ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (marathon)
[personal profile] ilanarama
It is March! And just as this is the month when winter turns the corner and heads toward spring, I feel as though my fitness is, finally, doing the same. (And what's funny is that I just noticed I used almost the same phrasing in my first post in January, talking about starting over with the new year! Me and calendar metaphors...)

To recap a little: In early January I saw a spine specialist, who diagnosed me with a herniated disc that was causing inflammation in my right glute and hamstring, and gave me some steroid pills. They knocked down the inflammation but had nasty side effects, and in three weeks they wore off and the pain came back. So on February 10th (and huh, I didn't actually post about it, did I) I went in for a targeted steroid shot to the spine. It's pretty cool; they do it under x-ray guidance by injecting a dye to ensure the medication will go into the right place. They also use a local anesthetic, which made it very weird when I tried to walk afterward. I ended up sitting in the prep room for a good 20 minutes afterward, waiting for my leg to come back...and then it hurt worse than it did before the injection, which was just unfair!

But after a day or so the pain subsided, and quickly it became evident that the injection had done its job. It no longer hurt to run or walk, and the persistent ache in my rear end began to fade. By now, it's pretty much completely healed, or at least, I hope it is!

In November, I ran 17.6 miles. In December I basically didn't run at all. In January, as I was (in the words of my previous post) "preparing to begin to start from scratch," I ran 65 slow miles. In February, I ran 84 slightly less-slow miles. I am hopeful (see me knocking on this wood, here? Knock! Knock! Knockity Knock!) that in March I will finally get back above 100 miles!

I'm still a lot slower than I used to be, but it's been really interesting watching my pace vs heart rate improve. My easy pace heart rate is around 128-140 bpm; my average for a run is usually right around 136. Back in September and October, before I was injured, I'd run my easy runs at a pace between around 8:55-9:35/mile. In January, when I started running again, to keep my HR at the right level I had to run at around 10:30-11 minute pace - though running felt hard enough physically that I often ran even slower.

By the third week of February (a bit more than a week after the injection) I had my first run in which I averaged under 10 minute miles (a blazing 9:53 pace!) The next week most of my runs were 10 minute pace or under, and the next week - well, that's this week. And so far I've kept up the trend! \o/ Monday's run was the fastest yet at 9:42 pace (though the run included a half-dozen strides - short accelerations - which make the overall pace faster). Today was a slower but still sub-10 pace. And you know, I look at 9:53@133 today and compare it to 9:53@136 two weeks ago and it looks like improvement.

I've also been watching my weight come down; very very slowly, but it's coming down. I weighed around 115 in October, not the lowest I've been recently but a weight I'm happy with. Once I stopped running, it climbed, and I stopped weighing myself in mid-December because numbers above 120 depressed me.

In mid-January I joined a 'Fat Reduction Thread' on a forum I belong to, and checked in my starting weight at a miserable (for me) 123.8. That first week it went down a little. And then it went up. :-( The highest point I saw was 125.2 on the last day of January. I was almost desperate enough to diet!

(This is not really a joke. I love to eat and I hate to restrict my food. However, I implemented the following drastic measures: only one muffin instead of two for breakfast, or a smaller amount of yogurt and granola; only one cookie instead of two after lunch; only one small chocolate instead of two, or a large one, after dinner. Also I cut down slightly on my wine with dinner. Slightly. Most nights.)

Now that I'm more or less regularly running, I am finally losing weight. On February 15th, I got below 122 for the first time since that initial weigh-in, and then all the way down to 120.2 later that week. I bounced up again after that, but the most I've seen in the past two weeks has been 122.6, and the scale's read below 120 twice (including today's stunning 119.4, which I don't expect will last). Not a steady decline, but it's a trend, and it's encouraging.

In less than three weeks I've got my first race of the year, the Canyonlands 5-miler that is concurrent with the half marathon I usually run. I don't expect I'll be very fast, but as most of the fast people run the half, I am likely to get a medal for top-3 AG, and possibly even win it. Then, in just under seven weeks: the Boston Marathon. I'd pretty much resigned myself to spectating, but I have a few friends who are injured and planning to run/walk at an easy pace, and I'm thinking that might be doable. I started my distance running with run/walk, and I know that this technique can be used to extend endurance and run farther with low injury risk. This past Saturday I ran (and walked) 10 miles, even though my longest run up to now has been 6.3, and felt fine. So I'm going to try to ramp up my long run with walk breaks, and see how things go.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-04 01:28 am (UTC)
thalia: Delirium from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic (Default)
From: [personal profile] thalia
Also I cut down slightly on my wine with dinner. Slightly. Most nights.

I cannot tell you how hard this made me laugh.

Glad you're doing better, and yay Boston! Even if it's not your best race ever, I hope you're able to do it.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-04 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zebra363.livejournal.com
only one cookie instead of two after lunch

I wasn't aware they came in single portion sizes!

Glad to hear the treatment was successful.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-04 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Cutting back on wine and muffins. The horror! Keep healing

jimair1

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-08 11:59 am (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Default)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
Great, now I want a muffin :)

So good to hear running and weight (and overall mood, I'm sure) are moving in the right direction!

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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

July 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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