Monday, June 24, 2013

Nervous energy

Tomorrow I leave for Leadville to begin my Leadwoman adventure on Saturday with the trail marathon.  I'm almost all packed and I can't wait to hit the road.  I got my mountain bike back from the shop and it's like a new bike.  New chain, new bottom bracket, new brakes, and new tires.  Unfortunately, it's pouring rain.  So what.  I knew it meant I'd have to wash the bike before loading it up but who cares.  I needed to know how those new tires would handle and what better way to do it than with a fun trail ride in the pouring rain.

I headed up the trail and then down a stretch of newly built trail to Scott's Flat Lake.  It's so well built that it was in great shape despite the rain.  I splashed through puddles, got muddy, and just thoroughly enjoyed myself.  As I was leaving the house my husband told me to have fun and burn off some nervous energy.  Boy, was he right.  It was just what I needed.

Wet, muddy, and happy
I have no idea how Saturday is going to work out.  I ran 3 miles on Thursday with some hip pain.  1 mile on Saturday before the pain stopped me.  But I've had miraculous race day runs before.  Never mind, I DO know how Saturday will turn out.  I will successfully complete the first event of Leadman.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

May, A Setback

I'm starting to sound like a broken record and I hate it.  Things go really well with my training and then something happens to cause a set-back and training gets derailed.  I should have known things were about to change when I kept thinking about how great everything was going.  I kept saying to myself, "just stay healthy".  I found a great rhythm in April and May was just a continuation of that.  Went up to Redding, CA for my daughters swim meet and was able to get out for an early morning run to explore a city I had never been to, except to drive through on my way to somewhere else. 

I discovered a beautiful river path along the Sacramento River and the Aquatic Center was really nice.  I even discovered a new running partner.

Wanna run?

Sundial Bridge

Celebrating with ribbons

Caitlyn, Sara, and Mia after swim meet

May was the month to really push the vertical.  Mid-month I got a workout from Lucho for a long run and to really push the downhill as well as the uphill.  I remember that run like it was yesterday.  I woke up super motivated and ready to run.  I set out on a route that would have me climbing in and out of the Yuba River canyon numerous times.  I felt stronger than I ever had.  I remember thinking that if I feel like this during Leadwoman, there's no chance I will fail.  But there was something else, a little nagging discomfort in my left hip.  I've had this feeling before but it has always gone away without much incident.

To make a long story short, the hip pain has not gone away, even becoming worse at times.  In an effort to solve the problem, I spent some time with VeLoyce from Monsters of Massage.  He specializes in getting extreme athletes back on their feet.  He worked on my hips, piriformis, hamstrings, back, shoulders, you name it.  Everything started feeling better except the hip.  The deep tissue (and often painful) massage was making it worse. 

As May became June I found myself resting the hip a lot more than running and even biking.  It sucks when every step (running and just walking) is painful and you see your dreams slipping away.  What makes it worse is reading the blogs of other athletes like Footfeathers, Running in Circles, Pb Runner, GZ, Wyatt, Kiki, who are training for one or even all of the Leadville events.  Every one of them seems to be really hitting their stride, training hard, healthy, doing double crossings of Hope......I feel like a kid on the playground who watches everyone else play while I sit on the bench wishing I could join in.  Every week I get my training plan from Lucho and I can only do a fraction of what he prescribes.  Luckily I'm in a bit of a taper phase before the marathon but the fact that I can't run without pain is not comforting.  I got in a 3 mile run this morning at Donner Lake, the first 1.5 miles were pain-free and I started feeling hopeful.  But then the pain returned and it's been a constant all day.

I'm leaving for Leadville next Tuesday and I can only hope the magic air of the high Rocky Mountains will have a healing effect on me.  I have every intention of completing Leadwoman but it's been hard to keep the motivation up.  I got pretty down last week and my friend who just ran the Bryce Canyon 100 miler gave me a "tough love" speech.  It brought me out of my funk and I started focusing on the positive.  It's just so annoying to deal with these injuries before a big event.

My numbers for May are decent but could have been better if I hadn't had to back off toward the end of the month.

Run: 161 miles, 22,500 feet, 31 hours
Bike: 252 miles, 30,800 feet, 24 hours
Bike trainer: over 6 hours

On the bright side, May brought my daughter's 9th birthday.  Can't believe she's been in my life for 9 years.  I'm so incredibly proud of the wonderful young lady she's becoming.

Each year Caitlyn draws a picture of what she wants her cake to look like.  I then take the picture to the bakery at Save Mart (they make the best cakes) and they try to replicate it.  They out-did themselves this year.

Lars checking out the cake

The star of the day

After reviewing my training log, I was really able to keep up some decent workouts up until about June 7.  That's when the hip really started to cause my runs to be shortened and even canceled.  That date also coincides with the last day of school.  The significance of that is now my built-in babysitter is gone for the summer (school).  When Pat is on shift at the firehouse, I'm on kid-duty.  So between my 48-72 hours a week on shift and Pat's 48 hour shift when I have the kids, that doesn't leave many days in a week to actually get out on the bike or run for some serious work.

I'm looking forward to being in Leadville so I can regroup and really focus.  I need to be on those familiar trails and soak in the excitement of what is to come.  I've put a lot of time and sacrifice into this adventure and my family has also sacrificed so I need to be successful.  At least give it everything I have.