Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bruised Bone and 3/2

I mentioned a few posts back that I fell numerous times recently during a trail run. I thought it was possible that I chipped my kneecap since I have one spot that is still tender when touched. (I know, stop touching it!) I can't kneel on that knee either but other than that, have full range of motion. Now I think it is just a bruised bone and time will take care of it. If it gets feeling worse or hinders motion, I will get it looked at.

After running several times using a 3 minute run/3 minute walk, I was not too impressed. The walk felt like it was entirely too long. It is not a good sign when you keep looking to see if it is time to run again. This week, I switched to a 3 minute run/2 minute walk interval. Today was my first day trying it and I have to say, I liked it much better.

Not only did I run my route 3 minutes faster this morning, I also did not feel tired at the end of my run. It was a gorgeous morning for a run, in the mid 50's. I start my run when it is still dark out but it is light by the last part of the run.

I did find that I can preset my Garmin on interval training. This allows me to set it to beep at 3 minutes and then again at 2 minutes so I know when to run/walk. This morning I ran with my iPod, which I rarely do. It is down low enough so I can easily hear the Garmin as well as traffic and others around me. I may get my other mp3 player out since I can put scripture on it to listen to while I run. I guess I should find the charger for it, I have not used it since we moved.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Six AM

It is just too stinking early in the morning to be up, let alone out running.

I have to get up at 5:40 am to get my 14 year old to his seminary class at church. I am back in the house by 6:05 am. Now, I could easily go back to bed until the other kids need to get up but I made the decision to go running. This knocks it out for the day, I have Greg at home (sleeping) while the kids are sleeping and I don't have to worry about trying to fit the run in later in the day.

Even with all that, it is still too early to be out running! I got on my running skirt, my shirt, got my reflective belt and even got my iPod...I was set.

I dropped Nicholas off and came home. I brought everything out of the house with me so I would not be tempted by anything going into the house. My iPod was dead. It was my own fault, I forgot to turn it off and the battery ran down. I don't normally run with it anyway so it was no great loss.

I ran 3 miles doing a 3 min run/3 min walk schedule. I started out in the dark and it was daylight by the time I was done. It was about 58F and just beautiful out. This is the first run in ages where I have not been totally dripping in sweat. It is also the first run since May that I have gone on without my hat.

The run was slow going, slower than if I ran it. I don't know why I am surprised by that, I shouldn't be. I am walking a significant chunk, something I have not done before. I am confident that as I continue on and increase milage, I will see an improvement in times. I ran up to the high school since I didn't want to be out on the trail in the dark.

As I was coming back, Ryan was at the bus stop. He avoided eye contact and acted like he didn't see me. What a little snot. Still, I imagine at 13 I would have ignored my mother in similar circumstances. I know he saw me because I waved to him about a block away and he turned the other direction. Boy, maybe on Friday I should stop and give him a sweaty hug.

When I got into the house, it was still so quiet. No one was up, even Tinsel (the dog) didn't want to get up. Greg got up about 15 minutes after I got home. I think he overslept because he was dressed when he came down - dressed in work clothes and normally he rides his bike to work. He drove today, usually a sign he overslept.

I think I chipped my kneecap during the run on Saturday. It is so incredibly tender right now. I can't put any weight on it (like kneeling) or have anything touch it. Interesting enough, running and walking doesn't bother it at all. There is no pain (except if I touch it) so I don't think there is much that can be done other than ice it and take tylenol. I never realized how many things I did with knee until I can't. I closed doors, knelt on the floor, used it to block the dog or the kids, stop a door from closing.

Tomorrow I am just going to walk Tinsel at 6 am and then run again on Friday. I have another week before I start actually ramping up for the Goofy.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Denise Not only Fell, she really fell!

Now, for those who are puzzling over the title of this entry, look again. You will see that DNF is bold. You may know what it means, you may not. DNF stands for Did Not Finish. This is what you are marked in a race when you fail to complete the course for any reason. I was DNF for my trail half. There are loads of firsts for everyone and today was my first, probably not my last, DNF.

I had signed up for my Trail Half Marathon because it was local, it was a Half and it sounded like fun. Do a Half running through a park, in the trees, shaded with nothing but women. Who would not want to do this? Sign me up.

I read the website, I knew it was a trail...really, I did! It says right on the website "Forested, rolling terrain. Primarily single-track dirt trail" Well...that sounds pleasant enough, doesn't it? I just was not prepared for what this *really* meant.

It all started innocently enough. We gathered in the parking lot and the men sang "Happy Trails" to us and we were off. We ran along the road for about a mile and then were directed off the road onto a path. All was still good for about another mile...when the trail became more narrow, trees got closer, rocks took on a life of their own, roots would snake out across the trail in front of me and I am sure I saw a mountain goat merrily trotting along the 2" wide trail at some point. They would leave the path to leap among the Alps that were hidden in the trees. I knew before mile 3 that this was a recipe for disaster for me.

I can trip on a flat surface, on a calm day, while walking. Put me on an ungroomed path in the woods with rocks, leaves, twigs and roots...with sweat dripping into my eyes and it is a given I am going to take a nosedive.

My first meeting with the dirt/leaves took place right about the 3.5 mile mark. I did the cartoon fast run to attempt to catch myself and just managed to scrape my knees a bit more than needed. I brushed myself off and pushed on. I was nervous and slow before the fall, after the fall, I was becoming even more so, keeping my eye on any potential tripping hazard.

By the 6 mile mark, I had gone down numerous times. I must have stumbled on a passing gnat and took a pretty hard dive down. This one was hard enough to keep me down in a pathetic heap for a moment while I assessed if I was still alive. Since I had tears leaking, I assumed that meant I was alive so I cautiously made my way to my feet. I had cracked my head, landed on my hands, scraped my knees, ripped my number off and my hat was beside me. I was pretty sure my thumb was sprained.

At this point, I was fairly sure that if I continued on, it was just a matter of time before I fell again and actually would become seriously injured. Call me a weenie but I made the decision to walk when the trail was dicey and run if I felt it was okay. This meant that I was walking mostly with tiny areas where I could run a few feet. Even walking, I was tripping and crashing into trees. Graceful I am not. Put in there being tired and I probably was the cause of a lot of the tripping, not lifting my feet up enough.

Sooo...I did not make the cut off point in the time needed to get an official time. I was about 5 minutes over the time limit. I could have continued on the course and finished the entire 13.1 miles but truly, by that point, stick a fork in me, I was done. As it was, I did complete over 8 miles, which given the circumstance, I am incredibly pleased with.

Overall, it was an interesting race. I think I should have picked an easier trail to run a Half on for my first trail Half but it was still a good run. Now I know where it is, I can go out and practice on it. Yes, practice. Now I am determined to not let the course beat me next year. At least that is what I am thinking right now.

Today, I am sporting lovely bruises on my head, both knees, on my shins and above my knees in addition to various scratches and cuts. Did I mention the bruise on my palm and very sore thumb? I must have jarred a shoulder too. Ouchie.

Denise and trail running ....not a very good mix but darn it, I am stubborn enough to try it again just to prove to myself I *can* do it!

I did get to meet two fellow Forum members at the run. Becki ran the race (finished in just over 2:30...woo hoo!) while Alec ran a different trail in the park since he was not entered. There were a lot of running skirts out there as well.

This race was going to be my last official "running" race until after the Goofy. Starting on Monday, I am going to a run/walk training program to prepare for the Goofy. My first offical race using this method is going to be the MCM 10K in about 6-7 weeks.