Archive for November, 2011


I started the week feeling a little site from last weekend’s long run. I knew this was going to be a busy week but I felt determined to get all 3 runs done. I figure at this point in time I need to give up excuses and just get things done.
Monday was going to be a little hectic. I had to be at work at 7am, my son had a doctor’s appointment at 5pm, and I had a work-related dinner at 6:30pm. I somehow managed to sneak a 2.4 mile run into the day by doing it before I picked my son up from the after school program. My legs, especially quads, were quite sore but I powered through a run 1 min/walk 1 min ratio. My speed was only so-so. I finished with about 12:45 min/mile. Speed wasn’t the point though. This run was all about getting it done even though my legs were tired.
Wednesday I had every intention of going for a post-work run but after a crappy and exhausting day at work, I had nothing left. Add to that the fact that I hadn’t actually seen my daughter since Sunday night, and I made the executive decision to enjoy a glass of wine along with some much-needed family time. (To explain how I could sleep in my own bed every night without seeing my child? I left home at 6:30am Monday morning while Jessica was sleeping. I dropped Nathaniel off before my dinner, without going inside. I got home late. Tues was another 6:30am day, following by a late night. And Wednesday was my 3rd 6:30am day in a row…).
Thanksgiving morning I decided I had to do my run. It was perfect running weather – sunny and cool – and I breezed through a 4.11 miler. Again I stuck with run 1/walk 1. I tried to pickup my pace a bit and finished in 50 minutes flat for an average of 12:10 min/mile. The run felt great with only minimal soreness.
Today was my long run. I had hoped to run early this morning so I could be finished before we had my sister-in-law over with her kids. My youngest spiked a fever yesterday and had a restless night so we weren’t up until after 7. Not enough time! So late this afternoon I finally got out. It was another beautiful day with highs in the mid 60’s. I left the house around 4pm for a 7 mile run. I used a run 1/walk 1 again. I think that will likely be my race ratio. I did a 4 mile loop with a refill stop and then a 3 mile loop. (I often leave water or Gatorade or extra clothes or extra snacks at the end of my driveway so I can refill my water bottle.). My run went great – 12:40 min/mile for a long run is great for me!!! What wasn’t so great is that I was totally unprepared for the complete darkness that descended upon me mid-run. At run start it was sunny and by the end it was pitch black! I did wear a fluorescent green tech shirt which is hopefully a bit visible but I need better nighttime running gear. Yikes! It was bad enough that my husband called to make sure I was almost home (I was less than a block away at that point). Lesson learned!

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This week’s title is a quote from my 3 year old who was displeased with me recently. He’s not completely wrong, as will become more apparent. The good news is that my back is mostly better. While I wouldn’t call it 100%, I think I can safely say I’m about 95% there. The bad news is that family and work commitments continue to interfere with my training. I know that I’m undertrained and that it will affect my performance on Race Day. It’s not that I think that I can’t finish – I think I likely will finish – but I’m a bit saddened by “what could have been.” I know that I’m certainly partly to blame but I also know that most mortals wouldn’t be able to handle the stress that we’ve been through this fall, especially since part of my stress is working longer and harder.
I did an interval run on the treadmill on Monday. I ran one minute/walked one minute but gradually turned up the speed of the run. I wanted to test to see if increasing my speed would hurt my back. It did not and my run felt good. My 2nd mid-week run never happened. Wednesday I had to take my son to art class after a long and stressful day in the OR. By the time we go home I was ready to eat dinner and collapse. Thursday I had “stuff” to deal with after office hours and I got home late. Either day I really could have made the run a bigger priority but I just felt burnt out and tired.
Today was my long run. I was scheduled to go 17 miles. I laid out clothes, snacks, drinks before going to bed. I didn’t check my route until this morning. Zachary was up at 3:45am and demanding a diaper change. Then the alarm went off at 5am. Not pretty! I dragged my butt out of bed and got dressed. I realized that I needed a route. I had until about 8:15 to run outside before I had to be home to watch Zachary. I ran 2 loops of what I thought was 5.93 miles each, only to later learn that they were only 5.1 miles each. Oops!
I few comments on my outdoor run. First, it was cold this morning. I wore my cold weather long-sleeved tech shirt with running tights but left my fleece and gloves at home. I was cold even after 10 miles so I should have taken the warmer layers! Second, I need to eat more before long runs. I had some toast and brought Sports Beans and a cliff bar along but I was feeling under fueled. I never felt dehydrated so that wasn’t an issue.
I finished my run on the treadmill. I was definitely slowing down at the end but felt pretty good. I used a very conservative interval – run 30 seconds/walk 1 minute. I kept it until the end. My pace was around 13:23 – which isn’t too bad for all I’m undertrained. I was annoyed when I logged my run and realized I only went 15.34 instead of the full 17 but what can you do! I think my next long run will be 20 miles and I’ll just walk the 1st 3 miles – as per Mr. Galloway.
After my run I tried my first ice bath. I didn’t use ice but filled the tub with cold, cold water. I literally got in, sat down, and got right back out. I guess I need to practice that, too!!!
Overall I’m happy with today’s run because it helped build some confidence.

My back is finally starting to feel better. Not 100% but still a lot better. Running clinic was a no-go on Monday because 1. I wasn’t sure if I could run and 2. I had to take one of my children to the doctor. Luckily I had 2 cancellations on my Tuesday OR schedule so I was home early enough to run. I decided to try to run a little and see how it felt. I opted for a run 20 sec/ walk 1 minute ratio. I was still sore (legs) from my 14 mile walk on Sunday so this was a s-l-o-w process. I went almost 2.5 miles but at a slow pace. The good news is that my back didn’t hurt!
My 2nd mid-week run never happened. Wednesday was insane. A fire at my hospital led to evacuations and a 2+ hour OR delay. I got home super late and exhausted (thankfully nobody was injured in the fire). Thursday I saw an insane number of patients in the office and then had to boogie to Long Island for a benefit dinner. This was for the women’s club that my mom is so actively involved in and it was worth a missed run to make her happy (and I know she’s reading this!). Friday was another long day in the OR and I returned home in time for Shabbat dinner and a well-deserved glass of wine (hooray for not being on call!).
Today I was given a rare opportunity to sleep in (which means I got up at 8:30am). I ment to run in the morning but got confused about activity schedules (my 5 year old told me that while I’m definitely stupid, I’m not bobble-head stupid). I finally started my 6 mile run around 4pm. I chose a conservative run 30 sec/walk 30 sec ratio. I did a 5 minute walk and started running at 4.5 on the treadmill. I did 6 cycles at 4.5 (walking at 4.0) and gradually dialed up to running at 5.0 and walking at 4.0. I felt a little muscle stuff in my back but I mostly felt ok. I finished 6 miles in 1:22:27. This was definitely a run where I could have gone faster and longer but don’t want to push my back at all. Still I feel a little more optimistic, although maybe I should wait to se how the back feels tomorrow before I say anything!

Week 19 – Walk, walk, walk

My back has continued to plague me for 2 straight weeks. I’m pretty sure this is a muscle injury, and likely stress-related (it’s been a particularly bad autumn this year!) but it’s still made it difficult to run. Walking seems to be ok – maybe even beneficial in loosening things up. Wednesday was the first opportunity to try walking. Nathaniel, my eldest, takes an art class at the high school from 5:30-6:30pm. I figured I could walk around the high school track during his class. There was only one flaw to my plan – the track was closed due to a varsity girls’ soccer game. It’s had to begrudge them since I played varsity girls’ soccer but it was still annoying!
Since the track was closed and my time limited, I did laps around the parking lot. I’m sure there are some who thought I was completely nuts but I did the best I could. No jogging, no running, just fast walking. I had no way to measure my distance and I only loosely measured time – about 30 minute – but I did something. And it didn’t seem to hurt my back.
Thursday I had time for another walk. This time I mapped out a 4.11 mile route in our neighborhood. Amazingly I walked that distance in 58:45, about 14:23 min/mile. Slower than I can run but still well within the Disney time limit. I have a Plan B!
My weekend long “run” was completely derailed by emergency surgery on Saturday morning. Sadly I had the perfect opportunity to spend 4+ hours training since it was the one Saturday per month that Zachary goes to the preschool version of Hebrew School. Unfortunately the usual off-hours inefficiencies caused my 7am OR case to start at 9:15. Ugh.
I did find time today (Sunday) to walk. It was a bit crazy since, among other events, we adopted two 8 week old kittens today but I found time. I walked the first 4.11 miles in the perfect fall day. I improved my walking speed to 57:03. The rest of my run was on the treadmill. I totaled 14 miles – less than the 17 miles I was hoping to do but still very good considering how bad my back felt this morning. My time was 3:21:49 or 14:25 min/mile. Since Mr. Galloway wants me to do my long runs at 2 min/mile slower than race pace, this isn’t terrible. If I can do a marathon at 12:30 min/mile, I will be thrilled! But knowing I can probably walk the marathon and still be well within e time limit is encouraging. As long as I can walk with no or minimal pain, I will walk. When I’m truly pain-free, I’ll try running again. I need to find time for longer and longer runs – which is proving a challenge. I see where speed has its advantages – if I ran 10 min/mile, today’s run would have taken a reasonable amount of time!
I’m encouraged by the fact that I can walk pretty fast and I’m hopeful that walking these distances will help me maintain my fitness level for when I can run again.

Week 18 was supposed to be my 40th birthday cruise. Which likely would have seriously curtailed my training efforts. Due to several factors beyond our control, we had to cancel the cruise at the last minute. Nobody was more disappointed than I! We were able to salvage a 2 day/2 night trip to Florida starting Saturday night and returning late on Monday night. Our trip was filled with pixie-dust and every bit of magic possible. The only negative was that my back started to hurt on Saturday afternoon – probably from my unscheduled 10 mile run.
I decided to use my stay-cation time to get back into my running groove. On Tuesday afternoon I did a 2.9 mile walk/run at 12 min/mile pace. It was one of my faster training runs and felt great! Thursday’s run was on the treadmill in our basement. Our newly installed boiler seemed to be working overtime down there and I felt cruddy. I barely made it through 30 minutes. Meanwhile my back pain was getting worse.
I woke up Saturday morning with good intentions of getting a long run completed. Sadly, my body felt otherwise. My mid-back was in complete spasm to the point that I could barely move. My husband took tremendous sympathy on me when a sneeze brought me to tears. One advantage of being married to a hypochondriac doctor (forgive me Tom!) is that we had flexeril in the house (muscle relaxant specifically good for back spasms). The flexeril helped where even motrin didn’t but the weekend was still misery.
I’m starting to stress a little about being unable to run right now. I’m going to try walking instead of running until my back feels better. The bouncing step of running seems to cause pain while walking seems to help loosen things up. I still believe I’ll be well-enough to run/walk a marathon in January but I’m preparing myself mentally for the idea of walking the whole thing. I *know* I can walk at 15 min/mile pace or faster so I should be able to walk the race within the 16 min/mile pace requirement.
In the meantime send healing thoughts for my back!!!