Friday, April 15, 2016

The much-awaited-for update

Okay, I'm kidding... I know that no one is really waiting on pins and needles for me to update on how things are.  My close friends know how I'm doing because they've asked.  But I figured I might as well write a blog, seeing as I have so much free time.

Because, you see, I haven't been running.  Shocker (at least to some people!), I am actually listening to advice and resting right now.  I didn't run for six straight days, which really did feel like an eternity.  I actually had to unfollow all of the running pages on Facebook so that I didn't get upset every time I logged on and saw posts about running.  Meanwhile, I did my exercises and stretches... and that was it.  Oh, one day I did do some light-weight arm strength work (biceps, triceps), but I did them seated so as not to tax my legs in any way possible.  I wanted to bike... I wanted to swim... but my doctor recommended just doing nothing.  

Yep, I've been resting.  But I finally went for a run on Wednesday morning with a few of my favorite training partners who were willing to go whatever pace I needed (Tamara and Allison S.).  The run was... just okay.  Nights and early mornings are actually worst for me.  The less I move, the more my injury bothers me.  So things like sitting for extended periods of time (more than 5-10 minutes)... oh, and SLEEPING... yeah, those aren't good.  Hence, when I first wake up in the morning, I'm very tight and even walking is uncomfortable until I've been up and moving for a bit.  I feel best in the mid-afternoon, as I don't sit at all from around 12:30-2:30 PM (when I teach for two straight periods).

Back to the run, though.  The first two miles felt like I hadn't ran in, well, in a week.  Cinder blocks on my feet.  Calves tight.  Plodding at best.  I started feeling a little more like myself in mile 3.  My hip wasn't painful... it was there, maybe slightly achy, but not awful.  By the fourth mile, I had finally settled into my normal gait, thank goodness, and that mile flew by (unlike the first 3).  I definitely could have ran more, but our loop ended, and I had to decide if I wanted to run more or go home and stretch and foam roll before work.  Stretching and foam rolling won (see how SMART I am?).  The fact that I felt better after mile 4 than I did after the first couple of miles, coupled with the fact that I feel best when I've been up and moving during the day, allows me to hold out hope that this marathon may actually happen.   

I was more concerned with how I'd feel after the run, though.  Honestly, though, my groin didn't hurt as much as my super-tight quads did.  I tried foam rolling them out, but for the next 24 hours they were causing me to walk funny, they were so tight.  On Thursday afternoon I finally got to see my awesome chiropractor again, and he did his magic.  A super-duper painful hip adjustment and some awful manipulations, plus Graston on my poor quads.  But when I got off that table, I felt like a million dollars.  Dr. A knows his stuff!

Dr. A used that huge one on my quads!
I felt like a million dollars until I got home and half-tripped over the little wooden border on the floor that separates the kitchen from the play room.  I didn't fall, but catching myself really pulled on that hip flexor.  OUCH, like big time.  I did this again at school two more times on Friday (Caylan's binder during 5th period, and an empty box in the office after school).  Each time, I could feel my hip flexor straining and each time, it hurt reallllllly badly, and it took a couple of hours for it to feel okay again.  I need to pick up my feet or something!  I told my friends that I need a plastic bubble to live in for the next week.

My bubble!
So... where does that leave me now?  My friends and coach keep saying, "Just think of this as a super-awesome taper."  Easier said than done, though. I am all too familiar with over-tapering (from swimming), so the idea that I could be resting TOO much is definitely at the forefront of my mind.  I have a "long" run scheduled for tomorrow... 5-6 miles.  It is the last long run of the training cycle.  I am going to try my best to be grateful for each step.  I miss my training partners so much, so I will be happy to be with them again.  This is what we've been dreaming about, our taper when we would be able to say, "ONLY  10 miles today!"--that's how far they are running tomorrow; I'm obviously not going that far.  So I will stay within the run, and try not to think about what I will be doing in just 8 more days.  I will also try to not overanalyze how my body is feeling.  My race strategy will undoubtedly be a race-day decision, and I'm okay with that.  There won't be any A/B/C goals from me.  This time, the goal is to finish the race, hopefully with a smile on my face.  I can't ask much more from my body than that.

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