Week 6: LBHM

A reflection on this week: July 2nd- 8th
Total Mileage: 12.25 mi 

Monday: Walked my dog and ran another short recovery distance of 1.85 mi. My legs were a bit stiff from the previous ‘long day run’ of 4.4 mi. Plus I signed up for another half marathon! The Tinkerbell half at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA on January 20th, 2013! So stoked to run in a costume!

Tuesday: Rest day! Thesis update: Figured out how to outsmart the instrument I use, which only seemed to like one particular ancient PC laptop with no usb ports (!) and problems hooking up to the internet! Luckily I have a virtual box on my mac, so I installed the corresponding instrument software and usb/pc port converter software to hook up the instrument directly to my computer. Took a little finagling, but I was successful! Then I ran a few tests to see how the new software differed from the old. Baby steps!

Wednesday: Happy 4th of July to everyone except my dog! Independence day is her most feared day of the year because she is so scared of fireworks (yes I gave her a vet chill pill to take off the edge)!  I went on a 3mi tempo run (switched with Friday!), did some strength training followed by a long stretching session. Also iced my knees in the evening and made it up to the lab to work on thesis related stuff for a few hours.

Thursday: Rested completely. My right knee was still not feeling quite right, 😦 boo! I decided that if I felt well the next day, I would do my interval run (since I decided to switch Wed and Fri). Probably no yoga, though… Also, I downloaded a running app MapMyRUN and explored its features.  Official test on Sunday.

Friday: Today was a very hard day for a number of reasons. 1. I had to get up early, ironically I woke up 3 min before my 6 am alarm. 2. I had to workout early, which loosely translated to ‘me not completely awake’. I did manage to work out for an hour; a slow 3 mile run (from knee) followed by some strength and core training. And of course, stretching. 3. I had to take my dog to the vet again. She had been doing this funny gulping on/off for the last month. 2 weeks prior, a foxtail got lodged under her tongue from eating grass. I worried more foxtils were elsewhere in her body. A lot of money later, my dog was scoped (camera down her insides) and they found her tonsils were inflamed, her esophagus was inflamed, her stomach was inflamed… But no foxtails were present.  The vet also took biopsies of tissue samples from each area just to make sure it wasn’t something more serious like cancer.  She’s 11 and already lost a leg to cancer, so really, she can’t afford it physically nor I financially/emotionally. The vet gave her a shot of steroids among other things to help reduce the inflammation.  Hopefully she can break this vicious cycle: inflammation, gulping, creating more inflammation, with no healing in sight. By the way, lesson learned: dog not allowed to eat grass, period. Foxtails are nasty and very dangerous to their insides, eyes, ears, nose, paws etc… Protect your dog from foxtails!

Saturday: Got about 4 hours of sleep since my dog was having some side effects from the steroids: excessive urination, panting, pacing, and whining. She is a housetrained dog, so when I woke up early that morning to her whining, I looked over and saw her bed was soaked from diluted urine.  2 weeks ago when she had the foxtail removed, she had an IV for hydration.  She did have to pee more, but not like this.  I called the pet hospital around 6 am to make sure this was a ‘common’, albeit inconvenient side effect, and not something worse.  The technician working said that these were common steroid side effects and that they should only last 3-5 days at most. At least it was my ‘rest’ day.  I also played around more with the MapMyRUN app. It seemed strange, but if I put a workout in my phone and synched with the online counterpart, what I entered was not what showed up online. Thinking I was crazy, I deleted that workout, typed it online that time, but still had the same problem when looking at the workout from the phone.  More testing: if I put in a regular run, no problems with either device. If I put in a gym workout with sets of weights, plus a run/walk warm up etc… things got confusing on both ends…After looking at it more, I noticed that if you put in a detailed workout plan from the gym online, the phone interpreted each individual activity a separate workout. Like doing 2 sets of lunges and squats each = 2 separate workouts according to the phone. If I looked at the same workout online, everything was still categorized under my “GYM” workout for the day.  It became obvious it would take some time getting used to the app… and I hoped that tracking my long run on Sunday wouldn’t lead to any problems.

Sunday: Today’s goal; 5 mile run.  To say the least, I was a bit worried. This past week I’ve had on/off knee issues, dog drama, not sleeping well etc… I was seriously considering doing the run Monday. But I told myself, “OK, take an anti-inflamatory, get ready for the run, and see how it goes. If your knee is really bothering you, stop and walk back home.” I have to say I am really glad that I did go for a run because everything went beautifully.  The first three miles were a breeze, no knee, heel, or ankle pain whatsoever.  It did take me a while to regulate my breathing, part of having asthma in general (even when not having an attack).  I hit my grove around mile 2.  Sometime after mile 4 was when things got a little harder. Not to the point where I was in tremendous pain mind you, just a little twinge here and there, which I felt slowed my pace. But I didn’t care, since overall I felt GREAT!  I also didn’t look at my watch once during the whole run because I knew the new app MapMyRUN was tracking my pace, mileage and total time.  I wanted to run and focus on the present, rather than worry about how much ‘longer’ I had to run (or how slow I was). Once I started walking for my cool down, I checked my phone.  I had run for 53 min continuously! AND just over 5 mi!  For me, that time just flew by… I took a screen shot of my pacing below:  mile 2, 3, and 4 were pretty close together, while mile 1 was fast (because I felt good) and the last mile a bit slow.  Next time I will try running my first mile slower to see if that curbs my final mile’s body issues 🙂 Now its time to EAT!!!

LBHM stands for: Long Beach Half Marathon. So for any future posts about training, I will have the week # followed by the acronym for the event 🙂

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