"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On the Road Again

I am blessed to be able to say I am back on the road again. After two months of biking, swimming, lifting, and learning, I have been given two thumbs up to start running again. After severely fracturing my left tibia bone, I went back to Tria Orthopedics for my follow up appointment. I was relieved to learn that I didn't need to have another MRI, and that x-rays would suffice. Apparently after an injury has been present for an extended period of time, it will show up in an x-ray. X-rays are much faster, and NOT noisy, like the MRI, and I got my results right away. I was able to review my MRI images from my first appointment, and saw the fracture spanning across the bone. I was then able to see my x-rays, and see the scar tissue that had built up like a cocoon (or band-aid) around my tibia bone. My doctor said that is exactly what was supposed to happen. My shin had started bruising a bit, and when I inquired what was going on, I learned that the scar tissue had forced the muscle in my leg to press against my skin, thus bruising my leg from the inside out. However, I was told not to be concerned, and that it would go away. Turns out, my doctor was right. I have been running without pain! Last weekend I was able to run a 13 miler, and a 12 miler the week before. I am not as fast as I would like to be. It still feels like a challenge; however, I am enjoying simply being able to run. The speed will come. But that is not my concern right now. It's so easy to take running for granted, and then when it's taken away from you, you realize what you've lost. Now to have it back, performing doesn't seem nearly as important. Would I like to be faster? Of course. But more than anything, I am thankful to be out on the road again.

Due to the healing process, and travel, I am doing very few races this season, which makes me a little disappointed. I normally like to do 5 or so half marathons a year, and a marathon or two. This year is looking to be only 2 half marathons, and 1 marathon, 1 25k, and a 4k (really, a 4k?!) Looking forward to making the most out of this season. I am more than blessed.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's in the Shoe

"First and foremost, you have to love training and even learn to enjoy hard workouts. It takes ears to reach your full potential, so if you don't enjoy the journey you simply won't get there."

There's no doubt that I love the training, I feel pride upon the completion of a tough workout, and I love the journey! The process is that much more rewarding with new shoes! Yes that's right. I have made the switch. Since I started running long distance in 2006 (it really hasn't been that long), I have been an Asics girl. Not because I thought they were superior, but simply because I got fitted in a pair at a running store, the worked well, and I never strayed. Since my sponsorship with Fitsok, I now get 40% Brooks shoes, so I figured I might as well give them a try. In the past, as I've browsed the Brooks section at Run n Fun, I've always been disappointed with the color schemes. I know running shoes are not about the colors, but about how they fit. Even still, I struggled to get passed purple and lime green on the same shoe-really?! However, I few months ago, I went to the corporate office for Fitsok, and got to see the new shoes coming out for summer, I saw the new Glycerin 9, and knew that was the shoe that was comparable to the Asics Nimbus I have been running it. The Brooks Glycerin 9 is the most beautiful running shoe I've ever owned! I'm not ready to break them in yet, as I still have some miles to put in on my Asics, but the Brooks are ready and waiting.

This weekend is a big decision weekend for me. Marathon training started for TCM (which I am signed up for) this week. I have kept my mileage low, to truly ease into the program. My first "long" run is 10 miles, which I will be running on Saturday morning. I am going to make a decision this weekend. I've still been having a great deal of pain in my leg. I am going to run the 10 miles on Saturday. If I am in a great deal of pain during the run, or immediately following the run, I am going to bow out of TCM early. I just can't go through the heartbreak of training and working hard, to have the race pulled out from me two weeks beforehand, as it was with the Boston Marathon. I don't want to go through the yo-yo feelings of "I feel fine", "oh that hurt", "but this felt good". I want to make that decision ahead of time. To be able to make a decision like this so early in the season is a big deal for me! Of course, if the 10 miler feels okay, and then it hurts down the road, I have no problem bowing out at a later date, if necessary. However, if I do feel pain this weekend, I am not going to ignore it.

This first week of training has probably been the easiest mileage week I've had in a long time:
Monday: 3 mile run
Tuesday: 5 mile run
Wednesday: 3 mile run
Thursday: 1 mile warm up, 3 miles of hills, 1 mile cool down

Tomorrow will be a 5 miler at marathon pace, Saturday will be the 10 miler, and Sunday will be a rest day as I cheer on Drea Gutierrez at the Minneapolis Marathon, and Meghan Smith and Ginger Montezon at the Minneapolis Half Marathon. Since this will be the first year in the existence of the Minneapolis Half Marathon, in which I am not running, I am going to be their biggest fan, cheering them on by bike. I can't wait!