Happy (late) Wednesday, everybody!
It's time to meet another blogging/running buddy....
This lady is a dynamo runner who isn't stopped (apparently) by injuries, and has learned that shopping at Costco requires extra care and preparation... LOL. (Read on...) With ten+ years of running on her resume, she brings lots of knowledge and stories(!) to the blogosphere, with creativity, enthusiasm, and awesome style. A self-described music junkie, she infuses it into her blog in a crafty sort of way. Friends, I'd like you to meet ....
How would you describe yourself as a runner?
■ Swift and speedy
■ Slow and steady
■ Somewhere in between
Ageless and Beautiful…. Are you:
■ Tweaking the Twenties
■ Thinking through the Thirties
■ Forty-plus and feeling fine - 50. Turned 51 in June. :-)
■ A starting-line show-stopper
■ A middle-of-the-pack mover
■ A back-of-the-pack ‘better-late-than-not-at-all’ runner
■ Somewhere in between? If so, which ones? Between middle of the pack and back of the pack. I was a middle of the packer until I had a fracture and surgery in 2008.
How long have you been running and why did you start running?
A: I’ve been running consistently for about 10 years. Running sort of evolved out a quest for fitness. I was in a car accident on my 39th birthday, broke my left hand and put on some weight during that recoup time. Before I knew it, a year went by and I had put on 30 pounds.
I decided to get some help, signed up at a gym and was assigned a personal trainer. I did a lot of weight lifting, and swimming was my cardio of choice. My trainer thought running might help me break through some weight plateaus. He put me on a treadmill for high intensity interval training. Between the weight training and the HIIT running, I was able to drop those extra pounds. I changed my body. I became stronger and running was something I was enjoying, even on the treadmill. I took running outside and began training for my first 5k. I was hooked.
Favorite running gear and why?
A: Running Shoes. I currently wear Pearl Izumi Cruise. Prior to those I was an Asiscs Gel Nimbus wearer of 5 years. The current versions no longer worked for me. The first pair of PIs I bought were marked down on the once-worn rack at Road Runner Sports, but they didn’t look worn at all. They fit my foot type well, and they were marked down enough to be enticing. They have been my favorite running shoes ever since. I recently bought 3 more pairs when RRS offered a VIP extra discount special. .
What do you listen to when you run?
A: When I run outdoors and it’s not a race, I listen to everything that’s going on around me. I need to be aware of traffic, other runners, bike riders, roller bladers, dogs, etc. When I’m at the gym or in a race where iPods are allowed, music is a must. I’m a music junkie and listen to just about everything. Really. Current top 10 faves that get me going are:
Unstoppable by Kat DeLuna
Uprising by Muse
I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones
Hold On Tight by Electric Light Orchestra
Satellite by Guster
That’s It, I Quit, I’m Movin’ on, live version by Adele
Discovery Channel Remix by Blood Hound Gang
Fantasy by Earth, Wind & Fire
Tamcun by Rodrigo y Gabriela (instrumental)
Everybody’s Everything by Santana
What is something you cannot run without, and why?
A: Cell phone. When I started running, I ran alone and have always carried a cell phone for emergencies. In the days before Garmin, I subscribed to a wireless run tracker service, and would get GPS tracking that way.
What race distance is your favorite and why?
A: 15k and half marathon distances. They’re both long enough to be a challenge, but not so long that I get beat up!
What time of day do you usually run, and why?
A: Morning – It’s a great way to begin the day!
Treadmill, streets, or trails, and why?
A: Streets, because my joints really appreciate it.
What has been your most significant running-related learning experience to date?
A: Getting an injury that required surgery. I was training for the June 1, 2008 San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon with the San Diego Track Club. It was the first year I had ever trained with a group, and it was awesome. My running improved rapidly, and during my long runs (12, 14, 16, 18 milers), I was running with the 4:30 marathoners.
Around early April, I began having hip/groin pain that wasn’t going away with rest. I had been to two different doctors for the pain, but after checking my flexibility, they just chalked it up to muscle strain. I was very flexible, so they never thought to order x-rays or an MRI. There was an 18 miler with the track club where the pain was so unbearable that I could only complete about 11 miles, and had to get a ride back to home base. I was in some serious pain. Even after a weekend of rest, it still hurt. I had a scheduled gyno appointment that following week and told the doc about my hip/groin pain, but she also blew it off to a muscle issue and sent me on my way.
About a week after that (by now it’s mid May), while I was at home (thankfully), something in my hip popped and the pain was excruciating. I ended up in the ER, where, still, they thought it might be muscle or a soft tissue injury, but this time they ordered x-rays, and that’s where they discovered that my femur (femoral neck in the hip) broke all the way through. I had been running with a fracture for about a month and not one single medical professional thought to have that check out further. I needed surgery to put it back together. Not only was my bone broken, I was broken hearted. I was devastated. My 4:30 marathon goal vanished in that instant.
I had surgery the next morning, and after I was somewhat coherent (as coherent as you can be while on a morphine drip), they had me up and walking. Apparently, “runner” was somewhere on my chart because techs, doctors, nurses who ran would come in and talk to me about things like shoes and what races have I run. Not one of them ever said I couldn’t run, in fact, they said I’d be back to running with in about 4 months. Wow. I didn’t expect to hear that. After some physical therapy I was running again, not pretty, but I was running. I ran my next race, a 5k, in November of that same year.
Since that time I’ve been seeing a sports rehab specialist to work on form (I run crooked) and have run another marathon and a handful of other race distances. Through this particular experience, I’ve learned that I have to be my own advocate, I need to insist on tests and/or treatment. The docs all knew I ran long distances and should have ordered an MRI from the start. I could have healed on my own, without surgery. I don’t like to play the “if only” game, but it is what it is. There’s no going backwards, only forwards. The other thing I’ve learned is that I have a lot of wonderful people on my side, and this makes my heart full. I just hope to return the kindness in some way, some day.
Oh, and just so you know, I have some serious titanium screws and plates in my hip. On the x-ray it all looks like a spatula attached to my hip. I have yet to set off any airport alarms. :-) Everyone asks.
What advice would you give to someone new to running?
A: I always tell newbies who have never really run to try walking the distance first. Some newbies have never done much walking either. For example, if they can walk a mile, I suggest a walk/run for a mile – 2 minutes walk one minute run, or a similar walk/run pattern just to complete the distance, then build from there, slowly adding distance and eventually increasing the run time over the walk time. Of course, this is not a new concept, but for someone who is starting from ground zero, it helps, then I tell them to look up Couch to 5k on the Internet or other newbie books for concrete guidelines. I helped my husband train this way and he walk/ran his first marathon.
Short-term and long-term running goals?
A: Short term goals is to run a marathon under 5 hours. I sort of feel jinxed because when I start having great long runs and I’m smashing my time goals, I get injured. Long term, and I mean LONG TERM, is a BQ time. If I can stay away from injury it can happen.
Mileage goal for 2010?
A: No mileage goal, running injury free is the current goal. :-)
Do you have a blog, blog(s), or a website you’d like to share? If so, please list them.
Any additional info you’d like to share??
A: I was injured, AGAIN in mid March. This time it wasn’t directly from running. I was shopping at Costco (told you to keep reading!) and a lady ran over my left foot with her full cart. You know nothing at Costco is small, and she had things like the giant bags of dog food, flats of soda, etc. She apologized profusely, but I just said “I’m OK, I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.” It really didn’t hurt (much) and I sort of forgot about it.
A few days later I went running with the track club and my foot cramped something awful. It felt more like a muscle cramp, but the cramp didn’t go away, and my foot bruised. It turns out the third metatarsal bone, just below the middle toe, broke, but it was not a typical runner’s injury. The fracture was indicative of something smashing it. Yep. The Costco incident was the breaker. Running just helped it break a little more. From now on I’m wearing steel toe boots just to shop at Costco!
I spent 9 weeks healing, and that meant no running or any thing else that required bending my foot. I wore one of those Velcro boots – so attractive. (Not!) Because of this injury, I’ve had to switch from training for this year’s San Diego Rock ‘N” Roll Marathon to the half marathon. I was, again, in good range of smashing my sub 5 hour marathon goal. I was on target for a 4:45 marathon.
Even with the 9 weeks on the disabled list and three weeks of haphazard running, I ran the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in 2:30:55, my slowest half marathon ever, but I was so happy to be there running. I’m also looking to run a couple of half marathons in the fall and not a full. I’ll revisit the idea of running a full marathon in 2011.
Thanks, Irene! Congrats on the recent SD Rock 'n' Roll Half Mary! Your determination is truly inspiring!
Happy running, friends....
Own your journey. One run at a time.™