Tuesday, April 7, 2015

2015 is gonna be eggs-citing

So, here's my situation...

I have a lot of  grandiose ideas, plans, and goals for 2015, the biggest one being running my first (and quite possibly, my one and only) ULTRA!

And this was the year I was going try to scale back on the number of races. And some of the mileage. And try to run more "new" events (rather than returning to so many previous favorites). I was also hoping to do some shorter distance races (for example, 10K's) and do only a select few half marathons....yadda yadda yadda.

I am really excited for what the next several months have in store for me, but it's not going to be easy.
I am (still) dealing with some aches and (mild, though ever-present) pains, probably a result of my crazy racing and training schedule last year. Remember my goal of doing 14 distance events in '14? That ambitious goal was so much fun, but it did involve some serious miles (You can read more about it  here) . It felt like I was constantly in training up until my final "distance" event in early November.

Keep in mind, I do not do crazy nor excessive mileage. I run (at the most) four days a week (one of which is my long run), and my "short" runs actually are short (usually 2-4 miles, but never more than 5-6 miles). I seldom ever run 100+ miles in a month. I'm lucky in that I can keep my miles pretty much to the minimum, and still maintain my distance endurance.

I have talked many times about my piriformis issues, a total pain in the buttocks (that is not a play on words, nor an exaggeration).  Recently, I had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, in hopes of getting a more thorough diagnosis of my situation.  I met with both the surgeon and also his PA (physician assistant). Both looked over my x-rays, and did some manipulation of my hip region. Both assured me there was no sign of arthritis, but they thought it was hamstring tendonitis that was the culprit...and all of my poking/prodding/foam-rolling/massaging of the piriformis was actually aggravating my problem (instead of helping it). Really? Oops.

Both of them also asked if I was using any pain medication. I sometimes take Aleve, but only on an as-needed basis. Both advised me to continue using Aleve (for its anti-inflammatory properties), but to take it twice a day (two pills for each dose), and to continue for a period of 7-10 days (instead of just once in awhile). Taking it once in awhile (instead of for an on-going extended period) does not give it enough time to really work its magic, thus the inflammation (which is probably what is actually causing the pain) is not being thoroughly treated with just one occasional dose. I'm not much of a pill-popper, but having it explained like that made sense. It's been less than a week that I've been on this regimen, and I could honestly feel substantial relief within the first 24 hours. There is still some tightness, but the pain has pretty much been eliminated.  

It would be ideal for me to take 6-8 weeks off from running. Since I'm not a daily runner (and, instead, do yoga and strength train on my non-running days), I am allowed to proceed with caution. I am working on shortening my stride length, and for a tall gal (I'm 5'9), that is a most difficult challenge. I am disciplining myself to do daily exercises to strengthen my core, glutes, and hips. Warming up prior to a run (and thoroughly stretching AFTER) is an absolute necessity. The doctor also wrote some orders to do a round of physical therapy, to learn more exercises to aid in my recovery. It seems like a lot of details, but honestly, this is the most optimistic I have felt in (maybe) (eventually) (finally) conquering this piriformis syndrome!

So, what do I have on my agenda?

April 11 - Live Healthy Iowa 5K
April 26-Drake Relays/Hy-Vee Road Races 10K
May 8-Market-to-Market relay ( I'm running 3 legs; for a total of 13 miles)
May 30-Dam to Dam Half Marathon
June 12 & 13-Grinnell Games (10K Trail & 10K street race)
June 14-Marion Rotary for Shoes Half Marathon
June 20-Grandma's Marathon
July 17-18 (starts at midnight!) Christmas in July 50K

There are a few small races in July (not yet registered) that may work their way onto the calendar as well. And, there are several races happening after the 50K that are very tentative...races I want to do, but am very mindful that my body may not share in that excitement. After two big races within a month of each other, I may be ready for some down time, physically and mentally.

I have no hopes of racing any of these events aggressively. I love PR's as much as the next person, but my priority is to run based on how I feel. My training is not geared towards a BQ, nor will I be doing much for speed work. I have weekly speed drills (Fartleks, hill sprints, strides, etc.) on my schedule, but all will be done without my watch. I think speed work is an essential part of training and conditioning, but my focus is to enjoy these big races and not obsess over my finish times.

That's my eggs-citing plan of action for this upcoming racing season.....and we had an eggs-ceptional Easter weekend!  This was the first year the Easter Bunny didn't surprise the kids with Easter baskets. Our kids are getting kind of "too old" to appreciate all the frills of Easter morning...but someone (the Bunny himself?) did leave a bunch of eggs in our yard. We haven't had an egg hunt in several years, so this was a fun thing to add to our day.

My pride and joy...the family!

The four "kids"

So, that's my plan of action. It may be a bit ambitious, but I believe it is possible if I stay strong and disciplined not only with my training, but also the TLC I extend to myself.

What do you think? What is the most ambitious goal you've worked towards? Have you had to rally back from injury?


  1. Looks like a good plan! I didn't know you were doing Grandma's. I considered it..but didn't want to train for a spring marathon. No ultras in my future. I'm not interested right now plus I don't want to do all those miles. I don't know if my legs could handle it (or my feet, really...)

    1. Grandma's was kind of a last-minute decision, since I'm doing the 50K in late July, Grandma's is perfect timing (four weeks prior). But I will probably be moving quite slowly for the month after the 50K. Probably a once-and-done thing (but I said that about my first marathon). Stay tuned :-)

  2. I'm doing Grandma's as well, (as you know) but have no plan to go the ultra route. My poor knees couldn't handle it. I too am not a huge mileage runner-even in marathon training I only do one long run each week with the rest being short runs/cross training. Can't wait to follow your ultra journey! <3

    1. I hope to finally meet you (in person) at Grandma's!!! ((photo op)) :-)