Monday, April 27, 2009

running dilemma

So as most of you know, I'm expecting a baby in October. (Yay!) And I'm signed up for the See Jane Run half marathon on May 30th. I signed up knowing full well that I would be 20 weeks pregnant at the race. Gotta have a goal, right? I'm not too proud to drop out of the race if I need to, but I will admit that I really hope to do the race.

Here's my dilemma.

I'm 15 weeks pregnant and am barely even starting to get a belly. I've noticed that my joints and muscles in my hip area are easily irritated and I tentatively attribute that to the relaxin hormone. But other than running slower, I'm feeling great.

I ran my 8-miler with my sister on Saturday. We ran about 12-minute miles and took stretch/pee breaks every 2 miles. I felt great up until mile 6. As I got closer to our 6-mile rest stop, I noticed my lower back and deep in my upper glutes aching more and more with every step. By the time we stopped at mile 6, my lower back/upper glutes/deep hip joints felt like I had just pounded them on a 20-miler. You know, to the point that when you start running again, you're practically limping til your body warms up. It wasn't sciatica, since I know what that feels like, but it was a deep aching.

Once I warmed up again, I didn't notice the aching too much until we stopped (probably because we were too busy screaming "Coming up on your left!!" to the millions of March of Dimes walkers blocking the last 2 miles of the trail). But as soon as I stopped and for the rest of the day, the aching was pretty bad. And when I would get up to walk, the first couple of steps felt like something was getting smashed where my lower back met my legs (so deep in my upper glutes). It's almost gone today, but not 100%.

Anyone have any advice? I'm reluctant to even attempt a 10-miler next week if this is how it's going to be. Would it make any difference if I do a walk/run? I mean, we took significant breaks every 2 miles, so it wasn't like we went non-stop. Other than the lower back, I felt awesome (breathing, stamina, etc, was not a problem). We were able to chat non-stop the entire time, which means I wasn't overdoing it in the least.

What do you think?

PS--Our training runs from here on out are 10, 6 or 8, 12, 6 or 8, race day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston Marathon Winners!

The 2009 Boston Marathon winners have crossed the finish line!

Deriba Merga (Ethiopia):  2:08:43 
Salina Kosgei (Kenya):  2:32:06


Friday, April 17, 2009

Good Luck SLC Runners!

Have an amazing race! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Love to Run Sidenote

NEVER underestimate the power of having a run scheduled with someone else. Never ever. For me, having to be accountable to someone else at any time of day will always get me out the door and pounding the pavement.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Runner's World Hill Workouts

1. Short Hills. My high school coach affectionately called these "meat grinders." They are relatively short hills of 100 to 200 meters that you repeat multiple times. They can be tacked on the end of an easy run or used as a complete workout. Because these hills are short, you should run them at a fast pace -- almost an all-out effort -- with a walk or slow jog back down the hill as a recovery.

While you can run these types of hill repeats on asphalt, a grass or dirt hill is less stressful to your body. Short hills are important for anyone who wants to develop the explosive strength necessary to run a good 800 meters or finish strong in a mile or 5-K. A sample short hill workout: one to two sets of 10 hill repeats. Walk or jog slowly down the hill after each repeat, and do an additional 5 minutes of jogging between sets.

2. Hilly Power Run. It doesn't sound very technical (sorry), but this workout builds strength for a strong marathon or half-marathon. Pick a route that has rolling hills and "push" each hill. By push, I mean you should try not to slow down as you roll over each rise. But don't attack the incline as you do when running short hills.

I like to do this kind of run as part of a 10-mile workout. I pick a canyon road, then work each uphill, catching my breath as I cruise on the flat and downhill sections. This type of continuous hilly power run will be your best weapon against monsters such as Heartbreak Hill in Boston.

3. Hilly Long Run. This workout is similar to the Hilly Power Run, but longer and less intense. Run this at your long-run pace, but make sure you have some rolling hills in the last half of the run. When you hit the hills with fatigued legs, you'll be forced to work on your form. This workout will also build the strength and confidence necessary to race well late in a longer race, whether it has hills or not.

4. Long Hill Circuits. This is more of a traditional long-interval workout. The key is finding a grass or dirt circuit that has a number of uphills. The distance of the circuit can be as short as a half-mile or as long as 2 miles. Run the downhill sections at a semi-easy (75 percent) effort to avoid injury. Run the flat and uphill sections at 5-K race pace. Unless you're a Sherpa, do a total of 3- to 4-miles' worth of the circuit, with 3 to 5 minutes of jog recovery between each circuit.