Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thank You Lawn Guys

Today was beautiful weather and yet such a hard and easy workout all at the same time.  With this pregnancy, like my last, I am having some off and on recurring leg pain problems.  It started this time a few weeks ago. Assuming I'm not mangling what my sports chiropractor has told me, basically the weight of the baby in my pelvis is pinching some muscle/nerves at the top of my left leg.  Which means that sometimes I'm having numbness and weakness in that leg, and it's pretty painful where my leg connects with my hip.

So the past day or two, we've had this wonderful respite from the 107 degree weather with moments of temperatures in the *gasp* 70s!  Yesterday, I freaked out in the morning with my pile of errands - afraid I would miss this great weather.  So I grabbed 1.5 miles, all the time I could.

Last night, that leg pain started up again so no run.  This morning I thought it felt better and headed out the door.  It did not feel great, but it wasn't really painful.  I just felt, well, big and pregnant honestly.  But I had some good paces for the first 1.5 miles with my doc's ordered 5 min run / 1 min walk intervals.  The paces for my run segments were 11:20, 11:20, 11:08.  That's a sign of the good weather, that with pregnancy and all, I could get some run segments that are very very close to my pre-pregnancy easy run pace.

Then at 1.5 miles, that leg started hurting.  And each hop to that left leg in the run felt like a million pounds coming down on my femur (bone at the top of my leg).  So I moved to just walking.  I was feeling dejected and hot in the full sun despite the lower temps, but I got around the corner to my house just after the lawn guys had arrived and begun work.  Okay, I don't want to walk up to my front door through a cloud of grass, dirt, and allergens.  So I continued down one street.  I was only at 2.6 miles at this time.

So thank you, lawn guys, for helping me extend this run/walk.  And if I had struggled painfully to keep running, I would have been back to my front door before the lawn guys arrived and probably would have only done the 2.6 miles.  Instead, with the help of the lawnmowers, I ended up with 3.4 miles! That's why each component of that workout happened as it did - to help me get just a little more done this morning. It all came together for a reason.

Happy Running!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to Running...Maybe?

I admit it - after doing that first 25K race ever at El Scorcho - I hadn't run since.  Within a few days, the typical Texas summer heat hit us, and even well-hydrated veteran runners were talking about how hard it was running in it.  Running in the morning was bringing up my newer symptom of morning sickness and it was typically around 100 degrees still by 8 pm.  Add to it that Marissa was off school for two weeks, and a trip for a wedding to Mexico with no ability to run there, and before I knew it, it had been three weeks since I ran.

This morning, I had a yummy pancake breakfast with a friend.  And leaving I noticed the weather was pretty nice - area storms had cooled it down quite a bit and there was a breeze.  So with Marissa in school this morning, I decided to go for a run.

I could tell my tummy had gotten bigger and some muscles were not used to the work involved in running.  But I took turns between running and walking, taking it easy, and completed 3.1 miles in a little over 47 minutes.  Now let's see how sore I am tomorrow. :-)  I could feel my abdominal oblique muscles working overtime, and I really need to focus on my running form as I find my hips wanting to go into an anterior tilt (i.e. belly out, and tailbone out, hips tilted towards the back).  Too much of an anterior tilt will keep straining abdominals, irritate and shorten up my hamstrings, and cause low back pain.

I wonder what the weather will be like the next couple weeks. Maybe I'll be back outside running again soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cheering at the Hottest Half

Sunday, August 15, I made my way to a spot on White Rock Lake to spectate the Hottest Half Marathon and 10K.  I had previewed the map and was right at mile 2 as the runners were running by.  I clapped continuously as a very large crowd came by, everyone still looking strong.  But at only 2 miles in, I think a lot were worried about what the news had said the previous day was going to be the hottest day of the year, because as I cheered I was already getting responses of "Thanks, I need that." and the like.

By the time 10Kers were coming back at approximately mile 4 on this out-and-back course, our cheering group was a great size.  Heels and Hills Run Team member Veronica M. was there cheering her heart out.  Jeff S. had just spotted us during his short run and ended up staying to cheer, which was awesome.  Jose V. and his son Andrew came out to cheer and help out which was so valuable later when we all became part-time medical help, LOL, but I'll get to that.  And then there's Erik - poor Erik - who had an appendectomy 3 weeks ago and then a bad sinus infection earlier race week, but was smart and turned back several miles into the race, so stayed to cheer with us as his wife Michelle ran the half marathon.

There were quite a few people on the course in their Heels and Hills hot pink, which was so fun to see.

I had bought 20 lbs of ice and 3 1/2 lbs of gummy bears to serve half marathoners when they hit us again at about mile 11.  Well, the ice was a massive hit, and I don't think I realized how much each person in their desperation would take.  I could have easily gone through 100 lbs of ice!  So that went quickly.

But then people loved the gummy bears too. We got a few "I love you"s, which is funny.  And then when offered them, many would say "Sure, why not?"  This was hilarious given how hot everyone was. We could have said "Handgun?" and some runners looking for anything to get this done would have said, "Sure, why not?" without thinking.

It was so blazingly hot and that course has a lot of unshaded area, and runners started passing telling us to watch for a girl that looked bad and was weaving on course.  Then we saw a girl walking left and right across the whole trail approaching us. And then her knees buckled and she went down.  Jose did a great job attending to her. He wanted to elevate her feet and pulled off and stacked her running shoes to create that height - brilliant. He asked if we had anything to put under her head there in the grass so I ran to my car where I happened to have a big beach towel.  A few runners ran on to the next aid station to tell them to call the medical team.  While we waited, I soaked her headband in the last leftover melted ice and then luckily I had brought some water bottles (for myself to drink) which she ended up badly needing.

After about a half hour we were really wondering where the medical crew was.  I had a lightbulb and called Paula at our Heels and Hills tent at the finish line and told her exactly where we were (including address) and told her to track down finish line medical and send them immediately.  We were getting really worried as another guy had gone down and his eyes were rolling back in his head and he was losing consciousness.

Medical did come because of the call I made and attended to folks.  Shortly after that I was feeling a little overheated, especially having donated my own water to the dehydrated girl, and was supposed to meet out-of-town guests and my husband at brunch, so I sadly left before everyone finished.

Congrats to everyone who braved the heat and completed the event.  And equally awesome are those who realized they might be at risk and slowed down or chose not to finish because ultimately they needed to take care of their own health. Safety first, folks!

Monday, August 2, 2010

July Mileage Total - Where Do I Go From Here?

I ended July with the following totals and achievements:
  • Miles completed: 101.0
  • Of that total, elliptical miles accounted for 21.6 miles and all the rest was outdoor running... in the TX heat.
  • SECOND highest mileage month EVER! (Feb. 2010 is my highest ever with 110.5 miles)
  • Completed my first 25K race - race report here... - this made it my 8th race of a half marathon distance or longer in 2010!
Saturday and Sunday were intended to be longer runs with groups down in Dallas starting at 6 am. Saturday, I was not able to keep my breakfast down, and I'm a runner who always eats before I run. I would not dare to go out pregnant, in this heat, and run 10 miles on a newly empty stomach. So I went back to bed and missed that run.

Saturday night, 3 more hours of bad "morning" sickness (just bad nausea at least) along with baby kicking me like crazy. This kept me up late and I was exhausted by my 4:30 am Sunday morning alarm wake-up. I went back to bed and scrapped the Sunday run.

I worry I'm hitting a phase of more nausea and tummy problems coupled with the fact that the baby's been having marathon kick-my-guts-out sessions that are just unsettling - I would not want to run during those.

And the last two days have been incredibly hot. I'm not a morning runner anyway, I'm a night owl. But in the evenings, it's still been almost 100 degrees by 7-8 pm.

AND...Marissa's off school for the next two weeks so no mid-morning runs (more reasonable for this night owl).

So what do I follow July up with given all that? Part of me is thinking about just spending the month on the elliptical (we own a commercial grade elliptical here at the house so it's pretty darn convenient).  Maybe read the manual and try some different workout types (I always just hop on and log miles).  The whole point being to keep some cardio going, keep my leg strength up and my core engaged - especially important at 5 1/2 months pregnant. Then in September when it cools down, hopefully get back to running, if I feel up to it.

There's just no reason to tax my body in this heat or stress myself out about runs right now. Happy for feedback and ideas. But keep pool running thoughts to yourself - I've got some waterphobia so as good as I know it would do me, realistically, it's just not gonna happen folks given the mental issue with hopping into a pool.

Happy Running!