Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lizzie's Latest

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -- Confucius
“A journey of 13.1 miles begins with the right shoe!” – Lizzie

This past week and a half has been filled with training, searching for the right shoe and pain.
Since the “cute” shoes just weren’t gonna cut it for my training, my journey begins…

Sunday May 20th I went to Road Runner (Worlds Largest Running Store) to get the “right” pair of shoes. I ran/walked in them on Monday and Wednesday. However, I had to take them back on Wednesday night because they were too tight and I was experiencing pain in my knees, but the shin pain wasn’t as bad.
Important to mention…my 13 year old daughter Natasha got up at 5:00 AM on Monday AND Wednesday to work out with me. Do I have the best kid or what?!

I get wider shoes and inserts; I now have all the support in the world! I spent Thursday trying to break them in by wearing them on my run/walk in the morning and wear them all day. Trained on the treadmill – Natasha just couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t wear the new shoes on Friday.

I get to the Team in Training location extra early on Sat. (which happens to be Road Runner – for shoe clinic day) so that I can warm up by walking instead of running immediately.
Scott is with me – he volunteered to man one of the aid stations. Do I have the best husband or what?!

I feel strong and ready to run. This time I know my run is definitely going to be a lot better than my first run with the Team. I have the right shoes, I’ve been training and I have a positive mental attitude. After stretching, we start our run and almost immediately I experience pain in my right shin. ARGG!!! It hurts too much to run, so I walk. At this point, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to “walk thru the pain” or not. But I do anyway. I make it to the aid station, which is the half way point of my 3 mile “run”. Scott’s at the aid station with Gatorade and words of encouragement.

I turn around and head back the way I came. I tried a couple different times to run, but that caused a lot more pain. When I return to RR, my right shin is screaming and so are both of my knees. After my “run” (HA!) of 3 miles, I attend the shoe clinic. I tell the “fit” expert of my knee and shin problems and she works with me to find a different pair of shoes. I now have my third pair of shoes.

I iced my legs and took Motrin when I got home. I didn’t walk/run on Sunday or Monday hoping to recover from the pain.
Tuesday morning when I woke up at 5 AM, I had a very difficult time walking – my knees were very stiff and sore. I figured I just needed to warm up and stretch and that I would feel better.
I still went for my “walk” in the morning. I definitely could not run. Again, Natasha dragged her 13 year old tooshie out of bed to join me. Seriously, I have the best kid EVER!

After the walk, my knees feel worse, my shins still hurt and now my left foot is yelling at me. I can’t believe how much it hurts to walk and walking down the stairs has introduced me to a type and level of pain very new to me. At this point, I’m not sure what’s going on.
I thought I had waited long enough to recover, I knew to expect to be sore, but should I be in this much pain and have this much difficulty? This is not cool.

I’m not sure where to draw the line between ‘pushing through it’ and preventing injury.
So, I contact the TNT Coach – Coach Cheryl. I send her a nice long email detailing my story. With in 20 mins of hitting send she calls me.

We talk for at least 10 mins about what’s going on and what to do next. She believes that I messed up my legs bad enough on my first run that I never fully recovered. I probably shouldn’t have gotten my first pair of shoes while injured; it probably caused me to run differently to compensate for the pain. Same story with each pair of shoes since then.

I am now in recovery mode. Coach has instructed - no running, no walking. I need to find a cardio work out with zero impact. Not easy to do when the only gym equipment I have at home is a treadmill. So, Scott and I went to check out gyms last night. Checked out a small local gym first, then we checked out the YMCA. They have an awesome deal for families AND a great discount for military. Scott is retired from the Navy, so we get the military discount. Scott, Natasha and I are now proud members of the YMCA. (Can ya hear it?….It’s fun to stay at the Y….M….C….A – lift those arms!!!)

My knees still hurt. I’ve been limping around the office looking like a fool. Eating Motrin like it was candy and freezing my knees every night at home. But each day is a little better. I’m trying really hard to not get discouraged. I still have enough time to make my goal, just have to get through this set back. Hopefully, I’m getting this out of the way now and won’t have any more issues for the rest of my training. That’s my goal!!!

Coach also provided me with some links to articles regarding shins and knees. I’ve included them for any of you who might be interested.

Link to knee articles:,7120,ssss6-241-285--6040-4-2X3X4X6-5,00.html,7156,s6-241-285--7773-0,00.html?toolName=What%20Hurts?

Shin article:,7156,s6-241-290-291-529-0,00.html?toolName=What%20Hurts?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

'Cause I'm a blonde...

About a month ago I purchased the Nike+ to help keep track of my running and as a motivator while I'm running. I used it for the first time on my run earlier last week (the one where I said I was really awful?). According to the Nike+ (which includes a shoe sensor and a piece that attaches to an Ipod) I ran 1 mile in about 23 minutes. WHAT? I can walk faster than that. I chalked it up to a couple stops I made and that I was going fairly slow since I was still dealing with my allergy issue.

I had been eyeballing this track over at Reed College thinking it would be a nice place to run. Using this nifty website a friend sent me I mapped the track (it's not a standard track) and it said it was .5 miles. I decided to head over there yesterday to run a couple miles. Once around the track and the Nike+ says I ran/walk .25 miles? Ugh, I thought. Did I map that wrong? This sucks. I run/walk the track again. Another .25 miles. Damn. I'm going to have to run this track 8 freaking times to get two miles! I start running again and press the button that gives you an adhoc status of your distance, total time and pace per miles. "00.00 per mile" the Ipod voice says.

Uh, excuse me? I'm RUNNING! I press it again. "00.00 per mile" ARGH! I start walking and press again. "16.28 per mile" What? I look down at my little shoe sensor (attached to my shoe laces) and it dawns on me. The shoe sensor is on my right foot. The Ipod is on my left arm. It's not consistently making it's wireless connection (we're not talking Bluetooth or anything fancy like that). Lightbulb!

I switch the shoe sensor to my left foot and start running again. "13.8 per mile" (or something like that). Yay!! So around the track again - .5 miles! One more circle of the track and I called it good (after all it was almost 80 degrees and I was sweating like a pig).

When I got home I decided to map my previous run and exactly how long was it? 1.6 miles! Still slow but for a girl who couldn't breathe and hadn't run in 2 months not that bad.

For those concerned about the allergies - it appears with help from my ENT and mom, I now have them under control (drugs, removing the carpet, allergy bedding). According to my allergy test I'm extremely allergic to dust mites and timothy grass (the main grass family in Oregon). Now I have no excuse not to be training hard core!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Here I am!

My first training blog post! Yay! Okay, so I haven’t gone to an official training session yet. I’m fighting some nasty allergy issues that I’m trying to resolve with my ENT. I think we have it down and I hope to attend the track session on Monday provided my wheezing cough has really gone away. I did, however, do to my first non-official walk/run the other night. Back in February when I was hitting the gym a lot I was running up to 1.5 miles without having to stop to walk for a short period. Unfortunately when I ran the other day, it was not even close to that! Yikes. I’m sure much has to do with the allergy outbreak but I also know I’m out of shape. I aim to fix that.

I am really excited to being part of Team in Training. As many of you know, my brother was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma when he was 9 years old. He will be celebrating his 32nd birthday this year much in part to the fantastic research funding provided by groups like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Here’s a hot picture of me in my TNT shirt after my run. I know you’re all jealous of my obvious physical prowess. :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lizzie's 1st Training Day

Holy crap! What the hell was I thinking?

Day one of training was yesterday. Early Saturday morning we all met at the LLS offices in San Diego. A nice overcast "May Gray" morning.

We had our team "orientation" before the run. Spent about 45 mins learning about what to expect, what items we'll need, upcoming training events, etc. Then it was time to get down to business.

First a quick jog around the building. Ah excuse me, no warm up? No walking. No easing me into this. OK, so it wasn't a big deal to jog around the building, just wasn't ready for it. No biggie. Then we did our stretches. Learned a few new ones, relived some old ones. It's safe to say that I have no balance at this moment in my life and was extremely proud of myself for not falling flat on my face while pulling my left foot behind me with my right hand. Well, I was proud of myself until I looked over to my right and there's "yoga chick" with her leg over her shoulder. What-ever! We're here for a good cause and to get fit, not show off. Silly girl!

Anyways, after stretching it's time to run. We're split into 3 training teams
Team A - Beginners
Team B - Run on a regular basis
Team C - You live to run...and nothing else.

I, of course, am in the very special Team "A". Our distance is 2 miles.
Within the Team, we're broken into 3 timing groups following the "run/walk" method.
I don't remember what the ratios were for the first two groups, but my group was 3:1 (or was it 3:2). Run for 3 mins, walk for 1 min (or was it 2?).
Any way, the first two teams go, then it's our turn.
I start off pretty good. Run the whole 2 mins, and then I just couldn't take it any more. My shins HURT! Now, I don't mean they hurt a little. They freakin HURT! There's no way it should have hurt that bad that fast. What the hell????

So, I walk. I'm on the "run" team, but now all I can do is walk. For the next 5 mins or so I walk by myself. Refusing to give up. The pain is not going away, only getting slightly worse, and then levels off. Then a wonderful mentor comes along side me and walks with me. Lynsey talks to me about how hard it was for her to start running. That the important this is to not give up and count each step as a success. So, that's what I did. Lynsey and I walked for about 5 mins together, then we set a mini-goal, run to that tree, then walk. Walk to that pole, then run again to the next tree. Reaching each mini-goal was a mini-success!!! Lynsey had to leave me at mile 1 and continue on. But her support helped me make it the rest of the way. I did ask Lynsey if it was normal for my shins to hurt so bad so soon. She said that was not usual and that I should speak with the coach.

I made it back to the beginning, following my own run/walk method...more walk than run. BUT...I did make it back. I never stopped or gave up. For me, I accomplished a lot.

First thing I did was talk to the coach. Told her about my immediate shin pain, etc. She came around the table she was standing behind ready to give my all kinds of advice and then looked at my shoes. "Oh - well the problem is easy to see, you have to wrong shoes. They're 'cute' for the gym, NOT good for running."

Now, I want to take this moment to say, they told us that we didn't need to buy shoes for our first couple of runs. That we'd be attending a shoe clinic on our second training day. So, I wore my "cute" cross-trainers. BIG mistake, big...HUGE!

The coach showed me some stretches for my shins and calf, which were also killing me by the end of my "run". She advised me to ice and massage them to help with the pain. And get new shoes ASAP.

I got home and iced. Scott gave me a wonderful leg massage. I took Motrin. I survived.
Woke up this morning, fell out of bed, tried to THAT was funny. My legs were pissed at me. That'll teach me to run with the wrong shoes.

Guess what I did today? :-)

Pic of the "cute" shoe