Saturday, October 27, 2007

A little bit more, a little bit more

Twelve miles ... 12 ... that's 10 PLUS 2 - 12 ... there's no good way to sugar coat this one - it sucked.

It was about 53 degrees this morning, crisp and clear. We ran by the river so there was no chance for me to get lost. I was adequately dressed (or so I thought when I started) and felt fine ... until mile 8. Shortly after I reached the 8 mile mark, I looked at my watch and said to myself, "wow, I'm doing great, I feel good, I'm running at little bit under my rocket 14 minutes a mile, and I'm breathing ... all good, I rock ... I can do this."

And then, so as to keep me in my place, I got a cramp in my left arch. The pain was what I would imagine akin to a chain saw slicing through the arch of my foot (I watched Grey's Anatomy on Friday night - if you didn't see it, you should have).

Back to the pain ... I had no choice but to stop. And, as those of you who have gone before know all to well - when you stop - you are hosed. So I stopped (it hurts to even say it) to stretch out the cramp. I stretched and stretched and stretched some more and then my body finally realized it wasn't moving any more. It took EVERY fiber in my being (physical, emotional, and intellectual) to take another step forward. And when I did, the cramp was not gone. So I stretched again (rather happily at this point because I had STOPPED). I continued the cycle of mind game of convincing myself to move on - then stepping forward with pain for about a half mile. By that time, my muscles had a chance to cool down and felt like bricks (which made the mental and physical arguments to stop much more interesting). But I made it to the 10 mile mark and thought - "ok, I can do this, it will be fine". But it wasn't - by mile 11, every muscle was screaming, "Lisa, are you insane?" I just laughed maniacally in response and kept moving. I finished in 3 hours and 3 minutes which included 7 water stops, a half mile of stop/starts for stretching, and a bathroom break. I was in tears by the time I reached the parking lot.

There was another team member a few minutes ahead of me, and three of the mentors and TNT alumni. Everyone, team member, mentors, and alumni, were extremely encouraging. Reminding me that it's a big jump from 10 to 12 miles and that I actually completed it (and still slightly over 15 minutes/mile). I'm not sure why I was so emotional about the whole process - the fact that I was the caboose, the fact that every muscle was in pain, the fact that now it seems a bit harder to achieve the final goal, the fact that I was cold ... or maybe a combination of everything. It just sucked.

I had to make a couple of stops on the way home and didn't realize how sore I really was until I tried to get out of the car for the second time. I finally made it home and to the shower - but I just couldn't get warm, but didn't have enough will power left to actually turn off the water.

Fast forward about three hours - and I'm still sitting here - trying not to move to much.

Things I learned today:
1) Eat a banana the night before a big run, and a half of a banana the morning of. 2) Drink plenty of water the day before a big run
3) Wear layers of cool max or dry fit clothing
4) There is a "big" difference between 10 and 12 miles
5) Stopping physically is bad - mentally, it's even worse ...

Next week, I am scheduled to run 4/6/4 miles then a rest day, then 8 miles ... the following weekend, Nov 10 will be a 14 mile run ... yikes.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I didn't want to run this morning ...

I really didn't ... I had a sinus headache and a dozen other "reasons" not to do it. I even called my friend Esther, who graciously offered to meet me afterwards with a pumpkin spice latte and a bagel. But I still wasn't buying into it.

My car found it's way to the river run site ... I parked. I sat there for a few minutes leaning against the steering wheel, trying to come up with something "convincing" that would allow me and my conscience to head straight to the coffee shop. But to no avail, the more I struggled with not running, the more I thought I should just get out of the car and do it.

So I did.

It wasn't the greatest run ever, it wasn't even a good run, comparatively speaking, but I did it (only 4 miles scheduled for today). I'm hoping that my psyche will be in better shape for Saturday's 12 mile event ... it would be good not to have to sit in my car while the rest of the team is outside stretching.

So here's the quote for the day -

“The only one who can tell you “you can’t” is you.
And you don’t have to listen!”
-Nike-

I thought it was appropriate ... especially since when did I ever listen to anybody?

Monday, October 22, 2007

An update on Laura

Just in from my friend Laura's mom -

"FABULOUS news to report: Laura's bone marrow biopsy and aspiration of 2 weeks ago shows 'successful engraftment'! and reveals that '100% of T-cells are of donor origin'!! and that '100% of myeloid cells are of donor origin'!!! Peter's boys are now Laura's guys, and Laura's (invaded) gals are no more! (couldn't be better!) Furthermore, the DNA array shows no more presence of JH/BCL2 (the baddies)!! And 'no morphological evidence of lymphoma'!!! And her PET results were perfectly normal!"

This is awesome news indeed!!!! Unfortunately, she is still dealing with effects from the steroids being used to treat the Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD).

Thank you to those who have included Laura and her family in your prayers and have been sending her positive energy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ten Ten Ten!!!!

10 miles ... yes, 10 ... T-E-N! It took me 2 hours and 16 minutes (it was our first timed evaluation) ... so 14 minutes a mile (and yes, I know some people can actually walk that fast) - but hey, it's 4 minutes a mile FASTER than when I started this little endeavor 10 weeks ago (there's that number again).

The run was fine - "the" blister was fine ... I figured out that if I use ALL of the various remedies that people have given me over the last few weeks (with the single exception of kerosene), I can run blister free. I put neosporin on the blister area, then cover it with the band aid brand blister patch (thank you to YB), then put a large piece of moleskin over the bandaid (to keep the band aid from slipping), then put waterproof tape around the edges of the moleskin, then wrap cloth athletic tape completely around my foot (to keep everything from slipping), then put more waterproof tape around the edges of the cloth tape to keep the moisture out, and finally add a touch of vaseline to the outside of the cloth tape to keep the area slightly lubricated as it is prone to rub against the inside of my shoe after 4 miles, blister prevention can be achieved. Quod Erat Demonstrandum. It takes longer to wrap my foot than it does to get dressed - seriously.

So in keeping with 10 miles in 10 weeks ... here are 10 things I've learned.

1. Running after a restful night's sleep is GOOD (running after a non-restful night's sleep is BAD).

2. Running on a brisk autumn morning, when there's a slight chill in the air, and the sky is clear is GOOD (running in the RAIN, not so much).

3. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stop moving forward ... once you stop making forward progression, you MUST NOT stop for any reason ... especially after 6 miles or so ... if you stop - IT IS REALLY HARD TO START AGAIN.

4. Always go to the bathroom before you run ... ALWAYS.

5. Breathing in deep, rhythmic breaths is GOOD ... not breathing is BAD.

6. Smiling at other runners/walkers and greeting them using your words (as opposed to grunts) not only makes you smile, but forces you to breath.

7. Waking up at 3 AM to eat a bagel because you have to run 10 miles can be a good thing.

8. There's really not a huge difference in running 8 miles and running 10.

9. The easiest way to insure that a run is completed is to start it before I'm fully awake in the morning.

10. What I am going through right now, doesn't even remotely compare to what those who are battling life threatening illnesses.


This has been a good week (with respect to running ... even though I did have to run in the rain again ... at least there was rain, although not nearly enough). I can't thank you all enough for your kind words, your urbane wit, your encouragement and support, and the various pats on the back (both literal and figurative). I couldn't do this without you all!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I didn't get lost this time!

I ran (slow jog/fast walk) 8 miles on Saturday. I really did! I felt fine (I really did). The blister from last week (errant lego in my shoe - or at least that's what it feels like) has decided to apply for permanent resident status. I'm trying to find a loop hole to prevent that from happening. I'm open to suggestions, so please feel free to comment. To date, I've received some delightful suggestions:

My favorite one so far follows - it's allegedly an old British Army trick:

"dip your feet in methylated spirits ... (something like Kerosene) every night before going to bed. Of course you'll ruin your sheets, don't even think of smoking in bed, you're chances of becoming an Italian shoe foot model are pretty much dead and ... well sex is probably out of the question too ... but I can almost guarantee no blisters. (I guess British soldiers didn't have to worry about 3 of the 4 issues ... )"

Although I don't actually smoke, the other 3 seemed to propose a bit of a challenge, so I have opted for some of the other less creative suggestions: Band Aid blister pads, CVS brand blister pads, waterproof tape, Neosporin, athletic tape, moleskin, Vaseline ... next on the list is New Skin ... I'm remaining hopeful that there will be a successful alternative to the kerosene.

Back to the 8 miles ... we ran along Columns Drive so I didn't get lost. It's pretty much of a straight shot for those not familiar with the area. It's a 5 mile loop attached to a park that's a 3 mile loop. And, if you start at a local restaurant called "The Line at 285", you add another mile. So, I had a great run (well, almost great if it weren't for THE BLISTER). I finished in about an hour and 50 minutes (which included 3 leisurely water stops, a bathroom break in a stunning port-o-john, and a brief pause to cross the street to turn around. I know it's slow for all of you real runner types, but that kind of pace not only doesn't kill me, but will permit me to finish the marathon in the allotted 7 (SEVEN) hours!!!!! Maybe I'll get faster over the next 12 weeks ... maybe even, dare I dream ... ... a 12 minute mile! OK - 14 is good, it's fine. Let's be realistic.

In a nutshell, 8 miles is not really that bad - it's just not. Once I get past the initial 25 minutes or so - it's fine. That first mile and half - two miles is just plain icky. I want to stop, I don't want to keep going ... my legs hurt, my back hurts, my shoulders hurt, I can't breathe, I nose runs, my ears water ... about the only thing that doesn't hurt is THE BLISTER, it doesn't start to bother me until about mile 5 or so. But once I push past that first few minutes, it's all good (until THE BLISTER starts to blister again ... yes, I do clean and puncture it after each run).

After I got home on Saturday, I walked in and Doug said ... "hey". I said, "hey". (Sure, I could have left that out, but why? It's my blog, and I like to embellish.)

He was fairly focused on blowing leaves off the deck and we know how much of a "chatty Cathy" he tends to be anyway.

Before I went upstairs, he said, "How was the run?" I said, "Good". He said, "How far did you go?" I said, "8 miles". He turned and went back to the deck (like I said, he was fairly focused on the task at hand). About a minute later, he came back inside and said, "HOW FAR?" I said, "8 ... I rock". He said, "Yes, you do ... that's awesome wait a minute, aren't you back a little early?"

Tee hee. See? I am getting faster (little by little) .... or maybe he was expecting me to get lost again!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I think a lego must have been stuck in my shoe.

Well, race fans ... I did it ... 6 (S-I-X) miles. No, I didn't run the whole thing, are you guys crazy? I ran/walked it. I met a lovely person named Celeste (how could a person named Celeste not be lovely?), who ran/walked with me for the first 3ish miles. Then, unfortunately, our paths diverged. She was doing 8 miles (and me, only a mere 6) - plus, she has been doing triathlons for the last 3 years! Anyway, we got lost, because we were chatting and running (for me sloooooowwwwww jogging/slogging), and completely missed the turn (twice). The national training coordinator, Tommy Owens, even ran after us to make sure we knew where we were going. OK, that was kind of funny. About mile 5, close to the last water stop, the band-aide blister must have slid off ... and it literally felt like a lego in my shoe. REALLY, IT DID! So, I walked and trotted, then decided to just walk the rest of the way. It took me about 90 minutes to complete the whole thing. I felt great! OK - a little sore, especially the blister, but it did feel good! And, I went to the chiropractor immediately afterwards, and had my talus adjusted, plus a few others ... well, actually, a lot of other joints needed to be adjusted. But who's counting? My sincere thanks to my caregivers who are keeping me in line!!! (or should I say, aligned!!!!)

This week, I have to run 4 on Tuesday, 6 (again) on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, then 8 (yes, EIGHT) on Saturday. If I can, then 4 on Sunday (we'll see about Sunday).

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support. I sincerely appreciate it. Even those of you who said this ..."I'm behind you all the way ... (in a comfortable chair, with glass in hand and my slippers on)." (you know who you are!)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Raindrops keep falling on my head ...

I went to the chiropractor this morning to receive some well needed adjustments ... in just about every joint in my body. Running 4 miles two days in a row after being sick for a week apparently took a toll on my body. I also received a complimentary blob of what Justin, chiropractor extraordinaire, referred to as, "icy hot on steroids" and I have to say he was EXACTLY right. If you have any reason at all to use this stuff, please stop by Healthquest. Conveniently, they have large jars of it available for purchase. Please mention my name, maybe if they have a deluge of requests, they'll donate a portion of the proceeds to my fund raising campaign!

So after the chiropractic care and the application of "icy hot on steroids", I went for a run by the river. "Run by the River" is actually secret code for a run at the Chattahoochee National Park entrance at the end of Columns Drive in Cobb County. It's a quiet, picturesque, serene venue and a three mile loop. I never thought I'd be qualifying parks by the distances of their running loops, but I am. Columns Drive is a 5 mile loop, so the combination of the CNP and Columns will work for me (at least through the week) for a few more weeks of training. I'll be jumping to 6 miles on Saturday (well, in theory anyway), and then soon it will be 4 and 6 miles alternating through the week. By November, it will be 6 and 8 miles alternating through the week. Hard for me to believe.

Where was I? Oh, right, the run. It wasn't so much a run, as a brisk walk, with brief intervals of moving quicker. About 12 minutes in, I started to get "the blister" again. About 15 minutes, it started to gently drizzle. By 30 minutes, it was RAINING, by 48 minutes, I was done, but the RAIN was still going. I slogged my way to the car, and squished in. Somewhere between minutes 38 and 42, I thought to myself, "I am a runner. Not only do I have a blister and I'm still moving, but I don't care that it's raining." At minute 43, I thought to myself, "I HAVE A BLISTER AND IT'S RAINING."
At minute 48 when I arrived at the parking lot on the way to the last mile, I saw my car and thought to myself, "I'm really just a runner in training.".

So today, the box of legos is wet - but tomorrow is an official day of rest on the schedule, so maybe it will dry out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

You know you’re training for an endurance event when...

(courtesy of TNT!!!! this is soooooo true!!!)

You drive down the road and you begin thinking “this would be a great training route.”

Your shopping trips are for dri fit singlets, socks and shorts.

The thought of a day old bagel and PowerAde propels you to speed up your last mile of training.

Your pile of laundry is a mountain of smelly training apparel.

You spy someone wearing purple and you do a double take to see if it’s a teammate.

You smile when someone asks what you’ve been doing every Saturday morning for the past 2 months

You know that every blister and every ache are giving patients and their families hope that one day we will find a cure.