Monday, March 31, 2014

This Was the Month that Never Ends...Yes It Went On and On My Friends...

March Recap and Coming Attractions

Where to begin, where to begin. My absence in blogging this month says it all. In addition to being, like, 423 days long (or, uhhh 31- but it felt like a lifetime), March was quite the eventful month. March kept me on my toes and was full of (unpleasant, sadly) surprises! Parent-teacher conferences, the general craziness that comes with being a teacher in March, developing a food allergy to peanuts/almonds (staples of my runner's diet), an extremely sick cat that drained us of money and time (transporting to and from 2 different vet offices twice a day for a week) and then a tweaked hip extensor, I am glad that this month is over. In retrospect, and for purposes of cutting myself some slack,  I am content with what I accomplished this month for training.

Miles Run
212. That's the most I've ever run in a month. That included 4 extra days off to nurse a sore hip and 2 runs cut short to do aforementioned sore hip. Brings my yearly total to 605. Moving forward, I am modifying my Hanson's plan to run 5 days instead of 6. I am finding with the increased mileage on the Tuesday/Thursday runs I need a little extra recovery. Saw a great quote by Laura Fleshman yesterday that helped relieve my mixed feelings about not following the plan to a T (OCD much, yep, that's me, sigh) - "Do you have the discipline to recover?" Working on it...thanks for the reminder!

March by Week (including the last few days of February) The 37 mile week was where I took time off for the hip. 

Cross Training
Started this month super strong with the core/ancillary work, then cut back due the hip. Started it up again in the last few days and came to the surprising realization that I actually missed it!

None! But I'm definitely getting the itch!

Low Point of the Month
Well, Smokey the Cat getting sick and cleaning our bank accounts out stunk pretty bad, but running related, these possible food allergies have really wiped me out. It started the 2nd week of March. After eating my daily apple plus peanut butter at school, I started to get a very dry and itchy throat and felt a lump forming in my throat. It took me about a week to put it together that it was happening every time I ate peanut butter. So, I stopped. And consequently lost like 400 calories from my daily intake each day (yea, I eat a peanut butter in mass quantities, I'll admit it). The next week, it kept happening, this time after eating my daily handful of almonds. It was tolerable, until 2 Fridays ago when the itchy/tightness continued on up my throat into my mouth. Within 15 minutes I had gone complete cotton mouth, dry lips and had developed a major cough. We took a 10:30PM trip to Hannaford for some Benadryl, which thankfully, worked it's magic (and knocked me out on my ass for the night and next day). So, out went the almonds. And another food that is the staple of my diet. I spend the next week and a half figuring out what the hell to eat. I ended up STARVING through a few runs (you can only imagine how successful those runs were). I'm in the process of working out some new foods I can add into my diet to replace the calories lost, which is not easy considering it took me years to adjust my diet to get my IBS under control. Oof. No peanuts/almonds = no granola and no bars as well - both foods I've been using for fuel. Nutrition for the rest of this training cycle/marathon day is going to be very challenging. On Friday, I had 5 vials of blood drawn for allergy testing, so I'm hoping to get some answers or next steps soon.

Now, onto the hip extensor "tweak." The second Monday in March I was bending down to conference with a student and stood back up and POP went my hip. What the heck - not even while running. I ran twice on it after that but it was wicked tight and achy. I got some trigger point therapy done on it two days later but it was SO sore from the treatment that I ended up cutting short my next two days of running (that had never happened before after a treatment). So, long story short, I spend the next week stretching like crazy and ended up over-stretching just a bit and yanked a hip extensor just a little too much. I took 3 days off and jumped into a 12 mile tempo run with no improvement. It was very frustrating because the only time I felt pain was when I moved my afflicted leg laterally to the inside and when I bend down to touch my toes (well, tried to, I'm not that flexible). But, it was seriously affecting my range of motion while running (read - I had about 1/2 my usual stride length on the right side), and making my hip/glutes extremely tight. So, another day off and I set off for my 20 miler (cause, what the hell else was I going to do, I couldn't wait for ever). And the hip extensor got beat right back into place. Mile 8 - it loosed up partially, mile 18, it was gone. Seriously. When I got home from my run Nate and I FaceTimed with the best, best man ever, Danny, and had a sports massage consultation. Danny showed Nate how to work on my hip/glute to loosen it up. And yes, this was as ridiculous as it sounds - FaceTiming with two extremely inappropriate boys - one telling the other how to massage my a** essentially. Ridiculous. BUT EXTREMELY helpful!

Fenway helping my stretch post-run

High Point of the Month
Well, besides the awesomely ridiculous Face Time therapy threesome I described above, registering and having my guaranteed entry accepted for the Chicago Marathon was pretty darn exciting. Chicago (and Boston) were races I never imagined being able to do when I started marathoning. I am thankful to have the opportunity to do them (and praying I get a summer school job to pay for them ;-) ).

Mission 24 Check In

NO new recipes this month. March was just so busy I had no energy left to try something new (good thing I got ahead last month). However, I have collected a few to try in April, so stay tuned.

How I enjoyed my extra rest days for my hip....keep reading for
"non running" related news! 

Non-Running Related News
I am aware that most people who read this blog are here for the running. But my blog is also about being healthy - physically and mentally. People who know me best know that I am an avid reader. Two years ago my New Year's Resolution was to read a book a week (I made it to 50..booo! So close). I read anything I can get my hands on. I certainly have my favorites, but this month, I gained a new all time favorite book. Mid month, I started reading Looking for Alaska, by John Green. I have never been moved by a book, the way this book moved me, before. I laughed, I cried (a lot), I got angry, I threw the book across the room about half way through (no joke, sorry to the cat I nearly hit). Without giving too much away, the narrator, "Pudge," decides to go to boarding school to "seek a great perhaps" (ha, aren't we all). While there, he meets the amazing Alaska Young, who is also on a mission - to figure out how to get "out of the labyrinth of suffering." The book tells the story of their year at school together. I can't tell much more without giving away critical pieces, but the message/theme of the story moved me to chills and tears. I didn't sleep for days after finishing it because I could not stop thinking of it. It literally consumed me (in a good way). If you read this book, please shoot me a message so we can discuss further...seriously...

Here are some favorite lines from the book...

Coming Attractions
Say what!?! 33 days until marathon day! Given the food allergy and the few days off/slower runs from the hip extensor tweak, I have adjusted my goals/expectations at Providence. Nutrition is going to be an issue, and I really don't want to risk hurting my hip again with a summer full of races on the horizon, or Chicago in the fall. I always preach that when life gets in the way you need to adjust your goals and be realistic and now I have been given the opportunity to practice what I preach. My new goal - to have a great race. I've let my time goal go - whatever happens, happens. I cannot balance the pressure of trying to run a specific marathon time right now while trying to accommodate new nutritional needs. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by taking on both of those items simultaneously, and know that if I don't give a little on one of them, I'm going to burn out. Obviously I cannot "give a little" on nutrition, so the goal marathon time obsession has got to go.

I KNOW that I have gained a huge amount of fitness from this training cycle. My heart rates are at a place I never could have imagined. 20 miles this past weekend on the hills seemed comfortable (granted I was not setting any speed records by any means). The training I put in the last three months is certainly not in vain, and I know I will see the dividends throughout the race season, as long as I take care of myself now. Surprisingly, I have been a-okay with this adjustment as well. It is what it is. Life happened! ;-) As they say "Those who are flexible shall not be broken."

1 comment:

  1. Just a little bump in the'll get those food allergies figured out and be awesome. Why we're experiencing new allergies is the thing that boggles my mind! Why now? Why do these things develop at this stage of our lives? Ugh!