Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Tale of Two Legs

How can 1 body feel like 2 different people....what I mean is my right leg has disassociated with my left leg and I'm in a tizzy trying to mend the fences (or the space between).  I have been keeping detailed exercise logs (which is new to me) and there is still no rhyme or reason as to the source of all my angst.  My piriformis likes to rear its ugly head these days without warning me.  I can be going along fine and then WHAMMO!  out of nowhere I succumb to limping with electrical currents coursing down my leg. The currents all ball together in my heel making me feel like there is a stone lodged under my skin.  I can be running, sitting, stretching or doing just about anything when it hits.  Sometimes I tune into what's going on when I'm running trying to find that magic moment when the zingers start.  This is a sneaky syndrome!

Let's recap since I ran Diva half marathon.  I took 3 days off to rest and recover because my leg was a little twingy (is that a word?) on the way home from North Myrtle.  When I say I took 3 days off of running, that does not imply that I was simply sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and watching tv.  No.  I took a break from running and taught 4 Les Mills BodyPump classes, 1 Silver Sneakers Cardio class, 1 Yoga class, and 1 Pilates class.  Yes.  I took it easy. :)

I ran 6 miles with Catherine (affectionately Cac) on half trail, half crushed gravel at 7:34 avg mile.  Felt great.  Did 10 sets of stadium steps that night at our youngest son's Lacrosse game during half time to stay warm.  Felt great.  I actually LOVE doing stairs & hills.  I am not so keen on flat, where you can see for miles and miles knowing you have to get there at some point.  Ran a recovery run with Christie (one of my Sole Sisters) for 4 miles and ended the week with an 11 miler on the greenway at a 7:58 avg. mile.  I limped a little Saturday afternoon so I decided that from now on I will just not sit down (except to type blogs!) unless I'm watching a movie.  I think people would be afraid if I stood up in a movie theater and just stood there the whole time.  Besides, people think runners are pretty weird interesting anyway.  That ended a nice, sweet week with a little aggravation, but not much.

On Monday I ventured to the track.  I love the track.  I think I have finally figured out why I love the track so much (I'm 47 now, so I'll let you do the math).  I don't mind that "out of breath" feeling on the oval.  Wanna know why?  Even if I have to stop, bend over and try not to throw up, I'm right there. I'm not a million miles from home/car.  Okay, a million is an exaggeration, but you get my point.  Somehow my brain has decided that it is okay to work yourself to death on the track, but not okay out on the open road.  Maybe I need to find a treadmill race and I'd be 'all over it'?  I might have something trend sweeping the country......treadmill races!  That would be pretty boring, but it might just happen.  Back to the track:  1 mile warm-up, 12 quarters, 1 mile cool-down.  I picked a ridiculously humid day.  I was all by myself.  Fun times, although I think I usually run a little faster if there are people around/with me.  Anyway, I was just excited to get them done: 

Warm-up mile:  8:10
First 4 laps (30 seconds rest in between each lap)  mile 1:  6:27 (conservative so that I could assess the sneaky piriformis)...took a minute break after 4 th.
Second 4 laps (30 seconds in between each lap)  mile 2:  5:49 (opened up even more and felt pretty good.....took a minute 10 seconds break after 8th
Third 4 laps (35 seconds in between each lap)  mile 3:  5:43 (hung on and gutted it out, sweat flying)
Cool Down mile: 8:00

I am grateful I was only doing 12 400M because the skies opened up just as I was walking to my car.  Some rain would have felt good but the torrential downpour would have been messy.  I feel like my speed is coming back and I feel like I'm ready to be in the 5:20's again in the mile.  My left leg is ready for it, my right one still has not committed.  Ran great on Tuesday and Wednesday and did a recovery run on Thursday. 

Friday I did zero. nada.  It felt great.  It was a fabulous day because we got to spend it with Danielle (our daughter) at her graduation from UNCW (Wilmington).  She graduated from the Teaching Education Department and we are very, very proud of her.  She is currently job if you know of any elementary schools hiring, send me a note!

I will get back to running now so I can end this blogpost with one last personal story.  Pretty uneventful week after returning from the coast.  Then I decided to run a local 8k on the greenway (the same greenway that houses the majority of my long runs).  Everything started out so well.  Saw lots of friends and learned a few things about racing locally.  First and foremost:  an 8k is equivalent to 4.96 miles.  After conferring with several friends afterwards, the race was 5.34 miles.  But, it was for a good cause, so all is right with the world unless you were dealing with an angry piriformis.  Here are my splits:
Mile 1   6:39 - about 3/4 mile into the race, my piriformis said hello and I was in pain trying to push that right leg alongside the left.  I pulled back in my comfort zone and proceeded to smile and wave because I knew it was not a day for opening up. I had so many zingers I actually jumped 3x.
Mile 2   6:54- great chatting along the course because it was 2 out and backs.
Mile 3   7:01- trying not lament that my half marathon splits are faster than what was happening
Mile 4  7:11- excuses here. I thought they forgot to put the turn around people out there because I knew we were going well beyond where we were supposed to go because I know every quarter mile marker on the greenway.  I kept slowing down until I finally saw the leaders coming towards me because I kept thinking they were lost.
Mile 5 6:57- least I picked up the pace because there was a nice steady uphill during that mile. 
.34  mile 1:28- 36:12 Official Time (2nd Female overall)

Evidently I didn't look all rosy coming up the hill to the finish

                        I wore one of my favorite Lululemon tops with some comfy Adidas shorts

I have taken some time off of running this week to cool down my leg a little.  I taught 3 yoga/pilates classes this week which has helped.  For my next race, I'm going to KT tape my piriformis even if it is feeling great.  I will not trust that right leg for a while.  I will continue to stretch, ice and roll (SIR) and be glad that the pressure of having a bad race is now over.  I will not let this define me.  I know I have lots left to do in the running world.  I'm looking at my track meet schedule and looking at my entries into 2 - 24 hour ultra races this year.  Hinson Lake in September and Crooked Road in November.  I'm ready !!

On a personal note, my daughter, Mandi, just got engaged last night to her boyfriend (Jordan) of almost 4 years and we couldn't be happier and prouder of her.  She continues to be a shining light in my life and we are incredibly happy.  I hope she doesn't mind that I posted this photo of her teary eyed but extremely happy!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week.


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