Thursday, April 24, 2008

2 Month Anniversary/Wicked bad pain/Outside run

So, today is officially 2 months since I decided to embark on my marathon training journey. Yay! It's incredible how quickly the two months have gone. I'll do my best to resist the urge to criticize myself for not being farther along in terms of mileage. It's way too easy to say, "You really SHOULD be doing double digit long runs by now". That thought has gone through my mind too many times to count. But it's useless to think that way. I just need to keep on keepin' on, as I like to say.

Yesterday after work I got on the treadmill with visions of running 4 miles dancing through my head. I've been wanting to up my weekly mileage just a bit and figured it would be a good day to do it. Boy, was I wrong. I started out at 10MM...for some reason not only did I want to push my mileage up, but I wanted to do it FASTER! Somewhere in my peabrain it failed to register that I should have focused on one or the other. I'm not friggin SuperWoman. The first mile flew by. But soon after that, I started to hurt. My shins hurt, thighs hurt, ankles hurt. So I slowed my pace down a bit. That didn't seem to help too much. And once again, I felt like I was dying of thirst. Does anyone else have this problem? Being too thirsty while running? It's ri-friggin-diculous. I've read people's comments who've said they don't really hydrate at all for something as short as a 3 mile run. Who...are...these...people?! Sorry, I couldn't resist. Anyway, I'm not sure what my deal is but I hate constantly feeling thirsty. I've also read that if you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated and that you're supposed to drink x amount of water per hour or mile or God knows what. I guess I just need to drink A LOT more water during the day. Whatever. Back to the run. I was in the "stare at the mileage and urge it to go faster" mode (it didn't cooperate), which was supremely frustrating, not to mention the fact that my math skills temporarily flew out the window. I'd tell myself "Oh, I only have 1/2 a mile to go, that isn't so bad" and then I'd realize that no, I actually have A MILE AND A HALF. Shit. My shins started screaming so bad that I thought I was going to die. Yes, I'm a wimp. Yes, I'm a crybaby. But this pain was far unlike any other pain I've experienced running (or doing any other sport for that matter). I had to stop. And my mileage was only at 1.94. Gimmie a P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C! So I hobbled off the treadmill, on the verge of tears, wondering what the hell was wrong with BOTH my legs, wondering if somehow I'd fractured them. How do you know if your legs are fractured?
Maybe if they:
1. Are in excruciating pain during periods of movement and/or non-movement
2. Prevent you from walking
3. Make you whimper and cry little a little beyatch
I told myself that I MUST at least do 2 miles. So I got back on the treadmill, put it on 12MM pace and fast-walk/slow-jogged. The pain temporarily subsided, which was really exciting, so after the remaining .6 mile, I decided to shoot for another 1/2 mile. Pfffffftttt. Not.Gonna.Happen. I stopped after the next quarter mile. Shut the treadmill off, wrote "BAD RUN. LOTS OF PAIN. 2.25 miles/24 minutes" on the piece of paper I use to record my dailies (the backside of a "Conversational Spanish" page-a-day calendar). Then I went inside to address the issue at hand. Every single step was punctuated with either "ouch", "ohmigod" or an expletive. I got some water, some frozen vegetables, and plopped down on the couch. I called Dave so that I could bitch and complain and have someone else (besides me) feeling sorry for me. We talked for a few minutes and even a brief conversation seemed like it required too much effort so I flipped the tv on and scrolled through the channels, all the while, I'm practically yelling because even though I'm not moving, my shins are absolutely killing me. The frozen vegetables felt like they were burning my legs so after about 5 minutes (if that) I had to take them off. I got up and went into the kitchen to take 3 Ibuprofens. Then I hobbled back to the couch and laid down again. It was awful. I moved my legs around in vain attempts to put them in a position that would take away the pain. There was no such position. They hurt no matter what I did. After about 30-45 minutes, the Ibuprofen must've kicked in (thank you Jesus) because I felt 100% better. I got up, ate, and did some of the packing I've been planning to do for over a week now. It ended up being a productive evening. It's incredible how much you can get done when you get up off your ass and stop watching tv. Good stuff.

I decided I was going to take today off, in hopes that my legs would magically heal themselves in time for another 3 or 4 mile attempt Friday. We'll see. I got up and walked on the beach at Sand Key Park this morning on my way to work. The weather couldn't have been more perfect: about 74 degrees and sunny, with a slight breeze. So I walked for about 30 mins and went to work. I might try to do some yoga moves when I get home from work because I feel like some stretching would feel beyond fantastic right now.

Ok, so on to the outside run which commenced on Tuesday, around 6:45 pm. Prior to leaving the house I tried to gulp down as much water as I could (without feeling like I would pee my pants mid-run) and popped a stick of gum in hopes of avoiding the dreaded drymouth/chapped lip thing I've had going on. For whatever reason I was extremely nervous. The feeling was similar to the anxiety I used to get before swim meets in high school. I'd feel physically sick to my stomach and super nervous and it was always really horrible. Three cheers for what I can only assume was some form of social anxiety! YAY. So anyway, I left the house, telling myself, "It's ok. No big deal, we're just taking this outside today. No harm done. Chill out." I had measured out what I thought was 1.5 miles so that I could do a simple out and back run. I walked for a bit longer than I planned because there was a family with razor-scooter riding children coming my way and I felt more comfortable passing them while walking instead of running. So as soon as they were past me, I started to run. My pace felt lightning fast, but at the same time I felt really awkward; like a fawn just learning to use its legs. My form felt ridiculous and unnatural. It took a few minutes to feel a little more "normal", for lack of a better word. I started breathing pretty hard after a few minutes and had to slow down a bit (maybe that's when and why my form improved?!). Since I was running along a MAJOR road, I felt self-conscious but tried my best to think of other things. Since I have no ipod or mp3 player, I was forced to listen only to the traffic and my own labored two steps in/two steps out breathing (and the occasional grunt or whimper that managed to escape my lips). When I was almost to the turning around point, I decided to take a detour to a water fountain. Although I'm not good at judging distance, I guessed that my detour was the same distance as the remainder of the first half. So I moseyed on over, drank, and began to run back. When I was almost home, I got a sudden burst of energy and decided to ride it all the way home. I ran fast and strong and it felt superb. When I got back to the house I saw that I had only been running 25 minutes. From my best estimate, I probably ran about 2.75 miles (because of the walking at the beginning, and in retrospect, I think the distance to the fountain was actually a bit shorter than the amount I had left to run before turning around). One sidenote is that my legs felt FANTASTIC the entire time. I couldn't believe it. I have to wonder if the pain I endured yesterday was a result of running on pavement?? I don't know. All in all, I'd like to run outside more often but under the following conditions:
1. I take water with me
2. I have music
3. It's not hot as hades (this is a huge prob in FL. Like Jess said in a comment on a previous post, in FL you have to run super early in the morning or late as night because it's WAY too hot. Since I'm moving to TN in exactly one week, I'm hoping the weather will become less of an issue.

I'm glad I ran outside and would like to slowly scale back on treadmill running and run outside more often, especially because I need to be comfortable running on pavement.

I'm sorry this post was so friggin long but I felt the need to update you guys. Happy running. :)


MissAllycat said...

YAY for an outside run!!!

I find that my mouth gets dry when I'm running - the gum trick works wonders for me. I carry a water belt on my longer runs.

I know EXACTLY how you feel about running outside for the first time. For my first outside run, I felt like a seal whose flippers unexpectedly transformed into legs and had no idea what the hell to do with them. Don't worry. That goes away. :)

tmac96 said...

OMG, that sucks that your legs hurt so bad on the TM! How horrible! I am so glad your run outside went better though. Way to go! :-)

SueBob said...

The thirst thing use to bother me too, until I realized I wasn’t really dehydrated, I just had dry-mouth. I usually just pop in a piece of gum when I go for a run now and it doesn’t bother me. I don’t really even chew it much, just when my mouth feels dry.

Oh, and I was on Amelia Island recently…right on the beach! Sometimes I miss FL, then I remember the miserable summers!! (I lived in Gainesville & Jacksonville for 9 years)

julie said...

awesome getting out there!
along with drinking more over the course of the day, watch your salt intake. that'll make you thirsty too. also, remember, as you get stronger, the shorter runs are less work, so you won't need the water.
to carry it with you, folks go with belts (a camelback waist pack, a fuel belt, or a bottle carrier belt) or a hand-held bottle. I go with handheld because the belts chafe me. they have all three kinds here, and the handhelds are nicely designed for small hands. they're the best:

for the ipod thing, i didn't have one either, but i found i NEEDED one. so, it was my reward for the first 5-miler I completed. you can get the ipod shuffle for $50 and it's TOTALLY worth it, and perfect for running! clips on your clothes.

Jillian said...

Way to go on the outside run! It'll take some getting used to so just keep on trying it out here and there. I found that I can not run without my radio. My mind focuses too much on the pain and tiredness and it gets to me. I have a cheapo sony radio that clips to the waist of my shorts. It keeps my mind off of what I'm doing. I even sing along when no one is around...the little entertainment helps! My sister has an ipod and she's thinking of downloading hour long comedy shows, etc. to keep her occupied. Whatever works!

"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford