Training Partners are the best!

The Alter G continues to be part of my running training. I set it at 85% of my weight so it is gentler on my body than running on the road. It can get pretty boring so I have started doing my mental training and race visualization while I run. I am no longer staring out the window into the parking lot, I am now running the course in Sacramento. I have read about it enough to have an idea what it is going to look like. I did this for Grandma’s Marathon and I remember going to the start line with the feeling that I had already been there before! I have really been focusing on hitting mile 20 at 2:05 and how the clock is going to look and how I am going to feel. I then just run that last 10k like it is a piece fo cake.

This past Sunday I had a big run 16 miles last 10 at 6:30 pace, so I called in the heavy hitters for a little help and encouragement. I have been blessed to have so many awesome training partners. The two that have helped me the most this year are Susan Loken, and Flash. Susan has been dealing with some injuries so we had not run in a while together but she came to warmup with me. Flash showed up with Daniel in tow for 2 miles of warmup then the fast stuff.

I pulled into the parking lot that morning full of excitement ready to own this run! Susan jumps out of the car and is blaring my favorite song lately “I won’t back down” We danced and sang around a bit before the run. What a great way to start!!!

After our warmup we met up with the guys and headed out. I was feeling a bit breathless during the warmup but trying to put it out of my mind.  I felt very positive about hitting the pace today. a few miles in my breathing was getting pretty labored and I was trying to regulate it. This is something I really need to practice before the race, my asthma is getting better but not clearing up completely. My right hip was killing me after a few pickup miles and my knee has been hurting since last Sunday’s 20 mile run. I find it interesting that it never enters my mind to quit, instead I just keep finding  away to make it work.

here are the pick up mile splits






6-638 stopped to stretch hip and regroup

7-624-getting it back together

8-649 Flash calling the workout over!

I had all the tools I needed to be successful today but it just was not in the cards to hit 10 miles at 630. I feel very blessed and thankful to have training partners to help me through the good times and bad. When I stopped I knew I gave it everything I had and needed to put this workout behind me and look to the present. In reality kind of want to lay on the sidewalk in a heap and cry because I have been working so hard and having so many challenges, too bad I am not a quitter. Rushed home to a quick ice bath (more torture) and off to church.

The rest of the week was kind of blah and I had to work hard to keep the spirits up. On Monday stopped in to see Dr Ball and figure out what he could do for me. My right knee is now bothering me quite a bit just when I bend it. Turns out not a whole lot today just way too much inflammation!!! He suggested talking to sports med dr about something for the inflammation and pain.

Tuesday kicked off our running program at school. This will be the 5th year I have been coaching the kids and it is so fun! I really love working with all the different age kids (kindergarten-6th grade). I have many new faces and a great parent volunteer, Heather. I think we are going to have a lot of fun this year. I want to share my goal with the kids and hope to inspire them to go after big dreams too!!

I did some cross training and ran on Alter G a couple of times. Thursday it was back to South Mountain for another 12miler. I was hoping to have some faster times compared to the other couple runs out there. I had more pain on this run again (hip and knee)and just gutted it out to finish as strong as I could. Last mile was 634 going up hill so I felt great about that. Once I got home I used Garmin connect to upload my run and then compare the 3 runs side by side mile by mile. Ugh about the same!!!! I was really hoping for some improvement. Ok time to “Be Relentless Positive”.

Friday met with the sports med dr to discuss my options. We talked about some things to do the 2 weeks before the race to help with inflammation and asthma. Treatment options for the next few weeks were Prolotherapy or PRP. Both of these involve some injections into the sore area (which spot to choose or maybe there is a full body option). After the treatment there would be several rest days. I have been thinking about it all weekend and just don’t think it is worth the risk. It might require too much down time and I would miss a lot of training.

Right now I am focusing on training smart! Generally when training times are not where you want them there is a tendency to go and hammer it. Well no way I can increase my load or intensity too much. I adjusted this Sunday’s run from 22 down to 17 miles. I felt pretty good on the run and the pace was decent averaging 713. Just a few more weeks to hold it together!

The good news is I had my birthday Oct 29 and I have been getting faster every year that I started triathlon/running 7 years ago. So looking forward to getting faster this year!

Next up racing Phoenix 10k on Nov 6. Really excited because I have not raced since June!! I am going to have to dust off my racing flats. Planning on a fast pain-free race!


Running happy in my new Brooks!

After several weeks of asthma problems and painful runs I am finally over the hump! Breathing good and pain-free!!! Running happy in my new purple Brooks Adrenalines!!!

I have index cards that I carry with me all the time. Blank cards to add new thoughts. Motivational and visionary cards to keep me focused on my goal. If I get stuck waiting somewhere I pull them out and read through the cards. At night I read through the cards or some of “Mind Gym” book. I came up with a new idea, writing down successful runs.

Here is what my first card says: Legs were really fatigued at start of run, not sure if I am going to be able to do this workout. Just believe! Awesome 10 miler with Flash today. Goal was 10 miles last 5 in 6:30 pace. Stopped on hill during 9th mile as I started having the onset of an asthma attack. Flash yelled at me “no stopping” and a few other words I immediately took off got up the hill, calmed breathing, and picked up pace. Ran last mile n 6:21! Take that asthma! Note to self” Run fast or bring out Angry Flash”.

I plan on reading these cards the week of the race to remind myself how ready I am to run a sub 2:45 marathon. I like to think of them as deposits in the bank!

Reducing the inflammation in my body has not been easy. I reflected on what has worked in the past and tried some new things. I have been gluten-free for 3.5 years, vegetarian 27 yrs and sugar-free about 95% of the time. These two items tend to cause major problems for me.

Several years ago I worked with a naturopathic doctor to help with my myriad of health issues. She had me do a food elimination diet taking the top allergenic foods out of my diet for 3 weeks. Sound simple? Not so much. They include wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts, shell-fish, and sugar. When you don’t eat meat it does not leave a lot to eat! I took a protein supplement called UltraInflamax by Metagenics. After the 3 weeks I slowly introduced one food at a time. Wheat was a major problem!  When I finished I had never felt better! Many of you know my son has multiple food allergies, I think that makes sticking with it easier.

The last few weeks I have been brainstorming anything I can do to help me reach my goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials.

-reduce inflammation through diet, medication, vitamins/supplements.

-Mental training

-Run Smart (maybe this means Alter G, cross training, etc.)

-Foam roll every day

-Proper rest

I knew I needed to reduce my inflammation to help some of my injuries and asthma. So goodbye to dairy, soy, peanuts and any little bit of sugar I did eat. I really did not think I could eliminate eggs while marathon training. Corn does not really seem to be an issue and I love Mexican food so it is staying. Hello inflammatory detox shakes I discovered in the book “Cleanse your body clear your mind” by Dr. Jeffrey Morrison. I found this survey in his book and took it. I scored a 39. Want to check where you are at? Take the survey at this link.

I discovered an awesome restaurant called Pomegranate Cafe. Oh my gosh so good!! I had there Raw Tacos and make a similiar vesion of  them almost every day. I have a huge addiction to Mexican food.

I have also worked with my asthma doctor to try to break this cycle I have been in since the beginning of August. I had mentioned in previous blog we went on a family trip to Greer in northern AZ and there were devastating forest fires there this summer. I did an 18mile run in the forest and the smoke caused some problems with my lungs. For now I am back on some inhalers and Singulair. Once the Olympic Trials is over I will work diligently to get off of this stuff! He also gave me a short dose of some medication to help eliminate the rest of the inflammation. It has the added benefit of helping with some of my injuries. So finally breathing better and out of pain!

Sunday I ran 20 miles at an average pace of 7:18 per mile. I really like to get these long runs under 7minute pace! I asked Coach John last week what type of pace to shoot for and he said 7:15-7:45 would be great. So I am trying to be satisfied with the 718. I am celebrating 20 miles of pain-free running!!! I was fortunate to run almost all of it with Arianna (since it was a slower day for her). This girl is one to watch! Last year at Chicago Marathon she had a struggle and did not qualify. January she got the job done at PF Changs RNR marathon. Then in June she hits the A qualifying time at Grandma’s marathon! Did I mention she is super positive and about the cutest, spunkiest runner I know!

Looking forward to a solid week of training. Next Sunday 16miles last 10 in 65 minutes. I know I can nail this workout!

Pain is a 4 letter word!

Sunday started the run optimistic as usual. Sometimes there are painful runs and then there was Sunday, holy cow it was the most painful run right after the LA Marathon. Around mile 3 my right hip (piroformis area) was already starting to hurt. I took an alleve at mile 5 to help with the pain(it is not my usual protocol to take pain meds during training runs). We turned around at mile 6 everyone else started some pick ups so I ran the last 12 by myself. Knowing all the information from the MRI I know running in that much pain was not helping anything but did not seem to be doing any permanent damage. Even though I had the Alleve the pain was still intense and slowing me down. The last 5 miles I just got pissed and thought it is going to hurt if I run 7:30 or 7 min pace, might as well turn up the suffering and get something out of this run. Once that Garmin clicked the split for mile 16 I stopped. Whew avg pace 720 for the entire run, not quite what I wanted but I survived! Huge deposit in the mental toughness bank!

Once I stopped my right foot started really hurting I iced a few times and it was still a little swollen. Headed down to Tempe Town Lake with the family for a couple hours of paddle boarding. I was out of the lake most of the time for 2hrs (watching the kids) so probably did not help my foot.

Hobbled out of bed Mon morning thankful I was cross training and seeing Dr Ball. He reviewed my MRI again and said it really does show a stress reaction in si joint and that is probably why I am having all the pain in the hip. I should expect pain in the pelvic area over the next weeks of training. Well at least I know what to expect. He hammered away on the hip and foot.

Tuesday I had an appt with my asthma specialist and sure enough some issues with the asthma. I am going to stay on the current meds and he gave me a shot to help break the cycle and reduce inflammation. I am hoping this helps with all the other inflammation too. When the nurse went to give me the shot I told her just aim for one of the bruises on my hip/butt area and then maybe I can get a twofer out of this shot.

Looking forward to a long run this weekend with last 6 miles at 630 pace. Hoping that run is just a tad less painful! Maintaining a positive attitude, if pain is going to be there the next 8 1/2 wks I plan on embracing it and using it to my advantage. Marathons always have a moment (or more) where the pain is intense and you want to stop and need to make the decision to keep going. So this will just be practice.

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