Saturday, April 15, 2017

Self Doubt

A few weeks back, I decided that it was time to think about running again. I’ve been off of running, and religiously doing my rehab, spending lots of time at physical therapy appointments, and generally trying to “be good” and not go back to running too soon. Approaching my fifth month of not running, I started to ask if I’d been good for long enough.

With a PT appointment on the books for Wednesday the 12th, I decided that barring an absolute prohibition due to imminent injury, I would start running again next week. Time to be bad, I thought, and run even if the therapist tells me not to.

Well, Wednesday’s appointment came, and I was given the greenlight to run again. Of course, by run I mean run/walk for 10 minutes, then 15, etc, for 6 weeks before thinking about running on its own.

But still, a green light.

What happened next caught me off guard.

I came home Wednesday evening and settled into a funk of massive proportions. I’d run/walked for 10 minutes, and aside from some critical words about my form, it all went well. Why so glum?
Well, now that I’m allowed to run, the universe of obstacles is settling onto my shoulders, ready to thwart any progress I’ve been dreaming about for months. I CAN run, but what if…

It hurts?

I’m bad at it?

I’m slow?

I’ve gained too much weight and can’t lose it?

I get injured again and have to start all over?

I realize that I need to cut this s--- out. Negative self-talk, my old nemesis, has no place in my plans. I need to listen to more Run Selfie Repeat (love that podcast), stick to my new plan, and be excited, not scared, that I can run again. That I get to run again.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Long Road to Wellness

After Chicago, time off did not help me feel better. I slowly started back up, started running a few miles a few times a week, and it still didn't feel right. So, I finally went to an ortho. Stress fracture in my left tibia, likely dating to the Wrightsville Beach Half in March 2016. In a boot for a month, then physical therapy. MRI on my right hip showed no issues, so intensive work strengthening the stabilizing muscles was recommended.

Fast forward a little more than two months. I'm seeing the physical therapist every two to three weeks, where my progress is tested. My core is weak, my left ankle is weak, and I continue to have significant deficits in my stability on both sides. In between PT appointments, I see the athletic trainers once or twice a week to do my exercises plus specific extra work. And... I get to use the AlterG, which is just about the coolest thing ever!

My current routine is biking to/from work (3.5 miles a day), yoga once or twice a week, my half hour of PT exercises every day (for the most part), and one or two sessions a week with the trainer. I'm up to 20 minutes of 2 minutes at 5.5mph and 1 minute at 3.3mph, at 60% bodyweight. So, a mile and a half of running twice a week.

Part of me is incredibly frustrated that I am basically not working out. I have been watching what I eat and drink, and I've lost maybe a pound or two since the beginning of the year. I'm still at least ten pounds more than I should be, and I'm no closer to the running performance I know I have in me than I was four years ago when these persistent injuries started.


I know now that I am where I am because I keep coming back to training without putting in the work to get all the way better, without fully addressing what made me stop training to begin with. I've spent the past four years bouncing back and forth between injury and training while not fully healed. I know that to get to where I want to be, to be in the shape I want and running the way I know I can, I need to spend the time strengthening, healing, and paying attention to what my body is telling me. However long it takes, I know I need to be committed to being well before I can commit to a return to running.

So, here I am. Almost 33, out of shape, but much healthier mentally than I have been in a while. I know what I need to do. I am eating right, keeping hydrated (thanks to the good folks at Nuun), and doing the work I need to do.

So let's go. I'm finally ready to make it happen.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Team Nuun!!!

I received the great news today that I am once again helping spread the #nuunlove by representing Nuun in my athletic endeavors. This time around, I was chosen to be part of Team Nuun, an acknowledgement of my commitment to sharing information about healthy hydration for several years. I look forward to representing Nuun as I get back into racing this year! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Chicago Marathon!

Once again, I've been remiss in updating this blog. I had a wonderful time in Chicago with the Bull City Kitties, eating, drinking, and oh yeah, running a marathon. Here's a bit about that last part.

Me in the start corral!
Sunday morning, I woke up with a stiff hip. Oh, my old friend, who are you doing this today? Going into the race, I was running once a week. Just the long run. Any more, and my hip acted up, or my left leg started to get sore. I assumed I may not be able to run the race, but figured I'd go anyway and see friends. I toed the line Sunday morning, assuming I would drop out at some point. 

Well, the race went much better than I anticipated. I ticked through the first few miles much faster than planned, around 8:40 or so on average. The spectators were amazing, as were the bands and signs along the way. 

Things went swimmingly until around mile 18 or so, when the inevitable lactic acid/fatigue combo hit. What can I expect when my longest long run was 16 miles? Oh well, I slowed a bit.

At mile 22, the hip really started screaming, and a slowed to a crawl. More accurately, I started tottering along. But at least I was still having fun. I finished in 4:13:38, pretty much my slowest finish. But, given my lackluster training due to nagging injury, I think it was a good showing. And I had fun! 
Three ladies happy to be done with the race!

I had a great day with friends, and set a PR in deep dish pizza eating! I took a bit of time off after the race, and came back slowly to running. The left leg just didn't feel right, and the right hip was a bit achey. More on that later...
Bull City Track Club at Lou Malnati's after eating our weight in pizza!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Seriously Overdue Update

So, Big Sur didn't happen. Well, the marathon happened, but I didn't go out to California to run it. My posterior tibial tendonitis didn't quite heal, and I didn't really want to get a stress fracture. So, no Big Sur Marathon in April for Kendra.

Before I decided not to run Big Sur, I entered the lottery for the Chicago Marathon (to be held October 9). A bunch of my awesome Bull City track Club friends got in Guaranteed Entry for being fast ladies, and a few of us not-so-fast (or fist timer, or whatever) ladies got in using the lottery. So a gaggle of us will be converging in Chicago in just a few weeks. Which will be nice because...

I moved back to Sacramento last month! I know, everyone already knew that. But is it really official if I haven't written about it in my blog?

In addition to moving, I also got a new haircut. Thanks Trish!

Chicago will be a big Durham reunion, with Laura coming in from New York, Brad and Erica from Virginia, Rachel from Ohio. And yours truly, from California.

In the meantime, my tendonitis had been bugging me. I missed my first 18/20 mile run during the cross-country road trip, ramped back up for two weeks to get back into the swing, then did a few 16 milers. The week before my 20 miler, I had a flare up, and my 20 turned into 3 miles. I took last week off, ran 13 on Saturday, and foam rolled and ART'd my leg a ton Sunday. So, Monday, of course my leg still hurts.

At this point, if I make an 18 or 20 miler this weekend, I'll be fine for Chicago. It won't be fast or pretty, but hopefully it will be fun.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Off the Beaten Path

Looking to try out a trail in Durham you may not have tried before? Durham Magazine asked me to write a few lines about fun trails to check out this summer. The Ellerbe Creek trails take you downtown, to the Brontosaurus, and the Museum of Life and Science. Read more in my write up below, and in the magazine.

The Ellerbe Creek Trail connects Club Boulevard north through Northgate Park, past the Brontosaurus at the Museum of Life and Science, and on to Rock Quarry Park. This is one of Durham's oldest trails. Check out the Northgate Park Dog Park along the way!

Heading the opposite direction from Club Boulevard into downtown, the South Ellerbe Creek Trail winds through neighborhoods, and passes by the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association's Pearl Mill Nature Preserve, and heads into the popular Central Park Neighborhood of downtown Durham. Rolling terrain provides a challenge, but is still accessible to all members of the family. 

Heading south, the Third Fork Creek Trail begins near Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway at Southern Boundaries Park, winds through neighborhoods along the Creek, and ends at Garrett Road. This trail is a great option for those in southern Durham who desire to try out a new trail or go to Southern Boundaries Park.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I know this might come as a surprise...

...but I managed to injure myself, a month out from Big Sur. My left calf and arch started bugging me during the Wrightsville Half, and continued to feel really tight through the next week. I ran my 20 miler (too fast, I'll admit) last Saturday, and it felt a bit worse. Sunday, limpfest 2016 began. I went running Monday morning- or tried to. I managed 2 miles, averaging over 11 minutes per mile.

Maybe it is just soreness from the 20 miler, I thought. Maybe I just need to stretch and foam roll more, I thought. By Tuesday, I made an appointment with Dr. Jason just to be sure. I ran Wednesday and Thursday for less than my full schedule, at a very slow pace. I didn't want to be short on miles during what should be my peak training week.

Well, it turns out that this particular pain, which I thought was just tightness, is posterior shin splints. Luckily, I failed the stress fracture test (I mean, I don't have one). I didn't even know that was a possibility!!!

No running until at least mid-next week, and maybe not even then. It sounds like it should be back to normal in about 3 weeks. Good think my race was 3.5 weeks from when I was given that prediction!

Needless to say, I'm a bit panicky. What if I get to the week of the race and it is still bothering me? If it is possible to give myself a stress fracture by running on it with the shin splints, would I go ahead with the race, or have to sit it out?

I'm going to be positive, and assume that I will be able to run. I was almost to my taper anyway, so I won't lose too much fitness. I can pool run in the interim, so that is where you'll find me for the next few weeks.