Sunday, January 29, 2006

Timing is Everything

It's funny how many things in a life are affected by timing. Three things over the last 3 days all depended on it.

First, I happened to be working from home catching up on WALK! Magazine stuff Friday. I opened my e-mail in time to see that Tim Seaman was in Columbus for a short while and couldn't find my phone number (he had the advertising number) and left me his number. I called him back and was able to meet him at a nearby restaurant before he headed to Findlay for a track event. After a year of his writing for WALK! Magazine I finally had the chance to meet him! We talked much longer than either of us had time for, but it was really fun. If I had not worked from home that day, I would not have been able to drop everything and run out to meet him.

Second, we went up to Marblehead, Ohio Saturday to see my Mom. I was not able to walk with the Fleet Feet group that morning, so was worried about when I would fit in 6 miles over the weekend. Saturday afternoon was absolutely beautiful! I could not believe it was in the high 50s in January right on Lake Erie. (As a kid, we would be ice skating on the lake in January.) I wore a light jacket and a long-sleeved T-shirt and I was too hot! I came back feeling inspired, my knees felt great and I had no pain. It was a good walk. When I woke Sunday it was cold, windy and rainy. From the bedroom window I could see the sky was grey and there were small white caps on the lake. I would have had a hard time going out the door that morning. I was SO glad I had decided to walk Saturday. If I hadn't, right now I'd be regretting not getting my miles in.

Finally, the other reason for going up to the Marblehead/Port Clinton area was to celebrate the release of our friend K.D. Moore's newest CD. There was a parrothead party at one of the hotels and he was a featured artist one evening. I could have sworn the release party was Saturday evening. Unfortunately, we realized too late he sang Friday evening! From all reports, his performance was great! At least we were able to hang out with him and watch some of the other groups perform Saturday night. (Usually he's the one on stage and we don't get to talk much.) And he did join the Jungaroo Brothers on stage for a couple of sets, so we got to see him sing a little.

So, over the last couple of days my timing was perfect 2 out of 3 times! I don't know whether it's luck, karma or listening to that little voice in your head that affects whether your timing is right or not. I'm hoping I have many more days like the first 2, where I'm at the right spot at the right time. Hmmm. I did buy lottery tickets this weekend. I better check my numbers to see if my timing was right 3 times out of 4!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

On the Mend

Rest, ice, elevation, anti-inflammatories...repeat. My knees are feeling SO much better! The iliotibial band is almost pain-free! Yeah! To strengthen my knees I have started some light knee lifts. It seems as if "racewalking" causes more swelling than regular walking, so I've been doing light easy walking. I've tried to get in some miles every day, which helps. Also, high heels seem to be aggravating, so I've been wearing lower heels.

I'm sure I'll be ready by the time the half marathon rolls around.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Back to the Beginning

I've decided to go back to the beginning. Starting this week, I am following the training schedule for the half marathon to the letter. The only way I will be able to recover from my weak knees is to strengthen them and I usually strengthen them by walking.

So, today I walked for 40 min. I'm not totally without common sense. I did take it very easy. In fact, I walked just to the library and back - normally a 30-min trip - in that 40 min. I did not try to racewalk at all. I walked a little faster than a stroll.

When I got home my knees felt pretty good. The tendon felt fine. I still iced my knees and the contenting ends of the tendon. I don't feel any unusual swelling. OK, for me, what is unusual swelling?

Tomorrow is another 40-min day. I'm looking forward to it. If the temps are as mild as they were today, it will be great to be outside again.

I realize I haven't mentioned much about the magazine. I have really good news! Two more retailers what to carry it! I'm so excited! One in Charlottesville, VA and the other in Dublin, OH. I'll post more info later this week

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another Training Day

It's funny how the weather can be mild all week, then Saturday morning turn frigid. It was in the 60s Friday - Saturday morning it was in the low 30s when we left to walk, and temps dropped as we went. We were supposed to walk 5 miles, but I think we ended up going farther. I took it easy and felt pretty good. Shortly after I got home though, I could feel my knees swell up. I iced them, but they were still swollen. So, this week I'll try more icing and some knee strengthening exercises and see how it goes.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

New Year's Injury

Let me preface this whole entry with this - over the last 6 months I have not maintained the level of fitness I want. I not only feel unhealthy, I feel guilty, but that’s another entry.

Last weekend our training group walked 3 miles. It was not difficult for me, but I did feel a little pulling in my left leg at the knee and hip. I’ve never been injured here, but I knew it did not feel right. Sunday when I walked to the post office, an easy walk of just about 15 min, that leg hurt again and my knees swelled. Still, Monday I insisted on starting the New Year by walking a very intense 4 miles. Not only did I walk the distance, I added speed intervals. I know, I should not add speed intervals to a long slow distance, but I was feeling a little bit cocky. (There’s a reason they call it “long slow distance”.) My leg has bothered me ever since. Sitting is uncomfortable, walking hurts for a while until I’m warmed up. My knees have been somewhat swollen all week. I cut back on walking.

During this Saturday’s walk I still had pain down my leg and took it slow. But it was worse. Afterward a massage therapist was available. I talked to him about my pain and he was surprised at how tender and inflamed my Iliotibial band was. He explained where the tendon is, what was causing the pain, and suggested I take it easy.

I know this is not the worst injury possible, but it is annoying and painful. I also feel stupid. I knew something was wrong and pushed myself too hard. Who was I trying to impress? Me? Now I will have to be careful for a while until this thing goes away. And from what I’ve read about it, it can come back often. (Yea.) So, I’m sitting here in January with an ice pack on my swollen parts. Yuck.

Anyway, my point is this. If you know something is wrong, even if you think it is minor, take care of yourself. Pay attention to your body and modify your training to prevent a more serious injury. If you are smart, you can walk and never be injured.