Thursday, February 19, 2009

Alternative Lifestyles

It has been what seems like forever since I have blogged and even longer than that since I have been able to go for a good quality run.

New Year's Day I had gone out for an easy 4 mile run with my aunt followed by a 4 mile tempo run in which I was sitting pretty at a 7:09/pace for the last mile when my hamstring seized up. It felt like something with big sharp teeth had bitten me. I hopped to a stop thinking that if I gave it a a minute it would abate. Of course it didn't and I had to limp the last 1/4 mile home. The pain continued for about 3 days and I struggle just to walk and move it. I could palpate tenderness from the outside of my knee up the back of my hamstring (specifically on the central head of my hamstrings). My diagnosis was a second degree strain of the biceps femoris. I was devastated. I had spent so much money for Boston and I had 16 weeks to prepare. What the hell was I going to do?

I started cycling so much I feared giving myself some sort of permanent camel toe!! I started at about 85-95 cadence, cycling for about 1 hour in my living room a few days a week. I even traveled out to the westside (~45 min drive) for my first trainer session in hope of getting in a good quality workout. When all was said and done, I managed 2 hours of hardwork and about 2 gallons of sweat. It was fantastic. I kept my head up and heart in it as it was the closest thing to a race I was going to get. I pushed my badunkadunk to it's limit. I discovered I was good a gauging my tempo pace, but I lacked the ability to break 130+ on my cadence. My core and hip area were just too weak. I took what I had learned and incorporated tempo intervals, spin-ups and single leg drills into my cycling workouts at home for the next month. Last week I went to another trainer session to see if my training was paying off. It had. I sucessfully got in a faster average speed for the 2 hours this time and I broke the 130+ cadence barrier. I also felt like vomitting for most of the evening after (yes, Mr. L / Kona Ironman competitor himself was leading the session and he hurt me like no other man has ever). I now pedal comfortably at a cadence of 95-105. Finally, yesterday, I did some above lactate threshold intervals with some spin-ups at the end and managed 145+. Result: My A S S hurts!!

Of course, I couldn't cycle everyday so I also focused on some swimming. I was in the pool about 3 times a week managing 4,000-6,000 yards. I managed to clip off about 5 seconds on my hundred meters, which moves me from a drifting speed (like survivors on a life raft) to a slow swimmer. I have also discoverd my "kick" is my strength and my "pull" is pretty much non-existant as I discovered when Daisy was nearly 50 meters ahead of me when we finished our long sets!! Many would refer to this as an ass whooping, (thank goodness that one only hurt my pride and not my ass again).

So where does that leave me? It seems I am maintaining my weight and some fitness with regards to aerobic activity, but ultimately the best way to improve running is to RUN. I made a few attempts to run for 20-30 minutes here and there, but the pain would creep back into my leg and I would be left with a dull ache for a day or two after. It was disheartening to think I had come so far only to have run smack into a brickwall. I finally went to my doctor the other day and after a $20 co-pay she determined that I did have a crudtacular hamsting strain. She advised to "let pain be my guide." Well, it fuckin' hurts!!!

That leaves me with my choice

Option A: Attempt to get in some running or no running and attempt the Boston Marathon
Option B: Quit


E-Speed said...

Howe about option c: pool running? I think between your cycling and swimming if you can get in pool running or elliptical you will survive boston, it might not be pretty, but thats okay that marathon is all about the experience and getting there in the first place.

I am pretty sure Amie just wants to have fun so you gals could make a fun day of it, high fiving spectators, getting beer from the boston college boys, hell you could even kiss a few wesley girls if you are feeling saucy ;)

don't give up girl. You are doing so much better than most runners would be with your injury. the fact that you have been cross training will pay off big time once you are able to run again with no pain!

DaisyDuc said...

Keep your head high girl. You are kicking butt on the cross training and I have every confidence that you will come back strong!

Crap, I am going to be left in your pool dust with all that swimming!