God, lately I feel like a new runner. Sunday’s race left me struggling in my head with why I felt like the race was such a challenge. In my head I knew I was ready but the rest of me didn’t feel quite as confident. I hate dwelling on the what if’s but what if’s are different than circumstances that change the outcome of something if you grasp my meaning. Let’s see…. I haven’t done a good core workout in weeks. Shame on me but that would definitely have something to do with it feeling more challenging. I’m a week out from the monthly burden which means water retention, bloating, heavy legs which won’t get better until AFTER VT. Great! I think I need new sneakers because the backs of my legs were killing me. I went back and YES I do need them. I bought them in June…JUNE!!!!!! What the hell! I am usually more on my gear game. So I’ve messaged my niece to see if she can look for my shoes and head up there at lunch to get a replacement pair. Not smart but fixable. The hills are always challenging but the thing that killed me was how quickly I stopped to walk. I’m usually more headstrong but the hills got in my head. I also was putting off peeing until I had to stop. I had no coffee before the race and I peed 3 times before the gun and even at that I still had to pee on the course. I put it off until I thought I was at the last port-o-potty and then I went. The whole run that took my mind off my race and just added to the overall feeling of unreadiness that I felt. I have also had to give up some workouts because of the show and being at the high school every night. Having workouts on the bookends of my day has been very helpful until this point but in the last 2 weeks it’s been limited to only one per day and most of those are running days. This is not the way I wanted to end my running year but all of it together added up to making me feel like a beginner which I’m not. Overall a good year, definitely lessons and changes to be made for next year.
Just WTF! I need a new watch! I just have to break down and buy one because mine is dying. First I cracked it, then it stopped syncing properly and now it won’t even record a run. It goes to that screen and connects to the GPS but then it won’t turn on. It must have gotten wet on Saturday when my wingman and I did 8 miles and got drenched in a downpour on the second 4. GRRRR but that’s fine because I have the Map My Run app on my phone so I turn her on, flip my watch off and away I went. All is well, I’m kind of struggling through tired legs in mile one but nothing I’ve not worked through before. Today it’s cold but with every step I’m warming up and waiting for my assistant to start reading off my stats. Now she tells me I’m at a mile before I know that I’m at my true 1 mile mark. Ok, it wasn’t far off so I stop the app and and stretch my shins that are protesting a bit. I don’t stop long and head on my way through mile 2. That is where the arguments began with the stupid app. As I approached somewhere in the vacinity of 1.75 miles she lowers my music and announces that I’m at mile 2. NO I’M NOT you stupid lady in my phone! Now I’m irritated but all i really need to know is the time because I know the distance by heart. Whatever, I keep going pausing just for a few seconds to again stretch my shin then move along to finish mile 3. The thing that bugs me is that she tells me I have these rediculously fast times that i know I can’t hit. Irritating. Half way through mile 3 she says I’m at 3- LIAR! It doesn’t matter really, just bugs me. So now I need a new watch and potentially a new app as backup. The run was ok overall but just took my mind off my running focus. Some days it’s just the little things that drive you crazy especially when it’s the stuff that you rely on to keep tabs on your progress.
It was bound to happen sooner or later and with all the training I’ve been doing sooner was more like IT. IT is as you may have guessed, some minor and irregular discomfort on the outside corner of my knee cap. It’s been bothering me for a few days but infrequently. Since my 10 mile race on Sunday following a dose of Ibuprofen, I thought it felt better at least I had no pain. When I say pain I really mean uncomfortable and sudden twinges that are painful for a moment…stairs or if I put pressure on the knee leaning or getting up from sitting mainly. When I’m at work or walking or just not running I’m fine. Yesterday I went for a run and not 50 feet out of the gate what felt like a sudden shard of glass poking my knee caused me to hop and interrupt my motion for a moment. It didn’t happen again but it did make me think to look it up to see what it could be even though I had a pretty good idea already. Sure enough I didn’t have to look far before I found the obvious, IT Band Syndrome. Iliotibial Band Syndrome aka IT Band Syndrome, shows up when the outside ligament running down the thigh (hip to the shin) is tight or inflamed. The IT band is attached to the knee and assists in stabilizing the joint. When it isn’t working properly, running and sometimes knee movement becomes uncomfortable and even painful. If it isn’t monitored a happy runner can be taken off the road for quite a while. Funny thing is that when you look it up on Google the first thing it says is to stop running. LOL it’s almost like getting yelled at by the doctor.
So I’ll do some adjustments like taking today off from running and making it a Tabata strength training day which in order since I try to do it every other day if possible. Riding my bike is a great and recommended alternative in addition to swimming which I just haven’t found the time to add into my jam packed fitness schedule. Hopefully a day off is all it needs. I’m also proactively taking Ibuprofen for inflammation despite the fact that at the moment my legs don’t feel swollen nor does my knee feel tight. Better safe than sorry. I have so much going on this year in terms of races that I have to monitor regularly and modify whenever I can if I need to so I can make it to the end of the running season. Yes, I take the winter off from racing. I just don’t like winter races much but 8 – 9 months of the year I go at it hard so I need to be careful. I
Since it just showed up all of a sudden and since my running shoes are just about ready to be changed out, I’m going to try that to see if maybe it was caused by end of life gear. This time I’m going to try a pair of New Balance to see if I like them. I have been a devoted Saucony disciple nearly exclusively give or take a few Reeboks and Asics here and there. My friend runs in New Balance and loves them so we’re going to head over and see if we can find a pair we like. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was indeed caused from needing to change the guards so to speak. We’ll see and advise. Till then…
For more information about causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment of IT Band Syndrome you can read this article from Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome
Until recently, I purchased running wear that was available at my local department stores. Mostly name brands like Under Armour, Champion and Reebok and some other miscellaneous mixed in. They work and are affordable and until now all I needed was something to wear that wasn’t from Walmart since they don’t have the best reputation with clothing that lasts. About a month ago, I broke down and purchases some @Fabletics mainly because they have really great prints but my excuse was that I wanted to see if the price was worth it. I was taking a shot to see how well made they were or if it was just another celebrity paving the way for their retirement career. It’s probably a little of that but I needed to know what I was going to get for my money. I ordered a bunch of stuff because they give you great deals to suck you into a membership. It’s not too bad because I control if / when I order and there’s minimal responsibility for that membership. I will say that the pricing is ok but comparatively it’s great if you look at some other well known and reputable brands like Oiselle and Lululemon. I don’t mind spending money on things that will last and that includes running shoes. I got my order and now I’m hooked. The compressive quality of these leggins are amazing! I actually like them better than my other running clothes because they are snug and hold all my junk in place. My legs feel so much better during and after a long run when I wear them and not just a little. I love them! I love my Sparkle Skirts too but the shorts under them are not really comparative to how the @Fabletics pants feel. That’s fine. Everything has a purpose and my skirts are for shorter runs and races. I know that sounds weird but I like to look smashing at a race and the skirts just look ultra awesome. Just because of that fact they will maintain their racing priority even though they don’t massage my legs as much. That’s ok, I now know what I want for more challenging runs and long races. These @Fabletics are so good that I went out on a limb and purchased my mother a pair so she can use them on her legs which need compression and super support. I am really hoping she loves them and they do the job. We’ll see in a few days!
As we gain more experience we learn what we like and dislike, need and don’t need, love and hate. It happens with anything that we wish to invest our time and effort into. We read and experiment with things as runners like fuel during a race to find out what works and what does not. We try different support items like socks and shoes and compression pants. We learn how to dress for all kinds of weather and how to pack for the unexpected. We learn how to manage ourselves to avoid things like bathroom emergencies and running out of water and we all have rituals that we follow from dirty socks to stretching mantras. Some of us seek acupuncturists, doctors, masseuses, cupping professionals and even circulatory specialists to make our bodies do what we continually push them to do. We become experts and share the golden knowledge with as many as will hear it because we were there once too down at the beginning of an adventure that we really hoped we could like as we gasped for oxygen after our very first humbling mile. It just happens when you hang out with other runners and spend the ridiculous amounts of money that we do on racing for that almighty bling. Well for me the reason to sign up for a race if it’s not to do it with friends is because the reward at the end is stellar! We learn about ourselves and others, about our thresholds and base points. Why? Because we all want the same thing which is to be the best that we can be for as long as we can be as we are out there on the courses day after day. We do all of this because we are runners.