Saturday, April 9, 2011

Third Post of the Day?!

I'm going a bit post crazy today! I have so much to share, I suppose. I have decided to make today a rest day. My feet are still pretty sore from my heels from last night and my energy level is at a 2. It's a gorgeous day, though, which makes me feel more guilty than usual when I skip a run. Oh well, it just wasn't meant to be.

I was searching through some old pictures and found some from my very first race way back in May 2008. Now, I have only run 3 races. Crazy, right?! I've been running for 3 years so you would inevitably think I would have run tons of races, maybe even a marathon here or there. But you would be wrong.

My first race was the Parkway 5K and I somehow managed to snag my age group's 3rd place finisher medal with a time of 25:43. Pretty freakin' sweet!
A few months later, I moved to Kentucky and began the first of my two internships at Thoroughbred farms. Due to working 6 days a week and always being exhausted from shoveling manure, dealing with usual horse antics, and trying to run at least a few days a week, fitting in races just wasn't going to happen.

I did manage to run Lexington's A Midsummer Night's Run 5K in August. It was a sweltering night with temps at around 85 with the humidity at about 85%. I died. Not really. I actually did better than my first 5K, with a time of 25:31. Had it not been Satan's armpit outside, I would have been much better, I'm sure.

When I came home from Kentucky in November of 2009, I ran Sacramento's big, giant Run to Feed the Hungry 10K in 56:41. It was poor effort because I hadn't trained for it and wasn't expecting much. I was definitely happy with my result, but I know I can do better.

And now we come to the present, somewhat. Last year, I made a New Year's resolution to run a half marathon. I was going to do the San Francisco half in July, but procrastinated on starting training, so I selected Sacramento's Urban Cow Half in October.

I trained. And trained. I made my own, slow training plan, where, over the course of a few months, made every long run 1 mile longer than the week before. I didn't come across many issues with my training plan and my body reacted pretty well.
Except for some black toenails :(
And then, one day in August, I went on a 6 miler during the middle of the week. I don't think anything exceptional happened, in fact I remember it being a really great run with a fast pace. The next day, I had an excruciating pain along the inside of my right tibia. This was not good. I attempted to run on it, but it progressively got worse to the point where I started crying 1 minute into my run. This was very, very bad :(

I went to my doctor, who took x-rays to make sure it wasn't a stress fracture. It eventually came back that I had medial tibial tendonitis, meaning the tendon that attaches the muscle to the inner part of my tibia was inflamed and pulling away from the bone. Thus, MAJOR pain!

No, not this one!
My doctor sent me to a physical therapist, who told me that my butt and hip muscles weren't very strong. He showed me exercises to make them stronger and told me to get stability shoes, rather than neutral cushioning shoes (my feet are extremely odd, so I'll have to remember to do a post on them soon). I also had to rest for a while and crosstrain. B-O-R-I-N-G!

After about a month of feeling sorry for myself, I got a gym membership at 24 Hour Fitness and started lifting weights and crosstraining. I also realized what caused my injury, more than just weak muscles. I run on concrete sidewalks (the worst running sin besides flinging snot/spit/sweat onto someone) and I was running in one direction on sidewalks that have a slight camber. This camber was putting a ton of pressure on my medial tibia and the muscles, so it only makes sense that I got hurt.

When October came, I went to the Urban Cow to support my running/training buddy, Daniel, who went out and ran it in 1:51:40! He's a stud!
 I also made him some pretty sweet signs that made the other half marathoners giggle :)
In January 2011, I began getting myself back into running shape. I'm still kind of stuck in that getting back to fitness phase. Running isn't the easiest of things for me, but I like the challenge. It's something that really makes me proud of myself when I've run further or faster than I thought I could. Nothing is better than feeling proud of yourself. No one can take that accomplishment away from you.

My ultimate goal for the year is to finally run the Urban Cow. I managed to get my enrollment deferred to this year (the race coordinators were so nice and understanding about my injury!). Last year was a good prep for me to see how I train so that this year I can do better and really kick this half's butt!


  1. ohhh that toenail is toooo bad. gross hahaha

  2. "Satan's armpit." Jen, I love you.

  3. I don't run on sidewalks THAT often...but when I do, I always go the same direction, same side, etc. Need to work on that, thanks for the heads up. Cant believe you placed your first 5K--you rock!
    You'll definitely kick butt at Urban Cow this year :)

  4. I was sidelined last season with a HORRIBLE injury so I totally understand your pain! (no pun intended)
    I took time off, rested, and now this time around I am faster and stronger than ever (fingers crossed no injuries this season). My advice: take it nice and slow, listen to your body and you are going to ROCK the Urban Cow!!