Monday, December 8, 2008

Running through the Holidays

When I chose to run the Arizona Marathon, part of my reasoning was to have a winter escape to somewhere warm(er) and sunny. The other reason I chose this marathon was to be able to run through the holidays (hopefully staving off the fall/winter weight gain). Sadly, with my drop in miles due to the knee injury “my plan” hasn’t been working so well. (BTW, I was looking at the wrong number on my Buckeye Report, I’ve only run 745 miles in 2008…I knew that if Marcy had just hit 800 then I couldn’t be in front of her.) I managed to add 15.5 miles last week which isn’t anywhere near the 29 miles on my schedule BUT it’s a step in the right direction.

Yesterday, I geared up for my long run with my trusty running belt, new capris and a long sleeve dri-fit top (aka my new favorite running outfit, finally capris that don’t fall down!). Mr. Pi and I met up with Gazelle’s around 10:00am. The weekend before I was able to run 9 miles so I was shooting for 10 or more. I ran the first 6 miles with Gazelle’s and felt pretty good. We stopped a couple of times to walk when my knee was starting to act up; she was kind enough to walk with me. The first 6 miles flew by…I LOVE having a running buddy!!!!!!!!!!! We talked the entire 6 miles, which is a feat in itself for me. We talked about her knee injury and how long it’s taken her to get back to running and how annoying it is to feel cardiovascularly (I know that’s not a word) strong but physically having your body not be able to keep up. (Very frustrating!) We talked about our weeks’ plans and made workout dates for yoga on Monday and Tuesday/Thursday morning for a gym workouts. (She also said she would introduce me to Mr. Foam Roller. I’m a little scared, I heard he hurts.) All in all, the first 6 miles of my run went well. At the end, I was only 300 feet behind my virtual running buddy on the Garmin.

After a quick stretch and potty stop I was back on the road again, this time alone. About a mile into the lonely part of my run it started to rain, no surprise there but it was a cold rain! I knew I had only 3 miles to go before I hit my goal of 10 miles. At mile 10 I was close to the parking lot but decided I could go a little farther. I technically had 14 miles on the schedule but I was going to aim for 12. I finished the 12 miles about .25 behind my virtual running partner BUT as Gazelle’s and I discussed at this point it’s about going the distance not going for speed. I was pretty proud of myself! Surprisingly, the knee felt fine yesterday afternoon. Once I got home I stretched for a few more minutes, showered, ate some lunch and headed out Xmas shopping. (BTW, I’m totally going to finish shopping by next weekend.) I iced the knee when I got home and took a couple of Motrins. I think maybe being active the rest of the afternoon helped.

Today, the knee hurts but not anymore than it did after my short 3.5 miler last week. I’m still evaluating whether I should run the full marathon in Arizona or run the half. If I can get to 20 miles by 1/3 (three weeks before the race) then I will do the full. If I can’t get in at least one 20 miler, I’ll probably do the half. I know I can run the distance, I don’t have that to prove this time around. This time, I really wanted to concentrate on improving my time. Sadly, with the injury I’m not sure how much faster I can get. I am already signed up for the San Diego marathon in the spring which will give my knee plenty of time to rest and heal. For now, I’m going to keep running through the holidays as much as I can and hope to finish the Arizona marathon WITH a smile and hopefully, WITHOUT extra holiday poundage.

Congrats to Aron and Julianne for their awesome CIM finish! I wish I could have been there spectating!