Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Race Spectating @ MCM

Despite having to pull out because of an injury, I went out to the Marine Corps Marathon to cheer on the runners. Big city marathons are fun events. Four friends from Rhode Island came down to run it.  How could I not go out and watch them??

All week, the forecast looked bad. Hurricane Sandy looked like she was going to seriously impact the race. On race morning, the weather forecast during the race said showers or rain. Well, there was no rain at all!  It was windy but otherwise near perfect running weather. Not sunny and cool.

Marine Corps is a pretty easy marathon to spectate at. I planned 3 spots. Took the Metro to Foggy Bottom, walked to mile 10 (along Rock Creek Parkway and the Potomac River), then walked to the Lincoln Memorial and The Mall, watched at mile 17, then Metroed over to the Pentagon at mile 24.

I made 2 double-sided posters. Only one came along with me because I thought it was going to rain. I had a plastic sleeve to protect the poster from rain. One of my brilliant ideas was to tape a wide ribbon to the poster so that I could hang the poster around my neck. It kept the poster from blowing away (and even then I had to hold it with at least 1 hand). When I wasn't holding the poster, I rang a cow bell like mad.

Side 1 said, "WHERE ARE Y'ALL GOING?" This poster was so much fun. It was a great way to interact with runners. I got all sorts of answers, including:
I don't know
This way
To the finish line
Come with us
Away from the hurricane

When I got to mile 24, I flipped the poster to Side 2. This poster said, "REACH DEEP. Yes, You Can!" Especially in the later miles of a marathon, you need a short phrase or a positive message that motivates you to keep going. I got a lot of positive responses from runners.

Tips for Posters
1. Write big. Keep the message on your poster as short as possible. Less is more.
2. Write in ALL CAPS.
3. Use a wide-tipped marker and make your words stand out.
4. Use mantras. Some of my favorites are Right here right now, Finish strong, Reach Deep, and Don't stop. Anything positive and motivational that is short enough for me to repeat over and over again
5. Tailor the message to where you will be on the course. Runners in the later miles are tired and fighting a mental and physical battle. I intentionally used the Where are y'all going poster earlier and saved Reach Deep for the end. I think this worked well.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Working It

Did I do one of these weekly recaps last week? I do not even remember.

Well, it's kinda boring. I did no cardio at all because I was stuck in a walking boot til the middle of the week. So I will not do a day-by-day recap. But I will tell you about the things I did.

Upper body strength training - once with weights and twice with a resistance band
Squats - against a wall with an exercise ball, no weights except for me
Core work
Clamshell planks - one of my PT exercises. Get into a side plank position with your elbow and knee on the floor, keep your feet together, and open your top knee up like a clamshell. Repeat on the other side. Good for hips and glutes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not Working It

I haven't posted a weekly recap for the last few weeks because it would be pretty boring. There has been a whole lot of not working out over the last few weeks.  I did some walking, yoga, strength training, core work, PT exercises, biking on the stationary bike, and yoga. A lot of rest. No cardio at all for the last week because I am extremely limited in what I can do. I am not one to skip out on working out, but I really can't.

It probably wasn't a good idea to go for a walk on the Mall about a week ago. I had some time to kill after work before I needed to be somewhere else. Runners everywhere. Perfect weather. 

Maybe ... maybe ... maybe I'll be back out there soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Here We Go Again

My sports doc recommended a cortisone shot or a walking boot. And prescription anti-inflammatory meds.

I was very leery of a cortisone shot immediately. There are a number of risks. Tendon rupture is one. Cortisone shots stop the pain, but they don't really treat it. Also, did you hear about the recent series of meningitis cases from bad steroids? No thank you.

So I opted for the boot. One week on, then every other day for another week. Be very jealous. I am not looking forward to people treating me like the walking wounded, but I am looking forward to running a social psychology experiment on altruistic behavior on the Metro. I'm actually not kidding about that last part.

Posterior tibial tendonitis seems to be one of those tricky things to treat. There is a lot of trial and error to figure out what works. Rest alone (meaning, no exercise) is not enough to get the tendon to calm down. Even walking can continue to irritate the tendon. For most people, walking is not optional. Enter the walking boot which immobilizes the angry tendon.

Cross your fingers that this works. I am patiently not running, but I am quickly running out of patience with not running. I don't know what I am going to do for exercise since cardio and yoga are off-limits. Body weight exercise that don't involve my feet/legs? Core work?

Hey, angry tendon, please cut this out. Pretty please?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Injury Emotion Cycle

You go through many emotions when you are injured.

For example:

I am sad that the weather is finally cooler and I can't go outside and run.

I am discouraged that I am still in pain. Four weeks of PT left me at pretty much the same place I started. I go back to see the sports doctor tomorrow because I ran out of PT appointments.

I am disappointed that I am missing my favorite half marathon for the first time in its existence. Goodbye, Amica Newport Half Marathon legacy.

I am frustrated that I can't go running in Rock Creek Park or on the Mall.

I am scared that I will get injured again.

It was bittersweet seeing people run their last 20 milers before Marine Corps last weekend.

I don't like looking at my calendar with no races lined up.

I am trying really really really hard to stay positive. It is getting harder and harder to be optimistic.