Posts Tagged ‘marathon training’

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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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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If the early bird truly gets the worm, then I have more than my share this week.  I have had my alarm set everyday for 5:00 AM but have been awake before it went off each day.  Go me!  I grab my things and off I go to the gym.  Monday was weight training (no legs, unfortunately; doctores orders),  and stretching.  Tuesday I tackle the eliptical trainer again, shooting for a sustained target rate of 180.  Wednesday was a run for two miles (20:03 minutes) followed by a mile and half walk.  Thursday I ran for two and a half miles and then walked for the remaining mile.  Friday was a day of rest and I took it.  Unfortuanately, I took one on Saturday as well.  Hal’s plan called for 40 minutes of cross training and I had planned to do it, I really did!  Instead, I push -mowed the lawn (about an hour and a half of work) and the humidity was just too much.  I wimped out and categorized this as my “cross training”-don’t tell Hal!

I finished up my week with a three mile run today and again the humidity really zapped me.  I had intended to run five, but ended up running the three and then walking one more. 

The half marathon is nine weeks away.  I really need to step it up if I still plan on running it. I am a little demoralized about where I am now and where I need to be by November the 15th, but I am not quite ready to ratchet my goal back and do the 8K that day instead.  We will just have to wait and see how things go.

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Today is my running coach partner husband’s birthday and I couldn’t wait until it was time to give him his present-a Forerunner 405. 

Just saying it sounds cool, doesn’t it?   For those of you who may not have heard of this high tech toy, let me educate you.  It is a GPS system, but not for your car.  You wear it on your wrist and it will communicate with your home computer, sending back data about  your time, distance, pace, calories and heart rate (when paired with heart rate monitor). Each run is stored in memory so you can review and analyze the data to see how you’ve improved..  Go, Go Gadget!

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As Aerosmith says, I am “Back in the Saddle Again!”  Sort of.  If you have been following my posts (I like to believe someone is-it helps me sleep at night) you know that I started a marathon training program but, after a mere three weeks in,  was sidelined due to a medical issue.  The doctor told me that I could not run for a month; that was on August 15th.  Granted, September the 7th is earlier than the recommended month, but I wanted to test out my “running legs” today, just for grins.  I was trying to be smart about it and thought I would get back into the saddle on the softest running surface I had access to so that my internal stitches would not be compromised.  Sounds reasonable, right?  Sounds like I am a clear headed, rational woman who is heeding the doctor’s advice while ultimately trying to keep my neurotic nature in check, RIGHT?  I explain my plan to my running coach partnerhusband and he agrees to accompany me.  Today was to be his long run (1 hour and 45 minutes was his goal) and he thought he would get started with me on the soft surface of the high school track. We headed out around 8:30 this morning  under a beautiful post -hurricane Hannah blue sky.  I was pumped and ready when we pulled in the parking lot only to discover that the gate was padlocked.  Hmm.  We walk from gate to gate, only to find the same result at each and every gate.  What was up with that?  The sign says the track is open for public use during daylight hours-it was definitely daylight-so why was it not opened?  My husband jokingly suggested that we could climb the fence and  I had a momentary flash of tomorrow’s headlines:  Neurotic Hanover Teacher Stranded on Top of Chain Link Fence After Ill-Fated Trespassing Attempt!  I grudgingly declined and  we headed back home to the hard asphalt surface of our neighborhood roads. 

So much for that plan.  Now what?  I decided I would still try to get in my five miles, even if it meant walking most of the way.  I started out with a strong running pace but after only twelve minutes in I got a stitch in my side and had to begin alternating between walking and running. My leg was feeling good but my cardio endurance seemed to have diminished while I was out of commission.  This Sucks stinks!  What a battle it was to keep going, but I did it.  I didn’t bother looking at my watch again, knowing that if I did I would begin to mentally beat myself up over how long it was taking to put in the five miles.  When I finally reached the five mile point and hit the “stop” button on my watch, I was actually surprised to see that it took me 56:36.  Not a stellar pace, granted, but I walked off and on so I was pretty pleased with myself. 

If you are wondering, my husband running partner coach met his goal of running for an hour and a half and accumulated eleven miles today.  Who is going to be giving whom the first massage of the night?

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I came across this chart in Runner’s World Magazine and I love it.  It is a great way to calculate your pace based on the amount of time spent running.  Check it out!

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     Okay, we all suffer at one time or another from muscle soreness or over use; this is a given.  Especially those of us in the “fit at forty plus” and even older category, and I am a compassionate person, so don’t get me wrong.  Muscle discomfort is something I can empathize with; I have been there myself.  But what in the world are people thinking when they dowse themselves in “Bengay” or some other equally offensive smelling sore muscle cream  and then proceed to the gym as if no one will notice.  Oh, we notice alright!  Not only do we “notice” but I, for one, am repulsed by the offending odor that permeates the air, wafting about my head and inducing an immediate urge to vamoose!

     Let me set the scene.  Thanks to a temporary setback in my running routine, I have been relegated to the elliptical trainer for at least the next several weeks.  I do not own any personal exercise equipment and therefore, by default, I must patronize my local American Family Fitness Center in order to use anything.  Fine; I have accepted this temporary fate and am willing to make the most of it.  It is Saturday morning and I am at the gym, ready to rock and roll.  I have settled myself in for a three mile “run” (or at least the elliptical version of it), cranking up the resistance in an effort to imitate the actual mechanics of running.  I am not overly pleased with this substitute for the “real” thing, but I am less infatuated with the idea of doing nothing until my doctor gives me the thumbs up to run again.  Thus, I begin.

     I am on mile 2 1/2 and feeling okay about the situation, actually pushing myself and reaching a heart rate of 150 beats per minute.  It ain’t runnin, but it will suffice.  Suddenly, my olfactory organs are alerted to an approaching offensive and before I even see the source (an overly Bengayed middle aged woman) I am tearing up and I feel a burning sensation beginning to emerge somewhere from deep inside my throat.  I pitch a glance her way, my eyes imploring her not to roost on a machine next to mine; it is to no avail.  She climbs aboard the machine to my left and, as luck would have it, there is a fan just beyond her that is blowing my direction.  You get the picture.  She, however, is oblivious to my reaction, flipping through her magazine pages while her legs move so slowly I have to question whether she is actually moving at all. 

     “Is it actually possible that she does not know that she reeks?”  I ask myself, trying to ignore the odor but doing a poor job of it.  I debate about asking her to more; I was here first after all! Alas, deep at heart I am a caring person and this little human trait forbids me from saying anything at all-damn my caring psyche!  I buckle down, speed up, and try not to breathe.  As I finish the last eight minutes in malodorous purgatory, I make a mental commitment to never, ever, by Bengay again!

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