Thursday, February 28, 2013

Half Marathon Goals

Two posts two days in a row??  Who am I?  Maybe I'm just excited that I'm finally going to run today with my Thursday night group!  It's been nearly 1 month since I've run (with the exception of 1 mile on the treadmill on Monday).  Our plan is to meet at our usual trail but with the crappy weather we have had this week, we will probably run on the streets to be safer (no ice or snow).  I cannot afford to slip and fall.  As I said, unless the weather gets better soon, I might take more runs to the treadmill for now to avoid possibly shoulder injury if I slip.  BUT, I'm SUPER excited to run tonight.  I mean...I've never been happier to run!  It will be slow going and short, but I will run (possibly 3miles, maybe 4).

I think I'm getting too ambitious though.  I had previously signed up for the Indy Half Marathon in May.  This is supposed to be a goal half marathon with a sub-2:00 time.  Well, I'm still going to try for that but obviously with my shoulder, my training and speed work was non-existent this month.  That's ok, with just over 2 months until the half, I can build back up (if I feel up to it).  I will find out during the next few runs how things are shaping up. 

I also signed up for the Illinois Half Marathon in Champaign (I did the full marathon last year), which is the week before the Indy half.  The IL half will obviously not be a goal marathon and will be just a training run.  I was waiting to sign up for this one until I knew what I might be doing with my shoulder.  I didn't want to waste money if I wasn't going to run it.  But right now, surgery is not in my plans.  And the price increases after today, so sign up I did!  I know a lot of people doing the full and the half (as always on this one), so I am excited that I'll be down there.

Now comes my "dilemma".  It's not really a dilemma but I like to be dramatic.  I've never trained for a half marathon.  When I first started to run half marathons, I didn't do it the right way.  I ran once, sometimes twice a week (if I ran 3 times, I took the next few weeks off!).  I only got past maybe 6 miles once when I would throw in a 9 mile run.  And consequently, I always struggled through the half marathons.  Of course, when my mileage increased while training for the full marathons, I never really needed to "train" for the halves.  However, my half marathon pace is coming to a stall (I think, I mean, I did PR my last 2 half marathons).  But in order to get a sub-2:00, that's not going to "just happen."  I need to work for that one.

Since I haven't been running the last month due to my injury, I'm thinking following a training plan for mileage is a good idea.  Incorporate some speed work and hills will be good.  I've been printing out a few plans (It's currently week 2 of a 12 week training plan) but I'm not sure any of them are just right.  I'll probably modify my own schedule.  But....I'm looking to you guys also!  I know some of you have trained for half marathons.  What training plan did you use?  Do you have a copy of it?  Is it online?  Help an injured but crazy fellow runner out! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shoulder Update

Hi everyone!  Thanks for the all the kind words from my last post regarding dislocating my shoulder a third time, and second time within 2 weeks!  Even though technically dislocating your shoulder after the first time should be slightly less still hurts like a b&@#$ and I really don't want to keep having this happen!  Plus the $150 ER copay each time is not fun either on top of $30 doctor visit copays.  Well, you all know how that is.

So how is my shoulder doing?  It's ok.  I mean, it's a little sore.  It's weak.  I'm constantly living in fear of dislocating it again.  But the plus side is that with multiple dislocations, recovery is a little less painful. My mobility is good.  Um...that's all the plus side I got for you.

My main concern was whether to have surgery on it or try to strengthen the muscles through exercises.  The ER doctors are all saying surgery.  My chiropractor says that my mobility is good, everything seems good, my shoulder is just very unstable and to try to use the exercises to rehab it.  My next step was to see what the doctor had to say...

I was pretty confident I 100% knew what the doctor was going to say and I really didn't need to hear it again.  I felt pretty sure he would tell me to have surgery.  With multiple dislocations, it's very easy to keep dislocating it (obviously).  I was stressed and nervous about going to see the doctor.  Here's how the visit went...

Every post needs a picture...panoramic of me at the dr. office gone wrong.
Basically the doctor didn't quite tell me what I thought.  He didn't say surgery was 100% necessary right now.  Here's what he had to say in a nut shell...

1. Statistics - after the first dislocation, you are 30-40% (??) likely to dislocate it again.  After the second dislocation, the chance of dislocating it again is 90%.  I'm a 3-timer (according to the doctor's medical terminology)...and now I'm at a 99% chance of dislocating it again.  Nice!....not so much.

2.  He basically didn't tell me what to do.  He said I could have surgery, I could go to physical therapy, or I could do the PT exercises on my own at home.

3.  He also said since I'm young and healthy, there really isn't any harm in waiting and deciding later, even 5 or 10 years, to have surgery.  I will still be relatively young and healthy (God willing). His only caution with that is that I obviously can still continue to dislocate my shoulder in the meantime.  Really not much of a problem except for possible pain.

My plan going in was that I wanted to try to rehab it myself.  I went to PT before and I know the exercises.  I also go to my chiropractor for some shoulder therapy and she gives me exercises to do as well.  I'm just really trying to not dislocate it again.  It's weak.  The motion that pops it out is a up and backward movement of my arm.  So I'm trying not to do that.  The problem is, these are moves you do without thinking sometimes.  I have been pretty lucky to always have someone with me when I have dislocated my shoulder all 3 times...but it will be much worse if I do it when I'm alone.

It's hard for people to understand what the best thing to do is unless they are in this situation.  Surgery isn't always the answer.  It can help...sure.  But it could cause more problems.  Right now, nothing seems to be torn.  If something was torn, surgery might be a much better option.  I'll try this route first.  If it's not working for me...I will consider the surgery option.

I haven't been running at all since February 2nd.  I did on Monday after taking a spin class, decide to run 1 mile on the treadmill to see how it felt.  It would have felt better if I had the right sports bra on...but that's another issue.  I felt a little soreness from the front of my shoulder (where it keeps popping out at) but it wasn't too bad.  I just wish winter would be over so I wouldn't have to worry about outdoor runs.  With the exception of my Thursday night run, I will be most likely taking my runs to the treadmill unless the streets and weather are better.

Hoping to have some good future posts.  I've had enough injuries for one year....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Third times a charm...

It's been 2 weeks since my last blog post. It's hard to want to blog when things aren't going well. Due to my shoulder dislocation a couple weeks ago, I was taking 2 weeks off of running. No running + eating horribly = no motivation.

I was going to blog recently about a recipe I made but I'm putting that off for now. I was also going to blog about my birthday on the 11th and also the beautiful flowers I got on valentine's day.  AND...I was super excited that I was going to be meeting up with my Ragnar team last Sunday for a short run (my first one back) and we were all going to go over some Ragnar details!  Well....

As I was waiting for the girls to arrive Sunday morning...I somehow ended up here:

Oh yes, that's right. I dislocated my shoulder AGAIN!! If I'm going to hurt myself, I'd at least like to be doing something fun!  I was just throwing my backpack from the front seat to the back seat.  I just didn't pay attention to the arm I was doing it with. And from the IV, I have a nice painful bruise on my good arm!!

So now my dilemma is surgery or no surgery. I'm thinking of opting for no surgery but I also don't want to dislocate it again!  It's so painful and will also do damage to my shoulder if I keep dislocating it.  I still need to follow up with an Orthopedic doctor so I'll see what he has to say.

And because this post needs cheering are my Valentine's Day flowers...So sweet! I love them!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What goes up...

What goes up, must come down, right?

My January went just a touch too well...and February needed to bring me back down to reality.  Thanks February! As much as you are my favorite really shouldn't be as you test my patience every year!

I'll be making this short...not because I don't love you all...but because it's hard to type right now and the "hunt and peck" typing with my left hand just makes me want to take a sledgehammer to my keyboard.

Remember when I dislocated my shoulder last July?  Well, like most dislocated shoulders, I dislocated it again on Sunday night.  No, it wasn't because I was cheering and partying at a super bowl party (I was asked that about 12 times in the ER that night).  It was because I didn't take care of some ice by my front porch.  And no, I didn't fall down to dislocate my shoulder when I slipped on the ice (that would make too much sense).  I just swung the arm with the previously dislocated shoulder like a wild woman doing a back stroke.  And yup, that hurt.  Oops...think I'm not ok and have to take another trip to the ER for the second time within 7 months when I've never had to go for myself in the 33 years previously!

In all fairness, this ER visit was much better than the last one (if ER visits can be better).  They didn't make me stay there for 6 hours.  I didn't have to wait 3 hours for pain meds.  Derek took me there and stayed with me the whole time brushing my hair back and wiping the tears off my face after I broke down in tears from the pain of the doctor putting my shoulder back in place.  I'm telling you, 1 in a million.  (Want to hear more of how wonderful he was quickly...I must share)...I slept in his recliner since I can't sleep in bed and he slept on the couch in case I needed anything. Cooked me breakfast. Drove me around places I needed to go. And called in to work so he could take care of me the whole day (I'd never ask someone to do that for me).  Ok...enough of all that greatness...let's move back to life sucking...

So, my arm is in a beautiful sling again.  Similarities between this time and last time:

1. I dislocated my shoulder in July 3 weeks before having a triathlon.  I was going to do an indoor triathlon in 3 weeks this time!

2. I had a half marathon 1.5 weeks after dislocating it in July.  I have a run 1 week after dislocating it this time (although I ran the half, I'm not running this 5-miler).  It's not as important as the half was to me.

3. I was doing a push-up challenge last July that I couldn't complete.  This month I was doing the February Fitness Challenge which includes planks, pushups and skull crushers...which I can now NOT complete.

I guess that about sums it up.  My shoulder hurts but is not in as much pain as the last time.  I think I dislocated it worse last time and since it was my first time, probably hurt worse.  Everyone keeps talking about shoulder surgery now but I'm going to try other things and if possible, not go the surgery route unless it's necessary.

The good thing...I'm not training for a marathon this time!  I also was going to cut back on my running "slightly" this month...although this isn't quite what I had in mind.

And I forgot to put deodorant on this morning...which is actually pretty difficult for me to do right now anyway (sorry co-workers).  Also, hurts like hell to attempt to put on a bra (sorry guys...tmi?).  Can't put my hair in a ponytail, or do anything but brush it for that matter.  I just looked in the mirror and I look like hell.

Did you know...Chicago finally got some snow that is actually sticking around a few days (we've got a little more since then)...Took my camera during my hilly run on Saturday.

Friday, February 1, 2013

January...It's a wrap!

January came in and went out just as fast!  Time flies when you get old!  So, how'd it go??

Total Run Miles: 103.68
Total Bike Miles: 6.08 plus 1 spin class
Total Swim Distance: 3,250 meters (2 swim workouts)

Overall, I'm pleased with January.  I ran over 100 miles in a non-training month, which is unheard of for me!  I'm usually more around 70 miles.  I actually plan to scale it back a bit in February and give my legs a break...hoping to do more spinning classes and swimming.  I unfortunately left my bathing suit at the gym the other day and didn't realize it for 3 days.  I called but it's gone. Total sadness.  I need a new one now.

Other January news:  Chicago got virtually no snow.  It mostly looked like this...
I ran a half marathon with some of my F'N Run Friends, my first cold half marathon...
We got a little snow the day before the race...
But running the whole 2nd mile in snow didn't stop me from a 2 minute PR!

I went from a 2:13 PR from 1.5 years ago...running a 2:29 and 2:24 half in June and July (anemia, heat, and a dislocated shoulder got the best of these) PR'ing my last 3 half marathons and shaving 10 minutes off my original PR time!

September 2012: 2:09:29

River Run Half in Cleveland, Ohio

December 2012: 2:05:15 (short course??)

Santa Hustle Half in Sandusky, Ohio
January 2013: 2:03:06!

F^3 Half - Bad Ass socks...
I seem to do well either running races in Ohio...or dressing in costume.  That may be the key factors in my PR's!  Which also might be why I'm seriously considering the Columbus Marathon as my second fall marathon this year...I do well in races in Ohio for some reason. And in Columbus, I get free room and board because my brother lives there.

February Goals:

1.  Eating:  My eating habits haven't been the best.  I actually joined weight watchers online today to get it back under control.  Since I've done weight watchers in the past and even made my goal and lifetime status, I know how to do it.  And paying money for something seems to give me better motivation to keep going!  Since I'm not training for a marathon right now, I think it should work well.

2.  Cooking:  I'm going to start making a meal at least once per week for February.  This will help with weight watchers and will save me money.

3.  Vitamins:  I seemed to have forgotten all about my vitamins and supplements in January.  I basically took NONE!  And considering I need to keep my iron level up, that's not good.  So I need to take my multivitamin, my iron, and my Vitamin D every day! NO EXCUSES!  This is super important for me.

4.  Strength Training/Core Work:  I was doing well on this (at least incorporating it once a week) but some how I lost it the last two weeks.  I'm picking it back up for February and also doing this challenge posed by Run with Jess.

Her February Challenge includes skull crushers, planks, side planks, push-ups!  Sign me up please!!

I guess that's enough February Goals (in addition to keep my original 2013 goals).

To end...I ran with my Thursday run group yesterday.  The weather was "iffy" and I posed a question to those that wanted to come to tell me honestly if they were going to show up.  A few cancellations still occurred...but 4 of us brave souls still made it!  And once again...bundled up, it actually wasn't too bad!  I appreciate the support from my group!  It was about 10 degrees, with a "feels like" temp of -7 and wind gusts around 25 mph!  Hardcore guys!!  And I get to spend a little extra "quality" time with my boyfriend Derek...  those that freeze together, stay together...right??? 

Derek, me, Sharon, Julie