Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How much is too much????

How do you really know the answer to this? Why blog about something you don't really know the answer too for that matter? Probably just to vent a bit as always! ;-)
So, when you are in a continual training pattern for multiple sports how do you know where the balance lies? When training for a marathon - just a marathon - it's easy - I do 5 days of running and take two days off. Am I ever JUST training for a marathon??? No, never. There is always something else. So, with each additional thing I tack on I just tack on more training, but at some point doing a full marathon training program combined with biking and weights and even swimming gets to be an overload. Not to mention trying to work it all in with a full time job, family commitments and friends!
My current situation - I am training to run the OKC marathon - wanting to break my PR for it - goal is anything under 4 hours! So, I'm doing marathon training plus speedwork. Then, I am training for Adventure races - my first will be 3 weeks after my marathon so I can't wait till the marathon is over to get on a bike. So, I've been doing a 60 minute spinning class two nights a week followed by a core class. This means I've cut my running down to 3-4 days a week. I do speedwork on monday, a long midweek (6-10 miles) and my long runs on Saturdays (10 - 23 miles). Spinning and core is Tuesday and Thursday nights. I've also been doing bootcamp on Tuesday and Thursday mornings - 60 minutes of fast paced cardio/weights/core. Then, two days a week of lifting (which has been my lax area, but where I feel I need to focus more time). I want to add swimming to this, but b/c I just had LASIK I can't get in the pool for another month - blah! And, of course as the weather warms up I want to bike outside as well - which is where these thoughts actually started...

So, last weekend I ran 15 miles as part of the first mileage ramp up for the marathon - after the run I showered then watched the nephews play some basketball then Brady and I headed out for an hour and a half ride on roads. It was good, but I was exhausted. I was struggling to keep up with him (as always though)!! How do you fit in long runs, long rides and all the other necessary conditioning without breaking your body down??? This is a question I will answer - just not today.

I will be doing research, partially the book kind and partially by trial and error! ;-) We shall see which rules. The overall goal being no injuries!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mystery of the Fat Calf

Usually I blog about races or new shoes and gu's, but I have an issue that has at least a minor relevance to running that I can't find a solution for. It's the mystery of the Fat Calf. It is a swelling in my left calf that happens at various times, I usually only notice it when I'm going running. The whole calf increases in size and is very, very tight when you push on it. It feels tight too, like someone is squeezing the top of your calf with their hand. It's not there all the time and I don't know that it's caused by running.
Originally I thought it may have something to do with running on unlevel roads since it's only one leg, but even this winter when I have been forced to only run on the treadmill I have the problem. My next best guesses are sitting with my legs crossed at work or the high heels I wear at work. Not sure exactly how either of them actually cause the issue, but it's the best I can come up with.
Since it's not swollen all the time I think I can rule out a blood clot, but I just don't know what the next step is. Like most runners I don't want to run to the doctor each time I have a minor pain or ache - since we have them more than the average Joe. And, like a lot of other runners, I have yet to find that doctor that meets my running needs. It doesn't seem to matter what issue I go in for I seem get the same answers - "you should probably cut back on running" or "you might want to think about not doing that race". She's great, she's just not a runner and doesn't know what it means to me. Not running is the solution for everything in their minds - they don't look at the benefits only the toll it takes on a body. Anyway, because of this I haven't been to the doctor, but I have looked online. One promising thing - I did find some posts of others with the issue, just no solutions or causes. Someday I will find the answer, until then I will run, fat calf and all.

Starting Block

So, I love my Pearl Izumi shoes, but they were basically racing flats so after training and running one marathon they were done! Also I've had some knee and hip issues so I decided it's time for new shoes. My first thought was to just order some new Pearl's but then I heard about a new shop in Springfield that custom fits you for your shoes so I decided I better have a try at it.

The first thing they do is look at your feet, while sitting then while standing to gauge your arch, then they have you do a one leg squat to check alignment, then they stick you barefoot on the treadmill to run for a bit while they video. After that you get to look at your form in slow motion while they explain what type of runner you are and then show you the area of wall that has shoes to fit your need. You start with one of two different shoes, run in them, then decide which you like best and keep it and put another type on the other foot and do it all over again. This continues until you find the shoes you like best.

With my love of ASICS, Pearl's and Salomons I was surprised to find that the shoes I liked best were Saucony Omni's. Not the prettiest shoe, but they just fit me well and felt good.
I've only ran in them a few times - I wore them for 6 miles on a mid-week run. When I felt they were starting to rub my arch and give me a blister I switched back to my Pearl Streaks - man, what a difference. It was like I was running barefoot when I went back to my Pearl's - they had no cushion at all - no wonder I'd been having some pains. We had a 15 mile run last weekend, but with the melting snow still on the ground I opted to wear my Pearl Peak XC trail shoes instead - luckily they still have some cushion. I did wear the Saucony's yesterday for our 4 mile lunchtime run and they were great. Once they are broken in I think they will be the bomb. I'll know for sure once we've run the OKC marathon! ;-)