Hi, I'm your stereotypical novice runner who has perhaps overtrained herself right out of a marathon!

I went to the D.O.C. yesterday and he used all kinds of fancy medical terms to tell me that I have Runner's Knee. A misaligned knee cap that is rubbing on my femur. Loverly. He gave me a prescription for Naprosyn and some exercises to strengthen the insidus of my thighus muscles. I asked about training and he said that it would be something to pretty much just "run through." As I am usually in pain for upwards of 75% of my runs as it is, this should be nothing new.

I haven't run since Saturday, but Tuesday I did the elliptical thing and then yesterday (pre-doctor's visit) I swam about 500 yards and did some water running (or what I like to call, "treading water"). I ran today on the treadmill. FOR ONE WHOLE MINUTE. Yes, you read that correctly, one whole minute. Sixty seconds. I warmed up with about a half-mile walk and then I picked up the pace. As I mentioned, I can run with some pain. I could not run with this. I slowed down again and walked for a bit, then tried to run again, this time lasting for about 20 seconds. Then I tried not to cry in the middle of the cardio room. I held it in, but had anyone walked past the big glass window and glanced at me, they might have thought I was watching one of those heart-wrenching stories on "Outside the Lines" on the TVs that always have ESPN on (This past week there was a story on there about some former Big Ten field judge who only had one eye - COME ON.) and getting all choked up.

I came home and here I am. I am going to do my best to REALLY rest for a few days. If that doesn't work, I really don't know what I will do. I know it isn't the end of the world if I don't do this. But several people have already forked out money for hotels and non-refundable plane tickets (my husband and I included) to be there for the marathon. And I had really REALLY begun to convince myself that I could do it. I knew it would be hard, but deep down I knew that I would be able to make it. Now I'm not quite so sure.

It seems like several of my recent posts have been about this injury or that. I know it's kind of a bummer to read about - believe me, I would much rather be bitching about blisters that I got during a five mile, middle-of-the-week tempo run or speaking of the joys of being able to consume a jar of Nutella in one day and not feel guilty for it.


That's MRS. Before I'm Thrity, thankyouverymuch

I have a doctor's appointment at 2:15 today so that he can look at, and hopefully fix, my good knee. The left knee did fine during the long run, but on Sunday afternoon, as the Hubs and I were at Big Lots looking for some Christmas decorations (we are cheap and festive), Lefty went wonky. In an instant. That is the best way I can describe it. Now going up and down the stairs is fairly excruciating and long walks with the dog leave it achy. I think it might be Runner's Knee, but I dunno. My neighbor went to this same doctor with some shin issues before her half-marathon, and she said he made it all better. Hopefully he can work his magic twice!

I have been doing lots of stretching, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory stuff and it does feel marginally better. Yesterday I went to the gym and without thinking I got on the treadmill. I ran for about an nth of a mile and decided to get on the elliptical instead. I did about 5 miles and got the heart rate up for about 40 minutes.

Oh, and the only other slightly exciting thing is that I am officially, after 3.5+ years of marriage, a Mrs. I made the trek to the Social Security office and changed my name yesterday. When I went to the information desk and told the gentleman that I needed to change my name because I had gotten married, he immediately congratulated me on my wedding and asked me about my honeymoon. When I told him how long ago all of that was, he seemed crestfallen almost. I am wondering if in all that he does at the Social Security office, asking about weddings might be the high point.

Last week I was tagged by Leana and I promise I am going to do some blog tagging of my own soon!


Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor.

I think one reason why the 15 miler went so well was because I LOOKED like a runner. What made me look like a runner Saturday, moreso than most days? For one, I was on the trail by 8 on a Saturday morning. For another, it was very cold, and I followed the previously mentioned "what to wear" guide. The only thing they recommended that I didn't wear were gloves. The only gloves that I have are my supa-dupa ski mittens. And wearing those would have made it very hard to control my iPod or consume my Gu. A pair of oven mitts would have been as sleek.

Otherwise, head-to-toe, I was runner-ed out. A Nike Skullcap (I actually love this thing. I wear it around my house all the time. There is something very comforting about it.), a long sleeved techno shirt, an Adidas windbreaker, a New Balance running skirt, my pseudo running tights, which are actually my (skinny) husband's long johns, some fancy socks from the running store, and then my Sauc's. Add the iPod and the water bottle, and I looked like a something from "Fashion Plates, Active Wear Edition."

I don't quite know how to feel about that. Normally I pride myself on my cheepiness, and my ability to have an entire wardrobe comprised of the Target clearance racks.


Looooooong run!


Fifteen miles this morning. It was actually not all that bad. I did an out-and-back route, which I love, because if I make it out, I know I HAVE to get back. Took me 1:20 to get to my turn around point, and 1:25 to get back. I took several walk breaks during the last three miles (at least 7 minutes worth), so my pace might have been a bit faster when I was actually running.

During the last three miles I was having some knee problems with my right knee. It was the kind of shooting pain that I had for the end of that half marathon. So I would run 3 minutes, stretch the hell out of it, and then walk for a few minutes. All-in-all, I felt pretty good when I was done, although I am worried that my knee isn't going to hold up.

Game ball for today's run goes to the Runner's World "What Should I Wear" quiz. The temperature was 29 when I started out, with winds around 10 mph (a special mention to weather. com for the run forecast). I wore what the guide recommended and I was quite comfortable for the majority of the run.

Honorable mention for today's run goes to my bowels (classy, huh?). They did their thing right before I left the house, and then I didn't think about them again until around mile 12. Way to go alimentary canal!


Lonely Road

Because of my wonked up training schedule, I decided to shoot for my 15 mile run yesterday, as opposed to waiting until Saturday. I have been wanting to run in a new place, so I tried out the Chickamauga Battlefield. Back in April I ran a 15k there. It was a pretty run, with a few gentle rolling hills.

Before I ran in the 15k race there, I looked up ghosts for that particular battlefield. Turns out it is "the third most haunted Civil War Battlefield," as named by some organization that comes up with such lists. I mean, in a place where 37,000 people were killed or wounded, surely there are some unhappy souls still wandering the place. Chickamauga has the usual "lady in white" who is searching for her husband, sounds of horses when there are none present, and seeing a lost solider or two looking for his regiment. Then there is "Ol' Green Eyes" (description courtesy of The Moonlit Road)

... a strange, otherworldy creature, half-man and half-beast. He's been spotted walking on two legs and has long, stringy hair down to his waist. But he also has glowing green eyes and huge jaws with two sharp fangs sticking out. It is believed that this version of Green Eyes comes from a Native American legend from long before the Civil War. There were some reports of the creature wandering among the dead at Snodgrass Hill shortly after the Battle of Chickamauga.

CREEPY. CREEPY. CREEPY. I even found so accounts by the former park ranger about an encounter with him. (Prarieghosts.com has some good stories about the park - scroll about halfway down the page). ANYWAY, I should have never looked up the battlefield ghosts, because I am creeped out every time I go there now. During the 15k it didn't bother me - there were 300 other people running with me and I felt safety in numbers.

But it turns out that mid-morning Mondays are not a very popular time at the battlefield. I was all by my lonesome out there. Unseasonably warm (70ish) and lots of fall color still on the trees. The first three miles were fair, at best. I was on a road with lots open field on one side of me, and plenty of historical markers and monuments (FYI to the Indiana Cavalry: leave some room for everyone else.). I don't know if I was running too fast or if the nice breeze in my face was to blame, but I was worn out, and I had to take more than one walking break during those first three miles. I got back out to the main road through the park and then cut off on another side road that I remembered from the 15k. Long story short, it was very wooded, and I felt creeped out the whole time. Then I took another road that turned out to be just as secluded. I only saw maybe 4 cars pass the whole time. I felt very isolated. Normally I like that I can find that feeling running though a crowded neighborhood, but this time it was unnerving.

I continued to turn on roads that I thought were headed back towards the visitor's center, but I never came to it. Finally I turned on a road and there was a sign that read, "Welcome to Chickamauga Battlefield," so at some point I must have left the park completely. I saw some stereotype of an old man getting his mail, and he assured me that I would get back to the main road in about a mile.

I finally got back to my car and headed for home. I decided to drive my route to see what my mileage was, and I came out to a decent 9 miles. Not the 15 I had hoped for, but I will try for that on Saturday. So I never did see the lady in white searching for her husband, or the riderless horse wandering the hills, and thankfully no Ol' Green Eyes. But they were present in my mind enough at least to make me feel like maybe I wasn't so alone out there on the roads.


Got four miles in on the treadmill yesterday. I started out pretty slow, but picked the pace up. The ankle held up well, although it is still a tad puffy, and a pretty shade of light green.

Luckily, my upcoming weeks' long run is scheduled to be only nine miles, a drop back from what I had been doing on long runs. So since I had to miss my long run for last week, I will do 13 this week, then 15 the next week.

And we have had a weird warm week this week, so I am able to put off purchasing running tights yet again. I went to price out some of the "real" ones (read: not from Target) - YOWZA those aren't cheap!

Man I really got nothin' tonight!


Can't Touch This

Maybe the forced mid-training schedule taper has done some good. My cold is almost totally gone, the ankle is almost back to normal, and I am actually chomping at the bit to go for a run.

It has finally gotten cold here, so I may need to add some cold weather gear to the running wardrobe. A beanie/hat for sure. I have a pretty good wind breaker, but I might look into a fleece jacket, and then something for my lower half. Tights. I am not looking forward to going out in running tights, but I am less looking forward to being the red-legged runner who insists on wearing shorts no matter how cold it is. And maybe some gloves. And because I am cheap, I will probably purchase most of this at Target. I do actually already own a pair of running tights that the track coach from my old job gave me (working in an athletic department = lots of t-shirts/bags/gear from coaches as a way to say thank you). But they must have been a left-over pair, because they are XXLs, and they look like MC Hammer pants on me.

I am planning on getting some quality time on the stationary bike this afternoon, maybe a 3-4 miler tomorrow to see how the ankle feels, and then an attempt at my scheduled long run of 13 on Monday (so maybe this was like my taper week before a half marathon?). I posted that the trainer on Wednesday made me worry about my mileage: I am in the 25ish range right now, and that number will only be going up. Maybe he thought I was a super-serious runner - I think he thought I was in the 45/week range.


Ankle Update

I spent some time in the training room yesterday, and came away with some good news, along with an air cast. Just a mild sprain, as I had hoped. The trainer himself did a marathon a few years ago, so he understood why I was freaking out so much. No running for 5 days, but I can hit up the stationary bike in the meantime. Whew!

He did manage to make me worry that my weekly mileage isn't high enough though. But it was free, so I can't really complain about it.

And I think the Zicam is doing its thing. My throat feels so much better. I am very snotty, but I can handle that.


Well, shit.

I ran 11 miles yesterday (yay), but then woke up with a wicked sore throat this morning. I was on the couch in my fleece pants most of the day, drinking lots of tea and swabbing my nose with Zicam every four hours. I was kind of flipping out about the training time I might miss if I really am getting sick. Around 5:00, I took my dog out for a walk, and the there was an altercation between my dog (who is a complete pussy and just did the "curl up in a ball, then hide" defense) and one of the three crazy dogs that live in the dorm next door. As I was trying to get my person between the two dogs, I was dragged down a quite uneven and tree root laden hill by my dog. I swear I could hear him screaming, "RUN AWAY" (and in his best Monty Python voice too).

ANYWAY, in the process, I rolled my right ankle pretty badly. I made it the 30 feet to the door of my building before I was crying. Then I got in the apartment and was in full on waterworks. It wasn't about the dog. He was fine, and dogs just do that. I was in quite a bit of pain, and FREAKING OUT. I know it's not broken or anything, but I know this will put me out of training for at least a week. Normally I would love to not have to run, and for one whole glorious week. But I am supposed to run a marathon in 67 days. Oh wait, I'm also supposed to run 13 miles in 6 days.

I was raised on rest-ice-compression-elevation (R.I.C.E, in case you are bad with acronyms), so I have had an ice pack strapped to the ankle off and on this evening. Hopefully the ankle will be less tender and swollen tomorrow morning, but I am going to head over to see the trainer to see what he tells me. He may say a week, he may say two weeks, or he may say to stay off of it for two days (keep your fingers crossed for option C). On the upside, I haven't noticed my sore throat much.


A real pain in the knee

My right knee, a historically BAD knee, has started to ache a bit. I'd like to thank allaboutarthritis.com for the excellent picture that illustrates just what it feels like. I know there is some cartilage floating around in there, and I've had a trainer or two tell me that I probably had a meniscus tear. I always mean to go to the doctor about it, but by the time I finally hurt enough to make an appointment, the pain will ease up and I will forget about it. I made it through the half marathon with very few problems on that knee. Granted, when I was finishing the half marathon I thought that the knee had actually fallen off somewhere around mile 11. But it never bothered my during my training for the half.

I almost didn't run yesterday - I don't want one of those injuries that keeps you out of the whole thing. Rest or run? What to do? I ended up getting in six good miles in yesterday afternoon. I had initially only planned just going out and seeing how the knee was feeling. I've discovered that it doesn't hurt while I'm running. That can't be good. Achy and tight when I'm sitting on my butt watching TV, but A-OK while I'm running for and hour at a time.