Sunday, April 29, 2012

Twas The Night Before Surgery..

At this time tomorrow, I'll be on my way to having a new leg!! Well, a slight exaggeration, but the pain of compartment syndrome with be gone, gone, gone!

I am happy with where I am right now - I was able to get in some awesome workouts this weekend, including an awesomely hard bike workout, and a 15 mile run (yes, you read that correctly - my lower leg may actually spontaneously combust before tomorrow morning). The run may have been "foolish" in some people's eyes, due to a myriad of reasons. However, it gave me the confidence and mental peace going into tomorrow, knowing exactly where my fitness lies. And it was a run with this favorite, so we did a lot of chatting and laughing ;just what the doctor ordered. Hee.

Both the Eugene and Big Sur Marathons were today - Eugene was where I was going to lay down a spectacular race, and Big Sur was a a reminder of last years race which including heat, and a make-shift course. I thought today would be hard for me, mourning the death of a marathon as well as the anniversary of one of my slowest marathons ever. Oddly, I felt just fine. Sure, I had my "woe is me" pity party this morning for a few minutes, as Facebook and Twitter were blowing up with excited racers, but then I remembered that this is all part of a long term plan.

The last few months have been a long road; lots of highs and lows, waiting for answers, and wanting to know how this is all going to turn out. I'm anxious to get in there, and then get on with recovery. I'm hungry to race, and run fast again. The thought of toeing the start line (of any race at this point) makes me giddy. This weekend of sweaty greatness reminded me of just how much I love this sport, and how lucky I am to be able to be a part of it.

Thank you all of your support and well wishes - I'm looking forward to coming back better (and faster) than ever.

Catch y'all on the flip side..

Happy Training!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Good Luck In Boston, Two Weeks Til Surgery, and Other Musings..

I have been burning in work hell. Those days and weeks where it seems like you can dive in headfirst, not come up for air during a 12 hour span, and when you do, it seems like you've only barely made a dent? Yep, that. And when the going gets tough, what do I do? Go on vacation!

I'm leaving on vacation bright and early Monday morning (before the Boston Sweatfest of 2012 begins). I've had this vacation booked for 5 months, and Caitlyn still has no idea where we're going. Of course, like any good mom, I've almost blown the surprise about 219048572 times, but saved myself. It'll be just me, Miss Caitlyn, and 26.2K(M?) kids in Disney World next week. I'm currently accepting applications for mommy of the year.

And you know where it's going to be WARMER than Disney World on Monday? Right here, at home in Boston. Eek. We've all been there; you've had a kick ass training cycling, you feel strong, confident, and even in New England we were granted a mile enough winter to get in lots of extra road runs this year over the treadmill. Then that damn forecast shows a high temperature that starts with an "8", and all you want to do is kick, scream, and stomp your feet. It sucks, but sadly you can't control it. So go out there, be smart, stay hydrated, and ask your body to perform the best it can on that day. Good luck!!

You know who's body is NOT performing at it's best right now? This girl. However, my body is still in one piece, and I feel like I'm maintaining fitness. Winning. Surgery was moved up a few days, and now d-day is April 30th. I've done a LOT of research on recovery (shocking, I know), and I'm feeling hopeful that I'll be up and moving around pretty quickly. Let's hope my body and brain are on the same page. Until surgery, I'll keep running when I can, and supplementing with cross training. I'm going to have such an awesome compression sock tan line at this rate.

With surgery looming, I've been doing a lot of race schedule planning for the remainder of 2012. Admittedly, I'm a little all over the place, probably because anything involving the word "race" just sounds so delicious right now.

Currently, the 3 front runners rolling around in my brain are:

(1) an ultra: seems crazy I know, but I think could be insane amount of fun. Looking at this one in particular, because it's in my backyard (not literally for all of those crazy stalker types). Stone Cat 50-Miler.

(2) a 70.3, in particular a brand new one up in Old Orchard Beach. That's at the end of August, so it would definitely be a "finish and have an awesome time doing it" race.

(3) the marathon. I know, that 26.2 distance just never leaves my mind. I swear, it's a drug. Waaaaaaaay back when I was planning my 2012 race schedule, my 2 key marathon races were Eugene (sob), and California International Marathon (CIM). CIM is the first weekend in December, so if recovery from surgery goes well, it's still a viable option. And a certain someone is also toying around with that race, so it's definitely on the radar.

Good luck to everyone running Boston on Monday; may the wind be at your back, and the sun behind some clouds!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pushing the envelope..

Disclaimer: If you are a coach, I suggest skipping right over this post. Side effects of this blog post on coaches may include: increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as grinding of the teeth and/or clenching of the fists. Continue at your own risk. 

I have a plan; I always have a plan for everything. It's what I do for a career, and it's what I'm good at. Me and limbo? While we occasionally take each other out for coffee, planning (and then execution - they're buds) is my right hand man.

I got "the call" last Friday from The Man. Surgery is a go, and it's scheduled for 5/3/12. That 5 minute phone call sent me straight into planning mode - figuring how many days until surgery, how many miles I can put on my leg before it explodes, how many hours my butt can endure the saddle for, what dosage of Ibuprofen will kill me, etc.

Had surgery not been necessary at this time, my plan would have included a LOT of nothing. Lots of rest, spinning, and swimming. Definitely not any running, because I knew that I would need to heal everything in order to get back to the roads healthy. However, since I'm staring down the barrel of surgery, I've decided to flirt with this injury, knowing there's an end in sight, and lots of forced healing once I have the surgery. A finish line if you will.

The plan goes something like this: I'm going to use the month of April as a complete build/large volume training month. I want to go into that O.R knowing that I don't want to look at my bike or my running shoes for at least a week. I want to be tired, and in great shape. Similar to how we feel after a big race, when we just want to sit on the couch and drool on ourselves for 5 days.

Execution of my hair-brained plan takes a little more thought; it's pushing my leg to the brink, without putting even my pinky toe over the edge.  I want to maximize my fitness. I do not want to create any more injuries in this process, and I certainly don't want my leg to completely explode. I may be dumb, but I'm certainly not stupid. Enter strategery.

To kick off the month of hair-brained strategery, I latched onto the last 12 miles of this girl's 16 miles Boston prep run. It had been far too long since we've run long together, and we were overdue. I wanted to go the whole 16, she told me "no". At this point, I'd rather keep my friends then run an extra 4 miles. Besides. the leg had only been field tested up to 10 miles thus far, so 16 would have been abandoning the "I'm dumb, but not stupid" plan.

It was an AWESOME run; most of my body felt spicy, and wanted to go go go! However, that space between my right knee and right ankle wasn't onboard with the "go go go" plan. It was more along the lines of the "I've been beat into submission, so I'll play your game for the next couple hours" plan. We ran at a clip that was faster than I've been running solo lately (a running partner, along with gossipy girl talk will do it!), and the leg held on. We came up with a plan (shocking, right?) around mile 10. We were going to run mile 10-11 at the pace we'd been holding, and then drop the hammer from 11-12. Of course, "drop the hammer" is all relative when you're trying to survive another month on a busted leg. So we stuck to a "marathon pace" mile. And it was awesome. I kept looking at my wrist boyfriend, who was again telling me everything I wanted to hear. God I love him. The pace for that last mile had a low 8 in it, and as we got closer to 12, the smile on my face got wider and wider. It felt incredible to be moving; although the dying animal noises coming out of my mouth might lead you to believe otherwise. When I crossed the imaginary finish line, I felt so satisfied. I don't know when a 12 mile run has ever felt so redeeming as it did today.

As I sit here packed in ice and wrapped in compression socks, I couldn't feel more content. Day 1 of "the hair-brained strategery I'm dumb but not stupid plan" was executed to perfection. I'm excited for the next 4.5 weeks, and to see what I'm capable of.

*to any coaches who read this post, let me know when I can say "I told you so". Sorry for the Zone 3 heart rate and eye twitch that occurred while reading this.*

Happy Training!