Sunday, May 19, 2013
What is the sacroiliac joint?
The sits between the sacrum (lower end of the spine) and the . It is one of the largest joints in the body and the surface fits together like lego. A very small amount of motion should occur at the S.I. joint. The motion of this joint is typically so minimal that it might only slide a couple of milometers and it may only tilt and rotate a few 2-3 degrees. The primary function of this joint is shock absorbency and to provide enough motion and stability to protect the pelvis and spine from constant motion like running.
What is SI joint dysfunction
From what I have been told and from what I have read, SI joint problems develop when 1.) The joint doesn't move enough (hypomobility), or 2.) The joint moves too much (hypermobility). Keep in mind that there are actually two joints (one on either side) that are designed to move together as one.
Hypomobility (The joint doesn't move enough)
The joint locks up and doesn't have enough motion. This typically happens when the joint wears down due to age.
Hypermobility (the joint moves too much)
If the ligaments surrounding the joint are weakened, maybe by pregnancy, a car accident, or another high impact injury (such as a bad fall from a steeple barrier, in my case). When the ligaments become weak, the SI joint moves too much and causes all sorts of problems, and pain. The locking sensation that can sometimes occur (for me between mile 4-8 of every race) is because the joint has over rotated. SI joint problems (for me) get worse as the race shortens and the pace gets faster (I.E. 10ks are a terrible race for SI joint problems)
Hypermobility can be quite tricky, especially in runners. Because there are essentially two SI joints, one side may actually move too much while the other may move just enough or not enough. This can make you feel off balance, like one side is tight (or needs to be pulled on or pulled out) and the other is loose. Its very annoying, believe me, I know.
What doesn't work for me
Chiroractic can work for people with hypomobility because it can return some motion into the joint. However, I have never had any relief from the chiropractor for my SI problems because while one side might move just right, the other side is hypermobile. Chiropractic care creates more motion in the joint, which in the beginning may be relieving if the area around the joint is inflamed, but over the course of a few weeks or months, might actually make your problems worse. My suggestion, make sure you understand just what your SI joint problems are before you consult a chiropractor.
Anti-inflammatory medicine, incline tables, acupuncture, I've done all these things in excess. Thought they initially will give you some relief, over time your problems will return without strength exercises and a good physical therapist that understands your SI joint problems.
What works for me
A strength and exercise routine that is designed by a physical therapist. Simply massaging the joint never worked for me, however, the combination of physical therapy, massage, and exercises (at home, on my own, every day) have helped and continue to HELP my SI joint problems. Keep in mind that the flare-ups (locking episodes) will still happen if you are like me and genetics also plays a large role in your issues. Also, the more children you have, the more problems you will likely have with your SI joints. And before you start searching the internet for "strength exercises for SI joint dysfunction" you need to find out what kind of SI joint problems you are experiencing.
Ok, the really bad news
Sometimes the solution to the problem actually make the problem worse before it gets better. I have been working really hard on my strength all spring and sometimes over do. Thus I have dealt with major inflammation around the joint causing more "episodes". Also, if you get a good deep tissue massage, don't expect to do a workout a day later (or in some cases 2 days later). Taking two days between workouts and limiting yourself to one run a day will help when things are going really bad.
And, in closing:
If you think you are experiencing problems with the SI joint, see a doctor and get a referral to a physical therapist that has experience with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. If your therapist doesn't have much experience with dealing with SI joint dysfunction, see someone else or ask around your running friends. Someone you know has bound to have had some SI joint problems.
The end, for today.
Monday, May 13, 2013
After battling sacroiliac joint issues all spring, along with insomnia/sleeplessness for the past few weeks, I have decided (after many conversations with Houston) not to run the Ottawa marathon.
This spring I have gotten really strong, but I have yet to get fast. I have logged more miles and put in more work then ever before. But, with what I have been dealing with these past 4 weeks, it looks like I need another 5-6 weeks to train, rehab my hip, and find out what is keeping me up at night. I can't run another race after a sleepless night, and I don't want to attempt 26.2 miles off of 0 sleep. Maybe a half, maybe a 10K, but not a marathon.
If I run Ottawa, I predict a 2:55 and I've worked too hard to settle for that. With more time to prep I have the chances to replicate the last five weeks of my most successful marathon, and potentially PR or get extremely close to it. I've decided to run Grandma's marathon on June 22.
Though I will miss the Canadian Marathon Championships, I want to give myself the best chance possible to run well. I've done really well with my strength, recovery, and building up my miles. I've done more long runs over 13 miles at marathon pace then any other marathon training cycle. I just need a few more weeks to deal with these issues.
Looking forward to the next 5-6 weeks.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
I cross-trained Monday and ran 80 minutes Tuesday. Wednesday I asked Houston to pace me through a speed session on the track thinking that it might help boost my confidence before this weekends tempo/long run double.
40min w/u, 15 min c/d
8x800m w/90-2min rest
This workout went fine. I never struggled, I negative split most of them. I even had a cheering section for the last two (thanks Ladies). I'm in shape, I know this. Still trying to prove it on the race course.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
My first official race of the year turned out to be a huge disappointment. I felt fine Saturday before the race, but didn't sleep AT ALL the night before. Maybe it was nerves or an uncomfortably hot hotel room, but if I got any sleep it was a few minutes between 5:58am and 7.
I have never not slept the night before a race, therefore the 5:44 opening mile felt more like 5:35, and after three miles at about 5:45 pace I fell apart completely. I never gave up, if anything I pushed as hard as I could, hurting as much as I possibly could from 10k until the finish. There was no strength in my legs and I had to fight to maintain my position. Finishing 8th was not something I was proud of, I didn't travel all the way to Montreal to run a 1:22. If there is anyone out there that has really read my blog then you will remember that I just ran a 13.2 mile tempo in 1:22:11, feeling wonderful in the middle of a 90-95 mile week. This was slower than my recent tempos of 10-13+ miles.
My first thought was to throw in the towel, however it was just one race (and one badly executed after a sleep-free night.) when I returned home Monday, I had Houston review my last four months of training to see what "I was missing". His response was "this might be the most impressive 4 months of training I have seen. There is no way you are not in shape."
That gave me a little confidence and we talked about why I felt the need to go out at a 5:45 pace versus a 6:05. He once again pointed out that I did not execute the race correctly and should have known better. I know this. I don't know what I was thinking.
But, It's over now and I've moved on.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
This week is National Volunteer Week, which means its the busiest week of the year for the center. I made time to run each day only once being that work took priority over everything else. Good thing that I had a recovery week planned.
Once Wednesday rolled around I got a chance to catch my breath and jump on the treadmill for one last speed session. Being that Houston is in Philly for Penn Relays it was a necessity evil, but because I find treadmill running easier then running on a road course, I was able to maintain a pretty good clip without emptying the tank. Surprisingly enough, I was extremely controlled the entire time. Is this is a sign of good things to come? Maybe. I'm not banking on that yet, I've still got a few days to mess things up.
20 min w/u at 6:45 avg.
10 min @ 5:35 (3:30 rest)
3 miles @ 5:46 (3:30 rest)
1 mile @ 5:24 (3:00 rest)
3x 1 min @ 5:10/5:07/5:02
10 min jog c/d
Run Happy! :)
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I stopped counting miles in February. I started taking things day by day, running more when I felt good and less when I didn't. I started doubling again and running a quality 19-21 miles on Sunday, leaving Saturday for tempo runs or speed sessions. I started jumping in the occasional race so I wouldn't have to execute my weekend workouts solo.
These past two weeks I ran two lonely 5ks as hard tempos in the middle of 90-95 mile weeks. I know this because with 5 weeks remaining before the Ottawa marathon, I allowed myself to back in my log and count. Without obsessing about miles and focusing more on how I feel I've successfully built on my weeks from 80 to 85+, to 90+. I've also logged a number of weeks over 90 miles while keeping my energy high and running quality hard sessions. This is something I've never been able to accomplish.
With the past two race pace efforts, the first one was miserably slow. However I still pocketed $300 for the uphill effort, then turned around and logged another 19 miles with friends the very next day. This past week I ran 60 min tempo on Wednesday, a 5k race + workout on Saturday, and a shorter long run Sunday.
I still don't have anything to show for the training I've done this season but some lonely local stuff as training runs, and I'm probably not going to have anything big until Ottawa or after. Heading into Montreal, I'm not naive enough to think I'm going to run a huge PR. I'm still dealing with a little bit of S.I, though it has gotten much better over the last 6 weeks just by diligently doing my exercises. Montreal will be exactly what it needs to be, a hard, quality 13.1 miles (with an additional 6 mile run tacked on there after the race). I will give it everything I have, enjoy myself, and then focus on the next 4 weeks before Ottawa.
I'm at a place I've never been before. And though It may be some time before I see the benefits, I'm really enjoying it. I'm excited for what this year may bring.
Friday: AM: 6 miles PM: 15 min w/u, 3.14 race as tempo in 18:21, 25 min c/d (1st, $300 -Killer Kudzu 5K, very challenging hilly course) (13)
Saturday: 19 miles @ 6:43-7:15 (not hilly, lots of long flat stretches today, Refuge)
Sunday: AM 5/PM:4
Monday : 11
Wednesday: 60min hilly tempo at marathon pace (6:18 avg) (16) (95% humidity today, and hot)
Saturday: 25 min w/u, 3.15 miles on hilly road loop @ 18:03 (small local 5k for the 3 mile part, fun, 1st) 4 min jog, 2x800m on road course, 2:44, 2:42, 6x200m hard @ 5:00-5:05 pace, 30 sec easy + 20 min c/d (great weather)
PM: 30 min (14)
Sunday: 1hr45 min on South Farm, last 21 min progressive starting at 6:53 working down to 6:11
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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|Me, Maddy, and my DAD!! I was wearing a VestigeWear headband after wining the Viking Half-Marathon. No slipping or falling off for 13.1+ miles|
There are numerous adorable styles and fabrics available. Check out her store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/VestigeWear
Thursday, April 11, 2013
2x75 sec @ 5:13 w/ 1 rest
7 min @ 5:33 pace
6 min @ 5:30 pace
6 min @ 5:30 pace
4 min @ 5:27 pace
3 min @ 5:24 pace
2 min @ 5:18 pace
1 min @ 5:13 pace
( 2 min rest between each interval, treadmill @ 4:45am)
My legs were still tired from the tempo/long run double this past weekend, so I decided to run this one on the treadmill versus the road. The treadmill is a much easier on the legs and would help me hit my pace.
Even if you add the "15 seconds per mile" that most road to treadmill conversion chart suggest, I still would have been happy with the times. Physically I felt fine but I could still feel the Sunday's long run in my legs. Starting to think all the miles and long runs are paying off.
I decided not to double today.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
PM: 30 min easy
Sunday: 21 miles w/ 16-17@ 6:55-7:15 on hilly loop (South Farm x 2) + 20 min progression
Starting @ 6:58 getting down to 6:18 + 10 min at reg. pace c/d (2hr26min)
Saturday ended up being a horrible day for this workout. The wind was strong and in our face for 3/4 of the loop, it was hot and the sun was blaring. Normally, I wouldn't complain about a day like that but I haven't had the chance to train in anything besides cold and wet in a very long time (except for running indoors every once in a while). I was told to go out really slow, which I did (6:23) which just made me feel sluggish and tired. Eventually I brought things down to 5:53 after we got out of the wind but I just couldn't keep the intensity going. I was too wiped out.
I made the decision to only go six once Houston stopped us and made us drink after the first loop. I realized then, I was getting extremely dehydrated and felt it was time to call it quits for the day. I spent the rest of Saturday playing with Maddy and drinking pedialite (this was a smart move by me).
Sunday I went out solo for a long run on the hilly loop we call "South Farm". Have I mentioned how much I love South Farm? Anyway, I felt great for the entire run, stopped for one gu and a splash of water from a facet at the recplex around mile 11. It was miserably warm compared to what we have been running in, but finally I am starting to reap the benefits from all those crazy 18 milers indoors at 75+ degrees. I had no trouble in the heat today. Even got in a progressive 20 minutes at the very end. All in all, really pleased at how the long run turned out after yesterday.
I've really put in a lot of work this week. Not really too concerned about one bad session when I look at what I have been able to string together in the last 8 days.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
2k @ 5:48 pace, 1 mile @ 6:20-6:25, 1 mile @ 5:45, 1 mile @ 6:25, 1300m @ 5:45 pace, 1 mile @ 6:20, 800m @ 5:33 pace, 1 mile @ 6:25, 400m @ 5:30 pace, + 6x150m strides
This workout was done on my hilly tempo loop at 4:45am. There is no true recovery, you recover from each interval with a mile at marathon pace. though my marathon pace is (hopefully) faster than this, this is what I could handle today.
It ended up that every single "hard effort" ended on hill and most of the marathon paced "recovery" sections were on the flat or going down hill. At the time it was a little frustrating because the ups killed average pace on most of the hard sections, but in the end it's good for me...and overall I still hit my times. Thanks to Houston for pushing me through it.
Monday, April 1, 2013
After Saturday's 13.1 miles at marathon pace I logged 12 miles Sunday and still felt really good. Instead of running easy Monday I decided on joining Micah and Houston (my Dad is here for a visit) for a longer run at up-tempo, nothing killer but a good effort that still required concentration.
After every harder run I feel the hip getting stronger...and its about time. With Montreal 4 weeks away, I've got to get ready to run as hard as I can for 13.1 miles faster than I have ever gone before.
I'm already nervous.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
(Viking Half - 1st female/3rd person in 1:22:11)
Just two weeks after my first marathon paced long run, I ran this one on a similar course and averaged 5 seconds per mile faster giving the same amount of effort. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get in the 30 min of running before and after that I had planned on, but in the end I believe this day was successful. I was only beat by 2 men, ran 9 miles of it solo, and felt pretty good once again when it was all over.
Unfortunately the S.I. is still there and I suffered with it from mile 4-9, but only one of those miles ended up being slower than marathon pace. I've been consistent with my exercises and I feel like the long tempos are really helping with the strength in my hip. One giant step forward!
Thursday, March 28, 2013
AM: 30 min @ 7:08 pace
PM: 14 min w/u w/ 4x150m @ 5:10-4:45 pace
3x2 miles on hilly loop:
2miles w/ splits of 5:44, 5:34
4 min jog rest
2miles w/ splits of 5:36, 5:44
4 min jog
2 miles w/ splits of 5:57, 5:01 (SHORT & off road/through the bush)
15 min c/d
I did this workout on my lunch break Wednesday when traffic was absolutely awful. I had convinced myself that it was going poorly early on because I had not looked at my Garmin splits yet and just FELT like my legs were tired. The last interval I started without any plan of where I would end up, and quick thinking made me take a turn by the vet school and through the wooded cut-through on the backside of Sherwood. Here, the hills destroyed my pace and took all the fight out of my legs. Regardless of the bush whacking I was still able to come in under 6:00 for the first half of the interval and continue to keep the effort up from there.
I had summed this workout up to be a huge fail until I finally got a chance to go back and view my paces for each. In the end, I'm pretty pleased and a little shocked, given the junk that's still hanging out in my legs. All this can mean is that there are much more sessions like this to come.
Run Happy! -M
Monday, March 25, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The route takes you through historic downtown and even dips onto the MSU campus. The course is rolling (Starkville is not flat!) and even covers a large portion of my favorite tempo route. The scenic course is well marked with signage and volunteers and starts/finishes at the same place in front of the Greensboro Center. Also, it's certified and the course has changed slightly from last year because of rumors that it was long.
This year's race offers a 10k/5k and family fun run. Being that the temperature is typically pleasant in the morning, the race starts at 8:00am (which, I am looking forward to).
Race registration will begin at 7am at the Greensboro Center in Starkville. Hope to see you there!
Monday, March 18, 2013
Saturday: easy run accompanied by stomach flu
Sunday: 20 min w/u, 13.21 miles @6:21 pace, 10 min c/d (1st female)
So I had planned on running the Germantown half-marathon as a marathon paced tempo for a few weeks now. I didn't, however, plan on getting Maddy's stomach bug the day before. Because I doubted I would be able to run based on the way I (and Maddy) felt on Saturday, we didn't actually leave for Memphis until Sunday morning @ 3:30am.
Even more impressive was the way I ran this race. I actually suffered a major S.I. episode and locked up badly from 3-7 miles...clocking at least 2 miles as slow as 6:45. Once I hit 8 things started to losses back up and I felt great from mile 9 onward. I finished feeling good, not tired. A little over goal pace but good enough based on all the set backs.
Glad I opted for some company this time, tempo running on your own can be rather mind numing. I very much enjoyed being out there Sunday. Hopefully I can add another 13 miles in the near future to finally meet my 2:45 goal.
With three hard sessions and some quality training runs, I believe this would be considered a successful week.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
With the exception of 13.1 miles I ran on Sunday morning, the weekend was a nice get away. I got a chance to room with Meagan, eat expensive/tasteless room service and get 8+ hour of uninterrupted sleep. However, the task I set out to complete Sunday morning didn't even come remotely close to happening.
I dropped out a 4 miles. Not from injury, pain, or puking. For lack of a better excuse, I simply didn't have it in me. Motivation = 0.
I know that's sad. Who spends 6 weeks preparing for one race only to show up and not try. I understand what some people might think, however I do believe that there are some things in life that do not necessarily need to be discussed on a blog, however open diary like blogging truly is, and therefore I really have no further excuses. My heart wasn't in it. As soon as it got hard I just couldn't make myself go...AT ALL.
I dropped out at 4 miles (29:33 I believe) took off my number, started walking back...when I realized that it was probably easier just to finish the race then to try to make my way back to the start. I then put my number back on and jumped back in, covering the last 9 miles at about 6:30 pace. At least I put some work in.
Fortunately, I wasn't sore after Sunday, so I went out Monday for a quality 12 miles and workout on the roads Wednesday. Because it was early and cold, we opted for 6X5min @ tempo w/ 2 min runs in between. We started out conservative and worked our way down to 10K pace by the last 2. Surprisingly enough, I recovered pretty fast between each of the hard sessions and figured I had set myself up for a highly successful training week.
Wednesday afternoon I (once again) pulled my intercostal muscle. This time the pull didn't hurt as much walking around, but it hurt more to breath. Thursday I managed a slow 40 minutes breathing in short fast gasps. Friday I ran 70 minutes but slowly, about 8 minutes per mile. Friday I moved around too much and made it worse.
One positive is that I can still log treadmill miles with this injury, its just the road (pavement/concrete) that is too painful. Saturday I ran 17 quality miles on the t-mill, nothing spectacular, but good enough.
60 minutes @ 6:53/0.5 incline
20 minutes @ 6:15 & 0 incline,
20 minutes @ 6:15 & 0 incline
15 minute c/d
My legs just didn't have it today and I felt uncomfortable, so I left the incline at 0 on the hard segments. I know its not the same as 6:15 on the flat road, but it was still tempo effort, whatever pace it was equivalent to.
I'm probably going to have to jog around just a few more days until my breathing gets better. Hopefully it will be just long enough for me to get my head back into the game. For everyone that is racing this weekend, have a good one and Run Happy!
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
Wednesday: 2 mile w/u, 4 x 2 miles, 2 min jog rest, 1 mile c/d (treadmill -under a tornado watch so indoors was my only option)
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Honestly, running is an amazing hobby to look forward to everyday, and I'm so glad I'm good at it, but its not worth being fatigued in all other aspects of my life. Frying myself last fall left me beat up, lethargic, moody, cramping, sore, and slow. It got a little out of hand, and therefore I'm glad the Fall turned out like it did. I learned another valuable lesson - you can't will your body into shape when it resents you. If you don't listen to the warning signs, it will eventually shut you down.
I spent about half of last year surviving on 6 hrs of sleep and paying zero attention to my eating habits. In a country so consumed with calories and diets, I really just wanted to believe that none of that mattered. Once again, I was mistaken. You can get away with less than optimal eating habits for awhile, but it will always come back around. Starve yourself of the basic nutrients you need, and you will suffer the consequences.
Unfortunately, though I am trying harder in the recovery, eating, and sleeping part of my life, I've still had what I consider to be the chest cold of death. The awful thing has stuck around for nearly three weeks, and cost me a few good sessions and a day off from running the week prior. Ironic, maybe, but part of life living with a two year old in day care - you get everything.
For someone that claims to hate doubles, I've ran twice three days this week. I plan to keep up this trend (1-3 times each week depending on the mileage goals) because it actually helped me recover much better between the hard days. Most weekday mornings I typically get 11-13 miles, but the length of those runs is still difficult for the body, especially when I've got to get up at 4:15 to get that kind of mileage in. If found that I can easily get 6-7 miles in my lunch break without it interfering with my work. Also, the lunch time run helps with productivity in the afternoon, major plus!
As for the racing plans. My first half is Mercedes. It probably going to be well short of amazing, but it will be a start to whatever running brings my way this year. Regardless, I'm going to enjoy it, one stride at a time.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Wednesday, Jan 2nd: 13.2 miles in 1:30 on treadmill
Thursday, January 3, 2013
|Photo taken by Roland Roesler near Athabasca, Alberta. View original here|
I chuckle at this because I completely understand my Mom's issue with the clocks. She lives 15 miles out of town, and 4 miles down a dirty road. It's "country living" at its best and its were I grew up. My mom operates on her own schedule, up before the sun comes up most morning anyway, she knows pretty much what time it is judging by the light of the day. Operating her own business for over 25 years, during the spring and summer she works around the clock, making the time of day pretty irrelevant. The winter is when her schedule is the lightest. At one point during our visit she asked me, "what day is it, anyway?" This is typical Mom.
Alberta winter's were always hard for me. The days are short and cold, temperatures are commonly -20C or worse, the sun rises at just before nine and sets just after three. The roads are typically covered with ice, making quality running difficult. I'm not sure how I managed training for so many years. Actually, I do, being human, we are forced to adapt.
|Photo of Island Lake during the winter, North-West of Athabasca|
Days spent at Mom's are fun filled, with the exception of the running. One day I swapped my run for a 90 min snowshoe trip instead. Other days I ran for 45min, followed by a snow shoe trip to the river. Snow shoeing was much more enjoyable then facing the cold wind on the flat open road. Fortunately for me, I was in my last week of recovery so the running didn't even matter.
Christmas Day and the final few days of our trip were spent in Edmonton, Alberta with my sister, her husband, their two children, and my father. Though my Dad lives 2.5 hours south in Calgary, he spent most of the week at my sisters to visit with us and the little ones. For sure, the highlight of the trip was watching Maddy and Aiden chase each other around my sister's kitchen for a good half-hour, hyper from the ice cream they had eaten just an hour earlier. The next day we spent a few hours a the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall (yes, an indoor waterpark in the middle of winter). Maddy played so hard she fell fast asleep on my lap just after we ate lunch. The last hour or so I sat in a beach chair with Maddy snooring in my lap, my sister's youngest sleeping in his carrier to my left. It was midday and the sun was still shining through the glass roof of the waterpark, for a second I thought I was enjoying a warm summer day.
The next morning we woke up just after 3AM to catch our first flight to Houston, and then on to Jackson. Then, home.
Yesterday I "officially" started training again. All the holiday eating left me feeling tired and sluggish. I was surprised, however, how quickly yesterday's 13 miles went by. This morning I joined Kelly for 9 miles before using the rest of the day to get myself organized before work starts back tomorrow.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas vacation. Looking forward to getting caught up on everyone's training. Good luck in 2013 and Run Happy.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Last weeks mileage: 11.5 (1.5 over goal)
For the remaining days of this month I get to run what I feel like, when I feel like it. There will be no formal training until January.
Looking forward to a week in the cold north and some quality time with family. Run happy!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Just want to give a shout out to my favorite running company and say THANK YOU for deciding to support me through 2013. Anyone looking for the perfect Christmas gift, the Brooks Pure Project came out with a couple new looks that will leave you drooling on your computer screen. Check them out on http://www.brooksrunning.com