Archive for the ‘My “Neurotic About Fitness” Persona’ Category

With an official diagnosis of a 90% tibial stress fracture (right leg only), I may yet realize my dream of running a marathon.  I will only need to wear an air cast for three weeks, then one more week of no running after that, then to the doctor to have my running form video taped for analysis.  I am hopeful that whatver caused the stress fracture to begin with will be identified and, with only minor adjustmusts, I can return to training.   Meanwhile, my family will be well represented in the SunTrust Marathon.  My trainer husband coach is running the half marathon tomorrow while my sister-in-law will be running the full.  My neice and her boyfriend will be running the 10K.  I made my husband promise to shout “this one is for Kimmie” as he crosses the finish line.  Meanwhile, I will be teaching a class for UVa all day Saturday-bummer!  If I can’t run the race I would have at least liked to have been there to soak up the atmosphere and bask in the accomplishments of my family.


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On Monday I reported to the hospital for a bone density scan.  This scan is supposed to definitively detect a stress fracture in my shin(s). The test itself was painless; A simple injection of some sort of “radioactive” material and I was told to leave and come back in three hours.  I raced home (car, not legs) and graded some papers and then raced back (still car) for the test itself.  The machine was fairly non threatening and I was even able to hop up onto the table fully clothed-no pesky hospital gown required.  The test itself only took  about 20 minutes and was effortless.  The technician told me that she saw at least two “of my kind” every week.  Get close to a marathon, she says, and the numbers pick up. They are constantly scanning for tibial stress fractures-especially in women.  Who knew?

I return to the doctor tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 to go over the results.  I am feeling not so good about this because a neighbor of mine underwent the same ordeal and was air casted for weeks.  When she was finally given the green light to train, she started working her way slowly back to marathon status.  All was going well until a few weeks ago when she experienced the same pain-IN HER OTHER LEG!  She went to the doctor and sure enough, it was an overuse stress fracture. This time in the other leg.

Tomorrow afternoon I will have a verdict.  Keep your fingers crossed for me-I am not ready to give up my marathon dream yet!

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“Go ahead, save yourself,” the fallen one called, struggling to  breathe through the pain.

“But we’re a team; we live together or we die together,” he encourages, looking back with concern in his compassionate green eyes.

“No, you must, please,” the fallen one pleads with desperation.  “Leave me; do it!”

With one last moment of hesitation he does as he is asked; he leaves the fallen one behind and focuses on the challenge ahead-he will forge on without the fallen one and hope that, in the end, he will not regret it.”

Sound like the scene from a Turner Classic movie,right?  How about a scene from this morning’s Run for Read 8K?  Wow, were my eyes opened as to how different running everyday on a flat surface or a treadmill differs from a “trail” run.  Not that we knew it was going to be a trail run when I signed us up for this one.  The website described the trail, but why would I have bothered to read it before hand?  That sounds too reasonable-and those of you who know me know I am anything but reasonable.

So there we were, ready to begin the 8K under a drizzling grey sky.  The race would begin at 9:00, leaving the historic Tredegar Iron Works Civil War Museum, follow the Canal Walk, cross over onto Brown’s Island and then  to the Southside of the James River.

I was feeling good about the whole thing and my husband and I had talked about the fact that he would help me keep pace during the race.  What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was the change in terrain and how it would  mess with my head.  The running surface went from brick to concrete to aggregate to dirt to weeded path to steel steps to graveled footpath to precarious path along train tracks to floodwall to cinder to woods to blacktop to dirt to wet leaves to bridge ramp to concrete path ….. you get the picture.

In addition to the various running surfaces, the route itself included more inclines than I had ever tried to run and in no stretch of my imagination did I ever think to include metal steps in my neighborhood runs.

Somewhere around mile 2 I told my trainer partner husband to go on without me; the steps and incline had created a stitch in my side that I needed to walk out and I felt really bad about holding him back.  He didn’t want to do it, but I kept waving him on and I think he sensed my frustration so he did as I asked.  After we separated I settled into a pace that would allow my breathing to return to a more steady rate and, fortunately, the stitch soon eased up. I came upon a couple running together that was keeping a pace I could deal with so I settled in behind them, focusing on the man’s heels and blocking out my surroundings so that I could “zone”.

The 4th mile was upon me before I knew it-I was going to make it after all! That’s when I saw it-the concrete ramp up the bridge-to me it seemed as if it led straight up into the clouds.  What the —-?  Was this a joke?  I had mentally settled in for the last mile and suddenly I was forced to realize that it wasn’t over yet.  I tried to maintain a running jogging pace as I started up the wet concrete incline but my shins weren’t very happy with me so I reverted to a speed walk until I reached a flat surface where I picked it up to a jog.  Coming down the other side of the bridge was the decline, seemingly easier but pretty slippery so I still had to keep it in low gear for fear of falling down-that would suck!

When I reached the bottom of the bridge and rounded the corner I saw  the couple that I had been drafting for pacing purposes and something inside me finally came alive.  Call it stupidity, call it determination, call it competitiveness-whatever it was, I poured it on and blew past them at a flat out haulin’  a– pace.  I was approaching the finish line and could see my partner’s orange shirt on the sideline, cheering me on.  There was a man in front of me and he must have heard my lightning pace behind him because he sped up.  That really fired me up so I kicked it up one more notch and we were nose to nose to the finish line.

I will have to wait to see how I did.  My husband said that he was so involved with cheering me on that he forgot to hit “stop” on the Garmin.  The race was too low budget for chips-so they had volunteers at the finish line writing down your race number and your time.  I guess they will eventually get around to posting the times for everyone but for now I am just glad I SURVIVED!

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After last Saturday’s 5K I definitely “rode the high” all week and it was a good thing, too, because it helped me get through a rather difficult week. It was a tough one for me from professional standpoint-lots of after school meetings and then spending every evening after dinner going over material and writing lesson plans in preparation for teaching for UVA on Friday night and Saturday.  I was the quintessential workaholic. On top of that I made a midweek trip to the hospital in a panic when I got a call that my eldest son (suffering from anxiety attacks and depression) was being taken there by a friend. I had just settled in to watch my stepdaughter play tennis (I hadn’t made a match all year!) when my phone rang and I got the news. Not knowing the extent of his condition, I hustled out of the match and headed over to the hospital with my hubby. Several hours later I was able to talk to the counselor on duty and he was released. They had changed his medicine and felt like he was having a reaction which was later confirmed by his regular doctor and he was taken off of that medication and put on Abilify. He has an appointment on Monday for medication maintenance so we will see what they have to say.

Meanwhile, I managed to run 4 miles on Monday, strength train on Tuesday, run 5 miles on Wednesday and strength train, run 4 miles on Thursday, strength train of Friday and then finish the week with a 7.13 run today! The run today was a bit tricky as the wind was quite gusty and the temperature was cooler than it had been in a long while. My husband friend trainer agreed to share the first part of his run with me, slowing down to my speed and helping me keep pace. I was feeling pretty good and when he started taking me on some detours from our regular route, I went with the flow without much comment. After a while I lost track of how far we had gone and I actually found that I liked it that way. I would much prefer to be kept in the dark and have my destination sneak up on me. Before I knew it, we made our way back to the house and when he dropped me off I had completed 7.13 miles in 1:10:15, an average pace of 9:52. I actually had enough energy left over to do some basic housecleaning, pick up a truck load of topsoil, help unload it and then work in my garden for most of the afternoon. It was an awesome ending to a not so great week!

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You know you are in trouble when your life starts running you and you find yourself being reactive instead of proactive.  I can’t quite put my finger on the exact date or event, but somewhere over the last few weeks that is exactly what happened to me.  I don’t know about you, but once I start down that slippery slope its hard to get my footing back.  Although my training didn’t suffer (it was the one thing that I was able to be consistent about) most other things in my life did.  I had several episodes of “anxiety attacks” on the way to work or even just preparing dinner or doing the legwork in preparation for the extra class I am teaching each month.  These anxiety attacks can sometimes put me into a state of “melancholy” and before you know it, I am crying for no reason and feeling like my life sucks.  The reality is, it doesn’t suck-far from it; when you are in a “blue” moment…oh heck, I’ll just say it…when you are depressed  it skews the way you see the world.

Tomorrow is a big day for me-I will be running a 5K with an actual pace in mind instead of just “surviving” it.  The race benefits the Children’s Hospital of Virginia and begins at 9:15.  My husband coach trainer running buddy friend had been working with me and my pace has been around 9:40 for my last two runs.  I don’t know if I will be that consistent tomorrow because he won’t be there with me (son has a soccer game and he’s the coach) but I have asked my 19 year old to go with me and wait at the finish line to cheer me on. 

Wish me luck!

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It has been a good week for training as far as commitment and consistency.  I have logged 14.3 miles this week.  However, I had hoped to be farther along the path toward my 13.1 (half marathon) goal.  It seems as if my aging body is not able to back up my lofty goals.  With the SunTrust looming on November 15th, the reality is that I am just not going to be ready to join my husband trainer coach friend.  While I feel disillusioned, I also feel a renewed sense of commitment.  Perhaps I won’t be ready when I had originally planned, but I will be ready. 

There is a 5K coming up on October 11th that I will be running.  Beyond that, I found an 8K on October 25th that benefits the READ center, a non-profit organization here in Richmond that help illiterate adults learn to read.  That is definitely a cause I can support, so I am adding that to my calendar.


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Dogs waking at 2:00 AM for bathroom breaks, step-sons with 4:00 AM tummy aches, football practice, tennis practice, soccer practice, back to school night, after work meetings….Yikes!  This week was a tough one for fitting in time to run.  Holding true to the “early bird gets the worm” philosophy, I was able to run two miles and weight train before work, Tuesday was a three mile run at 5:30 AM with good intentions of meeting a friend at yoga later after work. That was also before the dog woke me up at 2:00 and my stepson at 4:00-I just stayed up until it was time to go to the gym and that was a big mistake.  I was sooo tired Tuesday that I “napped” for two hours after work and totally missed my 6:00 yoga date.  I called my friend to beg forgiveness and made a mental note to try again next Tuesday.  Wednesday was a cross training day so I hit the elliptical trainer and lifted weights before work, Thursday I slept in and oooooh, it was so nice!  Friday morning was three mile run and that, my friends, was it for me this week.  Saturday I worked around the house and Sunday I painted my two-story foyer.  The walls needed two coats and I had to traverse the scaffolding all day, so I was too spent to even try a run.  Hal would not be happy with me!  Tomorrow is a new day.  My training log this week calls for me to run three miles on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with Friday off to “rest”.  Saturday is a cross training day and Sunday a longer run.  Wish me luck!

(BTW-next time, I will spend the money for a professional painter.  Oh, my aching back!)

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