Running

Training with No Gravity Part 2

A few people asked me to write a bit more about my experience with the Alter G.  I’ve run on it 5 times now (so I’m not any sort of expert).  I do know I have not regretted a single run.  I haven’t felt pain during or after run, so I’m honestly glad I’ve started using it.  I actually think my recovery is starting to go really well (but I also feel extremely jaded because my last run was at 77% body weight).

Before last week, I had heard about an Alter G treadmill but never used it for myself.  I had seen it downstairs but never used it.  I had seen one of my elite coworkers use it but seeing someone run 5 min miles like no big deal….well you don’t stop to chat while they are doing workouts.

I honestly hadn’t even done that much research about it prior to last week. I was letting an extremely useful training tool pass by me.  After my doctor said I could use the alter G, I did more research and decided to give it a go.

I knew we had one at Haddonfield Running Company to rent and use.  Finding one would have probably been the hardest hurdle.  Life granted me a ray on sunshine though.

So last week I went in to do my 20 minutes.  I knew nothing and once again I had done very little research until about an hour prior.  70% seemed to be the optimal starting point in beginning to run post stress fracture.

You wear a pair of party pants that essentially zip you into the machine.  As it calibrates, you stand completely still with you arms crossed.  It’s a lot easier said then done.   The chamber where you will run fills with air.  The gravity almost feels as if it’s lifting you off the ground. It’s a strange and indescribable feeling. I felt like I was running in the pool but with no resistance.

alter G treadmill pantsSo with that I ran for 20 minutes at 6.5 pace and 70% body weight.  I didn’t listen to music because I wanted to be hyper aware of my foot.  During the run it felt as if there was no pain or pressure on it.  It felt fine.  I honestly wasn’t surprised since it was putting very little pressure on my foot.

After I made it through my 20 minutes completely pain free, it was more the afterwords I was worried about. The next few minutes I felt fine. I chatted with my coworkers. I drove home and felt fine afterwords. I haven’t had any extra aches, pains or problems since adding these Alter G runs. I’ve started to slowly up my body weight use from 70% body weight to 77%. My plan is to keep slowly upping my body weight until I feel good running at 95%, then I will try running outdoors.

Alter G Treadmill

(I’m not being payed to be injured and review an Alter G)

Questions for you:
Have you tried an Alter G?
How do you come back post injury?

 

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Running

Training With No Gravity

This could be my most exciting training post ever. It’s not many weeks you get to use a multithousand dollar piece of equipment.  Does it make me instafast?

At the beginning of last week I had my foot check up.  At my previous foot check up a few weeks ago, my doctor said “your foot is healing really well.  You are at the point that you can try running 1 mile to see how it feels.  Just one mile and go by pain”.  So I did that and the next day I truly felt like I had set myself back in another week or two in recovery.  So after my doctor said I could run on the alter G and “see how it goes”, I felt very indifferent.  Would set me back again? Am I too cautious? I had also gotten a second opinion from another doctor who said the Alter G wouldn’t hurt.

Two doctors cleared me to run a little bit and I still wasn’t excited? That makes complete sense…When I was cleared a few weeks ago, I tried running one mile and it only ended in dramatic heartbreak. I didn’t feel as if I had made the right progress. While I felt good during my run, I did not feel great after my run. I only felt as if I had made my entire situation worse.  That was close to three weeks ago and I decided to give the alter G a shot.  So this time (despite not even full out running) I was very hesitant.

After my doctors appointment, I decided to go give the Alter G a shot.  I knew i wouldn’t gain this much momentum to get out to Haddonfield very often. I had to take full advantage! I will be honest, I got there a bit nervous and not knowing what to expect. I’m (very) lucky to work at Haddonfield Running Co, which has an Alter G available to rent and use.

Alter G Treadmill

So with that I put on the jazzy zipper pants and I was zipped into place. I was told to keep my feet firm on the ground. I can stand straight (or so I thought). My legs were nearly reduced to nothing. I ran for 20 minutes with 70% body weight. My biggest worry was my foot would hurt post run. I didn’t think it would hurt during the run because it’s such a reduced pressure on your foot.

After I was done it was time to come back into real life with gravity. You don’t realize how heavy your butt is until you come back into gravity and everything comes back into true weight. I thought I had a butt that rivaled Nikki Minaj after I was done…but sadly I was just back to normal.

The big question is: how am I feeling now? Honestly I feel okay. I don’t feel like I put any extra pressure on my foot and by the nature of the alter G, I didn’t put much pressure on my foot. I will continue to use the alter G for another week or two.  I do realize that I’m only running at 70-77% of my body weight right now.  It’s very hard to fathom an alter G because you truly are leaving “real life”.  If I tried to run on a regular treadmill the same amount of time, I would be posting about how I rebroke my foot.  I really hope this is the plateau in my injury that I’ve finally broken out of. I’m ready to run. I’m hungry to run outside again. It’s hard to say how I’m really feeling because I’m running with less weight.

As far as pain while I’m walking around.  I am aware of an ache but not in pain if that makes sense. I’m in no pain and it feels like a dull ache, I’m hyper aware of because I know my injury history.

Workouts-

Monday: 1 Hour AMT
Tuesday: 20 minutes Alter G at 70% body weight
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 24 minutes Alter G at 70% body weight
Friday: 30 minutes Alter G at 75% body weight
Saturday:  Rest
Sunday:  30 minutes Alter G at 77% body weight

So that wraps up another week.  If you have questions about the Alter G, feel free to ask.  It’s certainly new to me and something I hope to incorporate more of.

Questions for you:

Have you ever used an alter G?

What was your best/favorite workout this week? 

NYC training cycle, Running

From Limping to Long Runs (39 miles)

I think this is 6 weeks to go.  Everything seems to be blending together since moving. 

To be completely honest last week after my 20 mile run, my left (and more dominate) knee started to get a “niggle”.  It felt pretty tight and by the evening last Sunday I was limping.  I had planned to take Monday off from running (like I do after long runs) but with every step my knee seemed to get worse. By Sunday evening I had thrown myself a huge pity party and was in the pits.

 I went through a lot of thoughts like my marathon training is over, I can’t catch a break, this is my first running injury in quite some time, how did it happen…ect.  I hadn’t felt a pop during training nor had I done anything stupid in regards to training. I took Monday off and scheduled a deep tissue massage on Tuesday.  By Tuesday my entire upper thigh was more sore and hurt.  I gave myself a time limit that if I was not running in two weeks I was not going to push myself to get back into the groove for the marathon.  (read: I would DNS New York).

The deep tissue massage was one of the most painful massages I’ve ever gotten.  The lady was the best at getting painfully deep into every muscle I had.  She left me sore everywhere and only wanting to lay in bed.

On Thursday I went for a 6.65 mile untimed run on the flattest areas of town.  I wasn’t sure how this would go but my knee didn’t seem to get any worse or better.  It stayed the same which was still better then Sunday. 

Training for the week:

Sunday:

20 mile run

Knee pain during: Not felt, possibly due to adrenine knee pain a few hours afterwords: limping (10)

Monday:

Rest

Knee pain: limping and upper thigh pain (10)

Tuesday:

Elliptical/cross train and deep tissue massage

Before: Knee pain able to walk still hurts, thigh pain hurts (8) After massage: Everything is sore

Wednesday:

Elliptical/cross train (I chose machines that didn’t hurt or make anything worse)

Overall soreness from massage (everything 7)

Thursday:

Elliptical/cross train and 6.65 mile run

Greatest day of improvement no thigh pain and knee 5..while running knee was 5

Friday:

Elliptical/cross train and 15 minute core work

Knee pain: 3

Saturday:

Run 12.1 miles

Knee pain:3

Sunday:

Long Run 20.36 miles

Knee pain: 2

Total:

39 miles miles

 

 

On Sunday I decided to switch my shoes and look for more flat terrain to run on.  If my knee progressively got worse during the run then I would stop.  I was going to stop the moment it got worse.  The first couple of miles went by quickly and as I continued to run I noticed my knee pain was actually going away.  By mile 16 my pain was almost completely gone.  I am hoping my pain stemmed from a bad pair of Newton Gravities and possibly the titled terrain here. 

There were also some huge differences between this long run and last weeks long run:

Last week: I thought I was going to die after mile 12.  It was hot, hard and I was slogging through the final miles.  I honestly don’t think I could have run any further if I had tried.  When I came home I was incoherent and just layed down for 20 minutes.  After this weeks long run: I felt strong and like I could keep going.  My last few miles were well below a 7:30 pace.  I was talking to Tim the entire time (he rode his bike).  I felt strong and I might have been able to finish a marathon. 

Overall training thoughts of this week:

I am so glad I took that time off and am healthy again.  It sucked, it was hard and made me question everything about my training but I’m now 5 weeks away and healthy as opposed to 6 weeks away and unable to walk.

As you can see (and I wrote each of these daily to keep myself in check) my knee progressively got better throughout the week.  If I had not rested and decided to run Monday-Thursday I do not think it would have gotten better.  I would still be injured.

I’ll be the first to tell you I was a hot mess this week.  I was a big pile of emotion wondering if my marathon training was out the door.  I had flashbacks from last year with my cyst and watching my training go away.  It doesn’t really help that I don’t have a job so I get to sit here and fester on my injury as opposed to staying occupied. 

Questions for you:

Ever had those niggle pains?  Do you run through?

What is your cross training method of choice? 

Running

Elbow Updates

As you probably know I fractured my elbow.  I know if you follow me on twitter, instagram, blogging, ect. , that I talk about it daily.  First, I can’t thank everyone enough for their well wishes about healing quickly. Believe me I want it to heal as fast as possible too.  It is just a set back in my training because I worked so hard to stay injury free all summer then to be knocked down by a cyclist.  Freak accidents and I go hand in hand.

Incase you wondered I have a nondisplaced fractured radial head.  Essentially this is the most minor of breaks and like a stress fracture didn’t show up on the x ray.  I have another appointment tomorrow and hopefully it shows up on the x-ray then (which means it is healing).

How am I feeling about my elbow?

Physically:

It hurts but I’m not in immense pain.  It feels like someone is pinching the side of my arm or that I hit my funny bone and that pain is not going away.  From what I have gathered as long as I don’t slip and fall it will heal rather quickly.  If I do fall I could shatter the bone, displace the bone then create all sorts of problems needing surgery.

While the ER doctor last week said I could run if I was careful…I haven’t run anything substantial.  (I ran a mile and my arm felt the same). I also want to see what my orthopedist says tomorrow before running anything too long.   I am happy that I’m able to cross train and keep my elbow in place with absolutely no pain.  If I couldn’t cross train for a month or two, I may go a little nuts but I would rather heal then do something dumb.

To summarize, physically I am not taking any pain medications and my elbow feels like someone is continuously pinching me.

Mentally:

I was already feeling very down with regards to marathon training.  I felt like I was not ready and still had 10 weeks to go.  This weekend was supposed to be a 20 mile long run for me and I knew that would allow me to feel better and more confident.  Since I highly doubt that will be the case, I’m still feeling down on myself.

Do I know if I’ll run the marathon?  No, it’s way too early to tell.  Do I think I will?  Yes.

I’m trying to stay extremely positive because there is nothing that negativity will do.  If I sit here and cry…I’ll still be here crying with a broken arm.  If I try and stay positive and motivated then I’ll be positive and motivated…with a broken arm.

Questions for you:

Have you ever broken a bone?

Have you ever been to a chiropractor? 

Running

October to November

So it’s the second of November already…really where did time go?  Didn’t I just make that goal list of October yesterday?  Didn’t I just think that I would be running again yesterday?  Of course I did…I thought I would be running consistently (and was told that) by now…but I’m not.)

I’m still cross training though and really that was my only goal of October.  To stay positive and cross train through no matter what.

Hanging out on the elliptical

Which isn’t honestly too hard for me…I stayed positive and maintained it throughout the entire month of October.  Some days were harder then others (cue the week after my cortisone shot…cue thinking I could run but I was not ready).

So with that, I can honestly say October (2012) has been the only month ever in my blogging history I have maintained my goal.  (That is why I can only make one goal).

As far as November goes…it’s a pretty big month for me.  I get to go home for a few days, to Texas for a few days and see several bloggers (I’m pretty stoked!).   I would like to say I’ll be able to run again and it’s looking that way…but I don’t want to set any bars and not be able to reach them or force myself to run more when I’m not ready.

The fact of the matter is, either way I missed my entire FINAL season of cross country and now I really don’t have anything to train for.  I don’t need to force myself to run X number of miles or build up for a race that I don’t want too.  I don’t have any big races to train for on my schedule as of late, but I’m sure I’ll find some when I’m good and ready.

No not a marathon.  When I have my half marathon below 1:25, I will think about doing a marathon.  (about 2 and half minutes…a lot to work at).  Who knows really…but that is my personal goal.

But this post has gotten rambly, so my only real goal is to continue enjoying cross training and KEEP AT THE WEIGHTS!  Gotta build those muscles. 

Also-incase you have not noticed, I’ve added a page for #coffeeaday so it’s open and please feel free to submit your entries.

Questions for you:

1.       What are your goals for November?

2. Do you drink coffee at work?