. If you're interested in a ticket leave a comment or send me an email!

3) Silent Auction Items Wanted: This season our team will once again be hosting a Facebook silent auction. If you have any items (Gift Cards, Weekend Beach/Mountain Getaways, Wine, Jewlery, Baskets, etc.) that you would like to contribute please let me know as these tend to be a great success!!

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