Friday, October 10, 2008


So much for reasing back into running. :( I started out better than earlier this week. I could manage a cautious, somewhat gimpy, short-strided jog. Nothing to do much for my running, but what I hoped would be a step in the direction to rebuilding my running. Except that by the time I got to the end of our road the tugging had turned into yanking and I could barely move by a half mile.

Grrr…I hope that stopping instead of pushing even 1 measly mile keeps me from going too far backward. I probably won’t even be able to XT today, aside from my upper body weights.
D___: I’m missing the best running weather ever, not to mention the best part of my life, and rapidly losing all the pre-season fitness I build this summer! And all started with the logical idea that some recovery would help…hah, when will I learn that my body is NOT logical!?!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Update on the Unknown

I felt like I should post an update after my last couple posts, but honestly I still don’t have a lot of hard info.

GI stuff:
I won’t really know anything until some “real tests” are done, starting with the keys—an endoscopy, biopsy, and stool sample. Not fun at all, but I really need them done. ASAP I wish, but gotta wait 2 weeks for the test and then another for the resuts. #1 suspects are Chron’s or Colitis, and/or Celiacs.
Another prime suspect is more food intolerances. This could be a result of one of the above conditions or the sole cause of the malapsorbtion and constant prob’s. I keep failing my elimination tests that are needed to figure it out though. The start is so extreme that the restrictions as well as the new problems that arise from the extreme elimination part [like getting constipated from cutting out all my normal fibery grains and fruit and veggies!] always leave me giving up.
The elimination process is where you eliminate all possibilities and live off of gluten free grains, plain meats, and my lactaid or rice milk and then add things back one at a time to “test.” It sounds so nice and perfect until I go to do it!
I’ve also tried just randomly eliminating or limiting various suspects but my issues are so random and complicated that the whole thing is too messed up [literally] to come to any conclusions.

The leg-er-butt:
Since this phantom injury came out of nowhere when I stoped running I have been basically rendered me immobile. Didn’t even walk much for 2 days. Since then things have improved slightly—I was able to do some easy elliptical and strength work yesterday, and then a longer [but still so slow the old people next to me were going twice as fast] today with continued improved results. I can walk without a limp and I’m pain free now. I’m going to take it out for a trial run tomorrow morning…
What still frustrates me more than ever is that I was doing just fine until I stopped running! I was compromised, which is why I took time off, but at least I was running and improving!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Scared but Hopeful

I'm off to the long-awaited visit with the GI specialist.

After years of my normal Dr. kind of blowng off my constant "issues" and making me feel like a whiny baby for how they interfere my life [not to mention the consequences of malnourishment for me long term if something IS wrong!] I finally hooked up with some folks earlier this year who told me I'm the poster child for Chron's and Celiac's. After doing some research on my own I felt like I was reading my own story...after years of thinking I was the only one in the world who had problems like that, and even that most of it was just my OCD.

Anyhow, I have mixed feelings. I don't want something WRONG with me, but I DO want a solution. I'm praying for the latter, and hoping that the means of getting there is something doable and affordable for me.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Injured by Resting

After the race granted my plea to defer, I decided to take my recovery all the way. I stopped running and got off my feet—at the most extreme yet, despite the continuous cutbacks these past few months. Like I think I said before, I was improving and feeling much better a week ago, but still not where I “should” be. I really wanted to take advantage of this time, completely reset, and make sure I progressed all the way to my best potential, not limited by stuff I should have got over with and recovered from.

Anyhow, I decided to take a few days off, then go for a 3m run, and build from there [strategy mentioned at the end of my last post]. I haven’t run less than 6 miles [my recovery run length] in months, so it really was just more of a “warm up test run.” Well I finally got to this run yesterday, and it was mixed. The good was that I felt GREAT. I just wanted to SPRINT! The bad was that while most of the “reported” injuries were gone [on and off with my left pelvis, knee, and nagging shin splints], my groin overall was actually painful—enough to slow me down. I hoped that it was just a “getting moving” thing, and also that I was enough below the “threshold” to still recover despite my limited running.
However, things rapidly went downhill. I could barely walk the rest of the day, and the pain moved to the inside of my RIGHT pelvis. Still, I hoped it was all part of the process and headed out for test #2 this morning.
Words can’t describe my confused dismay. The pulling inside that right pelvis got to the point where I had to stop running altogether. Literally could not function. I have’t been THAT hurt since a stress fracture a year and a half ago.
And the worst part—ALL THIS AFTER RESTING.

Two weeks ago I ran a 20m run without any leg pain.
Last week I was getting stronger and faster every day playing it by ear [not making myself run more OR less] on 8-10m runs.
I decide to make sure I’m recovered all the way and now I’m BROKEN??!

I don’t even have words to describe how I feel right now.
Not just the injury—but the contradiction, the mystery.
WHY didn’t I just keep running?! I was doing fine until I slowed down…and stopping to “recover” was the breaking point.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Decision

The Decision:
I decided not to run the Detroit Marathon.
A year ago, there’s no way I would have made a decision like this about my big race. But the thing is, my goal wasn’t to run a marathon. I signed up for Detroit because I wanted to race it.
After conquering the marathon at Bayshore + seeing what the distance was like and showing I could do it, I wanted to invest in my potential to improve and see what I could do in this race.
The way things are now, that’s not what’s going to happen. I’m 99% sure I could run it. I’m doing better all the time, probably in better condition than Bayshore to run such a race. But I don’t just want to run it. The point of running another marathon was to maximize my potential in my newfound ability to put in some real training, and race it—with time goals, splits, etc.

I’m impulsive and extreme, but I made sure not to jump to this conclusion. However, after weeks of thought over my options, I know if I want to run another marathon with the purpose of racing it and seeing what I can do with “real training” than I need to get to a point where I’m doing that—not where I’m “making it through.”
First though, I want to work on some shorter races. I’m excited with the opportunity to compete on a XC team as a grad student [since I red shirted some of m allotted "years" during undergrad], and training for 5K’s and 10K’s fits nicely into my goal to become a faster runner, getting stronger and improving my speed and power.

I’ve put a lot of work in this summer, and I still hope it wasn’t all for nothing. Obviously I’ve learned a lot, again—here I thought I’d finally figured out how to work best with my body by last spring! [Well, maybe I had….then I got sidetracked with my Pfitz plan instead of continuing with the working with my own signals and results—the very thing that made a frustrating injury saga turn into a rapid recovery and improvement beyond belief!]
But my prayer is that I can not only take what I’ve learned to do things “right” from here, but that once I’m more thoroughly recovered I will see some of the results of all the incredible fitness I built. It’s so hard to feel so out of shape now, and yet still do less, more than I have even BEFORE Bayshore [when I was “barely” training]. But I know that while running more now feels good, even keeps me in a momentary state of higher fitness, long term it compromises the kind of performance I can put out. I know I can get in cardiovascular shape, quickly. The real challenge will be having a solid foundation and proper progression so that I can be putting some higher level performances out of all that, not just being able to “run forever.”

The Gameplan:
So far I’ve played the last couple weeks by ear. Had some surprisingly good runs when I went out expecting nothing, but overall I’m still not completely reset. After a few nights low on sleep and a couple long(er!) runs in a row, my legs felt gimpy again and I took last night-this morning off, and I definitely feel ready to go this morning. But I am taking it all the way this time. It’s October—I’m reseting, building a base, and maximizing what I can get OUT of my training and not just peaking in how much I can train.
I’m calling this fall “Building the Foundation of an Elite Athelte, and October is specific to a full recovery so I am can build and progress without being held back.
One thing I have learned is that I CAN tell the difference between normal training quirks or nags that can be cured with a bag of ice, and real injury limits. I’m gong to use this in combination with everything I’ve learned about listening to my body to set up a system of recovery and rebuilding this fall.
I’m staying off the road until I can run injury-pain free [not just until it feels great to run and I can handle a steady pace]. Then I will start at 3, yes 3 [I can’t remember the last time I ran shorter than…6? Unless it was a double workout day…] miles completely strong and sturdy. From there I will build only when I duplicate the same mileage with continued improvement and no injury-pain onset. Once I get to 8-10 SOLID miles I will work in some beginning/intro speed workouts.
I do hope to maintain as much fitness as possible through cross training—but only when and how much so that it does not trigger the recovering injuries! It must be a help, not something that drags out my return to top level running training—and the performance/results that should go with that!
My main focus will be strength building. I need a solid foundation.
Coming through this “base building” I should be able to do leg work, power work, and my running workouts should not be limited by being injury prone. Whether I’m at 20mpw or 50, they will be miles adapted to my goal’s needs and training levels, NOT adapted to coping with a breakable body.