July 7, 2011

Early Bird Run

I had hoped that I had mostly worked through my IT band issues when I had such a successful 15K a few weeks ago, but unfortunately I don't think our face-off is quite over yet.  Darn you IT band.  After skipping my long run Sunday due to some aches and pains that started after lifting weights at physical therapy, I was nervous about getting back into my training this week.  Tuesday night I had a decent 4 mile run with only some nagging IT band tightness (and some random hip flexor soreness in both legs...COME. ON. what now...).  I couldn't get myself outta bed early enough to fit in that run before the unbearable heat set in, so I ended up setting out for my run at 9pm.  In the dark.  Since the forest preserve trails are scary closed after dark (not to mention maybe not the best place for a twenty-something female to be running alone) and since I didn't want to run on the treadmill, I compromised by running around the perimeter of the community college campus.  Aka running through parking lots.  It was...thrilling.

Anyways, after that boring run, I was DETERMINED to get up early today and get my run out of the way while it was still cool enough out.  Let me tell you, I was NOT pleased to hear the alarm go off at the crack of dawn, but I somehow managed to DRAG myself out of bed.

It was so worth it though.  When I started out on the run, I was actually a little CHILLY in my tank top and shorts.  Can you imagine?  I don't REMEMBER the last time I was cold on a run!!!  The air felt great, and it was wonderful to be out on the trails again.  (Trails > Parking Lot any day.)  I also saw another deer SUPER close up and something that was either a crayfish or a scorpion crawling across the path...although I didn't think either of those things lived in Illinois, so really who knows.  Wish I had had my camera on the run!

I kept the run slow because I knew that SOMETHING is still up with my right leg, and sure enough after 2.25 my right hip flexor was nagging...then after 3 miles the IT band/knee pain started to set in.  :-/  The good news is that after I stopped to stretch a couple of times it would calm down enough for me to keep running.  The bad news is that my scheduled 10 mile long run Saturday looks like it might be a bit of a challenge...

I did make it through all 5 miles without feeling like I was going to die the pain increasing to a level that I know means STOP, STOP NOW.  I headed home after that to promptly ice my knee/IT band and hip flexor.

Oh, and drink this DELICIOUS protein-packed smoothie...
In the mix: frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, banana, vanilla soy milk, splash of fruit juice, 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder.  Let the muscle repair begin...

Injuries suck, but one positive thing about them is that they teach you to really listen closely to your body and LEARN about what is normal for you, what means you've been working hard, and what means STOP.  Injury also helps me appreciate every step, and to focus on the journey itself without getting caught up in things like speed and PRs and stuff.  Today's mantra was simply this:

Short, sweet, to the point.  Just keep moving.  I'm heading to PT again in an hour to keep working on this IT band...I have been LOVING going there the past couple weeks.  The PT and assistant are SO NICE, and it has been great to finally learn some things about strength training.  Obviously it is not a magical cure and will take some time, but I think we're moving in the right direction.  Unfortunately my insurance has only covered 3 more sessions, but my fingers are crossed that they'll approve at least a couple more...

What is the weirdest thing you've ever seen on a run?
Deer aren't weird, but since I live deep in SUBURBIA it is always exciting to see them!!


  1. I like that Mantra you wrote on your hand! Good idea! I think I need to do that for running and for teaching. Have something visible at all times to keep me moving (literally and figuratively!).

    I think the weirdest thing I've ever seen on a run was someone shooting a snot rocket out of their nose. I actually thought it was genius and now I know it's okay to do that...when no one's looking! (I kid...)

  2. I like what you wrote on your hand, too.
    I only ran 3 miles yesterday morning, but I saw mens underwear in the street in THREE different places. Seriously? I know those aren't all falling out of cars.

  3. I completely admire your attitude and you truly have inspired me with this post. Love the mantra and always keep your head up.

    That smoothie looks so delicious. yum!

  4. Love the mantra Keep Moving. Your right injuries do keep us focused on our journey not so much about how speedy we are or PR. Hope your ITband is better soon. Listening to your body is the key.

  5. such the perfect mantra!!! I need to channel that for my upcoming runs. I have been frustrated with some IT band/hip flexor/tired leg stuff and its easy for me to want to just give up. Today I kinda did the same thing and just told myself...if I have to stop, fine, but just keep going at a pace that I KNOW I CAN KEEP. much more successful. It was so tough for me to get up this morning at around the same time as you ;) Good luck and hoping that your legs heal quickly. Also hope that you can keep going to the PT!

  6. That smoothie looks delicious! I don't run, but I've always admired people that do and have that kind of motivation. Reading your blog kind of makes me want to get up and go for run!

  7. Oh man...sorry about the knee troubles! I hope it heals quickly. Thanks for the positive mantra reminder. Love your positive outlook!

  8. I have been inspired by following your blog-so today I dragged my 17 year old daughter out of the house to "jog". We walked down our driveway, stretched, and jogged all of about 3 minutes! :) But, we did end up walking 1 whole mile! Maybe I'll do it again tomorrow!


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