Run through the pain? Not this time!

Yesterday I wrote, “lessons learned” and then in the afternoon I had a chance to prove that I learned a lesson.

I have found that it is important to run even when I don’t “feel” like it.  If I don’t run when I’m tired or a bit sore, I’ll never run.  That isn’t good and I would never meet my goal of qualifying for Boston.  On the other hand, I have had to learn the lesson that sometimes it is important to listen to your body.  Some aches and pains or even just being tired is a sign that things aren’t going in a good direction and perhaps I need to pull back some on training or even take a break.

Yesterday was great running weather.  I had only run once for 5 miles since last Thursday because my achilles was hurting. But my 5 mile run on Sunday went very well and I had no problems yesterday during work, so I was excited to hit the road running.  I  don’t have a run plan this week, but just a “see how it goes” plan.

I got 1/2 mile into my run and I felt that pain in achilles.  Ugh.  I realized that I was so looking forward to my run that I started too fast.  I slowed down and ran relaxed trying to make sure I wasn’t pushing off my feet, but allowing gravity to move me forward. It was too late.  That pain, not severe pain mind you, but still pain, was back and I couldn’t get past it.  I ran for a total of 2.2 miles and decided to walk home.

It was disappointing to me that I had done a stupid thing and started too fast, but in the end, looking back, I’m excited that I showed that I had learned a valuable lesson.  I know that I shouldn’t push past pain all the time.  I know that it isn’t a bad thing to stop a run in the middle.  I learned that if I act wisely today, then I’ll be able to run tomorrow.

I’ve learned that there are runs that you push through the pain and meet your goal and there are runs that need to be stopped and you go home and rest.

I’ve learned lessons this past week that I hope I continue to remember.  I’ll probably never be a “great” runner.  But with consistency I can be a good runner. However if I don’t run with wisdom, I won’t be a runner at all.

I’d rather walk home from a run, then finish it and have to stop running.

I hope I remember this lesson next time.

Back running – lessons learned

I got back in the saddle again yesterday!!!  Yup, I ran 5 miles.  My run went well and I had no pain from my achilles!!!!  It was nice to be back so soon and I didn’t want to overdue it, so I ran slowly, especially at first.

Today I still feel fine.  I guess a couple days off with my foot elevated and on ice did the trick.  It amazes me that it hurt so much Friday and by Sunday I was running again.  I am grateful.

I am going to keep the next few days lighter than normal and make sure not to mess anything up.  Also, I think I was overdoing it a bit and I need to cut back for a week or so to make sure I don’t overtrain.  I think that between overtraining and not sleeping well I created the perfect storm for getting injured.

I’m excited to get back out on the road.  I also need to get the 5 lbs off I gained over the past week.  Ugh.

Note to self: If you aren’t running, you need to cut back on your eating.

Lessons learned!

Achilles Injury – Update

I think I will try to run some today.  My achilles is better.  I walked a lot yesterday doing errands and had no problems until the very end of the day when I could feel a little tightness.

Today I am going to play it by ear (or I guess I should say, feel).  I’m going to take it slow and easy and if I feel anything, I’ll stop.  I really want to be in good shape for our 5K in two weeks and don’t want to mess anything up with running, so I’ll see how I feel today.

First, I have to work for a couple hours.  This afternoon it is supposed to rain, so I’ll try to sneak my run in before the rain. It definitely won’t be a long run – I hope to make 7 miles or so.


Achilles injury – Day off #2

No run day yesterday.  I spent the whole day at work and home with my foot elevated and ice on it.  I have ice on even as I write this.  It is feeling better this morning overall.

This is probably a good thing making me take some needed time off, but it is a bit frustrating.

We will be going out today doing errands, so I’ll see how I feel and base my decision to run tomorrow on how I do today.  Either way I won’t be running my long run tomorrow, just a 7 mile easy run.

Thanks to all who have commented or emailed and wished me well.  It means a lot.

It took 13 months before I got injured running…

Every once in a while I have a day where I don’t feel like running, but I go out anyway and have a great run.

Yesterday was not one of those days.

I was tired and just wanted to skip my run, especially since it was “hill run Thursday”.  I did what I always do, I got home, changed and went out for my run. It began well enough.  I ran relaxed and got  2 miles into my run and my achilles started bothering me.  So I just tried to keep relaxed and the pain subsided, so I kept running.  By now it was hot and I was a bit tired and finally got to the hill that I run.  I rested a bit and then started my reps.

I got to the top of the hill and heard a dog barking.  I hear dogs barking all the time on my runs, so I ignored it.  As I ran, the barking got louder and I had the realization that the dog was behind me.  As I turned to look, I noticed a large doberman right behind me and it didn’t look happy.  My first instinct was to stop running and start walking.  I knew I needed to get past its house, but if I kept running, it might get bothered.  As I walked and kept my eye on the dog, I heard a voice of a woman calling for the dog.  I looked up and there was a woman sitting on a porch.  She called to me that it was her neighbor’s dog and she didn’t know why it was out.  I yelled to her, “Am I safe?”  Her reply was, “I’ve never known it to bite anyone”.

I finally got to the point where the dog went home and I started running again.  I decided to run at the top of the hill through the community a bit to figure out what to do.  You see, this hill was the only way out of the neighborhood and I had to go right back past that dog.  I was a bit concerned.

Finally I decided to make my trek back down the hill.  About a hundred yards before the house with the dog, I started walking.  I quietly walked past the house and never did see the dog.  I started running again and finished my run in the rain.  By the time I finished, I was cold, tired, my achilles was hurting again and I wished I had just stayed home.

Now here I am writing this.  My achilles still hurts, the top of that same foot hurts and my opposite hip hurts.  It has been 13 months of running with no injuries and now I feel totally beat up.  On top of that, we have our 5K in 2 weeks.  It is the last real 5K I want to compete in since I need to start training for the Lehigh Valley Marathon in September, my first marathon and hopefully my Boston qualifier.

So, I am taking at least today off and possibly the whole weekend.  I will see how I do.  I definitely don’t want to be out of running long because I was stupid and kept running on a hurt foot.

Oh well…  As I mentioned in the post yesterday, I learn by experience.  Sometimes that is a positive thing and sometimes it isn’t.

The joys of running.

How to run well? Keep it simple.

I am the type of person who has to learn by experience.  Life teaches many lessons and in my life, I have learned by doing the wrong thing sometimes,  the right thing sometimes, and then applying the right thing to my daily routine.  The same is true when it comes to running.  Over the past 13 months, I have learned many “what to dos” and many “what not to dos” by experiencing them each day on the road.  Of course, I also learn by reading articles and talking with others like TJ about their experiences and what works for them.  I think running ultimately, like most things in life, cannot come down to a cookie cutter mentality.  This is why I am not good with training plans that lay out what workout to do each day, how many miles to run each day, etc.

I need simple.

For the first 10 months of running, all I did was run miles.  I honestly didn’t know what workouts to do or what would be best for me.  I needed simple.  So I went out and ran 2 miles a day for 5 days and 3 on Sunday.  I remember the first 6 mile long run I had.  I was so tired that I accidentally went to the wrong house after I was done thinking I was at TJ’s home.

During this time I would alternate between working on distance while running at a slower pace and working on speed while trying to keep up my distance.  I didn’t have anything in particular that would guide me on when to do either one, just a feeling that I needed to change up between the two.

One day, about a month before our first half marathon, TJ came to me and we talking about his workouts he was doing.  They consisted of “tempo runs” and “hill runs”.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  So he finally convinced me to try these different workouts.  They really helped and that experience is still helping me today.  I went from running 13 miles in my neighborhood at a 9:00 pace to my half marathon under an 8:00 pace all within a month.

So here I am, still running the miles, still increasing the pace, still doing the workouts, still learning by experience.

Yesterday I worked hard at running relaxed.  I am convinced that running relaxed is a key to running long, fast and without injury.  I relax everything that I can, even my lower legs to some extent.  Yesterday was a good run and only got difficult near the end when I was tired (I’d been up since 1:00am) and forgot about relaxing.

This morning I became a bit overwhelmed thinking of running a marathon at an 8:00 pace.  It was the same feeling I had when TJ told me I should try for running our half marathon at an 8:20 pace.  I wrote that day in my blog, “I think I am in over my head”.  I wasn’t.  As I said earlier, I ran it just under 8:00 and the last mile was at 7:47.

Why am I writing all this.  Just to solidify my thoughts and theories about how to run my marathon in September.  I know that if I can run with good form and run relaxed, I can easily make my goal.

Only time will tell.

Records, goals and a great running app

I’m excited!  I had a record month for running in April.  My last record was 151 miles.  April 2013 – 176 miles!  Wow am I sore!

Really though, I am excited to know that I can run that many miles in a month.  That isn’t much for a lot of runners, but for me, it is amazing, especially since I have only been running only 13 months.

Yesterday I had a goal to reach.  My goal was to run 6 half mile intervals at a 7 minute pace.  I have not done well with half mile repeats.  They are hard and for some reason every day in the past month that I run them (usually Tuesday) it has been the hottest day of the week.  Yesterday was no different, however it was cooler than last week.

So I decide that in order to reach my goal, I would have to increase my recovery time between my intervals and slow down, even to a walk if needed to recover.  I really want my body to get used to running that fast.  It worked.

I ran my intervals and jogged slowly and walked in between.  I was able to get all 6 completed and averaged 7:00 overall.  My total time for the full 7 mile run was just under 9 minutes, but that didn’t matter to me.  With our 5K approaching in 18 days, I really wanted to get my speed down a bit and intervals are a great way to do that.

Just a word of advice.  If you run with an iPhone and don’t use iSmoothRun, you need to get it.  It really is the best running app available.  Not only does it keep up with your runs, shoes, miles, weather, etc., but it is invaluable doing interval runs!  It tracks each interval and recovery between intervals.  It even tells you audibly if you need to speed up, slow down or stay steady during the interval.  No more looking at the phone or just hoping to get the right time.  When you are done with each interval, it gives a recap of your time so you know how you did.  Finally it doesn’t have a connected website, but lets you export to about 15 different sites (like Nike+ and Runkeeper) and to Twitter and Facebook.  I wholly recommend it.

So that was my day.  I am sore today and my hip isn’t doing the best.  I will do an easy run this afternoon in the rain.  I am glad to get my speed workout behind me and move on with the week.  I’m looking forward to our 5K.  It should be a lot of fun and I have a lot of people from my work going to run it with TJ, RS and myself.